Letters to the Editor: LAPD killings bring international disgrace to Los Angeles

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LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 28: Soledad Peralta recounts the events of her daughter, Valentina Orellana-Peralta's, death during an emotional press conference on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Valentina's father Juan Pablo Orellana Larenas, right, recounted how he wanted to see a Lakers game with Valentina and never had a chance to give her a skateboard for Christmas. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
Soledad Peralta recounts the events surrounding her daughter Valentina Orellana-Peralta's death during a news conference near LAPD headquarters on Dec. 28. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Your article on President Biden discussing the killing of 14-year-old Valentina Orellana-Peralta with the Chilean president-elect comes shortly after a story in the Guardian of London on that and four other recent killings by the Los Angeles Police Department.

The LAPD practice of shooting to kill has now attracted international attention.

The same day's print California section had another article about a police killing in Riverside County. It is no surprise when there are calls for defunding police when killing of suspects is a frequently used enforcement tactic rather than arrest and trial in a court.

Henry Hespenheide, Hermosa Beach


To the editor: The surveillance and body-cam videos show Officer William Dorsey Jones Jr. and what looks like a platoon of LAPD officers heading upstairs to the second floor of the Burlington store, where Jones will shoot Daniel Elena-Lopez intentionally and Valentina Orellana-Peralta unintentionally.

You can hear one of the officers say that the suspect is near the "fitting rooms," but no one seems to notice. Two cops with nightsticks could have disarmed and cuffed a guy armed with a bicycle lock. One psychiatric social worker could have talked him into dropping the lock and surrendering himself.

Had either of these alternate scenarios transpired, Daniel Elena-Lopez would now be receiving the clinical help he clearly needed, while Valentina Orellana-Peralta would have attended the quinceanera and then continued to pursue her dream of becoming an engineer.

Once again we see LAPD officers only taking lives, not saving them.

Leigh Clark, Granada Hills

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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