Letters and comments for September 15, 2011

By Observer Upload September 15, 2011 08:17 pm
Letters and comments for September 15, 2011

Question findings

To the Editor:

I want to introduce a dead man. He worked for himself, could fix any motor presented to him, would willingly give a hand to anyone who needed it and usually without charge. He married his wife later in life, so at the age of 60, he was father of an 11-year-old boy. This dead man was Dick Shafer. 

I grew up with Dick and went through 12 years of school with him. Dick was a part of the Elgin community for his entire life and his easy-going nature made him a pleasure to be around.

Dick Shafer took three bullets in the chest on Aug. 1. Those shots and more were fired by an Elgin police officer. This shooting occurred inside Dick’s home by a person sworn to protect the public. At meetings in Elgin both before and after the shooting, people expressed their concerns about this officer, alleging that he was known for using excessive force and pulling his weapon when confronting Elgin citizens.

I personally know two state troopers, one with 15 years experience, who has never pulled his weapon, and one retired who drew his weapon only once and never discharged it. An officer who regularly pulls his gun should not be on any police force.

As expected the DA’s office cleared the police officer of any wrongdoing. I urge The Observer to use whatever methods available to it (including the Freedom of Information Act) to find and print the whole truth about this killing. I also congratulate The Observer for promptly printing its interview of Dick’s widow. That is what news reporting is all about.

I have contacted the FBI and been told that Dick’s widow may file a complaint with them or with the U.S. Attorney’s office if she feels Dick’s civil rights were violated. I would urge Mrs. Shafer to do so.

Andrea Galloway