Letters to the Editor: Don't fault Atlanta police for trying to enforce drunk driving laws
This screenshot from a body camera video provided by the Atlanta Police Department shows Rayshard Brooks speaking to Officer Garrett Rolfe on June 12 in the parking lot of a Wendy's restaurant.
To the editor: It is completely ridiculous to suggest that Atlanta police officers sleep in Rayshard Brooks or call his family to drive him home after failing a sobriety test in a parking lot. They overlook the fact that he is said to have driven drunk at all and could have killed people. ("The Atlanta police killed a black man because he was drunk with Wendy," editorial, June 16)
In the U.S., approximately 10,000 people are killed by drunk drivers every year. The breed should have no role in determining the consequences of these actions.
The police did the right thing by trying to arrest him, and the footage shows that to this point, they have been completely professional and calm. The fear of being arrested is necessary to prevent people from drinking too much before driving.
What happened after Brooks resisted the arrest led to a sad outcome, but it could easily have been avoided if Brooks had followed the officials.
Mark Korman, Eagle Rock
To the editor: If Brooks had been white, driven a BMW, and wore a $ 5,000 suit, he would still be alive today.
The police would have been concerned about his health and asked if he was well. Did he have heart disease? Was he diabetic? They would have treated him with respect and talked to him nicely.
After the alcohol test, they decided that he would not be arrested, but could call someone to pick him up and drive him home. They would have quoted him and warned him that if he were ever caught drinking and driving again, he would be arrested.
But instead he is dead. This is the essence of racism.
Sylvia Hampton, San Diego
To the editor: The Los Angeles Times editorial wrote, "The authorities say he resisted, took an officer's taser and started running, and one of the officers shot him in the back." (The focus is on me.)
Short message: We saw how he resisted on video and we saw how he ran the taser. They also omit the fact that Brooks fired the taser at the officers who are chasing him.
Joseph Wambaugh, San Diego
To the editor: In your editorial, a response from Brooks is omitted when questioned by the officials. He said he could lock his car and go to his sister's house. Obviously, that was an unacceptable alternative to his arrest.
While the public response has been to disappoint the police, as Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms emphasized, this is a slogan and slogans don't work. What is needed is to change the culture of the police, demilitarize their weapons, and commit to better and longer training to protect human life and serve the community, including the colored people.
Until there are significant changes in law enforcement and the correction system, the lives of blacks are endangered and the color communities are underserved. This is not fair for everyone.
Lenore Navarro Dowling, Los Angeles
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