Letters: Wednesday, June 08, 2005
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
The Hornet’s Nest

To the editor: I read with interest Jeff Prince’s story, “The Big (Fuzzy) Picture” (May 18, 2005), about city councilman Donavan Wheatfall’s traffic stop and the hornet’s nest it stirred up. I fully concur with the officer’s action and the supervisors who supported the officer. Chief Ralph Mendoza apparently is not willing to stand behind his officers who are doing their jobs.
J. F. Terrell
Fort Worth

To the editor: In regards to “The Big (Fuzzy) Picture,” I would say to Brother Griffin (Letters, June 1, 2005), don’t kill the messenger that brought you the news. The Fort Worth Police Association is the one who has the hateful attitude toward blacks in general and Mr. Wheatfall specially in this case. Racial profiling is alive and well here in Tarrant County.
When will we step up to the plate and call a racist a racist? I’m tired of our leaders dealing with these issues in the back room.
Donavan should come out strong against racial profiling. I have sent this article to the state president of the Texas NAACP, and he agrees that it was racial profiling. What are we afraid of here in Fort Worth?
The sad part about it is that the majority of the “white” police force does not even live here in Fort Worth.
It is time to stop singing and start swinging. Our children deserve better.
Kyev Tatum
Fort Worth
To the editor: I read your story about Officer Herod and councilman Wheatfall, and I would wholeheartedly agree that on many occasions I, as a black woman, have experienced racial profiling from the Fort Worth Police Department. It is just an accepted occurrence in Fort Worth. The police department is one of the worst, in my personal experience. But to be totally honest, customer service in the United States gets an F-minus from me. I would first have asked, “Was Herod’s equipment broken, not to have recorded the conversation?” and then, “Do police officers have the discretion of when and when not to record audio on stops?” If there was nothing wrong with her equipment and if she chose to turn off the audio, I would take a closer look at that officer and any others with the same practices. Who wouldn’t want an accurate accounting of every police stop they made when they have such a clean record? What’s wrong with the time on the tape? Are there missing pieces, or are they covering up for an officer?
Veronica Anderson
Fort Worth

Editor’s note: Fort Worth police officers typically use cameras during pursuits but have discretion on whether to use them during routine stops. Fort Worth police spokesman Dean Sullivan said many patrol cars have outdated audio-video equipment, with microphones whose batteries go dead without warning, killing the audio and affecting the date-time stamps. “We are slowly trying to replace those but they are expensive” — about $2,500 each, installed, he said.



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