By Perly Viasmensky
Looking at and reading about the increase of crime, not only in the city of Las Vegas but all over the country, makes us direct our thinking in two different directions.
I want to talk about the latest event in our city. I hear people complaining about our Police Department, and the lack of assistance from our officers. I admit that I am also guilty of having those thoughts. When you call Metro for assistance and officers don’t show up until 24 hours later, it is frustrating and we (including me) give them our best complaints only to realize later on that probably they have been taking care of a shooting victim or trying to apprehend the shooter, without thinking that they are putting their lives on the line.
The news of the death of Nevada Highway Patrol trooper, Micah May, hit me deeply and a friend asked me, “Why do you care; you didn’t even know the man?” It is true, I didn’t know the man, but my thoughts are that he was a young man who was struck by a lunatic carjacking suspect.
How do you explain to his children that his Daddy is not coming back home because he was helping people he didn’t even know, because that was his job?
It is also true that there are many officers that are very cocky, with a nasty attitude (especially female officers), but at the same time we need to put ourselves in their shoes. Maybe they start their shifts in good spirits and with pleasant attitudes. They stop the first motorist committing an infraction and they are welcomed with, “Why did you stop me; why do I have to show you my driver’s license?” That officer gets the same reaction from the second and third driver he has to stop, because it’s their duty; at the time they stop the fourth one, even if that person is very polite to the officer and tries to follow orders, the officer explodes against that innocent person and is rude because everyone else so far has gotten on his nerves.
The same thing goes with prosecutors. A person takes the day off work to testify in court as the victim and witness of a burglary. By the time that person gets to the courthouse, the prosecutor informs them that their presence is no longer necessary because they have already “negotiated” with the defendant. Negotiation that was done behind closed doors and without informing the victim.
Another case that comes to mind is the prosecutor that negotiated the sentence of a man who left his little girl in his car and refused to allow police officers to break the windows of the car to save the little girl, just because he had just bought the car new and claimed he didn’t have the money to replace the window. He got one year in the Clark County Detention Center and the incensed prosecutor can add a mark to his record of prosecutions.
If this man bought a new car there is a strong possibility that he had Collision and Comprehensive insurance coverage. Many insurance companies cover damage to your window. A window can be replaced, but the life of the little girl was at stake and the mother’s pain can never be as though it never happened. That man deserved more than a year in jail.
A man is in jail accused of domestic violence and many other offenses, and also has a pending case for robbery of a local business and assault on the owner of the business. A judge who apparently doesn’t read let the man out of jail a day before he was supposed to appear in court for the robbery, allowing the same man back to the business and vandalizing a van and a truck on the premises.
No wonder they say that Lady Justice is blind and judges cannot read because apparently, they are also blind.
On the other hand, there is a career prosecutor assigned to the prosecution of a woman who killed her little 8-year-old child and dropped his naked body in the middle of nowhere as if he was nothing but garbage. The little boy was autistic and she claimed to be frustrated with him for something was no fault of his own.
Only God knows if that prosecutor, accustomed to prosecuting difficult cases, has children of his own and while prosecuting that mother, thinking of his own children and the lost life of an innocent child, will go home every day during the trial with his heart shrinking like a prune because he is also human.
This is why I said we need to direct our thinking in two different directions and stop judging all people with the same measuring tape.
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Perly Viasmensky is the General Manager of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Perly Viasmensky,
email her at firstname.lastname@example.org