To the editor: The slaughter of unarmed black men by uniformed white men must stop. I am sickened that in our society a large segment of people live in fear for family members who are black males. Imagine daily life for a black man who counts death by law enforcement as another threat to life. ("Video in fatal North Charleston, S.C., police shooting sets case apart," April 8)
Certainly there are rigorous screenings and background checks to ensure that people who carry guns to protect public safety are psychologically adjusted and above reproach. Do officers undergo testing to check for cultural sensitivity and racial bias as well?
Cases such as Walter Scott's — whose death at the hands of a North Charleston, S.C., police officer was caught on video — represent a very small percentage of interactions between law enforcement and black males. But even one incident leaves us all shocked and saddened, and the problem needs to be vigorously addressed.
Karen Neville, La Puente
To the editor: That alleged killer cop in North Charleston deserves a fair trial, of course. I say give him the best prosecution and defense available. Put him right in front of an all-black jury.
On the serious side, I'm glad to see that there's at least one district attorney out there who is doing his job right when it comes to this kind of case, judging by the officer's prompt arrest for murder.
My congratulations to the people in South Carolina holding the officer accountable.
Patrick Sullivan, Reseda
To the editor: Sadly, the lyrics to the 1939 song "Strange Fruit" can now be accompanied by videos in 2015 of Walter Scott, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner.
Peter Tobia, Philadelphia
To the editor: When white police officer Michael Slager fired in North Charleston, S.C., a 50-year-old black man named Walter Scott, who was running away from the officer, lost his life.
When Slager himself got fired for his horrendous actions, which were caught on camera, he lost only his job (though he may eventually lose his freedom).
How truly unjust life really is.
Kenneth L. Zimmerman, Huntington Beach