By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
Wigodsky said prosecutors and the police are bound by law to turn over any evidence that might impeach the credibility of an officer, and has gone to court to force them to comply. But District Attorney Steve Cooley has given little ground, ordering his deputies not to disclose suspected misconduct unless an officer has been indicted — a much narrower standard than the one adopted by his predecessor, Gil Garcetti.
Cooley's hard-line position only makes sense to Winston Kevin McKesson. As the attorney who represented Perez through a criminal trial and then through the Rampart firestorm, McKesson is sympathetic to the dozens of young men framed by Perez and his cohorts. But he also considers himself a realist.
"It's not the D.A.'s job to look and see where the cop is lying," McKesson said. "It's a conflict of attitudes. If your son gets killed, if my son gets killed, you're not going to want the D.A. who's looking out for a dirty cop. You want the D.A. who's going to put the bad guy in jail."
McKesson brings the same sense of realism to the question of change and reform at the LAPD. He rejected the debate over Perez's veracity, asserting that the Rampart controversy turned on individual attitudes. "This was not information that they wanted to hear," McKesson said of the public at large. "The many people who live in the more conservative, less integrated parts of the city, they really don't care. It's not their children being targeted, not their children being sent to prison."
McKesson reflected on the L.A. cycle of protest, riot and reform. "The citizens of Los Angeles really get the police department they want," he said. "You get another scandal, another short period of time where people pretend to be outraged, and then just go back to where it was."
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