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May Day Mea Culpa

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3 Responses

  1. Moz says:

    The problem is that police officers by their nature respond well to the escalating force model, in fact I argue that that’s the environment they are most comfortable in. Police officers are (largely self)selected for their comfort with that model. So it’s no surprise that when they’re under stress they revert to it.

    Large public gatherings, on the other hand, are inherently inchoate and that makes them non-responsive to the model as we know. The solution has to be actual training and restricting the use of force like this to situations where the Police response has not collapsed. Perhaps by imposing a mandatory rank requirement on persons who can authorise these debacles.

  2. Howard Wasserman says:

    It will be interesting to see how these lawsuits proceed. Through this report and some of the statements and actions described in The Times, it appears that the LAPD is basically admitting to a possible “failure to train” claim, which the plaintiffs must prove in order to recover from the City and any individuals beyond the officer(s) on the scene.

  3. KC says:

    (cross-posted from my blog–apologies to the half-dozen people who might have seen it there.)

    The report sheds plenty of light on the LAPD’s mistakes in responding to what began as a minor disturbance at the fringe of the rally, but it misses the most important point: there would have been no disturbance at all if the police had not been there. The only misconduct described in the report, other than that committed by police, was directed at police and inspired by their presence. The idea that the crowds at marches and rallies must be controlled and policed permeates the report, while the notion that police presence incites trouble is not even considered. Yet the largest immigration rally Los Angeles has ever seen was the March 26, 2006 pro-immigrant demonstration. There was no violence, no trouble, not even any littering at that wonderful event and, while we could have used a few traffic cops, the LAPD did not show up. Maybe in addition to all the enhanced training in “command and control”, “use of force policy” and “arrest posture”, the LAPD might consider learning a little restraint.