'On a completely bitchy note . . .'

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As chronicled in R. Scott Moxley's Nov. 30 article, "Crossing the Thin Blue Line," and his Dec. 15 Navel Gazing blog post, "Jury Declined to Hold Deputy Liable for Killing, Eating at McDonald's Minutes Later," Deputy Joseph William Balicki was found not civilly liable for shooting and killing an unarmed 69-year-old man, and then leaving the scene 10 minutes later to go eat at McDonald's. This letter came in response to the earlier article.

Having just read the article "Crossing the Thin Blue Line," I felt compelled to at least comment on the "so-called" use-of-force expert. Roger Clark may present an impressive résumé when shown in the "best possible light" by a plaintiff's attorney. However, when you examine Mr. Clark's qualifications to speak on most of what he testifies about, you realize that all he is doing is repeating information he has read someplace from someone else's experiences. I, as well as many of my brother officers, take great exception to being "Monday-morning quarterbacked" by cowards such as Clark, who prostitute themselves solely for financial gain at the expense of officers who are out on the streets, risking their lives for the public and their brother officers. Mr. Clark was an administrator, at best, and has no right to comment on anything a police officer ever does in the line of duty. Now, I definitely believe that police officers need to be reviewed, and shootings such as the one examined in this article raise questions as to the tactics involved. However, these reviews and opinions should be rendered by veteran officers who have been involved in such situations and have practical experience in these areas, not by hacks like Clark who have read an article or book about tactics once or twice and deem themselves an expert.

I am familiar with Mr. Clark, and I am aware that most of his career was spent in the prison system as a glorified guard, or in administration ordering supplies and worrying about the vehicle fleet. I am also aware that if paid enough, he will twist the facts to fit the plaintiff's case. Because he did nothing significant in his law-enforcement career except push a pencil, it gave him time to study and go to classes to proclaim himself an expert. Clark and those like him should be ashamed to call themselves police officers. They are the true definition of "bottom feeders."

As I stated earlier, police officers' actions should be reviewed, especially in questionable circumstances. However, these reviews should be conducted by true experts, men and women who have a working knowledge of what they speak and testify about.

Lieutenant John Remaley
Easton Police Department
Easton, Pennsylvania

R. Scott Moxley responds: Perhaps Lieutenant Remaley is right about witness Roger Clark. Or perhaps the laws that allow peace officers to get away with murder need to be revisited. After all, in 2007, another local jury sided with an Irvine cop who'd turned off his patrol car's GPS, tailed a woman out of his jurisdiction late at night, stopped her in a secluded highway area and ejaculated semen onto her chest. In another trial, a jury sided with an LA cop who prosecutors said sexually molested a young girl in OC. In a third case, a Homeland Security officer escaped a felony conviction for using his powers to try to win sexual favors from a Vietnamese immigrant awaiting her citizenship.

The following letter is in regard to Dave Barton's "The Best and Worst of 2007," published Dec. 28.

It's a pretty sad state of affairs when a newspaper hires a theater owner to review theater. It's even sadder when that writer decides to poke fun at other theater companies for doing exactly what he is doing or has done.

Dave Barton wrote in his best/worst of theater column, "It breaks my heart that so many local theaters are dependent on the box-office bonanza of overproduced musicals to keep their doors open." I guess the Rude Guerrilla's 2006 production of Man of La Mancha doesn't qualify as overproduced? And I guess he decided to take A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum off the Rude Guerrilla's schedule before he wrote this article?

Barton goes on in his "worst" column to talk about movie trailers for plays. Maybe he hasn't visited his own web page yet, with its Quicktime trailer of past seasons? Or seen his own window displays, with monitors touting what's coming next at RG? I guess those six videos from Rude Guerrilla on YouTube don't count?

On a completely bitchy note, Barton writes of A New Brain at Grand Central, "You'd think the squashed confines of this small black box, with its leg-cramping seating, limited lighting and so-so sound system, would be the worst possible place to try to watch a show." Has he actually seen a show in his own theater because, quite frankly, he could be describing his own space.

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