Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

An encouraging sign from LAPD

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The LAPD issued a 90-page report today on the May Day melee that pitted police against peaceful demonstrators. (Peaceful assembly is another one of those First Amendment rights.) The encouraging part is that the LAPD took full responsibility and did not try to cover up the issue or pass the buck. When people step forward and acknowledge mistakes, analyze the problems in enough detail that remedies can be applied, I think the public is reassured.

The LA Times has the story, from which this excerpt:

In a scathing self-critique, the LAPD on Tuesday blamed the May 1 MacArthur Park melee involving officers, immigration protesters and journalists on a series of fateful decisions by police commanders that escalated hostilities and resulted in a widespread breakdown in discipline and behavior by officers.

The findings, contained in a long-awaited report by top police officials, come as Police Chief William J. Bratton announced that at least 26 officers participating in the incident are under internal investigation and could face discipline for using excessive force.

The report is the latest effort by Bratton and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to quell widespread outcry over the incident, in which TV news footage showed officers swinging batons and firing less-than-lethal rounds at journalists as well as immigration rights protesters gathered at the park for an afternoon rally.

The melee left 246 journalists and protesters as well as 18 officers with injuries, and more than 250 legal claims have been filed against the city. Los Angeles County prosecutors and the FBI are continuing to investigate the case.

The report paints a disturbing picture of commanders who failed to adequately plan for the rally, refused to bring in more officers when tensions escalated, issued confusing and sometimes contradictory orders and failed to control officers. It found that officers repeatedly used their weapons in ways that violated LAPD policies and appeared not to follow basic training guidelines.

In the days after the melee, Bratton and other top officials criticized the general tactics of police at the park, but the report offered a level of unvarnished detail and a critical tone that even some LAPD critics described as highly unusual, if not unprecedented.

The review, presented to the Police Commission on Tuesday, was written by Deputy Chief Michael Hillmann and Police Administrator Gerald L. Chaleff.

More at the link.

Written by Leisureguy

10 October 2007 at 9:36 am

Posted in Daily life, Government

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