Poll: Does LAPD Use Force Excessively or Appropriately?

With concerns about police brutality mounting after three recent videotaped incidents, the department chief has ordered meetings to be held at all 21 city substations.

In the wake of three incidents where police officers used force to make arrests, the Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck has planned community meetings at all 21 police stations in the city, the Los Angeles Times reports.

An LAPD spokesman told the Los Angeles Times the dates of the meeting have not yet been set "because it is such a hot topic right now." At the meetings, police representatives will talk about why officers use force and how concerns about excessive use of force are investigated.

Three recent incidents have raised concerns in Los Angeles about whether officers used excessive force. Vote in the poll below and tell us if you think police officers use force appropriately or excessively.

In August, police stopped a 20-year-old Venice man for skateboarding on the wrong side of the street and . A witness videotaped police officers punching Ronald Weekly as he lay on the ground. , a roving unit that patrols different areas throughout Los Angeles based on need, . Police officials met with the

A woman was pulled over and arrested in Tujunga for holding a cellphone while driving. A and two officers fist pumping following the arrest.

The Times also reporter a woman died as police officers tried to arrest her outside her home in South Los Angeles. The police car's recording equipment taped officers yelling at the woman and stomping on her genitals.

This report was compiled with information from City News Service.

Gene Martin September 10, 2012 at 08:01 PM
This is not really an effective poll - there is no black and white here, except for the color of the police cars. As an organization, I believe that the majority of police officers use force only when necessary and at an appropriate level. HOWEVER, there's 10,000 of them - so there are going to be those that do abuse their position, just like any other organization. The challenge for the LAPD is to try and identify those who abuse their authority, misuse force - and get them out of the Department.
John J. Nazarian September 10, 2012 at 08:19 PM
How about this, the cops go on strike for lets say two months, and then we come back to this question. Let the public deal with this 'humpty dumped' society we have here in Los Angeles. How many dead bodies would be found in the street, rotting in the ghetto squalor that many of these cops have to deal with 24/7. And lets see how many middle class would be complaining then as to how 'the big bad police is treating them'......there would be none, you could deal with these bastards yourself! Ever notice that these issues seldom if ever arise in the 'Good' neighborhoods .... Hello, there is a reason! John J. Nazarian desperateexes.com
Joseph September 10, 2012 at 10:35 PM
There is always going to be a few bad apples in every mix. I also believe that when you have a job that puts your life on the line mixed with un predicatble people you don't have time to deal with peoples BS. Any resistance will land you in trouble. People who tend to get "Roughed up" by the police are usaully the ones who feel that they didn't do anything wrong and choose not to cooperate.
Mike Arminio September 11, 2012 at 12:19 AM
After 30+ years of dealing with people who didn't want to follow the lawful direction I or other LAPD officers gave them or just plain wanted to fight, I can honestly say that any excessive force was few and far between. Are officers human and sometimes let their emotions get involved? Put yourself in their place.
Elijah H September 11, 2012 at 01:48 AM
The problem is that the culture of the LAPD is such that officers are deemed "snitches" if they report or corroborate abuse of power by other officers. This makes them all guilty, to some degree. And you're ignoring the fact that certain personality types gravitate toward law enforcement more than others, and those personality types tend to be the ones who enjoy wielding a gun, and finding opportunities to use it.
John J. Nazarian September 11, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Joseph you are correct to some degree, the problem is that we now live in a world were everyone dam near have a video device and love taping cops at work. The ' WORK' is more problematic than ever before.....the nurse getting clobbered I have to agree, why did they go so far with her. Again, it did seem a bit much for a 'cell phone' violation. In general I am not sure that I would have wanted to be a cop in today's world. When I came in the 'Fleeing Felon' rule was gone. Always thought that was a terrible loss to law enforcement. Basically IF you were had committed a FELONY and was fleeing and I ( as a copper ) could get a shot off at your FLEEING backside I could shoot at you, 'those were the days'! Even when you are 100% right you are going to get slammed and who the hell wants that? John J. Nazarian, P.I. Desperateexes.com
John J. Nazarian September 11, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Elijah, again I am feeling you and I again welcome the 'strike' of all cops in our cities for a few days or weeks and then I think you would maybe get a better sense of your comment. I guess that is what is wrong with me, I just loved dealing with stinking scum bags, and their useless social behaviors, I loved answering calls into the inner 'third world' mentalities that I had to deal with and all of the other garbage some of these people wallowed in. Many chose not to learn the language and again, it was a joy hearing the misery that one of their own ilk shared with others of the same tribe. Yup, you betcha, I often wonder if I would go back and the strike between my eyes is always no. However, in the event of a 'strike' I and my family are very well prepared......thinking of your comment Elijah further, I worked as an embalmer for several years going through college. " Gravitating " is a good word for me, I sure did " Gravitate ". Is this same thought pattern and way of thinking relevant to our armed forces? Many law enforcement employees are also members of this countries armed forces.... Always Gravitating, John J. Nazarian, P.I. desperateexes.com
Jose Burgos September 11, 2012 at 01:24 PM
I work regularly with the police, and while some officers can be excessive in use of force the many officers I've worked with have been extremely judicious in using these tactics. I think their job is dangerous, and should be viewed in the context of these media samples. I have alot of confidence in LAPD and continue to support them.
