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Is the LAPD Working Hard Enough to Root Out Racial Profiling?

November 15th, 2010 by Celeste Fremon


After the federal consent decree, which was put in place in 2001,
was lifted from the LAPD last year. However, the U.S. District Court judge who administered the thing asked the U.S. Justice Department to continue to officially keep tabs on the department in the area of racial profiling, to make sure that adequate progress was being made.

According to a letter obtained by the LA Times, the DOJ folks don’t think the LAPD is doing enough at all. Chief Charlie Beck thinks that the Justice Department is operating on old information. And the Police Commission members don’t agree with each other on the issue.

The LA Times’ Joel Rubin has the story:

The U.S. Department of Justice has warned the Los Angeles Police Department that its investigations into racial profiling by officers are inadequate and that some cops still tolerate the practice.

As evidence of the ongoing problem, Justice officials pointed to two LAPD officers who were unknowingly recorded during a conversation with a supervisor being dismissive of racial profiling complaints.

“So, what?” one said, when told that other officers had been accused of stopping a motorist because of his race. The second officer is heard twice saying that he “couldn’t do [his] job without racially profiling.”

The officers’ comments, Justice officials found, spoke to a “perception and attitude of some LAPD officers on the street” and suggested “a culture that is inimical to race-neutral policing.”

Read the rest here.

Assuredly there has been improvement in the department in this realm, however, based on conversations I’ve had in East and South LA in the last couple of months, weeks and days, I would suggest that a great many members of the city’s most crime ridden communities would nonetheless agree with the Feds, more than they would the Chief on this one.


AN OFFICER RESIGNS AFTER BEING ACCUSED OF USING THE LAPD DATABASE TO HELP A KILLER FIND THE WITNESSES AGAINST HIM

This you’ve-got-to-be-kidding level story is also from the LA Times, also by Joel Rubin, together with Jessica Porter.

Here’s how it opens:

A rookie Los Angeles police officer has resigned amid allegations he illegally tapped into a law enforcement computer on behalf of a gang member who was recently convicted of murder.

The officer, Gabriel Morales, 25, was seeking information on two key witnesses who testified at the gang member’s murder trial, according to court records. Morales had been dating the gang member’s sister for several years.

The law enforcement database that police say Morales accessed contains a wide array of personal information on people, including home addresses. Authorities said he made printouts of the information he found.

The gangster reportedly made a little visit to one of the key witnesses and strongly suggested he not testify.

LAPD Union Prez Paul Weber has, to his credit, condemned the alleged actions in the strongest of words.

As well he should. Police have enough trouble getting witnesses to testify against gang members on a good day. Actions such as those of which Gabriel Morales is accused, set back witness cooperation by miles and miles.


POLICE LT. HAS A NEW IDEA FOR REDUCING CRIME AND TERRORISM

The LAPD’s Lt. Sunil Dutta thinks police departments around the country could do a better job in many ways in protecting national security than DHS. He has an Op Ed for the Daily News that explains his idea.

Here’s how it opens:

WE have failed to learn the lessons from the biggest terrorist attack on American soil.

Post-Sept. 11 reviews established that government agencies entrusted with providing security and intelligence for our country had failed. These failures of intelligence and proactive prevention resulted in the World Trade Center bombing, the Fort Hood shooting, and the attempted bombing in Times Square and of an airplane on Christmas Day. Furthermore, during the times of catastrophic events, as evidenced during the Hurricane Katrina and Deepwater Horizon disasters, our public safety system has failed to provide comfort or confidence to the people.

Despite the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, spending billions and moving pieces around, no substantive transformative changes have occurred in the homeland security arena in the last nine years.

There are approximately 18,000 local police agencies in our country, employing just under 800,000 sworn officers. From the DHS, which encompasses 22 different agencies, to the CIA, FBI, state and municipal police agencies, our law enforcement system is beset with conflicts of interest, turf battles, gaps in intelligence sharing, insular mentality, and uneven quality of service to the communities….

Read on here and tell me what you think.

Posted in LAPD, law enforcement | 13 Comments »

13 Responses

  1. Sure Fire/Nikki Says:

    Racial profiling used as a tool along with many others cops use (gut feeling, street instinct, prior contacts, knowledge of citizenry in your area, gang and thug awareness and area crime trends) in an attempt to eradicate crime is a necessity for any officer.

