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Proposition 34 paradox

By LAPPL Board of Directors on 10/01/2012 @ 10:15 AM

What’s one thing that law enforcement and at least some of California’s 725 death row inmates agree on? The answer is we both oppose Prop. 34 on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Really – read on.

Prop. 34 would repeal the death penalty and replace it with life in prison without possibility of parole. The LAPPL has joined with the greater law enforcement community in strenuously opposing the proposition.

Now an attorney who has represented a number of death row inmates explains in a San Francisco Chronicle story how convoluted legal procedures surrounding capital punishment in California have caused most of the death row inmates to oppose Prop. 34 as well.

A recent survey by the Field Poll and the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley found that 42 percent of likely voters would repeal the death penalty while 45 percent would retain death as a punishment. Thirteen percent of likely voters are still undecided, giving interest groups on both sides of the measure incentive to press their cases through Election Day.

If Prop. 34 were to pass – and it is our fervent desire that it not – current death row inmates would have their sentences reduced to life. In the process, they would lose access to state-funded lawyers for habeas corpus. Habeas corpus allows inmates to challenge their convictions or sentence for reasons outside the trial record – typically, incompetent legal representation, misconduct by a judge or juror, or newly discovered evidence.

Therein lies the reason some death row inmates are urging would vote against Prop. 34 – had they not lost the right to vote when they were convicted.

The proponents of Prop. 34 omit the reasons for the high costs of capital punishment in California. The costs are not inherent to the penalty, but rather, the result of deliberate and improper delaying by penalty opponents.

Since passage of Proposition 8 which allowed for the death penalty, the California Supreme Court has been governed by the U.S. Constitution in deciding death penalty cases. The 9th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court, which reviews death penalty cases, are governed by the same body of law. Other federal circuit courts such as Texas and Virginia have no trouble expeditiously deciding death penalty appeals using the exact same law that applies to death penalty cases in California. If the death penalty system is broken, it is because federal judges, defense attorneys and legislators opposed to the death penalty do everything in their power to hinder and obstruct implementation of the penalty in California. Their maneuvers have included failing to provide funding for appellate attorneys and delaying the filing of legal briefs to avoid approving a death penalty verdict.

Families who have lost loved ones to murderers, along with the public at large, deserve honest arguments from California’s capital punishment opponents. Citing deliberately inflated costs to pass Prop. 34 isn’t one of them.

Prop. 34 is another one of those ballot measures that could go either way on Nov. 6. That is why everyone who supports “No on 34” must be sure to vote. We again urge you to exercise your right to vote – and encourage your family members and friends to join you in helping to defeat Prop. 34.

We invite you to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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Help Stop The Parole Of Three Unremorseful Cop Killers

By LAPPL Board of Directors on 09/21/2012 @ 08:15 AM

EDWARD BYRNE Rookie slain in 1988.

We know you are busy, but what we are asking will only take a few minutes and can make a huge difference in keeping three cop killers in prison.

Here’s the background: In 1988, New York City Police Officer Edward Byrne, newly assigned to the 103rd Precinct, was sitting in a patrol car guarding the house of a family who had defied a major drug dealer and agreed to testify against him. At approximately 3:30 a.m., four armed men (Philip Copeland, Scott Cobb, Todd Scott and David McClary) crept up on both sides of the rookie officer’s vehicle. One of the suspects knocked on the passenger window to distract Byrne as the second suspect ran up to the driver’s side window. Without uttering a word, he opened fire into the car and executed Officer Byrne by shooting him five times in the head. Officer Byrne was rushed to Mary Immaculate Hospital where he died of his wounds, just a few days after his 22nd birthday.

Three of the four convicted cop killers are up for parole in November 2012. We’re asking you to send letters to the Parole Board(s) in opposition of their parole.

The World Wide Web makes it easy to make a difference. Here’s how you can help:

  1. Visit the NYC Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association website (www.nycpba.org).
  2. Click on the “Keep Cop Killers in Jail” icon.
  3. Follow the on-screen directions to send letters opposing the parole of these cop killers.

Be sure to send an e-letter for all three convicted cop killers - Phillip "Marshall" Copeland, Scott Cobb and David McClary.

