Letters

POLICING THE POLICE

Re Peter Noel's article on the ruling upholding an award of over $2 million to former police officer Gloria Gonzalez ["Just Following Orders: The NYPD's 'Nuremberg' Defense," July 3]: The NYPD has been extremely successful in thwarting and subverting institutional reform with any substance. Institutional reform is taken with baby steps and in many instances can be considered "smoke and mirrors." All the voices from within the NYPD that call for change are crushed and forced to remain silent—their constitutional right to free speech being nonexistent.

Police officers wield enormous power. They possess the awesome power to take someone's freedom away, and the power to take a human life. I believe that an independent federal monitor over the NYPD's internal investigative functions should strongly be considered.

Those who do not believe in an outside monitor either are running for office or running from the truth—the truth being that the police cannot police themselves.

Jeff Baird
NYPD Detective Investigator
Peekskill, New York

The writer was an undercover investigator for the Mollen Commission.


'NYPD HELL'

Thank you for Peter Noel's story on the NYPD's "Nuremberg" defense. I am an ex-NYPD police officer who was terminated in February 1993 after I was wrongfully accused and arrested. Although the D.A. declined to prosecute the case due to insufficient evidence, I was suspended and then terminated. I too have been living in NYPD hell. I thought you ought to know that this is common practice in the NYPD.

Fabian Lorenzo
Manhattan


CRIMES AND WHISPERS

I appreciate the coverage of the Korea International War Crimes Tribunal by Chisun Lee ["Rite for the Wronged," July 3]. As a Korean American publication based in the Midwest, we've been struggling to make these voices heard—and we're glad to see the Voice cover these issues, which are important not only to Korean Americans but the general public as well.

For example, at the Women's International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan's Military Sexual Slavery (focusing on issues of former "comfort women") held in Tokyo last December, Korean Quarterly was frequently the only U.S. media outlet covering the events. This important international human rights forum also was virtually ignored by the Japanese media.

I applaud Chisun Lee for her coverage of this significant event.

Stephen Wunrow
Korean Quarterly
St. Paul, Minnesota


SULLIVAN'S TRAVAILS

Richard Goldstein, in "The Real Andrew Sullivan Scandal" [June 26], makes excellent points both about the hypocrisy of Sullivan's rhetoric and the media's penchant for celebrating "attack queers" or "gayocons"—queer thinkers who regularly attack the gay community. Yet I think Goldstein errs in proclaiming, in so many words, that any queer person who attacks gay left orthodoxy is morally bankrupt.

In my own experience as a gay man, I bristle at the splurges of negativity spewed routinely by gayocons. But I am also at a loss when it comes to the equally vehement, short-sighted, policing diatribes and relentless hetero-bashing posted by some queer left thinkers, who would appear to argue that anyone who prefers a sustained loving relationship to unending anonymous sex is some kind of shriveled and joyless sad sack.

The real problem is always orthodoxy, in its Ozymandian humorlessness, whether it's from sources gay or straight, left or right.

David Greven
Brandeis University
Waltham, Massachusetts


HIPHOPRISY

Chris Nutter's article on homophobia in the rap world ["Fronting for the Enemy," June 26] proves how patronizing and racist many mainstream critics can be. We wouldn't accept a homophobic attitude from Blink 182 or Travis Tritt, but because it's coming from black musicians (who can't possibly be expected to uphold the same standards as everyone else) it becomes a complicated issue. Give me a break.

Dan Avery
Brooklyn


IN A TRANS

While it was somewhat mollifying to read EJ Graff's " My Trans Problem" [June 26] in terms of providing balance to the onslaught of oversimplified transphobic rhetoric, the question seems obvious: When will the Voice offer a piece (or a column, for that matter) from the perspective of a transsexual? It grows tiring reading non-transsexuals' opinions of transsexuality, especially when they appear to be taking on the responsibility of deciding whether trans people "belong" in the queer movement. In the interest of fair reporting, why not allow people to speak for themselves? The Voice has found a number of lesbian writers to discuss transsexuality. I'm sure it could find a writer of transgender or transsexual experience to articulate the view from a personal standpoint.

Bree Coven
Manhattan


NO-TELL MOTEL

Thanks to Cynthia Cotts for her superb analysis in Press Clips of the reprisals against me for my exposés in the Truckers Motel story ["The Wrong Way to Get Screwed: Reporter Fired for Exposing Whorehouse," April 24].

Cotts made many phone calls, checking and rechecking facts, and the resulting piece was very diligent and fair.

With the South Carolina lottery coming, our bordellos will be eligible to sell tickets, so mosey down, snag a Blenheim ginger ale, and maybe view the Confederate flag, which has been moved to another pole in Columbia.

God bless South Carolina.

Tim Bullard
Conway, South Carolina


PREP SCHOOL

Adamma Ince's " Preppin' for Prison: Cops in Schools Teach a Generation to Live in Jail" [June 19] was a great piece. I am a retired high school teacher living in a town about 70 miles from Toronto. In my 36 years as a teacher, I never imagined that police would have to be in the schools, but even here the school board has brought a police rep into our schools for two days a week. They search for drugs that they hardly ever find.

Thanks for the insight.

Dennis R. Clarke
Cobourg, Canada


CORRECTION

In James Ridgeway's Mondo Washington column (July 3), it was reported that the missing Chandra Levy briefly interned for California congressman Gary Condit. Levy never worked in Condit's office.

 
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