The deaths of Officers Kevin Burrell and James MacDonald have had a devastating effect on the lives of Compton's citizens. The loss of these officers is one that will be mourned for a long time. Compton truly grieves. Perhaps this is why I'm distressed by the opinions expressed by Compton Police Officer Assn. President Michael Markey in a recent L.A. Times article (March 21).
I'll agree there may be a special bond among law enforcement officers, but the pain I feel after the death of others is no greater or less because of a badge and uniform. This is not an "us" versus "them" situation. The outpouring of support for Compton's officers was apparent during this grave crisis. We have always supported Compton's officers.
Enough is enough. While I have disagreed with Councilwoman Patricia Moore on numerous issues, I find it astonishing that the remarks Ms. Moore made, while being videotaped, at the funeral of Officer Burrell are totally different than what Officer Markey and other law enforcement officers are alleging. There appears to be a total distortion of what she really said.
Whether we agree or disagree with Councilwoman Moore, it is evident the points she made were right on target. With the many suspected murderers turning themselves in, our community simply isn't safe. I am now beginning to wonder how diligent, due to manpower levels, we have been in the apprehension of suspects who commit crimes in Compton. Do we really have the manpower to provide an adequate level of safety to the citizens?
It is necessary for us to spend less time criticizing Ms. Moore and more time focusing on arresting the murderers of Burrell and MacDonald, as well as to begin rebuilding the image of this city.
The next press conference Compton's officials hold should be one to announce the commitment to serve the citizens.
REV. GARY LEON DANIELS
Covenant of Grace Reformed Episcopal Church, Compton