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Letters to the Editor: Don’t fault Atlanta police for trying to enforce drunk driving laws

To the editor: To suggest that the Atlanta police officers should have let Rayshard Brooks sleep it off or called his family to drive him home after he failed a sobriety test in a parking lot is completely ridiculous. You are overlooking the fact that he allegedly drove drunk in the first place, and he could have killed people. (“Atlanta police killed a Black man for being drunk at Wendy’s,” editorial, June 16)

There are about 10,000 people killed by drunk drivers in the United States each year. Race should not play a role in determining the consequences of these actions.

The police did the right thing by trying to arrest him, and the footage shows that they were being completely professional and calm up to that point. Fear of getting arrested is needed to prevent people from drinking too much before driving.

What happened after Brooks resisted arrest led to an sad outcome, but it easily could have been avoided if Brooks had complied with the officers.

Mark Korman, Eagle Rock


To the editor: If Brooks had been white, driving a BMW and wearing a $5,000 suit, he would be alive today.

The police would have been concerned about his health and asked him if he was OK. Did he have a heart condition? Was he diabetic? They would have treated him with respect and spoken to him nicely.

After doing the breathalyzer test they would have decided he was not going to be arrested, but could call someone to come get him and drive him home. They would have cited him and warned him that he would be arrested if he ever got caught drinking and driving again.

But instead he’s dead. This is the essence of racism.

Sylvia Hampton, San Diego


To the editor: The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board wrote, “Authorities say he resisted, took an officer’s Taser and began to run, and one of the officers shot him in the back.” (The emphasis is mine.)

Newsflash: We saw him resisting on video, and we saw him running with the Taser. You also omit the fact that Brooks fired the Taser at the officers chasing him.

Joseph Wambaugh, San Diego


To the editor: Your editorial omits one of Brooks’ responses when he was questioned by the officers. He said that he could lock his car and walk to his sister’s house. Evidently, that was an unacceptable alternative to placing him under arrest.

While public reaction has been to defund the police, as Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms pointed out, it is a slogan, and slogans don’t work. What is needed is changing the culture of the police, demilitarizing their weaponry, and mandating better and longer training in order to protect human life and serve the community, including people of color.

Until there are significant changes in law enforcement and the corrections system, Black lives will be at risk, and communities of color will be underserved. This is not justice for all.

Lenore Navarro Dowling, Los Angeles

DUI Humour

176. Knock Knock

Who’s there?
Joe who?
Joe away, I’m not talking to you.

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3 arrests in 4 days equals 1 really bad week

3 arrests in 4 days equals 1 really bad week for Kentucky man

A Kentucky man could not stay out of jail last week, as he was arrested three times in a four-day span.

Devin Roberts, 32, of Bardwell, faces nine total charges and will be arraigned July 1 for each of his arrests.

In his first arrest on June 25, he was accused of stealing a large waterproof container that includes “new tools, emergency lights, hydraulic pumps and other materials” belonging to the City of Bardwell, the Carlisle County Sheriff’s Office said.

Roberts called the sheriff’s office about the materials and said he took them from the city dump, according to an arrest citation. Mayor Phillip King said the materials were not next to a dumpster, but rather in a city building.

The container was valued at $2,000 and the materials were worth more than $5,000, according to the sheriff’s office. He was charged with receiving stolen property.

Two days later, he was the subject of another sheriff’s investigation following an incident at a Bardwell grocery store.

Employees at the grocery store said an intoxicated man tried to start a physical fight with a juvenile male employee and made obscene remarks at the store’s female employees, the sheriff’s office said.

Roberts was identified as the suspect and the county’s sheriff went to his home, officials said. The sheriff found Roberts “passed out in the front seat of a running vehicle” at the home, the sheriff’s office said.

Roberts had two previous driving under the influence convictions and his license had been suspended, according to the sheriff.

The suspect’s 3-year-old son was inside the home with another adult who was intoxicated, the sheriff said. The Department of Social Services were called and the child was released to a family member.

Roberts was charged with driving on a DUI suspended license, operating a motor vehicle under the influence, endangering the welfare of a minor and possession of an open alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle, menacing and disorderly conduct, court records show.

He was released on a cash bond for the second time in the week, but Roberts was met by sheriff personnel again June 28. 

A deputy pulled over an alleged drunk driver Sunday and Roberts was in the passenger seat, the sheriff’s office said. Roberts “was also manifestly under the influence of alcohol as well,” according to a citation.

The possession and consumption of alcohol were against his bond conditions from earlier in the week, court records show.

