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More 'Lost In L.a.'

February 07, 1988

I commend Arax for writing about a group of people that little is known about. I think that for him to risk personal injury so that he could write about the tragedy of the refugee youth took tremendous fortitude. However, I object to combining this story with the trial of Sang Nam Chinh.

Arax painted a poetic picture of Chinh that sounded very sympathetic and patronizing. The description of the officer who was killed was not as poetic but just as misleading. No matter the circumstances, Chinh made a conscious decision to commit a crime that day in Chinatown and should be held responsible for his part in it. I believe Arax made Duane C. Johnson look like a big, dumb cop who was oblivious to what was happening during the holdup and who happened to get in the way of the bullets. No one knows what Duey observed, but, from knowing my brother, I can assure you he was probably quite aware of what was happening, and I believe that he and Officer Archie Nagao could not have done any better under the circumstances. I believe they did their utmost to surmise what was happening around them and to try to come out of that alive.

I miss Duey very much, but I would also like to say that statements made by his widow do not necessarily represent the Johnson family.

PATRICIA JOHNSON-CARMICHAEL

Riverside

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