I would like to say first that I have been a loyal reader of The Independent for many years and have yet to see until this morning an article so utterly ridiculously off-point and just wrong as Byron Wood's "Trotline" article (although I did think the cartoon was funny!) [April 17].
First of all, was Byron even there? From what I saw, the majority of the arrests were on the sidewalk and in a parking lot. For example, Liz of SEEDS--a longtime community garden activist--was thrown off her bike and viciously abused by the police. While I admit that the idea behind the festival was silly, I thought that up to the arrests it was an enjoyable environment and that the police escalated the violence by arresting and brutalizing random bystanders and people there for festivities. No "anarchists" or "Bikerowdies" provoked that--the police did in a parking lot to terrorize a crowd that was just too big and too festive than the normal Ninth Street shopping circuit. How did any of the editors let that get by?
Also, has Byron ever reported on police brutality before? Was he amused that the Durham CAT force used violence on white kids as easily as they do on Durham's black population? Honestly, Byron came off sounding like a pretentious art critic trying to get a job with the Durham Police Department instead of any type of journalist.
I would like to see an apology by Byron or one of the editors to the people who were brutalized and arrested without cause and a follow-up article (written by someone with a soul, unlike Byron) on the typical violence of the Durham Police Department, a violence that can hurt even white street-festival goers. Also, I might add that all those actually charged were from North Carolina, not San Francisco. Utterly ridiculous. I hope to never read another article like that in The Independent.
Shame on Byron and shame on all those who ignore police brutality. I work with literacy issues among homeless and poor people in Durham and I see it far too often. I'll bet my bottom dollar that Byron doesn't even live in Durham, but in Treyburn or Chapel Hill.
--HAROLD NOBLE, DURHAM
Curb your kids
Thank you for your comments and much needed constructive criticism in "Scissors and Paste," the Tiffany Rhynard review [April 10]. As a dancer, choreographer, arts supporter, and former New Yorker, I am appalled by the lack of good sense that prevails locally. Young children, as well as anyone who disrupts performances, should experience arts events via video presentations only. Live performance is magical, and merely buying a ticket to attend does not give anyone the right to destroy that magic for others.
Thank you, Byron Woods, for reprimanding these rude parents for their disrespectful ignorance, and the Carrboro Arts Center for allowing it to continue!
--KATHERINE ARNOTT-MAHEU, RALEIGH
An item in our Real Best of the Triangle issue [April 10] was mistaken in saying that First Citizens Bank has no corporate headquarters in Raleigh. The bank has corporate offices in Highwoods. A new building on Six Forks Road houses the bank's North Hills branch, which was relocated from a site across the street.
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