Reader Mail: Stop Arresting Overtown Residents for Crossing the Tracks

Swimming With Sharks

Expose the predators: Like many of the victims of sexual abuse by swim coaches you describe ("Underwater," Deirdra Funcheon, June 5), I grew up swimming in South Florida and coached USS swim clubs in the Florida Gold Coast in the 1990s. As a coach I had very similar experiences with FLST coaches, namely that the offending coaches tended to get better coaching jobs out of the area thanks to bolstered recommendations provided by Jack Nelson. I left coaching in 1999, went to law school, and practice law locally. I applaud your story and efforts, even though it casts an unpleasant light on the sport I love. As a father of two, I find it repulsive that these predators can thrive in a swim team environment by cloaking their criminal behavior as coaching, tutelage, and special attention that benefits athletes. Just sad. Job well done by you. Todd

Coral Crusader

The Corps disagrees: There is so much incorrect information in your piece about local activist Colin Foord's efforts to save corals before the PortMiami dredge project ("Deep Dredge Deadline," Michael E. Miller, June 5) that I don't know where to start. In the process of deepening and widening the Miami harbor, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers "does not anticipate blasting" until at least October. We will begin excavating loose material along the cut starting this weekend and anticipate this construction will last several weeks. Once complete, cutter suction begins and will last several months. Foord has spread a lot of misinformation about this project and the coral relocation process; the Corps would appreciate your cooperation in providing accurate information to the public in the future. Susan Jackson, spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District

Listening Devices

ShotSpotter does work: Your article implying the City of Miami is wasting money on ShotSpotter ("Sh*t Spotter," Michael E. Miller, June 5), the system that detects gunshots, is off the mark. Miami-Dade removed ShotSpotter because the FBI ended a pilot project, not because of performance. During their due diligence process, the City of Miami Commission solicited feedback from the Miami-Dade Police Department commander who was directly involved in the ShotSpotter project, and the feedback, which is part of the council record, was extremely positive. Commissioners saw evidence of how well it is serving 80 other communities across the U.S. In regard to your comment about hiring more police, it would be nice if every community could put more police out on the streets, but technology and other crime-fighting tools are also necessary to help combat the crime epidemic sweeping across our communities. Fewer than one in five unlawful shots are reported, with some neighborhoods calling police less than 10 percent of the time. With statistics like these, Miami and other forward-thinking cities are putting their citizens first when choosing ShotSpotter and other products known to help curb gun crime in urban areas. Liz Einbinder

A criminal mastermind: What's to stop crooks from getting smart and using very loud speakers to simulate gunshots to distract the police with bogus false positives? And also what's stopping them from just shooting at the mikes? Stewart Rondon

Crossing Guards

Class warfare: The story about Florida East Coast Railway police arresting poor Overtown residents for crossing the tracks through their own neighborhood ("Wrong Side of the Tracks," Trevor Bach, June 5) disgusts me because I walk through there daily. I always thought this was just a rumor because I've never had any problems. But I guess that's because I'm always wearing a suit or work blouse. This is systematic racism and class warfare at its fullest. I really hate these idiots. And for all of you idiots saying to just walk around to a legal crossing, when you're carrying groceries and walking with a child, walking an extra three blocks (which equates to six blocks because you have to walk back on the other side) when you can just cross ten feet of gravel is not ideal. The better-off people who live on the east side of the tracks cross there all the time. I wonder if any of them have been arrested. This is pathetic, and these idiots are part of the reason we're regressing as a people. I've crossed those tracks in front of police and never received as much as a warning. I just crossed it the other night and the security guard waved at me. dallas2miami

Welcome to the police state: No police state to see here — those exist only in "other" countries! Yep, they get to decide what is safe for you — if it's a piece of nylon across your chest while driving or what you eat. They should just come to everyone's house and check for sharp edges, pointy scissors, slippery floors, and to make sure we don't participate in dangerous activities. Besides, if you get hit by a train, you're either drunk or a moron — trains travel only in one place, and they're pretty easy to see and hear. Jason Philip


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