Letters to the Editor
... input from forum participants


Regarding Today's Police Commission hearing

February 9, 2005


Today I attended the Commission meeting -- with the hope of speaking!!!

Although I handed in a "Speaker's Card" for the "Supplemental meeting" -- that card was never acknowledged as having been received -- and therefore I wasted about 2 1/2 hours !!!

"Public Comment" was ignored!!! (Or the chairperson asked whether there were any speaker's cards submitted in such a low voice that -- when he was told "no" by the clerk -- I didn't hear the question or the response!!!)

So -- herewith are some of the comments I was going to make at the meeting:

First: to present you with a "picture" of who I am: I am a parent, a teacher, a member of the first-ever-constituted CPAB in the City of Los Angeles, a member of the ACLU, was (at one time) the oldest active member of the Guardian Angels and -- religiously -- a Jain!

Next: The lack of security in the building (let alone the room!!!) was astonishing!!! It was my expectation that everyone who entered would be searched.

And: The speakers today (given the unusual circumstances!!!) needed extra time to speak. Although I understand that the speaking time allowance has doubled from what it used to be, today was special -- and the speakers should have been allowed extra time.

And: When I called -- yesterday (the 7th!!!) I was told that the capacity of the room in which the meeting was to be held was 60 people!!! My laughter must have "struck a chord" since the meeting was moved to a larger room!!! But the point is that "whoever was in charge" -- as recently as yesterday did not expect the large crowd -- and that is significant since it reflects the Department's thinking!!!

Finally, my concerns are:

that the media coverage of crime in the City generally is not "wonderful" -- and that this would be the case in this situation as well;

that "justice" needs to be served with regard to the punishments meted out to the offending officers as well as the criminals;

that clear plans must be created -- and publicized -- to prevent such events from occurring again!!!

Norm Swirin