About that citizen's panel...


Mayor Hahn's attempt to defuse community tensions over the arrest and apparent LAPD-inflicted flashlight beating of Stanley Miller hit a couple of snags Monday. African American activist Najee Ali of Project Islamic Hope quit Hahn's hastily gathered panel of community representatives, citing his own pending trial on charges of identity theft and leaving the scene of a car accident. Hahn says he knew about Ali's arrest before naming him to the panel on Friday, but he may not have known that police chief William Bratton had just been on CNN calling Ali "one of the biggest nitwits in Los Angeles." Meanwhile, city councilman Dennis Zine questioned the need for the panel, saying it was an effort to appease the black community. Hahn, however, says in the Times, "it's important for the community to feel they have a right to watch this process and watch it very closely and be told what is happening every step of the way."

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