Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Monday, January 29, 2007
When I recently questioned the accuracy of Los Angeles crime statistics, I also alluded to “ethical lapses of (LAPD chiefs) Willie Williams and Bernard Parks.”
As if this story and this $15 million dollar verdict wasn’t enough, I received this note from Councilmember Parks’ Office the following day:
Subject: CaliforniaConservative.org - Contact Form
From: Office of Councilmember Bernard C. Parks<Councilmember.Parks@lacity.org>
Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2007 11:11:19 -0500
Office of Councilmember Bernard C. Parks wrote:
We read Clark Baker's story "LAPD Explains the Numbers" and we were particularly interested to know what "ethical lapses" he was referring to when he mentioned Councilmember Parks.
Website: LAPD Explains the Numbers
My first thought was, “Why is he asking me?” I'm sure no one knows Parks’ deficiencies better than he does, unless some undiagnosed pathology prevents him from understanding the difference between right and wrong. So before he asks for the definition of the word IS…
The law is well settled that confession of a defendant induced by fear of personal injury or hope of personal benefit held out by anyone in authority is not admissible in evidence.
Waltham, Mass., 1910
Although the $15 million dollar verdict against the City of Los Angeles did not single out Bernard Parks, he was the chief who pressured the malicious prosecutions of Officer Paul Harper and Sergeants Edward Ortiz, and Brian Liddy during the Rampart Scandal.Parks admitted as much in this interview:
Even if the jury rejected (the case), it was worth the whole exercise of sitting those people through a criminal process, because they had violated their oath to that degree…Ethical cops and prosecutors don’t charge individuals when the entire case rests on the uncorroborated statements from untested felons. Rafael Perez, who could have spent decades in prison, was offered five years to implicate other officers. No corroborative evidence existed against those officers, and Perez failed five consecutive polygraph tests while implicating them.
(Parks)… had to lead it for the officers in this department to know that it was not going to accept, or it was intolerable to allow officers to participate in this activity. It was important that the community saw that the police department was willing to do its job…
I understood Parks’ reasoning: The Rampart criminals were black and all had ties to criminal gangsters and the hip-hop culture. Several LAPD investigators had been reassigned after refusing to doctor questionable backgrounds of black police applicants. Since the 1980s, LA’s leftists had judged candidates by the color of their skin and not the content of their character. As an ambitious political animal, Parks wasn't motivated to expose the liberal politics that led to the hiring of bad cops.
This is not to say that white or black officers are all good or bad. But affirmative action hurts good officers of color as well. Veteran cops expect that white male officers, who are hired despite the existence of anti-white racial barriers, are more likely to possess skills and values that their counterparts may not. Because of these hurtles, blacks and women are often expected to work harder to prove they bring more to the LAPD than their complexions and reproductive organs. If high standards were placed on all candidates, race would become irrelevant.
The protection of marginal or criminal black LAPD officers was quietly understood during that period. In 1991, I offered tape-recorded evidence to a black supervisor that would have proven civil rights violations committed by a black officer. The supervisor allowed the accused officer to destroy the evidence and, when I refused repeated warnings to drop my complaint, I received an admonishment for the most minor complaint I had reported. The black supervisor was later charged with thirty unrelated acts of dereliction and misconduct. He quit the LAPD and was later hired by another LA area police agency.
So cops weren’t surprised when black officers were accused of committing bank robberies, trafficking cocaine, and shooting innocent people. Parks couldn’t make it look like a hiring problem, so he sprinkled the scandal with convenient white and Latino officers. He also used other inconsequential incidents to purge the LAPD of dozens of excellent officers under the pretext of “police reform.” He ruined the lives and careers of many good officers for personal political gain. I retired from the LAPD after only twenty years, largely because of the kind of racial politics that Parks had engaged in, and that commissions and politicians demanded.
As if to prove Parks’ bias against white and Latino officers, consider his treatment of other black LAPD employees.
Internet searches on terms like Bernard Parks, cocaine, and Moore deliver MANY links, including this one by LAPD insider Jack Dunphy, who describes Parks’ association with former Deputy Chief Maurice Moore:
In December 1999, while still chief of the LAPD, Parks was informed by the FBI that Moore, at that time a deputy chief for the department, was suspected of involvement in a large-scale cocaine distribution ring. Moore's son, a convicted drug dealer, continued operating his enterprise from inside prison, and Moore was suspected of laundering money for him through sham real estate deals and other such chicanery. Despite this revelation, Parks allowed Moore to continue in his duties with the department and retire quietly in January 2002.The Associated Press reported that Moore’s son was in federal prison for smuggling a half-ton of cocaine, and that his drug dealing had continued in prison.
In one of the transactions, (Deputy Chief Moore) purchased an apartment building in Los Angeles in 1992. Seven years later, as Kevin Moore was about to plead guilty to money laundering, he claimed the apartment building belonged to him.A year earlier, Parks’ then-37-year-old daughter Michelle, also an LAPD employee, was arrested while driving a car used in the alleged sale of 20 grams of cocaine to Las Vegas Police. There was no word on why the allegations against her were also dropped.
The other deal involves a house in Cheviot Hills that was transferred into Maurice Moore’s name on July 7, 1992. The house was deeded to him by Cheryl Frazier, whose sister, Anna Moore, was married to Kevin Moore and participated in his drug and money-laundering enterprises.
In a 1999 plea agreement to money laundering in connection with prison orchestrated drug dealing, Kevin Moore agreed to turn over $1 million in drug profits to the government, and in return, prosecutors agreed not to seize the two properties.
Rumor’s about Michelle Parks became even more bizarre when LAPD Detective Wayne Caffey testified that, in 1996, he saw a photograph of someone identified as Michelle Parks in the company of convicted Rampart officers Rafael Perez and David Mack. The photo was found during a raid of a South LA gang member.
