This is my response to a good neighbor concerned about our “bashing” of the LBPD. I understand her concern.
With great respect, I have always supported our good police officers. I have served alongside them as president of the South and the East Police Advisory Committees and as a liaison for most of the neighborhoods of the 2nd District. My statements of late reflect our current situation. Are there good officers? Well… yes and no.
Anyone who stands beside someone who is willfully doing wrong is wrong him/herself. In crime, if you drive the get-away car, you as are guilty as the person who robbed the bank. We have spent over $30.3 million on settlements that got past our corrupt City Attorney, Charlie Parkin, in 5 years. This amount of criminal behavior is too outstanding to ignore.
I am grieving for those people who applied for this police department full of idealism and hope, wishing to serve the people with rose-colored eyeglasses, only to be put into a car with a dangerous dishonest upper rank. How that must feel not to be able to speak or say no, due to chain of command and fear of retaliation. Oh yes, the retaliation is real. The loss of officers to other jurisdictions is not due to lack of pay, it is because our new hires cannot bear to be corrupted and go to other cities where they do not have to bury their moral standards.
I have been in this for 35 years. I know good when I see it, and I know bad. One of my dearest friends was our Police Chief Anthony Batts. I worked out with him at the gym. He was a righteous man with high standards and under him we had community policing. The crime went down, the streets were peaceful, and the community loved and respected the LBPD.
I am so sorry that now we have a “Yes Man” as Chief of Police who should have been terminated years ago for his corrupt intent. He moved up the ranks with complicity and dishonor. This is what we are faced with today. I do not “Blame” our police officers, as they are directed from the Top-down. I am sure and know actually that officers were appalled at their stand-down orders from Luna during the looting. They have published their opinions in the Beachcomber:
06/18/2020 I am a White Police Officer With the LBPD
So in this, I will agree with you. We have great officers, who have struggled and suffered under this command, who only want to do good, and engage our community, but who are prevented from doing so because of our useless directionless Police Chief, ruled by our out of touch Mayor. I pray every single officer who is feeling abused by this protest movement will not be discouraged but rather inspired to rise up, as we all must, to tell the truth, tell our stories, tell the facts and overthrow this despotic regime. Yes, I have faith in our police officers. I know how hard it is to protest against your boss. However, now is the time for those of good heart to take faith and come forward. The people need you. The people are waiting for you. The people want your help. We cannot make this right by ourselves. This is why I write. This is why I speak, and this is why I am running for office. Someone simply has to speak the truth to power.