Comment: A2 needs
a ‘peace’ court

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2015.03.coverThis is in response to The Ann’s coverage (in March) of the terrible circumstances last fall at a Winewood address in Ann Arbor.

In our society it is more and more common for people to believe it is OK to have guns on them anywhere. So, of course, police officers have guns at the ready when entering a house where someone called for help.

I find this gun readiness deplorable. Guns never solve problems; in fact, they can readily cause problems. I emailed the chief of police to say that I will never call a police officer to enter my house because I don’t want guns inside my house.

To me, life is more important than property. Aura Rosser did not own the house in which she died. She also was not an intruder. The man who called the police may not have wanted her there anymore, but more probably he was ambivalent.

Sunday is the most usual day for domestic violence. This is a fact. I can’t believe that police officers don’t know this fact. From the words spoken in the background on the 911 call, it sounds too much like a man who is not really afraid, but is showing power and control by “playing” with a physically weaker partner.

Think about it: As a female partner, I would never egg on a male with a knife. I would get the hell out of the house. Then I’d call the police. That is what the person answering 911 should be trained to tell a person threatened with a knife. If a house has a gas leak or a fire, the occupant is supposed to leave the house before calling 911. Go to a neighbor’s house. Go to Councilmember Chuck Warpohoski’s house (nearby) to call 911. So I don’t buy that Ann Arbor police have been recently trained in domestic violence.

A white man at an “Ann Arbor to Ferguson” meeting I recently attended was open enough to admit to having had a knife when police were called to his home, but he was taken to a hospital ward instead of shot. TV spreads racism every day and evening, by portraying blacks as criminals and whites as victims and police. Because of TV’s pernicious racism, police officers need to spend an equal amount of time being trained by (anti-racism activist) Tim Wise, and others like him, as the amount of time they spend in front of their TV.

The saddest thing about this sordid affair is that Aura’s needless death is the tip of the iceberg. Institutional racism may be invisible to whites but it affects blacks at every turn, especially if they don’t have a ton of money to keep it at bay. For instance, it is now OK to sentence children as adults. This is not to say that such a child should not be made to pay back the person injured. Of course he should, and that would be right and also be a lesson for the child. However, sending such a child far away from the community for many years … the child will return to our community as an adult in age, but as a child in experience. Who is helped by punishing this child so severely? Not the community, not the child.

I am for a “peace” court for our children. This is a method in which the people harmed tell how they were harmed and what can be done to help them heal. Then the person who harmed them tells what was going on in his life that he would get involved in the harm. Everyone involved is sitting in a circle with a trained person there to help those involved figure out what will help them heal. Of course, for this “peace” court to happen, everyone involved (the child who did the harm and the people who were harmed) has to agree to use this method. Otherwise, the more well-known courtroom scene would occur.

Judith Bonnell-Wenzel


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