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We Need Facts 

Editor:

Tony Platt's story, "Homicide by Police" (May 14) states that Freddie Gray in Baltimore was beaten to death. Nowhere have I heard this was a beating death. I am sure something happened there, what is needed is reporters to "report" the facts. If Mr. Platt knows this was a beating death, he needs to state the source of his knowledge.

Is it Mr. Platt's opinion that Mr. Estrada was tried in the court of public opinion? If he was so tried, it is due to the media's coverage of the incident, not the law enforcement agencies. The injured officer was airlifted out of the area for medical help, he had to have been grievously injured. I doubt the officer was so badly injured after he had shot Mr. Estrada.

Mr. Platt states that "despite the lack of official statistics, the victims of police homicide are usually young, male and disproportinately African American, Latino and Native American." There are statistics Mr. Platt.

The word homicide is synonymous with the word murder. Is the reason for this article to pain the situation as murder? A better word to use until the investigation is complete is "shooting" or "killing," unless Mr. Platt knows something no one else knows.

The shooting involved a CHP officer, not a sheriff. The CHP should not investigate the situation. The sheriff's officers may have been the first to get to the scene after the fact and then became responsible to gather and protect any evidence.

I agree with Mr. Platt that the investigation needs to be competed and presented in a transparent, fair way. The Estrada family and the CHP deserve this. The investigation should not take almost a year to complete.

Deldean Lamb, Eureka

Editor's Note: Merriam-Webster defines homicide as "a killing of one human being by another." California law breaks homicides into three categories: murder, manslaughter and justifiable homicide.

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