Tuesday, May 5, 2009

On Abuse of the American Flag...

Waving American Flag Flag Day Images

One of the strangest sites on the web in my opinion is the LAPD site where the original Rampart Reconsidered report (2006) by the Blue Ribbon Review Panel is posted.


That is where the quote in the masthead of this blog is taken from, about "the subcult of criminality in the ranks".  The report goes in detail into interviews with judges, prosecutors, and police higher command, relative to the reasons why the Rampart-FIPs are not released. The report refused to issue a report, and instead issued a recommendation of "external investigation", which was never implemented.

Posted together with it,  is a short response by LAPD Chief Bratton (July 2006) upon receipt of the report.  His response is centered on the need for more community policing.

Below it all is a waving American flag.  

What exactly is the waving American flag supposed to stand for in this context?

Waving American Flag Flag Day Images

The reference by Chief Bratton to MacArthur Park as the indicator of transformation was particularly prophetic, since a year later, on May Day, 2007, LAPD engaged in a violent attack on a May Day parade/picnic in MacArthur Park for no reason at all.   That case,  initiated a whole new investigation of the LAPD... and is now officially remembered in the annals of the LAPD as the "Mac Arthur Park Melee".

And just like the case of the "Rampart-Area-Corruption-Incident", which now left us with some 10,000 Rampart-FIPs, the "Mac Arthur Park Meleeis a remarkable achievement in the art of diminution.   Per Merriam Webster:

  • Melee: : a confused struggle ; especially : a hand-to-hand fight among several people 

The Mac Arthur case was actually filmed in video by several networks, some of whose crews were caught in police fire.  Upon review of any of the videos, easily found on Youtube, one would be hard pressed to call it a Melee.

Waving American Flag Flag Day Images

Waving American Flag Flag Day Images

Rampart Reconsidered
Blue Ribbon Rampart Review Panel


Rampart Reconsidered 
Blue Ribbon Rampart Review Panel

After nearly two years of work, the Blue Ribbon Rampart Review Panel has presented the LAPD Police Commission with its much anticipated report on the problems stemming from the CRASH (gang) Units in one of LAPD's Areas, Rampart Division, seven years ago. The repercussions of the "Rampart Scandal" were a principal cause for the five year Federal Consent Decree (now extended) and have cost the City untold millions of dollars.

Unfortunately these reports are available only as huge pdf files, and can not be made into webpages. As such, here they are in full, followed by a few short comments from Chief Bratton:

Rampart Reconsidered - Full Report
(101 pages - pdf file)

Rampart Reconsidered - Executive Summary
(32 pages - pdf file)

Rampart Reconsidered - Appendices

(141 pages - pdf file)

Chief Bratton Reacts to Blue Ribbon Report 
July, 2006 - Los Angeles

Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton appeared at the Police Commission's special public meeting this afternoon on the blue ribbon report, "Rampart Reconsidered: The Search for Real Reform Seven Years Later."

Chief Bratton thanked the report's primary author, Ms. Connie Rice for her work.  "I'd like to thank Connie Rice and her committee for carrying out the mandate to produce, once and for all, a comprehensive and objective Rampart after-action report."  Chief Bratton also acknowledged the leadership of the current and former Police Commission presidents and Los Angeles mayors.

"My initial reaction is a favorable one, but, as you might expect, I reserve the right to take exception to some of the findings and recommendations," Bratton added.

The LAPD will review the report and work to implement its recommendations within the Department's own "State of the Department" action plan, which was begun in October 2004.

The blue ribbon report's most significant finding is the need for more officers, a clarion call Chief Bratton has made since he took office in October 2002.  Mayor Villaraigosa and the City Council heard the call and authorized an expansion of 1,000 officers.  Their commitment is an important step to bringing about operational and cultural changes called for in the report.

"Professor George Kelling's research has shown the best way to reduce the effects of ‘stranger policing' is to get the cops out of the police cars and interacting with the people they serve," Bratton said.  "Out of necessity, LA has policed from police cars for 50 years, in order to handle a large area and population with half the cops of any other major city."

Bratton added, "One has only to look at the changes in MacArthur Park, Hollywood, and Baldwin Village to see the effects of close interaction with the community."

"This is not a sprint, but a marathon," the Chief said.  "We've made monumental changes in LAPD, but we are still not where we want to be. Our action plan is the road map to get there --- to make Los Angeles the safest big city in America.  And we are committed to doing it constitutionally, compassionately, and consistently."

Waving American Flag Flag Day Images

Waving American Flag Flag Day Images

Waving American Flag Flag Day Images