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Guns and COPS HIT: Readers Respond

The Cops Hit

Patrick Range McDonald's April 12 cover story about a couple's near-fatal encounter with the Sheriff's Department squad known as "COPS HIT" drew the most mail this week ("Lucky to Be Alive").

JamesR123 was not a fan. "The author's bias against the Sheriff's Department is worn like a badge of honor with this poorly written and researched article, which gives two irresponsible druggies living in a shack the 'noble poor' treatment. Author McDonald repeatedly explains the deputies didn't have a warrant. Did they even need one?

"Significant portions of this article quote from people who were not at the scene. Eugene O'Donnell from John Jay College in New York says it's bad this particular Sheriff's team was called COPS HIT. Does O'Donnell, besides not liking the name, have any information this particular team was doing something unlawful?

"Tom Parker, the former head of the FBI office in Los Angeles, thinks the deputies were lying. Based on what? Parker also thinks the deputies shouldn't have shot the German shepherd that came at them. Better to have the dog bite them, I suppose?"

Scottzwartz disagrees. "You ask if the cops had the right to be on the property? The answer is no. There is no fact that allowed the cops to be on the property or to search any building, even a tool shed, without a warrant. The LAPD ended up a much better organization after 10 years operating under a consent decree. [T]he sheriff could use a similar term of reporting to his own 'parole officer' until he understands the department's role under the Constitution."

Acosta1313 is dismayed by the situation. "It appears that police forces don't even care about having to pay out in lawsuits; they'll just go crying to the taxpayers about budget shortfalls and demand tax increases. Until cops start getting fired or charged with some sort of crime when they make bad decisions such as these, the behavior will continue. Granted, with four kids and a meth habit, Mr. Mendez might end up blowing any money on drugs. It's a lose/lose situation for everybody but the lawyers in this case."

A Friend of Henry Rollins

Readers also responded to Henry Rollins' April 12 column, "Joe Cole and American Gun Violence." Claudio von Fresin writes, "Kudos to Rollins' article about this country's fascination with guns, which you can see on about every other movie poster of some actor holding one or pointing it into your face! Henry hit it right on the head."

Tjsproblemsolvers agrees. "A salient perspective from one of my favorite, common-sense philosophers. Thanks, HR."

But Anthony Yniguez offers a contrary view: "I am sorry that your friend died. And I am sorry that your friend's death was at the hands of another human being. But people do die. Everywhere. ... You do not honor your friend by turning his death into an 'issue' about America. You honor him by remembering who he is and working to bring love and peace into our here and now."

You Write, We Read

Please send letters to L.A. Weekly, 3861 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA 90230. Or write us at ReadersWrite@laweekly.com. Full name and contact info preferred.

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