Letters to the Editor

Shooting of Stephon Clark is less about race than cops with a ‘war zone mentality’

Traffic came to a standstill at the intersection of 5th and I streets as protests over the police shooting of Stephon Clark continued on Wednesday afternoon.
Traffic came to a standstill at the intersection of 5th and I streets as protests over the police shooting of Stephon Clark continued on Wednesday afternoon.

Getting angry

Protesters close I Street downtown after open-casket viewing of Stephon Clark’s body” (sacbee.com, March 28): Anger is appropriate when law enforcement turns against the citizens. Anger is appropriate when a person dies without reason, in an unjust, cold and brutal manner. What is not reasonable is to say this has anything to do with race. This is not about race. It is about the militarization of our police force and laws that protect untrained, fearful men acting in a military war zone mentality.

The laws that encourage our police to kill our citizens must be changed. Policymakers who have made it legal to kill any citizen law enforcement chooses to kill must be held accountable. We must re-train our police to protect the citizens, not kill them.

Teresa Cruz,


Mob mentality

Becoming violent to protest violence? How hypocritical, sad and ironic that as Easter approaches, again an unruly mob victimized innocent people like the one that sentenced a blameless man to death 2,000 years ago. One mob smashed the rear window of a woman’s car as she was trying to drive away and threatened another woman while dousing her with drinks. These actions actually negate what could be a positive influence on reform. Look at what Dr. King’s nonviolent protests accomplished. Those who want change should learn from his teachings.

Georgia Ramm, Lincoln

Be afraid for them

I am a mother, a partner and a social worker who believes in social justice. My partner is a brown man, but I fear for him ever having contact with police. I also fear for my clients, some of whom are children who struggle with cognitive deficits. My fears are justified when I read about Stephon Clark being killed by police. Anger is a typical stage of grief; in this case it is justified. Acceptance is a last stage of grief, but in this case of social injustice it cannot and will never be justified.

Gloria Berard, San Jose

Duty, not race

Protesters called him ‘Uncle Tom.’ He took the abuse because that’s how the CHP – and his dad – trained him” (Marcos Breton, March 27): Kudos to the black CHP officer who kept his cool. This officer demonstrated his professionalism and that he is a person first and not defined by his race, and he’s not a racial segregationist as is the protester. It takes people like the officer to counter the racist, divisive rhetoric and actions of radicals. The history of this country shows that assimilation brings acceptance and that any minority that isolates itself from the main will forever chain themselves down in a state of self-imposed slavery.

Bill Jurkovich,

Citrus Heights

There’s ‘suffering’

Mad about Stephon Clark protesters shutting down the Kings and I-5? Check your privilege” (Erika D. Smith, March 23): So shutting down I-5 is not suffering? But what if there was a person, maybe an African American man, who was stuck in traffic due to this protest, and was suffering from chest pains and trying to get to a hospital and then had a heart attack and died? What if one of the commuters was a mother desperately trying to get home because her 13-year-old had overdosed on drugs?

The left never thinks about the unintended consequences of their actions, which is why their policies cost so much and yield minimal results. No one is for misguided police shootings. These incidents, which are thankfully very rare, take time to determine the truth. Think people! Raw emotion is never wise.

Charles Hummer,

El Dorado Hills

Cops are people

Why will Stephon Clark’s death change nothing? It’s written into California law” (Editorials, March 23): Here is some information about police officers: They are sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, friends, neighbors, volunteers and members of our communities. These officers have family members who suffer from mental and physical challenges, just like the citizens they protect and serve. They have mortgages, car payments, child-care expenses and shop for good deals at the supermarket, just like everyone else. For those who are critical, apply for the job if you think you can do better.

Vickie Linnet,


Wise leaders

Kings announce partnership with Black Lives Matter after protests shut down arena” (sacbee.com, March 29): I am so proud of how many Sacramento leaders, most notably Mayor Darrell Steinberg and the Sacramento Kings, are “leaning in” to the pain caused by the shooting death of Stephon Clark. It takes a lot more strength to listen and validate their pain rather than to respond defensively. We need more leaders like this in our country and our world.

Stephanie Parmely,

Rancho Cordova

Bail reform

California bail reform bill may be trendy, but it would hurt victims’ rights” (sacbee.com, March 28): On victim safety in the pretrial process, I share Mr. Klaas’ concerns, which is why Senate Bill 10 adheres more closely to Marsy’s Law than current law. Today, people charged with violent felonies or domestic violence offenses can be released from custody before seeing a judge – often within hours of arrest – so long as they pay the amount on the bail schedule. Under SB 10, a person charged with these offenses must see a judge before being released.

SB 10 gives victims a greater voice in the pretrial process by requiring that they be notified before a person charged with a serious crime can be considered for release. Under SB 10, judges – not algorithms – determine who is held before trial, and under what conditions a person is released. The bill provides judges with additional tools, including risk assessments when making pretrial decisions. However, they do not and should not replace judicial decision-making.

Sen. Bob Hertzberg,

D-Van Nuys

Our fake Census

“Trump’s census ploy is his latest attack on immigrants. It will cost all Californians dearly” (Editorials, March 27): Democrats fear losing part of their voting bloc. The corruption never ends in this state. You’re asked on a home loan application what nationality you are and if you are a citizen. Other states’ tax dollars from the feds go to California based on inflated population numbers due to illegals. This is why the census should include the question of citizenship.

Paul Reid, Folsom

Immigrants lose

In addition to important federal funding concerns outlined by the editorial board, there is a genuine concern that a census question about immigration status could be used to target undocumented immigrants. Although current Commerce Secretary Ross is tone deaf in regards to census data being used improperly, former Commerce Secretary Mineta once lobbied against a bill to share data with the Congressional Budget Office. In 2000, the Census Bureau apologized for sharing data with the U.S. military to aid them in targeting Japanese-Americans for internment camps. In his opposition to sharing census data with another government agency, Mineta cited his own experience in an Japanese internment camp and concerns about eroding the “relationship of trust” the bureau had developed since that horrible mistake. With a president more concerned about loyalty than checks and balances, Trump’s anti-immigrant administration would almost certainly use census data for improper purposes once again.

Gerald Clift, Woodland

Helping renters

Adding one short sentence to state law could save 50,000 from homelessness – really” (sacbee.com, March 22): Changing real estate laws for the benefit of renters will do nothing to alleviate homelessness. Quite the contrary, it will encourage landlords to sell their properties so even less housing will be available for rent. Maybe our officials could look at why homes are no longer affordable. We purchased our home 30 years ago for $100,000 and it recently sold for $495,000. One-hundred percent financing would equate to a house payment of about $2,500 compared to our $1,000 monthly payment 30 years ago (thanks to much lower interest rates). The real burden are the monthly property taxes of about $500 compared to $100 when we purchased the home. The homeowners exemption has not kept up with inflation. The tax burden is simply not affordable for many and prevents them from owning a home. Landlords have to recoup the property tax bill with the rent they charge tenants.

Ulrike Lapkass, Auburn

Greater Generation

“‘Enough is enough’ many Sacramento marchers proclaim during anti-gun rally” (sacbee.com, March 24): For the last year or so, I have been feeling nothing but despair over the direction of our country. On Saturday, I witnessed something that gave me hope for our future. These kids and their supporters are amazing, and they’ll soon be voting. Our country will be in good hands again. At 93, I’m a member of the so-called “Greatest Generation.” I believe we’re about to be replaced by a greater one.

Darrell Smith, Grass Valley