Pubdate: Thu, 15 May 2008
Source: Tallahassee Democrat (FL)
Copyright: 2008 Tallahassee Democrat
Author: Betsy Baze


My 11-year-old daughter smiles large and waves enthusiastically
whenever she sees law-enforcement people. Our family has always told
her that the police are people who are dedicated to her protection and
with whom she can feel safe.

On Sunday, Maya and the rest of the family were making preparations
for a celebration in my honor. Maya's synagogue, however, prepared
instead for the funeral of one of its daughters and attempted to
console her devastated parents.

Rachel Hoffman would have been home Sunday celebrating her mother.
Perhaps, if the Tallahassee police are entirely truthful -
something, once upon a yesterday, I would have told Maya to assume -
she would have received some grief from Margie about a second arrest
for drug use. But she would be home, and Margie would be mothering

I cannot imagine being Margie and Irv. But I can feel tremendous
sorrow. And I can feel terrified that I can no longer tell my daughter
that the law will protect her. I spent this Mother's Day in Clearwater
praying that our police are not so callous, but I also look to what I
must do now to protect my child from her should-be protectors.

I hope the city of Tallahassee will notice that the police continue to
maul the truth without actually telling a lie: For example, the
statement that Rachel had "multiple felony charges" does not mention
that they were all from the one (second) arrest and that 20 grams of
marijuana is three-quarters of an ounce.

Betsy Baze, Clearwater, FL
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