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Letters: These cops should have held their fire

Letters: These cops should have held their fire
Investigators are seen last February working around a pickup truck riddled with bullets after a police protection team fired on it. This week, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck announced his decision that the officers who fired more than 100 rounds in that shooting violated department policy. (Los Angeles Times)

Re "A manhunt, and bad judgment," Editorial, Feb. 6

I'm a retired cop — a former lieutenant with the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, actually. As such, when it comes to officer-involved shootings, I'm naturally biased in favor of the officers. I steadfastly try not to second-guess them.

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Startlingly, I find myself in complete agreement with your editorial supporting the decision by Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck that the officers who fired at a truck carrying two women last February violated department policy.

Of course those cops were jumpy and nervous. But "jumpy and nervous" is precisely what police training is designed to overcome. They put themselves in a crossfire and blasted more than 100 rounds. Unthinkable.

An attorney would probably call it negative hiring, negative retention and failure to train. I call it stupidity. I was involved in four such incidents; having been shot myself, I know whereof I speak.

Steve Switzer

San Pedro

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