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LAURIE JACOBS, San Clemente
From reading the piece in SC Times and watching online videos, it is unclear whether Mr. Reinhold reached for the officer’s gun, but I am sure that will be fully investigated in the course of the wrongful death suit filed by the family.
However, it does appear that the OCSD officers did goad Mr. Reinhold into committing the jaywalking offense, which led to the confrontation, scuffle and ultimate shooting death of the subject.
My question is why the officers felt they needed to harass a potential jaywalker. Did they not have any more dangerous activity they might wish to prevent?
As a 70-something-year-old San Clemente resident, my only real-life entertainment for the past year has been my evening drive down Avenida Del Mar to look with envy at the crowds of people shoulder-to-shoulder inside and outside our local bars and restaurants.
While I enjoy observing their carefree activities, I am very careful to keep my eyes mostly on the road, as there seem to be no more crosswalks or jaywalking on my favorite street. People, sometimes with children, cross pretty much wherever they want to, often without a glance toward oncoming traffic.
One time, I was startled when a skateboarder passed me on the left at a high rate of speed and continued to ride the center line downhill toward the pier. I have gotten used to keeping an eye out for bike riders passing simultaneously on my left and right, not to mention coming straight toward me during my daily trip.
What do these jaywalkers and other daredevils have in common? They mostly appear to be White.
Am I asking OCSD to crack down on these traffic law breakers? No, I am not. I drive slowly enough to avoid an accident, plus I enjoy the adventure of driving downtown during these restrictive (for older folks) times.
Neither do I want the officers to harass, confront and shoot a reportedly homeless, mentally unstable Black man.
If these “homeless outreach” officers cannot help the homeless, maybe they should just leave them alone.