As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck called for community meetings on three recent controversial clashes between cops and suspects that were caught on tape, one community leader is calling b.s.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable says the pow-wows should be open to the public.
That's right, these "community meetings" aren't for me and you. Well, maybe:
As the Urban Policy Roundtable notes in a statement, the events are invite-only:
The chief's plan to hold LAPD meetings with only invited community leaders without full community input will do little to alleviate public concern and tensions over the recent spate of violent encounters by LAPD officers.
Full transparency must be the watchword in the LAPD's dealing with the minority community. This is the only way to insure department accountability and to eliminate suspicions that the problem of alleged police abuse and violence will be swept under the rug.
This fact was confirmed to the Weekly by LAPD spokeswoman Rosario Herrera. And, she said, the chief wasn't even coming.
Herrera said that the chief requested the controversial use-of-force incidents be added to already existing monthly community meetings at each of the LAPD's 21 geographical divisions, which are aimed at area leaders, business people and others but are not open to the media or public.
They must be open, transparent, and the department must make full public disclosure of the steps the department will take to reduce use of force encounters.
But ... at least one division, Northeast, plans to do just that -- open its Sept. 13 meeting to all. According to a Northeast statement:
A community meeting has been scheduled for this Thursday, September 13th, 2012 at 6:00 PM at the Northeast Area Police Station (3353 San Fernando Road). In light of recent events that have captured the attention of the media and have caused community concern, The Chief of Police has requested that an open meeting be held. The meeting will address Use of Force policy and other concerns. All are welcome!
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So there, we guess.