To the editor: I think everyone agrees that stopping crime is essential. However, the elephant in the room is the absence of results from the Los Angeles Police Department Metropolitan Division’s disproportionately high rate of vehicle stops involving black motorists.
The statistics cited do not answer the question of whether or not the stops have been an effective tool in crime prevention. Civil rights activist Earl Ofari Hutchinson makes the essential point: “They’ve got to show an end result.”
If the police stops have been successful in finding weapons, seizing drugs or leading to arrests, then they are warranted. If these actions have yielded no results, then the stops are not warranted.
Neil Snow, Manhattan Beach
To the editor: With regard to the great disparity between the percentage of black drivers being pulled over and their overall population, I have one observation based on your reporting.
You quoted Precious McLaughlin, a resident of one of the areas with the most vehicle stops of black drivers by the Metro officers, and you make the point that in an area of Los Angeles where the population is 41% black, 81% of the stops have involved black drivers.
But within your article you make the observation that in this area where McLaughlin lives and works, a Crips gang claims the north side of West 48th Street, and to the south are the Bloods-affiliated Van Ness Gangsters. Can you tell us what percentage of these two gangs, who undoubtedly contribute much of the violence concentrated in that area, are black?
If the percentage is high, that to me would explain why there is such a statistically overwhelming percentage of black drivers being stopped in that area.
Mike Kilgore, Mar Vista