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Is It the Lawyers Who Cross the Line?

August 07, 1994

Re "What If Cops Cross the Line?" (July 25):

What if lawyers cross the line? As peace officers, we find it particularly offensive that personal-injury lawyers are passing judgment on us. Looking closely at the situations described in this article, we find nothing more than deep-pocket-seeking lawyers second-guessing the split-second decisions of peace officers.

Worse yet, the lawyers quoted in the article fail to put the blame for injury where it rightfully belongs. Why not blame the crooks? Why not sue the suspect driving the car that ran into the innocent victims' house? Why not sue the drug dealers selling dope out of the apartment for the repairs needed after the bust?

Why not? Because the personal-injury lawyers want access to the deep pocket that goes with blaming the cops. And they know that, rather than fighting the cases, it is cheaper for the county to offer five figures to settle frivolous lawsuits. Lawyers get rich, crooks get a free ride.

Personal-injury lawyers have been driving a wedge between cops and the communities we work hard to serve. They have been doing it for years because lawyers profit from animosity between cops and the community. Frankly, we've had enough of their irresponsible, self-serving behavior. We believe it is the lawyers who have crossed the line.

We should force lawyers to return some principles to the system and require that, instead of looking for the nearest deep pocket, they sue the clown who put the gun in the face of the 7-Eleven clerk. The criminal is the one responsible for causing injury, not the peace officer trying to protect innocent life.

SHAUN J. MATHERS, president

Assn. for L.A. Deputy Sheriffs

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