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L.A. Police Scandal

May 14, 2000

* Re "Hahn's Reviews Mixed on Handling Police Misconduct," May 8: It would be refreshing for someone, i.e. City Atty. James Hahn, Chief Bernard Parks, or Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti, to admit mistakes and take some responsibility for what went wrong in the LAPD, while offering solutions to fix the problem. While they play the blame game, innocent people are incarcerated, the city stands to lose millions in lawsuits, and our confidence in the LAPD, the district attorney's and city attorney's offices has eroded to an all-time low.

Hahn's supporters argue that his "recent actions could help inoculate him against the political consequences the scandal may yet inflict." What is Hahn guilty of that he needs inoculation? Perhaps Najee Ali is right that Hahn is "doing the best job that he can do." Maybe that's part of the problem.

SHERRY WALTER

Woodland Hills

* What your article missed about Hahn's love affair with the LAPD is his uncritical support of "gang injunctions." These supra-legal procedures give the police the cover they need to act like an occupying army with impunity. As far as I can tell--and I have seen two of these up close--officers are never held accountable for the chaos they create and the civil rights they abuse.

The gang injunctions make great PR for Hahn and the LAPD. The TV cameras show up for the kickoff, then disappear. The neighborhood then gets kicked--days and nights of screaming sirens, kids harassed, neighborhood-serving programs accused of aiding and abetting the kids--until the fabric of the community comes apart. Rebuilding is left to the churches, the social service agencies and the amazing resiliency of neighborhood folks. The LAPD goes somewhere else to do the same thing all over again. Hahn runs for mayor.

THE REV. JAMES CONN

Urban Strategy, United

Methodist Church, Santa Monica

* I believe Richard Riordan has been an excellent mayor and Parks can be an outstanding police chief (given that control freaks with an overpowering presence are ideal for some jobs). But I think their rush to beef up the LAPD is the major cause for the problems manifested via the Rampart debacle.

LINCOLN LING

Los Angeles

* Lately all we read about is the LAPD failing. Has anyone looked into the cause of failure? Could it be that the laws are so in favor of protecting criminals that LAPD officers resorted to other tactics due to frustration and their desire to protect the public?

Law enforcement knows who the bad guys are, and those arrested are not innocent, law-abiding citizens. If a gang is known for drug dealing, robberies, shootings, etc., then it is a bad gang, and our laws need to be changed so members are guilty by association.

FRED ALEXANDER

Santa Monica

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