Readers React: D.A. Lacey’s decision not to prosecute the officer who shot Brendon Glenn is troubling, says a former police commissioner
To the editor: I find it disheartening that Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey seems utterly unwilling to prosecute police officers for using excessive force. (“If D.A. Jackie Lacey won’t charge the LAPD officer who shot Brendon Glenn, some ask: When would she prosecute?” March 18)
While serving as a police commissioner, I reviewed more than 1,000 use-of-force cases. It was only in this particular case that the Los Angeles Police Department chief recommended that the officer be criminally prosecuted. Chief Charlie Beck made that recommendation because the evidence of excessive use of force in that case was overwhelming, including video recordings and testimony of the partner officer.
If Lacey cannot conclude that prosecution is appropriate even in a case where the police chief himself believes otherwise, it is hard to imagine any case in which she would choose to prosecute. Of course the D.A. should make an independent judgment, but for her decision to be fair, she should thoroughly consider all of the evidence, including the judgment of the chief of police, whose knowledge is based on his review of thousands of use-of-force cases.
Lacey’s conclusions undermine the public’s trust that the system will fairly evaluate the conduct of police officers when they use deadly force.
Robert M. Saltzman, West Hollywood
The writer served on the Los Angeles Police Commission from 2007-16.
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