This morning I received a personal apology email from the police officer that made the ignorant comments about those living with ostomies. As I sincerely appreciate the effort, I can’t seem to forget the harsh words that the police officer ignorantly spoke about those who wear an ostomy. Here is his reply to my email that I sent to most of the government officials in Cincinnati:
Councilmember Quinlivan forwarded your email about my comment on WCPO.
I was disappointed WCPO decided to make their news story about the colostomy bags. After an hour long interview about a comprehensive juvenile violence reduction plan, they took that one bit and featured it. The fault isn’t theirs. It’s mine. I said what I did thus giving them that opportunity. For saying and doing that I am responsible and apologize. My intent was not to demean ostomates. I wish I had said it a different way. Neither I, nor anyone else from the department, is going to use the thought of colostomy bags to scare teens. I was referring to a presentation local doctors have used in the past which includes photos of many of the medical consequences of violence. I have asked those doctors to make the same presentation here. Colostomy bags were just one of many possible medical outcomes of a violent lifestyle. I thought of colostomy bags because we have a particularly pernicious drug dealer here who, as a result of being in several shootouts, lost an eye and wears a colostomy bag. My goal was, and remains, to appeal to teens’ sense of vanity and try to prevent behavior which leads to serious medical consequences.
Our youth initiative had speakers from many perspectives: a police message, a medical message, a Juvenile Court judge, community outreach and faith-based representatives. Unfortunately, all the publicity has gone toward the colostomy bag comment. My goal wasn’t to demean ostomates at all, only change behavior of those who can makes choices about their future.
Lieutenant Joe Richardson
District Three, First Relief
3201 Warsaw Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45205
Much appreciated, but obviously still very lost about what it means to have an ostomy for some. I have made correct choices in life. I never did or sold drugs, never turned to violence to solve problems, so I still have trouble understanding why I had to be some sort of “example” to those who have made poor decisions. I hope that others that were deeply offended by his words, as I was, can find solace in this email.