Regarding Russ Mitchell's article "One reporter's two nights in the slammer" (Cover Story, May 18): Your reporter should have expected that he stood a chance of being arrested or detained. Fortunately, our public officials in San Francisco took proper steps to avoid the unfortunate, wanton destruction that occurred in Los Angeles, where officials failed to carry out their duties and responsibilities for properly protecting lives and property during the first outbreak of trouble. Tell Russ Mitchell . . . I don't feel sorry for him at all.

Drew McCulloch

San Jose, Calif.

On the same day that I read your story, a letter from a number of San Francisco businesspeople was made public. The letter, signed by the leaders of Pacific Telesis, Pacific Gas & Electric, the San Francisco Hotel Assn., the Chamber of Commerce, and others, expressed "heartfelt gratitude" for Mayor Frank Jordan's "quick and decisive" actions in preventing possible vandalism.

While such business leaders may revel in their collective myopia, BUSINESS WEEK's readers should know that this point of view is not shared by many of the citizens of San Francisco. Preemptive strikes on people who are expressing their First Amendment rights must never become acceptable, even if so-called "business leaders" choose to stand by and applaud such actions.

Mark E. Mackler

San Francisco

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