It’s been widely reported that the Los Angeles Police Commission contracted with the National Police Foundation to write a report on the Los Angeles Police Department‘s behavior during the recent May/June 2020 uprising in response to the May 2020 murder of George Floyd. The Commission and LAPD have been busy supplying the NPF with all the evidence they could ever desire.
Not quite so widely reported on is the Commission’s Advisory Committee on Building Trust and Equity. This group was convened in July 2020 to report back to the Commission with recommendations for reforming LAPD, Their report isn’t out yet, but recently I obtained a copy of a draft. It’s a very mainstream set of useless shopworn proposals that, in the words of renowned tweetist @banannaise, “mostly boils down to … tell[ing] the cops to be nice to people and … to stop breaking the law.”
Which was predictable given the Commission’s deferential attitude towards LAPD along with the unstated but obvious charge to the Committee to smooth things over as much as possible. But the fact that the Committee’s conclusions are predetermined doesn’t imply that they’re not committed to making the process look as valid as possible nor that much of their work, even if done in the service of appearing valid, is worthless.
As part of this work, then, the Committee is looking in detail at a huge range of existing police reform proposals, many of which LAPD has already tried, some voluntarily and some by court order. They’ve collected these proposals in a number of spreadsheets, also including LAPD-specific analyses, and I recently obtained copies of a number of these documents (and published them here on the Internet Archive).
Regardless of the value of the Committee’s final report these records are very interesting. Two of them, this 25 page list of LAPD reforms recommended by the 1991 Christopher Commission and this 74 page list of all LAPD reforms required by the 2001 Rampart Scandal Consent Decree, are extremely interesting. You can also view these files as HTML in your web browser. Click here for the Christopher Commission reforms and here for the Consent Decree reforms.
Continue reading More Records From The Police Commission Committee On Building Trust And Equity — Including Eileen Decker’s 25 Page Discussion Of Reforms Recommended By The Christopher Commission In 1991 — With Her Thoughts On Current Compliance And Potential Improvements — And 74 Pages On The 2001 Consent Decree Reforms — And Much More — Demonstrating The Police Commission’s Compliance Check Methodology — Which Is To Count A Reform As Implemented If LAPD Adopts A Policy — Or Requires More Training — Or Introduces Another Level Of Review — Without Looking Independently At What The Police Are Actually Doing — This Won’t Change LAPD — As The Forty Years Of Reform History In These Documents Shows Very Clearly
In July 2020 the Los Angeles Police Commission announced the formation of an Advisory Committee on Building Trust and Equity. Here’s the Commission’s press release on it, which summarizes the Committee’s charge:
The Advisory Committee is expected to focus its work on a review of discipline and accountability; assessing current policing reform proposals being considered throughout the country; evaluating the implementation of past LAPD reform proposals; examining the LAPD’s recruitment, hiring, retention and training process; and analyzing data collection and retention practices.
As part of this work the Committee ran a series of community meetings featuring different local organizations presenting their visions of police reform, all of which are available on the Commission’s surprisingly useful YouTube channel.
The point of the meetings was ostensibly to gather information related to the Committee’s main charge, which is to conduct “a comprehensive review of LAPD policies and procedures, and deliver recommendations for additional reforms.” The Committee’s recommendations are expected by the end of 2020.
Which is a long time to wait, but fortunately waiting isn’t completely necessary. I recently obtained a working draft, dated October 26, 2020, of some of the Committee’s work. This document has the current state of their recommendations on “Data Collection, Reporting, Use, Access, Retention and Transparency” and on “Stop, Search and Arrest Data (RIPA).” The original is an MS Word file, and I exported it to PDF for ease of use (and it’s also transcribed at the end of this post).
Continue reading The Los Angeles Police Commission’s Advisory Committee On Building Trust And Equity Was Formed In July 2020 — And Won’t Report Out On Recommended Reforms Until The End Of This Year — But You Don’t Have To Wait! — I Obtained An Eighteen Page Draft Of Their Recommendations From October 26, 2020 — Get Your Copy Here! — Which Proposes Many Welcome Policy Changes — All Of Which Are Doomed To Fail If Implemented As Recommended — For The Same Old Reason — All Of Them Are To Be Enforced By The Police Themselves — Which In Practice Means They Would Be Voluntary — And Therefore Ignored
In September and October the Los Angeles Police Commission Advisory Committee on Building Trust and Equity sponsored a number of Community Town Halls. Various organizations got ten minutes or so to present their ideas on police reform to the Committee including, interestingly, the Los Angeles Police Protective League.
I didn’t pay much attention to these town hall things while they were happening but then I obtained a copy of an appalling LAPPL powerpoint file which turned out to be from that appalling organization’s presentation at the October 1st Town Hall. This crazy slide deck made me wonder what the heck had gone on in that meeting.
The LAPPL was repped by well-known psychopath Rob Harris and not-quite-so-well-known psychopath Jeretta Sandoz. Their argument essentially, and I am paraphrasing it, but accurately, is that because 9% of Angelenos are Black and 44% of “violent crime suspects” are Black, it is therefore not racist that the police arrest disproportionately many Black people. Also LAPD is sad because local politicians are mean to them.
After spilling the numbers, Sandoz gets to the point in pretty much the most offensive way possible: “Look at these numbers. Do Black lives really matter in the community?” As Sandoz says: “If the LAPD arrested the 13,485 black violent crime suspects does that mean the LAPD is biased against black Angelenos? The answer to that is no. The numbers don’t lie.” But, well, yes, actually, it does mean precisely that. The answer to that is yes. The numbers do, in fact, lie. Just ask anyone who’s learned about selection bias, whether in classrooms from statistics teachers or on the streets of Los Angeles from the LAPD. Then Harris again with a forever reel of disingenuously designed fake polling. Eleventy-seven percent of the public support cops and reject commies. And then things got strange.
Continue reading Los Angeles Police Protective League Presentation On Police Reform From October 1st Town Hall Is Unhinged — “Nearly all the reforms that are being talked about are already in place in the Department” — “44% of violent crime suspects are Black — If LAPD arrested these black violent crime suspects does that mean LAPD is biased against Black Angelenos?” — “Public ridicule by City leaders, City politicians, of Department and the officers” — City Leaders, you “have to do better protecting your police officers” — Here’s Video And A Copy Of Their Powerpoint Too!