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Jaywalking Flap

August 27, 2000

* As a Philadelphia native who presently spends half a year in Beverly Hills as a writer, I'd like to comment on the fuss being made by Philadelphia Mayor John Street over a jaywalking incident and his derogatory comments about the LAPD ("Convention Incident Still Rankles Amid Praise for Police," Aug. 23).

In my six years coming out to L.A. I've been stopped for jaywalking twice. (I'm not an ethnic minority.) Each time the LAPD officers were perfect gentlemen. They asked for ID and explained I was breaking the law. I told them such a practice was common in Philly, but they explained that many pedestrians were killed or injured yearly. I thanked them for their concern and no citation was written. I feel that in Mayor Street's case something more happened than meets the eye.

In my opinion the LAPD is the finest police force in the country, policing such a large area with a small force. After living in Philly for my entire life I can only commend Police Chief Bernard Parks and Mayor Richard Riordan in the job they do running the police and city. It seems to run much more smoothly than here in Philly.

RICHARD SAVARESE

Philadelphia

*

Mayor Street's criticism of the Los Angeles Police Department for manhandling his aide rings true to me. I am a middle-aged college professor who was unwittingly swept up in the mass arrest of a peaceful bike protest on Aug. 15.

When are Angelenos going to wake up and realize that criticism of police abuses cannot only come from unwelcome outsiders, disenfranchised minorities or radical protesters? My experience highlights that we all need to be vigilant or any one of us risks being the victim of rude and harassing behavior or, worse, false arrest.

CHRISTOPHER WEARE

Venice

*

If the mayor of Philadelphia and his entourage had done their shopping on the Westside, the incident would never have occurred. Here, everyone of any race or sex from bums with shopping carts to wealthy trendoids are free to cross the street at any time or place they choose or even walk down it in traffic right past police cars with no fear of being stopped or ticketed. For example, try traveling Cahuenga between Franklin and Fountain between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.

RICK MITCHELL

Hollywood

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