Page 2 of 3

I don't doubt that there are good people on the police force, but my impression is that the majority of people (particularly the men) go into police work not because they want to "serve and protect," but because they enjoy the power they have to bully and intimidate others with impunity. Not only can they get away with bullying and intimidating average citizens, but they can get away with killing an innocent person as well. Where is the justice when a police officer can kill an innocent citizen and is "punished" with a slap on the hand or taken off the street and placed in a desk job? Why aren't these officers spending their lives in prison? Apparently, as far as the police and the district attorney's office are concerned, a human life has value only if it is clad in a blue suit and totes a pistol on its hip.

The man who killed officer VanderJagt was dead. The police had no one to persecute and vilify with their hatred, so they framed an innocent girl via a series of inconsequential trivia and destroyed her life. How can they live with themselves?

I don't like the skinheads or what they represent. But the skinheads don't threaten our way of life, or our freedom; the police and the corrupt politicians who empower them do.

Susan Jenkins

On behalf of all of our members, Dr. Ray Greek and I would like to thank you for writing the two articles you have published exposing animal experimentation at CU Medical Center. If the animals could talk, they would thank you, too!

I would also like to thank you for the story written by Juliet Wittman about Lisl Auman. Much like the anti-vivisection side of the story is never mentioned by the mainstream media when discussing animal experimentation, Lisl Auman's side of the story was never told when the mainstream media covered the murder of Officer Bruce VanderJagt. It is very disturbing to think of Lisl in prison for life, just for having been in the wrong place at the wrong time. I am hoping and praying that she will be vindicated on appeal.

Animals have never had "rights," but it seems to me that as the powers of the police and government continue to grow unchecked that human rights will barely exist, either. So much of maintaining human rights depends on a free exchange of uncensored information. We need to know what's really going on--not what the powers that be (i.e., the corporate business conglomerates that control the Denver Post and the Denver Rocky Mountain News) want us to know. That's not "news"; it's just one-sided propaganda.

Thanks so much for just telling it like it is--for not letting politics or money or anything dissuade you from saying what's on your mind. Without Westword, there wouldn't be much news in Denver, and we just wanted you to know that there are a lot of people who are very grateful to you and your staff for that.

Renada Cerniglia, director
Citizens for Responsible Research, Littleton

To Swerve and Protect
Alan Prendergast's very well-written article about the life of Richard Rother and his unfortunate suicide ("Falling From Grace," April 8), is just another glaring example of the inadequate ways of the Denver Police Department. I have a real simple idea: Transfer the detectives in the fencing unit, where they obviously are not doing any real productive work, to a detail where they could really be useful.

Protecting the students of the Denver school system comes to mind.
Graham Hickey
via the Internet

Shoot to Chill
I wonder if you people at Westword ever stop to think that the garbage you publish--cartoons like Jesus of the Week, which makes fun of God--does nothing to make the world a better place? In fact, your paper contributes to the cynical culture that allows tragedies like the Columbine shootings to occur.

I hope you are proud of yourselves.
Jan Steiner

That the letters column of Westword has recently been subverted as a forum for about twenty square inches devoted to Jesus of the Week is a sad commentary on the readers of Westword.

First, that cartoon does not carry any negative connotations about Christianity, nor does it insult practitioners of that religion. What it does do is insult the intelligence of the people who don't understand it, which is evidenced by their seeing insults where none exist. I find it more amusing than the cartoon to see how many people are willing to distinguish themselves by publicly announcing that they totally miss the point.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.