Dear editor,

Having worked within the legal system for several years, I can state, as many of those arrested during protests in support of Breonna Taylor have alleged, that filing trumped-up charges is a duplicitous way to create, what the system calls, a “chilling effect” designed to dissuade people from exercising their free speech rights. In fact, this same tactic was often used against civil rights protesters during the 1960s.

I also understand the impatience and frustration of the protesters because charges have not been filed in the Taylor case. Unfortunately, the machinations of “delay, delay, delay,” which Donald Trump is still using to avoid releasing his tax returns, is a common tactic in the legal profession.

However, sometimes this delay can be justified. It is notoriously difficult to get convictions in police misconduct cases, even when the evidence is sound. It can be even more difficult if prosecutors rush to trial before obtaining all the available evidence. And remember, if someone is tried and acquitted, they cannot be tried again, even if new evidence supporting guilt later surfaces.

David R. Hoffman

South Bend, Indiana

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