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Letter to the Editor: LOOK CAREFULLY AT HIRING, EDUCATION OF POLICE

Editor, Times-Advocate:

My encounters with Escondido police have always been very positive, but what is happening across the country requires that we take a careful look at the hiring, education and training of all police officers.  When we entrust a person with a gun and the authority to use it, we must make sure that the officers with that authority are highly educated in all areas of human behavior.  I encourage the Escondido Police Department to embark on an in-depth evaluation process to identify possible potential issues and problems with current police personnel. 

It is typical of a white conservative to bury his head in the sand and refuse to acknowledge that racism and bigotry exist – even in lovely Escondido.

Of course Escondido City Councilman Mike Morasco would not have experienced either because a white male in a position of authority would never get one glimpse of what it is to be the victim of intolerant behavior.  The Escondido Police Department might very well be all things wonderful, but to deny that there are people who treat people of color in a hostile manner simply because they look different is the epitome of stupidity and ignorance, or worse, dishonesty.  

If Mr. Morasco wants facts, I suggest he take time to get the facts and ask any number of brown people how they experienced bigotry.  And no matter how good the individual policemen are in Escondido, the department as an institution mirrors the biases and prejudices of the citizens of Escondido.  If there is even one police officer who treats people of color differently than whites, Escondido has the obligation and duty to re-examine its criteria for hiring and training of its officers.  After all, what would Mr. Morasco have us do?  Wait until one of its cops severely injures or kills someone of color?  

Morasco’s criticisms are so far off and inappropriate against his colleague, Ms. Diaz, especially because he knows about the special and close relationship she has with a former police officer.  Maybe, like most politicians today, he is marking his territory and making sure that all the bigots who live under a rock in his district will know that he is loyal to the white folks in town who are resentful of losing their privilege to a bunch of “Mexicans.” My words are harsh because preventing a tragedy in Escondido requires the harshness of reality. Mr. Morasco might want to reconsider the reason that Ms. Diaz makes these statements. Is it possible that being a woman of color she might have experienced the nasty, and pervasive racism that exists?

TANIA L. BOWMAN, Escondido

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