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April 12, 2011
Greetings Captain Peters:
I want to address what I am seeing in the Oakwood community and it disturbs me greatly.
On Thursday April 7,2011 it appeared we were under siege by the Special units C.R.A.S.H. and LAPD motorcycle officers.
What I observed while sitting in various locations was these officers stopping African Americans and Latino’s while driving or walking and then asking them “Are you on parole or probation?” Then they would ask them to get out of there cars and search them. I also observed them ticketing and towing vehicles from the streets( one young lady reported she was in the parking lot at Ralph’s with a handicap sticker in her window and received a ticket for $345.00 dollars).
Many of the people stopped asked the officers why they were being pulled over and the reasons giving were you look like a Venice Shoreline or V -13 (exactly what does that description consist of?). One of the stops was because one young man had his license plate upside down, the other was because he was parked to far away from the curb. The young men cooperated which I was glad of but your officers were often times stopping the same men if they decided to stop and have a conversation in and around the community. Many of them informed the police that they were not on gang injunction and why were they being harassed? No response was given but the repeated driving around Oakwood Recreation park by your officers and continuing to target those groups disturbed me greatly.
I never once saw these officers tell the dog owners to put there dogs on leash (there were many different groups running their dogs off leash while these repeated stops were being made on people of color) and I would like to know why? Having dogs off leash and running in the park is against the law is it not? Signs are posted everywhere in the park but never are they addressed.
What I don’t agree with is this if your officers see anyone it does not matter who or what nationality they are doing something that warrants a stop or warning then lets make it across the board. The law is the law and it should be made clear to the officers that come in the Oakwood neighborhood to uphold it for all the people not just the people of color.
This is nothing new to us in the Oakwood area to watch this injustice go on but it is time that you are made aware that we want equal justice across the board and we are watching and we will be reporting it to you and wanting to see justice for all.
By the way people of color still reside in the Oakwood area and we love to sit out and enjoy the lovely weather also. We don’t appreciate every time we pull off from Oakwood park we are followed and our license plates ran as if we are criminals. I do not see the people who are playing soccer or kick ball, or running there dogs off leash stopped or harassed when they leave the park. People of color must endure this each and every time we come to Oakwood and Thursday was quite ridiculous.
If it means we need a meeting to make our voices heard then we will do this. People of color in Oakwood have been quiet about what is going for to long, and it is time we stand up, this is our community and home too-we need LAPD to respect that.
It will be a pleasure to hear back from you regarding this matter