Friday, December 29, 2006
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Adjunct scholar DAVID WHITE of the Lexington Institute has posted a number of papers on education. His latest article exposes the National Education Association’s (NEA) continued support of all things unrelated to education. Millions of union-laundered tax dollars go to causes like a moratorium on capital punishment, a nuclear freeze, reparations for slavery, a tax-supported, single-payer health care plan, legislation to expand Native Hawaiian land ownership and "stronger federal action in solving the problem of toxic-waste dumping."
Should our education dollars go to these causes and not in the classrooms?
Read more HERE.
H/T Ari Kaufman
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 11:29 PM
A state appeals court has restored voting rights to as many as 100,000 Californians who are in county jails on probation from felony convictions, and who were disenfranchised by the state a year ago, based on a new legal interpretation.
CaPoliticalNews reports that the interpretation abruptly reversed the state’s reading of the law for the previous 30 years and that the state’s top election official said he will not appeal.
Maya Harris, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and a lawyer in the case says, “It sure is nice to have a win for democracy,’’ she said after last week’s ruling. "We’re a state that is very protective of the fundamental right to vote.’’ She also said the ACLU has won backing from probation officers who agree that restoring the right to vote helps in inmates’ rehabilitation.
A commenter on the CaPoliticalNews website asked whether anyone knows how many of those felons would vote Republican vs. Democrat.
As someone who has arrested and interviewed hundreds of felons since 1980, I suspect that the overwhelming number are of a socialist-liberal mindset. Many are institutionalized and don’t want their free medical care, legal representation, food, clothing, or housing jeopardized by "mean-spirited Republicans."
Whether they vote is questionable, but leftist-liberal-Democrat policies like gun control benefit felons tremendously. After all, how would you like to be a career robber or burglar forced to work in a town where Republican politicians allow ordinary citizens can carry guns? I mean, c’mon, even felons need to eat!
Someone else remarked that Republicans also sit in jail. While this is true, the media made people like Abramoff and Cunningham a big story because it’s comparatively rare for Republicans to engage in criminal behavior.
Republicans have no problem holding their own accountable. Reps who behave badly either resign or are forced out. Some examples:
- Janklow and Ted Kennedy drove recklessly and killed someone. Janklow resigned.
- Nixon and Clinton committed felonies in office - Nixon resigned.
- Congressman Barney Frank ran a male prostitution ring from his condo - Tom Foley wrote some flirty messages to former interns who were men (not a crime). Foley resigned.
Bribery doesn’t begin to approach the threshold of bad behavior for Democrats OR their felon-voters.This is one more reason why Republicans must vote – to offset the felony vote.
And if you haven’t already done so, vote ABSENTEE! I do that now and enjoy the convenience of sitting at my table and voting weeks before an election. The application process is simple. Go to the California Elections website for information and applications – and you can vote absentee – just like ordinary Democrat felons!
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 12:12 PM
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
I was recently asked about the ongoing battle between LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's bid to take over the LAUSD and the ensuing battle. My friend and career teacher Peter J. Ford III penned his analysis:
From the eyes of a classroom teacher, I view Mayor Villaraigosa’s (Mayor ‘V’) current setback of LAUSD control as little more than an extra element of entertainment to this humorous, yet insidious sideshow. When finally resolved, union bosses and politicians will win big but, as always, the children will be last in line - if they arrive at all.
This saga is only the latest chapter in the book of “use-education-as-a-stepping-stone-for-your-ambitions.” As a teacher, I’ve seen substitutes who were aspiring actors, choosing to teach while “in between jobs.” I’ve had colleagues who were simply waiting to get accepted into law or medical school and, after 2-3 years, were gone. I’ve had others who openly say (at least they were honest) they wanted to teach for 2-5 years then “go into policy.”
Assembly Bill (AB) 1381 is a façade that makes its writers and supporters feel good about themselves. Their self-congratulatory, “See, look what I did!” does nothing to help children. AB 1381 gives the mayor no authority to encourage and grow the pool of quality mathematics and science teachers LAUSD desperately needs in all schools, not just the urban ones.
