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Law Enforcement

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To the editors:

Florence Levinsohn's article on the David Arana case [March 22] clearly shows the double standards that apply to "law enforcement" in this city, and the extent to which the Chicago Police Department abuses its power. When Police Officer Johnny Martin was killed, the whole law enforcement system was mobilized to prosecute and convict the man who killed him. But when, two years earlier, that same Officer Martin killed David Arana, who was unarmed and had committed no crime, the system was mobilized just as powerfully to protect Martin from prosecution.

We in David's family know that stories like his are quite familiar in the Latino community; they rarely lead to justice, and they almost never reach the English-language media. The resources necessary for a lawsuit are simply out of reach, the obstacles, too great. If the family is not fluent in English, they will not have access either to the legal system or to the media. A lawsuit costs a phenomenal amount of money. Without publicity, it is almost impossible to raise the needed funds.

David's was a strong case from the beginning, and Ted Stein has made it a solid lawsuit, which we feel certain we will win. With the Reader article, the case has also broken through the media's indifference. But to successfully carry on the suit, we need money. While many friends have already contributed generously, we still need $10-15,000 before the case can come to trial. We are asking for the support of the Reader audience. We will gratefully appreciate gifts, but will accept loans, to be repaid from the settlement of the suit.

Evanston Meeting of Friends, 1010 Greenleaf St., Evanston, IL 60202, is accepting tax-deductible contributions on behalf of the family. Please make checks payable to Evanston Meeting of Friends, with a note on the check, "for the David Arana Fund."

Ramiro Chacon

Lisa Bassett

David's brother and sister-in-law

N. Mozart

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