If Parks’ message was to clean up corruption in the LAPD, it’s hard to imagine how he could turn a blind eye toward black employees and corrupt black administrators who he promoted and worked with. And how could residents or cops have confidence in a police department operated by money-launderers and their apologists? Instead of holding these people accountable, LA politicians hire lawyers and appoint commissions to create the perception of reform. Why should taxpayers have any confidence in politicians, their lawyers, or the East Coast chiefs they hire?
One retired deputy chief explained that during the 1980s, a quagmire of quota systems resulted in lower standards for “physical capability, intellectual capacity, and personal character… The result was that many incapable or mediocre recruits – even significant numbers with criminal links or gang associations – were accepted into the department.”
In the same article, The American Enterprise reported:
A scholarly study published in April 2000 in the professional journal Economic Inquiry found that aggressive "affirmative action" hiring raised crime rates in many parts of the U.S… Economist John Lott found that quotas requiring more black and minority police officers clearly increase crime rates. When affirmative action rules take over, he reports, the standards on physical strength tests, mental aptitude tests, and other forms of screening are lowered…Professor Lott’s findings were consistent with empiricle observations of me and my peers. LAPD training experts say that the Los Angeles Police Academy can no longer reliably be used as ‘a de-selector’ (of bad candidates).Ibid:
"I had mediocre trainees, some just plain incompetent. They were giving us trash. I finally transferred out because I didn't want to go out in the field with these kids anymore,” explained retired LAPD training officer Jim Peasha.While the Chief of Police has no control over federal Consent Decrees, a chief has a moral obligation to explain to taxpayers what they’re paying for if others do not. Unless voters and taxpayers are informed, they can’t force their elected officials and courts to end what has proven to be a bad idea.
When he got a bad minority recruit, Peasha couldn't drum him or her out, no matter what. “I had some fantastic minority recruits. One black kid was the best I ever had. But I also had one guy who I knew was on drugs and I couldn't get him out. He wound up getting caught working as a guard at a rock [cocaine] house. An off-duty cop!"
Parks’ silence conflicts with LAPD policy:
LAPD Manual Section 115.95:
… Above all, the police officer must be consistently open, honest and trustful in all matters. A combination of honesty and openness will effectively develop respect in the community for the police and make it possible for citizens to come to them with problems and information. Where this trust does not exist because of a lack of honesty or openness, the channels of communication between the police and the public are clogged and the police must desperately struggle on alone.It’s one thing for the federal courts to force good cops to work with armed felons and gang members in the spirit of diversity, but the former chief and now-city council member also has a responsibility to tell the public what they’re paying for, and a responsibility to warn naïve police recruits what kind of officers they might be forced to work with. Parks’ continued silence in these and other issues violates his fiduciary responsibility and public trust.
After seven years of unpaid suspension, the LAPD has not yet asked Sergeant Edward Ortiz to return to work. A jury unanimously awarded Ortiz $5 million for malicious prosecution, and neither Parks nor LA’s current East Coast chief have found any evidence of misconduct on Sergeant Ortiz’ part. How much longer must he wait before Parks admits his errors? Sergeant Ortiz didn’t violate the public trust – Parks, and now Bratton, did.
Decades ago, the LAPD was awash with applications from top candidates from all over the United States. I applied from Calcutta, India, three years before they hired me. East Coast cops used to say, if you want your pension, keep your mouth shut and do what you’re told – if you want to chase criminals, go to Los Angeles.
Today, the LAPD is run by an East Coast cop, and taxpayers must offer a million dollars in hiring bonuses because veteran police officers are reluctant to encourage their children, and other qualified candidates, to work under these conditions. Until City officials acknowledge and reform ALL of their misguided policies, the LAPD can never reform. Indeed, the LAPD is gaining the effectiveness of LA’s public schools, and the efficiency of public transportation. Lying to taxpayers and voters might make them feel better about crime, politicians, and taxes, but it doesn’t improve inefficiency - it only buries old lies more deeply.
Being Above Reproach
Before I joined the LAPD in 1980, I served 3½ years of my Marine Corps tour overseas. During that period, I was issued a top secret clearance and assigned to diplomatic posts in India and Central America.
As an official representative of the United States, I was required to conduct myself at all times in a manner “above reproach.” This means that doing the right thing wasn’t enough. The mere appearance of misconduct or unethical behavior could jeopardize my assignment and career, even if my actions were appropriate.
LAPD Manual Section 210.20:
The public demands that the integrity of its law enforcement officers be above reproach, and the dishonesty of a single officer may impair public confidence and cast suspicion upon the entire Department… An officer must scrupulously avoid any conduct which might compromise the integrity of himself, his/her fellow officers, or the Department.
LAPD Manual Section 210.35:
… Since the conduct of officers, on- or off-duty, may reflect directly upon the Department, officers must at all times conduct themselves in a manner which does not bring discredit to themselves, the Department, or the City.
Although Parks and I are no longer subject to the LAPD Manual, we still have an obligation to be honest with the public. In light of the many reports and rumors that Parks should have clarified throughout his service as a senior LAPD official and city council member, he still has an obligation to taxpayers to come clean and answer lingering questions.
In light of the compassion Parks showed to retired Deputy Chief Maurice Moore, it’s hard to imagine why Sergeant Edward Ortiz is still suspended without pay, despite a jury having found City of Los Angeles guilty of malicious prosecution. If it were my decision, I would return Sergeant Ortiz to full duty, return his back pay, issue a public apology, and offer him a position at the Police Academy to train young officers in the politics of policing. And if he didn’t take the spot, I would.