The next time any politician demands “resources in the classroom,” ask him or her to quantify their statement; does it mean giving each teacher a full-time aide who actually teaches and maybe a $2000/year stipend to buy anything their classroom needs? Does it mean paying teachers for all their education expenses and demanding they take at least 6 credit hours every 18 months of pedagogy/content study at a quality institute? Will it reduce the counselor-to-student ratio to 150:1 so the counselor is responsible for at least as many students as teachers are? AB 1381 gives no authority or resources to increase the instructional day to 6-8 pm where it needs to be (after school tutoring) and on Saturdays. As a classroom teacher, these are reforms that would impact learning. AB 1381 addresses none of these, unless you’re part of Mayor V’s small ‘cluster’ of underperforming schools.
AB 1381 allows the Mayor to have more direct control of a group of underperforming high schools and their feeder middle schools. Mayor V has already lined up several large financial donations from the Gates Foundation and others, but the sad truth is that he will chose a small cluster of low-performing schools in America’s second largest ‘target-rich environment’ of under-performing schools; there are so many throughout LAUSD that the few he chooses will still leave hundreds of thousands of young people behind. Is Mayor V going to ‘buck heads’ with United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) and strong-arm better teachers into these schools? He’s already cut a ‘back room’ deal with UTLA to win their support for his takeover – a deal that prevents the Mayor from participating in union contract negotiations, thus exempting UTLA (our children’s biggest enemy) from his takeover.
Will Villaraigosa pressure or cut deals with LAUSD to ‘grease the bureaucratic skids’ so that his schools get what they need when they need it? Assuming the money and resources get to his schools, will that affect student learning in other LAUSD schools if it’s spent the same way?
What about the rest of LAUSD? As a classroom teacher, all of this sizzle and show raises political profiles, but it does little for young people in the classroom. Villaraigosa will use it to run for governor, and other supporters will use it to run at the State Assembly/Senate or city council, but our children will still need quality math and science teachers, and a place to study well past 3:00 pm.
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 4:40 PM
Students' SAT scores and rote knowledge – most notably in history – are dipping, while, somehow, their grades have never been higher. It's not just a confounding process for university admission officers as applications roll in, but also for ordinary people like you and me.Read the story HERE
In an August 2001 interview with the Washington Post, Brian O'Reilly, the director of the College Board's SAT program, reiterated to those parents and students still in denial that "[w]hen the College Board re-centered SAT scores back in 1995, Verbal scores went up 70 points and Math scores about 25. So, if re-centering had not occurred, the current Verbal average of 506 would have been about 437 and the current Math average of 514 would have been about 494."
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 2:33 PM
Monday, December 25, 2006
A contact in Iraq sent these photos to me this morning.
...these photos show a huvee hit by an IED that penetrated the newest armor and injured one of our cops and 2 soldiers. All were treated and evacuated to Germany for more surgery. The assholes are getting these latest penetrating devices from Iran.
For every Iranian device detonated in Iraq, Israel, or elsewhere, Congress should authorize a little MOAB package into Tehran's government centers, and the homes of their clerics and leaders. America holds all the aces - why are our politicians so afraid that Iran might have a full house?
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 10:56 AM
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Our intellectuals, academics, and artists for decades had been telling the world that the West, particularly America, is the villain of history, its crimes of imperialism, colonialism, capitalism, resource depletion, and pollution responsible for all the world’s ills. Was it any wonder, then, that one of the West’s fiercest historical enemies, Islam, should take our self-flagellation seriously and conclude that we deserved to die for the crimes which we ourselves keep admitting we are guilty of?Well worth the read, you’ll find more of Professor Thornton’s works HERE.
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 10:43 AM
Friday, December 15, 2006
As an eight-year veteran of LAPD's 77th Street Division, Officer Beall writes with the same passion that I recall as an eight-year cop:
If you believe justice belongs to the pauper as well as the prince, if the life of the untouchable is as sacred to you as the life of the Brahmin, if you believe safety is a civil right owed both the gated community and the blighted one, then take the LAPD written exam. Hey, come work the south end. We're still fighting an uphill battle, and we could sure use the help.From his narrative, it’s clear that Beall loves the job but hasn’t yet discovered what makes serving his community an uphill battle. What Beall will eventually learn, as hundreds of departing and disillusioned veterans have learned, is that it’s not drugs, crime, or “social injustice” that makes the job less rewarding, but the “politics of policing” in Los Angeles.
