Disappointment With Johnson

Thank you for your article, "New Power Brokers Grapple With 'New' Minority" [Lisa Frazier's Inside Prince George's column, Oct. 13]. After I finished reading the article, I realized that I have not done anything to bring justice to Gilberto Hernandez or his family or to prevent such malice from ever happening to anyone regardless of color, race or creed. Yes, I am guilty for not helping or voicing my objections to [State's Attorney Jack B.] Johnson. A lot of African Americans have ignored this whole case or its implications. We have become too complacent with ours, the big cars, houses, etc. What we have forgotten and need to be reminded of is that not too long ago, we were the victims of such heinous, unprosecuted crimes.

My disappointment with Mr. Johnson goes far beyond this case. There have been other situations where I feel he has dropped the ball. I am also disappointed in not seeing any of our elected African American (Prince George's) officials or ministers crusading for this man's civil rights. . . . As you have stated in the article, had the victim been a black, black folks from all over the county and other jurisdictions would be crying foul. I think we need to stop pretending that things that happen to other minority groups are solely their business. We need to be more in tune, not with just black issues, but all issues. Wrong is wrong, not matter the color of the victim or the perpetrator(s).

K. Eric Amo-Gottfried


Will Favor Opponent

Thank you for saying what many Prince George's residents are thinking. Although I will cast no judgment on Mr. Johnson's motivation in how he handled this case, I will cast a vote for any opponent he faces in the next election. As a lifelong Democratic voter and supporter, [I believe that] Mr. Johnson can further his career on his time and not mine.

Raymond Limon


Questioning Motives

Bravo, Ms. Frazier, for putting into print what a lot of people have been thinking about State's Attorney Jack B. Johnson's treatment of the Gilberto Hernandez case. Regardless of whether Mr. Johnson still thinks there was no motive for the killing, his motives in handling the case should be questioned. I live near where the attack occurred and . . . I followed the case closely, reading the various accounts and listening to Mr. Johnson's responses on the radio.

It became painfully obvious that this man had other agendas. . . . I would think that the African American community would be more sensitive than most to what appears to be unfair treatment of a minority victim and preferential treatment of the accused. . . . Until the piece in last week's Prince George's Extra, I had not seen anything in print putting Mr. Johnson's treatment of the case in the political perspective it so glaringly deserves. . . . I will be curious to see what the response is from the county's majority. I'm not African American or Latino, but it shouldn't matter. Mr. Johnson treated the victims poorly in this case, and his motivation and actions deserve that kind of scrutiny. Good job.

Mike McLaughlin


Disagree About Division

I read your article about that very troubling incident in Prince George's County. I do believe that the manner in which State's Attorney Jack B. Johnson handled this case was atrocious. But I must disagree with you on the division between African American and Latino American citizens in this county. I disagree with your saying that somehow Jack Johnson's decision was based on the race of the assailants. He cares nothing about race and in some cases, what is right and proper. . . . If you check his record, you will see that for Mr. Johnson, his decisions are not based on race but what can and cannot be won.

Denee Coles

Glen Burnie

Complaining to Sen. Miller

I had read other articles and saw news stories about the incident, but your article made me want to voice my opinion somewhere that would take notice.

I called state Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr.'s office in Prince George's County and left a complaint about the handling of the case and the prosecutor's office's refusal to move on a felony conviction. They took the complaint down and will pass it on to Sen. Miller.

I hope more people complain and make their voices heard that this type of "justice" will not be tolerated anymore.

Linda Phelps


Power Issue

I read [Lisa Frazier's column] concerning Gilberto Hernandez and that State's Attorney Jack B. Johnson claimed there was not enough evidence to prove robbery. In this case, Mr. Johnson claims that there was not even a race issue, but there was at least a power issue within the judicial system. Hopefully, in the future, the county government will respond with real concern to other minority groups within its community. Mr. Johnson's words were correct when he said, "We understand that any time in this country when there's a cross-racial killing, it creates fear and distrust."

That is a fact when you can't count on your own government to seek justice.

Felix A. Montelara

Member, Maryland Chapter

Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association

Mount Rainier

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