Almost alone among its big-city counterparts, the LAPD has had a good working relationship with the local Occupy encampment. No clashes, no pepper spray, no arrests.
The bond was so good, it seemed, that the LAPD set up a special Twitter feed just to interact with Occupy L.A. protesters. OccupyLAPD offers helpful pointers like "Stay on the sidewalk," mixed with messages of friendly solidarity, along the lines of "Cops are also the 99%."
Wow. This is not your father's LAPD. But before Chief Parker starts rolling in his grave...
... a note of caution. The Twitter account is not endorsed by the department.
Sgt. Frank Preciado, the head of LAPD Online, says he has no idea who's behind the account. He said the department plans to ask Twitter to shut it down.
"They're using our badge, and they put '99%' on our actual badge,'" Preciado said. "It's a trademark infringement."
The account started up about 10 days into the protest. The feed established the voice of a neighborhood beat cop extending a friendly welcome.
"You catch more flies with honey"? That doesn't sound like a cop, but post-Christopher Commission, how are you supposed to know for sure?
Well, one giveaway would have been all the retweets of sexual advances. Cops are allowed to be cool, but not that cool.
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Still, a lot of people seem to have believed that Occupy LAPD represents the department, which is why the department is going to the trouble of asking Twitter to shut the thing down.
It's still a mystery who's behind it.
"I have no idea who's doing it," said P.J. Davenport, one of the operators of the @OccupyLA Twitter feed.
The department is not trying to arrest this person for impersonating a cop, so we may never know for sure.