PAINTING A DIFFERENT PICTURE Thank you for defending my father, Emigdio Vasquez [Gustavo Arellano’s “A Brush With the Law,” April 10]. When he told me about the police trying to remove the mural he painted because of gang activity, I thought these guys must be new to their job in Orange because they just don’t get it. This mural was painted years before the hardcore gangs evolved. I am in this mural: The girl in the center is me when I was around 17. I am now an R&D engineer technician and a Ronald Reagan Republican. I would like the Orange Police Department to know my father is a very humble and compassionate man who has raised six good, successful children. My father and I would both be crushed if they took down this mural. It’s one of his oldest standing. Its removal will not get rid of the gang problem, if there really is one.
Rosemary Vasquez-Tuthill, via e-mail
I am the co-author with Robin J. Dunitz of Painting the Towns: Murals of California, published in full color in 1997. The book examines the outstanding mural culture in the state of California starting at its northernmost border and traveling to the southernmost border. As a mural documenter for 40 years, I have had the pleasure of becoming immersed in this art form, traveling throughout the United States and the world, lecturing and documenting the “Museum Without Walls.”
In our book, Robin and I were so impressed with the work of Emigdio Vasquez that we devoted six full pages to his outstanding murals in Fullerton and Anaheim. These murals are rich in content, remarkable in their portrayal of Chicano/a and Mexicano life in the United States and done by a master painter of remarkable talent. Instead of valuing their public art, the detractors seem to want to denigrate its content through a frivolous charge that this art somehow promotes gang activity.
Modern mural art in the United States has a strong heritage in the great murals painted in Mexico by the Tres Grandes, particularly Diego Rivera. It would be valuable for those who wish to place false labels on art that has been in your public space for probably 30 years to examine the content of these murals, chock-full of symbolism and reality. Millions of people have probably had their photos taken in front of these murals. Does that mean that some of the imagery should be changed because some of the scenes of colonization, slavery, church persecution, spreading of disease, etc., might influence some of those who choose to stand in front of these panoramas? I think not.
I am an American and love my country, but I am seriously concerned about the direction this nation is headed [R. Scott Moxley’s Moxley Confidential, “Courthouse Shocker,” April 17]. A shitbag like Ignacio Gomez Lares gets his day in court—not for his third-strike conviction, but a chance to ruin the career and life of a brave police officer. That is a sad day.
Yes, everyone deserves to be treated fairly, but when you’re high, armed, and a felon who resists arrest and gets Tased, well, too fucking bad!
Don’t commit felonies! Don’t carry a loaded semiautomatic firearm! Don’t run from the police! Don’t resist arrest! Do not refuse to speak to the police, and then lie about having a beer. A little extra Tasing seems like a mild response. I say, nice showing of restraint, officer!
I would like to see the grand-jury transcripts and the court transcripts to see how these deputies testified. A lot of people don’t trust law enforcement. I am in law enforcement, and I don’t trust the district attorney. Ever since Mike Carona wouldn’t allow the DA in the jail on the John Chamberlain investigation, the DA’s office has gone out of its way to persecute deputies. Remember, it was a DA who tried to get a sheriff’s employee to change her testimony about DNA evidence to put someone in prison.
The DA’s office has made issues out of the fact that the Sheriff’s Department investigates its own deputies. If a deputy lives in an area that the sheriff patrols, who else is going to investigate it? Who investigates allegations of misconduct by DAs and DA investigators? The DA’s office doesn’t even have a procedure to file a complaint against a DA.
I believe it is possible that the deputies did not hear Hibbs Tase the suspect a second time. Apparently, it was in a confined area because the suspect was in the back seat. It is not uncommon for a deputy to leave his car running while conducting business, and every deputy has a hand-held radio blaring along with the patrol-car radio.
DAs are judged on wins, so the easy out for this one was to say the deputies were lying.
John, Corona, via ocweekly.com
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