Patterico's Pontifications

5/31/2007

Bratton vs. Parks: No Contest

Filed under: Crime,General — Jack Dunphy @ 9:41 am

[Posted by Jack Dunphy.]

Rank-and-file officers on the LAPD certainly have their reasons for being disappointed with Chief William Bratton. I have expressed some of those reasons in my columns on National Review Online, most recently here. But disappointed as we might be with Bratton, you’d have a hard time finding anyone on the department lamenting the fact that L.A. city councilman Bernard Parks was ousted from the job.

So it’s laughable to see Parks insinuating, as he did at a recent city council meeting, that the LAPD would be in better shape today if he had been retained as chief. During a discussion of the LAPD’s handling of the May Day protest at MacArthur Park, Parks played a video supplied by “community members” that portrayed the May Day melee as merely the latest in a series of abuses committed by LAPD officers during Bratton’s tenure. Among these were the videotaped arrests of Stanley Miller, who was struck with a flashlight after fleeing from a stolen car, and William Cardenas, who was punched in the face by officers attempting to arrest him for a felony warrant. For Parks to suggest that these incidents would not have occurred had he been in command of the LAPD is beyond absurd.

But, on second thought, maybe not so absurd after all, but not for the reasons Parks would wish. Under Parks’s autocratic stewardship, morale in the LAPD was abysmal. Officers were leaving the department in droves, far outpacing recruiting efforts. So perhaps it’s true that those controversial arrests would not have occurred, but only because there wouldn’t have been any cops left to make them.

William Bratton could do better, but even on his worst day he’s a better chief than Parks was on his best.

8 Responses to “Bratton vs. Parks: No Contest”

  1. Some people need their lights punched out. Now I saw a news story recently about two cops who just plain lost it, each in separate incidents. Other cops said they did wrong. But, that doesn’t mean all incidents where a police officer uses force or intimidation are not justified.

    I don’t know the particulars of the cases you mentioned. I do know that sometimes a person does have to do things that hurt another person. That’s life. Parks is making life harder for police officers around the country with his statements and behavior. Let’s hope he gets his comeuppance in a most convincing manner.

    Alan Kellogg (68daa3)

  2. I would hope by now that the LAPD is taping all these events. I know the other side is.

    Mike K (6d4fc3)

  3. I have a lot of difficulty rooting for the LAPD as far as its feud with Parks. If I’m not mistaken, officers were angry at him almost off the bat because he rejected a union demand for flex-time, fearing that having overworked cops on the street at the end of a 12 hour shift might be less effective than cops at the end of an eight hour shift. Seemed like a reasonable position to me, but the union never forgave him for it.

    Sean P (484444)

  4. So do you think crime has fallen to the extent that Bratton and Villar are touting today?

    Patricia (824fa1)

  5. Do you think it’s even possible for LA to have a good chief? Given all the political pandering to assorted “ethnic” groups, oversight by dedicated left-wing judges, the political aspirations of Villa*** (won’t bother to look it up), and all the rest, anyone top notch probably wouldn’t touch the job with a ten foot pole.

    Put another way, per Catch 22, anyone who would want the job in probably not up to doing a good job. And anybody good would be unlikely to get it anyway in the insane political environment here.

    I live in the area, but fortunately not in LA itself. I don’t know who to pity more, the officers or the citizens.

    GaryS (0e3040)

  6. Sean P, LAPD Officers were not, “angry at Parks almost off the bat”, to the contrary most were happy that we got rid of Willie Williams and return to having an LAPD Officer in charge. And yes we were upset that he was against the compressed work schedule, (something that virtually every big city police, fire and E.R department have by the way, so maybe being against it is not quite so reasonable). But what finally turned most Officers against him was he made it impossible to do your job without running the risk of being disciplined, ruining your career or getting fired. We were more afraid of being attacked by our own department then being attacked by the bad guys.

    Yes Patricia, crime has fallen to the extent that Bratton has said. I agree totally with Jack Dunphy’s view of the Chief but I will give him credit where it is due, and crime has fallen on his watch.

    Gary S, yes it is possible to have a good Chief in LA, and I think Bratton was a good Chief who started off well. This is the second biggest city in the nation with a nationally recognized police force, even if the city refuses to acknowledge it. That is attractive to the ambitious but also the committed. There are many good leaders who would be happy to take the reins. Ultimately though, it is up to the citizens of this city as to what type of leadership and police force they will have. If those who are “pro police” stand up and are counted, the department will thrive. Unfortunately, those who supposedly support this department have been MIA for a long time and that means those who are anti LAPD are running the show.

    Paul (db94e7)

  7. Hmmm so crime has gone down in L.A., eh?

    According to the FBI numbers the drop isn’t impressive but its a bit of a drop none the less…

    Still has L.A. made any headway in dealing with MS-13?

    juandos (6b76aa)

  8. Paul, good news…I guess email is the only way the silent majority will voice their support. Thank goodness for that!

    Patricia (824fa1)


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