The LAPD is facing criticism for its handling of protests, from the use of tear gas and rubber bullets to enforcing curfews. Critics say police are unnecessarily aggressive in their responses to primarily peaceful protests.
On Tuesday, Mayor Eric Garcetti seemed to acknowledge that criticism. He said he ordered the LAPD to limit using rubber bullets when facing protesters.
What exactly are LAPD protocols around peaceful protests? What happens to officers who are accused of going too far?
KCRW speaks with Tim Williams, Jr., a former senior detective supervisor for the LAPD. He was with the force for nearly 30 years up until 2003. He’s also the author of “A Deep Dive: An Expert Analysis of Police Procedure, Use of Force, and Wrongful Convictions” He has his own investigation firm.
Williams says that to ensure things are done property in law enforcement, change must be a concerted top-down effort, from city officials to law enforcement to citizens.
He says police departments can first look at who’s entering the force, then discuss leadership. “There are some chiefs that are good. And then there are some chiefs that can’t have a coherent thought.”
He adds that one way to deal with leadership issues is to hold elected officials accountable by voting.