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Riverside Sheriffs' Rally, Human Rights

April 21, 1996

The rally called by the Riverside Sheriff's Assn. says it best on their banner: "Ask What Really Happened" (April 16). What really happened is the law was broken! First, by the truck driver (a.k.a. coyote) who enticed the illegal immigrants to seek the American dream. The same dream common to all Americans' ancestors, even before the Statue of Liberty was built. Second, the driver continued to break the law when he not only endangered the lives of the immigrants, but the lives of other people on the road during the chase.

The law continued to be broken by the Riverside deputies, using excessive force that perhaps was intended for the driver. I have always supported and admired people in law enforcement for adhering to the law under the most stressful conditions. A good example of this are the officers who maintained order effectively and professionally at the Riverside rally. As for the April 1 incident, thanks to today's technology, we all know "what really happened."

ART GOMEZ

San Gabriel

* At the April 15 rally in support of Riverside County law enforcement, I noticed a group of counter-demonstrators waving a large Mexican flag. If these counter-demonstrators are representatives of the Republic of Mexico, they should know that this is gross interference in the domestic affairs of the U.S. However, if these are Americans exercising their 1st Amendment rights, why would they be waving the flag of the Republic of Mexico?

HAROLD VIVALDI

San Clemente

* I was outraged by the photo of U.S. flag-waving supporters of the Riverside deputies involved in the beating case. How dare people equate "patriotism" with senseless acts of violence? It's an insult to our country and our flag.

JOHN NAKASHIMA

Los Angeles

* Thank you, Chief Daryl Gates, for reminding us of how grateful we are that you are gone.

MIKE MADRID

Lomita

* Re "But What Do Advocates Say About Mexican Police?" Opinion, April 14: Could The Times pursue for a couple of weeks, in detail, what happened to the occupants of the Chevy Blazer mentioned in Joseph Wambaugh's article? Also, what is the ACLU doing about it? It would be interesting to know.

W.R. BOWMAN

La Crescenta

* I fail to understand the type of mentality that condones the beatings. I've heard everything from "it was an adrenaline rush" to "they are criminals who were endangering the public." Nothing, absolutely nothing, in any way excuses, much less justifies, the fact that these two human beings were treated like animals.

These people are not criminals. They were not driving. They had no control over the actions of the driver. Nor were they in possession of any weapons. Those who condone the beatings and call the two immigrants criminals are nothing more than bigots.

SALVADOR GONZALEZ

Playa del Rey

* Re "Why Immigration Is Now a Human Rights Cause," Opinion, April 14: I am Mexican and I love my country. I am going to school in San Diego in order to get my MBA.

Mexican immigration to the U.S. is a problem that needs to be solved by the Mexican government. The U.S. does not have the obligation to provide anything to citizens from other countries. The Mexican consul general in Los Angeles and the rest of the politicians are manipulating this incident in the Mexican media, trying to make it a big case of human rights. It really should embarrass them, coming from the same group of people that put Mexico in a condition where its population needs to look for a better life outside of its own country.

We Mexicans should apply our energy to changing our government and keeping our problems inside our borders.

ISAAC VALDEZ

San Diego

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