Homeless are human

I was a bit unsettled after reading through and noting the photos from the February 17 cover story "Saturday Night Drive..." with officer Web Stokes.

The article discussed many aspects of Officer Stokes' work, but the photographer chose to focus on the intoxicated man who had been found at the Salvation Army shelter. Disrespect is the word that comes to mind.

There but for the grace of God go you or I. This individual (who I happen to know) is not just a drunken bum as the article and picture may lead one to believe. He is a man of faith, he has friends, he struggles as many of us do with issues of life, and he happens to be homeless.

He was not causing harm to anyone on that particular evening. Yet, apparently he was arrested rather than being offered the services of the Mohr Center, and his dignity was stripped in the taking of the photo.

The article spoke of Officer Stokes building good relationships with community members, but such collective group had their picture taken with the officer as he was making his rounds with photographer in tow. One could have focused on positive community relations rather than the office's work of "cleaning up the streets."

For future reference, I hope the Hook photographer has the sense to consider the individuals being shot with the camera and how they might feel.

Anne Cressin