Varela, your comments and bully cops

By Alvaro F. Fernandez –
I am amazed at how spiritually shallow Miami can be. Without a doubt the past week’s most important news, as far as the Progreso Weekly family is concerned, was the battering received by our columnist Jose Varela at the hands of police from the Miami area. What bothered me most was the reaction from some of our readers. The hatred became so personal, the language so vile, I opted to shut down the comments section in our Spanish edition for several days.
You’ll notice it’s back up. Our readers can again participate in our magazine. There are new rules, though.
Every comment will now be read beforehand. Yes it’s more work, but even before the sad events of last week, the comments section in Progreso Semanal had gotten out of hand. Now every comment will be received, each will be read, and finally approved before it is published. So if you don’t see your commentary appear immediately, don’t fret, sooner or later it will show up.
Unless… if the comment you submit is slathered with filthy language; if the attacks are personal and directed at someone’s family, or just humanly degrading in any form, you will NOT see it published. It’s simple as that.
And let me emphasize that this decision has nothing to do with whether you agree or disagree with us. The fact is we appreciate all intelligent commentary – for or against. At Progreso Weekly we find intelligent discussions healthy, helpful and at times, even enlightening. But the fact that you may disagree with our writers or our political thought does not give you the right to insult — grievously at times.
As for Varela, in my opinion he made a mistake confronting the police. I’ve had personal experiences with police officers. I’ve learned over the years that the best policy is to say, “Yes officer. No officer. Thank you officer.” But I believe Varela’s ego got in the way. And the results can be seen in the photographs. As for his family situation, that is between Varela, his wife and his children.
Still, it does not give any police officer or officers the right to pummel a human being in the way they went after Varela. Eyes shut, a broken nose, bruised ribs and who knows what else…
For years I’ve had an ongoing battle against a weapon used too freely at times by police – the taser guns they now carry: volts of electricity directed at a person, immediately paralyzing him or her, who appears out of hand and may represent a threat to a police officer.
The Miami media, in the past, has reported cases of taser-happy cops using the stun guns on children running (away) from cops and even on the very elderly. I’ve been critical of these cases.
But now I ask myself, if this man was out of control (punching a car) and the cop feared for his safety, even attacked (I don’t know), why did they not taser Varela instead of kicking the shit out of him? It may be one of the few times where I may have agreed with using a stun gun. But no… the cops decided to out macho a macho and beat the living crap out of him.
There’s something totally wrong with that picture.
Yes, Varela may be at fault. But it seems to me the cops are doubly guilty. They should know better.

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