Hire officers? Abolish the police? L.A.’s election reveals deep divisions over the LAPD
The Los Angeles Police Commission will be an important forum for the LAPD to hear both sides of the debate over its future.
In two separate meetings Tuesday about LAPD reform, most residents who spoke at the commission meetings seemed to believe that the department needs to overhaul and that a recent series of controversial police shootings showed a need for change.
Those in favor of overhaul said there was no room for complacency when it comes to police misconduct cases, and that there was no shortage of police officers willing to work the streets to make city neighborhoods safer.
Those in favor of abolishing the LAPD, instead, said officers in the department were largely good at their jobs and needed to be given more resources.
And there were those who said there was no need for a special police commission to address the issues and that it is up to the city council to take the lead on the issue.
There were just as many at the commission meeting who said they were voting with their own hands, not what the other side was saying, and many said they had no idea what the outcome would be.
At times it was unclear whether the commission meeting was standing room only, as most of those who spoke at the commission meetings said they were voting.
In March, City Atty. Mike Feuer addressed the commission about the LAPD’s need for a police commission. At the time, he said the department needs help, especially when it comes to its use of force policies.
The city’s police commission, established in 1993 when the Los Angeles Police Commission was disbanded by Mayor Ed Lee, is a six-member panel that oversees the LAPD. It includes five supervisors — five of whom are police commissioners — as well as one police chief and one city council member. The chief is the commission’s chairman.
The commission usually meets four times a year, with the most recent meeting held Oct. 30.
In an interview Wednesday, Feuer said the LAPD needs to consider the most appropriate path forward on the issues the panel will consider as it weighs whether to reform