Letters from the Issue of November 29, 2007

Liberty City Eight

Put the prosecutors on trial too: Regarding Bob Norman's November 22 story "Have Terror, Will Travel": Great article about the work of a great investigator whose job is to expose the truth behind the allegations in criminal trials. But the actions taken by this court come as no surprise to those of us who participate on a regular basis. It is the prosecutor who bears the greatest responsibility, however. The decision to present such dubious evidence is made by the Assistant U.S. Attorney, who should be the co-focus of this trial.

Mark Murnan


Liberty City Seven

Via Web commentary

Thanks for Sharing

Pleasant surprise: I was reading through the music pages to see the list of events when all of a sudden I saw Eric W. Saeger's concert preview for Bachaco (November 15). I was shocked; it was unexpected. We thank you for writing such a great article and taking the time to share our story with Miami and the world!

Edilberto Morillo, lead singer, Bachaco


Adrian Ellis's Complex Legacy

How could you?: "The Life and Death of Adrian Ellis" (November 15, by Calvin Godfrey) really disgusts me and my family. You have demeaned my family, misrepresented a lot of statements, and defamed my cousin and Adrian's living siblings. You make statements about Adrian's siblings' personal lives that have nothing to do with the story. Then you have the nerve to print an illustration depicting Adrian with one of his players and a man in a dark shadow standing behind him with a gun. On another page, you show a sketch of a football helmet with a gun and bullets next to it. How in hell can you print drawings like that, for his kids to see? That's just heartless. Ignorant, selfish, inconsiderate, and cruel people like you make it hard on our family to deal with Adrian's death.

Tosha Williams

Via Web commentary

He was no saint, but his death is a shame: So now the criticism of the story about Adrian Ellis is erupting into a family diatribe. The Adrian I knew was a bully and a thug. He threatened people he felt inferior to, and he tried to intimidate people. What is wrong with this picture is that Adrian Ellis is dead. That is unfortunate. That he had so many children whom he will never hold and hug again — that is sad.

What was he thinking anyway? How can you father so many kids you cannot possibly take care of financially, emotionally, or spiritually? How can you go around making babies instead of having protected sex in this day and age? I am terribly sorry for the loss his family, children, ex-wives, ex-girlfriends, mom, siblings, etc., must feel. But wake up. You need to do better, and your children need to do better, because too many people will remember Adrian only as a statistic. It is incumbent upon the rest of the family to do better, to go to college, to get careers, and to do all the things Adrian could only dream of doing.

I congratulate the writer for opening my eyes to the fact that Adrian was not all bad. That is the story the Ellises might have missed in their reading. Now we understand so much more about his youth, his pitfalls, and his tragic ending. What a shame he didn't get the chance to achieve all he had dreamed of.

Jeanne Aline

Via Web commentary

Good Teacher, Great Example

Haters make us all suffer: This is sad. As a former student and current friend of Patrick Williams ("Good Teacher, Bad Principal" by Francisco Alvarado, November 8), I think we have to sit back and reflect on who our leaders are, especially in the minority community. Here we have a teacher who has helped thousands of students succeed in academics as well as life skills. I am a prime example. Now 29 years old, I will finish my B.A. degree in May. Although it took me awhile, Mr. Williams's encouragement to keep moving forward, no matter how long it took, helped me prosper. I'm just one of many students who can say that. He is not at the job for a paycheck; his joy comes from seeing his students succeed. But with life and success there will always be a hater somewhere trying to bring you down. This is just a temporary hold on his career that will affect the credibility of the hater more so than Mr. Williams.

Tyrone Thompkins

Via Web commentary

He's a hero, not a villain: As a former student of Patrick Williams (Spanish class, summer of 1995), I find it incomprehensible that he would come under fire as an educator. Mr. Williams is a rare jewel that should be lauded, not banished from the ones who would benefit most from his abilities.

Principal Valmarie Rhoden should be ashamed. Her attempt to cover up the lack of adequate administration of school funds is laughable. She would have done better to think ahead and never give Mr. Williams praise in the first place. Now her hypocrisy is undeniable.

Never has his teaching ability been hindered by his style of dress. If anything, it helped him relate to the students even more. Once we saw he actually cared about us learning, we took him seriously. He is as highly decorated as a war hero, and should be treated as such. His existence is at odds with where he finds himself, in the hood, where the average school has a D or F grade.

We, as a community, need 100 more Patrick Williamses. I would cheerfully sign a petition for a statue in his name.

Roberto Small



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