The Arkansas Skateboarding Ruckus: With Open Letter To HSPD
Posted by jeremiasx on June 28, 2007
Open Letter To Chief Southard, Hot Springs PD
First of all, let me preface this letter by explaining to you that I don’t feel obligated to write ONLY due to the current controversy (by itself) that surrounds the methods of code enforcement within your jurisdiction. In all honesty, I should have done so long ago. This is a longstanding problem in the Spa City, apparently.
For a short time in my life I lived in Hot Springs, on Violet Street, when I was a younger man with more time on my hands…and I spent a great deal of time hanging out at the park down by the Arlington. I remember that the enforcement measures against any type of local congregations of young people seemed to be biased, contemptuous, and generally abusive of civil rights in general. This action that was videotaped just brings it to light for the rest of the world to see.
My friends and I weren’t breaking any laws…we weren’t bothering anyone…yet the HSPD seemed intent upon our arrest and removal from the public eye. However, we were never arrested and never removed from the park because we knew our rights. It sounds like these kids do as well. Good for them. But must the average citizen remain ever vigilant to defend themselves from official tyranny? Perhaps this proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that we MUST.
It seems things have not changed for the young people in the park in Hot Springs. I find this to be a sad statement about the lack of evolution by law enforcement officers to deal with the obvious concern in this country about the right-wing authoritarian tactics of law enforcement in general, and on a national level this issue extends far beyond your own department. However, I’m SURE the police would have a more positive image if they didn’t concern themselves with prosecuting and harassing children…and focused on the REAL criminals instead.
Now you have a black eye. You have videotaped evidence of Hot Springs PD officers acting irresponsibly and possibly outside the bounds of the law itself…or at least the spirit of the laws concerning police enforcement. I hope you wake up and do something about your department. Speak out to your country and tell them that you know this was wrong. In your heart, you know it. Be a man. Speak up for what is right. It is in your power to do so.
“What man is a man who does not make the world in which he lives a better place for him having been there?”