Los Angeles, CA. February 27, 2006 Who decides whether an officer involved shooting is justified and within Police Policy? And, who is best qualified to determine whether or not a police shooting is within Police Policy?
Full Disclosure Network presents an eight-minute video news blog featuring LAPD Chief William Bratton who reveals the conflict between the LAPD and Police Commission over how police policy is interpreted. He relates details of the after the fact decision of the Police Commission regarding the officer involved shooting which killed thirteen year old Devon Brown. The video below is available free “On Demand” 24/7 as a public service. Viewers are invited to participate in an interactive survey on this hot topic and to leave their comments and participate in the debate.
Summary of Chief Bratton’s response to Leslie Dutton:
- He described the process by which the LAPD determined the death of Kevin Brown was justified and within policy saying it was the same as any other police shooting
- And, he said this particular investigation was more complex, used forensic methods and was the most comprehensive investigation undertaken.
- Regarding conflict with the Police Commission’s determination the shooting was unjustified. Bratton said they made a good faith effort.
- Asked if the Commissioners had the same understanding and specific knowledge and experience to judge police tactics, as he did, he said “No and they are not required to”
- He gave an overview of the Police Commissioners citing ties to the Christopher (Police Reform) Commission, as former U. S. Attorney, Assistant U.S. Attorney, along with Chairman John Mack (Civil Rights Leader). A fifth Commissioner, a automobile dealership executive serves as a Police Reserve Officer.
- When asked if he worries about officers being discouraged when their actions in the line of duty are ruled unjustified, he said no. Bratton said, he knows they are committed even though they are not getting benefits commensurate with other areas.
- In response to the question, is the system flawed, should it be changed? Bratton replied “no system is perfect, it is what it is. It was intended to be fair. I am comfortable.”
Over the past thirteen years Full Disclosure programs have been featured on 43 cable systems and since 2004 on the Internet. The programs are billed as “the news behind the news” and have explored police policies, politics, corruption and reform, interviewing all the LAPD Chiefs from Ed Davis to William Bratton as well as the Southern California County Sheriffs and most U.S. Attorneys General and Special Prosecutors involved in Presidential investigations. Cable channels are listed by community and air times on the website. In 2002 the program was presented with a public affairs EMMY Award for the series “L. A.’s War Against Terrorism”