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Police: Questions in Hiring of Former LAPD Officer Wind

October 27, 1994

Our council in Culver City has avoided the reasons why so many residents have shown anger and are upset with the hiring of Timothy Wind. Wind was one of the four Los Angeles police officers seen beating Rodney G. King on videotape. The irregular and secretive manner in which he was hired and the rationale for his selection are issues that have not been resolved.

On Oct. 10, in the presence of TV, newspaper and radio reporters and a full City Council chamber, the comments opposing the hiring of Wind outnumbered those for him by 6 to 1. An often-expressed concern among many who spoke was that Wind's hiring sends out a message that Culver City condones police abuse. Those objecting to the hiring of Wind presented petitions with more than 700 signatures to the council. Petitions were gathered in a very short period of time as an expression of community outrage.

The City Council failed to respond to the many questions raised about the irregularities in the process used in the hiring of Wind. Little or no consideration was given by the council in regard to the fact that this rookie of only three months' experience was discharged by Chief (Daryl F.) Gates for unnecessary use of his baton. Nor did they seem to consider it important that Chief (Willie L.) Williams denied reinstatement application.

The City Council responded in a patronizing way. We did not get definitive answers to the many questions raised at both this council session and one held in September. At the most recent meeting, community opinions were heard, the council members then made their statements prior to voting. At no time were members of the public allowed an opportunity for further interaction with the council. The council then voted unanimously to support Police Chief Ted Cooke's decision to hire Timothy Wind, thus giving their consent.

This is a public relations issue which may develop into a demand for a civilian police review board.

ADELE SIEGEL

Culver City

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