Today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:
I sympathize with the extreme stress officers in the Los Angeles Police Department are under right now with one of their former colleagues allegedly on a murderous rampage. But I do not see how this assault on two innocent women in a truck that doesn't really fit the description of the wanted vehicle can be explained away.
Police are supposed to protect us from harm, and stress is part of the job. The barrage of bullets fired at a car containing two women, not a large man, is ample evidence that the police were seriously out of control. If this incident hadn't taken place at 5 a.m., there would probably have been more victims.
I sincerely hope that Christopher Jordan Dorner is found quickly and that there are no more injuries or deaths. We need to be able to trust our police, and this kind of incident doesn't foster trust.
"Trigger happy" was my immediate response. But on further consideration, my thought is that perhaps it is the LAPD that should be subjected to gun control.
Chief Charlie Beck's description of the officers' "incredible stress" as easily leading to a "not difficult to imagine" mistake in almost assassinating two newspaper delivery women is in fact totally unimaginable to this member of the civilian population.
I'm sorry, but this was not a tragic misinterpretation. It was a lack of planning, leadership, training, observation and, above all, a total absence of respect for constitutional rights and due process.
Unfortunately, that tends to be an expectation for our police in this day and age.
Of course Dorner needs to be caught, but when L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants to end this "reign of terror" and the city offers a $1 million reward for information leading to Dorner's capture, a huge double standard is revealed.
What about the reign of terror taking place in parts of the city where gangs have power and innocent lives are frequently lost? It is deeply saddening that only when one of their own is threatened do we see this level of mobilization by the police.
Of course this rampage must be stopped, but so too should the rampant gun violence threatening the rest of us. We're all in this together.