In David Griffen's letter about Carterville's reputation (Voices, Globe, Sept. 17), it appears his judgment is based on reading reports printed in the Globe. I wonder if he has talked to any of the people involved to determine the reasons behind the incident and the way it was carried out. I do not pretend to know all the facts, and much of what I may or may not know is based on hearsay, but I live in Carterville and am closer to many of the people concerned.
If you talk to the Webb City Police Department you may find that many calls have been answered due to disturbance calls concerning Mr. Hembree. One officer who responded advised that at least two policemen respond when answering a call. Mr. Hembree's actions were more than one person could handle. He was apparently mentally disturbed and at times was very violent.
I do not believe Sgt. Sara Gerber acted maliciously in her response. She would not have intentionally killed if she did not believe her life was in danger. I know police Chief Tommy Kitch, and he is an honorable man. If you have a difference of opinion with his actions, you should talk to him personally and learn his reasons for his response before making public judgment against him. The same is true regarding anyone before making judgment against them.
I have known Dean and Linda Hedgcorth for 18 years and consider them friends, but knowing what I think are their religious beliefs I hope they will consider what it teaches about harboring hatred in your heart and being unwilling to forgive: that it can eat at your soul and bring eventual spiritual destruction. I pray that time will soon bring them to this realization if they value the future of their eternal salvation.