Transgender rights are about compassion

SHARE Transgender rights are about compassion
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It may sound reasonable to expect people to use bathrooms based on the sex indicated on their birth certificates. But when people are classified as male or female at birth, that is a determination made by someone else. For the most part, this poses no visible problem. But for some, issues concerning their sex classification will be revealed later as they go through life. It is a perplexing problem and more consideration has to be given for the sake of those who suffer from this dilemma. It has nothing to do with religion or one’s interpretation of religion. It has everything to do with compassion.

Harriette Dawson, South Shore

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

Hold police supervisors accountableMayor Emanuel’s announcement that he was abolishing the Independent Police Review Authority certainly was no surprise to those of us who are active and retired police officers in Chicago. IPRA was considered by many to be out of touch, sluggish and incompetent when it came to investigating police behavior. When IPRA replaced the Office of Professional Standards in 2007, hardly any of us thought it would be much better at holding cops accountable. Before the OPS, there was the police Internal Affairs Division, which itself had replaced an even earlier unit, the Internal Investigation Division.

My 33 years as cop in Chicago taught me that just changing the name of the unit that investigates the police amounts to the insanity of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. My humble advice, then, is to not overlook the one factor that seems to be lost on us in Chicago. Police officers have supervisors — sergeants, lieutenants, captains and others of higher rank. Being responsible for the performance and behavior of subordinates is a function of command, yet when have we heard the question “where was the supervisor” when these controversial incidents take place? Are police supervisors being held accountable for the actions of their subordinates? The next investigative unit has to recognize the importance of this issue. Granted, in the world of policing the lowest ranking officer sometimes makes the most important decision — arrest or don’t arrest, shoot or don’t shoot, stop an individual or not. But proper training and supervision would go a long way toward restoring trust between a community and the Chicago Police Department. Accountability is sometimes just seconds away in the form of front-line supervision.

Bob Angone, retired Chicago Police lieutenant, Miramar Beach, Florida

Share benefits of marriageMona Charen devoted her May 13 column to the benefits of marriage. Perhaps she can devote another column to attempting to defend her fellow conservatives’ fierce battle to deny those benefits to same sex couples.

Daniel Welch, Glen Ellyn


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