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Is the LAPD asking for an extended consent decree?
The LAPD's civil rights consent decree just got extended this past summer for another three years. Do videos like this and witness accounts help end this decree and get more officers back on the street instead of desk duty for consent decree paperwork? Not really.
Here is some excerpts from Daniel Hernandez's blog:
"The sight of cops standing shoulder-to-shoulder menacingly holding batons drew more onlookers, which drew more cops, which drew more onlookers. The pointless showdown kept escalating."
"Video footage online and on local TV stations shows officers clubbing and violently shoving teens, seniors, adults holding small children, and even reporters. One piece of footage shows officers senselessly beating a FOX 11 cameraman who had been knocked to the ground, and then striking FOX 11 reporter Christina Gonzalez who had stepped in to protest."
"Another woman, Sarah Araiza, said officers pushed her 13-year-old. 'They were pushing children! See that police officer, laughing like a jack-ass? That officer pushed my daughter. He pushed her for no reason,' Araiza said."
On Tuesday morning, Bratton suggested to KNX radio that he disapproved of the LAPD's actions at MacArthur Park. The Radio and Television News Association called for a investigation, CNS said. "There is evidence that officers knocked reporters to the ground, used batons on photographers and damaged cameras, possibly motivated by anger over journalists photographing efforts by officers to control the movements of the marchers," the RTNA said in a statement.
From my perspective as someone who works hand and hand with the LAPD as a community member, it is a great department. As everywhere, there are the bad apples -- and the difference between those who are corrupt in city offices and those in the LAPD is tax money swindling vs. baton swinging.
But whenever the police are in riot gear, the wisdom of both sides of the crowd seems to go sour. Chief Bratton said "missiles" were thrown (yes, that is a legal 1920s/30s term) and officers had to respond. As kids in school, we are taught to take the high road and let the bullies be; for us not to fall into the trap. If I were at a bar and someone threw a bottle at me and then I took a weapon of a higher degree and beat him senseless, guess who loses in court? Probably me unless he continued to throw bottles non-stop and it was the only way for me to protect myself.
Yeah, it is illegal to throw objects at the police (or anyone for that matter), but what if the LAPD just stood their ground? Could they target the so-called "few" who were causing the trouble that supposedly started all this? Maybe that wouldn't work, who knows. I'm no riot control expert.
Photo by Mr. Littlehand via Flickr