In a strange announcement to his rank-and-file, Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck this week basically reminded his officers to behave.
We're not sure if there's a morale problem at the Los Angeles Police Department, but it's true that a few cops have been in the news lately for more than helping little old ladies cross the street: One threw a kick at a bicyclist, another called a photographer a “fruitcake,” and both instances were caught on video that was posted to YouTube. Writes Beck:
News organizations and the public routinely capture your activities on video. Do not disgrace the badge, always behave constitutionally and respectfully in the performance of your duties.
Beck reserved particular disappointment not for those gotcha moments broadcast via the web, but rather for officers he indicates were snared by “sting audits” that apparently dangled some unethical bait that at least a few took:
Most disappointing to me are the sting audits where officers have failed to handle property that otherwise should have been booked. Do not take or create shortcuts. Follow the procedures and policies that you have been taught to follow.
Names have been avoided to protect the innocent.