To the editor: As a teacher with the Los Angeles Unified School District, I share and understand the California Highway Patrol's plight: trusted public employees in an authoritative role having to deal with odd and often unusual circumstances. ("CHP beating video spotlights a problem that needs more attention," Editorial, July 9)
In the case of the women beaten on a freeway, the punishment did not fit her "crime."
I was pulled over on the Hollywood Freeway by a CHP officer some time ago and given a $400 citation for dropping a single sunflower seed shell out of my window. Granted, by law I was wrong — but really?
This woman who wandered onto the freeway was obviously in the wrong as well. But to what extent?
Bullies aren't just an issue in school; they are prevalent in the professional ranks as well. We need to be cautious of who we empower to guide us through our schools, our roads and all walks of life.
Ed DeGrasse, Chatsworth
To the editor: Inadequate training, sexism, racism and failures of our mental healthcare system have all been put forth as possible causes of Marlene Pinnock's beating.
A more proximate cause may reside squarely with the CHP officer himself and his fitness for the job. He lost his cool while dealing with an uncooperative person. Unfortunately, much of the work of law enforcement involves uncooperative people endangering themselves and others.
This calls into question the vetting and supervision of law enforcement personnel. Individuals involved in questionable use of force are likely in the wrong line of work.
I cannot imagine that a teacher who repeatedly punched an uncooperative student in the head would be given the benefit of the doubt. It defies common sense that police would not be subject to the same level of scrutiny.