CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 2013 |
The Los Angeles Police Department announced Thursday that it would take the unusual step of no longer issuing press releases or immediately confirming instances of celebrity "swatting," saying intense media coverage seems to be fueling more incidents. Cmdr. Andrew Smith, who oversees the LAPD Media Relations Section, said the procedural change keeping celebrity swatting calls a secret, was necessary because of concerns about the privacy of the victims as well as the belief that publicizing such incidents targeting individual celebrities was emboldening copycats.
February 27, 2013 |
In the three-plus years since Charlie Beck put on the chief's badge at the LAPD, his goal has been to consolidate a modern, multiethnic, publicly responsible 10,000-officer department, as envisioned in the rattling reforms of 15 and 20 years ago. The chief's recent trial by fire was about one ex-probationary cop named Christopher Dorner and the manhunt that ended in Dorner's death, consumed millions in law enforcement dollars and ate up, for the moment...
February 13, 2013 |
What appears to be the fiery finale to Christopher Dorner's violent rampage across Southern California nearly upstaged President Obama's State of the Union address. As the seconds ticked down to the start of the speech, it seemed as though Anderson Cooper and the folks at CNN were awfully reluctant to break away from the burning cabin near Big Bear where the disgruntled, unhinged ex-cop from the Los Angeles Police Department appeared to be holed up. Nevertheless, the cable news organizations did their duty and switched from the sensational to the substantial.
September 17, 2012 |
Back in the early 1990s, when the Los Angeles Police Department was the source of much fear and brutality, about 1% of its arrests involved the use of some force, from a firm grip to a gunshot. Over the last two years, during a period when the LAPD has been justifiably lauded as a restrained and professional agency, about 1% of arrests involved the use of force. That remarkable constancy is true despite wide fluctuations in the number of people taken into custody - the department arrested almost 300,000 people in 1990, twice as many as last year - and reflects two aspects of the interaction between police and the public: Most officers do their jobs with good intentions, and most suspects know better than to resist.
April 29, 2012
Twenty years ago Sunday, on a warm spring afternoon, Los Angeles fell apart. It started with the announcement of not-guilty verdicts on all but one count against the police officers who had beaten Rodney King into submission. It flared in confrontations in neighborhood after neighborhood, was fanned by television images of a truck driver being dragged from his vehicle at the intersection of Florence and Normandie, and was inflamed by a raucous mob that rampaged through downtown that night, starting at police headquarters and spreading out from there.
April 25, 2012 |
In 1992, the acquittal of four police officers accused of beating Rodney King was the match that ignited a city, setting off a wave of violence that left 53 dead, thousands injured and hundreds of businesses destroyed. There was a lot of accumulated tinder to burn. Los Angeles was struggling with a faltering and de-industrialized economy that left too many without good jobs, a wave of demographic transition that caused ethnic and generational tensions, and a widening gap between rich and poor that was just beginning to emerge into public view - a bit like the U.S. today.