February 29, 2012The Honorable Judge Maureen E. WalshFirst JusticeHolyoke District Court20 Court PlazaHolyoke, MA 01040Re: Sentencing of Jeffrey M. Asher Dear Judge Walsh
There is simply no better way to begin this letter than with an affirmation ofthe excellent job that most Springfield Police Department officers do. It isgreatly appreciated that they literally put their lives on the line with eachshift worked. That being said, it is also our perspective that too manySpringfield citizens have experienced unjust targeting, humiliation, loss ofphysical freedom, and even physical harm at the hands of a relatively fewSpringfield Police officers.
We are confident that
it is possible for police to protect and serve Springfieldresidents without violating the integrity of their profession and withoutinfringing on the civil rights of others. However, in order for the SpringfieldPolice Department to be an organization that Springfield residents cantrust and for police-community relations to be improved, there is acompelling need to deal with both the proclivity for officers to cover themisdeeds of their peers and for law enforcement to send a resoundingmessage when police officers are found guilty of violating both the lawand the trust of those they are duty bound to serve.It is only appropriate that in conferring the police with powers, particularlythe power to use lethal force, that they are also held to a higher standard