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Opinion

The LAPD spied on a left-wing organization? What year is this?

Trump supporters and opponents yell
Trump supporters march as anti-Trump protesters yell from the sidewalk in downtown Los Angeles in 2017.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Forty five years ago, in the “bad old days” of 1974, my parents, Seymour and Vivien Myerson, were spied upon and harassed by the political espionage operation of the Los Angeles Police Department. This went on for several years and my parents sued the city of Los Angeles and the LAPD. (“LAPD informant infiltrated left-wing activists during Trump protests, records show,” July 19)

The department had never been successfully challenged in court for political spying and harassing, but as the L.A. Times reported under a front-page banner headline on April 15, 1982, my mother and father prevailed. Their suit was soon followed by a class action against the city and LAPD, which also was successful.

One would have to be painfully naive to believe that in the succeeding decades, no illegitimate police activity took place. Recent news that the cops have stepped up their oppressive tactics against “left-wing” organizations protesting President Trump indicates that the bad old days are back with a vengeance.

The throwaway line in the article, “The LAPD did not conduct similar operations involving right-wing groups,” should tell us that our police department shows its political bias and muscle against true patriots who act in defense of our Constitution. The LAPD should be serving and protecting it and us, not serving and protecting those who would push us into the abyss of fascism.

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Alan Myerson, Culver City

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To the editor: As the Los Angeles district superintendent of the United Methodist Church, I am appalled and concerned over the violation of religious freedom that was demonstrated by the LAPD toward the Echo Park United Methodist Church.

Infiltrating a community-based organization that meets in a church only serves to undermine the trust in law enforcement that the LAPD has tried very hard to build.

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As a Japanese American, I hear echoes of the infiltration of Japanese community organizations by the FBI in the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attack in December 1941. Those actions led to the incarceration of about 120,000 Japanese Americans from the West Coast during most of World War II.

The Rev. Mark M. Nakagawa, Gardena


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