clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Letter: Police accountability

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor
Deseret News

I'm disappointed in the response of the Woods Cross police to the officer who briefly detained 10-year-old DJ Hrubes in his own yard. His mom Jerri is a good friend of mine. DJ is a kind, sweet kid who has already been through a lot as a cancer survivor, which has affected his eyesight. Being ordered to get on the ground should have never happened to him. Ever. For any reason. Especially if, as many suspect, just for being black.

Apparently the officer has apologized to the family, which is an encouraging sign. But this neither solves nor absolves the bigger problem of organizational accountability. Why is the Woods Cross police department taking this absurd "wrong place at the wrong time" line of defense? If that applies to anyone, it was the officer. All DJ was doing was playing in his yard. He's a pretty small guy, so the excuse that the officer may have thought he was one of two crime suspects then being sought — neither of which were described as black — is pretty pathetic.

The department needs to investigate and take steps to ensure a fiasco like this never happens again. Evaluate the officer involved and figure out what went wrong in his head at that time. Then use the knowledge to make sure none of the other officers would ever try to arrest or intimidate an innocent child — black or otherwise. That's all Jerri wants. Woods Cross police should cooperate with that — which would only save them further embarrassment — instead of making absurd excuses.

Alden Weight

San Tan Valley, Arizona