"We value innovation and support creativity. We realize that constant change is a way of life in a dynamic city like Los Angeles, and we dedicate ourselves to proactively seek new and better ways to serve."
-- from the LAPD's statement of Core Values
For some in the LAPD that might be as simple as returning to core values of honor and integrity and high ethical standards...core values which fundamentally conflict with deception and with the police brutality code of silence that perpetuates it.
Recent events reveal that the police brutality code of silence is alive and well within the LAPD. We saw it this week, when a jury convicted two former police officers of lying under oath in connection with a drug bust.
We saw it last week, when a jury found other LAPD officers liable in a civil case for using excessive force on a disabled man during an arrest. According to a news account, one of the jurors expressed skepticism of the officers' testimony and alluded to the police brutality code of silence. The juror was quoted in the LA Times: "'It was the same testimony over and over and over: 'I don't recall. I don't recall,' Chavkin said. 'They were clearly just closing ranks....It felt untruthful to us. Somebody matching Officer Tellez's description handcuffed Mr. Harris that day and hurt him.'"
The jury awarded the victim in that case over a million dollars.
And it's been only a few weeks since the LAPD came under fire for perceived deception and the police brutality code of silence in connection with yet another incident in which the law enforcement agency appeared less than candid with the public. In that case, police shot a man arrested for tagging...while he had his hands handcuffed behind his back and was hiding under a car. It was that last detail (shot while hands handcuffed behind back) that police failed to release to the media in a press release, apparently on the ground that the detectives investigating the matter preferred not to taint witnesses.
So it would appear time to go back to the basics...time to crack open the LAPD Manual and memorize those core values relating to honor, integrity, highest ethical standards and public confidence. Even in a dynamic city like Los Angeles, perhaps it's best to leave the innovation and creativity to the filmmakers.
Just go back to the basics. Tell the truth.