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.