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This letter is addressed to the three officers and an overzealous Galax Walmart employee [regarding a Dec. 23 matter].
Because my daughter was hyper on energy drink and too many Christmas cookies and because she has piercings and dresses outside "the norm," she was profiled, stalked and had the police called on her.
The charge: "suspiciously" picking up a container of 97-cent deodorant.
If you truly want to know why my daughter was nervous as you bullied her, it's because 13 years ago (in Pennsylvania) Christmas joy was stolen from my family by a man who purposely harmed her two sisters and got away with it.
The police wouldn't even investigate our home when she saw the perpetrator trying to break through their bedroom window a year later to try and steal her sisters.
You didn't see guilt on my daughter's face. You saw her have a flashback of that night.
I defended my innocent children then and I will defend her now.
I didn't raise my child to do wrong because she had a scary childhood. I raised her to bring other "weird-looking" victims to Christ.
She is responsible for bringing a handful of people to Christ this year alone, including the boy you patted down alongside her. My daughter is no thief, officers. She is my hero.
I forgive you for publicly (wrongfully) humiliating my daughter. God bless you and have a safe holiday.
Jeannette S. Watt
Editor’s note: Galax Police Chief Rick Clark issued the following statement when asked by the newspaper for comment about this matter. “The assistance of Galax Police was requested by an employee of Walmart on 12/23/2010. The officers were already there on another unrelated matter. We frequently respond to Walmart to reports of shoplifting. Obviously we respond regardless of the way a person is dressed or their physical appearance. We have no way of knowing what a person’s prior experience with the police is. There was more than one suspect identified by the Walmart employee, so if staffing allows, two officers would have been assigned to the call as in this case. The third officer was only there because he is field training.” Clark had no further comment, because the matter is an active investigation.