To the editor: I'm at a complete loss as to what, if anything, the Memphis cops who mercilessly beat Tyre Nichols to death learned from the Minneapolis cops who murdered George Floyd, the Louisville cops who killed Breonna Taylor, the Chicago cops who shot Michael Elam, or the L.A. cops who tasered Keenan Anderson to death.
Society must finally recognize that too many police officers constitute a law enforcement subculture, where those who hide behind badges and guns inflict brutality with impunity. Only then might lasting reform and accountability take root.
Just how much more of this barbarity in blue must we put up with?
Tom Stapleton, Glendale
To the editor: This murder in Memphis illustrates what many people have been saying for a long time now. Yes, racist cops do exist, but there is a fundamental problem with policing.
What is the character of people hired as officers? Why are so many cops unable to show respect? Why do they think themselves better than the people they interact with? Why can't they empathize with the human being being placed under arrest?
And where is their self-control? Why can't they control their anger, their misogyny or their racism? What kind of people are they?
Cheryl Younger, Los Angeles
To the editor: Am I missing something here regarding the Memphis paramedics who responded to Nichols' beating?
I certainly agree with the decision to fire then arrest the officers, but what about the nonchalance shown by those summoned to treat Nichols? It seems the only immediate action paramedics took was to re-prop Nichols against a car.
I believe these "first responders" should also be prosecuted for their inaction.
Would immediate care have saved Nichols' life? We'll never know.
Joanne Berg, La Cañada Flintridge
To the editor: Many heinous police beatings begin with a traffic stop, so let's take our police off the traffic beat and create a team of friendly, unarmed traffic enforcers on motorcycles clad in yellow vests and armed only with cameras.
Taking our armed police off the traffic beat would save money and allow them to focus on serious crimes while avoiding violent confrontations with innocent motorists. Drivers would be more inclined to cooperate with unarmed traffic enforcers, and if they did evade these enforcers, they'd be recorded and police could be dispatched.
We did this with parking enforcement decades ago; now it's time to do the same with traffic enforcement.
Rob Jacobs, Los Angeles
To the editor: I watched the sickening video of thugs in police uniforms mercilessly beating Nichols for no reason other than they believed they had the right to do so.
Enough with the empty promises to reform police procedures and tactics. The only thing that will put a serious damper on the abusive conduct of police is to charge, convict and imprison officers every time they engage in such criminal conduct.
M. L. Goodman, Long Beach
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.