Police rough up people during BART protest 

I was shocked at what I witnessed while passing by the Powell Street cable car turnaround shortly after 8 p.m. Monday. Many San Francisco police officers were there in riot gear. Some tourists were around, but the protest demonstrations against this month’s BART police shooting were finished.

A white man in his 30s with long blond hair and carrying a camping-gear backpack was suddenly grabbed by cops, with his arms twisted as he got arrested. I did not see any reason for his arrest, although afterward he loudly expressed his opinions.

Almost immediately afterward, a gray-haired black man was grabbed and arrested by the SFPD. As he was being put into a nearby police van, he grimaced and told the officers he was in pain. Then the officer holding him bent his neck to the right. Eyewitnesses taking pictures of both incidents were told by police to go away.

Anh Le, San Francisco

Put pressure on Armenia

July 23 marks the 18th anniversary of occupation of the Azerbaijani town of Agdam by Armenian forces. As a member of the Azerbaijani-American community, I urge the U.S. government to exert pressure on Armenia to comply with United Nations resolutions, withdraw from internationally recognized Azeri territories and allow the return of Azeri refugees to their homes.

Pari Howard, San Francisco

BART cops don’t need guns

I can see the need for police presence at BART stations. I don’t see the need for guns at BART stations. Do they envision having shootouts with bad people on the platforms? There is no delicate way to put this, but the only reason for having guns at the BART station is to kill people, right? It’s time to consider the notion of taking the guns away from BART police. They could do their job perfectly well with Tasers.

Jeff Johnston, San Francisco

Look to wars to lower debt

President Barack Obama and some Democrats say that “everything has to be on the table” in the deficit-reduction talks. But not everything is on the table. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq need to be on the table. We accomplished nothing there and aren’t going to accomplish anything, and it’s costing us $2 billion a week.

If we’re looking at a balanced budget, I think that staying in Afghanistan but getting rid of Medicare and Social Security is a bad decision. It’s time to focus on rebuilding America.

Marc Perkel, Gilroy

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