Patterico's Pontifications


Dunphy Has More on SWAT, Bratton, and the Godfather

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:36 am

Jack Dunphy has a piece in Pajamas Media about Bratton and the SWAT changes. A taste:

Since Brattons plan was exposed, he has busied himself in denouncing anyone who dares to question the changes to the SWAT selection process, going so far as to threaten current team members with transfers if they are caught speaking out against them. Incredibly, he drew a comparison to the film The Godfather when discussing his plan for retribution against his critics. Youre all familiar with The Godfather movie he told reporters, and throughout most of the movie the Corleones are getting banged around pretty good and then Michael makes a statement that all debts will be settled. And at the end of the movie, all debts are settled in a very bloody way . . . Im more than willing to take the slings and arrows for a couple more weeks, but like Michael Corleone, Ill get my time.

Well now.

A very interesting choice of words. LAPD officers are now expected, evidently, to subscribe to Brattons very own code of omerta or risk some very unpleasant consequences. Chief Bratton may wish otherwise, but unlike members of the Mafia, police officers enjoy all the rights accorded by the First Amendment, most especially when addressing matters of public policy. Speaking on behalf of my colleagues, I can promise that any attempt to abridge those rights will be most vigorously opposed.

But in the meantime, if I see Chief Bratton carrying a violin case, Im going to run.

Like I told Robert C.J. Parry last night: it’s not personal. It’s strictly business.

But stick to your pseudonym, Jack, lest you wake up next to a horse head.

18 Responses to “Dunphy Has More on SWAT, Bratton, and the Godfather”

  1. “Leave the gun. Bring the Cannoli.”

    mojo (8096f2)

  2. I have posted some thoughts on my own prospects for wearing concrete shoes and sleepin’ wit’ da fishes at the Daily News’ Friendly Fire blog.Trying on my new concrete shoes

    Robert C. J. Parry (2fc153)

  3. I love you Fredo, but don’t ever take sides against the Family again!

    Techie (ed20d9)

  4. Don’t worry… All he’ll do is bring a knife to a gunfight…

    Wait, wrong movie…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  5. I think “LA Confidential” was early ’50s, Chief Parker. “Mulholland Falls” was 1948, Chief Horrall.

    nk (34c5da)

  6. I think a lot of artistic license was taken in both of those movies – with a dose of “Chinatown” (movie time-frame: the 30’s; actual time frame IIRC: pre-WW-I) thrown in for good measure.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  7. Wow, Bratton is sure testy, despite all the peacefulness, low crime rate, and loving relationship among all races in his city!

    Patricia (f56a97)

  8. Don’t forget the lack of gang members!!

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  9. Or just another element to this NEW style SWAT?

    “A 23-year Atlanta Police Department veteran pleaded guilty on Monday to conspiring to violate civil rights by searching a private residence without a warrant, federal prosecutors said.

    Wilbert Stallings, 44, of Conyers, a sergeant in the department’s narcotics unit, faces up to 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. A sentencing date wasn’t immediately set.

    After a hearing before federal Judge Julie Carnes, U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias called the actions of Stallings and his unit a “blatant” rights violation. He also said it was part of a pattern that led to the 2006 botched raid in which 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston was shot and killed in her northwest Atlanta home.”


    Pros at work, errr court

    Bratton is just making sure his new SWAT can be properly indoctrinated, though half may have but a GED, don’t matter. Think of it as a more colorful dept that reflects the same paint as the community overall.

    TC (1cf350)

  10. Don’t forget the lack of gang members!!

    Yeah, I wish those American kids would quit faking us out with all that graffiti and gunplay around town!

    Patricia (f56a97)

  11. I tell you Chief Bratton (my parents’ old neighbour) just warms my heart. He’s so entertaining.

    First, he lifts another guy’s “broken windows” approach and rides it to fame. I guess this is the police-commissioner equivalent of graduating from running numbers to hijacking trucks.

    Now, he has decided that everything we’ve learned about stress inoculation and personnel selection (tip: google “Neuropeptide-Y stress ‘Special Forces'”) doesn’t matter, and he wants to have a SWAT team that “looks like LA.” Remember Bill Clinton’s cabinet that “looks like America?” You had WASP lawyer-lobbyists, black lawyer-lobbyists, Mexican lawyer-lobbyists, women lawyer-lobbyists. It looked like his America, I guess.

