I am sure the Portland Press Herald requires its reporters to adhere to standards of truthfulness and objective reporting. The distortions in freelance writer M.D. Harmon’s columns of Dec. 26 (“Sowing distrust of police comes back to hurt minority communities”) and Jan. 9 (“Unwelcome changes in policing, health care easily predicted”) show that he doesn’t apply these standards to his writing.

I’ve watched the video of the killing of Eric Garner by NYPD Officer Dan Pantaleo several times. Mr. Garner nonviolently argued with several police who were accusing him of very trivial offenses.

He was never told that he was under arrest, but was simply jumped and choked to death. I cannot see how anyone with a normal human sense of morality could watch that video without being outraged by the police action.

Mr. Harmon says: “We have New York cops turning their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio because they believe he has not stood up for them over a case in which a black man died while resisting a legal arrest.” That didn’t happen; Mr. Garner did not resist legal arrest. Has Mr. Harmon actually watched the video?

Mr. Harmon describes those legitimately outraged as “headline-grabbing politicians and mobs in the streets.” He says of the entirely appropriate responses of Barack Obama and Bill de Blasio, “If our highest elected officials vocally turn their own backs on the police to spur on mobs in the streets, they shouldn’t be surprised at the disdain they get from those required (to) carry out the law.” Actually, protests (not by mobs) in New York (and Portland) have been mostly peaceful.

Mr. Harmon is absolutely right when he says: “We can’t go on telling each other half-truths (or worse) without affecting how we relate to each other.”

Much of Mr. Harmon’s rhetoric is worse than “half-truths.”

Meredith N. Springer

Scarborough