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Justice Under the Law

April 27, 2002

Re "Was Fatal Encounter Murder or Justifiable Homicide?" April 22: When police officers pump a zillion bullets into an elderly homeless woman, a mentally impaired home dweller, a Halloween party guest or a startled woman who had fallen asleep on the side of the road, murder charges are never filed. "The officers were reasonably in fear of their lives" is the official statement.

If Travarla Atwell Saffore--who killed a man who had not only chased him through the streets for 20 minutes but was found with a screwdriver in his pocket--were a police officer, instead of the district attorney's office filing murder charges it would be giving the official statement.

Duane Oden

Los Angeles

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