    I am impressed with Bratton’s ability to singlehandedly overturn tens of thousands of years of evolution. (Maybe he’s a closet young-earth creationist?) He just declared a new human nature! (If Barack Obama doesn’t pick Bratton for his cabinet, he’s missing a fellow miracle worker. “Yes, we can!”). Maybe Bratton’s next move is to set up his throne on the shore and command the tide to stay out. Worked for King Canute.

    Some female officers, as Jack points out in the linked article, perform well. For others, the late Col. Jeff Cooper coined the dismissive term, “copchick.” Which kind do you think Bratton will force-feed to SWAT?

    (LAPD recruiting is strange. I did have a friend rejected by LAPD some years ago. Supposedly, he had too much military experience (?) and his IQ was above the upper cutoff (? so how did Dunphy get in? And why don’t they try a lower cutoff, and start by testing it on the political appointees?). Of course, my friend was male, fair-haired and blue-eyed… so he doesn’t much “look like LA” or the way Bratton sees it anyway).

    I wonder if the Daily News reporter who joined the LAPD is in full possession of his faculties. I’m sure his Times counterpart who joined the opposition thinks he isn’t!

    Kevin R.C. 'Hognose' O'Brien (8acbe1)

  12. This was encouraging from the LATs this morning in at least it gives voice to what is of such concern:

    “Meantime, Los Angeles police officers have more important things to worry about. The department is wrestling with the future of its venerable SWAT unit, and some officers complain that their objections to changes in the unit — specifically, to changes in the vigorous physical test that some say is being relaxed to more easily admit women to the all-male squad — are being stifled by intimidation from superiors. Whatever one thinks about the new standards, the suppression of opposing views represents an alarming return to LAPD’s culture of insularity and coercion. The Police Commission should investigate promptly to ensure that the unit’s officers are free to speak their minds about this important public policy matter.

    Indeed, intimidation flourishes at precisely the point where public scrutiny ceases. Here, the Protective League has taken a more constructive stand, urging that Bratton’s touted transparency be applied to the department’s SWAT deliberations as well. It’s a reminder that not only does the public benefit when police open themselves to examination — police often do too.”

    (the op-ed also informs citizens that there is a new web site up,, where you can rate the police officer you encountered…),0,6970115.story

    Dana (fba430)

  13. Dana…
    That is funny LMAO!
    Does anyone over there see the irony of their own words?

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  14. #13, I was more troubled by the site – how on earth do police officers respond to a negative review made by perhaps just a disgruntled citizen ticked off that they were given a ticket, or whatever the interaction may have been?

    I don’t see a criteria specified anywhere for ratings submitted; it appears very one sided with no recourse available. I don’t know if it will really have an effect on an officer one way or the other but it does appear from the get go, a biased proposition at best. Here is a rating posted this morning toward an identified LAPD officer giving him 3 out of a possible 5 stars(police officers are given stars like a Michelin restaurant???)(names of officers are posted, commenters names are not, just their username or handle):

    <i<b>>”User Comment/Rating
    Created On: 03/27/2008 09:17:47

    Flag As Abuse

    2 words: Napolean complex. I think this guy use to be on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. ”

    Dana (fba430)

  15. I have always been amused that police departments would have IQ caps. Can’t be TOO smart now, eh?

    *rolls his eyes*

    And they wonder why we don’t trust cops?

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  16. Scott…
    It’s not the cops, its the dip-…. pols who end up in the mgmt positions, and the elected pols who appoint them.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  17. I’ve posted some more information about LAPD management’s approach to SWAT at the Daily News’Friendly Fire blog.

    It is quite evident the stage for the Politcally Correct results was set from the beginning, and expressed in an incindiary manner, by a key player in this fiasco.

    Robert C. J. Parry (2fc153)

  18. I fondly recall my days at the Long Beach Police Department under former Chief Larry Binkley who was once an LAPD commander. Larry decided they were were going to be progressive & have a female on our SWAT Team.

    They selected the best friend of his assistant chiefs wife. This woman dropped out of almost every run in her academy class. She was absolutely the worst shot in the class & just managed to qualify with her handgun. She had no upper body strength. While most officers upgraded to 45 autos, she stayed with her S & W model 15 revolver because it was all she could handle. She was given a social promotion to SWAT even though she was unqualified.

    To the SWAT teams credit they said no. The entire team resigned immediately. The brass quickly reconsidered & that was the end of that nonsense.

    Due to this incident & many others, Larry was without a doubt the most hated command officer in our history. My deepest condolences to those who toil daily at LAPD.

    Retired Cop (7cfd24)

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