Anyone who has read of my experience, LAPD history, or the LAPD's skewed statistics and latest scheme will only begin to understand. The game is rigged by politicians who know that close ties between LA cops and the community they serve threatens LA’s politically powerful.
Many consider James Q. Wilson the “father of Community Policing.” While referring to Lou Cannon’s book, Official Negligence, Wilson writes:
You may wonder why an African American mayor would kill an idea designed to make the police more responsive to neighborhoods. So do I. Cannon's best guess is that the mayor, backed up by liberal activists such as Stephen Reinhardt (now a federal judge in the Ninth Circuit), feared that having police officials exercise some kind of local leadership would be a political threat to the mayor and a source of opposition to court decisions restricting police powers…Cannon didn’t guess - Reinhardt explained to him during their 1994 interview:
… Los Angeles liberals feared LAPD political activity (close ties to the community) too much to appreciate the long-term advantages of community policing. The issues-oriented Reinhardt thought it a “very dangerous system” because (community relations officers) might influence people to oppose court decisions restricting the power of the police. (Pg 90)This explains why the LAPD’s community policing efforts are in name only. The last thing Democrats want is for cops to get cozy with LA residents; for once they start comparing notes there’s no telling who might get elected. Better to drive a wedge between stressed communities, and the cops who want to serve them.
In order to achieve success in public life, the ruler must know precisely when and how to do what no good person would ever do. Although private morality may rest on other factors – divine approval, personal character, or abstract duties, for example – in public life only the praise and blame of fellow human beings really counts.
Thus… the ruler needs to acquire a good reputation while actually doing whatever wrong seems necessary in the circumstances.(Prince 18) Thus, rulers must seem to be generous while spending their money wisely, appear to be compassionate while ruling their armies cruelly, and act with great cunning while cultivating a reputation for integrity. Although it is desirable to be both loved and feared by one's subjects, it is difficult to achieve both, and of the two… it is far safer for the ruler to be feared. (Prince 17)
I was born in LA and still live in LAPD’s Hollywood Division. I care about Los Angeles as much as I ever did. If I did not, I wouldn’t waste my time reading, writing, or researching LAPD issues. And although LA residents need new officers, I’m reluctant to encourage my kids or their friends to pursue a law enforcement career where local politicians impede and exploit cops to enhance their own political power. There's more to supporting police officers than appearing at their funerals or rebuilding homes for those who survive. It’s not bullets that the community or police officers should fear, but the politicians who promote a bullet-riddled community.
- South Central LA’s murder rate would plummet if law-abiding residents were allowed to carry firearms as residents of neighboring communities do. But under the pretext of safer streets, liberals make sure that armed gangsters can prey on an unarmed community.
- LA’s school children would enjoy the best education on the planet if parents were offered $18,400/year vouchers. But under the pretext of fairness, its bloated bureaucracy ensures that only a fraction of LAUSD’s $13.4 billion dollar annual budget actually reaches their decaying classrooms.
- LA residents could enjoy clean air, but under the pretext of environmental concerns, we can’t build nuclear power plants to generate alternative sources of clean energy.
- Deporting criminal aliens would be good for LA’s crowded immigrant neighborhoods, but Special Order 40 returns many of these predators back to crime-ridden communities under the pretext of cultural sensitivity.
- LA’s deadly vehicle pursuits would end tomorrow if the legislature passed a mandatory ten-year sentence for felony evading. But blaming cops for chasing felons and the next excessive force scandal makes good politics, while Chief Bratton’s sideshow of red lights and sirens gives voters the impression of brave cops risking their lives protecting our community.
- If LA residents were allowed to grow a few marijuana plants for themselves, organized drug traffickers (that Mayor Villaraigosa has ordered the LAPD to leave alone) would not control LA’s multi-million dollar drug market and taxpayers wouldn’t have to spend millions on failed interdiction practices.
If it was up to me, I’d require a four-hour “Politics of Policing” course to police recruits. I’d also require recruits to study Broken Windows so that when they answer the phones with, Good afternoon, Los Angeles Community Police Station, Officer Beall, may I help you, that the officer would actually have a sense of what he was talking about. I’d also require recruits (and voters) to study and be tested on Lou Cannon’s book so that they don’t blindly trust our toothy mayor or his well-intended police LAPDog. But that’s just me. Maybe cops perform better when they don’t know what’s going on. But by the time they finally figure it out, those officers are locked into their retirement plan and it’s too late to get out. So many of those cops learn to keep their heads down and let the young LAPD puppies take the political hits. Legal assassins like Warren Christopher and Stephen Yagman are always looking for the next batch of "problem officers."
