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Lives Sacrificed to Gang Violence

June 03, 2004

Your editorial ("Standing Up to Street Gangs: A War There, a War Here," May 31) gave me hope that the war here is beginning to be addressed in a manner that will make a positive difference. By giving each of the victims a name and a brief bio, you will help get us beyond seeing them as just another number and instead as real human beings who didn't deserve the fate that they suffered.

As I attempt to say the final words today over Melvin Deonte Knowles, who was killed with his friend, Brian Keith Butler Jr., on May 24, I will have the words of your editorial to help me offer the prospect of a better day to his family and friends.

The Rev. Reginald Pope

Pastor, Bethel Missionary

Baptist Church, Los Angeles

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Your conclusions as to the cure for this epidemic of gang- related killings leave out the most important of all ... parental responsibility.

Bill Gross

Long Beach

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