GUEST APPEARANCE: Please stay in your lane, Pete | Opinion

I read your recent guest appearance titled “You play with the cards dealt to you – even when you run a police department” (Times, May 7-8) and I have to say you don’t understand the problem entirely.

You said the image of 5th arrondissement city councilor Laura Salamendra with the GPD mark tattooed on her forehead that was on display for all to see in Geneva police in the spring of 2022 has nothing to do with femicide or our society’s rape culture.

What exactly do you know about femicide or rape, Mr. Mitchell? (crickets) Don’t you think you should know something about rape or femicide before pretending to say that the disfigured image of Salamendra has nothing to do with these topics? I would say you should.

Where did you go to college, Mr. Mitchell? What have you studied that makes you an expert on harassment and violence against women in the workplace? The truth is, you don’t know anything about any of these topics, so you should keep quiet and let someone who does have some knowledge on the subject speak.

For my part, I have a master’s degree in clinical psychology and have studied rape, sexual abuse, substance abuse, harassment and many other subjects in my graduate program. I also worked as a mental health professional for seven years and counseled many women who had been raped, abused and harassed. I know the signs of a relationship that is about to turn violent and in my professional opinion a photo of a woman with a mark on her is paramount in reducing her to an entity that belongs, in this case to the GPD .

Once possessed, an entity (or in this case, the woman) lacks independence and is often subjected to violence because its owner no longer sees the person as a human being. So, you see, what happened to Laura Salamendra is a precursor to possible violence against her. It shows that the GPD thinks they own her (or at least they want her), and it shows that they despise her, because otherwise why would a GPD employee put an image like this on a screen computer in a room for everyone to gawk at? Owning someone and harboring intense anger towards that person are precursors to violence.

But the part of your article that bothered me the most was the last sentence which began: “So given that there has been questionable behavior on both sides…” as you have already pointed out ( you didn’t).

I want to know what dubious behavior Councilwoman Salamendra engaged in. I know you talked about what the GPD did to her, but what did she do to them or any other Geneva city officials? Nothing at all.

She has several opinions. Yes, she has views that the GPD and the city find distasteful because it requires them to take some responsibility and be transparent, but that’s not questionable behavior.

So what behavior are you referring to exactly regarding the Salamendra advisor? I would really like to know because all I heard in Geneva were loads of accusations that have no factual basis or evidence to back them up.

I want to know why so many people are looking into the behavior of Salamendra, but they don’t want to look into the behavior of the police and they are the ones carrying guns and badges? You would think that a person carrying a firearm would need extra monitoring of their behavior at work since they are in possession of a deadly weapon. But no, people prefer to focus on Laura Salamendra and her opinions.

The truth about Salamendra is that she is a tireless city councilor who has worked very hard for Ward 5 and the city at large over the past two years pushing for transparency and accountability within the DPM and city government. . That’s what’s happening here, Pete. I just thought you should know.

Penny Hankins lives in district 3 of the city of Geneva.