Everyone who lives here will agree that the LAPD is an extremely important part of keeping our local newscasts filled with awesome high-speed chases, as well as that whole thin blue line thing.
But it’s also well-known that the department has been plagued by scandal, all the way back to the 1930s, and while there are far more good cops than bad, it’s just good sense for citizens to keep an eye on the department, so rogue cops are sent to Federal Pound Me In The Ass Prison where they belong. In other words, we have a right (and responsibility) to know what our government is doing, including our police department.
According to a story in the LA Voice, the police commission, citing officer privacy, has taken a huge step in the wrong direction by refusing to release the identities of police officers who are involved in shootings. LA Voice says,
“If the Los Angeles Police Department wants to improve relations with its citizens in the wake of big messes it’s going to have to work a lot harder on being open about the little, routine ones – such as giving officers who definitely shot someone the same treatment it gives citizens who are merely suspected of shooting someone.”
I have to agree with LA Voice on this one. More transparency in government is always better than less, and police officers should be held to a higher standard than the average citizen.
The Mayor has come out in favor of the commission’s recommendation, which LA Voice suggests may be little more than a political move designed to keep a huge voting bloc happy. On the other hand, it may be good sense for the city to side with the LAPD, because it would possibly cut down on lawsuits, freeing up LA City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo to fight the deadly scourge of video games that’s currently plaguing the city.