"Someone else with a clipboard" should enforce L.A.'s lockdown rules

Just last week, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti let everyone know that he was fed up with people in the hills above his city hosting huge parties in defiance of his orders prohibiting large gatherings. In response, he issued yet another order, stating that the utility companies would be directed to shut off the electricity and water to residences where such activities were taking place. Repeat offenders would be dealt with by the police because these types of risky gatherings will simply not be tolerated.

That all sounded good on paper but there was one minor problem. The police aren’t exactly onboard with the idea. One of the larger police unions issued a statement saying that the Mayor should find some other government workers “with clipboards” to go out and handle the scofflaws. The police are already busy enough with the rising rate of shootings in the City of Angels and other upticks in actual crime. So what’s a mayor supposed to do when the cops effectively tell them to go pound sand? (CBS Los Angeles)

The police union representing Los Angeles Police Department officers up to the rank of lieutenant is speaking out against Mayor Eric Garcetti’s plan to turn off power and water at properties that repeatedly defy coronavirus health orders to avoid large gatherings.

“Mayor Garcetti has demonstrated to be a professional political contortionist,” said Robert Harris, Board of Director for the Los Angeles Police Protective League…

Harris said that he would prefer officers to deal with situations the union views as a higher priority.

“Mr. Mayor, you should send your civilian staff out there with a clipboard and let my officers get back to what they’re supposed to be doing, dealing with the rise of shootings and killings in the city right now,” Harris said.

Robert Harris, the head of the union, made a point of reminding everyone that his response was perfectly in line with what the Mayor and the City Council have been claiming they want to do anyway. Supposedly, they don’t need the police to handle “non-emergency calls.” And a house party certainly sounds like a non-emergency to the casual observer, right? If the city wants to send civilians out to handle things they believe the police should keep their snouts out of (sorry), this is probably a perfect test case.

Harris also didn’t make much of an effort to hide the resentment the cops have been feeling during all of this talk of defunding the police. He told CBS News that Garcetti has called the police “killers” when things weren’t going well and he was trying to appease the protesters. But now he wants the cops to go break up parties?

The thing is, Harris has a point here and it involves a lot more people than just the Mayor. This is what BLM activists in Los Angeles and all over the country have been demanding all summer. They don’t want police doing traffic stops. They don’t want them in the schools. They would like to see as many police as possible replaced with “community intervention” agents of some sort. So if someone has to go deal with a party house where the water and lights have been shut off, don’t call the cops. Send up one of the Mayor’s aides with a clipboard and have him start handing out citations. Isn’t that the new plan?

Unfortunately, much like the idea of allowing unarmed civilians to conduct traffic stops, even something as simple as a house party can never be considered a “routine” call 100% of the time. One recent party that had Mayor Garcetti particularly bent out of shape actually wound up ending with a shooting. Witnesses reported more than twenty rounds of gunfire breaking out, leaving one woman dead and two others injured.

With that in mind, let’s consider the proposals currently on the table yet again. How well do you think some office drone in a suit carrying a clipboard will do when they suddenly find themselves walking into a hail of bullets? But hey… you just go right ahead with defunding the police. Who needs cops anyway, amirite?

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John Stossel 12:00 AM | April 24, 2024