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More on the LAPD Ezell Ford Shooting, DOJ to Review Police Tactics, LAUSD Welcomes Immigrant Kids…and More

August 15th, 2014 by Taylor Walker

LAPD UNION MAKES STATEMENT ON FORD SHOOTING…AND QUESTIONS THAT NEED TO BE ANSWERED BY THE INVESTIGATION

On Monday, an LAPD officer shot Ezell Ford, an unarmed, young black man who was reportedly mentally disabled. According to LAPD officials, two officers stopped Ford, a struggle ensued, and Ford tackled one officer and tried to take his gun from its holster, at which point the officer shot Ford with his back-up weapon. The second officer also shot Ford. It is not yet clear how many bullets were fired.

Eyewitnesses are telling a conflicting story, one in which Ford was complying with officers.

Tyler Izen, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League urges us not to rush to a conclusion on the matter—that a thorough investigation will take time to determine whether the shooting was within policy. Here’s a clip:

“Increasingly, in the immediate aftermath of any police shooting, unvetted statements by persons claiming to be witnesses are given prominent play. While a factual investigation unfolds at a deliberate and slower pace, an inaccurate narrative can be created before the actual facts are determined. The Ezell Ford incident on August 11, 2014, in Newton Area is no exception, as we have read and viewed some inaccurate reports of what occurred.”

“It is critically important, both for the LAPD and the community to establish what actually happened. The LAPPL reminds everyone that it is necessary for a thorough and transparent investigation to take place so the final conclusion is trustworthy and can withstand critical scrutiny—and that will take time. This thorough and complete investigation is being conducted by Force Investigation Division. The Inspector General and the district attorney monitor the investigation and ensure that it is complete and unbiased. The preliminary facts, according to LAPD officials, are that two LAPD officers assigned to the Gang Enforcement Detail in Newton Area stopped Ezell Ford at about 8:10 p.m. as he walked on a sidewalk near 65th Street and Broadway in South Los Angeles. A violent struggle ensued, and Ford grabbed one of the officers and tried to remove the officer’s handgun from its holster, prompting a deadly use of force.”

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck is out of town, but KPCC’s Frank Stoltze spoke with LAPD Commander Andrew Smith and LAPD Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger about the Ford incident.

According to Smith, the struggle was chaotic and did end in Ford being shot while on the ground. Here’s a clip from Stoltze’s story:

The incident started when two officers with the Newton Division’s Gang Enforcement Detail confronted Ezell Ford during an “investigative stop” around 8:20 pm, according to Commander Andrew Smith. He did not know what precipitated the stop. Gang officers regularly approach people who they believe may be involved in gang activity.

“As the first officer gets close, the suspect spins around and grabbed the officer around the waist, threw him to the ground and was laying on top of the officer,” Smith said. “There was a struggle over the officer’s weapon and the officer on the ground withdrew his backup weapon and shot the suspect.” Many officers carry backup weapons in ankle holsters or tucked inside pants pockets.

The second officer also fired at Ford. Smith would not say how many bullets were fired or how many struck the suspect. Both officers are “veterans” with at least seven years at the department, he said.

LAPD Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger told KPCC that Ford “made suspicious movements, including attempting to conceal his hands.” Paysinger also said Ford “attempted to remove the officer’s handgun from its holster.” He added that “the suspect partially removed the gun from the officer’s holster, and it was indeed a struggle for their lives.”

Whether or not the shooting is determined to be within policy, it had a tragic outcome. Here are some of the questions that we’d like to see answered by the investigation:

Why was Ford stopped in the first place?

Are Ford’s fingerprints on the officer’s gun?

How many bullets were fired by the officers? Which shot proved fatal? After the first shot, were any following shots necessary, or were they products of an adrenalized action that could have been avoided?


AND WHILE WE’RE ON THE ISSUE OF QUESTIONABLE USE OF DEADLY FORCE ON MINORITIES AND THE MENTALLY ILL: JUSTICE DEPARTMENT LAUNCHING LARGE-SCALE REVIEW OF POLICE TACTICS

The Department of Justice is conducting an extensive review of police policies with regard to contact with the mentally ill, use of deadly force, and more, according to a federal law enforcement official. The review is expected to be completed early next year. The DOJ is also considering forming a national commission to oversee and direct police protocol and conduct.

USA Today’s Kevin Johnson has the story. Here’s a clip:

In addition to deadly force, the review is expected to examine law enforcement’s increasing encounters with the mentally ill, the application of emerging technologies such as body cameras, and police agencies’ expanding role in homeland security efforts since 9/11, said the official, who is not authorized to comment publicly and requested anonymity.

The review is slated to be completed early next year while authorities consider establishing a special law enforcement commission similar to a panel created by President Johnson to deal with problems then associated with rising crime.

Rather than violent crime, which has been in decline in much of the country, police are now grappling with persistent incidents involving use of force and their responses to an array of public safety issues, from drug overdoses to their dealings with the mentally ill and the emotionally disturbed.

