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NCJ Number: 52091 Find in a Library
Title: POLICE PATROLS - TOO MANY OR NOT ENOUGH?
Journal: LOS ANGELES TIMES, THURSDAY (SEPTEMBER 21, 1978)  Pages:8-11
Author(s): D SHUIT
Corporate Author: Los Angeles Times
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles, CA 90053
Format: News/Media
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: VIEWS OF SOUTH CENTRAL LOS ANGELES COMMUNITY MEMBERS AND LOS ANGELES POLICE OFFICIALS ON THE CAUSES OF TENSION AND HOSTILITY DIRECTED AT POLICE IN THIS COMMUNITY ARE REPORTED IN THIS NEWSPAPER ARTICLE.
Abstract: MEMBERS OF THE PREDOMINANTLY BLACK SOUTH CENTRAL LOS ANGELES (SCLA) COMMUNITY CONSIDER THE LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT'S (LAPD) USE OF EXCESSIVE FORCE AND AN OVERLY AGGRESSIVE METHOD OF POLICING, WHICH INVOLVES FREQUENT SEARCHES OF OFTEN INNOCENT PERSONS, TO BE THE MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR TO THE DEEP-ROOTED TENSION AND HOSTILITY DIRECTED AT POLICE. MOST OF THE POLICE OFFICERS PATROLLING BLACK NEIGHBORHOODS ARE WHITE; THEIR METHOD OF POLICING IN BLACK NEIGHBORHOODS DIFFERS SIGNIFICANTLY FROM POLICE PRACTICES IN WHITE NEIGHBORHOODS. BLACK COMMUNITY LEADERS ARE PARTICULARLY CRITICAL OF THE USE OF FIREARMS, THE CHOKE HOLD (DESIGNED TO RENDER A PERSON UNCONSCIOUS), AND NIGHTSTICKS IN DEALING WITH INCIDENTS THAT HAVE RELATIVELY MINOR BEGINNINGS. SEVERAL INCIDENTS ILLUSTRATING THE USE OF EXCESSIVE POLICE FORCE ARE CITED. FREQUENTLY, AFTER AN INNOCENT PERSON IS STOPPED, HE IS LEFT WITH A FEELING OF ANGER, FRUSTRATION, AND HUMILIATION AT BEING TREATED LIKE A CRIMINAL. MANY PEOPLE IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY CHARGE THAT POLICE ARE EXTREMELY SLOW TO APOLOGIZE OR TO EXPLAIN THEIR ACTIONS IN SUCH SITUATIONS. THEY ALSO FEEL THAT THIS IS THE RESULT OF POLICE TRAINING WHICH MAKES THE OFFICER VIEW ALMOST EVERYONE AS A POTENTIAL THREAT. MANY OF THE RESIDENTS INTERVIEWED EXPRESSED A FEAR OF THE POLICE AND DID NOT WANT TO BE IDENTIFIED. POLICE CHIEF DARYL GATES POINTS OUT THAT THE LAPD HAS BEEN ABLE TO CURB CRIME. HE AGREES THAT THERE IS TENSION AND ANGER WITHIN THE BLACK COMMUNITY BUT ARGUES THAT THE LAPD IS NOT ITS CAUSE. HE CITES STUDIES WHICH SHOW THAT URBAN UNREST IS CAUSED BY INFERIOR SCHOOLS; UNEMPLOYMENT, PARTICULARLY AMONG TEENAGERS AND YOUNG ADULTS; RACIAL ISOLATION; THE WELFARE SYSTEM; AND SUBSTANDARD HOUSING. MANY WITHIN THE BLACK COMMUNITY AGREE WITH HIM. HE HAS WON MANY FRIENDS IN SCLA SINCE THE 1965 WATTS RIOTS, PRIMARILY THROUGH A COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAM. THE KERNER COMMISSION, OFFICALLY KNOWN AS THE NATIONAL COMMISSION ON CIVIL DISORDERS, IN ITS 1968 REPORT STATED THAT POLICE, FACED WITH DEMANDS FOR INCREASED PROTECTION AND SERVICE IN THE GHETTO, USE AGGRESSIVE PRACTICES THOUGHT NECESSARY TO MEET THESE DEMANDS. THESE PRACTICES, HOWEVER, CREATE TENSION AND HOSTILITY. GATES BELIEVES THAT MANY PROBLEMS CAN BE AVOIDED IF POLICE TREAT EVERYONE WITH COURTESY, DIGNITY, AND RESPECT AND EXPLAIN THEIR ACTIONS. IN GENERAL, OTHER POLICE SHARE THIS VIEW, HOWEVER, THEY CLAIM THAT THE USE OF FORCE CAN BE JUSTIFIED IN MOST CASES AND IS A NECESSARY MEANS OF ENFORCING THE LAW. (MGB)
Index Term(s): California; Citizen grievances; Complaints against police; Hostility; Minorities; Patrol; Police attitudes; Police Brutality; Police community relations; Public Attitudes/Opinion
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=52091

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