IT'S TIME for Capt. Ray Lewis to change his off-duty protest wardrobe.
According to recent media reports, retired Philadelphia Police Department Captain Lewis was arrested and charged while donning some rendition of his (former management level) police uniform in New York City during a demonstration.
Apparently, the charges in the Big Apple were minor, and had not reached the level of "impersonating an officer," although an initial Inquirer article indicated that authorities are not ruling out the possibility of a "fake cop" allegation. Not much is being said presently regarding the matter.
Lewis, who reportedly retired from the department in 2004, has been the subject of many television interviews, and he continues to appear in his City of Brotherly Love dress blues, badges and all. By his own admission, he is not a current resident of Philadelphia, either.
The actions of Lewis contain all the trappings of a classic "dog and pony show," designed to garner publicity, not only for himself but also for the cause that he, somewhat eloquently and openly, advocates.
However, for all practical purposes the former captain is making a mockery of the time-honored symbols of the oldest municipal police agency in America. He should, therefore, cease and desist parading around protests in his old police duds.
For whatever reason(s), according to a newspaper report, the department has no policy on this behavior, and authorities in Pennsylvania and New York have not pursued more serious charges.
As of now, Lewis does not represent the Philly police, and he should not be permitted to gain attention for his agenda while parading about in a police uniform.
The city of Philadelphia, the local Fraternal Order of Police, the police, and law-enforcement fellowship organizations should take a staunch stand against such aberrations before the practice gets out of hand.
According to the Internet-based Officer Down Memorial Page, 254 Philly officers have died in the line of duty officially wearing the badge and police blues.
Out of respect for these heroes, and the many thousands of brave men and women who have served and are serving in the uniform and inconspicuously, it is time to transfer retired Capt. Lewis to plainclothes, permanently.
Robert A. Young
(The writer is a retired police officer)
Reid between the lines
Listen, I have to do a better job putting my TV in a position to show a real football game each week. That's my fault and I take full responsibility. I'll fix that.
Sound familiar, Andy?
A Byko built for one
Stu Bykofsky, it's time to get off your rocker and catch up with the changing times. This city is going green with or without you, and bicycle lanes are a big part of it.
How do you explain anyone like you to somebody who goes from one extreme to another? First, you spend most of your time attacking those rich Powerball Deferred Retirement Option Plan lotto winners in City Council, then you do a complete about-face attacking the poor little guy on a bike (who probably can't afford a vehicle, or simply doesn't want one in this city).
Can anyone blame them? There are bad apples in every bunch, Stu. Your one extreme to another doesn't make any sense! What does make a lot of sense is, there are plenty of people out there who are emailing you and writing you who simply hate to see others having fun, exercising and getting literally a free ride! Quit listening to them, Stu, they're dragging you down to their level.
Stick to the more important issues, like crime.
Joseph A. DeWan
Oh, now I C
Instead of changing the two Septa C routes to numbers, which would be confusing for the regular commuters, simply call it C1 (for the City Hall bus) and C2 (for the 11th and Nedro).
Ta-daaaaa, problem solved.