By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Preying on the poor: Long before reading "Tempting Teens" [by Craig Malisow, August 14], I believed that poor kids from low-income families don't really commit more crimes than rich kids, they just get arrested more. Now I know it's true. This article simply reaffirmed my most cynical suspicions regarding the obvious and insidious preferential treatment paid to the wealthy by law enforcement.
If this sting operation had occurred in River Oaks, the kids' parents would be on the phone to City Hall in a heartbeat, screaming bloody murder about how their little angels had been victims of entrapment by a fascist organization that railroads innocent kids for stealing a bottle of gin. If it had happened this way, the cops would have lost their jobs by now, and rightfully so.
But it didn't go down that way, did it?
The only victims were a couple of "future gangbangers" who showed the poor judgment of being born and raised in the wrong neighborhood. Hey, they got what they deserved, right?
Sarcasm aside, the fact that one cop was actually "disappointed" that the kids only took a bottle from an open, unoccupied, running car sickened me with rage. So poor kids get thrown in jail and have their futures utterly destroyed. All to protect drunk drivers from getting their booze stolen from their open, running cars.
Thank God there are no dangerous, violent criminals for the police to concern themselves with. Houston must be doing better than I thought.
The police force is staffed with lazy, cowardly, unethical bullies who go after the most vulnerable members in society because they know they can. If I didn't hate cops before, I sure do now. And what's more, so do those kids and their families.
Guilty as charged: I think the real travesty in this case is that any organization or group would be against this type of operation. In the Atascocita-Kingwood area, car theft/burglary is as common as a fender bender or traffic ticket.
I have personal experience as a victim of car theft/burglary, and I cannot understand why this type of sting is not done in this area. Our constables each have 20 square miles to patrol, which is a helpless law enforcement situation.
Don't dismiss an idea that could help. Criminals are not made by sting operations, as the ACLU suggests. Any person who steals is guilty whether an actual theft has occurred or it is a sting operation.
Ready with support: I am the mother of a teen and a tween. I was appalled by what I read in your article about the Houston police and their entrapment of teens. I would like to be able to show support for these two young men, who seem to have more sense than the Houston police. I hope my children show as much responsibility in similar situations.
Furthermore, these two young men need to know that there are a great number of adults who would applaud their actions. Please let me know if there is anything I can do. At least convey my sentiments to them and their families and attorney. I would be happy to show up at their court date and bring other mothers, if that would be helpful.
Perhaps they might like to see how much public support they have for such a "crime" of conscience. Just let me know what would be of benefit to these young men and their families.
Applauding the police: I'm glad to see the police affording targets for dishonest teens. No one compelled them to steal the gin bottle; no one compelled them to consider stealing the car. They are paying the price for parental lack of guidance on the smallest elements of honesty.
Quite a price for them to pay, but the object lesson to hundreds of other students is appropriate in these days and times.
Editor's note: After the article appeared, the teen who was the subject of the story and his family reached an agreement with prosecutors. They dismissed the charge of burglary of a vehicle and he stipulated that he had violated his probation, which was extended an additional three months.
No Second Chance
Prison's fine: The convict who wrote about the cuts in inmate drug treatment and education programs ["Correctional Cuts," Letters, August 21] should be aware of this:
The prison system was never set up to be a medical or educational center. If these crooks did not take advantage of the free public system when they had the chance, why do they think taxpayers should spend money to give them a second chance after they have proved they do not want to fit into society?
Houston No Food Fights
Just judge the grub:I like your reviews and appreciate the diverse locations you choose to dine in. However, I'm not sure why you insist on dragging political stories into food reviews. I'm no fan of Tilman Fertitta, but what do Corpus Christi and OPUS have to do with Brenner's Steakhouse ["History's at Steak," by Robb Walsh, August 14]?