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Getting rid of mugshot gallery is the right thing to do | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Wednesday’s letters to the editor.
The exterior of the Tampa Bay Times Building is seen Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018 in St. Petersburg.
The exterior of the Tampa Bay Times Building is seen Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018 in St. Petersburg. [ CHRIS URSO | Times ]
Published Jun. 17, 2020
Updated Jun. 17, 2020

Times stops publishing arrest photo galleries | June 16

No more mugshots

I wholeheartedly applaud the paper’s decision to discontinue publishing arrest mugshots. Arrest does not mean guilt, nor should it imply it. Yet printing photos of those arrested tarnishes some innocent people forever.

Life for many is enough of a struggle without piling on yet another layer. Years ago, when I was working as copy desk chief on The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., we still made room each day on the bottom of the right-hand column of the front page for a list of all those who had died that day. This was left over from the Civil War. It was discontinued sometime in the 1980s. Sadly, it makes a certain sense to revive the practice today. But publishing mugshots of those arrested? No. Thank you for putting an end to it.

Jody Argo Schroath, Green Cove Springs

Times stops publishing arrest photo galleries | June 16

Is this a liberal utopia?

The Times has announced that it will no longer run mugshot galleries of people arrested from several counties in the Tampa Bay region because “they disproportionately show black and brown faces.”

If you’re going to defund police and there are no police to make arrests, voila! The problem will go away on its own. So we’re either on the verge of a liberal utopia, or vote for law and order on Nov. 3.

Michael Kesmarki, Tampa

Ruling a big step for LGBTQ rights | June 16

Human dignity and justice for all

Marchers on Saturday, June 22, 2019 during the St. Pete Pride Parade and festivities in St. Petersburg.
Marchers on Saturday, June 22, 2019 during the St. Pete Pride Parade and festivities in St. Petersburg. [ MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times ]

This ruling proves the wisdom of gay and lesbian advocates’ refusal to leave transgender people behind. A person was fired from their job only because they began to present themselves as the woman they’d always known themselves to be. That’s obvious discrimination on the basis of sex.

I acknowledge the strict constructionists of legislative intent; they are correct that many who voted for the 1964 law were thinking in binary terms: women and men. But their overall intent was clear. In public settings, people must not be discriminated against merely because of who or what they are.

We who cherish and advocate for human dignity and justice share a common cause. Sticking together, we achieve it.

Jim Harper, Tampa

Seniors in assisted living facilities during COVID-19

My mother deserves more

My healthy, vibrant 95-yr-old mother has been locked away in a Tampa-area assisted living facility since mid-March. She must eat all three meals in her room daily, there are no organized activities, she can have no visitors and all non-life threatening medical care has basically ceased.

My mother is now the shell of the woman she once was. On most days, her isolation and loneliness have left her very confused. She now no longer greets me as I stand outside her window waving from the parking lot. She often can’t dial her phone or recall how to answer it. When she’s able to answer, she cries and asks me why I won’t visit her. Her voice gets weaker by the day.

I am ashamed of the level of apathy that is taking the life of my mother. And I sit here helpless to change the inevitable.

Nan Thomas, San Antonio