Letters

Letters 08-01-2016

Voter Suppression And Choice In 2013, five Supreme Court justices, each appointed by Republican presidents, knocked the teeth out of the Voting Rights Act. Immediately a majority of Republican-dominated states began passing laws aimed at suppressing the votes of their majority Democrat demographics: minorities, students and the elderly. These laws – requiring voter IDs, cutting early voting, eliminating same-day registration, closing selected polling places, banning straight-ticket voting, etc. — never flat-out deny a person’s right to vote; they just make actual registering and voting more difficult, and therefore make it more likely that individuals in certain groups will not vote. Think of voter suppression as a kind of reverse marketing strategy, one aimed at getting people not to do something...

Free Parking Patrick Sullivan’s good story on parking overlooked one source of “free parking” that has become an increasing problem in Traverse City: spill-over into adjacent neighborhoods. Instead of discouraging people from bringing cars downtown, we’re allowing them to park on both sides of narrow residential streets all day long...

Real American Duality Isiah Smith didn’t really put his deep thinking hat on before writing the “American Duality” commentary. First there’s geography. His daughter feels safer in Sweden than in the United States, at least partially because of the violence in Dallas, Baton Rouge and Minnesota. Really? Safer than in northern Michigan, which is further away from Dallas and Baton Rouge than Stockholm is from Ansbach, Paris or Brussels and no closer to Minnesota than Sweden is to Germany? Did Smith miss recent supremely violent events in those places? Alrighty then...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Carly Lewis
. . . .

Carly Lewis

Patrick Sullivan - June 20th, 2011
It was somber at the Dennis W. Finch Law Enforcement Center Wednesday
morning when police met with the press to tell them about the body they
had found and the arrest they had made.
Carly Lewis had been missing since June 2. A Facebook group devoted to
finding her had grown to nearly 4,000 members. Her family and friends
prayed she would turn up alive by Wednesday, her 17th birthday.
“We were hoping, obviously, this would culminate in a runaway, but it
didn’t,” Traverse City Police Capt. Brian Heffner said.
Instead, police and the press assembled to talk about how Carly Lewis’
body had been discovered buried in sand a couple of blocks away from the
police department and how a 17-year-old acquaintance admitted to police
that he lured her to an abandoned building and killed her the day she went
missing.
Heffner emphasized this was no ordinary case.
The senseless killing of a teenager has to be one of the most wrenching
tragedies that a family or a community can endure and Heffner said the
pain of Carly’s death was being shared by the police.
“Traverse City is a small community (although growing) and everyone seems
to know everyone. Our investigators grew up with Carly’s Parents, the
suspect’s parents and many people in between,” Heffner wrote in an
unusually personal message that accompanied a press release update.
“Police officers are trained to handle cases in methodical, precise,
mechanical modes -- often we forget they are human. Everyone in the local
Law Enforcement community is devastated by this senseless murder and our
thoughts and prayers go out to the Parents of Carly Lewis and their
extended family and friends.”

UNUSUAL STATEMENT
Just how close the tragedy hit to home for police was illustrated hours
later, when the Grand Traverse Sheriff’s Department issued a press release
about the suspect’s relationship with a deputy. The suspect is the son of
a deputy.
“This tragic event has taken from this community a family member and
friend of many people.  Our condolences, thoughts and prayers are with the
Lewis family,” Undersheriff Nathan Alger wrote.
“This is especially difficult for the Sheriff’s Office because of the
relationship of the suspect in this incident with one of our officers and,
because of the business we are in. The department as a whole is supportive
in whatever way possible to the family of the officer, not unlike any
other company or business would act in a similar situation.”
As family and friends planned formal and informal memorials, some visited
and left flowers at the crime scene on Beitner Street across from the
Traverse Area District Library, and many turned to Facebook to express
what they felt or offer condolences to the Lewis family.

PUBLIC REACTION
They expressed sorrow, hurt, anger and a deep inability to fathom the
reason behind what happened.
Some messages were from friends, like one who wrote: “Happy birthday
Carly! You never deserved any of this! You were and still an amazing
person! You wernt just a friend u were like a sister to me!”
Others were from strangers: “Happy birthday Carly Jean Lewis! My heart is
shattered I did not know you or your family. But you will always be in my
heart! I don’t understand. You were loved by many sweet girl! Rip
beautiful!”
Others expressed their anger at the suspect.
“I am pro death penalty... but, in this case, what would really be a worse
punishment? For a 17 year old boy to spend the rest of his life in
prison... thinking about what he did... or death? I honestly think that
life in prison would be worse. Just a thought.”

 
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