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Riverside Demonstration

May 16, 1999

What was the purpose of the demonstration in Riverside on Monday? Two hours before the demonstration formally started, the Riverside law enforcement community held a long-planned annual memorial service for over 40 officers killed in the line of duty over the years, including one killed in 1998. It was attended by many family members and colleagues of the deceased. One of the early-arriving demonstrators came to this ceremony and started making a scene. At the end, during the playing of "Taps," he started clapping loudly and shouted "Thank you, Jesus, thank you, Lord, one less pig on the street!" and other similar statements. His 1st Amendment rights were observed: He was ignored, but not unheard.

After the very unfortunate killing of Tyisha Miller, did law enforcement or anyone attend any ceremony for her and hurl similar slurs? What was the actual purpose of the demonstrators here? Are they looking for real peace and justice, or to forward some agenda of their own with no regard to whose expense it comes from?

JOHN BOHLING, Riverside

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Re "46 People Arrested at Rally Over Riverside Police Shooting," May 11: "He has seen where there's a problem of racial bias in the Riverside Police Department," counsel to Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer concedes. If I were not so busy crying, I might be able to laugh for a minute. There is racial bias everywhere in this country. Blacks are once again rising up in response to how we are being treated. Protests in New York over a street vendor being shot; now protesters stage a demonstration in Riverside because the cops who shot Miller will not have criminal charges brought against them. When does it end?

We live in a racist, bigoted world. But our day will come. One day promises of equality won't just be hot air but our entitlement as human beings. We will rise up and be heard!

SARAH ALLEN, Sylmar

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