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No One Has the Right to Shut Down Freeways

June 10, 2005

Re "I-10 Shut Down for Hours After Pursuit Ends in Freeway Standoff," June 8: By what process of reasoning does the welfare of a law-breaking would-be kidnapper take precedence over the liberties of hundreds of thousands of law-abiding citizens trapped in total freeway gridlock?

What if you have to go to the restroom? What if you have to rush your pregnant wife to the hospital? What if a passenger suddenly suffers a heart attack or a stroke and you must get to the hospital emergency room as quickly as possible? What if you have toddlers in your car with the temperature at 80 degrees outside? What if you have to pick up someone at the airport? What if you have a critical appointment somewhere?

What about law enforcement emergency vehicles that must use the freeway system in order to respond? What about tying up emergency resources and scores of law enforcement personnel that might be used elsewhere for a more serious emergency?

Why wasn't tear gas used right away to eliminate so much grief, suffering and frustration?

Alfred Lorona

Whittier

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No one has the right to shut down a major freeway for hours. Not a stubborn or deranged individual or law enforcement.

Thousands of people were inconvenienced at a cost of millions of dollars. It's time for police agencies to rethink their protocols and priorities.

The freeway isn't just a road -- it's a lifeline of business and commerce.

Mel Frohman

Los Angeles

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