Dear Editor: In the vain “you forgot to ask me” vein, I'd like to respond to Jordan Smith's last two articles on APD. In her recent Taser story, besides the health risks and lack of studies on target populations, there's a big piece missing here [“Tasers Helped Reduce Use of Force, APD Report Says,” News, July 29]. APD should not be proud that use of force is down on the lower end of the force continuum (soft and hard hand controls, pepper spray, etc.) and up at the highest end of the spectrum. This past April they changed policy to reflect that Tasers should be used before a gun, after all other options have been exhausted or are deemed not applicable if a suspect is using deadly force against them. They are violating their own policies by continuing to increase their rate of use. The Rocha “new drug test” [“Rocha Case: New Drug Evidence Raises Questions About County Lab,” News, July 22] story continues to shed light on either a corrupt or an incompetent (or both) police force, but there's a key piece of the story missing:the numbers! Tetrahydrocannabinol was measured at 0.0048 ml/l and the 9-Carboxy-THC level at 0.020 ml/l. Dude! That's like the contact high off a joint smoked next to you six weeks ago! Was the first test “false” or was the second round ordered to expand the range for any use? Does this “new news” insinuate justification of force? Well sorry, APD, we ain't buying. According to witnesses and inferring from the amended coroner's report, which cites cuts and scratches on his face and upper chest, he was flat on the ground when they shot the unarmed teenager in the back (not leaning over Officer Doyle – the wild card in the story; where was his Taser?). Alotting 75% of the city budget for this kind of “public safety”? This is truly sad, y'all.
Rest in peace Daniel, we're with you, Debbie Russell