In January when this cop killer sought and was rejected in his bid for a furlough to attend his grandmother's funeral Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch said, “This cold-blooded cop killer denied a young police officer, Edward Byrne, every good and enjoyable thing that life held in store for him when he was assassinated Edward for no other reason than being a police officer. It is an outrage that this miscreant’s request for a furlough should get any consideration at all. He deserves no better treatment than he gave Officer Byrne.” Those same sentiments hold true as these convicted cop killers are up for parole in November.

Emails from you and your friends and family around the country, not just New York, will help ensure parole is denied for these three cop-killers. The family and friends of Officer Byrne, and our fellow officers in New York will appreciate your support in this important matter.

We thank you for taking time from your busy day to help make a difference.

We invite you to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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Remember Timothy Joseph McGhee: Vote NO on 34

By LAPPL Board of Directors on 09/20/2012 @ 09:09 AM

Timothy Joseph McGhee at his sentencing in 2009. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Timothy Joseph McGhee at his sentencing in 2009. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Timothy Joseph McGhee boasted in rap lyrics about his hatred of police and his love for killing.

He was convicted of attempted murder for a July 4, 2000, ambush of two LAPD officers who were chasing Toonerville gang members. He laughed in the courtroom when he was sentenced to die in January 2009. He has been awaiting execution on death row at San Quentin State Prison.

On August 30, prison officials said he used a handmade weapon to attack two guards as they returned him to his cell from a shower. The guards received cuts and wounds on their heads, necks and arms.

Voters would do well to remember McGhee in November when they consider Proposition 34. This proposition would eliminate the death penalty in California and replace it with life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Californians approved the death penalty in 1978. California is one of 33 states authorizing it. A Field Poll conducted in 2011 showed that 68 percent of Californians approved of execution as a punishment. Now, the attempt to overturn the death penalty – orchestrated by the ACLU and its allies – as a budget-saving measure is an outrageous insult to crime victims and their families.

San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos makes perhaps the best case for retaining the death penalty: “Whether or not to seek the death penalty is probably one of the most serious decisions I have to make as a district attorney. I have nothing but respect for the entire process, and just as much respect for our victims and their families who didn’t have a choice. They didn’t get to say goodbye to family members.”

Vote NO on 34. For more information visit voteno34.org.

We invite you to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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Televised live police chases – the new bloodsport?

By LAPPL Board of Directors on 09/13/2012 @ 12:22 PM

Over the past few days, media coverage of police chasing dangerous felons in the southland have put thousands of people, including dozens of police officers, in extreme danger. Police chases and the aftermath are certainly newsworthy, but the recent live television coverage has had the feel of a sporting event – with accompanying colorful commentary. In these situations, the responsibility lies with the suspect for not submitting to arrest, the public to stay out of the way, the officers to use good judgment when in pursuit and the media to limit its coverage. We aren’t questioning the news value – when it’s over – and in some cases as a warning for public safety, but many times, and clearly in the latest incident, live coverage endangers the public.

On Tuesday, live television coverage of an LAPD pursuit of a murder and carjacking suspect nearly resulted in the viewing public being “treated” to the sight of that criminal attempting to kill police officers, and then falling to the ground after being struck by return fire. What exactly is the value to the public, more importantly our young people, to witness this event live and in high definition?

Yesterday brought live broadcasts of armed robbers being pursued by Los Angeles County Sheriffs from Santa Clarita all the way to the south end of the city. As commentators breathlessly announced the locations of the pursuit, citizens poured from their houses to watch the spectacle. The armed robbers threw cash out of the car during the chase, resulting in people dashing into the streets to collect the money and hundreds of people converging on the vehicle at the end of the pursuit. The coverage added to the chaos, which resulted in needless additional risk to the Los Angeles County deputies, Los Angeles police officers and the public, in what was already a dangerous situation.

Live television coverage of the chase only exacerbated the situation, as people watching were alerted to the direction of the pursuit and flocked out of their homes to gawk or grab some of the discarded money. Pursuing sheriff and LAPD units then had to contend with people in the street as well as the criminals they were chasing. The media coverage was similar to that of a sporting event. Without the live coverage, far fewer people would have known about and become involved in this chase, tried to grab the stolen loot and put themselves in harm’s way.

