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Deeper questions about violence against African Americans

To the editor: We keep missing the background noise in news events like the one in which a McKinney, Texas, police officer was recorded pulling his gun on black teenagers at a pool party and pinning one of them on the ground. ("Texas officer suspended after aggressively confronting teens at pool party," June 8)

When that old Indian father was thrown to the ground and partially paralyzed in Alabama, we forgot why he was stopped. Someone had called the police and said an unfamiliar black guy was walking around. With the pool party, before the girl was slammed to the ground, only the black teens were targeted by police while the white people were allowed to walk freely.

The story is not just that Trayvon Martin was killed; it was also that he was somehow expected to stop and explain himself to a stranger. Likewise, it is not just that Freddie Grey was killed, it is that the only reason given for stopping him was that he looked at Baltimore police officers.

These incidents do not happen in a vacuum; we need to examine them to see why they occur.

Janet Savage, Los Angeles

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