I read Jim DeFede's article about the death of Andrew Morello ("Justice Undone," April 15) and I have one thing to say: Good. Morello was busy committing a crime, and I only regret Laura Russell was unable to kill the other two hoodlums.

Unfortunately the parents of hood Morello now stand to make a windfall profit from the death of their scumbag son, in the form of civil wrongful-death litigation. They should be happy they can turn a profit from the life of a son who was a thief.

If only more hoods like Morello were exterminated in the act, life in Miami would be much safer and happier for the rest of us who work for a living and don't want to be preyed upon by the media-protected degenerates such as hood Morello.

Petro Gambits

Your article "Justice Undone" seems far, far removed from any reality of a contemporary urban environment that I know of. Burned into my memory is an experience of a year ago, when in broad daylight, while waiting for a light to change, I watched a man break into my car parked just across the street. Armed with nothing more than my car keys, I chased, caught, and held him for ten minutes, while waiting for the police to arrive.

As the arresting cop removed a switchblade from the thief's inside pocket, he said to me, "What you did was brave but foolish. Better to let him rob you, because a lot of these guys have guns and wouldn't think twice about shooting you. You were lucky."

Filing charges took more than 90 minutes. I was told by the booking officer it was the third time in four weeks this man had been arrested, but because of an overburdened legal system, he wouldn't be held for more than ten days.

It is misguided and dangerous to think of Andrew Morello as a victim. He was not out for an innocent joy ride. He and his accomplices were seasoned criminals on a mission in the dead of night. They just happened to get caught. The Russells just happened to get lucky.

Michael Lent
South Miami

Hey, New Times, wake up to 1992. This year kids are carrying 9mm automatic weapons, killing street barbers because they don't like their haircuts, or trying to rob gas stations, football players, and all of us. What would you like police officers such as William Lozano and Russell to do? Offer lollipops to stop fleeing criminals who are committing a felony?

For myself, I thank Russell and Lozano because now I have three fewer criminals to worry about. Thanks to all police officers for helping me live safely.

One more thing: Myself, my friends, my family, and my neighbors are never abused by police. Just the opposite. We have been helped throughout the years. But we don't go around committing felonies.

Martin R. Quinones
Miami Beach

In reference to "Justice Undone," in which you attempt to influence readers' support for Andrew Morello's "injustice": In my opinion, Officer Russell missed. Yes, missed the opportunity to shoot the other three dirt bags who accompanied Morello in the burglary and theft.

However cold-blooded this may seem, it's about time we crime victims fought back! Perhaps these and other dirt bags like Morello and his three friends will learn from this episode. I applaud Officer Russell's actions.

Name withheld by request

I commend New Times for probing the shooting of Andrew Morello. Other news sources deemed it a shut case after the inquest by Judge Morton Perry. Then came your article by Jim DeFede - slim on rhetoric and full of unbiased facts. It does not take an astrophysicist to conclude that Laura Russell shot Morello from the front-right side of the van while it was probably backing up and not threatening her life.

As a police officer, Russell did the right thing to try to apprehend the boys. Morello's shooting was probably an honest mistake, the kind that happens during confusing situations. Officer Russell could not have intended to kill him over car speakers. But what happened afterward was wrong.

We are supposed to have a judicial system that is fair to everyone, including law enforcement officers and reckless teen-agers. It sickens me to think that evidence of the bullet trajectory, 911 tape recordings of Russell, and inconsistencies between testimonies were not given fair attention during Judge Perry's inquiry. Perry may have given Russell a "cloak of immunity" and passed the murder charge to Morello's friends, but the swindled spirit of Andrew Morello will always haunt Laura Russell and Judge Morton Perry.

Jayson Meyers
Key Biscayne

New Times strikes again. Thank you for your "Justice Undone" article. If you compare this case with that of November 22, 1963, you begin to realize the type of system we are dealing with. Immediately I thought of Kennedy's murder.

