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Issue of Police Abuse: Walk a Mile in Another's Shoes

July 22, 2002

I would like to respond to the people who are defending the actions of Inglewood Officer Jeremy Morse (letters, July 18). I'm going to assume that most of these people have never been beaten or even abused by police. I have been, and so have many of my friends and relatives.

I'm not suggesting that all cops are abusive that way, but I think most of them feel that they have the right to mistreat us because they wear a badge. If you still think that Morse's behavior was "probably over the line" but not "brutality" then it sounds like you are saying that they literally have to beat us to the ground for it to be brutality.

Carlos Horta

Huntington Park

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Quite possibly letter writer Ann Bein's uneventful contact with the police regarding her registration had less to do with the fact that she is white and more to do with her conduct when stopped. I am sure she was polite, listened to the officer and complied with his instructions. I am sure she did not argue, ignore his instructions or bloody his ear.

Terry Schauer

LAPD, Retired

Sherman Oaks

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I was appalled to read your letters. First of all, it was a miracle that the incident was caught on tape. How often, I wonder, has this been happening but we don't see it? I also agree with Rep. Maxine Waters; Crooks' offenses were minor. He stole from his mother. To those who agreed with the officers' side: If Donovan Jackson were your own son, would you consider the behavior of the policemen correct?

Rossie Taylor

Whittier

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Re "Chill Wind Over Witnesses," editorial, July 16: In an atmosphere of strong support for Crooks after his arrest, I am going to go out on a limb on this one. As an African American, I am overwhelmingly pleased that this brutality was captured on video and very thankful to Crooks for his bravery. But the truth is, Crooks is a crook and has committed crimes that he has failed to answer for. It is called basic math: If you do the crime, you do the time.

His song about retaliation was a poor rendition of "Cry Me a River" and nothing more than a smoke screen to take the attention off him. I wonder if these community activists, politicians and citizens would be rallying and advocating for him had he not shot that video. I don't think so.

Lisa M. Sanchez

Los Angeles

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On July 13, the same day Waters protested the apparent beating of a youth in Inglewood and sought $10,000 in donations to defend an alleged felon who taped the incident, 300 protesters marched in the Valley to protest gang violence. Days later and not very far away, hundreds of FBI members, police officers and sheriff's deputies hunted for a child murderer and sexual predator.

With a week's worth of perspective, let's ask ourselves: What are the real threats to the lives of Inglewood children? Gangs, sexual predators or racist cops? Who is working most frantically right now to protect those same children? Al Sharpton, Waters or the police? We might want to think about that for a moment when we lock our doors tonight and peek in on the kids.

Jim Rothgeb

Glendale

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