L.A. CITY HALL: Measure C, May 16 ballot, police reform?: Editorial, "Measure C pretends to be about police reform. Instead, it's a noxious sleight of hand. Vote no." ....
***Following up on earlier item noted here (Los Angeles Police Department, office discipline for misconduct, ballot measure)....
* Los Angeles Times (editorial): "Measure C pretends to be about police reform. Instead, it's a noxious sleight of hand. Vote no." - From the LAT:
Seldom has an effort to alter Los Angeles’ governing blueprint been as clever and underhanded as Charter Amendment C, a little-noticed measure on the little-noticed May 16 city ballot that would change how police officers are disciplined for misconduct. Seldom have city officials been so sly in their effort to slip something so noxious past L.A. voters.
After the November presidential election, the March city election and an April special election to fill a key congressional seat, Los Angeles is election-weary, and voters may be prone to let this one go by (and that was surely the City Council’s point in scheduling this vote when it did). But it’s important. Voters should request their vote-by-mail ballots or plan to show up at the polls in three weeks and vote No on Charter Amendment C.
The subject matter is the three-member panels, called Boards of Rights, that determine whether LAPD officers have committed serious misconduct and ought to be fired or otherwise disciplined. A little down in the weeds at first blush, perhaps, but the structure of those panels goes to the heart of how police should be held accountable for dishonesty, bad shootings or other improper behavior — a subject of nationwide interest with a particularly difficult history in Los Angeles.
The charter amendment would leave the selection of civilians — who is eligible, how the pool is chosen — to the City Council. Will the pool be stocked with retired police officers? We don’t know. Will it be filled by police reformers or critics from Black Lives Matter? We don’t know — although the police union seems confident that the council will craft the selection process to its satisfaction.
That’s why, despite assertions in campaign brochures that Charter Amendment C would create a “civilian review board,” implying that it would operate like those in other cities and which reform advocates here have long sought, it would do no such thing. That’s why most reform advocates strongly oppose the measure. They see it for what it is: a sleight of hand that gives the appearance of civilian oversight while actually giving the union just what it wants.
But the sneakiest part of the measure is the .............