Letters to the Editor: Police killed Daunte Wright, then pleaded for calm. Who needs to calm down?
To the editor: The phlegmatic response by the then-Brooklyn Center, Minn., police chief asking for due process and patience after an officer shot and killed Daunte Wright was nonsense.
I can see how one could make a serious mistake in a high-stress, adrenalin-surging event. Mistakes can happen to anyone.
But a police officer is not anyone. The one who shot Wright had been on the job 26 years, and she failed the major objective of her profession, which is to protect and to serve. She should have been fired immediately rather than just placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
This is not a legal matter. This is about incompetence and failure under pressure, costing a life. Removal should have been immediate.
The legal process is another matter.
Vicki Stern, Thousand Oaks
To the editor: As I look at the videos from police body cameras, I am struck by the extreme agitation on the part of the officers. Maybe their training could be rethought and better informed.
They could learn how be calm and calculate their actions after assessing the situation without passion, prejudice or fear.
Cheryl Younger, Los Angeles
To the editor: In 1972, my husband and I adopted a Black baby boy. We already had one white biological daughter and a Korean baby girl. We lived in leafy Pacific Palisades, a community with few people of color and where a multiracial family was an oddity.
My son had a privileged childhood. One night when he was 17, he drove to South Los Angeles to visit a friend. At about 1 a.m., our phone rang. Our son was calling from a payphone in a neighborhood with a reputation for gang violence.
“Dad, I’m lost,” he told his father. I tried to suppress my fears, but all I could envision was a young Black man wearing a baseball cap and driving a blue car. That was enough to raise the suspicions of a passing patrol car to pull him over; he could be shot, I feared.
We gave him directions, after which we urged him to immediately get back into his car and drive slowly.
That incident was 32 years ago, and I was more frightened of the police shooting my son than of him being caught up in gang violence. Nothing has changed.
I have three Black grandsons; two are in high school, and one will soon graduate college. I call them every night to make sure they arrive home safely after school or baseball practice. My fears will never subside until we recognize the bias police have and the power they exert over Black men.
Donna C. Myrow, Palm Springs
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