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Letter: The Tribune's online vigilantes

I have not seen Danube's Chief Lester Schneider in a number of years and I have no details of the charges against him. However, because of my knowledge of his character, my knowledge of police work, and of small towns (including Danube), and of their city councils, I will suspend judgment of the case until the facts come out.

Granted, he may have intentionally committed a crime and deserve punishment, but I can think of several scenarios which would make it an innocent mistake. If any case deserved "innocent until proven guilty," this one does, especially from such close neighbors as Texas, Virginia, and Pennsylvania who have responded online.

My anger today is with the West Central Tribune about the piece you ran in Aug. 18's paper and the vigilante online comments it produced. It is one thing for gossip and opinion to run rampant where everyone knows everyone involved (like in any small town), but a newspaper of your size should have done a much better job of reporting on the turmoil the incident has produced. I am referring to this article, not the original news report of the case where most online comments were from local people. Most of the online comments that I read today speak more to the ignorance, intolerance, and general "strong opinion, whether you know what you're talking about or not" of the responder, than to anything else.

Cliff Reed