Editorial: Karen Purdue ejected from courthouse

Our confidence in Carson City's public officials isn't exactly bolstered when we hear about incidents like the one involving Karen Perdue, who was chased off the courthouse grounds for protesting.

Perdue has taken up the cause of Tammy Stelton, who would like an answer to what caused the death of her 16-year-old daughter, Natasha Jennings, in Carson City more than two years ago.

You may have no interest in the case, although many people do. You may be entirely satisfied that Jennings' death has been fully investigated, and there are no more answers to find. You may think that Perdue, and other people who aren't satisfied with the answers, are simply wasting their time.

Those would be your opinions, and you're welcome to them. But Perdue believes there is much to be answered and her cause is worth pursuing. Her opinions are just as valid.

However, one thing we should all care about is our right to walk up and down the sidewalks of public property - the Carson City Courthouse, the Capitol, the Attorney General's Office - to peacefully express our opinions.

That's what Perdue was doing in December when bailiffs from the courthouse twice told her to leave. We don't believe the bailiffs decided to do this on their own; we think somebody inside the courthouse instructed them to evict Perdue.

Those people inside the courthouse would be elected officials - the very people she believes didn't do an adequate job in investigating Jennings' death. They may not like what Perdue has to say, but they're only adding to the injustice by trying to squelch her.

Now, after filing a complaint alleging that her rights were violated, she believes her allegations will be swept under the rug. It only adds to her suspicion that we don't know all there is to know about Jennings' death.

It makes us suspect that somebody doesn't understand basic American rights.


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