Local law enforcement reacts to shooting

Officials: Communication, training key factors
Andy Ouriel
Aug 19, 2014

ouriel@sanduskyregister.com

The massive divide created in a small Missouri community raises and rehashes serious questions pondered for generations:

Is racism in the U.S. still alive? And if so, will prejudice ever end?

Do police officers and other local law enforcers wield too much power?

How should people react in the aftermath of a national travesty? If they choose to protest, and peacefully stand up for civil rights, should they fear being attacked, arrested or even killed?

Such lingering questions won’t be answered anytime soon — maybe never.

But the death of Michael Brown — an unarmed, 18-year-old black man fatally shot by a white police officer more than a week ago — definitely evokes plenty of emotions, including from local law enforcers watching the chaos unfold in Ferguson, Mo.

The Register posed two questions about this issue to police chiefs and sheriffs serving in Erie, Huron, Ottawa and Sandusky counties:

1. What is your gut reaction to the violence, riots and fallout from Brown’s death?

2. What would you recommend be done in Ferguson at this point?

Among those responding: Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Levorchick, Norwalk police Chief Dave Light, Sandusky police Chief John Orzech and Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth.

Among those not responding: Port Clinton police Chief Rob Hickman, Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard, Sandusky County Sheriff Kyle Overmyer and Fremont police Chief Tim Wiersma.

Light

1. I want to get all the facts first. But, certainly from what I did see, I would sure want to look at the amount of the training the officers have had. Any type of use of force — from hands-on to pepper spray to Tasers or anything with deadly force — you have to train and train and train, and then train some more.

2. They are going to need some outside intervention. Things have escalated to where it’s so out of control. You are going to need community members come out and sit down with the law enforcement community. You need a citizens review board to step in, be neutral, unbiased and sit down with people from both sides and try to analyze things from the beginning to the end to see what happened. You have to restore peace at this point and calm things down. It’s going to take several meetings, but you have to try to make sure this type of thing doesn’t happen again.

Levorchick

1. I’m saddened by it. This is not what our country is about.

2. That’s really difficult. I don’t know if I could tell you since I’m not there and am not in direct contact with the people who are there. It’s so easy to sit back and say what needs to be done. People have come (into Ferguson) but it hasn’t changed much. We don’t have all the information. We don’t have the answers. I can’t sit here and tell you what needs to be done.

Orzech

1. It’s a troubling situation for everyone. There has been a lot of violence and non-peaceful demonstrations that put a lot of lives and property at risk. We are getting bits and pieces of all the information, so we don’t know what’s happening. There have been so many discrepancies reported.

2. They need to get some sense of order restored, and they are going to have to have a very deep discussion on why this happened. I would be interested to see how the relationships and communication (between the community and police) were prior to this happening. This incident seems to have been a last-straw type of situation that has blossomed. There is going to have to be some soul-searching and some deep discussion on why things happened the way they did and where you go from here to restore peace in that community and throughout the region.

Sigsworth

1. Hopefully, calmer heads will prevail and justice will be served. The peace needs to be restored as quickly as possible. I hope that all sides can come together and bring peace back to that community.

2. Communication is a big issue. Communication is always a key in these types of situations between police, government leaders and the community. Hopefully, peace can be restored with no further bloodshed, and the healing process can begin, which will take a long, long time.

Comments

ilkyp

Just a bunch of white guys making too much sense.... they must be racists.

Restless1

They didn't say anything other than they don't know anymore than we do. What kind of answers did the SR expect? Waste of ink.

deertracker

Agreed!

AJ Oliver

Andy wrote, "Is racism in the U.S. still alive?" Does the sun rise in the east?
Stop the militarization of the police - when you go down that road, pretty soon they start acting like an occupying army. Tell Norwalk to get rid of that abominable "Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP)" piece of trash.
We know that community polciing works. Do it.

mimi's word

Community policing DOES NOT work just ask George Zimmerman...And as far as militaization of the police it started after 911. If people would just follow the laws and not feel it is there right to do whatever they want then there would be no need for such actions but the day you had to put instructions on the shampoo is the day stupid people won.

The Big Dog's back

It wuold have worked if zim did what he was supposed to do. CALL THE POLICE.

knowitall

I agree whole heartedly.

deertracker

Zimmerman is a free murderer. He was not a police and was told not to act like one. Whatever law Brown allegedly broke he still should have been afforded due process.

knowitall

Wasn't there a trial for Zimmerman? For OJ?

deertracker

Your point? There was also a trial for Robert Blake, Scott Peterson and Casey Anthony!

The Big Dog's back

Great points deer.

knowitall

My point is you call Zimmerman a free murderer. He was aquitted.

jlsullivan50

If he attacked a police officer and tried to get his gun as some witnesses say, he was taking his life in his own hands. If he did not and tried to surrender, I agree with you.

ladydye_5

Whatever law Brown broke he still should have listened to the cop and got out of the street when he was told.

Julian

At the same time, citizens have the right to confront possible criminals, pursue them reasonably, and make citizen arrests in certain circumstances.

Truth or Dare

Is Racism still alive? Yep! To claim otherwise is living in denial. Will it ever end? Yep, but I have an inkling it won't be in our lifetime.

Our local LE, anyone for that matter might want to take the time to view Meet the Press's Sunday, Aug. 17th. broadcast. It will shed light on the very long time of why's, especially in Ferguson regarding the communication and relationships between police, the community, the local government.

It has been reported there are people of all races, backgrounds that are coming from all over for all the right reasons to participate in this protest and peacefully so. There are also those coming and taking the opportunity to engage with the purpose of wanting to cause and escalate more violence. Reading the paper today, the autopsies done, realizing how many times this young man was shot and where, one word comes to mind. Overkill.

knowitall

Racism and any other form of prejudice will never end. We just need to manage it as best we can. Skinny people don't like fat people. "Normal" people shy away from disabled people. Rich people don't like poor people. All these are vice versa too. And the beat goes on! The human condition is weak. Some handle prejudices pretty good but far too many don't.

deertracker

More like roadkill!

pigeon farmer

Enforce the Posse Comitatus Act.

freespeech1

Until all the evidence is presented the media has no business reporting anything. Keep fueling the fire all in the name of selling papers. All this speculation is causing more harm than good.

knowitall

You are totally correct. Nobody on these blogs knows diddly about what really happened. It will take time to gather all the data before a conclusion can be presented. All of us here, myself included, are just blowhards at this point in time about this subject.

CommonsenseNow

Still trying to figure out what purpose this article served.

ladydye_5

Fueling the fire. Race baiting.

The Big Dog's back

Oh wow, another enlightening post from the gayeway pundit.

deertracker

Too funny! Nice try wrong guy!

freespeech1

making fun of gays puppy? Where's your tolerance?

Stonybaby

Light the man that wants to MILITARIZE his army / police force. Yea his opinion belongs here . Can't wait until the quality microscope of the Register is turned on him .

just observing

Racism is alive and well in America, just watch Al Sharpton for an example.

The Big Dog's back

Wow, you so smart. When's your 4th grade graduation?

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