Carothers Letter

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 19, 2010

Mother questions action by officer; seeks answers from department, city

I have come to realize that it is our individual experiences that help shape our opinions and ideas. Some of those experiences are good–some are bad. Some of you may have had a positive and enjoyable experience with Mr. Jamie Tedford and the Batesville Police Department, but my family and I haven’t had that pleasure.

Words can not express what my family has gone through in recent weeks. My son’s life was threatened by a Batesville police officer and city officials seem not to care. My son never harassed Mr. Tedford’s stepdaughter. I have proof that she initiated contact with my son.

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However, Mr. Tedford has taken this far beyond a few text messages between teenagers.

If he had a problem with their relationship, Mr. Tedford should have called and expressed his concern to me, his mother – not threaten to kill an innocent teenager. Police are sworn to protect and serve – not bully and intimidate.

Mr. Tedford used his position to instill fear and terror into my son. As a mother, I refuse to allow this to happen. My son has rights (just like his stepdaughter) and just like he claims to have been protecting his stepdaughter – I am going to be just as dilligent and persistent when it comes to my son.

If Mr. Tedford had handled his apprehensions like a grown man, this whole situation could have been avoided. If he had voiced his concerns to me (parent to parent), we could have worked together to find a solution. But instead, Mr. Tedford chose to use bullying, harassment, and intimidation as his weapon of choice. He chose to let his own hateful ideas and prejudices control his actions. But I just have to ask the City of Batesville, the Chief of Police, and all those who are defending his actions a few questions: How many more teenagers will be threatened in anger? If this was your son, would you stand by and let someone terrorize him? I think not!

I serve notice on Mr. Tedford and the City of Batesville, I will not sit by and watch this be swept under the rug.

/s/Mary Carothers