After following Los Angeles Police Department Chief Bill Bratton in the news these past few weeks, we get the distinct impression that he wants to leave this town jabbing and swinging ... especially when it comes to his political enemies and critics.
First, Bratton, who's stepping down as chief on October 31, threw a series of combinations last week when he said, among other things, that this city's "political leadership" told the public a "lie" about how it would grow the department with a trash fee hike -- see the L.A. Weekly article "Long Knives Slice Up Bratton."
Now, Bratton appears to be taking a parting shot at former L.A. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, who's running for California Attorney General.
the city attorney's office this summer. If anyone is in a position to endorse Delgadillo, it's the chief.
This morning, however, Bratton will not be backing Delgadillo, but, Will Harper at SF Weekly reports, one of his rivals in
the California Attorney General race -- San Francisco District Attorney
Kamala Harris. Ouch!
Now, there are many critics who think Bratton shouldn't be getting entangled in the endorsement business. It needlessly politicizes the LAPD, they say, and politicians don't always follow the law to the "T."
If a political corruption scandal breaks out, for example, and a local Bratton candidate has broken the law, this city's top law enforcement officer could be dragged into a subsequent investigation and the entire mess could be compromised in some way.
But Bratton has never cared for those critics, and he'll be angering them once again -- one more jab before he leaves town.
The funny thing is, the chief's endorsement record is very mixed, so he's throwing himself into the middle of something that can easily hurt him and the LAPD -- politicians have long memories for who or who did not campaign for them.
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Bratton, for example, backed former L.A. City Councilman Jack Weiss in his run for city attorney, but lost in a landslide to Carmen Trutanich. The chief also endorsed Manhattan D.A. candidate Richard Aborn, but he recently lost big too. And he backed Gil Cedillo's failed, Eastside congressional run over Judy Chu, who also won in a landslide. Now San Francisco D.A. Kamala Harris will have the seal of Bratton's approval.
Harris has recently come under fire in San Francisco for refusing to ask for the death penalty involving the 2008 murder of a man and his two sons. An ardent opponent of the death penalty, Harris also did not seek that punishment for the murder of a San Francisco police officer in 2004.
Bratton, though, still digs her.
Contact Patrick Range McDonald at email@example.com.