Archive for Chief Beck

10-12 LAPD Officers Tase, Fire Bean Bags at Man in Wheel Chair in DTLA

Posted in civil rights, video with tags , , , on July 21, 2015 by Cangress

In a manner that appears consistent with the ongoing trends of the Los Angeles Police Department using excessive force on low-income and/or houseless primarily Black residents, LAPD officers shot bean bags, tased, and then wrestled to the ground a wheelchair-bound man at or around 7:30am on Thursday, July 16, 2015. Eye witness, cell phone video footage from the shooting – recently acquired by the Los Angeles Community Action Network – appears to show a standoff (really a “sit-off”) between the man and at least 10 -12 LAPD officers. About 30 seconds into the clip, the unidentified man, who is clearly distressed and shouting at the officers, is shot twice. Then MANY seconds after, officers shoot the man again and gang tackle the man to the ground commencing to tasing him. Despite several requests, the identity of the man, nor his charges, have been released.

Unfortunately, this is just the latest of a similar string of incidents involving escalated use of force on the part of LAPD. And while this shooting thankfully did not result in another dead resident, it is important to note that this is indicative of the type of escalated policing that low-income residents, particularly in gentrifying communities, have been experiencing in recent weeks (and months, in some cases). It also represents the problem with the rhetoric around the emphasis on de-escalation training that the LAPD has been pushing in the media recently. No matter what this man was doing that resulted in a call to the police, at the time of the incident it is clear in video that the man was not an immediate threat. So why was it necessary to shoot him three times with bean bags? Why was it necessary to tase him? Why was it necessary that a horde of officers were needed to violently wrestle down a man in a wheel chair? The man did appear to be upset and was shouting. Would this have been a situation better served by the Systemwide Mental Assessment Response Team (SMART) versus a gang of officers? How much would de-escalation training matter if there are so many officers on hand for such an incident?

So, why were there so many officers called to the scene? In the past two weeks, LA CAN Community Watch teams have documented law enforcement citing and arresting homeless and low-income individuals in mass. Probation officers, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, LAPD – all have been actively patrolling the streets of Downtown LA (particularly in Skid Row) and aggressively enforcing so-called quality-of-life citations and warrants for these non-violent offenses, like illegally lodging on public property and or sitting/lying on the street. Ironically, this comes just two weeks after community residents demanded that Eric Garcetti veto changes to LA Municipal Codes 56.11 and 63.44, which were passed by City Council under the arguments that they would be used to stop illegal encampments. Low-income and homeless residents argued that these changes were largely unnecessary (as existing laws could be enforced to stop illegal encampments) and that these would just be used to further criminalize and punish residents simply for being poor. And we see that now.

The bottom line is this: No amount of training will help when the problem has to do with the oversaturation of police and a seemingly limitless budget to put officers on the street and enforce largely non-violent crimes. This is a culture and tradition of abuse, force and extermination of
“undesirable” people fully supported by the Mayor Garcetti, Chief Charlie Beck, and the Los Angeles City Council. We say HOUSING FOR EVERY Angeleno and they say ENFORCEMENT, DEATH and EXCUSES.

Chief Beck Reappointment: LA CAN Opposition Testimony

Posted in LAPD, Media Advisory, organizing with tags , , , on August 12, 2014 by Cangress

As the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners stand poised to reappoint Chief Charlie Beck community residents, members of the rank and file and social organizations stand poised to reject the same. After guest appearances by MARÍA ELENA DURAZO Executive Secretary-Treasurer Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO and Councilmember Tom Labonge (both showering Beck with praise and votes of confidence) other voices, mostly in opposition, rendering their votes of no confidence.

Here is a sample of LA CAN testimony:

“Horse trading, sexting, nepotism, saving racist and abusive employees, lying on camera, bribery…and so on and so forth define Chief Beck’s leadership. It sounds like an episode of 90210, TMZ, or Dallas but alas, once again, its #MyLAPD.

Leadership is defined  by doing what’s right even when its unpopular; not by doing what’s wrong just because it is popular.

To retain Chief Beck simply legitimizes illegal behavior, not bad behavior, illegal behavior and reinforces the idea and culture that the rank and file are above any obligation to follow rules or the rule of law. It’s exactly that mentality/reality which fuels profiling, extreme use-of-force, Rampart Scandals, Consent Decrees, social rebellion and huge, never ending, lawsuit payouts.

