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The LAPD Union Reads WLA & Changes its Tune on SB9—At Least a Little

No. The LAPPL leadership isn’t suddenly clasping SB 9—the Juvie LWOP reform bill
—warmly to its collective bosom.

But, in response to our post yesterday, it has removed the biggest errors from its pitch to members and others, to contact Governor Jerry Brown and urge him to veto the legislation in question.

We appreciate the union’s willingness to make the correction and to do it so quickly.


Tuesday night, the union sent around an email to its members and friends hectoring them to urge Jerry to veto SB 9, the bill that would give some people sentenced to life without parole for crimes they committed when they were teenagers, at least the slim possibility of one day getting to leave prison before they die.

Inmates who had committed certain kinds of particularly horrific murders—those involving torture or the killing of a peace officer, firefighter or public official—would be excluded from even the possibility of eventual parole, no matter how remorseful and rehabilitated the inmate, or how steller his or her behavior in prison over the decades.

However, when the LAPPL powers-that-be sent out their initial pitch against the bill on Tuesday night, their big selling point was the notion that SB 9 would result in the release of cop killers. They even detailed the particularly vicious shooting of a detective by someone they insisted that SB 9 would set free.

Of course, the bill allows for no such thing. If anything, it strengthens the certainty that no kid killers of police officers will ever be released for any reason.

WitnessLA called them out on this (and some of their other statements) in a story Wednesday morning.

We felt the issue was important. On one hand, we didn’t think Jerry would veto the bill. But we do know he is very mindful of his relationships with the state’s public safety unions. Thus we would hate to have had him get a flood of anti-SB 9 emails—based on a lie.

And so we were heartened when, on Wednesday mid-morning we heard that, having read our story (and likely noted that LA Observed and others linked to it), the LAPPL got upset at the news of its mistakes.

As a consequence, we heard, there was a flurry of unhappy phone calls, et al, in and around the union’s offices. Finally it was decided; they’d remove the statements in question from their online pitch.

There is some overheated prose remaining, plus some arguable inaccuracies here and there. And the union still opposes the bill.

But they are now doing so far more honestly.

And that’s always a good thing.

Photo of Sutter Brown courtesy of Sutter Brown


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