The call for a broader federal policy review, while not directly tied to any specific incident, grew out of a meeting involving law enforcement advocacy groups and Justice officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder, the official said.

“Nobody has looked at the profession in any holistic way in more than 50 years,” the official said.


LAUSD TO WELCOME NEW IMMIGRANT STUDENTS “WITH OPEN ARMS”

All kids in the United States have a right to attend school regardless of their immigration status. In 2013, 13,000 kids entered the country without a parent or guardian. The number jumped to 25,000 this year, as kids are fleeing violence and poverty in their own countries.

LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy said that he is preparing for about 1,000 new immigrant children to enter the public school system this year, and told the LA Times, “We welcome the new youth with open arms in LAUSD.”

The LA Times’ Howard Blume has the story. Here’s how it opens:

At the low-slung bungalow west of downtown, a youngster screams from a vaccination and a nurse records the height and weight of an older boy. Academic counselors stand by, because it is here that many children who recently crossed the southern border enroll in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

As the line runs out the door of the cramped reception area, José Miguel waits his turn to sign up 17-year-old niece Elena, a native of Guatemala who crossed over from Mexico in March without her parents or a guardian.

Under federal law, these children are entitled to attend public school regardless of immigration status.

“I am planning for 1,000 this year, but I will know more when our doors open,” L.A. Unified Supt. John Deasy said just before the nation’s second-largest district started its school year on Tuesday.

Across the country over the next year, federal agencies expect to manage about 60,000 minors who entered or will arrive in the United States without an adult guardian. That figure compares with about 7,500 who came in annually before the numbers surged to 13,625 last year and about 25,000 in the current year.

“We welcome the new youth with open arms in LAUSD,” Deasy said last week in an interview with reporters and editors at The Times.

Many unaccompanied minors land in Southern California; here they can be cared for by relatives who are part of well-established expatriate communities from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras — the impoverished and sometimes violent countries from which most have journeyed.

José Miguel, a worker in the garment industry, needs assistance in part because his own education was limited. He speaks Spanish, but his first language is a Guatemalan dialect. Immigration authorities left him a stack of papers for his niece. He’s not sure what district staff need to see.

The center is outfitted to handle Spanish and Korean speakers, and brings in interpreters as needed.

L.A. Unified officials have warned schools to be prepared for students who may be afraid to enroll or who could experience separation anxiety and grief. Some have suffered trauma from witnessing violence. They may be undereducated or even illiterate.

Some of the girls might have been sexually abused; some are parents themselves. Diapers are among the supplies at the school enrollment, placement and assessment center, located in a fenced corner of Plasencia Elementary School.


BILL TO END RACIAL DISPARITY IN CRACK/POWDER COCAINE SENTENCING HEADS FOR GOVERNOR’S DESK

The California Assembly has passed a bill to equalize the punishment for possession (for sale) of powder and crack cocaine. Crack previously held a higher penalty of three to five years, while powder was punishable by two to four years.

SB 1010, authored by Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) has to go back to the Senate for a concurrence vote, after which it will land on the governor’s desk.

The Drug Policy Alliance has more on the bill’s progress. Here’s a clip:

“As Assemblymember Bradford said in presenting the bill today, the current disparities in our drug laws amount to institutional racism,” said Lynne Lyman of the Drug Policy Alliance. “The Fair Sentencing Act will take a brick out of the wall of the failed 1980’s drug war era laws that have devastated communities of color, especially Black and Latino men. The time has long come.”

Crack and powder cocaine are two forms of the same drug. Scientific reports, including a major study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, demonstrate that they have nearly identical effects on the human body. Crack cocaine is a product derived when cocaine powder is processed with an alkali, typically common baking soda. Gram for gram, there is less active drug in crack cocaine than in powder cocaine.

People of color account for over 98 percent of persons sent to California prisons for possession of crack cocaine for sale. From 2005 to 2010, Blacks accounted for 77.4 percent of state prison commitments for crack possession for sale, Latinos accounted for 18.1 percent. Whites accounted for less than 2 percent of all those sent to California prisons in that five year period. Blacks make up 6.6 percent of the population in California; Latinos 38.2 percent, and whites 39.4 percent.

“It’s time to end discriminatory sentencing for cocaine: whether possessed or sold as crack or as powder, it’s the same drug and violators should get the same treatment under the law,” said Senator Mitchell, chair of the Black Legislative Caucus. “Let’s stop demonizing drug-use when committed in communities of color while minimizing consequences for the white-collar version.”

Posted in LAPD, LAPPL, LAUSD, Mental Illness, Sentencing, War on Drugs | 52 Comments »

52 Responses

  1. Bandwagon Says:

    So it is a “tragic outcome” because the suspect died instead of the police officers? What kind of bizzaro world do we live in. I could care less who wants to know how many shots were fired. Another case of second guessing by people who have never been involved in a life and death situation.

  2. Rik Says:

    What’s the cost of the illegal aliens that Eric Garcetti has welcomed into LA?

