LAPD wants to discipline May Day officers *

The LAPD has apparently decided to convene Board of Rights hearings for some of the officers who abused media and protesters in MacArthur Park on May 1, 2007. I know this because the Los Angeles Police Protective League has already issued a statement:

“The fact that officers have been served recommended discipline by the Department does not mean that the administrative process is over for the officers. Through the administrative process, we trust that each of the officers involved will be given a fair review that will evaluate their actions in the context of what they had been ordered to do, the tools and training they were given to accomplish those tasks, and the conditions under which they were operating.

"The Department’s official report on MacArthur Park clearly points out that the problems were caused by command and control, planning, and training breakdowns. At the time of the incident, Department Policy regarding use of force in crowd control situations was far from clear. Department policies were confusing. Officers are entitled to know exactly what use of force they can use when confronted with an individual who is impeding a skirmish line. They were trained that the integrity of the skirmish line is of paramount importance and they were trained that they could use the baton to preserve the integrity of the skirmish line.

"The LAPD itself has said that the confusion on the ground was primarily a result of lapses in communications and training. In addition, there were not enough officers on the scene, and there were no arrest teams behind them to take care of the rock and bottle throwers. The Boards of Rights must take into consideration lapses in training, communication, planning and command and control.”

Mayor Villaraigosa will meet the media at 3:15 pm to respond.

* Some details: I'm hearing that four officers were recommended for termination, eight others for suspension and three for official reprimands. Four of the 15 have reportedly been transferred out of the Metro division that ran amok that day, and three were given pay downgrades.

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