Letters: Wednesday, March 29, 2006

To the editor: In reference to the “Stunning Toll” article in the March 8, 2006, Fort Worth Weekly, I was wondering — is it just me or is it true that in each of these cases, where the so-called victims of police brutality have been tasered, the suspects seem like jackasses? Ex-con Barney Green, who had prior convictions for drug possession and aggravated assault, gets pulled over in a traffic stop. It looks like the guy is stuffing drugs down his throat. Mr. Green refuses to stop chewing and spit out whatever is in his mouth. In fact he refused to follow any of the officers’ directions. So he gets pepper-sprayed and finally stunned by a Taser. Wow. What a surprise. I bet he died of a heart attack or a drug overdose after he was cuffed and stuffed into the back of the squad car.

Trevor Goodchild seems proud of the fact that he refused to quit playing his guitar and got tasered by Austin cops. Even took pictures of his Taser burns. Yeah, right, Trevor. The Austin police just walked up to you, yanked the guitar out of your hands, tackled you to the ground, and tasered you for no good reason. If Trevor was a friend of mine, I’d laugh at his story and tell him what a stupid jerk he was. It doesn’t matter how draconian Trevor thinks Austin’s ordinances are. If an Austin police officer walks up and tells you that you can only play your guitar with a permit, then maybe you should listen to the officer. The fact that Trevor ended up tasered and thrown in jail over such a silly matter shows what a defiant jackass the guy is.

You know, I’m in my late 30s, and I remember that when I was a kid my parents always told me that if I was out on the town and ended up in jail not to call home. (Funny thing is, one time I did end up in jail, and when my dad came to pick me up, he asked me why I didn’t call!) The point being that if I did something stupid enough to get arrested, I deserved the punishment, and I would be an embarrassment to my family. (It was the concept that “We love you, but we have to be cruel to be kind.”) That whole idea seems lost on the current generation.

When I was a kid, my dad was a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force. He wasn’t going to put up with a bunch of bullshit from his kids. Nor did he expect the local cops to put up with it, either.

OK, so does that make me cold-hearted and insensitive when I shake my head when I hear of the death of Barney Green or the other supposed cases of police brutality with Tasers? I don’t think so.

You know it’s funny — I start to sweat if I’m driving to the license renewal station and my tag has expired. Yet I’m supposed to be shocked to hear that a suspect stuffing drugs down his throat in a traffic stop gets tasered by cops? Please.

Christopher C. Black


Missing the Fort

To the editor: I really enjoyed the cover story “Ciudad Fort Worth” (March 15, 2006). It is so great to see Fort Worth’s rich cultural identity continue to grow in a positive and inspiring way. Articles like these make me miss home and at the same time make me proud to be from Fort Worth.

Please continue to feature more articles like this one. Thanks.

Bernadette Escamilla

South Bend, Ind.

Will, Kinky, and War

To the editor: According to Reyna Gobel (Second Thought, March 8, 2006), Will Rogers would have kept the United States out of World War II, thereby ensuring an Axis victory. And Kinky Friedman sees Will Rogers as someone to emulate?

Ken Garlington

Fort Worth

Keep ’Em Busy, Joe

To the editor: Personally, I think it is rather silly that the constituents of the 6th District and other Texans rant and rave about the conduct of their Corporate Congressman. U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (“Turkey Awards,” Nov. 15, 2005) is a career politician and thus obtains funds for re-election from corporations. In return, his contributors receive the protection of the powerful chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Barton serves a broad spectrum of unethical corporations.

In 1997, when the FDA targeted tobacco, Barton attacked the FDA’s commissioner, David A. Kessler. Admitting that defending against those attacks was taking up most of his time, Kessler finally resigned out of frustration.

Barton’s press secretary recently stated that Barton refuses to accept tobacco money. While Barton does not allow direct donations from RJR or Philip Morris, contributions from all other divisions of the tobacco-executive-run RJR-Nabisco, Kraft/Philip-Morris corporations are greedily accepted.

As for Barton’s protection of big oil, in 2005 he wrote letters to scientists who see the oil industry and global warming as a threat. As is typical of his defense of unethical corporations, Barton has requested so much information that the scientists have little time to do anything else. This is the same tactic used on Kessler.

It should be clear to the voters of the 6th District that Barton works for unethical and immoral corporations and not for his constituents. It is past time to vote Barton out of office.

Leonard Jensen

Fort Worth

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