Police officers have a responsibility to remain “above reproach.” Parks continues to fail in that responsibility, thereby discrediting himself, his City Council peers, and the men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 3:30 PM
Friday, January 26, 2007
Someone noticed my comments about CompStat and chokepoints in the LA Voice and asked LAPD Detective Jeff Godown to set me straight.
In his response, Det. Godown summarizes CompStat and praises LAPD Chief William Bratton’s innovation, accountability, leadership, management, (and so forth) before accusing Bratton’s detractors (me) of questioning …the work of the men and women of the LAPD.
C’mon Jeff, you know this isn’t a cop problem.
We’ve both worked with the beleaguered men and women of the LAPD who perform meritoriously despite the crippling obstacles that the Mayor and City Council place before them. Mayor Jim “Pay-to-Play” Hahn chose the East Coast veteran over dozens of real LA cops because he didn’t trust ethical candidates from inside who threatened his chances for higher office. Yes, outspoken former chiefs named Parker, Davis, and Gates occasionally upset voters with their candor, but no one questioned whether they had the power to investigate corrupt politicians back then either. But after Mayor Bradley’s lawyer convinced voters to remove the Chief’s independence in 1992, taxpayers were forced to rely on the LA Times and ethics commissions (e.g., politicians policing themselves) for accountability, which may have contributed to the ethical lapses of Willie Williams and Bernard Parks.
And while the Consent Decree has the LAPD feverishly chasing its tail, the LA City Council appoints more leftists to blue ribbon commissions to feign accountability and convince voters to pay more taxes. I don’t blame mayors like Jim Hahn or Antonio Villaraigosa for selecting Bratton - if I was of their ilk I’d also want a chief who doesn’t get excited by the nuances of East Coast corruption.
But let’s focus on my question about CompStat and the mythology that LA is America’s second safest big city:
- I described how LA politicians convinced voters in 1992 to remove LAPD independence.
- I described some of the LAPD’s chokepoints, where officers aren’t available to record the hundreds of crimes that take place throughout Los Angeles each day.
- I described the pressure officers are under, and the reluctance of crime victims to report their losses because, “Cops have more important things to do.”
- I described how officers are forced to complete redundant reports in triplicate and how they must stand in line, sometimes for hours, to book suspects that used to take 20 minutes to process.
- I described how officers, who once arrested 4-5 drunk drivers or addicted felons a day, can only book one or two today because of the exhaustive arrest and reporting processes forced upon them.
But when Villaraigosa and Bratton exploit chokepoints to distort LA’s epidemic crime and violence, it does not bode well for the fine officers of the Los Angeles Police Department, or the community they serve.
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 6:27 PM
An Islamic cleric, during a Friday sermon, justifies the beating of wives via the words of the Quran. Equating the book to the manual one would get with the purchase of a new appliance, he goes on to intimate that the Quran is a woman's "owner's manual."
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 10:43 AM
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
As the chief of Los Angeles’ latest commission, civil rights lawyer Connie Rice leads a predictable group of politically-appointed pseudo-intellectuals hoping to rip off taxpayers again, this time under the pretext of fighting crime.
Politicians and the media call it a blue ribbon commission, as if blue ribbons somehow make biased commissions more believable. Ms. Rice punctuates her report with non-specific rage, authorized by Council members named Garcetti and Hahn, to paint aging and dead liberals (also named Garcetti and Hahn) in generic terms despite their legacy as our city’s greatest, albeit friendliest menace.
At $3,800 a page, the Advanced Project Report’s 131-pages are painfully unreadable for taxpayers who, its authors hope, will agree to waste even more taxes for two or three more decades of socialist incoherence: Incoherence that has nurtured LA’s violent criminal insurgency to lead one World Health Organization epidemiologist to compare violent crime in Los Angeles to diarrhea in Bangladesh. Having lived and worked in LA and West Bengal, I question the slur against Asian disease.
With the help of LAUSD’s unapologetically misspent billions, liberal democrats have controlled LA since the 1960s, sending their children to private schools while condemning generations of public schoolchildren who survive to tag our streets with their blood. After forty years of experimental social vandalism, their democrat progeny isn’t about to appoint lawyers to commissions that threaten their entrenched political power. Ms. Rice won’t bite the tax-grabbing hands that feed her.
This latest commission of experts includes no police officers, active or retired. When politicians pay lawyers to report on medicine, education, or public safety without at least a fifty-percent participation of real doctors, teachers, or cops, we can expect the candor of a Klan report on the “black experience.”
I won’t waste time attacking all 130 pages. The Executive Summary and Recommendations summarize their drivel. But before we explore the report, let me explain how I attacked gangs and crime during the 1980s and saved Los Angeles residents more than $200 million.
The Addict & Crime
When I was a street cop, my most effective tool was Health & Safety Code §11550, a law that prohibits anyone from being under the influence of a controlled substance without a valid prescription. The law required rehabilitation, or incarceration for at least 90 days.
The connection between drug abuse and crime is clear. And while not all drug abusers are gang members or felons, the overwhelming majority of felons and gang members are drug users or addicts. Crime is their full-time occupation and a condition of gang membership. The more crime and violence a member commits, the more prestige he enjoys. The murder of rivals and cops enhances their social status.
Cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine addicts are incapable of sustained employment. Unless independently wealthy (i.e., Elizabeth Taylor, Betty Ford, Courtney Love), addicts must find alternative ways to support their lifestyle and intoxication. Public shelters don’t admit the intoxicated, so addicts spend most of their time looking for targets to rob and steal, while others prostitute themselves for drugs, spreading AIDS and other STDs through the community.
Cops & Robbers
So instead of prowling the streets looking for suspicious activity or the chance capture of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted, smart cops know that, to find felons, they need go no further than to visit known drug dealers and hangouts. After a few minutes in the shadows, felons and gang members arrive as expected.
