To the editors:

I feel constrained to comment on the feature length article in your March 10th edition on “Officers in Trouble”–the tragedy of Selena and Ed Johnson. It is not finished of course–there are still two unnecessarily orphaned children who hopefully will secure a support system to help them enter the adult world as effective, productive, and reasonably stable people. I am addressing myself (as do we all) to the prophylactic aspects of this event. If the story, as I read it, is accurate, it was painfully clearly preventable if we accept two disparate, but interlocking, factors–the rampant sexism in our society, and the “old boy” cohesiveness of the Police Department. Now that same society understands one thing surely, and that is MONEY. The professions learned that some time ago, permitting an aggrieved party to have recourse through the law by seeking monetary solace. In medicine, in law, in architecture, for example, it is called malpractice as a result of perceived injury due to incompetence, malfeasance, or misfeasance. Today, no profession (including the clergy) no corporation, no industry is immune. Selena Johnson appealed to the appropriate authorities–her husband’s superiors–charged by their position to advise and aid her not only as a wife, but as a member of that same Department. I am intrigued by the ease with which they shrug off this entire episode. I am surprised that the guardians of these orphaned children have not instituted a lawsuit, individually and collectively, against all the Departmental personnel to whom Selena appealed, for malpractice. Such an occurrence, successfully completed or not, might begin to open the door to some kind of solution to this blight on our land.

Alex Tulsky

N. Wabash