Editorial: Why L.A. needs a larger City Council?
The Los Angeles City Council in its recent special session last week took the bold step of authorizing the city attorney to file a historic lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department.
That would mark the second time in two years that a city attorney has taken a legal action against the LAPD. The suit will seek to end a policy and practice of having officers from outlying cities such as San Pedro and Oxnard carry out extra patrols in the city.
This is a dramatic step in the city’s ongoing struggle with the LAPD, which has long been known as one of the finest police departments in the nation, with a sterling record in a host of areas, including a low number of officers-per-100,000-population ratio, low crime, and an impressive number of citations and arrests for a police force that is known for its high-quality service.
The LAPD has long been known as a force that is tough on crime and tough on the bad guys.
That is why the suit is so important. This year alone, the city would have seen a record number of officers killed in the line of duty. Last year, there were 912 such officers killed in the line of duty.
The lawsuit is being filed on the heels of a record-breaking lawsuit by former Sgt. Ray Kelly, who was murdered in the line of duty and was posthumously honored by the Los Angeles Police Commission for his service, in part, because Kelly is a strong voice in the debate on police conduct and accountability.
While the lawsuit has been filed in California, it is an example of how the city and the LAPD are collaborating to move the debate in the right direction, in the process making a mockery of what is, for many, a well-deserved recognition by law enforcement.
The decision by the city attorney is a necessary step in the right direction.
On Wednesday, the City Council will vote on whether to place the