  3. Celeste Fremon Says:

    EDITOR’S NOTE:

    #1, I’m going to say this the nicest way I can. Of course, it is tragic when a mentally ill man, who is well known in the neighborhood as someone with mental problems, is killed. He’s somebody’s baby, somebody’s brother, somebody’s loved one.

    How in the world does that statement suggest that the police officers shouldn’t have protected themselves if Ford indeed went after the officer’s gun? Or worse, that somehow we’d prefer that the cops got killed instead? What a completely vile and idiotic piece of logic!

    We are not taking a side in this. We merely want to know what happened in this disputed case and, even if the shooting was perfectly within policy, could things have been done better so that the officers were safe and Ford didn’t die? Or is that simply not a permissible question to ask? Are we only allowed to care about the lives of the police officers? Are those the rules? Really, I’d like to know.

    As for “second guessing by people who have never been involved in a life and death situation,” you don’t know what in the world you’re talking about, babe. So don’t make assumptions about the lives and experiences of others.

    Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger is a serious man and I have confidence he means to get to the truth of the matter in a way that respects the officers, the community, and Mr. Ford and his family.

    If that doesn’t sit right with you, that would be your problem.

  4. Remington870 Says:

    Yes, these problems can be avoided in the future. No more ped stops and no more t-stops. Just shut down proactive police work and let it rain baby.

  5. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Oh, please. How grindingly predictable. If someone even mildly questions tactics you threaten to withdraw proactive policing. Charming.

    Okay, I’ve said what I had to say. Do carry on.

  6. TangoSam Says:

    Ummmm….How can you actually say you don’t take sides with a straight face? That is all this leftist blog does is spill its left wing ideology. I understand it is your platform, but don’t try to sugar coat what you, CF, and your writers represent. This blog is so bias and anti-law enforcement or anything middle of the road that it is sickening. You, my friend are responsible for destroying peoples careers with you left wing BS. You have the power of editing, so I don’t expect this comment to be seen by others. Enjoy your Utopia!

  7. TangoSam Says:

    So, educate us on your “life/death situations” CF. I’m dying to hear.

  8. GPA_UTL Says:

    Celeste,
    Let me say this nicely: you and your “staff” are the following things:

    democrats
    Obama supporters
    leftist bloggers
    anti-police activists
    white apologists

    I’m not wrong about any of these assertions.

    I feel that this country is being led toward destruction by your party. Enjoy thinking you are the most intelligent and enlightened ones while you can. It won’t last. God help what’s left of America.

  9. TangoSam Says:

    GPA….well stated. Agree 100%

  10. Oh Well Says:

    It’s not easy to blow smoke up a good cop’s ass no matter how indignant or snarky you get. Getting all passionate with your claim of innocence doesn’t work either. They’ve seen and heard it all before.
    Good luck with that.

  11. retired and happy Says:

    I worked the streets for over 20 years with LASD never was in a shooting. I would have been is someone attempted to take my weapon. If your weapon is taken your dead its that simple. That is the reason that we have back up weapons.

  12. Oh Well Says:

    Then there’s the other kind of cop. The Leroy Baca type. All you had to do to bullshit Leroy was tell him how smart he was and how he was doing the right thing. That’s what his command staff did. Until they turned on him. That’s what the ACLU did. Until they turned on him.
    But let’s not claim Leroy is an absolute moron. Delusional yes, but he was sly enough to bullshit all the self proclaimed intellectuals in the LA media, WLA included, for years about what he was all about.. He knew if he could attain the label Progressive, they would turn a blind eye toward the “little” things like corruption, absenteeism and incompetence. He had the Progressive LA media singing his praises while he traipsed around the globe spreading his message and being the Sheriff To The World.
    It was really a nice happy circle jerk with Leroy Baca and all the other educated “smart” people in the LA media and the ACLU blowing smoke up each other’s asses for 14 years.
    Then the ass kickings got out of control.
    Now the love affair was over, and the LA media, ACLU and WLA went after him like a scorned ex-lover.
    It’s been quite hilarious to watch. Much more entertaining than “Days of Our Lives”, but in the end, it’s the same bullshit. A Soap Opera. That’s what Baca turned the LASD into.

  13. LATBG Says:

    I don’t think any party or ideology has a lock on the absolute truth. If you believe you do, then you have bigger issues to contend with than the critique of an OIS…

  14. jim hitchcock Says:

    Quite the contrary, TangoSam, your imbecilic rants are here are here for all to see. Literally unable to see the forest for the trees. Do you have a clue as to how you embarrass thinking law enforcement? Trust me, Celeste knows well a lot more cops than you do.

    And, GPA, always good for a chuckle.

    Sorry, CF, sometimes I just can’t resist poking the bear :)

  15. jim hitchcock Says:

    One more thing. When law enforcement circles the wagons nmin response to open and honest investigation (and it doesn’t happen often) serves no one well.

  16. proud ole retiree Says:

    Some people will see what they want to see and refuse to let the truth get in their way,

    The Mo. shooting. There were many victims here. The 28 year old cop who was doing his job, tops the list. The media has vilified this man and caused the “State Police’ to handle the problem. The citizens ask for transparency then riot and steal when they get it. Bringing in the MO state police was as transparent as it gets. This was nothing short of patronizing the thugs. Listen to the news reports of interviews of residents. They absolutely ( not all, Celeste ) refuse to acknowledge the facts and truth when it stares them in the face.

