25 Years After LA Riots

Community march will mark the past and look to the future he Rev. K.W. Tulloss was a 9th grader at Locke High School in South Los Angeles in April 1992 when a jury, with no black members, acquitted four white police officers of beating Rodney King. That verdict touched off days of rioting, looting and violence that left more than 55 people dead. The riots were concentrated in South L.A. but spread to other communities including downtown L.A., Koreatown, Hollywood, Pasadena and the San … [Read more...]

Who Should See LAPD Bodycam Video?  

Respond to the Survey - Make Your Voice Heard!! Justice Not Jails applauds Police Commission president Matt Johnson for inviting the public to weigh in on the question of releasing police bodycam video. When the city first started equipping officers with the cameras two years ago, we denounced the policy of leaving it entirely up to the police chief whether to release video (apart form court-ordered releases). We said that leaving it to the chief's discretion runs totally counter to the goals … [Read more...]

Metro Approves $646M Annual Multi-Agency Transit Policing Contract

At last Thursday’s meeting, the Metro board approved a new five-year multi-agency transit policing contract. For the past decade, transit policing had been done by the L.A. County Sheriff Department (LASD.) Under the new contract transit policing will be done by LAPD, LASD, and Long Beach Police Department. When the proposal first came to the board in November-December 2016, it was $547 million annually: L.A. Police Department – $370 million – 68 percent L.A. County Sheriffs … [Read more...]

The LAPD’s biggest conundrum: How to suppress crime without alienating South L.A.’s black residents

On a chilly night in South Los Angeles, a young black man stood on the sidewalk watching police officers rummage through his car. Their reason for stopping him: the tinted front windows on his Nissan Maxima. Because he was on probation, the officers could legally conduct a search. It was the first of four times that Rio Cater would be stopped by police that night. When an officer praised his cooperative attitude, Cater, 28, replied that he was trying to avoid being ha— … “Don’t say the … [Read more...]

LAPD Leads Nation in Fatal Shootings—Again

This is the second straight year that Los Angeles has outpaced all other cities in the country for the number of officer-involved killings. As of Dec. 16 of this year, Los Angeles Police Department officers have killed 19 civilians, according to data compiled by the Guardian. Phoenix is second on the list with 14 civilians killed by police officers so far this year; Chicago and Houston have 11 each and San Antonio has 10. Last year, L.A. topped the list with 19. Its dubious first-place … [Read more...]

Black Lives Matter: Good at Raising Awareness — But That Won’t Reduce Police Killings

South Los Angeles this weekend, protests erupted over the LAPD killing of a black man long before there was enough information to say why, exactly, the officer had used lethal force or if he was justified in doing so. About two weeks earlier, the police killing of a black man in Charlotte, N.C., also triggered protests — again before all the relevant details were public. Both of the men who died were armed. It’s not hard to understand why some protesters act before all the facts are in. They … [Read more...]

When Police Body Cameras Aren’t the Answer

  Earlier this month, a too familiar tragedy unfolded in East Los Angeles when Los Angeles police officers shot and killed 14-year-old Jesse Romero. Witness accounts vary — the police department says Romero fled when officers approached him on suspicion of scrawling graffiti in his neighborhood, then fired at officers. Some civilians say he had a gun but tossed it away. As is increasingly common, the incident was captured on officers’ body cameras. Los Angeles officials have … [Read more...]

Policing and Democracy Breakdown

The growing problem of police violence and public mistrust in law enforcement isn’t a breakdown of policing but of democracy. The secrecy and immunity that shield police officers from scrutiny and liability are products of democratic policymaking. They haven’t been imposed extra-legally; they were enacted through state legislatures and embedded in state law. It is state law that sets the terms of transparency and accountability, mandating what information the public may have about police … [Read more...]

Take Action: Help Block LAPD’s Phony Body Cam Program

Justice Not Jails strongly opposes the City of LA's $57 million/five-year funding proposal to supply all officers on patrol with body cams. This super-expensive program—a giveaway of precious tax dollars to Taser International—will advance neither transparency or accountability within the LAPD and may actually suppress both. Reason: There will still be no public access to the video without the police chief's express permission, and cops involved in questionable conduct will be allowed to view … [Read more...]

LAPD & Community: Overcoming Mistrust

Moderator: Sandy Banks, former LA Times columnist Panelists: Holly Mitchell, California State Senator, District 30 Kim McGill, Organizer, Youth Justice Coalition Kathleen Kim, Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners Arif Alikhan, Director, LAPD Office of Constitutional Policing and Policy SATURDAY, APRIL 2, 2016 LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL, MERRIFIELD HALL 919 ALBANY STREET (AT OLYMPIC BLVD) 9:30 am registration & refreshments – Program 10:00 - noon Limited seating, … [Read more...]