Felons don’t usually spend more than a few moments with dealers. There are exceptions. Some addicted flop house residents allow addicts to spend the night, grab a bite or take showers. Burglars and prostitutes who deliver goods and services may stay longer but, for the most part, transactions take seconds. It is then up to cops to know when and who to follow as their probable cause (PC) develops.
It doesn’t take long before an addicted pedestrian or driver violates a traffic law or signal. Addicted drivers are usually too preoccupied to think of vehicle maintenance, signals, or seatbelts. Either way, their behavior and eventual detention presents enough PC to initiate a dialogue, which officers use to identify the conclusive signs of intoxication that lead to arrest. And after their arrest, the required inventory of the impounded car and personal possessions often yields evidence of other crimes, including drugs, weapons, and stolen property.
From 1985 through 1989, I used §11550 to arrest four or five addicts each day. When I arrested less than five, I felt as though I’d cheated taxpayers. So for most of those four years, I arrested a daily average of 4.5, or 22 a week. And if we accept that I worked on the streets for 40 weeks a year, I probably arrested 900 felons and gang members by the end of each year. I worked much more than 40 weeks, but we can conservatively say the other twelve weeks accounted for vacations, illness, desk duty, training days, and so forth. I worked nights so court wasn’t a factor.
FBI statistics then suggested that most criminals commit more than eighty crimes for every one arrest. My hundreds of interviews with addicts suggested a daily average of between five and ten crimes a day to support their addiction and lifestyle.
§11550 H&S was a powerful crime-fighting tool because convictions required a minimum 90-day jail sentence. Judges could sentence addicts to more time, but not less.
My work and careful study resulted in a 100 percent filing and conviction rate. I was almost always able to obtain legal confessions, photographs, and urine or blood evidence from addicts who I promised to release without bail in exchange for their cooperation. And when they failed to appear in court, arrest warrants allowed other officers a way to arrest them later when they were nothing more than “suspicious characters.”
One Cop’s Cost Savings
As stated before, I used this tool from 1985-1989. During that 48 month period, I averaged 4.5 §11550 arrests a day, 22 each week, or 900 addicts a year (assuming 40 weeks a year on the street). During that four-year period I made roughly 2,700 §11550 arrests.
The typical drug addict commits at least five property crimes each day to support themselves and their addictions. Their thefts (burglary, robbery, shoplift, burglary or theft from motor vehicle, plain theft) are not dollar for dollar: That is, the replacement cost for a watch, DVD player, plasma TV, purse, or cell phone usually costs much more than fees paid by a fence. Addicts might get $100 for a $3000 plasma TV, or $200 for a Cartier watch that the fence will resell for $500. So for computational ease, let’s assume that each crime represents an average $50 loss to victims. Addicts who commit five crimes a day represent a minimum property loss of $250 (5 crimes X $50).
I didn’t include the repair costs of a broken door or window, or the health costs from being attacked by robbers, the injuries, hospitalization, lost work, psychological trauma, and so forth, nor will I include the costs for addict rehabilitation, incarceration, or international drug interdiction efforts.
But by using these conservative numbers we can accept that by arresting one addict who spends 90 days in jail, I’ve effectively prevented 450 crimes (five crimes X 90 days) and the property loss of $22,500 ($50 X 450 crimes).
And if we assume a minimum replacement cost of $50 per stolen item (it is far greater), we can estimate another $22,500, bringing the total cost savings to victims (and their insurers) at $45,000 during 90 days of incarceration.
Taxpayers spend at least $300 for police to investigate these crimes, which includes gas, vehicle maintenance, uniform and equipment wear and tear, administrative costs, training, and follow-up reports. Not every crime is reported to police, so if we assume that 200 of those 450 crimes are reported, we will spend $60,000 to investigate those 200 crimes.
To summarize, this means that if one addict is sentenced to 90 days in jail, LA residents and taxpayers will save at least $105,000 in property loss and investigative costs.
I can safely estimate that from 1985-1989, I arrested 2,700 addicts. Many addicts were sentenced to more than 90 days, but if we assume that all of those 2,700 addicts were sentenced to 90 days in jail, we can roughly estimate that my efforts alone saved LA residents and taxpayers at least $283,500,000 (million) in lost property and tax revenues.
If ten officers were allowed to duplicate my efforts, the cost savings in prevented crime could represent billions of dollars.
The End of §11550
My efforts ended in 1989 with a call from the Valley Bureau Narcotics Division. Until then, I’d enjoyed a 100 percent filing rate. I’d participated in more than fifty trials and preliminary hearings, and most defendants eventually pled guilty, served out their sentences, or returned to jail on parole or probation violations.
So when the filing team said that a judge had dismissed 30 of my cases, I was concerned. For many years, I subscribed to the Peace Officer’s Legal Sourcebook, a publication that keeps officers up to date on the latest case law regarding powers of arrest, search and seizure, and evidence rules. More often than not, I memorized the latest case law before judges and prosecutors were aware of them.
“What happened to my cases?” I asked the narcotics filing team. They didn’t know. I asked the filing deputy city attorney who agreed there was nothing wrong with them. So I visited the judge.
“Well first of all,” she said with condescending authority, “You have no right to shine a flashlight on any individual. That's an illegal detention.”
She knew she had goofed as I recited the recent case law. Startled, she bluffed me with four other bogus reasons and I quoted each case back to her. And when it became clear that she had dismissed my cases without cause, she ordered me to leave her chambers.
I returned to a startled city attorney who concluded a phone call saying, “Yes ma’am… yes, your Honor…” When he hung up he said, “I don’t know what you told her, but she’s pissed.”