Lengthy coverage of cars being pursued by the police up and down the streets and highways in the hopes of some dramatic conclusion may gain viewers for the stations, but for the sake of public safety, news organizations should report on police chases in as much detail as they want when the chase concludes.

If the media recognizes a need to warn viewers of a pursuit for the sake of public safety, it should do so with a conscious decision to limit the live coverage for the same reason. Otherwise, the news broadcast “money shot” isn’t reporting, it’s irresponsible.

We invite you to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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Prison realignment: Troubling trend points to need for fixes

By LAPPL Board of Directors on 09/11/2012 @ 08:45 AM

October 1 will mark the first anniversary of the prison realignment legislation signed into law by Governor Brown. With nearly a year’s worth of data, it is not too early to assess whether the law, heralded by prisoner-release advocates, in fact reduced the prison population and stopped the revolving door of inmates cycling into state prison without endangering public safety.

Approaching the one-year anniversary, we can say that the realignment verdict is in and it is troubling!

For nearly two years, we have pointed out on numerous occasions the serious flaws embedded in the legislation. With its only emphasis being the last crime committed, “Post-Release Community Supervision” inmates can have prior convictions for serious offenses, such as murder or sexual offenses – and many do, but it just happened that was not their latest criminal conviction.

“Beyond having dangerous offenders in California’s communities, there has also been an undeniable increase in overall crime in the state, including violent and property crime, in such cities as Fresno, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Lancaster, San Francisco, Redding, Chico, Antioch, and in Kern County,” according to a news release issued last week by the Sacramento-based Criminal Justice Legal Foundation.

The last overhaul of California’s criminal justice system was sold as a way to get more dangerous felons into treatment and out of the vicious cycle of crime, prison and more crime. So far, that has not been the case. Mid-year statistics from the City of Los Angeles were mixed. Although the overall the number of burglaries, auto thefts, and other types of thefts fell by 1 percent throughout the city, several areas of the city saw significant increases.

In areas patrolled by the LAPD’s Central Bureau, for example, thefts rose by 9 percent. The Department’s South Bureau also had increases. Not surprisingly, there was a direct link to the realignment law that explained this increase. Chief Beck told the Los Angeles Times that offenders receive less supervision and assistance programs after being released and are more likely to commit new crimes. And, many of those who would otherwise have been in prison reside in these two bureaus.

Crime is up in Downtown and LAPD Captain Horace Frank said, “We see the same people that we’re arresting over and over again going to jail and coming right back. We believe a lot of that has to do with AB 109.”

Another sign of realignment’s failings can be seen by the high percentage of criminals sentenced under realignment not showing up for counseling appointments. While law enforcement agencies are doing everything they can to successfully implement realignment, the fact remains that Los Angeles County’s realignment progress reports are not encouraging.

With realignment leading to increased criminal activity, the LAPD moved 150 officers from patrol or other assignments in order to deal with the state’s prison realignment plan. Combined with the restrictions on paid overtime, there is now a lessened police presence throughout the city, resulting in a negative effect on response times to 911 calls.

The impacts of realignment are being closely monitored statewide. The early returns are less than promising, and public safety is increasingly being put in peril. There are many shortcomings and flaws that state lawmakers and the governor must fix.

One common sense fix is to evaluate who is eligible for “realignment” based an inmate’s total arrest and conviction record – not merely the last offense for which he or she is incarcerated. The other flaws, unfortunately, will only continue to surface as more citizens fall victim to those who, just one year ago, were appropriately housed in state prisons.

We are not delusional – realignment is here to stay. We look forward to working with elected officials on solutions to lessen the burden on local governments.

We invite you to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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STOP the Special Exemptions Act - NO on Prop 32

By LAPPL Board of Directors on 09/03/2012 @ 04:08 PM

Police officers, firefighters and the rest of California’s middle class will be silenced if big corporations have their way this November.

Prop 32 is NOT what it seems. It was intentionally written to create special exemptions for billionaire businessmen, giving them even more political power to write their own set of rules.

Prop 32 exempts secretive Super PACs, which can raise unlimited amounts of money from corporate special interests and billionaire businessmen to support their favored candidates and defeat their enemies. Corporations already outspend labor 15 to 1 on political expenditures nationally and 3 to 1 in California; public safety cannot afford to lose our voice in local communities and state government.

