Censorship of Police Brutality
June 15, 2001
We had a press conference yesterday at Tampa City Hall. Bob, Jan, Mauricio, and I were there on a corner in front of Tampa City Hall. I told my account of the crushing of our First Amendment rights that day, believing again they would finally print the truth about the police officer who hurt an 81 year old WWII veteran.
Yesterday, I sent a letter to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times telling my version of what occurred. My letter was in answer to a letter that was published in the Times from a person named Terry Force, But this morning after the news conference in which I referred to the letter several times I find that My letter was not published. It is now the fourth interview I did regarding the Legends Field incident. In each interview, I talked about the knocking down of 81 year old Walter Sorensen by Tampa police officer Ruth Stevens, badge 875. She used Jan as a shield to push her way through the crowd and thereby knocked Walter down onto the ground on his back. I saw it and asked why. That was my big mistake.
When I got eye contact with this officer asking why she did that, her response was quick and deliberate and seemingly stemmed from her fear of appraisal, "Assault on a police officer" she said. I never attacked another person in my life and have stood up for non violence consistently. How could she accuse me of such a terrible thing? And worse than her accusation is the newspapers accounts continuously stating that I hit her ... NOT TRUE!
I wonder how I can get these major newspapers to tell my version as well as Ms. Force's version of what happened?
Editor's note: You can't. Tell them that you'll boycott them and then carry it out. Get others to join you. If you want to read the newspaper, read it in the library.