When I returned to work, my captain reminded me that I could not talk to judges the way I did. I was soon reassigned to the windowless jail at Foothill Division, no longer allowed on the streets to arrest criminals.
I never arrested another drug addict again. I later transferred to motorcycle traffic enforcement. Mine was the last name on the eligibility list.
I didn’t fully understand until years later when I realized that there weren’t enough courts, judges, prosecutors, or jails available to accommodate my 900 arrests every year. I’d hoped that my efforts would force expansion of the courts, jails, and prosecutor offices. Instead, I had simply overwhelmed city resources. The judge was young and had been placed in the unenviable position of lying to a cop. She, along with the City Attorney, Chief of Police, and LA politicians would not tell the public the truth. It was easier to relieve the pressure by letting criminals pillage neighborhoods and sequestering cops who didn’t know their place.
There are also political advantages to undermining the police. As long as officers are chasing preventable crimes, the public is left with the impression that cops are doing their jobs. Much like Chief Bratton’s adolescent use of emergency lights and sirens, the public feels safer although far less gets done today. And when it comes to politics, perception is really all that matters.
LA’s Latest Sham Commission
This brings us back to the City Council’s $500,000 payoff to Connie Rice for her bogus commission.
In its 131 pages, Connie explains everything except what I have explained. Had a few experienced and honest cops been included in her circle of political friends, her report might have been more relevant, shorter, and less costly.
Yes, criminal gangs are a problem, but most turf wars stem from competing narcotics markets and sales. Until this week, drug addicts were considered non-violent criminals, which gave LA County Sheriff Roy Baca justification to release them after only spending a few days or weeks in jail. Baca has now decided that gang members will no longer be released early. Way to go, Barney.
In her report summary, Connie Rice quotes a World Health Organization (WHO) expert who says, “Los Angeles is to violence what Bangladesh is to diarrhea.” And since LA ranked 35th in 2003, it’s hard to understand how Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD’s East Coast chief could describe LA as America’s second safest big city today without juking the numbers or gagging from an overdose of cannabis brownies.
Let’s set aside Bangladesh diarrhea and compare LA to Iraq. As CNN’s Henry Schuster reported in Iraq Insurgency 101 (Oct 2005), Iraq’s 24 million residents suffer from an estimated insurgency of 200,000, which include 25,000-30,000 actual fighters who are supported by various active and passive supporters, fund-raisers, lookouts, and family members. That’s a one fighter per 800 civilians in Iraq. By comparison, LA’s 4.3 million residents are routinely victimized by 40,000 violent gang members, or one violent gang member per 107 LA residents! Because Iraq’s insurgency is roughly one-eighth the size of LA’s insurgency, we should probably be thankful that they don’t have access to artillery shells or anti-aircraft weapons, yet. I’m surprised that Ms. Rice hasn’t blamed the LAPD for fueling the insurgency or hasn't demanded a gradual withdrawal of police forces from besieged neighborhoods.
If the LAPD maintains current staffing levels, we'll have more than enough officers to effectively prevent crime in Los Angeles.
Police officers can be extremely effective when we hire applicants based upon merit rather than color or gender. Cops who aren’t weighed down by consent decrees, triplicate paperwork, or the absence of prosecutorial, judicial, and custodial resources can be as effective as I was during the 1980s. While I understand the political allure that liberals benefit from the perception of a dysfunctional and racist police department in need of perpetual reform, or the financial advantages of increasing police ranks to increase union dues that support political candidates, the LAPD does not need more cops. And if we keep criminals behind bars, there will be fewer criminals to keep cops busy.
I’ve illustrated how my four-year effort alone saved LA residents nearly $300 million in crime and tax revenues. Think of what ten, or 500, officers can do with the real support of the politicians, courts, prosecutors, and jails. Without increasing taxes like last year’s wholly unnecessary trash tax, or Ms. Rice’s proposed $50 million anti-gang tax hike, real cops doing real work with the right resources will make unnecessary the kind of tax increases that LA politicians love to waste.
Besides tax hikes, the rest of Connie’s recommendations include, 1) a demand for the necessary political will to fight criminals (instead of fighting LA cops), 2) meeting the unmet needs of children (e.g., tax hikes), 3) ending costly City practices (like publishing Rice’s $500,000 report), 4) a demand for new streams of funding (higher taxes), 5) involving LAUSD (why not involve MS-13 too?), expanding City and LAUSD resources (more taxes again)…
Do you see a pattern? Politicians: I) create the gang problem by crippling the LAPD with consent decrees, hiring quotas, insufficient resources, and unnecessary paperwork, II) blame the LAPD for predictable failures, and III) demand higher taxes to attack problems they created.
Yup – LA residents can be very proud of leaders like Connie Rice. But just to be safe, keep your hand on your wallet.
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 3:49 PM
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
This is now in general the great art of legislation at this place: To do a thing by assuming the appearance of preventing it (and to) prevent a thing by assuming that of doing it.
Her shocked partner turned and asked, “What did you do that for?”
She replied, “I don’t know, I don’t know!”
A neighbor witnessed the incident from across the street.
The man died. Investigators found his plastic dinner knife. They later learned that he suffered from polio.
A few months after LAPD and DA completed their investigations, the Los Angeles City Council, in secret session, settled the case with the dead man’s family for several million tax dollars. The payment was used to 1) settle the wrongful death suit, and 2) to compensate family members for their silence. No charges were filed against the officer and, as far as I know, she’s still armed and handling radio calls for the LAPD.
I received the information from a reliable source. If I were to disclose that source, she would be fired for releasing confidential information. If detectives and DA investigators disclosed portions of the investigation, they would also be fired or disbarred. The secrecy that pervades routine County Supervisor and Police Commission hearings prevents anyone from independently confirming incidents like these with other sources.
