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Hazards of Jaywalking

December 20, 1988

In response to Daryl F. Gates, chief of police of Los Angeles (letters, Dec. 3), I was arrested in 1969 for a warrant on a jaywalking ticket in Los Angeles. At that time I was a resident of Los Angeles. It was an unforgettable night; the details are so clear that it is just like it happened last week. I had been the victim of a strong-armed robbery in the Wilshire area. I telephoned the police. They came, checked my record, and arrested me. I was sent to Rampart Station because they did not know what the warrant was for, and then to the downtown station. They would not let me post my own bail. It was $25. They put me in jail Sunday night, and apologized on Monday morning for forgetting about me because they were overcrowded.

I had often wondered since that time if the conservatives still control the LAPD. Apparently they do. I sometimes wish that I had a responsible job in the Police Department with even part of the capability and the expertise that Chief Gates has. I would support and cultivate ideas that have to do with listening to citizen groups, rehabilitation for offenders of society, adequate training for officers, agreement between black and white officers, crime prevention, and removing the causes of gang-bangers violence, the causes of other types of violence. Lives are too important.

Having been brought up in metropolitan New York I am good at jaywalking. I'm a senior citizen now, I don't do it near as much, but it gives one a good feeling to know that I have the freedom to do it here, and not to be a victim of a speeding motorcycle police officer.

ED KING

San Francisco

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