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the skunks of los feliz
2.16.2005
 

Chief William Bratton has announced much-needed changes to LAPD's use of deadly force policy, forbidding police officers from firing into moving vehicles unless threatened by a weapon other than the vehicle itself.

Sounds good. Problem solved. Right?

Well, no. Unfortunately, the new policy does nothing to address the fact that a 13 year-old in a stolen car was out leading police on a high speed chase at 4 in the morning, and then decided it might be a good idea to ram a police car.

Did he deserve to die for that? Hell, no. He needed a good ass-whipping from his dad. The fact that he never got one is evidence of the failure of another, unofficial city policy: unconscionable parental neglect.

We can slap the cops on the wrist everytime someone dies in a police shooting, but as long as children are left to raise themselves on the streets of LA, as long as this city fails at-risk kids, there will be more death, and more than enough blame to go around.

Update: I've just been informed that the teenage victim of this police shooting had actually lost his father to cancer, thereby precluding him from receiving the above-mentioned "ass-whipping". Duly noted, but my premise still stands: somebody was responsible for this child, and that somebody was asleep at the switch.

That doesn't mean that the LAPD doesn't sometimes act like vicious thugs. They do. But their job is not to raise children. It's to enforce the law.
 
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