    Too many times I saw and dealt with the pain and depression deputies and other agency personnel had to deal with following traumatic experiences. In this respect, Celeste, I must agree with #1. You cannot understand fully if you have never been in the situation. I spent 32 years with LASD and know of what I speak, from the position of a patrol cop to station commander.

    I think the name calling in this blog was unnecessary on both parts, but acknowledge and appreciate the truth which Celeste has brought forth. We all must thank her and WLA for being the impetus for change in LASD which has been a blessing to all.. She clearly has my thank for that..

  17. Bandwagon Says:

    Celeste: I don’t often disagree with you, but your post was definitely leaning to the left and “seemed” to care more about he suspect than the police officers. The press has labeled the suspects in Ferguson and Los Angeles as “unarmed citizens”. News alert! The minute they tried to take the officers guns, they became armed suspects, necessitating the use of deadly force. Also, both suspects showed a propensity for violence prior to being stopped by the police. Mr. Brown committed an assault and theft (robbery) at a local store 30 minutes prior to being stopped by police. Mr. Ezell had a previous arrest for carrying a concealed firearm. I don’t know about your neighborhood Celeste, but in mine, mentally ill persons don”t carry firearms in public. So yes, ask all the questions you want, but get off your pedestal first.

  18. Jack Dawson Says:

    It’s funny to see how cops think we are the only people who do “life and death” situations. You guys ever taken the time to read CF books? She went into neighborhoods we go in w vests, guns, and mindset without the above mentioned items.

    Please don’t forget we patrol a country where we police a population who can ask, speak, and bitch as they please, because WE protect that right. If the the world wasn’t a dangerous place and our citizens didn’t know about life and death too, they wouldn’t need cops.

    Is Celeste a hippie? Yes, but she runs a successful web blog you guys get to come and vent.

    You knew the job was dangerous and thankless when you took it. Collect the 15/30 plan, retire, and carry on if you like. Bitch and moan if you like. Please don’t forget your human and decided to take a profession of service that comes with a lot more risk than most. Don’t think your better for your decision. The ignorance of the logic I saw this week is what scares me about LASD and LE these days.

    So sad, because I see a lot of good dudes and smart people doing The Lord’s work represented by the loud minority of mouth breathers.

  19. Bandwagon Says:

    Celeste: One last thing. I for one, am sick and tired of the press immediately vilifying any police officer involved in the shooting of a person of color, prior to the investigation being completed. The alleged witnesses come out of the wood work and swear the suspect was unarmed and had his hands in the air. You might not believe this Celeste, but people will lie…….Both Mr. Brown and Mr. Ezell were choir boys prior to their incidents with the police. Now we find one was guilty of robbery and the other guilty of carrying a concealed firearm. Yes Mr. Ezell was somebody’s baby, brother, and loved one, and I’m sure that would have made the families of the police officers feel much better if their baby, brothers, and loved ones had died instead of Mr. Ezell!

  20. Remington870 Says:

    Celeste: When can we expect a call for an open discussion about the suspect who put the Lakewood Deputy into critical condition? Surely he was a victim of some totalitarian boot stomper at some point. Maybe he’s mentally ill….or worse…a minority. Yikes!

  21. Concerned Citizen Says:

    @ Jim Hitchcock, LATBG & Jack Dawson………You three are examples of reasonable thinking cops. Your input exemplifies and speaks volumes. The community needs more cops with mindsets like yours. .

  22. proud ole retiree Says:

    Clearly these incidents must be investigated thoroughly and objectively. What bothers me is, it is way too typical that the public and media pass judgement before any of the facts have even been sorted. All we hear at the onset is words to the effect : ‘ Cops kill black, unarmed teen in the middle of the street. (L.A.)

    Cops in Mo. kill unarmed , black teen for no reason.

    In these two cases, IMHO, the cops have already been found guilty , at least in the court of public opinion. Who are the percipient witnesses who have made these judgements. The disenfranchised and the crime partners.
    In further pursuit of the truth, the POTUS and Atty General interject themselves.

    If the evidence PROVES the officer to be guilty then , by all means prosecute.

    What is happening with the the 2 ( “crime partners ) has any consideration been given to invoking the FELONY MURDER RULE.

    My point is what makes front page and what does not ? Don’t be too quick to judge.

    Anyone who argue my point should visit the Peace Officers Memorial in DC

  23. jim hitchcock Says:

    Apologies if I misled, Concerned. I’m not a cop, just another knucklehead with opinions :)

    The reason I love this board is that I get to read the thinking of keen minds like proud ole, LATBG, awesome Jack Dawson, and our host.

    And no disrespect to those whose views may or may not be contrarian to my own. Being exposed to differing viewpoints is a good thing.

    Alright, heading back to hippiedom now (I am so kidding, I wasn’t old enough to join the tribe).

