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Trial Involving LAPD's SIS Unit

October 11, 1998

* Re "Role of Police Unit to Be Issue in Murder Trial," Oct. 5:

As one of the vast majority of law-abiding and decidedly nonviolent citizens in this country, I must say that the operations of the LAPD Special Investigations Section do not bother me. Quite to the contrary, I overwhelmingly approve of them. In the empirical sense, the SIS has made L.A. a safer place. Thanks to them, there are decidedly fewer soulless predators in our midst who repeatedly rob, maim and kill innocent people for the sake of a few lousy dollars.

Michael Rochelle Smith is a career felon. He is lucky to be alive. His sole purpose in life now is to be judged and pay for his criminal legacy. Hopefully, he can devote the rest of his life to doing good for the truly miserable, his fellow inmates.

Each of the felons on the receiving end of SIS bullets came to be in that position by choice. The deceased chose that your possessions were theirs, your well-being was less important than theirs and, finally, they chose that the life of every law enforcement officer was expendable. By [pointing a gun at police], they chose not to be arrested, not to have a trial and to ignore common decency, our laws and the justice system.

DOUGLAS HUGHES

Pasadena

* They do God's work? Wow. With that statement, made by Deputy City Atty. Cory Brente, one quite possibly could agree that there could be some truth to the claims of SIS misconduct by Deputy Public Defender James Coady. It also seems that I've heard of another law enforcement entity that lived by the creed, "Shoot 'em all and let God sort 'em out."

I have no objection to aggressive law enforcement tactics, but did the deputy city attorney have to go so far as to invoke the name of the Almighty in referring to the LAPD's SIS unit?

GREGG SHIVES

Alhambra

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