Prop 32 will silence the collective voice all the organizations that advocate on behalf of public safety – those of us who stand on the front lines to fight for our public safety system every day. If corporate special interests are allowed free rein to do as they please, we will see public safety issues we care about the most pushed to the side. Issues like:

  • Police Officers Bill of Rights
  • Working conditions and safety
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Attracting top level recruits
  • Retaining experienced officers

Prop 32 is NOT what it seems. The special interests funding Prop 32 are targeting the voices of public safety professionals today, and next they’ll target the issues we care about most. Many of the top donors to the ‘Yes on 32’ campaign have already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to roll back our pension benefits. That’s why the League has joined dozens of other public safety associations to oppose Prop 32. It’s bad for public safety and bad for California.

Don’t believe the lies of Prop 32 supporters. Here are some facts to consider:

  • Prop 32 claims to bring reform to the political process – but Prop 32 will not take money out of politics. Like many so-called attempts to “clean up the mess in Sacramento,” the proponents of Prop 32 ignore the fact that full and complete disclosure of the source of campaign funds is the only real way to give voters the information they need to make up their minds.
  • Prop 32 exempts Super PACs and independent expenditure committees, and does nothing to prevent anonymous donors from spending unlimited amounts to influence elections.
  • Prop 32 doesn’t tell you that employee contributions to political campaigns are already voluntary under existing law today. The Constitution guarantees everyone that right.

Every leading government reform group in the state, including the League of Women Voters and California Common Cause, opposes Prop 32 because it’s not real reform. While Prop 32 claims to be “paycheck protection,” it is really paycheck deception.

Tell your family and friends and please Vote NO on Prop 32 to protect policies for all Californians, not just the corporate special interests. For more information and to get involved please visit LAPD.com.

We invite you to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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Skateboarding into Victimhood Superstardom

By LAPPL Board of Directors on 08/28/2012 @ 04:08 PM

The following article by Jack Dunphy was originally posted on PJMedia.com on August 27, 2012, and is reposted here with his permission.

Oh how comforting is the mantle of victimhood, how rosy and flattering is the light that so often shines on those who wear it. And how willing are some to shine that light no matter how tenuous the claim to victimhood may be.

On August 18, Ronald Weekley Jr., a 20-year-old student at Xavier University, was skateboarding outside his home in Venice, Calif., when he was arrested by officers from the Los Angeles Police Department. The term “Venice” may conjure up for you the image of a hip, seaside community, home to movie stars and other celebrities, and indeed there is substance in that image. But there is another side to Venice, one not often seen even by the hipsters who live nearby and patronize the chic restaurants near the beach and on Abbot Kinney Blvd. Mr. Weekley’s arrest took place in the other Venice, the grittier one, near the corner of 6th and Sunset Avenues, about a half-mile from the beach but, with its higher levels of poverty and crime, culturally more akin to South Central Los Angeles than to Venice’s more affluent areas.

Mr. Weekley’s version of events can be summed up thus: He was skateboarding in the street towards his home, and upon reaching his front door he was set upon, completely by surprise and without justification, by four LAPD officers who proceeded to tackle him and beat him to the point that he thought he was “going to die.” The later moments of the Saturday afternoon arrest were captured on a cell phone camera and posted to YouTube, and with the help of some dishonest news reporting, by Monday the victimhood cosmos had brought forth a new star.

I should mention here that Mr. Weekley is black, but perhaps the reader has already inferred that, for if he were not there would likely be no story here at all. Indeed the racial calculus of any incident like this one is often determinative in how the story is covered and for how long. For maximum effect, a black “victim” is the sine qua non.

What is also required is a compliant media. And if some media outlet can take the extra measure of twisting the facts ever so slightly, well, so much the better. Filling that role in the Weekley matter are the reporters and film editors at KTLA Channel 5 in Los Angeles who produced the video seen here, attached to a story on the Los Angeles Times website. Reporter Jim Nash does his stand-up near the scene of the arrest and unquestioningly repeats allegations of a “beating” and “racial profiling,” and as he does so a total of five protesters – all of them teenage girls, from what I can tell – can be seen over his shoulder. That number swells all the way to eight or so, apparently when others saw the opportunity to appear in the live television shot.