  24. jim hitchcock Says:

    And yes, p o r, we’re all guilty of rush to judgment. I still believe in ‘cooler heads will prevail’. It’ all we got.

  25. Cognistator Says:

    #22: “…What makes front page and what does not?” you ask.

    An answer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_bias_in_the_United_States

  26. Thanks a lot Says:

    #22 proud ole….Well said!! I for one am sick and tired of “MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACKS”…….Let that facts speak for themselves!!! Stop the knee jerk, jumping to conclusions! One of these days, it may result in something NO ONE WANTS!! Just look to Ferguson MO!!!!

  27. Oh Well Says:

    Let’s cut the bullshit.
    We get defensive when people who have absolutely no expertise in police tactics or the use of force want to question the “tactics” of officers involved in deadly force incidents.
    Scenario: A cop kills somebody who was trying to take his gun away.
    What’s really the need for debate or “discussion” about this? Is there a wrong way to kill somebody trying to kill you? Is there a better way? Would the suspect be any less dead?
    Or is it that the MMQB’s, who aren’t considered experts by anybody but themselves and their journalistic colleagues are upset that the suspect ended up dead?
    Of course we are going to suspect that.
    We say to ourselves: “The guy tried to take a cop’s gun away and he ended up dead. Too bad for him. Better him than the cop. End of story”.
    We are naturally suspicious when journalists or anybody else want to “continue the discussion”. We have reason to be. We know that they are searching for a “tactical” mistake in a use of deadly force. A reason to point to and say: “If the cop hadn’t done x y or z this tragedy could have been avoided”.
    The cop says: “If the suspect didn’t try to take my gun it wouldn’t have happened. End of story”.
    The self recognized experts and those with an agenda say: “Well Mr. Officer, you didn’t do everything exactly 100% correct tactically in the incident so you’re at fault”.
    Cut the bullshit.
    When social justice activists like CF want to “have a discussion” about it, of course cops are going to get defensive. They should.

    Jack,
    CF is not a use of force expert. No matter how many ride alongs she’s been on in the hood. She runs a social justice blog. It’s quite understandable that cops question her reasons for wanting to ” further discuss” this incident or any other deadly force incident.

  28. Oh Well Says:

    Jack Dawson,
    I would like you to respond to my question(s) if you would be so kind. I ask this of you based on a couple statements you made in #18.

    “How many bullets were fired by the officers?”
    What is the reason for this question? To find out if the cops overreacted? Is it a reasonable suspicion that the person asking this question is trying to find fault with the officer’s actions?

    “Which shot proved fatal?”
    And the reason for somebody asking this question would be? Is it a reasonable suspicion that the person asking this question is trying to find fault with the officer’s actions?

    “After the first shot, were any following shots necessary, or were they the result of an adrenalized action that could have been avoided?”
    The reason for this question would be? Is it a reasonable suspicion that the person asking this question is searching for fault in the officer’s actions?

    Jack,
    You make the call.

  29. retired and happy Says:

    A Lakewood deputy was beaten severely during a domestic. If not for a passer by who knows what the outcome would have been. As it is he is in critical condition.

    If you loose a fight chances are you die. If someone grabs your holstered weapon the use of deadly force is justified. It does not matter if he is mentally ill or not.

  30. Enough Already Says:

    It’s been a long time since I weighed in here but I can’t help myself.

    Ladies and gentlemen, we do ourselves no favors when we respond to scrutiny of shootings with a defensive attitude. There have been governments in the past where cops could take a life and questions were not permitted. We don’t live in such a government, nor should we want to.

    The shooting was referred to as a tragedy. It was. That is not a slam on the officers involved, and anyone who believes it is needs to slow their roll and ask themselves- are questions about a shooting something that bothers you? Do you feel that an officer should be able to take a life and that’s the end of it?

    Folks, we have come to a place where many members of the public don’t trust us. And before you get all indignant about having them walk a mile in our boots before they criticize, let’s take a long look in the mirror. The last few years haven’t been pretty ones for law enforcement. I could make a list of the embarrassments, but if you need me to then you haven’t been paying attention. Suffice it to say, we’ve lost the right to be indignant when the public wants to look twice at a shooting or question our actions.

    Things are getting better and, God willing, will continue to do so. A large part of that is because Celeste has brought light to bear on things that have needed it for a very long time. Whether you agree with her politics, we owe her a debt. And having witnessed her writing for some time now, and having heard her in radio interviews where she has been fed numerous leading questions where she’s been invited to paint law enforcement with a broad brush, I’ve been very impressed with her level-headedness and willingness to examine both sides of an issue. She’s not the enemy. What she is, as far as I’ve observed, is a person with the ability to think carefully before responding and who does not take the intellectually lazy route of generalizations and painting groups of people with a broad brush. Law enforcement included.

    And for those of you who think she is, or “every reporter” is, or worse yet, that there’s just two sides, us gunslingers and the members of the public who will never understand our job – stop it. Just stop it. How can you expect the support of the public when you think you shouldn’t have to explain your actions or how you do your job? Once the smoke clears, it’s our job to explain ourselves. If we do that, we’ll get the support of most of the public. It took me a long time to come to the realization that not only does it make our jobs easier, it’s what we should be doing because it’s right.

