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Friday's Letters to the Editor

What might have been

EDITOR: Imagine that time travel was possible, and we traveled to a time in Santa Rosa's past when people were afraid of law enforcement because the color of their skin signaled criminality. Imagine people feeling that law enforcement acted in a predatory manner and feeling marginalized because of where they lived.

Imagine that you were there when people gave testimony to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, hearing details about personal tragedies that resulted in 11 officer-involved deaths that were deemed justifiable homicide because protocols were adhered to.

Imagine that the commission didn't assign blame but had criticisms about protocols that allowed deadly force as a primary tactic to de-escalate situations. Imagine that the district attorney, sheriff and Santa Rosa police chief didn't aggressively fight the commission's recommendations.

Imagine that after the commission's report, a Civilian Review Board was created, and enhanced protocols were enacted. Imagine that 13 years later a 13-year-old boy walking in an empty field would come across a couple of deputies, the deputies would recognize this boy as Andy, they would wave, and he would smile, telling them he was returning the toy gun to a friend.

Imagine Andy walking away.

Imagine what we would be talking about today.

JOSE CASTANEDA

Windsor

Easy duty

EDITOR: Talk about greed. There was an article in the Nov. 11 paper about World War II-era merchant marines seeking veterans benefits (“Mariners seek recognition,” Nov. 11). These guys enjoyed great pay, all the food they wanted at all times and didn't have long hours on watch. I went to Hawaii on a tramp steamer to meet my new ship, which was being repaired there. That was the best five days I had in the Navy. They made their money then, not now. I say, “No compensation.” Give them recognition.

GEORGE ARTHUR

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