Letter of the Day
Murder and mayhem at our front door
I, like many other Americans, realize our criminal justice system is overloaded and underfunded. The result is a system that is so fraught with problems it is barely functional at best and completely paralyzed at worst. The July 18 edition of The Tampa Tribune brought this fact right to our front doors. According to police, Demetrius Parks, age 23, decided that instead of working for a living he would simply steal what he wanted from others, so he decided to rob a Family Dollar Store on 40th street in Tampa.Apparently stealing the money did not satisfy the thief, so for a little extra thrill he shot and killed the store manager, Horsley Shorter Jr., then he stole a car to make his getaway, Tampa police reported. Mr. Shorter was a 26-year military veteran who moved here to care for his elderly mother. Mr. Shorter was a patriot and a family man - all the things the 23-year-old suspect is not. The most sickening part of this tragedy is that the suspect has been arrested for 37 felonies and 25 misdemeanors in his brief 23 years on this Earth. To make matters even worse, he served three years in state prison and was released on March 31. In the short time he has been out, he has been arrested four times for burglary, grand theft and for being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to police. If we are the least bit concerned about the survival of our society as we know it, we must ask ourselves the following questions: Why did Horsley Shorter Jr. have to die at the hands of a cowardly career criminal? Why are our elected representatives allowing this mayhem to continue? And most important, why was someone with an extensive criminal record living in a free society, just waiting to prey on the next innocent victim who crossed his path? Take heed - there are hundreds, if not thousands, of criminals out there just waiting for the right opportunity. Frederick T. Plumb Tampa
Hot Wheels: Kids are driving Pinellas County's car-theft epidemic. It's a dangerous, sometimes deadly, game.