Letters to the Editor

From the week of April 20

They Sought the Sheriff
Regarding Alan Prendergast's "Stonewalled," in the April 13 issue:

Kudos to Westwordfor a story that finally puts Columbine in perspective. While the rest of the media continues to tell us everything we do not want to know, Westwordand Alan Prendergast ask some hard questions about the sheriff's office and what really happened last April 20.

In a perfect world, one day we'll know. But if this were a perfect world, Columbine would never have happened, would it?

Roy Davis
via the Internet

In Prendergast's cover story, three different witnesses deliver two different quotes about the heroism of a pair of janitors at Columbine. Don't you think such courage might enable them to have their names in print?

Junior Burke
via the Internet

Once again, your publication has slandered a good man. This time you have proven that people with vendettas, like the Browns and the Goods, can get away with spreading lies and stepping on the graves of the Columbine victims.

Sheriff Stone has served our community for over twenty years as a law enforcement officer, commissioner and now sheriff. He is not a publicity hound or someone who has an ego. He simply is doing what we hired him to do: protect our community.

All of the Browns' claims have been proven to be false. The Columbine report will prove them wrong. The stories about a morale problem are false. The sheriff's office is running at peak efficiency; all three of the command positions created were with people already in high command.

The Browns, Goods, Rohrboughs and other critics are not qualified to discuss or critique law enforcement operations or a homicide investigation. This was a textbook operation from the get-go. You criticize the LAPD chief and Captain Vince DiManna, yet these people are more qualified than you to discuss this topic.

Our committee will prevail, as we have told the Browns. We are fully prepared to outspend them and outwork them. They know that. They have an obligation if they are going to continue this bullshit to do so in an ethical manner. We believe they will not.

My advice to Westword and the Brown family is to leave a good man alone. Get a life, Randy Brown!

Nate Marshall
Save Our Sheriff, Jefferson County

Thank you for Alan Prendergast's article on Columbine. It seems that most of the Denver media is still unable to ask the really hard questions about the dismal police performance on that terrible day last year. I have several questions that were not covered in your article or by any of the other Denver media.

1. There was a policeman in the building who, according to reports, "traded shots" with the killers. Did he try to pursue them into the lunchroom or the library? Did he run out of ammunition? If so, did he have extra ammo for his pistol? If not, why not?

2. A motorcycle patrolman arrived within minutes of the shootings. Did he enter the school? Did he also trade shots with the killers or attempt to follow them? If not, why not?

3. What time did the first SWAT team arrive at the school? According to reports, a teacher in the library had phoned the police dispatcher that the killers were breaking into the library. Did SWAT members immediately head for the library? If not, why not?

Of all the horror concerning Columbine, the one dread I cannot shake is this: If armed, trained men cannot defend a group of helpless schoolchildren, then what can any of us expect?

I hope Westword will honor its reputation for gutsy and honest reporting and keep after this tragic story until the public gets the answers it is entitled to.

Doug Faughnan
via the Internet


The Sounds of Silence
What do the Denver Post, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold have in common? Essentially, all three were told by the Columbine community that if they could not agree and conform, they were not welcome. The only difference is, the Post didn't kill anyone -- it was just exercising free speech.

Michael Roberts reported in his April 13 Message that the Postwas blocked from covering a meeting between the media and the parents of those students who were slain at Columbine. It's obvious that Westwordwas wrong about one thing: that the meeting was with the media. The meeting was really only with those shills who chose to cover the ongoing events without criticism. The families of the victims just don't get it. It is exactly this notion of self-importance that was at the root of the community's then-invisible problems.

The idea that money can somehow salve their grief is appalling. First they appeal for funds in the shootings' aftermath. Two million and change. Then a perfectly good library must be taken down. A group of renegade citizens usurps governmental power and solicits donations from anyone who will listen, despite the homeless and the schools throughout metro Denver that are in much greater need. All this is done while reminding everyone that this tragedy belongs solely to the Columbine/Littleton community and that all others should butt out, including all those who dare to defend the public's right to know.

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