Letters: Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Police Abuse
To the editor: I read with disgust the article (“Bullies With Badges,” Sept. 12, 2007) by Peter Gorman. I think it is appalling that this type of behavior is going on in 2007 in the United States. This sounds more like something that would have happened in 1807.
I have witnessed recent abuse of power by police officers myself over the last couple of years, both in Texas and in other states. I witnessed firsthand an Irving police officer accost an innocent man who was an employee of the hotel I was staying at simply because he stared at the officer passing through the parking lot. The employee had a mental disability and did not understand what was going on when the officer started talking to him. When the officer asked for his license, the man ran in confusion. I told the officer the man was an employee of the hotel, but he tasered the man anyway in front of me. The officer also threw the man down on the concrete so hard he needed 25 stitches across his forehead. When the hotel owner walked out to investigate, one of the other officers who’d arrived yelled at her to “Shut up.” I found out a day later that a police supervisor came to the hotel to apologize to the owner, explaining that the officer was a rookie and “he made a mistake.”
Let me see if I’ve got this straight. You made a mistake that cost an innocent citizen 25 stitches and a night in the emergency waiting room and almost cost him his job because of an officer’s “mistake.”
The people of this country need to stand up and fight this type of abuse by those who are supposed to protect us.
Monique Desormeaux
Fort Worth

Beware Loan Predators
To the editor: Dan McGraw’s story about predatory lenders (“Too Little, Too Late,” Sept. 12, 2007) is a wake-up call regarding the need for people to get educated before taking out home loans. The fine print doesn’t come with a magnifying glass, and the “adjustable interest rate” is the thief in the contract. Many folks don’t know to inquire about fixed-rate loans, in which mortgage payments do not increase.
Consumers should only deal with respected, licensed real estate companies and should check out prospective lenders with the Better Business Bureau. Ask questions — don’t become a victim of these predators. There are honest mortgage companies. The younger generation’s credit rating is at risk, and our legislators can and should pass laws to protect against these vultures of the lending industry.
Steven Roth
Fort Worth

Turn Off the Gas
To the editor: Thanks to the Weekly for its continuing attention — including in the Sept. 12 Static column — to the urban gas-well catastrophes that confront all people within the zone of Barnett Shale drilling, where the Texas Railroad Commission recently listed 5,205 wells and 2,162 permitted locations.
It is time for the Fort Worth City Council to look into every proposed drilling site and establish a clear understanding of the environmental and quality-of-life issues facing us all. There should be at least a six-month moratorium on all drilling permits in the city. These wells explode. These wells leak noxious gasses. They threaten our river, our creeks, our parks, and our homes. They will destroy our roads and fill them with dangerous and destructive traffic. Why should already wealthy places like TCU and Colonial Country Club make millions of dollars while the rest of the community is endangered and certainly unrewarded?
The Ryan Place neighborhood has agreed to gas leases that will provide bonsues of $10,000 per acre, with the stipulation that the drilling site be moved from Elizabeth Boulevard and Eighth Avenue to a site four blocks from Daggett Montessori School, in a neighborhood of less stately mansions. Not in my backyard, indeed.
I support Juan Rangel’s call for a moratorium on drilling within 1,000 feet of the Trinity River. The council also needs to call for a moratorium on all urban gas drilling so that all our people can be protected.
I suggest that all people concerned check out the web sites www.fwcando.org and www.trinitytrees.org to keep informed about these assaults on our environment. Contact your city council members and let them know you support Juan Rangel’s drilling moratorium.
Kendall McCook
Fort Worth

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