I respect Officer Beall for his inspirational words and passion, but until there’s a change in LA’s political winds, the LAPD’s not a boat that I want my friends to be on.
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 10:51 PM
Haven’t we learned ANYTHING yet? The LA Daily News opines today that the LAPD needs a gang czar. Ugh!
As much as I respected President Reagan, I was skeptical when he introduced us to America’s first Drug Czar during the 1980s. The passage of time has proven its wasteful uselessness.
History shows us that politically-appointed czars are nothing more than one more layer of wasteful bureaucracy that insulates higher-ups from criticism when it fails. And when LAPD's next Gang Czar fails, Chief William Bratton and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will show the usual "courage and commitment" to the problem by firing the old czar and appointing a new one. Bratton has apparently forgotten that real cops know how to clean up gang problems. All that's needed is a real commitment from LA's spineless politicians - and a little veracity from the press.
LA gangs thrive because, when officers take action, gang members (like many veteran criminals) file false complaints against officers that Connie Rice and her ilk demand that the LAPD waste millions of dollars to investigate. Officers who focus on gang members end up with so many complaints that LAPD management either buries the complaints to protect the officer and make him more effective (uh oh, another LAPD cover-up?), or reassigns the officers to avoid more paperwork. Having been ordered by LAPD management to ignore gang members myself, I know the game.
After a while, even the dimmest cop learns that chasing gang members can hurt his career, while LA’s parasitic lawyers showcase those same cops as examples of LAPD’s "unfitness and their need for continued oversight." Trial lawyers sue, take their 40% cut, and launder part of their booty through trial lawyer associations back to the politicians who oppose tort reform, while the LA Dog Trainer parrots the "bad cops - more oversight" dogma.
Yes, LAPD officers Rafael Perez and David Mack did terrible things, but LAPD background investigators knew they were trouble before they joined the LAPD. Rampart was more about a mayor's bad hiring practices than bad cops. But under the pretext of diversity, LA’s mayor pressured his Personnel Department to hire them, and forced the LAPD to accept them into our ranks. (Investigators who don’t go along with this practice are quickly reassigned.) And rather than admit their negligent hiring practices, LA politicians appointed lawyers to frame Rampart as another episode of “cops gone wild.”
The common thread to LA’s gang problem rests with politicians and trial lawyers who, under the pretext of diversity, inclusion, and civil rights, have turned the LAPD into a social experiment from the professional law enforcement agency it once was. This experiment leads to dysfunction that those same politicians and lawyers then use as a pretext for more oversight. And the more screw-ups the LAPD suffers, the more oversight they demand. And when the LAPD too busy responding to political and social problems to handle crime, they’re less likely to go sniffing around Villaraigosa and his shady friends.
This makes everybody happy, except good cops who want to make a difference, and the taxpayers who deserve better. I would have written more about this when I was still an LA cop, but I didn't want to suffer retaliation. Again.
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 1:10 PM
Thursday, December 14, 2006
My Friend and colleague, Mayor Sam, has provided the perfect holiday greeting for those who might be offended by Christmas cards, manger scenes, Menorahs, Virgin mothers, or other scary Judeo-Christian icons.
Mayor Sam even posts a disclaimer in case the ACLU decides to pursue legal action. That's what I like about Sam - always working for the common man... and woman... but not necessarily in that order, mind you...Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.
Oh yes, as Sam writes - if you are Republican, Merry Christmas!
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
As Mayor Antonio (Where’s Waldo) Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief William Bratton congratulate themselves for their fourth year of plummeting crime statistics, Westside resident TJ Sullivan helps us understand the real nature of LA’s falling crime in his essay, Gimme That Bike.
When TJ called to report the theft, the officer (he wrote), “…was kind enough to invite me down to the station. However, she also imparted the chilling reality: ‘It won’t do any good.’ I took her at her word and didn’t waste my time.”