See, life repeats itself and the modus operandi never changes. First, is the judge doing his job? No! Sometimes I think the kids of today are doing what they are doing because people in authority completely lose their real reasons behind their jobs. Judge Perry should not be on the bench any longer. He is a threat to everything we stand for. I think he is the one most responsible for what is happening. I really don't believe he has a conscience and has lost his idea of good and evil.

And about the Russells. What can I say? They also have lost their purpose in our society. I definitely feel Laura Russell has a sense of shame, and unless she tells it like it is without listening to the judge or her husband, she could be freed of her guilt. Otherwise she'll live with it for the rest of her life.

I hope that some legal actions will be taken in order to pursue higher objectives. You at New Times have done your job in reporting the news.

R.E. Lee

I sent the following letter to State Attorney Janet Reno on April 15:
"I contacted you the Monday afternoon immediately following the inquest of Andrew Morello. Your response to my concern over the information presented at the inquest was, `If you have any additional evidence, contact my office and we will consider any new evidence you might have.'

"There is an article published in New Times dated April 15. That article shows diagrams and pictures of the crime scene that contradict the Russells' sworn statements about what happened that night. The questions that your office failed to ask were obviously omitted deliberately. I was outraged listening to the inquest. Gary Rosenberg wanted to prove that these kids are bad kids, that they have given contradicting statements and they aren't believable. It would seem easier to charge the two boys with felony murder rather than prosecute Officer Laura Russell.

"The judge and Gary Rosenberg both paid little attention to the hard facts. Where would Laura Russell have to be standing in order for the bullet to hit Andrew as it did? This is one question never asked. Common sense says that if Laura Russell aimed at Andrew and didn't fire by mistake, and shot with the intention of hitting Andrew, she would have to have been at the side of the van. Russell stated under oath, `I was still in front of the van. I was slightly to the right - my right - of the headlight of the passenger.'

"Laura Russell said she didn't know that anyone was in the Jeep until the door opened and the alarm sounded. Why would she have her gun drawn and pointed at Andrew, yelling `Stop! Police!' if she didn't know a crime was being committed?

"The photographs depicting the trajectory of the bullet were not even mentioned. I wonder how many `murder one' cases Gary has prosecuted when he didn't think the trajectory of the bullet proved anything?

"Several watchdog organizations have said that you will not prosecute police officers unless the public outcry is so great that it may affect your re-election. This statement has some weight to it. I know of only two riots in which charges were filed against the police officers - excuse me, I mean cases.

"Shame on you, Janet Reno, to allow this type of false justice. The family and friends of the Morellos didn't riot and burn buildings. They didn't destroy property. Police didn't have to close off areas where they were unable to protect the public. Instead there were candlelight vigils and peaceful demonstrations. Nobody got out of line and nobody was arrested. They trusted you and your office to be impartial and to bring all the facts to light. The fact that Gary Rosenberg didn't feel that evidence he had was relevant or proved anything shows he was not doing his job properly. All the evidence is supposed to be laid out for the judge to decide, not Gary Rosenberg.

"An individual who sits by and watches or turns his head to look the other way because it's easier than facing the truth should not hold public office. Especially one dedicated to seeking the truth.

"Show some intestinal fortitude. Make the Russells explain why the physical evidence shows this shooting didn't happen the way they said it did."

Don Greene
North Miami

Editor's note: Don Greene is related by marriage to the Morello family.

Kirk "Simple" Semple's warped look at the MacArthur Causeway ("Asphalt Bungle," April 8) completely missed the real ass-fault bungle.

To read that perennial Beach bozo Bruce Singer is now chastising the new Miami Beach City Commission (of which, thankfully, he is not a member) about the "floral question" on MacArthur Causway only speaks to his rampant hypocrisy.

Singer served on the Beach commission not only while the MacArthur Causeway debacle was being planned but while it was "under repair." When did he ever inject his advice or give input into the "floral fantasies" Simple Semple wasted good paper to write about? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see who the real ass-fault bungle was and is: Bruce.

Name withheld by request
Miami Beach


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