Letters to the Editor: Roof Conviction and Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes

Letters to the Editor: Roof Conviction and Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes
December 22
04:20 2016

Burr joins others in backing measure on unsolved civil rights crimes

To the Editor:

The following are bi-partisan and bi-cameral statements of support for the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act of 2016 (S.2854/H.R.5067), which was passed by the Senate during its final session of the 114th Congress this month.

In the Senate, the bill was led by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri).  In the House, original sponsors were Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-Michigan), Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia) and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin). The bill now heads to the president to be signed into law.

“I am pleased that this bill is now finally heading to the President’s desk. Investigators can now work to discover the truth and to seek justice under our legal system for the families of these victims. Every American is worthy of the protection of our laws. I want to thank the Till family, Alvin Sykes, Congressman John Lewis, and all of the civil rights activists who helped make this law a reality. Today’s victory is theirs.”

Sen. Richard Burr, N.C.

“As we work to address current questions about racial violence and civil rights, we should be mindful of our history and why so many in the African-American community raise the issue of whether black lives matter.  Passage of the original Emmett Till Act represented a commitment to resolving the unanswered questions from one of the darkest periods in modern American history.  This bipartisan reauthorization represents further investment in our history and will allow the Department of Justice to resolve remaining issues.”

Rep. John Conyers Jr., Michigan

“When this bill was signed into law, family members, academics, historians, lawyers, advocates began working to develop a full accounting for these long-standing, gross human and civil rights atrocities.  The reauthorization passed by Congress is a response to their appeals to make the law a better tool in their quest for justice. We also worked across the aisle and across the Dome to develop a bill that fulfills our promise to remain committed to the pursuit of truth on behalf of victims and their families.  I am very pleased that Congress has passed this legislation and I look for-ward to the signature of President Barack Obama.”

Rep. John Lewis, Georgia

“Too many families suffer from the unsolved murders of their loved ones during the civil rights era with-out receiving justice.  The way to best serve these families is to provide our Federal government with the tools it needs to investigate these unsolved crimes, and to hopefully, bring some sense of closure for these families.  I thank Congressman Lewis for his tireless work on behalf of the families of these victims of unsolved murders from the civil rights era and I am proud to stand with him on this effort.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy, Vermont

“This legislation brings justice and closure to the families and communities affected by the heinous acts of violence and hatred that are a stain on our nation’s history. The bill will help us continue the critical work of better investigating and solving these crimes, no matter how long ago they occurred, and I’m thrilled we’ve finally been able to carry it across the finish line.”

Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri

“The Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act sets out to investigate racially-motivated murders. Sadly, there is still more work to be done and it’s important that we reauthorize this bill so that the FBI and DOJ can continue investigating unsolved crimes.”

Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri

“As an original cosponsor of the Emmett Till Reauthorization Act, I’m pleased to see my colleagues came together and supported this important bill. This bipartisan legislation will provide for a sustained, well-coordinated effort to investigate and prosecute unsolved civil rights-era crimes. There are hundreds of cold cases from the civil rights era that have never been solved and it is my hope that we are able to bring justice to the victims’ families.”

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, Wisconsin

Opioid antagonist can save lives if used right

To the Editor:

The use of Naloxone can save a life.   Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is an opioid antagonist used in opioid overdoses to counteract the life-threatening depression of the respiratory system. It allows an overdose victim to breathe normally.

Although traditionally administered by emergency response personnel, naloxone can be administered by lay people or public, making it ideal for treating heroin and other opioids overdoses. The training is simple and use of Naloxone results in a life saved.

Here is what occurs in an opioid overdose. When too much of any opioid, like heroin, goes into too many receptors, the respiratory system slows and the person breathes more slowly, then not at all.   Because Naloxone basically knocks the opioids out of the opiate receptors in the brain, the overdose is reversed and the person is able to breathe again.

However, it is a temporary drug that will wear  off in 30-90 minutes and the person should be watched for signs of continued overdose.  The overdose victim must seek medical assistance or call 911.

Lack of oxygen from opioid over-dose may lead to brain injury in as little as four minutes, yet the average EMS response time is 9.4 minutes.  Seconds can count during an opioid overdose so it is vital if you have a loved one or friends who use, you need to  have a plan in place. Most life threatening opioid emergencies occur in the home, witnessed by friends or family.

Brand names of Naloxone are Evzio, Narcan injection, Narcan Nasal Spray.   They  all come with simple, lifesaving directions and are easy to administer.  Upon purchase, read and know how to use these devices and keep them readily available.

Some states have a third-party law where a concerned parent, employee or nurse at a school can obtain Naloxone and administer it without facing legal repercussions (known as the  good Samaritan act).   If you come in contact with a  high-risk individual, you  should have this lifesaving overdose antidote.

For more information and the availability of naloxone, go to http://www.narcononnewliferetreat.o rg/blog/naloxone-availability.html . If you are in need of a referral to a treatment center, call us at 1-800-431-1754.

Ray Clauson

Community Relations Director

Narconon (a 501(c)3 corporation)

Denham Springs, Louisiana

Group stands with black community after Dylann Roof is convicted

To the Editor:

We hope that the jury’s decision to convict [in the Charleston, S.C., church massacre case] brings a semblance of peace to the families and community terrorized by the massacre of their sacred space. This targeted killing of nine African-Americans in the midst of worship reminds us of the ever-present danger of White supremacy.

In a time when elected officials hesitate to denounce White supremacists and in fact rebrand and normalize them, Dylann Roof’s actions remind us of the consequences of these hateful ideas.

Whether racism comes in the form of a gun or a policy that disproportionately harms people of color, it is reprehensible.

In the coming months and years, we will remain vigilant in protecting and supporting one another as we continue to build power to eradicate the vicious racism that motivates violence and oppression. We will not live in fear. We will not rest until we dismantle the systemic racism that allows tragedies like the Charleston massacre to occur, and until its perpetrators are brought to justice. We stand with the victims, their families and the Black community in Charleston in their quest for justice.

Judith Browne Dianis, 

Executive Director, 

Advancement Project 

Washington, D.C.

Note: On Thursday, Dec. 15, Dylann S. Roof, a white supremacist responsible for the massacre of nine Black churchgoers in Charleston,S.C., was found guilty by a federal jury. 

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