Thursday, September 13, 2007

Our Readers Respond...

Harrison Police Officer Speaks From The Heart

Dear Editor:

I have been a Harrison Police Officer long enough to know right from wrong. Our mission statement reads that
we should uphold local, state, and federal laws as well as the Constitutional rights of individuals.

I have seen first-hand the direct opposite of our mission statement at the hands of one. There is one, in our department, who has created his own team for his own personal gain. If our department was a corporation, the problem at hand would have been resolved. The people responsible for installing a video camera with audio wiring would have been terminated. Our PBA tried to resolve the matter but the retaliation became too much. Although the majority of the union voted to forge ahead with the matter, only 12 souls are sticking their necks out to seek justice.

I am one of the officers who knows that what occurred in our locker room was against our civil rights and is a crime. I am afraid to speak out against my superiors for fear of the same retaliation I see going on with others. I, in fact, act as a ‘yes’ man and do what is asked in order to attain monetary compensation. I remain tight-lipped and pray every night for the day when the Federal Government steps in to rid our department of this poison.

Shamefully, I and others see this department completely divided because of one. If one person retired I wouldn’t even be that happy. I would be happy if he finally was gone but the rest of us would have to work hard to form our own team, the only team, the way it should be, the way it was, the team called the Harrison Police Department.

He has turned friends of many years against each other and will continue to if left in power. He has turned members of our union against the union. We recently booked a PBA event at a local country club. Not long after, numerous traffic summonses (40 to 60) were issued mainly to people entering or exiting that country club.

The end result – less money donated to the PBA - only hurts members seeking additional monies for their family members or themselves in times of hardship. That’s what a union is, working together to help each other. A lot of officers need a refresher course in union ettiquet. The retaliation, coercion and harassment are happening not only to officers but also everyday citizens that live and traverse through the Town of Harrison.

When will it end, the future taxpayer burden and retaliation on officers for civil and criminal wrongdoing at the hands of one or two? I want my 12 brother officers to know that others stand silently beside them and will tell the truth only after raising our right hand in the hopes that justice will prevail.

A Brother In Blue


“Opinions Are Like....”

Dear Editor:

I would like to start by saying I feel for anyone who has been wrongfully accused of a crime. With that said, I am curious if Jeffrey Deskovic is now on the payroll of the Westchester Guardian, and if so can he please write about anything else but the time he spent in prison?

The little hidden messages he puts in his articles are just too much now. We get it, Jeff. You were dealt a bad
hand. I don’t know all the details about the crime you were accused of but it seems to me that if you would have gotten that education before you went to prison your life might not have went the route that it did.

I don’t know about anyone else but if a criminal hurt me or any of my loved ones I would not want him to be getting special treatment in jail, just so he can be provided with a free education.

Most of the individuals who are in prison are there for a good reason. That’s why there are bars on the windows.
Now you want them to get another chance at education when they obviously did not care about their first shot
at it. News flash, Jeff. Prisons are made to house bad people who hurt innocent individuals who go through life doing the right thing. I think your time can be spent more wisely by using your energy and efforts to locate other wrongly accused inmates and help them out so they might not have to spend as much time in prison as you did.

Matthew Colavito
Poughkeepsie

Editor’s Response

Mr. Colavito:

Permit me to say that we welcome all Letters to the Editor, including those which are directed to our writers
and columnists. The Westchester Guardian has been informing its readers with regard to Mr. Deskovic’s experiences since late December of last year, and he has been a regular contributor since January. For
your good information, Jeffrey Deskovic has written on numerous subjects relevant to the Criminal Justice System and the operations of criminal courts and prosecutors’ offices; not merely “the time he spent in prison.”

Furthermore, he has been a welcome and highly regarded speaker before both the New York State Assembly and Senate regarding issues pertinent to prosecutorial misconduct, the death penalty and the prevention of
injustice.

As regards your reference to “little hidden messages”, I feel compelled to tell you there is nothing covert or
subtle in his straight-forward presentation on behalf of wrongly convicted victims of a less-than-perfect court
system as well as all those who continue to suffer with them.

As regards your statement, “It seems to me that if you would have gotten your education before you went to prison your life might not have went (sic) the route that it did,” wake up, Mr. Colavito, and smell the coffee!

Jeffrey Deskovic was literally lifted off the streets of Peekskill on his way to high school class by three cruelly motivated police officers, bent on convicting somebody, anybody, for the crime of rape and murder of a 15-
year-old girl.

In case you haven’t noticed, Mr. Deskovic is a bright, articulate advocate; one, who it might interest you to
know, will be attending law school having completed the requirements for his Baccalaureate over the past year.

And, here’s a “news flash” for you, Mr. Colavito: Jeffrey Deskovic is an amazing young man who, unlike many, despite the ordeal he was put through, has emerged without a trace of bitterness or judgmentalness; more than obviously can be said for some people barely able to wrap their minds around all that he went through.

He is a man who, from the moment he emerged from prison one year ago, has been devoting every waking moment to preventing the kind of injustice and abuse of power leveled against him from being used against
other innocent individuals. Toward that end, he has created a charitable foundation that I am sure you will
want to contribute to. ank you, so much, for your comments.

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