“Here you see the protesters behind us,” says Mr. Nash. “As many as twenty have gathered here to raise their voices against this.”

As many as twenty, you say? Perhaps the outrage in the community doesn’t run all that deeply after all.

Later in the report, Mr. Nash discusses Mr. Weekley’s claimed injuries. “Weekley and his father, Ron Weekley Sr.,” says Mr. Nash, “confirm that he was taken to UCLA Medical Center, where he was found to have a broken nose, broken cheekbone, and a concussion.” In this Mr. Nash accepted as fact Mr. Weekley’s description of his injuries. No documentary evidence or statement from an attending doctor was provided. Had Mr. Nash been more curious about Weekley’s injuries, had he done some minimal level of actual reporting, he would have learned that if Weekley had indeed suffered the injuries he claimed, he would have been admitted into the hospital rather than being cleared for booking into jail. And nowhere in Mr. Nash’s report was it questioned how anyone with injuries like those claimed by Weekley could be as unmarred as he appeared to be in his many post-arrest interviews.

But if that were the worst of KTLA’s disregard for honest journalism it would scarcely be worth mentioning. The real disgrace, the outright manipulation, came when the cell phone video was played. In the video, Weekley can be seen on the ground with four officers over him apparently still trying to restrain him. One officer can be seen punching Weekley in the face or on the head. Though it went unmentioned, KTLA played a version of the video that had been edited to make it appear the officer struck Weekley multiple times. But in the unedited version posted on YouTube, it seems clear that Weekley was punched only once.(Warning: the YouTube video contains abundant vulgar language. Note that none of it comes from the police officers.)

Mr. Weekley and his supporters also claim that he was beaten while handcuffed. Inconveniently for them, the unedited video does not support this. The officer’s punch comes at around the 0:22 mark in the tape, at a time when it appears Weekley is still struggling. Not until the 0:50 mark can an officer be seen reaching for his handcuffs. The action is momentarily blocked as the camera moves from one side of a police officer to the other, but by the 1:00 mark it appears Mr. Weekley is restrained, after which it’s all over but the shouting. And there was lots and lots of shouting, but again not by the police. None of this was mentioned in Mr. Nash’s report on KTLA.

A credulous Mr. Nash passed along without challenge some of the more inflammatory claims made by Weekley, and he spoke with a witness whose account Nash seemed to believe bolstered Weekley’s version of events. But did it?

Cutting to a shot of the witness, Mr. Nash characterizes her account in a voice-over. “This longtime neighbor, Ernestine Anderson, tells KTLA Five she witnessed the entire incident,” says Mr. Nash, “and never saw Weekley strike or fight the officers.” So the use of force on Weekley was unjustified, right?

But then Ms. Anderson tells us what she saw. “And I saw [the officers] trying to bring [Weekley] down, and they couldn’t bring him down because he stiffened his body up.”

In other words, Mr. Weekley resisted the officers’ attempt to detain him. And though Mr. Weekley had committed what some might see as a trivial traffic violation on his skateboard, the officers had every right to question him about it and issue him a citation if they had chosen to do so. Rather than accepting the ticket or the talking-to that was coming – and it probably wouldn’t have amounted to more than that – Mr. Weekley tried to make it to the doorway of his apartment, as though passing over the threshold conferred on him some kind of magic immunity from answering for the traffic violation.

Thus what should have been a brief and routine stop changed into an arrest, a use of force, and a call for outrage, all thanks to Mr. Weekley’s decision to run away. (This decision was perhaps influenced by Mr. Weekley’s three outstanding arrest warrants.) Add to this a dishonest news report and you have the antecedents for trouble in the neighborhood. Incredibly, Mr. Nash’s report on the matter the following day (available here, on the L.A. Times website) showed the same edited videotape, and again neither Mr. Nash nor the anchors mentioned how the editing distorted what actually occurred. It’s bad enough that it was done once, but when the station repeated the lapse the only conclusion to be drawn is that they wish to see the controversy continued and escalated. Why merely report the news when you can influence it?

