On behalf of the 250 members of the Shomrim Society of Southern California, an organization composed of Jewish members of law enforcement agencies, we are outraged at The Times for publishing Paul Conrad's highly inflammatory depiction of police batons in the shape of a swastika (March 29). Furthermore, we are offended and disgusted by the mere presence of this symbol of anti-Semitism, which is normally used by people to kindle feelings of hate and instill fear in Jewish communities throughout the world.
The federal trial of the four current or former LAPD officers and the merits of Sgt. Stacey Koon's testimony, i.e., his understanding of LAPD use of force policy, are irrelevant. The mere presence of a swastika, particularly during a period when hate crimes are increasing, is enough to raise the anxiety and fear of an already anxious Jewish community. Additionally, the publishing of such a symbol has done a great disservice to the thousands of hard-working men and women who have taken an oath to protect and serve our communities. These police officers' jobs, thanks to The Times and Conrad, have become even more difficult as they now must face comparisons to Nazi storm troopers.
STUART A. MAISLIN
President, Shomrim Society