Archive for Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Common sense

December 11, 2002


To the editor:

I congratulate you on your investigative reporting concerning your local police department. I lived in Lawrence for 25 years, and I have great respect for the city and for the fine Kansas University.

The incident with which I am familiar is the interrogation of Jason Hawkins for a three-hour period. The chief of police may well be correct in his assertion that Jason was questioned for only an hour and a half, but he was detained for "questioning" for at least three hours. I sat with his mother at police headquarters for two and a half hours. The police had at least half an hour head start on our arrival.

An intelligent interrogator would understand instantly that Jason had absolutely no opportunity to place any poisonous material into the package. I was astonished when I learned the complaint concerned only a small bit of lint. What psychiatric disorder would one need to create a ridiculous tempest in a teapot about such an insignificant occurrence? And what sort of leader would defend that action? Legally correct is not necessarily right; the letter of the law should be tempered with common sense.

I spent many years in the U.S. Navy. I learned then that an insensitive brute occasionally emerges when young American males are given police authority over their peers.

Merry Christmas to you, to my Kansas friends, and to my great teachers on Mount Oread.

Robert Hobbs,

Gulfport, Miss.

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