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Stealing cars is wrong no matter a thief's race

To the editor. Two quotes in this article about police response to car theft stand out to me. ("Outrage follows Denver police shooting of Latina in stolen car," Feb. 4)

First, youth organizer Mimi Madrid Puga said: "I took cars. It's a rite of passage for many teens, but it shouldn't be a death penalty."

Second, Angell Perez, executive director of the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program in Denver, said: "I would say stealing cars is pretty common, but when it's someone of color, the narrative is that they are a criminal."

A crime is a crime, no matter the color of the offender. In this case, nothing would have happened to the teenager in Denver who was shot by police if she and her friends hadn't taken something that wasn't theirs.

There are many cases when innocent people of color are stopped by police, just because. That's clearly and undeniably wrong. But at some point, people have to take responsibility for their actions, the tragic outcomes and what they're teaching young people in their neighborhoods is acceptable behavior.

Fran Mills, Glendale

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