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LA Times Opines on RateMyCop.com
After the Daily News' story on the Culver City based RateMyCop.com, the LA Times comes out with an editorial opinion on the site when talking about the hypocrisies of police accountability. "Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton tends to honor it in the breach -- he proclaims the department accountable, then decries those who scrutinize its work," the opinion with no author reads. "Critics of the LAPD demand transparency but sometimes fail to take advantage of it. Leaders of the city's police union insist that they believe in it but often work to undermine it." And as to rating your cop, the Times digs it:
The Los Angeles Police Protective League says it has received a number of complaints from members, and [ratemycop.com's] managers have received plenty of objections too. But opposition is fruitless and unwise. Fruitless because, like it or not, we live in a world in which the Internet offers endless opportunity for self-expression and critique. Unwise because police are consummately public officials, carrying out duties that deserve public scrutiny and comment. It has long been said that the most powerful person in the criminal justice system is an officer in the moment of encounter with a suspect. That's true, and those encounters warrant the closest attention possible. RateMyCop.com may be a crude device, but it's a worthy one.
Those encounters, indeed, do need attention. Incidents like Monday morning in Hollywood on Curson St. where a homeless man lying on the ground allegedly "lunged" at officers with a knife forcing officers to shoot a reported six fatal rounds at him. One person, who wishes to remain anonymous, e-mailed LAist saying that " knew the homeless man who was killed on Curson this week - he was a sweet, surprisingly normal guy who was a musician, who was never drunk or high in all the time I knew him." The e-mail described the silence of the night and "then suddenly: shot, shot - then long wails and screams - then 3 more quick shots. But who the hell's gonna stand up against the mob in blue for a homeless guy, right?"