Letters from the Issue of August 4, 2005

Response to "Tales of Teele," published July 28, 2005

Now, content yourself to have a job well done because a jury and a judge will not have to burden themselves for a verdict to Arthur Teele, you did it: a death sentence!

Be proud because the City of Miami Police Department and the judiciary system will not have to put the city into financial turmoil and deficit to continue their sleaze covered operations and tactics into an expensive trial and into sleazy and stupid surveillances.

The black community will rise above stupidity, greed and misinformation!

Name withheld by request

Via the Internet

I recently lost a brother in a car accident, and the pain of losing a loved one is devastating. I am not sure if you have felt this type of pain, but recently I read a comment of yours "at the end of the day, I was just doing my job" and for a moment I sense that you really do not have a clue about how the family and friends of Arthur E. Teele Jr. feel at this moment.

I am sure that you are doing your job and that is why you are a columnist, but at the end of the day, the families of Arthur Teele are not responsible for his bad deeds. I am sure his family love him unconditionally, the same way your family loves you.

I really think the family and your readers deserve an apology for your insensitive remark.

Jose I. Hernandez

Hollywood

As I read and listened to the news about Arthur Teele's death, and then I heard about your article -- and my heart went out to you too.

As a writer, I wondered how I would feel, especially when I was "doing my job," and someone loses his life because of it. And it sounds like you did a laboriously detailed task of compiling all the public records. I don't have any answers.

I think if it were me, it might change the way that I approached future stories. Questions I would ask myself. Assignments I might accept or refuse. I thought about times that I have "reported" or helped reveal some bad behavior within certain systems.

I ask myself when is the whole truth necessary for the public good. What is important to tell, and what should remain unrevealed? I don't have answers. I just wanted to let you know that one thoughtful person in Miami was thinking about your situation.

C. Hoffman

Via the Internet

"But at the end of the day, I was just doing my job"? Could that possibly be your quote regarding a man you smeared in the paper who then shot himself? There is no way you can make me believe you were just reporting the facts when you put such a salacious title on your article -- I guess such a key part of just doing your job. Did you ever speak to that man? If so -- how could you have such little compassion for this man. I can't say you were responsible, but you couldn't have helped things -- and why can't you reporters ever see past the story to the person. You should feel awful.

Kathleen Murphy

New York, New York

I just wondered how you feel about hounding this man into suicide. Do you think it was worth your ten seconds of fame? You obviously had something big against him to write such an in depth expose. It's really sad to see the level to which "journalism" has sunk. That is why I don't read the print media anymore.

Marcia

Miami

A personal note to Frank Alvarado: I heard your interview on PBS. What you said tells me you are a good reporter but you sure are a lousy speaker. In five minutes you said "you know" 25 times and sounded painfully inept, like a rookie interviewed after being sacked by Lawrence Taylor. Please consider a course in public speaking or give Toastmasters a try.

Nick Gatz

Columbus, Ohio

Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. The first for heroism, the last two for shedding his life's blood for his country. A decorated Vietnam Veteran who fought for democracy so that Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez's family would have a nation to flee to after escaping Castro's tyranny. And in the 1960s when Cubans began pouring into Miami, still a very southern city at the time, they were tolerated not welcomed. But right now, Alvarez is mayor. African-American people, Arthur Teele among them, fought for civil rights and opportunities for all minorities, opening up the door for Carlos Alvarez to sit behind the desk at the mayor's office he occupies today.

On this day, I am very disappointed in Mayor Alvarez. Although I'm not going to join the masses calling for him to resign over what he said about Arthur Teele, leadership is not just about being up front or right; it is also about showing mercy and generosity during a difficult hour for his family and his community.

Yet in an hour when Mr. Teele's family, especially his wife, who a month ago tragically lost her sister, could have heard kind words from Mr. Alvarez, he missed the mark of leadership. Mayor Alvarez was elected by the majority but serves all. Former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferré recognized that and was very kind in his comments about Mr. Teele, and so was Mayor Manny Diaz. Kudos to them.

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