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A different picture 

I stand by my Aug. 4 commentary in New Times

In Tom Reynar's commentary, which he also sent to me personally, "The liberal narrative," he states, "The real problem facing our nation ... ." Our nation does not have just one "real problem." It has many problems. For example: poverty, racism, stagnant wages, crumbling infrastructure, etc.

I write just one monthly commentary for New Times; it's a forum that's available to all interested parties and for other issues to be presented.

Regarding my Aug. 4 commentary in New Times ("Violent cycle") and not mentioning presence of a gun in the Baton Rouge, La., situation, Mr. Reynar must believe in the Second Amendment; or does he think that different standards apply to blacks?

Police came because they received an "anonymous" call that an armed man was threatening people. Alton Sterling was selling CDs in a convenience store parking lot with permission from the store's owner. The store owner emphatically stated that Mr. Sterling was not threatening anyone. Who in their right mind threatens potential customers? The police ordered Mr. Sterling to get on the ground. He exercised his right to know the charges against him. In response, the police Tasered and tackled him. He was pinned down on the pavement. The videos clearly show that Mr. Sterling did not—did not—reach for his gun. He couldn't possibly do so because both cops had him fully constrained. One of the cops shot him point blank in cold blood.

Mr. Reynar states that the officers will be "cleared of wrongdoing." They haven't even been indicted yet. Borrowing his words: It does not stop him from making up his own facts.

Mr. Reynar states that Philando Castile (Falcon Heights, Minn.) was not pulled over for a broken taillight, but because he fit the description of a local armed robber. The cop told Mr. Castile that he was pulled over because of a broken taillight. That cop's attorney later stated that the reason for stopping Mr. Castile was a burglary, committed by two men. Assuming burglary was the real reason, when the police took a closer look at Mr. Castile, they must have realized they made a mistake.

Why did they escalate the situation? Mr. Reynar complains that I neglected to mention that Mr. Castile had a gun. Dear Mr. Reynar, remember the Second Amendment. And did you forget that Mr. Castile had told the officer he had a gun and his fiancé hastened to add that he had a license. Mr. Reynar quotes the cop, "I told him not to reach for it." Mr. Castile's fiancée reminded the cop that he had asked Mr. Castile for his ID and car registration. How could Mr. Castile keep both hands in the air and still be able to provide the documents?

The officer did not repudiate her statement.

Mr. Reynar's gotcha moment is that I did not mention officer's race, "which paralyzes the forced narrative." Officer Jeronimo Yanez is white, specifically white Hispanic. Hispanic is not a race. His partner was also white.

I am unable to provide all the details that I would like to in my commentary due to the word limit imposed by the editor.

Finally, rogue cops come from different races including white, African-American, and Asians and Native American.

Zaf Iqbal is a resident of Arroyo Grande. Send a letter to the editor to

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