Letters to the Editor: Kenosha police responded to a domestic disturbance. They shot Jacob Blake
To the editor: The shooting by police of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., in response to a domestic violence call, offers prima facie evidence why cops are ill equipped to intervene and to handle this type of occurrence.
Instead of de-escalating the threat, police ended up firing at least seven shots at close range into Blake’s back as he leaned into his car, leaving him paralyzed, while his traumatized children sat inside looking on and screaming.
This is another example of why a social worker, family therapist or psychologist would be more effective in dealing with such a situation. This type of outcome gives reason to divert some police department funding to other professionals who are more qualified to handle these types of stressful situations.
Richard Z. Fond, Sherman Oaks
To the editor: In 1992, a Simi Valley jury all but disregarded video of Los Angeles Police Department officers bludgeoning Rodney King and acquitted them. In 2015, a South Carolina jury saw video of Officer Michael Slager shoot and kill a fleeing Walter Scott. The result: a mistrial. Later, Slager pleaded guilty in federal court.
Video evidence does not guarantee justice, but it’s unconscionable that the city of Kenosha has stonewalled on purchasing body cameras since 2017. Agencies that employ body cameras must draft policies that hold officers accountable. Officers who violate the policy once should be suspended. Officers who violate the policy twice should be fired and decertified.
Law professors Ben Grunwald and John Rappaport co-authored a 2020 report for the Yale Law Journal on “wandering officers.” Florida employed 1,100 full-time officers who’d been fired by other agencies. These recycled officers imperil citizens’ lives.
Marc D. Greenwood, Camp Hill, Ala.
To the editor: This shooting and others of a similar nature are largely due to the proliferation of firearms in America. When someone refuses a police order to stop and instead walks or runs away or attempts to enter an automobile, an officer should not have to bet his life that person is not reaching for a gun.
This is not a black or a white problem so much as it is a gun problem. We are determined to “protect” ourselves even if it kills us.
Don Tonty, Los Angeles
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