To say that Chief Bratton’s return to the NYPD is troublesome would be an understatement. His reinstatement highlights the shockingly short institutional memory of politicians eager to use Bratton’s well developed media appeal. Unfortunately, beyond the headlines and soundbites, Bratton’s true impact comes at the expense of poor communities of color. Upon announcement of his return to the position of NYC’s “top cop” there has been nothing short of an all-out media fawning for the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Oddly, Los Angeles has been used to justify and prop-up why NYCs “top cop” is worthy of returning to his East Coast throne. But missing is the readily available facts that paint the real picture of Bratton’s reign in Los Angeles.
For example, Dennis Hamill of tge Daily News writes a fluff piece (non-critical evaluation of things sputtered by Bratton) that simply allows Bratton to control the narrative. In one especially bothersome and long quote Bratton is allowed to talk about; 1) how he supports and utilized stop and frisk in Los Angeles; and, 2) how it was not focused on “good kids on the way home from school or work.” (See Full Article HERE)
A simple internet search would have led Hamill to the extensive campaign organized by the Labor/Community Strategy Center’s Community Rights Campaign who have led a multi-year effort to stop the ticketing and harassment of these exact “good kids” going to and from school–a policy ushered in by Chief Bratton and is another manifestation of his celebrated stop and frisk strategy. In fact, a staggering 47,000 tickets, from 2004-2009, were issued to predominantly African American and Latino students. Hamill could have also searched the LA Times would have found extensive coverage on the subject matter. And if that was not enough information, he could have simply picked up the phone and made a few calls to those who were working on the ground in poor communities of color under Bratton’s tenure in LA to ensure journalistic integrity was applied.
But it’s not just Hamill’s article. There has been a wave of articles since Chief Bratton’s reinstatement and very few of them have been critical of his record in Los Angeles. Instead, we have been bombarded with Bratton quotes and politically connected civil rights advocates assertions that have nothing to do with the realities in our communities. LA CAN will work to set the record straight as the “Bratton media express” rolls out its fabricated versions of Los Angeles policing because the record should be clear and authentic.
Please visit often because until fair and balanced journalism happens we will continue to provide a blow-by blow accounting of Bratton’s racist and brutal policing practices we experienced here in LA, and especially Downtown LA.