Letters to the Editor: Does Sheriff Villanueva actually think his deputies getting into fights is OK?

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva speaks during a news conference.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva speaks during a news conference on Sept. 22.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: It is astonishingly tone-deaf for Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva to defend his department against accusations of gang activity by stating the following to columnist Gustavo Arellano:

“Most of it involved when the group got together. And they mix with people who are not part of the group, alcohol-fueled, and somebody said this-that, or somebody looked the wrong way at somebody’s girlfriend. Fight breaks out — but nothing really different than any other social group that you can think of.”

Is he really too dense to realize that, gang-related or not, what he described is violent criminal activity?


In actual fact, most law-abiding adults are able to gather with their “social groups” without ever beating anyone to within an inch of their life or pulling a gun because someone looked at someone’s girlfriend. Whether or not these deputies are gang members is irrelevant. The actions described by Villanueva constitute those of violent thugs who are clearly unqualified to serve the public as emissaries of law and order.

The fact that Villanueva thinks that his explanation somehow excuses these deputies’ actions clearly shows his unfitness for office.

Michael Weintraub, Santa Monica


To the editor: Arellano’s article has increased my admiration of the sheriff, a straight talker who concentrates on the bad guys.

Politicians would do well to leave him alone and let him do his job without complaining that he isn’t nice enough or his deputies are too tough. Remember, he was instrumental in the Venice Beach cleanup.

I think if you did an honest poll with really pertinent questions without regard for politics, you might find that the majority of voters agreed with him. He’s got my support in the next election.


George Gawlik, Van Nuys


To the editor: As a Black woman living in Los Angeles, I have followed Arellano’s writing for many years in various publications and find him to be a treasure. He deeply loves this country, loves this state and loves his people.

And he isn’t afraid to tell the truth, good and bad, about all of them. We should all be so brave. The fact that he does it with humor brings it that much closer to home.

More Gustavo, please.

Sherri Woods, Los Angeles