    Jack has the most reasonable comments on here. Doesn’t make him a liberal, or an enemy, or a bleeding heart. Makes him a thinking man. God knows we need more of that in law enforcement.

    Finally, GPA, you call them democrats and Obama supporters like it’s a bad thing. And I understand that in your world, those are in fact bad things. What you have to realize, though, is that some of us are both of those things. And, I understand if you choose not to believe this, some of us are those things and we’re good cops at the same time. No, really.

  31. commie bastard Says:

    Boy! U guys sure told her. If u want rubber stamps, go somewhere else. Hannity still has his own show. This is a social justice blog. Power down. Breathe. Opinions and assholes, everybody has one. Ur doing fine, Celeste. Luv ur work. Tolerance in an intolerant world is a rare and often unappreciated commodity. Ur a journalist. Ur supposed to ask difficult questions. Cops do it all the time. The door swings both ways. No explanations needed.

  32. Bandwagon Says:

    Celeste: When I made my comment in post #1, I was hoping for open debate. What I got instead was an attack on my character, and a unprofessional lambasting by an editor. I obviously struck a nerve with you which necessitated your verbal attack on me. Perhaps you are the one with the problem, babe.

  33. Jack Dawson Says:

    Oh Well,

    #30 did a great job of answering your question and I will expand. It’s short sited and uneducated to parse out the details of a shooting we weren’t involved in with the media and unreasonable people.

    Is the profession of LE going anywhere? No. Are they going to take your weapon and ask you to the job bare handed? No.

    Can you reason with unreasonable people? No. Then why engage on one of the worst aspects of the job like it is never been done with malice, anger, or bad judgement in the past?

    Cops already have a patron saint. The last thing we need is another crusader who thinks they are so smart they can turn this situation on a dime.

    I say this out of love and understanding for my peers too. I have been judged for my actions as a peace officer. I could see the hate in people’s eyes because of the uniform. I have friends, same as you, on the wall.

    We don’t do our LE community, our department, or ourselves any favors when talk like blood thirsty centurions who don’t have to change with the times. Your words carry farther than you know. You are not helping the cycle of why people hate cops, and we get paid to be the good guys and bigger men. Isn’t that why you signed up?

    Maybe not? We all know the guys who needed a little something extra for the ego. It’s why we earned our stereotype…

    Perception is reality, and if you can’t understand that. Then you don’t get why people will burn a city down out of frustration in America.

  34. Oh Well Says:

    Yeah. We’re all brainless drones who have absolutely no reason to be suspicious of social justice advocates. Righty oh. Yes, that’s what we want, to never be questioned about anything we do. Right. We want to be able to say we were in fear for our life and run around murdering people and not have to answer for it. You got it. You nailed it. We all just want to circle the wagons, no matter the evidence, no matter if a cop is dirty or unethical. You know, like the commenters on this blog did for Paul Tanaka. Oh wait, that didn’t happen did it?

    Two words for you.

    Signal Zero

    Find a copy and read it.

  35. jim hitchcock Says:

    cb’s use of ‘ur’ really reminds me of Marc Cooper.

  36. Celeste Fremon Says:

    EDITOR’S NOTE:

    Bandwagon is right. He didn’t deserve an attack from me. He did hit an emotional button that he couldn’t possibly have known about, that is entirely personal. And, although I know better than to let my emotions get away. They did. And for that I sincerely apologize. I’ve written him separately to explain.

    As for the rest, I’ll address some of the issues tonight.

  37. PH1 Actual Says:

    I mentioned this in another comment string but it appears I pulled the trigger too quickly. This one has much more participation and is much more lively.

    The FBI, US Attorneys Office, and LASD brass should be proud of themselves with the LKD caper. A deputy did exactly what they wanted him to do while his partner was unconscious and being stomped out, nearly to death……plead with the bad man to stop and watch a citizen with common sense stop the fight. Welcome to the reality of a force prevention policy and a culture that rewards cowardice while punishing common sense. Now a hardworking deputy’s world has been turned upside down but at least there won’t be another lawsuit against the county or more deputies to convict for following orders

    Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not rolling up the windows to my patrol car and parking at the station waiting for a call. However, I realize I am playing the Russian roulette formerly known as proactive police work, but I can’t help myself. It’s what I signed up to do and I will continue until they chain me to a desk or lock me in a cell.

    Jack Dawson,
    I don’t know what rank you currently hold but I hope you are headed to the top of our organization. While I may not always agree with 100% of what you say, I need a leader that questions everything including himself and the status quo. We need leaders like you who aren’t afraid to see the world through a paradigm that is not their own but still remember what it’s like to be line item. You are what I aspire to be, a thinking man that will drop the hammer without hesitation.

  38. Bandwagon Says:

    Thank you Celeste……..

