FROM William Bratton
Chief Bratton Prepares to Depart LA After seven years as Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, Bill Bratton is leaving at the end of this month. But up to the last minute, he's been fighting what he sees as the good fight, against any effort to stop the department from growing, and also against the way the political game is played in Los Angeles.
LAPD Chief Bratton Reflects on His Impact on the City William Bratton resigned yesterday with three years left on his term as Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department. He’ll go to work for a private company run by Michael Cherkasky, the monitor who last month recommended lifting the federal consent decree Bratton inherited. Crime has declined dramatically since Bratton took over. Black, Hispanic and civil rights leaders have highly praised the changes he made in the LAPD. Bratton himself said he wants his legacy to reflect that Los Angeles is showing the way to resolving 400 years of racial turmoil, racial profiling and biased policing.
Has the Federal Consent Decree Improved the LAPD? After the Rodney King beating in 1991 and the Rampart corruption scandal of 1999, the federal Department of Justice threatened to sue the Los Angeles Police Department over a pattern and practice of misconduct. The compromise was a “ consent decree ,” which gave a federal court the authority to monitor reforms. Chief Bill Bratton would like that to come to an end.
The Constitutional Right to Gun Ownership The US Supreme Court has settled an issue as old as the Bill of Rights: individuals must be allowed to own guns . But Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, also said, "Since this case represents this court's first in-depth examination of the Second Amendment, one should not expect it to clarify the entire field." Both sides have predicted a flood of lawsuits to seek "clarification," and sure enough, they're already being filed. If they can't ban guns, what kinds of regulations can governments impose? We ask about background checks, registration, assault weapons, trigger locks and carrying concealed weapons. What about gun crime and public safety? How long will it take to sort it all out, city by city and state by state?
Report on May Day Melee Faults LAPD Forty-two cops, reporters and peaceful protesters were injured in LA’s MacArthur Park on May 1st of this year. The blame lies with errors by senior commanders of the LAPD. That’s according to the department’s much-awaited report to the Police Commission made public today. It says that top officers on the scene “underestimated the size and significance” of a rally for immigrants; that confusion over who was in charge led to conflicting orders; that officers “appeared to use more force” than policy allows, including baton strikes to cause people to move even when they were just standing around.
Street Gangs Go International Los Angeles street gangs have spread all over the US. Now, they've become an international phenomenon, moving back and forth across borders--especially to Mexico and Central America--to terrorize neighborhoods and commit crimes, including extortion and murder. For the next three days, Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton is hosting an international summit on what to do. His counterparts from Mexico, El Salvador, Belize and Honduras along with the LA Sheriff's Department , FBI , DEA , and Immigration and Customs Enforcement are all in attendance. We hear how extortion and murder migrate across the borders. Can law enforcement agencies learn how to cooperate? Will they ever be more than a temporary solution?
Violent Crime on the Rise, Federal Assistance on the Decline After the cocaine wars of the 1990's, violent crime declined dramatically in most of America, but it's on the rise once again--especially crime that involves guns. At the same time, federal money that once went to fight crime is being channeled into homeland security , which has a different set of priorities. Late last month, local elected officials and chiefs of police aired their concerns about that trade-off at the National Violent Crime Summit. Whatever happened to former President Clinton's program for putting 100,000 new officers on the streets? Why is Congress making it harder to trace guns used in crimes by kids as young as 13? We hear what civic leaders and law enforcement leaders are asking the federal Department of Justice .
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?