Letters From the Issue of Thursday, June 28, 2007

SHOCKING DEVELOPMENT

Beats gettiní shot: Congratulations on a really great job on this story ("Aftershock!" Paul Rubin, June 21). As the brother of a police officer, I know what goes on out there and how many times guns would be the right call over anything else. Tasers aren't perfect by any means, as the story says, but they sure as hell are better than getting a bullet in the chest, or than getting the crap beaten out of you. Everyone who trashes Tasers should read this article.
Fred Luria, via the Internet

More shocks, fewer suits: It appears the only reason most civil rights groups don't like the Taser is that takes money out of their pockets by minimizing "wrongful death" lawsuits.
Frank Pinelander, via the Internet

CONTINENTAL DIVIDE

Continental Airlines should be held accountable for its lack of cooperation with law-enforcement agencies, who described in detail the dangers to other passengers on the same flight with a non-U.S. citizen fleeing Arizona after committing a horrific torture/murder ("Snake on a Plane," Paul Rubin, June 14).

U.S. citizens should refuse to fly Continental Airlines. If Continental's loyalty is to the almighty profit (their comment to law enforcement was, "Do you know how much it would cost in fuel to turn the plane around?") and to a criminal just because he is a paid customer, then . . . The insane, the mentally ill, terrorists, and murderers can book flights on Continental Airlines.

I have sent this story to thousands of e-mail recipients and hope they pass it along. Continental's priorities are its costs, not its passengers' safety. I will never book another flight on Continental.
T. O'Sullivan, Santa Barbara, California

See it, believe it: I heard about this story from one of the sources quoted who said it had blown his mind. All I can say is: Wow! This is something everyone should read. The writer sure made it read like a TV script. I could see everything.
Jessica Swisher, New York

Only everyone isnít happy: I agree with the airline. It is not Continental's business to play cops and robbers. The authorities had him apprehended in India, so what is the fuss all about? The end justifies the means in this case.

Remember, there is an obligation to international commerce that airlines are a part of. The alleged killer is behind bars, and Continental made a successful flight. Everyone is happy and the story ends there.
Bob Guthrie, Houston

Continentalís correct choice: Ah, the arrogance of law enforcement agents. Do exactly what they say, when they say to do it, no questions or arguments allowed, no matter the cost to taxpayers and others.

It's the exact same arrogance that is used to shut down vital freeways and transportation corridors used by hundreds of thousands of people for half a day or more while lethal accidents or murders are slowly investigated.

Raju Grewal didn't commit a cold-blooded murder; instead, it was a hot-blooded crime of passion. No evidence was presented in the story that Grewal was a substantial or immediate threat to other passengers. No evidence of a history of violence. There was no way he could escape while in flight. Therefore, there was no significant reason why law enforcement couldn't wait for him to be arrested at the plane's next scheduled stop and extradited back to Phoenix, just like hundreds of other suspects every year.

Instead, law enforcement demanded a flashy turnaround that would have greatly inconvenienced hundreds of passengers and cost more than $100,000 of probably unrecoverable expenses for Continental.

Good going, Continental! Thanks for having the common sense to know that security concerns can be weighed against other factors, instead of just assuming the worst. Thanks for resisting the pressure to treat all passengers like cattle that can be herded around at the whim of government officials.
Mark Nelson, Phoenix

The wrong signal: The Phoenix police officer you quote, I'm sure, is a fine officer, and I do see his point.

But if the plane had turned around, it would have sent the wrong signal to the suspect. He might have panicked, taken hostages, or worse: He might have tried to bring down the plane.

By acting as if nothing had happened, the suspect was taken into custody with no more issues.
Jason Joyner, Phoenix

Gimme the tough calls: I like stories that let me make up my own mind about a topic. This one was a tough call, however. I can see both points of view. That's not to say that I think the cops really can prove anything.
Chad Vanegas, Avondale

They were thinking about the fuel: Scary story! What were these people at Continental thinking?
Alex Franklin, via the Internet

Phoenix cops blow it again: Although it acknowledged there was a way to arrest the murderer when the plane landed in India, the New Times article suggested Continental's failure to land was all about the cost to Continental.

Maybe that did play into it, but as an air traveler (generally not on Continental), I like to think safety was the major issue. Turning a plane around with a fleeing "lunatic" on board? I don't think so.

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3 comments
Sunny
Sunny

This was the most exhaustive and informative coverage done by any website on this murder. I am impressed by you guys coverage

d. fowler
d. fowler

Today, I ordeded a pizza from Tessio's Pizza (by phone) after receiving a flyer that said voted best pizza by Phoenix New Times. I paid $14.00 plus for a pizza that I knew I would never eat after seeing the filthy, filthy, filthy conditions of that delivery/take-out joint located on the SW corner of Tatum & E Thunderbird. The walls, doors, floors and counters were disgustingly dirty!! I am no way exaggerating and it was very obvious they had not been washed in a very long time. I unseccussfully tried to find a number to complain to the healthboard. Who is Phoenix New Times anyway when it comes to rating Food?

I am very disappointed to have wasted my money on your advise if your company did indeed endorse this garbage pit.

D. Fowler

Amanda Williams
Amanda Williams

I just wanted to say thank you for bringing the truth out in the open about the death by electrocutioner. I am an ex girlfriend of Keith E Graff and the mother of his daughter, a daughter who will never have the opportunity to have daddy walk heer down the isle or dance with her at her wedding. I couldnt believe that the police who killed Keith are still employed there but your article helped put a lot of closurre on this sad event for me because there was so many things that you wrote that even I was unaware of. Again thank you for bringing out how these cops were out to get him, not out to serve justice. You made it possible for everyone to see what really happened that night and that means the world to me and my daughter Cheyenne A Graff.

Thanks You again, Amanda Williams

 
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