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Critics of three cops acquitted of cover-up fail to respect the rule of law

(From left to right) Former Chicago Police Officer Joseph Walsh, Officer Thomas Gaffney and former Detective David March walk into the Leighton Criminal Courthouse Jan. 17, 2019. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

(From left to right) Former Chicago Police Officer Joseph Walsh, Officer Thomas Gaffney and former Detective David March walk into the Leighton Criminal Courthouse. They were acquitted of conspiring to cover up the shooting of Laquan McDonald. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times file photo

A Cook County judge last week found three current or former Chicago police officers not guilty of filing false reports in the Laquan McDonald shooting. The judge came to that conclusion after hearing testimony from both sides.

So the judge did her job and listened to the facts and evidence, yet alderman from the City Council’s black caucus are calling for the judge’s ouster? The same aldermen who voted for the $5 million settlement for the McDonald family without even seeing the video? They sound like President Donald Trump when a judge ruled against one of his policies — Trump called the judge names.

Maybe Trump and these alderman need to understand what the rule of law is.

Richard Barber, Mount Greenwood

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Van Dyke sentence continues injustice

The lenient sentence Jason Van Dyke received for his murder of Laquan McDonald calls to mind the White Nights from May 1979, when Dan White in San Francisco was convicted of voluntary manslaughter instead of first degree murder of Harvey Milk and George Moscone. White was sentenced to a seven years and eight months, of which he served five years. Van Dyke was sentenced to six years and nine months, and he could be released in less than three years. White’s lawyers used the “Twinkie” defense, saying copious amounts of junk food had diminished his mental capacity. One of Van Dyke’s defense arguments was to blame the victim. Both defenses are preposterous.

The pattern is also continued from when Michael Brown was killed in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri, and the shooter was not indicted. And after the April 2015 killing of Freddie Gray by the Baltimore police, the officers were either found not guilty or were not indicted.

Voters and citizens have become numb to this nonsense. In Chicago, Ferguson, Baltimore and elsewhere, it is white cops killing another black youth; in San Francisco, it was homophobia in which a straight man murdered an openly gay elected official. Because the murdered victims were minorities and/or members of marginalized groups, lenient sentences were given or there were no indictments or not guilty verdicts.

This pattern of injustice must cease. It destroys the credibility of the criminal justice system.

Scott G. Burgh, Albany Park

Legal immigrants should back the wall

As the son of a legal immigrant who waited five years to come to America legally and earned his U.S. citizenship by fighting for his new country in World War II, I don’t understand why every legal immigrant and the children of legal immigrants don’t embrace President Donald Trump’s border wall.

My dad had to flee an Italian dictator who was going to execute his father. I was raised in an Italian immigrant neighborhood, and all of us were thrilled to be in America. We understood how blessed we were to live in “The Land of the Free,” which was run by the rule of law and democracy, not a murderous dictator.

None of us learned to speak Italian because we were proud to adopt American culture, which included speaking English. We viewed illegal immigrants as “cheaters” who broke the rules and jumped ahead of the line. That was the norm in our Italian neighborhood, and in the Polish neighborhood next to us.

While I support all legal immigrants, I am astounded to see how complacent we have become about the 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants who are absorbing billions in precious education, medical and law enforcement resources. The people who should be the angriest are legal immigrants who obeyed the law to leave nations in chaos ruled by drug lords. They know better than anyone how precious and fragile democracy is and how critical the rule of law is.

The good news is that a new NPR/PBS poll shows that Trump’s approval with Latinos just shot up 19 points to 50 percent. Trump’s wall will protect the rule of law! It’s common sense!

Randy Rossi, Grayslake