February 17, 2000
2:41 PM   Subscribe

Only in L.A.?: Bad LAPD cops could cost the city $125 million; I just hope they aren't the same cops who successfully sued the city for $40 million. Yeeesh.
posted by wendell (7 comments total)
I'll bet CrazyUncleJoe remembers the old bumper sticker: "If you don't support the police, next time you're mugged, call a hippie."
In L.A., that's beginning to look like a serious option.
posted by wendell at 2:43 PM on February 17, 2000


I was behind someone on the freeway yesterday who had a "Back the Badge" bumpersticker, and I couldn't help but wonder at the rational behind it. Was it an old sticker? Was he from out of the area? The whole Rampart Division scandal is mindblowing. Beyond the Rodney King incident even as far as I'm concerned. It's not that I'm entirely suprised - there has long been the sense that CRASH was the biggest gang in the meta-hood known as The Los Angeles Basin - it's just the levels of rot being exposed. You know that there's corruption, but either it's not entirely "real" to you because (for most of us) it's all conjecture, or you just don't expect it to all come pouring out at once. It'd be like seeing a cockroach crawl into a cabinet, and then opening the cabinet to discover billions of them boiling out at you.

FWIW - I wouldn't be suprised to find this level of corruption in New York City's "101 uses for a toilet plunger" Police Department, but I don't believe it'd ever be exposed under the Giuliani regime...
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 3:41 PM on February 17, 2000

I can't believe that Riordan is using the smoking settlement money originally destined for health care issues to bail out deadbeat cops. I also can't believe that they're putting dollar estimates on the people who were shot and killed that shouldn't have been. This is worse than the Rodney King incident.
posted by mathowie at 8:36 PM on February 17, 2000

Yes it is. My point (in my head) was that for most people it isn't as personalized (no actual videotape of bad cops doing bad things, no single name to attach to the horror) and the scope is just to large. Otherwise, the Rampart Division HQ would already lie in smoking ruin.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 9:14 AM on February 18, 2000

Are cops in LA as bad as folks say?

The only evidence I've really seen is Mark Fuhrman during the OJ trial, and the cops who beat Rodney King up - but surely they are bad eggs?
posted by tomcosgrave at 6:54 PM on February 18, 2000

A little LAPD history (as best as I remember): a political scandal back 50 (or more?) years ago resulted in "reforms" (I always put that word in quotes) that left the department very independent, but very underbudgeted and understaffed... police per capita in LA is a fraction of other BIG cities. As gangs started to dominate the crime scene, the cops decided that the best way to control the gangs was for the cops to become the baddest gang in town. That attitude is not universal, but it was (and is?) apparently easier to get along in the PD if you shared that attitude. Funny thing, the special "CRASH" unit that killed Diallo in New York sounded like a knock-off of a special LAPD unit that targeted known violent bad guys, and, apparently took pride in the fact that more of their targets ended up dead than in custody. Nobody wanted to look too closely at that, or the fact that the combination of understaffing and independence allowed police chiefs to reward and punish local politicians by allocating (or not) resources in their districts. There's even more than meets the eye here... excuse me, a police car just pulled up and I have to answer the do
posted by wendell at 10:30 AM on February 19, 2000


Thanks for that!
posted by tomcosgrave at 10:36 AM on February 19, 2000

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