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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Wrong Priorities in Arrests of Aid Recipients

September 08, 2004

Re "Public Defenders Decry Aid Recipients' Arrests," Sept. 4: What possible motive could the U.S. attorney's office and the Social Security Administration have for arresting at gunpoint 21 welfare recipients in Los Angeles? Sure, they each supposedly cheated the government out of a $700-to-$800 monthly check, but why arrest a group of disabled citizens for a misdemeanor? The $15,000 to $16,000 expected to be recovered would not even cover the salaries of the federal agents sent to arrest the frightened disabled group.

Something is terribly wrong with our government's actions when the poorest, sickest and weakest of citizens are arrested and prosecuted on misdemeanor charges while the "elite" circle of the present administration's pals are free to rob the country of millions of dollars through various schemes, secret deals and no-bid government contracts.

Barbara Shields

Chatsworth

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