This story isn’t surprising. After LAPD Officer Karen Tiffault shot and killed a naked 16-year-old boy in 1999, the City Council secretly awarded the boy’s family millions of dollars as well. A large chunk of that money bought their silence.
Because secrets are nothing new in Los Angeles, its laughable how so many of LA’s usual suspects are shocked – shocked to find secrets behind the closed doors of the LAPD. Those lefties doth protest too much.
LA County Prosecutor Patterico writes:
… in the recent articles on the Board of Rights’decision, the (LA Times) never explains that the contrary Police Commission findings were made in a process every bit as secret as that of the Board of Rights. (The only difference I can see is that the Police Commission’s results were officially announced and released by the Commission, whereas the Board’s were released by the officer, because of the necessity for a privacy waiver.
This is not a meaningful distinction, as the public has learned the results and reasoning in both cases. But the process — the proceedings, taking of evidence, and deliberations — was secret in both cases.) And when the paper initially reported the Police Commission’s findings, the secrecy of the Commission’s proceedings was barely mentioned, and was given no prominence whatsoever…
LA’s Broken Democracy
As voters and taxpayers, we depend on the integrity that comes from independent executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government. Those branches, however, are presently infested by conjoined ideologues that now control the only watchdog of political power: the media. The LAPD is controlled by the mayor through the Police Commission, and the Los Angeles Times kills stories that expose leftist corruption, while amplifying the most inconsequential allegations of LAPD abuse.
And by doing so, LA’s politicians and gossips leave many taxpayers with the impression that crucifying this cop or questioning that LAPD decision gets to the bottom of all of LA’s problems. LA’s lefties want us to believe that if only we can finally rid ourselves of bad cops (and Republicans) Los Angeles will be the shining city on the hill… What their secret meetings won’t disclose is how their political interference created the problems they now want us to believe they can cure. (sigh)
NOTE: If you still have doubts about LA Times bias,
This arrangement wasn’t always the case. When President Johnson appointed Dan Walker to investigate the so-called Chicago police riots in 1968, the Walker Commission found Mayor Daly at fault for creating the policies used by the Chicago Police to quell violent demonstrations. Warren Christopher knew this – he was there. And by another coincidence, Mayor Daly had followed the advice of the McCone Commission Report to quell riots. Coincidentally, that highly criticized report was written largely by Warren Christopher.
With the arrest of Rodney King in 1991, it’s unlikely that Christopher, now Mayor Bradley’s attorney and friend, was willing to wait for Republican President George (H.W.) Bush to appoint an "independent commission," and Christopher got his client (Mayor Bradley) to appoint him. Of course, neither Christopher nor the hundred personally-selected lawyers found any conflict.
The Christopher Commission skewed and omitted facts that would have implicated Bradley and his police commissioners, just as the jury did in their acquittal of the King defendants in 1992. But attorney-client privilege made any such disclosure by Christopher a violation of attorney-client privilege – an act that would get Christopher and his lawyers disbarred.
Although LA politicians ostensibly serve voters, the lawyers they hire (and we pay for) serve those politicians. And until transparency exists throughout all of Los Angeles and the media, and the LAPD regains their operational and ideological independence, a selected handful LAPD trial boards will offer us nothing more than uniformed piñatas for voters to vent their anger.
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 2:24 PM
Monday, January 15, 2007
Code6Charles weighs in on the Devin Brown LAPD shooting:
No one knows the driver is some 13 year old kid joyriding, and a cop shouldn't have to care when he's trying to do his job. Let there be community outrage. Let there be a politically motivated/biased opinion from the civilian police commission. And then let Officer Steven Garcia go back on patrol.
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 10:39 PM
I just received this note by a gay 60-year-old liberal:
I don't understand what was so great about Martin Luther King except that he got good press to help keep a video and recorded a couple of GREAT speeches... I don't doubt that he was a great man, but who are we placating by having a holiday in his name?My friend, the holiday has nothing to do with celebrating Martin Luther King’s life. If it was, Americans would not still endure the disastrous social experiment of affirmative action at the expense of equal opportunity. Whether they call it segregation, disenfranchisement, or affirmative action, Democrats justify this continuing violation of Equal Protection to control large blocs of black- and brown-skinned voters, to empower Democrats at the expense of ALL Americans.
The MLK holiday: 1) helps guilt-ridden Democrats demonstrate their own undeserved redemption, and; 2) tosses a bone to angry blacks who might postpone the next big (and justifiable) riot. Democrats have replaced the KKK with Judas horses to ensure that blacks riot on the streets and not in the voting booth.
In his life, MLK’s message threatened Democrats. In death, Democrats exploit his name so they can continue to do what they’ve always done. And it works. After nearly fifty years in control of public education and social programs, millions of blacks are as condemned as they were in the 1930s. Those who escape, find success, and question Democrats are vilified - just as they were 80 years ago, and 180 years ago.
In death, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., is just one more Judas horse…
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 3:13 PM
Sunday, January 14, 2007
I found an open seat at a table full of cops at a recent LAPD retirement dinner for a friend. After quick introductions, the guy next to me asked if I was retired. He'd clearly mistaken me for a fellow cop, and because I'm pushing 60, I suppose it's a reasonable question.Is there anything more pathetic than a narcissist who suffers from low self-esteem? It should not come as a surprise to Max, who makes a living by pretending to be a real person, that he has misinterpreted The Look. Let me explain.
Secretly pleased, I answered, "Well, I've played a lot of cops, but I'm an actor."
"Oh," he said, leaning back as if he'd touched the underside of something unusual. He gave me The Look.
You all do it.