Although I can’t corroborate TJ’s claims, his story rings true. I’ve worked the front desk at several LAPD stations. Typically, two or three officers are assigned to handle hundreds of phone calls and crime reports on three or four lines without letting the unanswered phones upset the watch commander. So desk officers spend their shifts juggling calls and hurried reports. It may be the LAPD’s most frustrating and thankless assignments.
There's more. The phones don’t stop for the endless parade of battered women, anxious victims, bondsmen, angry relatives, and assorted tramps, gangs, and psychos that mingle while waiting for desk cops to complete lengthy multi-page reports from the exhausted people who got there first. Except for short breaks, desk officers endure relentless calls, reports, and abuse from the unfocused rage of people who have no one else to lash out to. This hasn’t changed since the days when I worked the Van Nuys Desk 25 years ago and it is probably worse today. If you don’t believe me, visit your local station sometime.
The officer who blew off TJ was rendered incompetent not by her own fault, but because she’s deployed to one of the LAPD’s 19 geographic crime-reporting chokepoints. Los Angeles is simply not capable of recording or investigating every crime, so citizens either get slighted like TJ, or they decide not to bother the busy officers (who probably have more important things to do), or they simply give up. It’s bad enough that your bike gets pinched, but waiting hours or days for a report that nobody reads only makes the loss more painful.
The community has a right to be angry, but Villaraigosa hired Bratton to take the heat, and the LA Dog Trainer (Times) is too enamored by our mayor to make waves. If TJ’s experience causes a minor embarrassment, Bratton slams the cop. If it causes major embarrassment, Villaraigosa slams Bratton. Either way, Bratton insulates the Mayor and City Council from the LA cops they place in impossible positions – and rolling heads gives distracted taxpayers the illusion that courageous politicians are holding “bad cops” accountable.
There’s nothing accidental about this arrangement either. Young men and women join the LAPD to protect and serve. But if the LAPD hired enough uniforms to document LA’s real crime epidemic, LAPD’s statistics would explode far beyond cities like New York, Chicago, or Boston – cities that have an even worse record on crime, corruption, and veracity. And if America’s safest big city starts reporting accurate stats, some other big city will take the prize without even trying.
If the LAPD suddenly added 15,000 hard-charging veteran police officers to handle crime and take reports, the mayor could not afford subways to nowhere, or collect millions of dollars in union dues needed to fund his gubernatorial ambitions. And because LA’s top cop is no longer protected by civil service rules, he can’t afford to be honest with taxpayers either – at least until he’s recovers his virtue or is ready to retire.
TJ’s essay continued:
I told the managers of my building in the hopes that they would care enough to warn other residents to protect their own bikes, maybe even endeavor to lock their car doors. But, the managers rebuffed me. “You saw the signs!” the one manager insisted. “We’re not responsible for stolen items!” My efforts to explain that I held no one responsible fell on deaf ears. The other manager shouted something from deep within the management lair. It sounded like “We don’t care about anybody!”TJ’s apartment managers were not only unsurprised by TJ’s loss, but are apparently so deluged with theft complaints that they’re annoyed by his. Crime is so rampant that they’ve posted warning signs!
Call me a sucker, but I still believe we’re all in this together.
And contrary to what TJ learned in journalism school, diversity has Balkanized Angelinos. We’re NOT all in this together.
- Taxpayers want a safe and healthy place to live.
- Mayor Villaraigosa wants to be governor.
- The City Council wants a third term.
- The LA Dog Trainer wants to survive AND keep Republicans out of office.
- Chief Bratton wants another six figures.
- Cops want to go home safe without getting indicted, shot, or fired.
- Progressives want a socialist state.
- Civil Rights lawyers want settlements.
- Homosexuals want gay marriage.
- Uninsured Californians want others to pay for their healthcare.
- Teachers want another raise.
- LA voters… well… they’re… Hey look, a chicken!
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 9:52 PM
As a career cop who spent 20 years on the street, I have never experienced a more accurate portrayal of police officers and their struggle with the political and social realities of the inner city. Unlike the stylized fantasies that characterize most police dramas, The Wire mugs you with reality.
If it was up to me, I’d make The Wire required viewing for all police recruits in America, and I’d make the final season required viewing for all aspiring public school teachers.
The writing, production, sets, cast and crew are remarkable.
