In the world I grew up in policemen didnt shoot a man in the head to save him from himself.
There are many different ways to deal with a man in Craig Carlsons state of mind on the night he died, but I absolutely believe the tactics used by the 60 law enforcement officials on the scene that night, to resolve a crisis initiated by this mans call for help, are criminal and should be investigated as that.
Even more disturbing is the fact this tactic seems to be a growing trend, as exhibited in the deaths of the Wolf Man in the Manistee area a couple of years ago, and again in a another stand-off in the Cheboygan area last year.
Im sure there is a lot I dont know about each of these situations, and maybe my distance from these incidents allows me a more rational perspective, but I just cant believe that the resolution in each case had to lead to the death of the PEOPLE involved. I hope the sympathy I have for the people who had to pull the trigger and end these lives isnt the naive compassion of someone who still wants to believe in the principle of Protect and Serve.
What Im witnessing of police behavior leads me to believe law enforcement sees itself as more separate; a brotherhood apart from the general public, not a part of the general public. I realize this is not a recently developed social phenomenon.
Im pushing 60 years old and Ive witnessed some degree of separation throughout my life -- it seems to come with the nature of the position of authority. There appears to be more of an us and them mentality lately, combined with an increase in available armaments and an air of being above the law somehow themselves. Taken to the extreme it becomes a case of shooting to kill and walking away without consequence.
These actions cause me great concern, not only for what they represent as an acceptable action within the realm of our rural Northern Michigan society, but also because it can only lead to more separation between law enforcement officials and the people they are sworn to serve.
I am very apprehensive of even questioning the actions of these officers and trying to make this issue part of a more open and public debate. I would regret this letter leading to a misunderstanding between myself and law enforcement officers I am acquainted with, but, I very strongly believe the death of Craig Carlson could have been avoided and would hate to see another incident of a similar nature occur.
Robert A. Wallick, Cross Village
Questions for police
I try to read your paper each week and find you most always have something worth reading. I especially liked the columns by Robert Downes about his world travels. I also appreciate your articles on the environment, human rights, politics and the human interest stories.
I am writing concerning your Jan. 21 piece on Craig Carlson and his standoff with the police and the deadly outcome.
I hope you will continue to report on this and other stories of this nature -- there seems to be a resemblence of this and the saga of the Wolfman of Brethren.
I have read and reread the piece and two questions arise: one, why Craig wasn‘t encouraged to give his guns to his brother, or some other party he could trust early on. Two, why the police didn‘t have a video/audio record to the proceedings. I also question if less-than-lethal means could have been used to neutralize the situation, such as tranquilizer darts, tazers, or goop guns.
I would apprciate it if you would consider writing a follow-up on the nurses‘ strike in Petoskey. Many lives were affeced by this event; I for one, lost a good neighbor, and I am sure there are many others out there who were affected. I find it hard to believe that a major community health care institution was allowed to run on temporary help for three years. Why didn‘t the government step in and bring a settlement early on?
William Boldyreff Pellston
Should Time Myth, a large steel sculpture, be placed at the Open Space in downtown Traverse City?
To even consider putting an art sculpture of this size at the Open Space and the ramifications that it will initiate are not in conjunction with many of the community. First and foremost, the Open Space as I understand it was to be open and not hindered by any permanent structure. Is that not what the long discussion and court sessions included when Jeff Nixon wanted to keep the Light and Power building?
Was not the argument then that the Open Space should be open so as not to obstruct the views of the Bay? And I truly question what insurance will need to be in place to protect children from climbing on Time Myth and perhaps breaking their bones or sustaining other injuries.
Or is the plan to have a sculpture keeper on guard at all times?
The Traverse City Film Festival shows movies free to the community for one week during the year. These movies are attended by approximately 6,000 people per night. Families congregate and enjoy movies, and in addition people come from surrounding areas and also many other states, to the festival and also to see the free movies on the big screen. They not only come to enjoy what is being given to us by the festival, but they come to spend their money. What a great asset to Traverse City and to the downtown district.
The Traverse City Film Festival has brought in more money to this community than any other entity. Having lived here over 35 years, I witnessed where downtown restaurants ran out of food because of the numbers of people who attended the festival, including those who were attending the free movies at the Open Space.
I dont think the sculpture Time Myth will generate that kind of money in the downtown district, and I do believe that Michael Moore has said at a Traverse City Commission meeting that if the structure goes up, the Big Screen will not be put up and the free movies will not be shown at the Open Space.
Can anyone imagine 6,000 people coming to see Time Myth if it‘s placed at the Open Space and in addition having so many people viewing this piece of art that the restaurants run out of food? I think not!
There must be some other place where this structure could possibly find life and while this art is journeying to find a home let it be somewhere else rather than the Open Space where the festival chooses to give this community yet another great gift of free movies on the big screen.
If the Downtown Development Authority truly wants the downtown to flourish then dont cut off the arm of one of its biggest attractions!
Please encourage and ask Traverse City commissioners to represent you and speak up concerning this matter. Officials want input. Now is your chance to speak out.
Joan Julin TC