Patterico's Pontifications

1/14/2009

Please Don’t Offend the Protesters

Filed under: Crime,Current Events — Jack Dunphy @ 11:26 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

I was fortunate not to be among the LAPD officers dispatched to the Federal Building in West L.A. on Saturday, where they confronted a boisterous but mostly peaceful group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators. The senior commanding officers of the LAPD’s West Bureau, in a decision sadly typical for some in the department’s upper ranks, directed that officers not wear their helmets and face shields while manning a skirmish line and squaring off against the more provocative of the demonstrators. The helmets, officers were told, were “too intimidating.”

In this video, you can see a group of officers surrounded by protesters angered over the arrest of one of their comrades who had hung a banner from a traffic signal. You can also see one of those officers being struck with a protest sign. (I don’t know if this was the same officer who was later treated at Cedars Sinai Hospital after being struck in the head with a sign.)

I’m told that the officers ordered to wade into that crowd without the protection of their helmets and face shields were not at all happy about it. And you can bet that the senior officers who gave the order, if they were anywhere near the Federal Building at all, were in little danger of having their delicate domes creased by someone swinging a sign. It’s pathetic, but we’re getting used to it.

–Jack Dunphy

15 Responses to “Please Don’t Offend the Protesters”

  1. From what the video shows, the officers on the scene do a fantastic job considering the alternatives. I wish the LAPD got more credit for what they did right, rather than the obsessing over what they (may) have done wrong.

    JVW (9548dd)

  2. I wish I could say something intelligent but, frankly, this is absurd. Where is the logic in letting police put themselves at risk to placate people who end up attacking them?

    DRJ (345e40)

  3. Do you have any idea what would happen to me if I instructed one of my men to do a particular task and instructed him not to wear the proper personal protective equipment, such as a hard hat, and he got hurt doing that job?

    The hard-hat Dana (3e4784)

  4. If one of those cops is seriously hurt while dealing with the Hamas fanclub without proper protective gear, I hope he sues LA and those supervisors blind–the only way to discourage such idiocy is to make sure the idiots perpetrating it suffer for it–a multi-million dollar lawsuit will do nicely for that purpose.

    M. Scott Eiland (5ccff0)

  5. I think the entire protesting crowd ought to be rounded up and shipped to Gaza. Let them see first hand and maybe they’ll appreciate America more.

    The morons who ordered no helmets and no face shields ought to get a blanket party and they, themselves, be ordered out to the next protest. Maybe there’d be a wave of retirements of the deadwood?

    PCD (7fe637)

  6. I’m with M. Scott Eiland — the injured officer should at the least file a grievance with the union, and should seriously consider a lawsuit.

    Rob Crawford (04f50f)

  7. Hard Hat Dana is absolutely right; if you tell someone working for you to go into a hazardous situation (or frankly any situation on a construction job or in a refinery or petrochemical plant)not to wear their PPE, you’re going to get fired. Not only will you get fired, you bloody well deserve to be fired.

    Mike Myers (674050)

  8. I guess the theory is that the protesters will reciprocate someday, perhaps with break-away signs.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  9. That supe who ordered that protective gear not be worn should be checking parking meters on Terminal Island from now until his retirement as a Basic Patrolman.

    AD (d614d2)

  10. […] Guest blogging on Patterico’s Pontifications, the site of a veteran officer who writes about LAPD issues under the pseudonym Jack Dunphy, called the decision to forgo the helmets "pathetic." […]

    Debate at LAPD: Is police riot gear the wrong fashion statement? » noosoop (fdffc2)

  11. What do you mean “getting used to it”? Is this the kinder, gentler (apologetic) LAPD of Monsieur Bratton?

    Patricia (89cb84)

  12. AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED, RESPECT THE AMERICAN WAY AND FLAG!!! IF YOU DO NOT LIKE OUR COUNTRY, GET YOUR ASSES BACK WHERE YOU CAME FROM AND TAKE YOUR RELATIVES AND FRIENDS WITH YOU…

    BURN YOUR OWN FLAG AND STEP ON IT IF YOU LIKE, BUT NOT OURS!! POLICE OFFICERS SHOULD SHOW RESPECT ONLY IF GIVEN RESPECT.

    Rose Ann Bright (f00c98)

  13. Capslock: Cruise-control to “cool”…

    Scott Jacobs (a1c284)

  14. Six days later the Dog Trainer catches up with Patterico.com.

    Stu707 (7fb2e7)

  15. I am happy to be retired after 30+ years in police work. These kinds of decisions are really typical of police managers today. Note that I did not use the word leader. I was seeing that at the end of my career. Just a total lack of understanding or caring about basic mob psychology. In my personal experience most police managers were more concerned with their next promotion rather than the safety of the personnel in their command. I saw it time & time again.

    I recall being at one large incident and as the supervisor (sgt.)on scene ordering the troops to put on their helmets for officer safety because the thugs were using hammers to break off pieces of the curb and throw at us. A command officer arrived at the scene and was incensed that the troops were wearing their safety equipment (helmets.)He was concerned that the command staff above him would feel the officers were escalating the situation by wearing their helmets. All this prick cared about was his next promotion. I asked him if he wanted me to order the officers to remove their body armor and guns along with their helmets so as not to “inflame” the situation. I got a royal ass chewing later for that comment but it was worth it.

    The respect and safety of those under my supervision was more important than any promotion. Something that is lost on far too many police managers today. This is not a problem limited to solely LAPD.

    Sgt. Rock (7cfd24)


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