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Deadly force was justified? What if a child had been in that car?

To The Daily Sun,

Belknap County Attorney Melissa Guldbrandsen must immediately be removed from office for endangering the lives of every New Hampshire citizen.

This is true because Guldbrandsen just determined that Alton police officer Michael Beauchamp was justified in the use of "deadly force" when he fired his weapon at a moving vehicle which did not yield to him while he was standing in the middle of the road, dressed in blue/black, at night, while holding a flashlight.

The very idea that a police officer is justified in the use deadly force against an individual operating a motor vehicle because the driver failed to yield to them while they are standing in the middle of a road at night and holding a flashlight is repulsive. Drunk driver or not, this type of action is not justified!

Even if police killing of drunk drivers were legal, there was no way for officer Beauchamp to have known, prior to firing his weapon, if the operator of the vehicle had experienced a medical emergency or if children were in the car. These facts alone justified the county attorney in determining the use of force was not justified.

Had the individual operating the vehicle been a 16-year-old female texting or talking on her cell phone, or someone who had just experienced a diabetic medical emergency, I can guarantee Guldbrandsen would have reached a different conclusion.

I simply cannot understand why, with two emergency vehicles at the scene, both with emergency lights flashing, why would officer Beauchamp find it necessary to place his life in danger by entering into the middle of a road, at night, wearing dark clothes with a flashlight? Is this type of action standard police practice? If so, this practice is absurd.

Going forward, until this terrible and unjustified determination by Belknap County Attorney, Melissa Guldbrandsen is corrected, and officer Beauchamp's actions condemned, every New Hampshire citizen who fails to notice, for whatever reason, a police officer standing in the middle of a road at night holding a flashlight is at risk of being shot and killed by the police — and the killing will be justified.

Jeffrey Clay

Alton

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Preparation is not solely the burden of a zoning board applicant

To The Daily Sun,

New England Patriots fans were treated to one of the greatest sports comebacks this Superbowl. Players, coachers, commentators and fans heralded preparation as the lynchpin behind this success.

I attended my first Town Meeting in years this March. All who attended were offered handouts which included a summary of the warrant articles that would be discussed. This "Deliberative Session" summary ordered each article, presented points to consider for each, stated if the article was recommended by the town selectmen by citing the selectmen's vote on the article, and provided relevant tables for data helpful in understanding and debating the article.

Specific background materials for articles thought to be contentious or land decisions were provided. There preparations paved the way for informed discussion and each individual who took to the mic to discuss an article advanced understanding of the article and made for more informed voting on the article.
In a world in which respectful, reasoned arbitration of the full community's needs is under duress it was a privilege to attend this meeting.

A local property issue brought me to attend my first Zoning Board meeting, the March 20 meeting of the Laconia Zoning Board.

The process and outcomes of these two public meetings were polar opposites. Preparation played a role.
At the latter the applicant is seeking a multi-tiered variance in property use. A circumstance an attorney for one of the abutters repeatedly reminded the board places a high burden of proof for why relief from present restrictions on land use should be granted.

As the discussion proceeded a full score of significant land use issues — with immediate and very long-term implications — were brought before the board (issues in traffic safety; occupancy; privacy; fire safety; pollutions — noise, light, sewage; wetlands degradation; wildlife management). The applicant was unprepared to provide specific information on any of these issues; so much so that the chairperson stated the board could not offer a "blank check of permissions" for the items under appeal.

Preparation is not solely the burden of the applicant. The board could be of more help here. At the close of this first hearing the board chairperson directly addressed the applicant.

The emphasis of this exchange seemed to be to inform that applicant that having to resubmit would not cause the application to suffer any manner of prolonged postponement. If the application could resubmitted for next month's meeting it may be possible to be considered then.

Having the benefit of all who represented views on the proposed land use changes and the degree to which vital information was absent from the project's representation this seems a poor use of this opportunity to improve knowledge. it is well within the chairperson's purview to advise the applicant that the involvement of profession expertise is highly recommended in redressing complex application deficiencies; for instance, a resubmitted plan will have to show consideration for the turning radius of 40-foot-long fifth-wheel trailers and show that entrance access and building set backs will provide sufficient space to clear vehicles from the road. Without making the case that detailed, code compliant, neighborhood specific information must be the essence of a resubmitted plan the doorway is left open for an applicant to commit multiple thousands of dollars on a second effort that remains inadequate to its intent. At this juncture there is increase pressure on all parties to make decisions that may not reflect careful stewardship of our common resources.

Paul Del Frari
Meredith

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