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Letters to the Editor: Valentina Orellana Peralta’s death was tragic. So was Daniel Elena-Lopez’s

Soledad Peralta, the mother of Valentina Orellana Peralta, holds a photograph of her daughter.
Soledad Peralta, the mother of Valentina Orellana Peralta, holds a photograph of her daughter at the 14-year-old’s funeral in Gardena on Jan. 10.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The death of Valentina Orellana Peralta is a tragedy by any definition. Now there are calls for justice and accountability, and rightfully so.

But here’s where I’ll say the unpopular part out loud: Justice includes accountability for the death of Daniel Elena-Lopez.

It’s easy to grandstand for the TV cameras when you’re talking about the death of a 14-year-old girl. It’s harder to say that a man, seen on video beating a defenseless woman, should still be alive too. But the truth is, the only way Valentina would still be alive is if the Los Angeles Police Department officer never pulled the trigger at the Burlington department store in North Hollywood on Dec. 23.

Too many people will shrug off the death of Elena-Lopez as “he got what he deserved.” But it’s thinking like that which allows police departments to resist making the necessary changes in their training and tactics.

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Robert Martin, Pomona


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