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'Police Accused of Brutality'

May 05, 1985

While reading the article (April 26), "Irvine Police Accused of Brutality," in which it was reported that an 18-year-old autistic man was overtaken by police and subsequently suffered kidney damage, I recognized a statement given by police departments all over the nation. I quote Irvine spokesman Lt. Al Muir, "The matter was reviewed by the patrol commanders and there does not appear to be any impropriety on our part." It is a firm belief of all the police departments, government agencies, not to mention most of the population, which simply means, "no matter what, cover yourself."

It occurs to me that I have never really heard the police spokespersons say, "Hey, we made a mistake. Our officer used his/her best judgment but was in error." I, for one, would have a great deal more respect for the police departments, if they admit that they are not perfect. Everyone expects them to deny any and all allegations that they did wrong.

I am not criticizing the Irvine Police Department in particular, I am simply posing a question. What would be the result if the police admitted their mistakes and tried to do something about it without being forced to in court (this being very costly to the taxpayers and very time consuming)? What is so terrible about admitting fault?

I believe that this should be the case for every individual also. We have been trained throughout our lives to deny everything or else we have to pay and then spend thousands of dollars trying to prove it in court. I think that admitting fault and owning up to mistakes can make us a stronger people.

NANCY ZEAVIN

Altadena

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