The Wire does more than entertain – it is an indictment of every well-intended social program and over-funded public school in America. It is a memorial to millions of America’s children left behind - crippled by bullets and bureaucracy. It is a call to America’s voters to understand the importance of civic duties like voting, jury duty, and paying attention to one’s community.
(If you missed it, you can purchase the first two seasons here. The final seasons are not yet available on DVD. It’s also available On Demand.)
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 11:10 AM
Its one thing to listen to talk radio, but quite another to sit in a studio surrounded by equipment and a large microphone pointed at your mouth.
As bumpy as my first show was, CopTalk (KRLA 870 AM) was a lot of fun – something I might get comfortable with. My producer told me not to get my expectations too high, saying, “Most new hosts wait months before they get their first call.” And so although I never expected that the lines would light up the moment that I mentioned my name, I set the low bar high and hoped to attract one caller before the show ended.
I was pleased to get not one, but two calls. Allen, from San Diego, called to say the ACLU was one of law enforcement’s biggest obstacles in serving our communities. I agreed and wanted to hear more, but my headset malfunctioned and I could no longer hear him – although he was still connected. Thinking he had hung up, I thanked him and hung up.
I knew the other caller, who happened to be one of CopTalk’s sponsors. He said that I'd broadcasted the wrong number for him!
I’m glad we’re friends. Its nice to know that Dennis Prager started at the same slot.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Whew! What a couple of weeks. My computer crashed as I was trying to blog AND develop a radio show. That's right, the ex-liberal from Hollywood is going radio!
If you don't already know, I’ve been critical of the Los Angeles Police Department’s continuing decline and the correspondent rise of corruption in Los Angeles since 1987. That’s not news. What IS news is that I’m starting my own radio show this Sunday night on KRLA 870. And because I’m the new kid on the block, I’ve got the graveyard shift. So if midnight is late for you, you can download my show on this site. I’ll have more information next week as the show progresses.
Some have dismissed me as an enemy of the LAPD or disgruntled employee, however those who know me know that serving my community and fellow officers was a lifelong dream - one that I would not take back a moment of service. I honor and respect my fellow officers - which is why I've created this blog.
When I write about the LAPD’s decline, I’m not talking about the finest men and women I’ve ever known or worked with. There are occasional bad cops but, more often than not, the Raphael Perezes and David Macks exist not because LA cops are bad, but because the mayor has pressured his civilian Personnel Department to accept questionable applicants under the pretext of diversity. And if we remember that LA cops make millions of citizen contacts every year, the fact is that a tiny fraction of screw-ups says more about the LAPD's overall professionalism than its anomalies. And just because the LAPD knows how to root out bad cops doesn't make Mayor MECHA a hero. The LAPD served LA residents honorably long before the mayor started waxing reconquista.
If you're confused about police brutality or misconduct, ask yourself whether I’m a better basketball player than Kobe Bryant because he averages more fouls than I do. Most criminals play center court. Cops can watch from the stands or risk fouls. Police work is not all doughnuts and coffee. If Officer Joe spends his career on the streets and Commander Sally sits behind a desk, Snoop Dogg's more likely to complain about Joe than Sally. But does that really make Sally a better cop? Warren Christopher wants you to think so.
I know background investigators who were transferred because they refused to certify criminal police applicants. I know great prosecutors who were transferred to cheesy assignments because they refused to lie in court for, well, I'll share that later. One questionable LAPD applicant recently admitted his participation in a murder while training at the Academy. Background investigators and LAPD recruiters are under tremendous pressure to ignore an applicant’s unsuitability, as long as their color and gender (e.g., NOT male white) compliment Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's gubernatorial pursuit.
I digress. CopTalk is a unique and natural progression of my little blog. I want to create a safe place where LA cops and other insiders can confidentially report stories that expose LA's shadier players. CopTalk comes out of my own pocket, so I’m looking for advertisers and friends who believe in my efforts. With your help, CopTalk will report what the media won't.
