Week of June 6, 2001

Take a Number
She should have obeyed the officers' commands: I'm very, very sorry that Annette Green was killed during the recent raid at her home and am also terribly saddened that her children will have to grow up motherless and that her other family members must now mourn the loss of their loved one [Bruce Rushton, "Who's Next?" RFT, May 23]. I can't help but wonder, though, about a few things.

First, she was engaging in selling drugs. She knew it was illegal and that it carried serious risks. She herself exposed herself and her children to the risk that she might wind up dead because of this illegal activity. Second, she saw the police arrive at her house. She had time to prepare herself to behave properly during the raid. Third, she had previous dealings with police. She should have known how to conduct herself with police. She should have known that police have one main goal when they come to work. That goal is to go home alive.

The worst possible thing anyone can do with an officer is make the officer feel scared. Trigger fingers tend to get mighty itchy when officers are scared. Do not scare the police -- Annette had to have known that. She should have instantly obeyed the officers' commands to put down whatever was in her hands and to do whatever else they ordered her to do.

I do question the use of this paramilitary tactic that the police employed, especially with children in the house. I also wonder about racial profiling and its role in this situation. But most of all I am skeptical about the attack on low-level dealers like Annette. We all pretty much know that drugs come into this country mostly by way of government officials and big, big-time dealers who have carte blanche with the powers that be.
Charlotte Sagi
St. Louis

Crack that head: Who's next? Try this for an answer: the next crackhead that does not stop when a police officer says, "Stop!"
Jeffrey L. Suits
via the Internet

Animals Don't Vote
Common sense eludes lawmakers: As the president of a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention of animal sexual abuse, I would like to express my disappointment with some Missouri legislators [D.J. Wilson, "Critter Lovers," RFT, May 30].

How can a such a deviant and horrid act remain legal after two tries though our legislative process to criminalize it? Last year, newspaper articles statewide expressed shock that this was a legal activity. Studies have shown significant relationships between previous sexual abusers of animals and domestic violence and sexual abuse of humans. A sexual offender of animals is dangerous to the children and people of our society and imposes a threat of sexual and other forms of abuse beyond the animal kingdom and into our own homes.

Criminalizing bestiality would seem to one as a common-sense law that would help protect the animal victims, along with the children and others in society. Apparently some legislators lack such common sense .
Greg Myers
President, ASAIRS Inc.

Telling it like it is: Thank you for such a brilliant article! Absolutely fabulous! It is about time someone has "said it like it is." I hope that your article will shed a new light on such a horrendous subject, making it impossible for society to turn a blind eye.
Kim Cooper
via the Internet

My Kind of Villain
He's the visionary who's kept us on Washington: Tim Boyle, a villain? [Jason Toon, "Grand Funk," RFT, May 23]. Just so that you are aware that there are two sides to every story, my tenant relationship with Tim Boyle has been very good. He has been instrumental in the survival of HotHouse Theatre. Without Tim Boyle's philanthropic side, there would be no theater downtown (as it is, there's only one), and many companies, like HotHouse, New Line and Magic Smoking Monkey, would be without a home.

Is Tim a real-estate developer? Yes. Are developers in business to make money? Aren't we all? Do developers sometimes piss off those in the area they're developing? Well, yes. Everybody has different ideas about what works. The problem is, the artsy, hip crowd that makes the South Grand district and the Washington Avenue district fun don't have the bucks or interest to renovate the area themselves. So it's left to (gasp) developers. It's a hard truth we're learning down on Washington, too. The fun people come in and make the area "happening." Then the area gets developed to the point where the "fun" people can't afford to live there anymore. Well, Washington isn't there yet, but it's getting there.

And Tim Boyle has been the visionary who has kept us there. His business may be developing properties, but he also has a big picture of what will work for the city.
Donna M. Parroné
Managing Director, HotHouse
Theatre Co.

Reporting was disingenuous: It was very easy for Jason Toon to be critical of City Property Co.'s development record, since he was playing fast and loose with the facts. Conveniently omitting the fact that all of our proposals for improving businesses in the district have had the required approvals, support and permits from aldermen, neighborhood groups and/or city agencies is just one of the numerous important facts either misquoted, omitted or outright wrong. If these attacks by the vocal few through the RFT were not so destructive, disruptive and divisive, the article would have been humorous. However, the criticism by a vocal few who cannot respect the decisions of the majority has once again backfired. As a direct result of this absurd article, the significant amount of support, encouragement and appreciation from neighborhood homeowners, business owners and city officials to this office has been most heartening and energizing. With many significant projects planned for the South Grand area, improving it as a place to work, live, and play, we will leverage the support received in the wake of the RFT's disparaging article to keep moving toward our goals.

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