Searching for safe ground on BPD anti-gun plan
Boston’s new police initiative (“ACLU skeptical of police warrantless
search plan,” Nov. 22, 2007) may be well intentioned, but it has
shortcomings that may further strain the relationship between the
Boston Police Department (BPD) and communities of color.
As a teen living under the roof my parents provided, I lived by their
rules — my siblings and I were not allowed to have locks on our bedroom
doors. If a son or daughter can restrict the access of the head of the
household, then clearly there are larger issues in the home that the
BPD cannot fix.
And while I applaud Police Commissioner Edward Davis for increasing
police interaction with the community, I am not convinced that the
front door is the best place for these interactions to take place.
Especially in communities with large immigrant populations, without
translators or legal consultation it may be impossible for police to
have the effective communication that is required to negotiate a
non-warrant search of their home.
I am all for getting illegal guns off the street. However, those that
work in violence prevention know that illegal guns are not used for
legal reasons. Nine times out of 10, a gun recovered will have likely
been used in a crime by its current or previous owner(s). It is not
hard to imagine a 15-year-old with a gun that he bought, stole or found
that had been used in a crime without his knowledge. Now imagine him
being prosecuted for a crime he never committed.
I believe that a heavier mandatory minimum sentence for illegal
possession, along with a better strategy on targeting illegal arms
dealers, is the best deterrence. It will quickly separate the real
“impact players” from the pretenders and allow the BPD to focus on the
few that continue to plague the hardworking decent families of my
Carlos A. Henriquez
Mass. Nigerian group focused on respect, inclusion
We members of the Nigerian-American Community Organization Inc. (NACO)
are appreciative of the featuring of Nigerian American communities of
the Commonwealth in Kenneth J. Cooper’s story in the Banner (“Ethnic
diversity strong for Mass. Nigerians,” Nov. 15, 2007).
There are, however, some highlighted viewpoints noted in the article
that require editorial response. NACO is not about the Nigerian
politics’ tribal sentiments. Also, NACO is neither a byproduct of the
Nigerian American Multi Service Association (NAMSA) nor an umbrella
However, NACO, as a nonprofit community-based organization, focuses on
doing community events and activities, evidenced by our youth violence
prevention forum and parade. The organization is about cultural
diversity, respect and the interaction with other communities in the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts and/or the mainstream of American society.
Anyenda Inyagwa, President
Nigerian-American Community Organization