*THE FORT SMITH "NEWS"PAPER EDITOR ( THE TIMES RECORD )BLUNTLY REFUSED TO PUBLISH THIS LETTER TO THE EDITOR* When Fort Smith Police Chief Kevin Lindsey first came here from Missouri my family and I were one of his more ardent supporters, calling our Directors, Mayor, local & national radio talk shows, and signing petitions. I, like many long time fellow Fort Smith residents, believed he would bring much needed change and equal protection. Something has changed but it has been for the worse, and protection here is not equal . Last year as my family and I returned to our local motel room we witnessed a large tattooed man beating a small woman bloody in a room doorway floor; I intervened to stop what we thought was a murder in progress and called police. The victim fled before FSPD arrived and I was arrested (for "Assault" on the man), forced to post bail, and we endured serious hardship which still haunts us. The assailant was not arrested. I learned from the bondsman that what happened to me has become very common here. Charges were dropped months later but the damage has been done and my family and I are considering our future. Under chief Lindsey, and the guise of "public safety", our local police department has become a paramilitary force unconcerned with civil liberties. Whistleblowers are routinely fired and less-glamorous but dangerous policy changes go unnoticed by an already burdened citizenry and a local media known for its "rubber stamp" approach to issues related to all things law enforcement. I write this solely as a conscience matter ; valid concerns about retaliation have kept me from speaking up. I now hope only for more awareness by my neighbors and ask for prayer. Thank you. Noah Steffy.