I was shocked, indignant and saddened to read Victoria Churchville's story on Michael Andre Perry Jr., the alleged murderer of D.C. Police Officer Robert Remington inside a Georgetown boutique {"A Life That Slipped Through the Cracks," Metro, June 15}.

Undoubtedly, Perry is an underprivileged, socially neglected young man, and there are more than sufficient reasons to explain (but not excuse) his life style. But is this worth almost a full page, and not one mention of the heroism of Officer Remington, who was so brutally slain, or the other members of our police department who every day risk their lives to protect the life and property of D.C. citizens? Shame! -- Robert J. Rosenthal

I was angry to read once again a story that tried to evoke sympathy for a criminal but at the same time ignored his victim.

I am truly sorry that Michael Perry was beaten as an 8-year-old. However, I find the attempt to connect this latest incident to his use of PCP ridiculous. The Post would have us believe that this poor child was failed by the "system" and his parents, and that his involvement in crime was therefore not preventable. The Post ignores the thousands of children who manage to rise above circumstances much worse than those suffered by Perry.

The Post makes much of the fact that Perry and his codefendant smoked PCP the night before Remington was shot. The Post ignores the fact that his codefendant elected to run. For whatever reason, Perry chose to remain on the scene, he chose to resist arrest and he chose to shoot Officer Remington. It is for these choices that he must be held accountable.

I find it sad that The Post would devote so much space to Michael Perry. The community would have been much better served if The Post had devoted that space to another story about Officer Remington. I was one of Remington's supervisors. He Remington was the ideal officer. He approached his job with devotion, sympathy and a sense of humor. He was a man you could depend on. He was the type of officer that I pray would be around if I or my family ever needed assistance. He was a devoted husband and father. As a D.C. native, he would serve as an excellent role model for many of today's youth.

I am also astonished that The Post would divulge the contents of Michael Perry's juvenile record. This record is sealed by law, and for good reason. I find it very irresponsible of The Post to publish these facts in a community from which Perry's jury must be drawn. In order for the system to work, Perry must receive a fair trial. The Post has made it much harder for an impartial jury to be found.

There comes a time when reasonable people must choose between selling papers and protecting a defendant's rights. The Post failed.

-- Carl A. Occhipinti The writer is a sergeant with the D.C. Metropolitan Police.