  39. Oh Well Says:

    Jack,
    Thanks for the response. It was not only well thought out, it was right on the money in a lot of respects. Yes, without a doubt, we need to (and should) answer for our actions. Especially where deadly force incidents are concerned. Yes, we need the trust of the communities we serve, we are in fact there to serve them.
    Yes. We are the good guys.
    Or are we? Is that how we’re seen by much of the media and by many of the social activists? Is that their perception? Do they “rush to judgement” on a consistent basis without having any of the facts of the incidents? Do they set a narrative in many high profile incidents before ANY facts are known? You bet your ass they do. Has the ACLU ever seen a use of force they didn’t have a beef with?
    I did an immature thing and let my emotions get the best of me in some of my prior comments. As far as Celeste goes, I do recall that she took a commenter to task and stuck up for deputies regarding a prior incident where deadly force was used. Maybe I was quite harsh and unfair in my criticism of Celeste.
    Ms. Fremon, I apologize for that.
    But I stand on my assertion that many activist/advocates and much of the media have an agenda.
    The Michael Brown incident? Do you think that cop is really going to get a fair shake? Do you think the standard of reasonably objective will apply, or do you think his incident will be judged more harshly than all the other deadly force incidents that occur across the country every day?
    Why does the media show pictures of 16-20 year olds suspects in Little League uniforms when they were 12? Why do they refer to suspects as victims?
    Those are the reasons for my being distrustful of the media and social activists as an entity.
    Because in my opinion the cop isn’t given the benefit of the doubt until the evidence proves otherwise.
    The trust thing? It’s a two way street. Many of them don’t trust that the vast majority of cops are the good guys. That they’re trying to do the right thing in a very tough job. They make it known and are very vocal that this is their opinion, time and time again. Is it unreasonable that the cops aren’t going to trust them to give them a fair shake and not try to convict the cop in the court of public opinion before they even have a scintilla of any proof of wrongdoing on the cops part?
    See Al Sharpton and Tawana Brawley. In spite of that the shyster race hustler misery pimp is given a show on a media outlet. There are more examples, but you get my point I’m sure.
    The activists and much of the media have let me know exactly where they stand by their actions. I’ve never, ever wanted it to be an “us vs. them” type of relationship. But they have let cops know unequivocally on a consistent basis that that is THEIR perception. That’s the way THEY see it.
    Am I to just drop my guard and throw caution to the wind because I know it shouldn’t be that way? Or would it be more prudent of me for the sake of my family, my partners and my department to accept the reality that there are many activists and media that would love nothing more than to see me in prison?

    Thanks for your respectful response Jack.
    Celeste, I apologize again for my emotional outburst and my harsh criticisms of you.

  40. Celeste Fremon Says:

    EDITOR’S NOTE:

    Thanks, Oh Well.

    It seems we’re all having an emotional few days. And then, to add to everything, there is the insane attack on the Lakewood deputy at the mall on that domestic, simply out of nowhere, which is devastating.

    I called Lakewood and they say he’s stable, but when the brain is involved…well, we all understand that the implications are very, very scary.

    In any case, thanks for the calming words.

    And thanks so very much to those of you who have posted the reasoned and balanced responses above. They are sincerely welcomed. These are not easy topics.

    C.

  41. Deja vu Says:

    Celeste….keep on doing what you’re doing. A lot of these bloggers have “hair trigger” responses. ….oh well.

  42. Oh Well Says:

    #41,
    Yeah well, that’s because we’re all knuckle dragging Neanderthals with room temperature IQ’s and a thirst for blood.

    Signal Zero.

    Check it out.

  43. proud ole retiree Says:

    As I have said many times ” as a retiree, I have a view from the bleachers. It is frequently clearer that on the field of play. I read all these blogs , not out of boredom, but rather my concern for the deputy personnel of the LASD of today. Look, I hardly have all the answers, shit, I don’t even know most of the questions. I know this though, you must change with the times or be left in the dust saying ” what the hell just happened ?)

    Today’s cop faces quantum issues which for my generation weren’t even science fiction yet . You are in fact changing with the times. This is why LASD will survive. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater because you disagree with alternative views, Learn from them.

    I will say this to you, Celeste. I met a lot of investigative journalists in my time from Reuters to the Washington Post to the Chicago Daily News ( long gone ) and you have a handle on it. To take on the slings and arrows of cops on their home field and forge forward as you have done, is monumental. I may not be in complete sync with your sensitives , but acknowledge this does not make me unilaterally correct. You and your staff will be memorialized and loved by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies as the impetus that led to the salvation of LASD.

    Best Regards.

  44. Bandwagon Says:

    Ditto!

