I have read coverage of the events surrounding the arrest of Berkeley County Sheriff Wayne DeWitt. All I know of these events is what I have read. Your editorial calling for Sheriff DeWitt to resign is premature.
There has been no judicial outcome in this case. While Sheriff DeWitt's position gives the story its prominence, he is also a citizen, deserving the same presumption of innocence enshrined as a cornerstone of our legal system. He is presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.
Sheriff DeWitt has done a very credible job as sheriff of Berkeley County these past 20 years. This should weigh heavily in our overall consideration of this situation.
Curiously, news reports focused considerable attention on a Hanahan police supervisor advising an officer not to post anything on social media concerning this situation. This was exactly the right call. No citizen's encounters with the police should be subject to social media gab by any of the involved agency's employees.
Law enforcement agencies have policies for the official release of information. These should not be violated. It appears Hanahan's police chief and his supervisory staff did what was necessary to ensure that the Hanahan police policies on release of information were respected.
Sheriff DeWitt is an elected official, so the citizens of Berkeley County ultimately will decide whether he remains in office.
Terry L. Walker
After Kirkpatrick Sale expertly documented the brutality of Gen. William T. Sherman's march through South Carolina 150 years ago, a rebuttal letter "No malicious intent" claimed that Union atrocities were merely the consequence of war. The facts clearly show otherwise.
The writer cites Rome's destruction of Carthage in 146 B.C. as indication that this is just what armies do. The comparison only reinforces Mr. Sale's argument.
Rome battled Carthage for more than a century in three wars, fighting an historic enemy from another part of the world who invaded Roman soil with ruthless mercenaries bent on its destruction.
South Carolinians were historically countrymen and personal friends of federal soldiers such as Sherman, who served at Fort Moultrie in the 1840s and was a frequent guest in Charleston houses downtown. South Carolinians broke from the Union seeking independence from the North, with no wish to invade it. Yet much of this state fared no better than Carthage, which was left in ashes.
Such comparisons are purely subjective, while documented and undeniable proof of the Union troops' malicious intent exists in volume 47 of "The Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies" available online through Cornell University. These dispatches between federal commanders dispel the writer's "historical analysis" that the Union forces intended to "restore the dignity of the vanquished" here in South Carolina. The following examples date to January 1865. Federal Chief of Staff Henry Halleck ordered Sherman to "lay waste to the interior of South Carolina," and recommended that unthreatening populated areas be dealt "a backhanded blow." Gen. John G. Foster, commander of the Department of the South, wrote to Washington about enhancing the destructiveness of the federal bombardment on Charleston's civilian population, adding that he would launch incendiary shells into the city "with pleasure."
Sherman's dispatches are laced with hateful remarks and racial slurs, mocking South Carolina blacks as "Sambo" and disparaging whites as "southrons" who "deserve all they have got." Union Gen. Oliver Howard was so disgusted with the atrocities of rampaging federal troops that he repeatedly complained to Washington, writing, "Many depredations have been committed ... that would disgrace us even in the enemy's country, e.g. robbing of negroes and abusing their women."
No one disputes the atrocities by American soldiers at Wounded Knee and My Lai, which have long been highly publicized and lamented. Those events pale in comparison to what was done here in South Carolina.
Oak Park Drive
I would like to thank Bobby Hardin for his hard work in raising $35,000 for the Ronald McDonald House in Charleston. He worked all of November to raise this money by setting up a fund on the Internet, and then he did a 12-hour radio show at the Ronald McDonald House where he auctioned off several items.
I have listened to Bobby on the radio for years, and he has done outstanding things for our community. Last year he raised $20,000 for the 27 families staying at the House.
We hear about the Ronald McDonald House through commercials, but we do not think about it until we need it.
This past June my family needed it. My daughter lives in Manning. Her son (Banks) was born with a heart condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome. This means his heart on the left side was not developed.
He was flown to MUSC and put in the pediatric ICU. Instead of her having to travel two hours back and forth to MUSC, we asked for their assistance and they got her into the House.
She stayed there for 91 days. Our ending was not good. Banks passed away and is watching over everyone now. But my daughter had a second home because of the Ronald McDonald House. She was able to spend every minute with Banks at MUSC.
I want everyone to know about the Ronald McDonald House. Now, through the efforts of Bobby Hardin, we will be able to build an additional room. Thanks to Bobby from my family and every family that needs the Ronald McDonald House.
I find it remarkable that Leonard Pitts, a columnist from Miami, seems to have all the answers to issues in New York City stemming from the attempted police arrest of Eric Garner on Staten Island back in July.
Mr. Pitts has apparently concluded that what happened on Staten Island was police brutality, although the incident went before a grand jury, which refused to indict.
In his role as campaign manager for President Obama and Mayor De Blasio, Mr. Pitts has decided that the NYC police force, made up of nearly 50 percent minority police officers, should take no issue with the commentary from those two politicians, which has incited protests. Despite Mr. Pitts' assertions, the remarks have led to assaults against police and to riots, which have made police officers' jobs more dangerous.
The two individuals cited by Mr. Pitts as being the recipients of "police brutality" were both felons, one of whom was attacking a police officer and the other who was resisting arrest (after being arrested numerous times in the past).
My suggestion to Mr. Pitts: Before offering his opinion on who the "good cops and bad cops" are, he should spend some time in their shoes in the South Bronx, northern Manhattan, south Queens or any of the other high-crime neighborhoods in NYC and then tell me who the good guys and bad guys are.
Legends Club Drive
Since we have had millions of orange barrels in the tri-county area over the last few years, why not use some of them to close off one lane of the Ashley River Bridge for two weeks to get the real results of constructing the bike lane? Are the powers in charge afraid of the results?
I encourage our government to try to resolve the issues with Iran through diplomacy and not costly, dangerous military action.
The United States and Iran have very influential roles to play in the Middle East. If the United States and Iran can agree on what needs to be done to tone down the violence, people there can get on with their lives. Diplomacy does work.
Robert E. Lee Boulevard