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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 17, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Man injured in chase

No justification for inappropriate force

The Seattle Times report of a sheriff’s deputy injuring Chris Harris [“Man injured during pursuit in case of mistaken identity,” page one, May 12] is very frightening and distressing.

A deputy can easily be misled by a false accusation by a witness, but there is no justification for the use of a body-slamming technique against a suspect who has stopped running and raised his hands. The law-enforcement community appears to be deficient in teaching officer candidates that they must always keep their emotions and adrenaline under control at all times. This deficiency is not acceptable.

Those of us who have been wrongly accused — my mistake was being cited for going 10 mph over the speed limit and 10 mph faster than I was actually going) — tend to generalize from one unfortunate experience. One bad apple spoils the whole barrel.

Is law enforcement keenly aware of how police reputations suffer with these incidents involving the use of police power and force inappropriate to the circumstances?

— Bob Anderson, East Wenatchee

Comments | More in crime/justice

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