  45. DOE INC Says:

    C – I am not retired (as you know) but remain an active LASD member. I reserve the deepest gratitude, to you, for your efforts to champion the end of corruption in the executive ranks of my much beloved department. For that, I am eternally grateful. As for the instant issue – this is not new. We have dealt with, and survived like issues many times over the years. Though the first reaction of my “partners” is to lash out at media, they will in time realize that your questions are a necessary part of a civilized society’s civilian police force. We must have legitimate balance. If all of our actions can’t stand the scrutiny of “the light of day” – then we need to do our business better. The much publicized issues of today, will play out and the ultimate result won’t affect the patrol deputy’s function. Deputies never shrink from their duty, nor will they fail to be proactive in their policing efforts. I remember, many years ago, going through something equally public. “We” had the same initial knee jerk reaction (I.e. Roll up windows and only respond to calls for service) but we could not do that then, and it won’t be done now. We are better than that. Throughout the years, whatever adversity has reared its head, WE have always stood tall, and dealt with it face to face. Stand up and be proud of your chosen career – it is a privilege to be a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff.

  46. proud ole retiree Says:

    That should have read: “…..sync with your SENSITIVITIES, however this does not make me unilaterally correct.

    I should also mention Anne Sobel, past editor, publisher of the Malibu Surf Side news. She was clearly one of the best. Like CF, she wanted to get to the truth. Sometimes this meant taking the LASD heavy hitters to task. For those who have not yet dealt with members of the press, a little advise. IMHO, Establish a relationship built on mutual trust. The press is not your enemy ( for the most part, ) DO NOT try to BS them ; make them work unnecessarily hard for a story and you will pay. they can paint you in a good light or they can slice and dice.

  47. jim hitchcock Says:

    May well be one of the best threads ever on WLA.

    Oh Well, thanks for the rec on Signal Zero. I will find a way to read it, even if I have to pay 36 bucks to Amazon for the privilege.

  48. Oh Well Says:

    We can all pontificate, commiserate and speak of our philosophies until the Cubs win the World Series.
    In the end we need only to keep this in mind.
    “Every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on”,

  49. Eyeswideopen Says:

    I was watching the news from the small city of Ferguson this weekend and heard several Black citizens complain that they have had no power for generations, that they only have 3 Black police officers in the city, that the whole administration of the city is Black, yet they are 67 percent of the population with Whites being 29 percent. Something is terribly wrong here and you want to know what that is? If you don’t vote, you don’t count, if you don’t vote, you don’t have the right to complain, you get the police department you deserve and the administration of the city you deserve.

    I don’t know what happened in the case of Mr. Brown’s shooting. When I first heard of it, I thought perhaps the officer was guilty of a wrongful shooting, I still don’t know. Mr. Brown should not have been killed over a box of cigars, however, after viewing the video and seeing him rob, threaten, push and intimidate the store clerk, I now believe that he was capable of attacking a police officer.

  50. LATBG Says:

    Wow, let me tread carefully onto this thread and say thank you to all for contributing to a vigorous and healthy debate over media coverage. Post #30, spot on! I’ve been monitoring the reporting from Ferguson, watched carefully all the alleged witness interviews now on YouTube, and it’s both frightening and fascinating to see how the narrative morphs over time to accommodate grim realities.

    The “gentle giant” turned out to be not so gentle after all. A socioeconomically depressed community got enraged when the clumsy, not-ready-for-primetime Ferguson PD started releasing information in bits and pieces. Yes, there are distinct groups of people with big axes to grind, and they’ve been lying in wait for the opportunity, tragically provided by this OIS.

    Here is a quote from one of the LA Times articles, where the author states: “When police released surveillance video of Brown purportedly confronting a shorter, older mini-mart clerk before the shooting, grabbing a bunch of cigarillos and storming out, they called it a robbery.” This sounds worthy of the Enquirer, not a respectable news source.

    One of today’s Times articles:

    Michael Brown autopsy: No signs of struggle in fatal shooting (BIG BOLD FONT)

    By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Matt Pearce

    “A preliminary autopsy commissioned by the family of Michael Brown suggests that there was no sign of a struggle in his death, and that all but one of at least six gunshot wounds in his body were likely survivable, according to Dr. Michael Baden, a renowned New York forensic pathologist who…”

    Of course you have to read into the article to realize it was the family’s autopsy spin, and Dr. Baden is doing what he is paid to do at their request. Instead of waiting for the full report to be concluded and released, they are doing exactly what they accused the police chief of doing, releasing information piecemeal, designed to malign the intended target.

    If only so much time and energy was spent trying to figure out how to stop the real killing machine, black on black violence. That apparently doesn’t sell newspapers.

  51. Remington870 Says:

    Michael Brown did not get shot over a box of cigars! Michael Brown got shot over the confrontation that occurred when contacted by the police. Let’s stop saying he was shot over a box of cigars because that is not the case. Still, the events leading up to the shooting were almost entirely in the hands of Michael Brown. He chose to ROB the liquor store and chose to get in a confrontation with police. The shooting is a consequence of the actions he chose when he decided to ROB the liquor store.

  52. Cognistator Says:

    #51: Somewhat. Multiple sources are now reporting that the officer, Darren Wilson, came to realize during the confrontation that Michael Brown was involved in the strong-arm robbery that, it must be remembered, occurred just fifteen minutes before the confrontation.

    One source: http://dailycaller.com/2014/08/15/now-police-chief-says-cop-realized-during-stop-that-michael-brown-robbed-a-store/

    It is noteworthy that the store in question became a target of looting.

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