    Anyone who thinks otherwise cares little about reducing crime and is to wrapped up in making sure cops don’t hurt the feelings of people they contact during the course of a shift. In my opinion, that’s pretty silly.

  2. Lee Plenty Says:

    Sure Fire, the “gut feeling” or “street instinct” that a black person is likely to commit a crime is racist, period. It’s a “gut feeling” and a “street instinct” that white supremacist organizations are built upon. And, any law enforcement official in America who uses such a “gut feeling” or “street instinct” to impose on a citizen’s privacy, in any way, is violating the constitution.

  3. Lee Plenty Says:

    Sure Fire/Nikki Says:
    November 15th, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    “Anyone who thinks otherwise…”

    ……………….

    I didn’t read beyond this. And, I’m willing to bet that what follows is a blanketed insult toward people, not ideas. Interesting coming from the guy who barks orders to Celeste, telling her who she should ban and what content she should allow.

    You’re giving all police a bad name by proclaiming yourself to be a police officer, demanding others follow a set of rules, while you have no intention of following the same set of rules yourself. Ironically enough, the reason we have consent decrees is because so many police are believed to be doing this while on the job.

  4. WTF Says:

    I am leaving, I am out of here, I can’t help you people, I am smarter than all of you…goodbye !!!!

    I am NOT coming back !!!!

    Really, Really, I am not wasting my time here !!!

    I am leaving right now !!!

    I will not make another comment !!

    You guys will not here from me anymore !!!

    I am never commenting again, you are all helpless !!!!

  5. WTF Says:

    Cops are racist !!!
    Gangs were formed to protect themselves from racist cops !!

  6. Lee Plenty Says:

    WTF Says:
    November 15th, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Cops are racist !!!
    Gangs were formed to protect themselves from racist cops !!

    ………………

    Exactly!!

    Glad someone else in here finally gets it. I don’t know if all cops are racist, but if you trace the oldest gangs back to their roots, gangs like White Fence, 38th street, you can see that their formation was rooted in neighborhood defense. Look at this picture of 38th street in the 1940s, one of the members being Henry Leyvas, of the Sleepy Lagoon incident:

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7SczI5autzw/Su1zmNcOKEI/AAAAAAAAFm8/jwvG45MSOOU/s800/img438.jpg

    It looks more like a casting call for Leave it to Beaver than a gang of urban terrorists.

    Part of the function of these earlier gangs were to walk kids home from school, because they were frequently harassed by white teenagers.

    It’s just one of those uncomfortable truths people don’t want to deal with. The history of American gangs is rooted more in self defense than criminal enterprise.

  7. WTF Says:

    Here is White Fence defending themselves from all those white racists living in East Los Angeles.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nkb7IRzLlgk

  8. Lee Plenty Says:

    They already scared all of the white racists away (except for the police, obviously), now they’re turning on their own. It’s sad to see what the varrios and other inner city gangs have become. What’s even more disturbing is how much of the government and media are manipulating gang violence for their own gain. Nothing in America makes a great impact and exists for a great deal of time without America wanting it to some degree.

  9. WTF Says:

    Rob,
    Here is a video Chris Rock produced just for people like you.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQLCF4Tiqg4

    Chris Rock – How not to get your ass beat by cops

  10. Lee Plenty Says:

    Chris Rock is hilarious. He keeps it real. One of his best lines ever:

    “I’m not afraid of Al Qaeda, I’m afraid of Al-Cracka!”

  11. Sure Fire Says:

    Jesse Jackson/ There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery. Then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved…. After all we have been through. Just to think we can’t walk down our own streets, how humiliating.

  12. Lee Plenty Says:

    Chris Rock:

    “A black C student can’t do shit with his life. A black C student can’t be a manager at Burger King. Meanwhile, a white C student just happens to be the President of the United States.” (Never Scared, HBO, 2004))

  13. Free MatthewTurner Says:

    this is sad how people believe everything the media puts out. he was actually a good officer and was uncovering some information about the mans innocence. the bad cops, however , didnt wanna hear it. so what happens when a conspiracy occurs? they try to silence the truth . this is coming from someone that knows the whole story..and f.y.i…this isnt the first time the LAPD has convicted an innocent man….same story…different people….look what happened to the cop that tried to help an innocent man….
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/10/16/48hours/main6965418.shtml

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