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Burroughs killing was unnecessary

DEAR EDITOR:

The Jan. 2, 2019, shooting and killing of Matthew Burroughs by Niles police officers did not have to happen, and I believe it should not have.

Apparently, Mr. Burroughs had a verbal disagreement with a probation officer outside the Niles municipal building, then left the area in his vehicle to go home. Soon after he left, three police officers in two cruisers chased after him, arriving at his apartment complex within seconds after he did, and proceeded to try hemming his vehicle in between their police cars. Burroughs rocked his vehicle forward and backward, most likely in a panic, hoping he could get away from them.

The police officers — Mannella, Reppy and Hogan — were in no danger from Mathew Burroughs, who remained in his vehicle and was unarmed. Interesting that these policemen didn’t turn their body cameras on until after the shooting started. Luckily, there was an eyewitness nearby who filled in the blanks in the officers’ statements, including the fact that the officer who fired the fatal shots was beside Burrough’s vehicle, not in front of or behind it. Therefore, where was the danger to the officer’s life he was supposedly reacting to?

This is the latest killing of a citizen by police that was absolutely unnecessary and unjustified. Nobody should be so callous and self-righteous as to believe these things only happen to people who asked for it. This could happen to you or someone you care about!

I’ll finish with a paraphrase of a famous quote by one of the wise Founders of our country, “If the citizenry ever give up their freedoms for greater safety, they will end up with neither.”

JAMES DUNLAP

Mineral Ridge

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