The instant we identify ourselves as actors, a mixture of curiosity, bemused suspicion and pity crosses your face. After all, if we're really actors, shouldn't you already know who we are? If you can't place us, it doesn't quite compute. What have we been in? We know that unless our recited credits contain a featured role in the latest blockbuster or a guest shot on a hit TV show, we might as well tell you that we're astronauts.
If I introduced myself to Mr. Thayer as a successful actor and he knew I have never acted a day in my life, he would probably give me the same look. It’s the same look I’d get from steelworkers, doctors, lawyers, or teachers if I told them that I made a living pretending to be a steelworker, doctor, lawyer, or teacher. And if I put on a Special Forces uniform and a chest full of medals and told soldiers of the 82nd Airborne that I was not really a soldier, I’d probably get more than The Look - and deserve it.
The difference between actors of WWII and today's thesbians is that back then they did something beneficial for Americans. Most were patriots who helped America win WWII by either participating as real soldiers, or raising morale by portraying the best that America had to offer. Actors like Gregory Peck, Jimmy Stewart, Ronald Reagan, Charleton Heston, David Niven, and Katharine Hepburn made real contributions as Americans - and they never forgot that there were bigger and more important things than themselves.
But if Max Thayer's anxiety wasn’t enough, he writes:
The odds of being hired (as an actor)… are about the same as winning the lottery. Meanwhile, waiting for our number to come up can mean a lot of downtime, and not many of us can pass off as "character study" a prolonged period of sitting around in our underwear and watching daytime TV. With a notorious underemployment rate, it's hard to ignore the siren call of a straight job's steady paycheck. The wail of a needy baby can leave the toughest, most determined dream cracked open like an egg.The wail of a needy baby cracks dreams like a broken egg. Oooooh, that’s rich, Max.
May I suggest that the next time someone asks what you do, tell them you’re a “Hollywood liberal.” It’s not only your most convincing role but, when they give you That Look, you’ll know why.
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 6:34 PM
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Kudos to LAUSD public school advocate David Coffin who asks where LAUSD seniors are going:
(I)n 2004 at Westchester High School, the 9th grade enrollment was 1143, 10th grade enrollment was 620 students, 11th grade with 546 students and the 12th grade with 331. What does that tell you?Last year, LAUSD Board member Julie Korenstein suggested they might be going back to Mexico. Find out how many seniors have disappeared from your LAUSD high school.
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 11:46 PM
In 1993, Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney David Sotelo violated the civil rights of a Los Angeles police officer who, he knew, was factually innocent. Despite Sotelo’s deliberate misconduct, Gray Davis appointed him to sit in judgment of others as a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge. Although I was the one whose civil rights he violated, I have since accepted that we all make mistakes and most of us learn and grow from them. I’ve kept an eye on Sotelo and am heartened by his temperament today. He seems to have learned from his mistakes, as most of us do.
Why is this relevant? Because as the LA Dog Trainer and lefty lawyers wax hysterical about the outcome of the Devin Brown shooting, LAPD Officer Steven Garcia’s exoneration, and the terrible secrecy of his Trial Board, LA Dog Trainer-reporter Scott Glover has dug up Officer Garcia’s ten-year-old complaint:
A Los Angeles Police Department captain who voted not to discipline Officer Steven Garcia this week in the shooting of 13-year-old Devin Brown had warned him in a previous disciplinary case that one more offense would probably get him fired.Yet that history was ignored in the Board of Rights hearing on Brown's death because LAPD rules typically do not allow an officer's past misconduct to be considered.Warren Christopher used the same tactic to smear good police officers in 1991, so it’s important to explain its use.
First of all, the LAPD hires no one. Appointments to the Los Angeles Police Academy are made at the Los Angeles Personnel Department, by civilians who consider quotas to ensure that LAPD officers are of the appropriate color and gender. This is not to say that Garcia relied on quotas to join the LAPD, I know little of him. But I do know that white male applicants must possess remarkable credentials to compete with quotas.
According to Glover, Officer Garcia was suspended for 44 days without pay in 1997 for misconduct. Other than the Brown shooting, Glover’s report does not indicate any misconduct by Garcia before 1997 or during the subsequent decade.
Under LAPD rules, prior discipline can be presented as evidence in a new case only if it is used to demonstrate a pattern of misconduct. If an officer is ultimately found guilty of an offense, past discipline may then be considered in determining punishment. As with similar rules in criminal court, restrictions on the admissibility of past misconduct are intended to protect against undue prejudice…So let’s look at Officer Garcia’s pattern of misconduct. The LAPD has employed him for at least ten years and he still works in a busy uniformed patrol division. Street cops typically come into contact with several dozen suspects, witnesses, and victims every day. Considering that the average officer is on the streets interacting with suspects and victims for about 200 days each year, we can assume that Officer Garcia had direct contact with roughly 4,000 Angelenos each day, or approximately 40,000 people between 1997 and today.
Jeffrey C. Eglash, who served as the LAPD's inspector general from 1999 through 2002, said "the department has historically taken an unnecessarily narrow view" of the use of prior evidence. "When relevant evidence about an officer's complaint or use-of-force history that would be admitted in an actual trial is excluded in a Board of Rights, that unnecessarily tilts the playing field" in the officer's favor, said Eglash, now a private attorney in Connecticut. "I think that's wrong."
Now if we’re looking for patterns, this pattern is obvious: Of the 40,000 contacts Officer Garcia has had while serving on the most violent streets in the United States, less than one-tenth of one percent of those who had contact with him have ever complained. These numbers do not imply reckless or malicious behavior, but instead show a pattern of restraint and excellence. For the LA Dog Trainer to question Officer Garcia’s fitness is pathetic at best, especially in light of their severe allergic reaction to accurate journalism.
And if we compare David Sotelo’s short service as a prosecutor, I am confident that the percentage of Sotelo’s recorded civil rights abuses far outweigh Officer Garcia’s.
