Mixer: The year of the microscope…on police

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friday mixer bannerFederal prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty in the case of the LAX shooter.

24-year old Paul Ciancia is accused of opening fire inside Terminal 3 of Los Angeles International Airport back on November 1, 2013.

That rampage left 39-year old Transportation Security Administration agent Gerardo Hernandez dead, and several other TSA agents and a traveler injured.

That case also highlighted a big lack of communication at LAX between different law enforcement organizations.

LAX is one of the world’s busiest airports. It was the target of a planned, coordinated terrorist attack 15 years ago. And, yet, here we are, still talking about how different law enforcement agencies that represent the area – Los Angeles World Airport Police and LAPD and others – having struggled to work in unison on the day that the shooting spree took place.

Staying on the topic of law enforcement, this week, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office released (after a lengthy LAPD security hold) the autopsy of Ezell Ford.

He’s the 25-year old unarmed black man who was shot and killed in the streets of South LA by Los Angeles Police.

Friends and family claim Ford was gunned down despite not being a threat to police, and that he had a well-known history of mental issues.

Police say Ford had attacked one of two officers who had approached him and he tried to take one of their guns.

Citizen activists say more transparency, and faster release of information about officer-involved-shootings, will help shine a light on a police shooting scourge in their communities. And a development that could help toward that end is the introduction of body cameras on officers going forward.

Joe Mathews is California columnist for Zocalo Public Square, and Kate Mather reports on crime and breaking news for the Los Angeles Times. Both joined us for the Friday Mixer.