Letter: Concern over the police chief’s comments

March 26, 2014

Letter to the Editor:

This letter from a reader is in reference to comments made by Ludington Police Chief Mark Barnett during Monday’s Ludington City Council meeting. See the story here. 

Dear Mr. Barnett,

I read on Mason County Press, March 25, 2014 edition, the comments you made at the public forum in Ludington MI. While I can understand there is frustration about certain citizens in your community, the part which caught my eye was your implication that it isn’t right in your opinion for some members of our community to be protected by our Bill of Rights.

The great republic we all share is based on the U.S. Constitution and subsequent Bill or Rights. The first paragraph of the Bill of Rights reads as follows. “The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added.”

We are all familiar with the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, especially the first which you referenced in your speech before city council on March 24th. These rights are written as a reminder and declaration of our birth rights. These rights do not come from authority; the police, government, nor our military. They are the rights every man, woman, and child are born with.

In a time when our federal government is blurring the lines between what our inherent rights are, and what we “need in order for our government to protect us,” it is vitally important that our local representatives and figures in authority understand and remember what the oath they were required to take for the job means.

The constitution and its amendments is clearly the supreme law of the United States. These documents are there to protect every single citizen of this country no matter skin color, race, religion, or sexual orientation. When an officer of the law makes a public comment that shows disrespect for the rights of another individual, our community weakens. Some in your community are left wondering who will you decide is the next individual or group that you deem not worthy of their inherent rights as free citizens.

You stated that Mr. Rotta had caused pain and distress to your family and yourself. While we are all human and emotional creatures, your personal feelings are just that. They are not something you can use to judge who is worthy of their rights or freedoms.

As you continue with your job as our local police chief, I hope you keep in mind that those who you swore to protect and serve are citizens of this country. With that privilege, we are all protected by our standing constitution. This constitution is not to be tread on or used in a manner to dispense liberty at our choosing but to protect the people of this nation from those in authority who would wish to abuse their power.

Thank you,

Jana Brockwell


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