* The Garden Grove Police Department certainly deserves a lawsuit for its practice of photographing suspicious-looking youths with its assumption that (Asian) teen-agers wearing baggy clothing are gang members ("O.C. Girl Challenges Police Photo Policy," May 20). Although I find baggy, hip-hop clothing distasteful, I believe the police have gone too far in this case.
Until the courts decide the constitutionality of this practice, maybe the Garden Grove Police Department can make use of the following assumption: Everyone, whether he or she is black, Latino, white, Asian, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Buddhist, teen-ager or adult, is a suspected criminal and should be photographed. This will show they do not discriminate and will strengthen their case in court if anyone decides to sue them.
* I am writing in reference to a lawsuit that was recently filed by two Vietnamese girls from Tustin. They are suing Garden Grove, because they allege that the Garden Grove Police Department violated their civil rights.
The part of town where this incident occurred is the most gang-infested part of our city. In the parking lot where these young ladies were detained, weapons have been discharged and there is a great deal of gang activity, and that is just one of the many reasons our Police Department has taken a very proactive position in dealing with youth gangs.
Garden Grove's Police Department has one of the best gang deterrence units in the United States. Our Police Department's methodology in dealing with gangs has been studied and emulated by many police departments throughout this nation. I feel very strongly that our Police Department does not violate anyone's civil rights when using this methodology. There is no doubt in my mind that young people's lives have been saved because of the stance our department has taken in dealing with gangs.
If these two young ladies had come home in an ambulance rather than having the police call their parents to come get them, the city would still have received a lawsuit. When you have deep pockets, or are perceived as having deep pockets, you are going to be sued. It's the American way!
BRUCE A. BROADWATER
* In the light of new statistics showing Irvine as the lowest crime rate in Orange County, the news about the collapse of the First Pension Corp. should remind us of what real crime is all about. The company I work for recently moved to Irvine from Santa Ana because "the crime was getting bad there."
The Garden Grove police are taking pictures of kids in baggy pants--just for the files. I suggest the Irvine police follow suit . . . take pictures of distinguished folks in their pressed white shirts and their latest ties--just for the files.
* Bravo Garden Grove Police Department for pursuing crime prevention and detection by daring to photograph suspected gang members regardless of their race, age or gender.
The two teen-age girls suing the GGPD for the "frightening" photograph, by their own admission, were belligerent and rebellious of police authority. Their complaint that "their friends get photographed a lot" makes me wonder if the honor students shouldn't get some new friends as well as a lesson in respecting authority figures.
I hope the ACLU can't intimidate GGPD from continuing their efforts to make the streets safe from gang activity. The police can take my picture anytime they want. I am a law abiding citizen who doesn't fear being recognized in a photo lineup for criminal activity.
* I live in a section of town where gangs are so prevalent that we can no longer go for a walk either day or night.
I don't know the guilt or innocence of the Vietnamese young women. But I do know photos are a great help. In fact, in most cases invaluable.
We can't even sell our home at this time. No one will buy in our area.
I'm sick of gangs and I am all for anything of help.
JANICE G. DAVIDSON