LETTER: ‘Gross negligence is alive and well’

Published 8:25 pm Wednesday, March 8, 2023

To the Editor:

I am an old man who has been around long enough to have seen far too many things I don’t understand, and it bothers me greatly that things seem to be getting worse each year.

I see how difficult it is to hire police officers since the defund police movement has grown following the death of George Floyd. Sadly, I ask myself two alarming questions. First, I ask myself, “What has happened to our great country?” Second, I ask myself, “Is it only happening somewhere else, or do we have similar problems here in Southampton County?” I wonder if too many decisions are made behind closed doors, and I wonder if what has been called “the good old boy network” is alive and well, not only in Washington, D.C., but here at home as well.

Out of an abundance of curiosity I attended a sentencing hearing held Tuesday, Feb. 21, and I sat two seats away from your reporter who wrote about the event in the Feb. 22 Tidewater News [Driver sentenced in fatal 2019 Vicksville Road crash]. I sat there and I listened to the statements by the family members of young James Lee V, and two words jumped out at me as if they were imprinted on my brain in bold type … sympathy, of course, but also appalled! In fact I will go so far as to say I was saddened, shocked, and even disgusted as I listened to their comments describing what they had to go through while seeking justice. I have been a resident of Southampton County for more than 20 years, and a strong supporter of our law enforcement personnel all my life, but I never in my wildest dreams thought I would find out about such a terrible and unprofessional accident investigation. While not an investigator myself, nor a member of the legal profession, I came away thinking that gross negligence is alive and well, even thriving, here in Southampton County, and we citizens deserve better.

Thank you for allowing me to express my opinion.

Ash Cutchin