The rowdy Lakers fans who rampaged through the streets around Staples Center on Sunday night couldn’t have picked a better time to test the LAPD: on whether to extend the consent decree
Officers handled with restraint several situations that could have gone ugly: rowdy crowds trying to tip over police cars, trashing an MTA bus and looting a gas station.
Nicely done. The peaceful outcome certainly made for a better day for police brass trying to persuade Judge Gary Feess to do away with federal oversight of the department.
Feess, of course, sounded reluctant to abandon his oversight, and asked for more information before making a decision.. Read Celeste’s posts of a week ago urging the judge to surrender his control and return the LAPD to the LAPD. The ACLU thinks otherwise, and here’s a statement from staff attorney Peter Bibring after today’s court hearing:
“We are pleased the court recognized the progress the LAPD has made but focused on the larger question at hand: Whether it’s appropriate to lift the decree when the department has not complied with all of its terms most importantly the non discrimination provisions.”
“Over the past years, the consent decree has been the engine for LAPD reform, so as not to repeat the nightmares of Watts, Rodney King and Rampart. With the monitor’s finding that the department has not yet fully complied with the decreeâ€”including specifically its policies and practices toward communities of colorâ€”now is not the time to prematurely terminate what is working to bring order to our city. When it can be confidently said that citizens of color are not overstopped, overfrisked and overarrested by the LAPD for no other reason than their race, it will be time to end the decree.”
Who can blame the judge for wanting to see all the reforms in place before surrendering control? On the other hand, maybe there’s some room for compromise. What if Chief Bratton vowed to stop endorsing candidates for city offices?
Parker Center would be a better place without such blatant pandering and politics. Not only would he avoid the embarrassment of having endorsed Jack Weiss for city attorney, but it would certainly help his relationship with the victor Carmen Trutanich.
Those of us who remember the not-so-distant past when the police secretly investigated political foes will be happy to see the chief disengaged from the political process.
How â€˜bout it chief: You can tear up the consent decree if you keep your ballot choices to yourself.