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Furor Over Police Beating

March 31, 1991

This letter is in response to the full-page ad taken out in your paper by the American Civil Liberties Union headlined "Who Do You Call When The Gang Wears Blue Uniforms?" (March 12). The ad calls for the resignation of Gates and asks for money and support to assist its crusade.

To gain attention and raise public sentiment in favor of its cause, the ACLU parallels all "blue uniforms" to a gang. This insinuation was both distasteful and insensitive to the men and women in blue uniforms. Most of these officers, who proudly wear their uniforms, give great effort day after day to stop the gang violence the ACLU has equated them with.

The ACLU noted the millions of dollars given to victims of police violence last year by the city. However, the ACLU failed to mention the millions spent on police officers who were hurt, disabled or killed as a result of violents acts. Where was the ACLU then to protect their liberties?

I was just as shocked as the rest of the world and am outraged at what those officers did on the night of March 3rd. Police officers are drawn from society and like everyone are capable of any behavior. When that behavior crosses the line, the LAPD has the strictest "use of force" policy in the nation to curtail brutality.

Obviously, this incident points out a major problem that needs to be and will be addressed. However, the fact still remains that Los Angeles police have an outstanding record.

The American Civil Liberties Union owes everyone who wears the blue uniform an apology. A blanket smear on an entire department in order to discredit one man (Gates) leaves me to wonder, who do you call when the gang is the ACLU?

ROBERT J. NUCKLES, Los Angeles

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