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Letters to the Editor: Police brutality and racism demand a Truth and Reconciliation Commission

A Los Angeles police officer yells at a protester last month in the Fairfax district.
A Los Angeles police officer yells at a protester in the Fairfax district last month.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Recent articles in the L.A. Times on police brutality show just how widespread and deeply ingrained the problem is.

As a retired union organizer reading these stories, I am reminded of one of the first things I learned as a new trainee: You don’t organize around issues, you organize around a problem. Given the deep feelings on police and race, we will have to organize around racial disparity in city councils, civil service boards, police commissions and corporate boards.

We can raise the racial records of politicians as they stand for election. We can analyze police functions and determine more sophisticated ways to render public safety.

Perhaps we need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission similar to that used in South Africa to address apartheid.

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William Lloyd Roberts, Redlands

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To the editor: As a former police officer with relatives who are currently police officers, I cannot believe the willingness of public officials in Los Angeles to ignore the “rule of law” when it comes to prosecuting people who defied curfew or unlawful assembly orders.

None of this makes any sense in light of the fact that dozens of businesses were charged with violating the unconstitutional stay-home order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Where is the outcry from all these voices over those prosecutions?

We have spent the last few months staying home to avoid transmitting COVID-19, so mass protests on any issue should not be allowed. Otherwise, the last few months have been a hypocritical joke.

Richard Hamilton, Oceanside

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To the editor: I am appalled at the behavior of our Los Angeles police, which shows an attitude of spite and contempt toward peaceful protesters. This was more important than stopping people who were looting or starting fires?

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The attitude of our police must change.

Catherine Cory, Los Angeles

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To the editor: The foolish but ingrained police tactic of blocking the progress of protesters must stop.

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Instead, police should escort protesters through the city after determining their intended destination. A mobile force ahead and behind the march and police deployed on sidewalks alongside the march or at intersections can deal with any would-be looters.

I’d rather see two squad cars leading a march than 200 police trying to block it.

F.K. Baldwin, Los Angeles


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