Letters to the Editor: The very real fear of cops -- Black cops too

Images of Tyre Nichols are seen at his funeral service as people gather.
Images of Tyre Nichols are seen at his funeral service in Memphis on Wednesday.
(Jeff Roberson / Associated Press)
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To the editor: I am a white woman with a Black son and three Black grandsons. I worried about my son growing up in L.A. in the 1970s when police abuse was a frequent headline in the news. (“What the Tyre Nichols Videos Don’t Show,” editorial, Jan. 30)

Now, I fear Black officers stopping my grandsons on their way home from school, after a baseball game or a school activity. I tell the boys to take Uber, a costly expense, instead of waiting for a bus. Don’t stand under a street light by yourself.

The fears are real. Don’t look for a Black police officer to be a friend and come to your rescue. They’ll use their power against you.


Donna Myrow, Palm Springs


To the editor: Caught up in the passion of the moment, the anti-law enforcement, race-obsessed Times editorial board is prepared to go to any lengths to tie race into virtually any issue or event.

The facts are elementary. Five Black cops who work for a department that is 58% Black brutally beat a Black man. Race has no bearing in this case. This is a case of five rogue cops who deserve to be prosecuted.

Furthermore, as in any profession there will always be a few bad apples, but The Times is fixated on demonizing law enforcement. Shameful.

Sam Chaidez, Mission Hills


To the editor: Nearly 60 years ago, actor Marlon Brando held up a cattle prod before thousands of protesters at the March on Washington. He was not promoting a new western movie, but issuing a serious reproach to law enforcement officials.


Segregationist sheriffs in Alabama and Georgia had pioneered the use of cattle prods (along with fire hoses and vicious dogs) on human beings who were protesting for civil rights.

Where is the reproach for the use of Tasers on human beings by law enforcement today? The Taser seems to be a high-tech version of the electric cattle prod. Many Americans were appalled by the “inhumane” use of cattle prods in the 1960s, and some are now reeling from the use of Tasers on Tyre Nichols in Memphis and Keenan Anderson in Los Angeles.

How and when was the use of this dangerous weapon vetted by the communities that law enforcement serves? What studies have confirmed the efficacy of Taser use in subduing suspects?

Amid all the talk about police reform, the use of Tasers by law enforcement must become a primary topic of discussion.

D. Keith Naylor, South Pasadena


To the editor: In America today, we live in a culture of violence. It’s not just the police. Look at our sports, entertainment and video games.


If you have the stomach for it, consider the reality of sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse and homicide among the general population. Don’t forget mass shootings.

We find violence gratifying, even fun. I don’t see us giving it up. It seems baked into our DNA. Maybe genetic engineering will be the solution.

Susan Calhoun, Lynwood