Readers React

Police vs. the public

To the editor: After reflecting on almost 40 years in various aspects of the criminal justice system, including more than 15 years on the Juvenile Court bench, I think Father Gregory J. Boyle has identified the problem — the perception of those caught committing crimes or arrested by police as "bad guys" — and described it beautifully. ("The problem with good guys vs. bad guys policing," op-ed, April 30)

Healing the traumatized and delivering mental health services are truly what is needed, and that means investing in our schools and developing a viable plan for helping people out of poverty and giving them hope. It means being proactive and responsive along with being reactive.

It means solving problems before kids even enter the justice system.

Jewell Jones, San Pedro

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To the editor: What is disturbing about current policing in America is that everyone who is encountered is considered a threat or a criminal. When you look at the history of the encounters that resulted in an unarmed person being shot, the police say they felt threatened and afraid.

What is of concern is the focus on conflict, not defusing the situation. The public is viewed always in the negative.

When the police react to these encounters on a personal level, they are no longer able to act in the capacity of a professional. The public, especially minorities, has been dehumanized, and is at the mercy of an adversarial approach to policing.

This is dangerous and uncivilized, and Americans shouldn't tolerate it.

Claire Zimmer, Palm Springs

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