He was charged with alcohol intoxication in a public place and violations of conditions of release.

Jail records show Robert remained in the Ballard County Detention Center Monday afternoon.

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Speeding Driver In Need Of Bathroom Busted For DWI

259 Heathcote Road in Scarsdale
259 Heathcote Road in Scarsdale Photo Credit: Google Maps

A speeding driver in Westchester was arrested for alleged impaired driving after being stopped by officers, police said.

An officer on patrol in in Scarsdale on Heathcote Road at approximately 9:35 p.m. on Sunday, July 25 spotted a speeding driver who made a turn onto Post Road before continuing west on Popham Road near the intersection of Taunton Road. 

Police said that officers ultimately were able to stop the driver, Scarsdale resident Dalber Barbosa, 38, near the intersection of Popham Road and Lockwood Road, during which it was determined that he was allegedly intoxicated.ADVERTISING

When asked why he was speeding, police said that Barbosa stated he had to use the restroom, though his eyes were glassy and bloodshot. When prompted, Barbosa said that he and his wife had drank two bottles of wine between 2 p.m. that day and the time of the stop. 

A breathalyzer determined that there was alcohol in Barbosa’s system and he was taken into custody. 

Barbosa was transported to Scarsdale Police Headquarters, where he was charged with driving while intoxicated, operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content greater than .08 percent and cited for speeding. Barbosa was released and is scheduled to appear in Scarsdale Justice Court on Wednesday, Aug. 12.

DUI Humour

175. Knock Knock

Who’s there?
Ears who?
Ears another knock knock jokes for you!

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Woman Charged With Endangering 4-Year-Old While Driving Impaired; Syringes Found In Vehicle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 37-year-old woman has been charged after police said she was driving under the influence last Wednesday, with a 4-year-old in her vehicle.

At about 6:26 p.m., multiple callers alerted police that a vehicle on Interstate 35E was striking highway barriers, along with other concerning conduct.

One of the reporting parties indicated that the suspect appeared to be passed out at one point, as they thought her eyes appeared closed. The witness also indicated that the suspect vehicle was all over the road, driving through intersections, driving the wrong way into oncoming traffic and almost side-swiping a semi-truck.

Eagan police located the suspect vehicle on Lexington Avenue stopped at a red light. An officer activated sirens and pulled over the vehicle on Savannah Road.

The officer observed the driver’s side mirror was missing and other fresh damage. The officer also located a 4-year-old child on the rear passenger seat in a booster seat, but not buckled in.

Authorities identified the driver as Jamie Lee Halverson of Apple Valley.

When speaking her, the officer noted she was slurring her words and having difficulties conversing. She was then asked to take a few sobriety tests.

The officer said she exhibited numerous clues of impairment in each test. Halverson stated that she had not been consuming alcohol, but that she was just really nervous. She was then asked to take a breathalyzer test, where she blew 0.00.

It was believed by the officer that Halverson was operating the vehicle under the influence of a substance other than alcohol. Officers then conducted a search of the vehicle and located numerous capped and uncapped syringes, but no drugs were found.

She was then taken to jail. The jail staff contacted police to report that they located a hidden spoon and syringe in her possession.

Halverson has been charged with one count of first-degree driving while impaired – under the influence of a controlled substance, and one count of child endangerment. She also has three previous convictions for driving under the influence dating back to 2014.

If convicted, she could face up to eight years in prison.

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Construction worker killed in crash involving suspected drunk driver


INDIANAPOLIS — A construction worker died early Saturday when an alleged intoxicated driver crashed into a construction zone at the North Split on Interstate 65.

Dispatchers received calls just after midnight about a multiple vehicle crash on I-65 near the 111.6 mile marker, according to information from Indiana State Police. Callers reported a man was lying on the road and was unconscious.

Bystanders performed CPR on David Vasquez Jr., 23, of Terre Haute, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 24-year-old Indianapolis woman was arrested in the crash and preliminary charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death.

The right lane of I-65 was temporarily closed for construction at the time of the crash. State police said the preliminary investigation led officers to believe a car driven by the woman approached the construction zone in the right lane prior to the lane closure.

“The driver of that vehicle failed to merge to the left, instead swerved to the right to avoid collision with the arrow board which was indicating the lane closure,” a news release from Indiana State Police said. “Once on the right shoulder the passenger vehicle struck Mr. Vasquez Jr. who was standing inside the construction area. After striking the pedestrian, the vehicle struck a stationary construction truck, then spun into the lane of traffic striking a semi and another vehicle.” 

There were no other injuries in the crash, which remains under investigation.