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Investigate the Power



Thank you for your reporting on an abominable situation ("Former Sheriff's Sgt. Charged with On-Duty Rape," Oct. 23). It horrified me to learn that a former Humboldt County Sheriff's Deputy has been charged with rape and sexual battery, while on duty. If this is true, this means he used his position of considerable power, his badge and his gun to target his victims. It would mean that he assaulted these women on the taxpayers' dime. It is easy to become cynical over abuses of power, but these alleged crimes demand action. We need to look at the practices, policies and culture of the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department, and see if it affords women the respect and protection we deserve. If the Sheriff's Department hopes to retain its legitimacy and the trust of the public, there needs to be a thorough and transparent investigation by an outside agency. I urge the North Coast Journal to follow up on this important story.

Amy Gustin, Ettersburg

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