Dear Editor: I have been very troubled by Ed Wall's opinion piece "The looming shadow of law-enforcement suicide." Wall engaged in black-and-white thinking that makes me believe he was not fit to serve as secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.
Wall stated: "Integrity, pride, devotion to duty and love are the underpinnings of all of those with careers in the public safety area share." What a load of hyperbolic drivel.
In law enforcement there are dedicated men and women who work to make their communities better and safer places. I applaud these people for their service to the rest of us.
There are people in law enforcement who are in it strictly for a paycheck. Since the almighty dollar is the god of capitalism, these people are just doing what our system dictates.
Then there are those in law enforcement who are bullies, psychopaths, or violent crazies with a God complex. These monsters do horrific damage, both to their victims and to the reputations of decent cops.
If you doubt my assertions, please read "Blood in the Water," Heather Ann Thompson's account of the Attica prison uprising.
Wall states: "Take the time to appreciate the people who stand between you and evil, who do the jobs most people could never do."
The people who are held in Wisconsin's bloated prison system are not a monolith.
There are remorseless scumbags who certainly do not elicit any sympathy from me. There are men who committed horrific acts, in some cases decades ago, who are not the same people they were when sent to prison. There are young people who I consider stupid, immature and in some cases mentally impaired. But evil? I don't see it.
And, there are innocent men in prison also, as evidenced by their exoneration after lives wasted in a nightmare. Are they the evil that Wall was protecting society from? Seems to me the evil is a group of people who put a man in prison for a crime he did not commit.
The notion that we can divide people into categories like good and evil is stupid.
Kelly Klass, inmate
Stanley Correctional Institution
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