To the editor:
The death of Marsha Mace is a terrible tragedy. Marsha was a very upbeat person from a loving family. She was a wonderful mother to her young son, Luke.
People sometimes make bad decisions when they are in a temporary state of depression. This is the second time I have seen a tragic death in Lawrence over a call for help by a concerned mother. I had hoped that after the Gregg Sevier tragedy, the police would have policies that deal with situations like this rather than using "shoot to kill" procedures.
Today's technology provides many nonlethal weapons to avoid this kind of tragedy. SWAT teams in other communities have extensive training in "shoot to disable" techniques that are effective against armed persons who don't deserve to die.
The Lawrence Police Department needs more than one course of action for situations with persons who are otherwise stable but who are facing temporary problems. The solution of deadly force should be reserved for criminals, not for innocent persons who refuse to respond to the police at their door. I am sure many officers would volunteer for training to save the lives of those of us who might temporarily lose control.
Some people have speculated that Marsha wanted to commit "suicide by cop." She may have wanted that in a brief moment of intense anger, but that doesn't mean that the Lawrence Police Department had to give her what she wanted.