In reality Beck has proven his inability to lead this department; that he can never be ready for prime time; and,  that he remains entrenched in Darryl Gates Era “good ole boyism!” That his style of leadership leads to internal  and external turmoil.

In reality this moment has nothing to do with Beck but everything to do with you (commissioners) as the face and voice of the public. Your “Yes” vote means that you co-sign the steadfast decline to darker days; that your leadership is about something other than the needs of Angelenos; that this system is a mockery.

Beck, real leadership insists that you withdraw your name for consideration. Commissioners, leadership demands you resign your post if Beck is reappointed.

Racial Profiling: Much More Than A Phenomenon

Posted in grassroots policy, LAPD, legal, organizing, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 23, 2010 by Cangress

LAPD: BIASED POLICING UPDATE, QUARTERLY REPORT, 4TH QUARTER 2009

“For purposes of clarity, data in this report is for calendar year 2009. In summary, statistical trends in biased policing investigations remain relatively unchanged. Biased policing continues to be a male white and Hispanic versus male African American phenomenon.”

BPC_10-0079 [click link to read quarterly report]

phenomenons:

a rare or significant fact or event b plural phenomenons :

an exceptional, unusual, or abnormal person, thing, or occurrence

–Merriam – Webster

The LAPD and many of its media allies have launched a vigilant publicity campaign to fix its image as a corrupt, racist, abusive and murderous institution.  As part of that campaign there was an all-out effort to rename things that were considered “hot button” issues, such as racial profiling now termed “biased policing”.  Over the past several years there has been a retrenchment of the LAPD policing themselves, with the full support of the civilian oversight committee, while in the throes of a Department of Justice Consent Decree attempting to undo that culture. Unbelievable but true.

The LAPD wanted nothing more than to end the Department of Justice’s consent decree–nobody wants strangers looking through their perpetual dirty laundry. In political circles the consent decree stained the image of a “transformed” LAPD.  However, that transformation is usually sold by placing the unapologetic racist Chief Gates on one end of the spectrum and the slick presentation of Chief Bratton as dedicated to community policing and building bridges with communities of color. But under either of these bookends, and those in between, there is a noxious mix of powerful peace officer unions, over-cooked crime stats, fear mongering, intense racial profiling, campaign contributions and political aspirations. All the more reason to get the feds out of their business quickly.

The community of Los Angeles, particularly Black and Brown communities, measures the supposed transformation in an altogether different way.  First, if you were to ask the average person in the neighborhood about the purported transformation you would most likely be laughed at and run out of the community. In our communities, unarmed people continue to be shot and killed; police brutality continues; racial profiling is a cultural norm; and the LAPD are still in the business of policing themselves. So you can only guess how the community feels about the self-reported transformation of the LAPD into this new color-blind institution.

The consent decree forced a number of reforms and successfully put in place safeguards to reduce evidence theft, rings of rogue cops running criminal enterprises, financial disclosure as an early warning system and a number of other things.  However, there was simply not any substantial effort or progress in stopping racial profiling. Year after year we were promised in-car cameras, only to hear later that technology or financial constraint would not allow it. Reports and investigation of misconduct complaints continued to favor officers with the lion’s share of complaints recorded as “unfounded.”

In reality it is not an easy task to reverse a violent and racist culture, fraught with civil liberties violations, that is constantly reinforced by training, hiring practices, indoctrination, and “head in the sand” tactics to absolve responsibility.  So instead of stopping racial profiling, or at least documenting any real progress, the LAPD Police Commission, led by Civil Rights Leader John Mack, and Chief Bratton just renamed it.

Last year, racial profiling in Los Angeles was removed as a category of complaint and replaced by the all-encompassing term Biased Policing. With that bit of word-smithing, racial profiling was removed as an issue for LAPD and its oversight Commission and the LAPD could tell a new story to the Department of Justice and the general public.   And tell a new story is exactly what they did.  That is, until somebody forgot to turn off that damn tape recorder and captured officers complaining about not being able to do their job WITHOUT racial profiling. LA Times November 14 2010 Justice Department warns LA to take a tougher stance on racial profiling ..