CHIEF BECK: OFFICER MISCONDUCT IN ALESIA THOMAS ARREST
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, in a report to the Police Commission, said that a department officer’s use of force during the arrest of Alesia Thomas violated LAPD policy. (Here’s WitnessLA’s previous post on the LA woman who was kicked in the genital area by a female officer and later died in custody.) The department has opened formal internal investigations based on Chief Beck’s findings in the report.
The LA Times’ Joel Rubin has the story. Here’s a clip:
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck was sharply critical of how several officers acted during an arrest last year in which a woman died during a prolonged struggle with police, department records released this week show.
In a report to the Police Commission, the civilian board that oversees the LAPD, Beck concluded that a veteran female officer violated department policies when she repeatedly kicked and shoved 35-year-old Alesia Thomas in her genitals and midsection. The same officer, the chief and commission found, showed “apparent indifference” toward Thomas during the messy effort to restrain her and put her into the back of a police cruiser.
Beck raised concerns as well over the actions of three additional officers and a supervisor during the July 22 confrontation in South L.A. Two of the officers disregarded Thomas’ request for medical help, while the third cop may have lied to investigators about the incident, Beck wrote in his report. A sergeant who responded to the scene may have failed to properly supervise the officers, according to the report.
NO CHARGES AGAINST USC STUDENTS ARRESTED AT OFF-CAMPUS PARTY
On Tuesday, City Councilwoman Jan Perry filed a motion requesting a report from the LAPD and the City Attorney’s Office on their response to the allegedly racially-charged arrests made at an off-campus USC students’ party. (You can read the back story here.)
Outgoing LA City Attorney Carmen Trutanich issued a statement Wednesday in response, saying that no charges would be filed against the six students.
KPCC’s Erika Aguilar has the story. Here’s a clip:
The arrests and large LAPD response that night fueled allegations of racial discrimination and heavy-handed tactics. A few community meetings with students, university officials and police were held after.
Perry attended some of those meetings and watched cell phone videos taken by students who were at the party during the police crackdown.
“I felt very strongly after watching the video that the response to them was very heavy-handed,” she said.
In the city council motion, Perry asks the LAPD to report back on the possibility of officers wearing lapel cameras, when use of force is authorized on students, and a strategic plan for dealing with noise complaints within a mile radius of campus.
It also calls on the City Attorney’s Office to report back to the council with an update on the criminal investigation of six students who face potential misdemeanor charges.
Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich said in a written statement:
“After a complete review of this matter, the City Attorney’s Office has declined to file charges against the six individuals involved in this incident due to lack of sufficient evidence and no reasonable likelihood of conviction.”
LETTERS ABOUT FOSTER CARE
The LA Times published three letters in response to Jim Newton’s Sunday column “Failing Our Children” (which WLA linked to earlier this week). The first letter is from Judge Michael Nash, presiding judge of the Los Angeles Juvenile Court, who was liberally quoted in the column. Here are two tiny clips (definitely go read the rest):
I want to amplify Jim Newton’s characterization of my attitude about Los Angeles County’s foster care system as “glum.”
…as long as we have more than 27,000 abused and neglected children under our court’s jurisdiction — thousands of whom are in need of safe, healthy, loving, permanent homes — I am not only not satisfied, I am glum.
There are two more letters that are worth reading, including one from the executive director of an L.A. County association of nonprofit child welfare and mental health agencies.