Northern New York Newspapers
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Tue., Sep. 1
Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
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A community’s call for justice


I am prompted by two recent events and a local problem to write this letter.

First was the unimaginable Newtown, Conn., elementary school event, and the second was the reawakened interest in gun discussions generated by this event. The local problem is the unsolved murder of 12-year-old Garrett Phillips.

The community interest in the Garrett Phillips case would seem to be long-lasting and widespread based on the “Justice for Garrett” signs posted throughout the community and surrounding areas for a long period of time. The person who murdered Garrett, a declared homicide by Potsdam police, is and has been free and is presumably in the midst of our town, village or area. This person’s mental condition is probably less than normal because of what this person did. Does this person own a gun? Can this person buy a gun? Who are the investigating agencies and what is their expertise?

The fact that this is an unsolved murder and the community has little, if any, idea of the progress in the investigation of this crime prompts me to ask why newspapers, reporters and editors offer so little continuing insight into this matter. Their prudent actions to continuously inform the public in the paper, guided by legal governmental agencies could produce a pressure that could result (sooner, rather than later) in the arrest, trial, conviction and the removal from the community of this murderer.

I have seen the trauma generated by the killing of Garrett Phillips. My granddaughter was in the same class as he was, and on two occasions the awareness and memory of what occurred visibly affected her concerns. “Justice for Garrett” for me means the removal now (because of intensive efforts to solve this crime) from this community of this person who committed murder.

Demilt F. Aitken


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