August 30, 2014 11:25:24 PM
West Point victim's father speaks out
As you are aware, my son Ralph, and his friend, David Knighten, were brutally beaten at the Huddle House in West Point early Saturday morning. The senselessness of this crime has cast a pall over not only the victims and their families, but over our entire community as well. My son, though certainly no angel, served his country faithfully as a Marine in Operation Iraqi Freedom and loves his family, friends and community without limitation. He loves to fish, hunt, competitively shoot (as a member of the Mississippi State Shooting Team) and most of all, his dog, Nola. We sincerely ask for your prayers for his recovery.
I would like to thank Chief Tim Brinkley and his officers for their diligence and professionalism in their efforts to solve this heinous crime. I have the utmost amount of confidence in their abilities and believe that they, along with the MBI and the FBI, will be successful in bringing the perpetrators of this crime to justice.
Times like these bring an awareness of some other elements of today's society. The explosion of expression on social media, while generally supportive, has also given rise to much rumor and innuendo regarding the events of that night, and the effectiveness of the authorities. Whatever the cause of the events, no person should be subjected to the cowardly actions of a mob such as this. I have been very pleased with the actions of both the city of West Point and the West Point Police Department. As for the media, I know that it is your job to cover the news. While many of you have been very professional, the "gotcha" tactics employed by others have been very disconcerting to say the least.
Please allow the families of the victims this time to tend to their injured loved ones in private. During the course of this tragedy, many special interest groups have come forward under the guise of either protest or to allegedly collect funds for the victims. We do not need your propaganda of hate and vitriol in our community. To try to parlay this tragedy into an opportunity to push your own agenda is disgusting.
I have been very humbled by the many expressions of love and support that I have received in the past days. I ask that you continue to lift up my son in your prayers for a speedy and complete recovery. I ask that you lift up law enforcement to give them the wisdom and vision to solve this crime expeditiously. I ask that you lift up West Point so that citizens of all races will lock arms together in the spirit of friendship and determination. Let us all stand together as the face of a community that will not accept this kind of lawlessness going forward.
Ralph H. Weems III
1. Our View: An example, an inspiration, a challenge DISPATCH EDITORIALS
2. Voice of the people: Carl Lee LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (VOICE@CDISPATCH.COM)
3. Susan Estrich: Word games NATIONAL COLUMNS
4. Slimantics: Our greatest unofficial national holiday LOCAL COLUMNS
5. Voice of the people: Don Newman LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (VOICE@CDISPATCH.COM)