Murder in Los Angeles
12/5/2002 12:00:00 AM - Larry Elder
Los Angeles, with a body count of 612 as of Nov. 25, 2002, now
owns the dubious distinction of murder capital of America.
As always with crime, reasons remain complex. But let us salute
the victicrat leadership of Los Angeles for its part. During the 1992 Los
Angeles riots, for example, Congresswoman Maxine Waters provided aid and
comfort to the rioters by bellowing, "No justice, no peace."
Recently, a white police officer in the Los Angeles suburb of
Inglewood slammed a black teenager against a squad car, and later punched
the youth. The cop claimed that the young man grabbed his genitals, and that
the teenager earlier resisted arrest. Before any investigation and without
one minute of testimony, Congresswoman Waters stirred the pot and declared
the incident racially motivated.
A recent LAPD police corruption/abuse scandal resulted in the
indictment of nine officers. Of the nine charged, one is awaiting trial, one
was found not guilty, and seven were convicted. In response to civilian
complaints about the police, then LAPD Chief Bernard Parks reformed the
complaint procedure, encouraging the department to investigate every
allegation of abuse, no matter how trivial or suspect. As a result, officers
became less proactive, more passive. Arrests declined. Morale crashed. And,
predictably, crime went up. Attacks on police officers, according to Time
magazine, increased 35.5 percent; witness intimidation up 50 percent; and
felony assault by gangsters up 9.7 percent.
The result? Time magazine reports that the bad guys know the Los
Angeles cops no longer police "proactively": "A black-and-white (police car)
comes into view, doing a slow lap around four or five blocks, up Pico (a
gang-infested area), across Mariposa, down and back around. Then it leaves.
The Playboys (a gang, one of whose members sits atop a roof on a building
with a rifle) laugh at the departing cops. Two years ago, CRASH (Community
Resources Against Street Hoodlums) teams were all over them, jumping out of
their patrol cars to search them for weapons and drugs, getting them to pull
up their shirts to show their tattoos, pumping them for information about
shootings. These days the cops barely engage."
About the uptick in crime, black "leaders" send morally mixed,
politically correct messages. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times, for
example, interviewed black Reverend M. Andrew Robinson-Gaither of Faith
United Methodist Church, "When I come home late at night, I don't get out of
my car until there are no vehicles moving on the street." Yet
Robinson-Gaither prospectively criticized the cops' crackdown on gang
members, "I'm projecting you will see massive violations of civil rights,
which will alienate people." On The O'Reilly Factor, defense attorney
Johnnie Cochran denounced "over policing." (Yet, when representing Reginald
Denny, the white trucker beaten during the L.A. riots, Cochran sued the
police for failing
to increase its presence.)
The morally conflicted "leaders" suggest the following
formula -- either high crime but with police respect of civilians, or low
crime and police brutality. Either/or. But this is no longer your father's
police department. In L.A., for example, two of the last three police chiefs
were black. Women and minorities comprise 50 percent of the street cops.
Perhaps the Reverend might benefit from a chat with Montgomery
County Police Chief Charles Moose, introduced to the nation during the D.C.
sniper shootings. In a recent television profile, Chief Moose said he wanted
to become a defense attorney, and thought by joining the police department
he could gain inside information on police misconduct. "Because, as an
African-American male in America in 1975," said Moose, "I really didn't like
the police. I was pretty sure the police made up the things that they did so
that they could be mean and -- to African-Americans in particular." But once
inside, Moose discovered that most cops performed professionally and found
allegations of racism overblown. He stayed in law enforcement.
Columnist Heather MacDonald conducted cross-country interviews
with black police officers, "The sum total of these pressures is a police
force fighting with one hand tied behind its back, according to many black
police officers, contrary to black activists who incessantly portray police
forces as out of control. Black cops, no less than white cops, support
assertive policing. 'If they let cops be aggressive, (said a black police
officer) and do the job, we'd get a handle on it.'"
Having helped defang the police, Congresswoman Waters offers
this "solution." "I really want young people to stay off the streets right
now," says Waters. "I want them to stay home. I want them not to hang out in
numbers. We've got to cool out and we've got to slow down the confrontation
and retaliations that are going on, so we need a time out."
Oh, "cool out" during a "time out." That's