Letter to the Editor of the Petoskey News-Review
from the father of one of Ellis Boal's clients, November 9, 2005

I would like to publicize a miracle that happened in Petoskey recently. There are some angels among you. The incident occurred earlier this year. My stepson was driving on U.S. 31 and noticed a pair of athletic shoes in the middle of the opposite lane. So he made a U-turn, pulled over and picked up the shoes to move them to the side. Then, the two women that lost the shoes came up behind him, so he gave them to them. They thanked him and both cars went on their way. But that isn't the end of the story.

A police car pulled over my son. Well, to shorten this a little, let's just say the officer disregarded any privacy laws or rights we used to have and eventually charged my son with some serious crimes. The police report was riddled with exaggerations, and, dare I say, lies. So we got a lawyer and his first question was -- can we get the women as witnesses? My son didn't know them from Adam. Well, a week later he saw them next to him at a stop sign.

Well, they testified for my son. Then another miracle happened when Judge May (I believe was his name) ruled in my son's favor. The prosecuting attorney decided to be very non-angelic and appealed the decision. And lost, again.

So I want to encourage angels among you to be on the lookout for incidents that seem a little strange. Did I mention that my son is Native American -- and proud of it? Native Americans have an inordinate number of strange things happen to them. So please keep your video camera in the car. You might catch one of America's Unfunniest Videos. And be sure to leave your name and phone numbers. You may never see the victims at a stop sign.

I originally wrote this letter on Columbus Day. I happen to be a fourth degree Knight of Columbus. I don't have the same feelings for Columbus that many Native Americans have. The stealing of their land, rights, etc. came after him.

But, I'd like to ask the Knights of Columbus in Petoskey to make an effort to end the continuation of persecution of Native Americans.

And as a Rotarian, I hope Rotarians in the area will take up the cause. Rotarians will help eradicate polio. Please fight against the eradication of Native Americans!

Thomas P. Erdmann
South Haven