And if these numbers still confuse you, ask yourself whether LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who averages 3.2 personal fouls per game, is a more valuable player than teammate Shammond Williams, who averages less than one foul per game. Smart people figure these things out intuitively and people like Eglash, Chemerinsky, and Glover know better than to misrepresent these facts.
Police officers who misrepresent fact are severely disciplined or fired, while Eglash and Chemerinsky play as loose and sloppy as the LA Dog Trainer because of biases that favor their liberal clients, friends, and philosophy. Before any of those noisy benchwarmers complain about Kobe Bryant’s performance or Officer Garcia’s record, they should first be required to spend a few days playing center court.
But as a former LAPD training officer, I doubt that talented performers like Glover, Eglash, or Chemerinsky possess the virtues expected of Los Angeles police officers.
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 5:07 PM
As the Los Angeles Dog Trainer and other media have reported, LAPD Officer Steven Garcia has been found not guilty of violating Department policy in the wake of the 2005 shooting of Devin Brown.
I congratulate the member’s of the LAPD Trial Board and Chief Bratton for their courage in not sacrificing a good officer for a tragic event. Had Devin Brown been in bed sleeping (where he should have been that early morning), he might be alive today. It is tragic when criminals force officers to use any force, but officers use force in response to criminals who refuse to comply with their lawful orders. Brown was no Boy Scout, and young offenders kill and maim innocent Americans every day. Brown made his decision and it cost him his young and pathetic life.
After having reviewed the evidence and LAPD Review Board’s rationale, Garcia’s innocence is clear - but that hasn’t silenced the LAPD’s noisiest critics. Like most police shootings, the entire incident transpired during the course of four seconds, and Garcia's ten shots were fired in under two seconds. And as one board member explained, that’s one-thousand one, one-thousand-.
Those who question the Garcia decision should look at history. The Rodney King defendants were acquitted in 1992 not because they had not beaten Rodney King, but because the jury had correctly found the officers to have followed the Police Commission's brutal policy of beating anesthetized suspects into submission with batons (1983-1991). Mayor Bradley’s own lawyer, Warren Christopher, tried to blame officers for in-policy use of force and, when the jury didn’t buy that, Bradley incited LA’s billion-dollar riot.
Duke Law Professor Erwin Chemerinsky says that disciplinary hearings involving police officers accused of misconduct must be open to the media and the public, and they were for more than two decades in Los Angeles, until late last year.
This is only partly correct. Does anyone remember when LAPD Officer Karen Tiffault killed a naked 16-year-old boy in 1999? Don't feel bad - most references to that shooting are no longer online. Except for the City Council’s secret hearing and multi-million dollar settlement, the shooting of an unarmed and naked 16-year-old boy by a female officer wasn't open, nor was there much outrage by Chemerinsky, Mack, or any of LA’s other whiny liberals who kept quiet about it. And while two large male officers probably could have restrained that juvenile, Officer Tiffault’s physical limitations required her to shoot and kill the teenager. There's no record that Tiffault was charged or disciplined, but local politicians quietly settled that case so they wouldn't have to explain LA's anti-white-male hiring practices, or the lowered standards that result from the mediocre hiring practices they impose.
The board's decision is particularly disturbing because the Police Commission,after a careful review, found that the shooting was not within LAPD policy…The LAPD does not create policy without the Police Commission’s blessing, and members aren’t about to invite community outrage against themselves. The Police Commission found the shooting out of policy because, to support Garcia, they would have had to explain why they created the policies that led to the shooting - exposing themselves and the mayor who appoint them to ridicule reserved ordinarily for the cops who are forced to follow bad policy. And that would take courage and character - something that LA liberals aren't celebrated for.
… In fact, the city last year came to the same conclusion and paid $1.5 million to settle a civil suit brought by the boy's family.When Brown’s family cashed in for $1,300,000 last July, it had less to do with the evidence and everything to do with LA’s incompetent and racially biased/anti-LAPD jurors. Can you imagine what an OJ jury might have awarded Devin's neglectful family? Despite Brown’s behavior and Officer Garcia’s tactical awareness and restraint, jury nullification could have easily cost taxpayers millions more. By now, Brown’s wasted life has likely translated into a new car and plasma TV.
… It seems inexplicable that the board of rights, composed of two high-level police officers and one civilian, found that the fatal shooting of a teenage boy under these circumstances was justified... Such secrecy undermines the accountability of the LAPD. Without being able to observe disciplinary hearings or know the reasons for the panel's conclusions, there is no way to evaluate whether the disciplinary system is working. Closed proceedings and secret decisions fuel the impression that the board of rights protects officers from warranted discipline and does not serve the interests of the city.
If Erwin and LA politicians really believed this they could open their doors NOW. The Los Angeles Citry Council and County Board of Supervisors routinely close their doors to outsiders. Is it because they don’t want to corroborate evidence that hiring mediocre cops under the pretext of diversity is a bad idea that implicates themselves? Is it because they don't want taxpayers to know that they're paying off bereaved families because they have no faith in the circus that IS the LA jury system?
If LA politicians really believed in openness, they could open their doors right now. And while Chemerinsky's at it, maybe we should have all allegations of misconduct by lawyers, judges, and academics posted online and aired at public meetings so we can get a clear view of those groups as well. Openness is healthy in a democracy.
Holding board of rights hearings in secret serves no one's interest.I agree with Chemerinsky, Erwin, Bratton, and everyone else concerned about openness. But let’s open all the doors and not just a selected few. And LA’s politicians don’t need to wait for legislation – they can start today.
LA prosecutor Patterico also weighs in.
Posted by ex-Hollywood Liberal at 1:38 PM