What didn’t matter was the more fundamental question of continuing abuse by LAPD officers, the kind that sparked riots in Watts in 1965, and again across South Central in 1992. Certainly it‘s intriguing, the prospect that Mack and Perez, and perhaps other cops, had criminal ties to Death Row. But just as certainly, it matters less to the life of the city than Perez’s explicit accusation that egregious misconduct is the norm in LAPD anti-gang units, from Foothill to Pacific Division, from Van Nuys to 77th Street.
That might be the best news to come out of the national media‘s latest tour of what they like to call the Left Coast. As much as Rolling Stone and The New Yorker managed to show they have nothing meaningful to add, the local press they sneered at look all the stronger by contrast. In particular, while they too took a pass at Death Row and the gang connection, the L.A. Times’ Matt Lait and Scott Glover soon turned to the tougher and less glamorous job of documenting Rampart-style LAPD cases outside that benighted division.
That‘s not a story Bernard Parks is willing to narrate for them. But then, who but a rube would quote the chief of police as the primary source on a scandal in his own department?