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Scout Slain in Drive-By Shooting

Over the years, we in law enforcement have witnessed more than our fair share of the mindless violence of street gangs in Los Angeles; few incidents rival the shooting death of 19-year-old Anthony Gardner on Sept. 18 (“Scout Who Aided Deputies Slain in Drive-By Shooting,” Metro, Sept. 19). This incident, like many others, leaves in its aftermath a number of victims. Not only the family members and friends, but society in general once again has been victimized by the depredations of a few thugs.

Anthony was an individual who was no doubt destined to leave his mark on the community. This outgoing and compassionate young man, who was scheduled to start the Sheriff’s Academy in November of this year, was struck down in his youth by an urban terrorist’s bullet. No longer will he have the chance to alert neighbors of the presence of gang members or to try to keep some of the younger children away from drugs or out of the gangs.

Anthony Gardner’s caring attitude, smile and effervescent outlook on life will be sorely missed by not only his family and friends but by the 10,500 men and women of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Anthony had been a part of our family for the last three years. We will also wonder what might have been; and it is for this reason that your readers should remember him, although they may not have known him personally.

The gang crisis and its symbiotic partner of illegal narcotic activity in Los Angeles County are a cancer upon our civilization unlike any we have seen. While the battle lines have been drawn for some time now, our society is losing the war. I offer to you and your readers that the war can only be won by those who choose to remember the Anthony Gardners of this world and take an active role in their community. Law enforcement alone will never be able to win this war.

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My heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Anthony and a reminder to all citizens that although he may be gone for now, he won’t be forgotten.

SHERMAN BLOCK

Sheriff

Los Angeles County

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