That’s it. It’s time for every police officer to get out of Los Angeles.
You probably saw the news this week that LA has officially dubbed itself a “sanctuary city”.
But in case you missed it, the mayor also asked the police to stop pulling people over.
First… the sanctuary city part.
“We declare, for all those who have been under attack in this Trump era, that this city, in this day, in this time, will be a city of sanctuary,” City Councilman Gilbert Cedillo said. “It will be a place where people will know that they will be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin, and not by who they choose to love, and not by when they got here. They will be judged by their contributions to our city.”
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It’s what’s known as a “non-binding resolution” that was voted 12-2 by the City Council and is in line with other cities that have adopted similar policies. It’s also in line with California’s sanctuary state law – Senate Bill 54. That law ties the hands of local law enforcement who are trying to work with federal immigration authorities.
Now to the traffic stops.
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti is asking the LAPD police chief to stop pulling people over when they violate the law.
The Metropolitan Division that cover south Los Angeles increased traffic stop dramatically in 2018. The issue for some civil rights organizations is that nearly half of all traffic stops made by the division included African-American motorists.
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They say that this is alarming due to the ratio of African-Americans to the general population in the community. While the Los Angeles Times stated that their review does not provide proof that officers are racially profiling suspects, several organizations claim that there is no other explanation.
Of course those organizations carefully avoid discussing socio-economic divides or crime rates in different ethnic or cultural communities.
As part of the review, no data was provided regarding the rate that African-American motorists commit violations in comparison to other members of the same community. Had those details been included in the review, it may have provided some insight into the reasons for the stops.
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ACLU attorney Melanie Ochoa said that officers actively searching for people who might be violating the law is proof that “harassment and targeted are baked into the way the department operates,” according to the Times piece.
Hit the pause button.
When did police actively watching out for crime being committed equate to harassment? One should hope that members of all law enforcement agencies are “actively searching” for people who might be violating the law.
Not being satisfied with claims of racial profiling, the ACLU and 11 other groups wrote a letter to the mayor, the chief of police and the Police Commission overseeing the LAPD asking the Metropolitan Division to be completely pulled out of south Los Angeles.
In what amounts to nothing more than an attempt to create a free-for-all, the groups claim, according to the letter, that the LAPD’s practice of stopping people from preventing crime “fails to address safety in the community, and only leads to incarceration and harassment of African American and Latino people and exacerbates racial and wealth disparities.”
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If a person of color runs a stop sign or a red light, speeds, or violates any other sections of the vehicle code, they should be left alone to continue committing said violations.
Apparently, to the letter’s authors, crime is only worth addressing if it does not involve minority member of the community.
While this letter does not state that minorities in south Los Angeles should be free to commit crimes without police intervention, one could easily arrive at that conclusion.
The groups demanded more community policing, mental health services and programs for youth. These are great programs, but independent of law enforcement in the community, that is all they are, programs.
The LAPD commented to the letter stating, “We understand the delicate balance between our enforcement posture and our steadfast commitment to building relationships, engaging the community and enhancing public trust.”
While the LAPD is committed to having conversations to address the groups claims, they did not indicate that the Metropolitan Division will be leaving south Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) fought back against the claims of the letter.
“Let’s be very clear, Los Angeles police officers target behavior, not skin color.”
The LAPPL also said that the Times’ analysis of the Division is “flawed, skewed, and nonsensical,” and that it “demonstrates the implicit bias some possess against reporting facts, put in the appropriate context, about Los Angeles police officers and how we do our jobs.”
The union also said, “that preconceived false narrative, promulgated by the Times and its deliberate omission of important contextual data, admittedly zero evidence and any semblance of fair analysis, is designed to paint Metropolitan Division officers as racists who randomly stop black drivers.”
Once again, the commission of a crime should be irrelevant as long as it fits the prescribed narrative of cops being racists.