In response to "L.A. Settles Joe Morgan Suit for $796,000," Nov. 17:
The most disturbing aspect of the Joe Morgan/LAPD incident: A 1991 jury found in favor of Morgan, awarding him in excess of $400,000, indicating that they found the LAPD's actions to be unlawful. However, an internal Police Department review cleared the officer involved of wrongdoing.
Hmmm, let's see: Proper judicial process found that the officer was, indeed, guilty of some sort of wrongful act against Morgan. Meanwhile, the LAPD's kangaroo court reviewed the same facts that the jury had and reached a conclusion that was completely opposite to that reached by the jury!
The message that this sends to me is: The LAPD, from the rank and file to those charged with maintaining order and discipline within the ranks, does not know right from wrong.
I know that there are many LAPD officers who are doing a fine job and do respect the citizens that they encounter during the performance of their duties. But by not disciplining the officer involved in the Morgan incident, the department has taken another step to further alienate itself from the local populace; particularly from those ethnic groups that have traditionally been wary of the police, due largely to the fact that instances of police misconduct and brutality have involved a disproportionately large number of people from these groups.
Let's hope that the department's handling of this case is a remnant of former Police Chief Daryl Gates' administration and not representative of the way that the LAPD intends to conduct business in the future.
I would gladly offer to be thrown down on the ground by the police for $796,000. Heck, for that kind of money, I would even let them call me a bunch of nasty names. Do you know where I can volunteer?