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Outcry Over Police Beating

March 24, 1991

In response to "Where's the Outrage for Dead Police?" by George Aliano, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League (Commentary, March 18):.

Aliano tragically misses the point of the public's outrage. We are not ungrateful for those who put their lives on the line by calling for an investigation of criminal actions by bad cops. We seek justice.

It seems that Aliano has forgotten what it means to be a plain, average, law-abiding citizen, because he doesn't seem to see the difference between police who have been killed in the line of duty and citizens who have been brutalized and killed by the police.

The basic difference is that when officers of the law are confronted by lawless thugs who may try to kill them, they have the permission of society, if necessary, to use deadly force. But when plain, average, unarmed citizens are confronted by lawless thugs who hide behind cop badges, they have no defense.

We have seen how the hoodlums who attacked Rodney King came close to killing him. What if he returned the "deadly force" of his beating by using "deadly force?" By law, if it were against anyone other than an officer, he would be justified in defending himself in such a manner. But if had returned his deadly force attack with deadly force against these bad cops, he would have been shot so many times he'd look like a Samoan from Compton.

The real tragedy is that Aliano doesn't see criminal acts perpetrated by the police as criminal. This moral misjudgment corrupts our society and endangers our lives.



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