Opinion: Ignoring statistics about suspects distorts debate over use of force

Opinion: Ignoring statistics about suspects distorts debate over use of force

Attcking law enforcement will lead to more crime

| Published:

To the editor:

Once again, Bethesda Beat and the Montgomery County Council fail to ask basic questions that would be helpful if they were attempting to glean truthful data (“When police use force, Black residents involved at three times the general population,” July 28).

Montgomery County police do not get to choose with whom they use force. Montgomery County police respond with force against those who initiate the force with them. All this talk about statistics and certain populations being overrepresented in crime could be twisted by anyone with an agenda.

To get to the truth of the matter, journalists and the County Council should start to look at crime statistics: who is committing the crime. Look at the descriptions of suspects for crimes throughout the county. If the crime suspects are disproportionately one demographic, it would make sense that traffic stops, arrests and use of force against that demographic would be higher.

Then again, if journalists and the council just want to sow the seeds of hate and misinformation, they can continue to look at straight percentages of population and expect crime, traffic violations and use of force to follow the percentages without deviation.

Articles like this reek of ideological bias against law enforcement and a deliberate attempt to obfuscate the truth. Suggesting that MCPD officers are blatantly racist and actively seeking out opportunities to assault Black residents is hurtful and hateful.

The continued attack on law enforcement will eventually result in law enforcement pulling back from these communities. Crime will rise, innocent people will get hurt or otherwise victimized and property values will drop — all so that some people can push their false ideological narrative.

Michael Putman
Silver Spring

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Editor’s note: Bethesda Beat encourages readers to send us their thoughts about local topics we have covered for consideration as a letter to the editor in our Saturday newsletter. Email them to editorial@bethesdamagazine.com. We require a name and hometown for publication. We also require a phone number (not for publication) for us to verify who wrote the letter. Please provide a source for any facts in your letter that were not part of our coverage; if they can’t be verified, they likely will be omitted.

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