What do I mean by media won't? Well, I've known many of LA's busy staff writers. I tell them stuff and the story disappears. I complained to the LA Times' Jim Newton a few years ago. I even visited with him at my home in the early 1990s. He told me then that he couldn't get my stories past his editors. I told him about an LAPD sergeant who, while drunk, crashed his car off duty, fled the scene, and reported his car stolen hoping to blame the "phantom thief." His ruse was betrayed by his broken arm and bruises but instead of presenting the case to prosecutors, LAPD investigators buried most of the charges. I complained to supervisors who ordered me not to talk about it. I told Sergeant Ivan Minsal of Internal Affairs and he shrugged. The two FBI agents who I visited told me it was LAPD's "internal problem" and not their business. And Jim Newton couldn't get the story past his editor. I even showed him copies of the reports that had somehow disappeared.
Everyone knows the Christopher Commission Report is a fraud, but if we disclose that to the public, LA will suffer another riot. So we farm recommendations to committees to sit on for a few month, or years. And after a discreet period has passed we tell the public, “Yes, that was a good recommendation in 1991, but with the passage of time and other internal changes within LAPD, it is no longer appropriate.”
Understandably, this rankled LA’s corrupt (or complicit) judges, politicians, and gangsters. LA’s mayor could no longer fire a chief who didn’t keep good cops out of the mayor’s business, or away from his shady friends. And because Jack Webb delivered LAPD policies to residents from 1949-1975 (unfiltered by the moyor, media, or ACLU), LAPD officers often enjoyed more popularity than LA's mayors and council members ever dreamed
This began to change when, in 1983, Mayor Bradley’s civilian police commission ordered LAPD officers to beat suspects with metal pipes instead of using non-lethal control holds. From 1983 through 1991, hundreds of suspects were unnecessarily beaten. Trial lawyers sued on behalf of the suspects, won hundreds of millions of your tax dollars in lawsuits, and kicked back part of their booty through their trial lawyers associations to the politicians who ordered the brutality. The scam enriched and empowered mayors Bradley and Hahn, and the media blamed rogue cops. LA’s city attorney and the media refused to describe the Police Commission’s policies, and those commissioners (Bradley’s appointed friends) weren’t willing to explain their role, leaving LAPD’s officers and chief holding the bag. Few of these cases ever see the light of day because the City Council settles these matters behind closed doors, leaving taxpayers in the dark.
By the time videotape captured Rodney King in 1991, Bradley and his lawyer, Warren Christopher, convinced an understandably angry community that the King beating was the result of Chief Daryl Gates’ civil service protections and “problem officers.” A year later, the accused officers were acquitted of the beating not because it hadn’t occurred, but because Mayor Bradley’s police commission had ordered it. But unlike Nuremburg where Nazi generals went to trial, LA’s generals appointed their own lawyers to investigate. And LA’s media, prosecutors, and politicians went right along with it. Within minutes of the verdict an enraged Bradley told blacks that they had a right to be angry and a right to demonstrate (their) anger. In doing so, Mayor Tom Bradley incited a riot that cost LA taxpayers $2 billion in property damage and lost tourism. But LA’s lawyers, judges, prosecutors, police administrators, media, and complicit revisionists like Raphael Sonenshein and Erwin Chemerinsky fooled voters into removing the civil service protections that had cleaned up LA corruption in the 1930s – under the pretext of reform.
But the opposite has occurred. Since the “Blue Ribbon” Christopher Commission adjourned in 1991, the LAPD has endured repeated scandals – despite the crippling and wholly unnecessary oversight by lawyers who have no clue or concern about police work. Their role is nothing more than a ruse to cripple the LAPD's ability to pursue corrupt politicians.
I’m not saying that Chief Bratton isn’t appreciated by street cops. I hear good things from them. But Bratton’s an East Coast cop, so he knows how to swim in municipal sleaze. As bad as a complicit chief is for Los Angeles, he appreciated by cops who suffered under the functionally retarded Willie Williams and the politically ambitious Bernard Parks. A retired LA cop told me this morning: “I worked around Bernie at Wilshire and know him personally through a mutual friend. He is one of the most racist individuals I have ever met.” Although anecdotes about Parks are widely known, Sonenshein, Chemerinsky, and the ACLU never seemed very concerned. Bigotry and intolerance depends upon who you hate.
Oops! I’m running long on this post – much longer than I wanted to. CopTalk starts this Sunday and I plan to post links to MP3 downloads.
How can you help? Please spread the word to officers, detectives, and supervisors that they may contact me privately - not just LA cops, but other agencies as well. If you’re an active or retired LA cop or a concerned citizen and want to help, you can send donations here.
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 3:24 PM