"Today we say to America: We've come here to work: We clean your toilets!"

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Bratton and Villaraigosa Should Resign

Placing blame for bad decisions made by police officers at last week's May Day protests, Police Chief Bill Bratton reassigned two top cops and busted one of them down from Deputy Chief to Commander.

Deputy Chief Cayler ``Lee'' Carter a 33-year veteran of the LAPD and commanding officer of operations at the LAPD's Central Bureau was demoted to the rank of commander and assigned to his home. Commander Louis Gray, a 39 year veteran and Carter's second-in-command was moved to a post in the Office of Operations. Bratton will announce his recommended replacement for Carter during the Police Commission meeting Tuesday.

"I have to be comfortable with the leadership around me," Bratton said, but he noted that he could not state the specific reasons for the moves because they were personnel matters.

Mayor Villaraigosa - who was out of the country during the protest and surrounding incidents - told reporters ``We're not going to shift responsibility down the chain of command. Accountability begins at the top. What happened on May 1st was wrong and we're taking immediate action to address it. Let me be clear about this: When I say accountability starts at the top, it starts with me."

We have to remember that both Villaraigosa and Bratton planned to be out of the country weeks before the protests. Surely the LAPD had intelligence that troublemakers were likely to take advantage of the event and egg police on. Given that, it was completely irresponsible of Bratton and Villaraigosa - as top leaders of the city - to attempt to skip out of town when this volatile event was on the calendar.

"Let me be clear about this: When I say accountability starts at the top, it starts with me."
Mayor Villaraigosa
There is no doubt that some officers acted badly. However there were protestors and other troublemakers who were the source of the trouble; these moves to blame officers by Bratton and Villaraigosa only seek to wash over their behaivor and allows the perpetrators to get away with it.

And it also discounts the fact that a number of the protestors - no matter how much they are good people, hard working and are very good at cleaning toilets (according to the Mayor) are here ILLEGALLY and are violating the law as well. However the Mayor, the Chief, the City Clowncil and a good chunk of LA are in denial of that fact.

Indeed, as much as Carter and Lee are responsible for the actions of the officers below them, so too are Villaraigosa and Bratton. The Mayor said "accountability starts at the top."

Therefore considering all that happened - and that the Chief and the Mayor irresponsibly planned to leave town (Bratton was scheduled to leave a little later than Villaraigosa and therefore when things got of hand there was time for the Mayor to cut the Chief loose and order him to stay in the country) - its only fitting and right that the Mayor and the Chief resign.

Of course, they are going to deny all responsibility, pin the blame on underlings and move on. But no doubt the members of the Command Officers Association and the Police Protective League will have a few words to say. We'll be glad to hear them.

A few other views:
Mayor Villaraigosa Pisses Me Off
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Rushes to Judgment

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