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Sometimes You're Paranoid, and Sometimes They Are Out to Get You
You can imagine my concern upon learning of a reporter named Sean Rowe reading court documents and interviewing my neighbors regarding my family and our lawsuit against the City of Fort Lauderdale and its police department ("Sonny's Last Stand," April 23).

I called and asked Mr. Rowe not to publish any stories until after the case had been heard by a jury. He said no -- the story was going to come out. Our hearts sank knowing the immense complexity of the case and the mountain of court documents a reporter would have to sift through in order to grasp what really happened to us and why.

While I am not permitted to comment directly on our upcoming case, I must say how mightily impressed I am with the concise reporting of your staff writer. The ability to find and present the thread of truth in a complex fabric is rare.

However, now that the story is out and knowing the Fort Lauderdale police as I do, my very real concerns are: Will we safely make it to trial? Or will my modest gun collection be deemed an "arsenal," causing the ATF to break into my house during the night, shooting us in our beds? Or might one of us be stopped for a traffic infraction to be then accused of resisting arrest?

Melodramatic? Overreacting? I hope so.
Sonny Irons
Fort Lauderdale

Muzzle Lawyers, Not Police Dogs
In defense of the K-9s and the police ("Biting Back," Paul Belden, April 16), Jim Green and all other lawyers like him must be stopped! Where does it end? How many more rights do criminals need? This kind of parasitic lawyering should be outlawed. It takes a great deal of money to fight a frivolous lawsuit, so the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office might pay a pest to go away. Putting more restraints on the police and law-abiding citizens only makes thieves, rapists, and robbers more brazen. You can't shoot a criminal in your own back yard -- only if he's inside your house.

Now the lawyers want to keep police dogs from biting. Maybe these lawyers with their starched shirts, tasseled loafers, and crisp white papers should go apprehend the criminals themselves. These lawyers really need a dose of reality. In the real world, police officers' lives are at stake and so are the lives of their dogs. These dogs, with their limited reasoning ability, undergo intense training and are put into situations too risky for humans, all to achieve the status of police dog. Respect these canines as officers of the law, and consider lawyers lower life forms who need to be muzzled.

Police departments devote massive amounts of time to train these animals to help them deal with the problems of society like Rusty Samarco. It is unfortunate that Rusty gets himself into brushes with the law and that he resists arrest. He certainly looks pathetic in his wheelchair with his maimed leg. But even so, I would rather see him in that condition in New Times than see a bunch of cops crying on TV at one of their fellow officer's funeral. Maybe Rusty should surrender next time.

Kristen Lawver
North Miami

Bad and Annoying? Jeez, Jim, That's Articulate
Your paper is bad and annoying even for an "alternative" weekly, which is saying something. Most obviously this problem comes from your "freak of the week" feature stories. I can't think of one of your Crusading Do-Gooders who is Victim of an Evil Government Conspiracy who wasn't really just a jerk with a chip on their shoulder who needed to chill out. As much as you like to rip City Link, at least they find something interesting to write about every once in a while.

Jim Nelson

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