Compare the KTLA report with this one from rival KTTV Channel 11. Note that KTTV’s reporter, Lauren Sivan, while appearing sympathetic to Mr. Weekley’s claims of police abuse, takes care to inform viewers that the version of the video being shown had been edited, with the single punch shown multiple times.

Mr. Weekley and his family are enjoying their new status as celebrities, staging press conferences and protests in front of their home and receiving support from members of the local grievance industry, some of whose members are of dubious character. Najee Ali, for example, a man never found far away from any racial controversy in Southern California (that is when he’s not locked up himself), has been perched on the Weekley doorstep since the case hit the news. Mr. Ali, formerly known as Todd Eskew, was once a member of the Crips street gang and has been convicted of multiple felonies, including robbery, hit-and-run, and, most recently, of attempting to bribe witnesses in a 2007 case involving his daughter. He promotes himself as the director of Project Islamic H.O.P.E., an organization which, as far as anyone can tell, claims Mr. Ali not only as director but as its only member.

Also turning out in support of Mr. Weekley is Tony Muhammad, western regional director for noted antisemite Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, perhaps best known to LAPD officers for having escaped prosecution after scuffling with cops in South Central L.A. back in 2005. It’s interesting to note that Mr. Ali once accused Mr. Muhammad’s bodyguards of roughing him up at a news conference.

But petty rivalries can be put aside when there’s grievance-mongering to be done, and the mongering has been going full tilt all week, fueled at least in part by KTLA’s transparently manipulative and inflammatory reporting.

Recall that in the March 1991 arrest of Rodney King, it was an edited videotape that led to the widespread belief that the LAPD officers who arrested Mr. King had beaten him without cause and would be convicted of the criminal charges brought against them. When the jury in those officers’ trial, having viewed the unedited version of the tape, declined to convict the officers, it led to days of rioting that saw 53 people killed and wide swaths of Los Angeles put to the torch.

In reporting the Weekley story as it has, have the people at KTLA revealed a desire for an equally dramatic outcome? It would be good for people in the news business, but terrible for everyone else.

“Jack Dunphy” is the pseudonym of an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. The opinions expressed are his own and almost certainly do not reflect those of the LAPD management.

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Police work is not always pretty

By LAPPL Board of Directors on 08/22/2012 @ 06:08 PM

A former Los Angeles police chief once observed, “Police work is not always pretty. But in my 36 years of law enforcement, I've learned not to make a judgment until I have all the facts.”

Chief Bratton’s comments echo our views regarding the recent highly publicized incident in Venice involving Ron Weekley, Jr. While Mr. Weekley claims excessive use of force, it is important to remember that partially recorded police action can easily misrepresent what actually occurred. That is why it is important to know all the facts in this case and not rush to judgment.

It is also important for everyone to understand that it is required by law to follow an officer’s lawful commands.

We already know that the partial videotape does not tell the whole story. If, as appears in this case, the recording begins toward the end of the incident, then crucial context which explains the necessity of the use of force is not captured. Legal issues in the case such as the critical issues of submission to lawful authority, tactical procedures consistent with LAPD training, and the perceptions of the people involved are not answered by the small snippet of videotape.

The law recognizes that some individuals will not comply with police officers and submit to arrest unless compelled to do so by the use of force; therefore, law enforcement officers are legally authorized to use force in the performance of their duties. The legal standard used to determine the lawfulness and appropriateness of a use of force is the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and in the legal case Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989). Graham states in part:

The reasonableness of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight. The calculus of reasonableness must embody allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments – in circumstances that are tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving – about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation.

The U.S. Supreme Court made it clear that the test of reasonableness is not capable of precise definition or mechanical application. The force must be reasonable under the circumstances known to the officer at the time the force was used. This standard is consistent with LAPD use of force policy adopted by the Police Commission. Therefore, the LAPD examines all uses of force from an objective standard, rather than a subjective standard.

While it may be tempting for some to believe that we have “all the details” when we have “seen” the video, nothing could be further from the truth. We are confident that the LAPD’s Use of Force and Internal Affairs Divisions will do a thorough examination of the incident, as will the Office of the Inspector General, and not rush to a snap judgment on the basis of a short video recording of a portion of this encounter. We urge everyone to allow the exhaustive examination of the facts to take place before passing judgment. The officers and Mr. Weekley deserve this.

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