Elijah H September 11, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Thank you for the sanctimonious lecture. You are very well compensated as public servants, now you also expect me to kiss your feet and thank you for the shooting homeless people with screwdrivers and stomping women in the groin. Understood, but I disagree. Your attitude of entitlement - that you're entitled to accolades the moment you put on a uniform, and that you're exempt from any sort of scrutiny for your work - is exactly the attitude that leads to abuse of power. Thank you for proving my point, that many (not all, but many) officers have an inflated sense of worth and grow belligerent at the idea of someone questioning their methods. You, sir, are the problem. If you can't even stand to hear outsiders point out that there may be a problem with the culture, there's no way in hell we can expect you to be responsible for correcting it.
Erykah Grande September 11, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Fair way to see it. Personally I feel most people with "too much power" tend to violate it and in this case, as a concerned citizen, I feel the LAPD are just Law Enforcement Agents, here to protect the Law, and trained to stick to Protocol no matter how irrational. Why else has there been a boost in Gun Purchase all over America? We don't feel safe anymore, not even from our own Gov't. Sad, very sad.
mark September 11, 2012 at 05:11 PM
I'm going to agree with Elijah here. In many ways the dangers of being a cop are way overrated. Lots of people have dangerous jobs. I would like to see a system more like other countries where only a few of the police are armed. They would then be forced to rely much more their peace keeping skills, rather than there head-cracking skills. I will admit that there are some very decent people mixed in among the LAPD and I enjoy when they get media coverage. However I think by in large it attracts people that are prone to violence and like to exert force over other people. It is easy to see the parallels between joining the LAPD and joining a street gang. I mean if you want to help people, drive fast, and are willing to put yourself in danger... why not become a firefighter.
Scott Rubel September 11, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Incidents of abuse are not so few, or so many of them wouldn't happen to get caught on video. It's a cultural thing. Even when the police don't start a violent situation, they speak to you like you're a perpetrator, trying to incite you. When violence does not occur, it is because of the restraint on the part of the civilian, not of the police. Using the "dangerous" job excuse for the pressure they are under is erroneous. If this were the case, we would all be getting beaten by fishermen, loggers, construction workers, and pilots, all of whom suffer a much higher rate of workplace deaths and injuries.
mark September 11, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Well said. They want respect but they obtain it via the threat of violence, rather than by earning it. Also I feel obliged to mention that I'm sure there are many decent kind hearted people who are in the LAPD. I just suspect they are the exception rather than the rule.
Scott Rubel September 11, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Listen to Uprising Radio on this topic. The Los Angeles Police Department in late August released a video of police violently arresting Alesia Thomas, a 35-year old mother of two. Thomas died shortly after being kicked violently in the groin by police officers during her arrest. The four officers and supervisor involved have been assigned to administrative duties at the police station. <http://uprisingradio.org/home/2012/09/11/lapd-faces-scrutiny-amid-a-wave-of-police-brutality-incidents>
Michael West September 15, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Don't do the crime if you can't do the crime. If you are a criminal and you resist arrest then you will get what's coming to you. The criminals should just play it safe and stay at home. While the LAPD may, once in a while, use excessive force to protect themselves which, in my opinion, is always justified there are times when a criminal really pissed them off and they lose their self control. At the end of the day, police hate seeing usless low lives taking advantage of, hurting and abusing good productive citizens. I will support the police until I see something that I feel is outrageous abuse of power. My 2 cents...
John J. Nazarian September 15, 2012 at 08:41 PM
All I have to say is the cops should go on strike and then lets revisit these comments! Wont happen most likely as the men and women who protect of cities are professionals and have to deal with those who can sit in their underwear and type away and feel as if they know what being a Law Officer is really like.....not dangerous, when was it the last time you had to go chase a bad guy? Dont do it, as some of these animals will kill a cop in a nano second....for you and I, it would take even less time. John J. Nazarian, P.I. desperatexes.com
Michael West September 15, 2012 at 10:32 PM
I think the people who complain about cops are the ones who are committing crimes or their family members and/or relatives are out there creating crimes. I have a few friends who work for law enforcement who have run into the trash that broken familes and poor parenting have released into our communities. These law enforcement officers have had to deal with these individuals using excessive force or they would have been hurt or killed. By the way, I'd say most of those complaining here have had personal issues in their families over the years like domestic violence and drug and alcohol addiction and have had at least a few embarrassing moments when the police showed up in their neighborhood to deal with their personal issues. I have only seen 3-4 incidents in my life where excessive force has been used and it was justified each and every time.
Duff Strong September 15, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Here's your link fixed: http://uprisingradio.org/home/2012/09/11/lapd-faces-scrutiny-amid-a-wave-of-police-brutality-incidents/ This site doesn't do HTML.
Duff Strong September 15, 2012 at 11:06 PM
I say stop disarming the citizens, let the police go on strike and we can prove that we can take care of our damned selves. I don't need or want a babysitter. If I get caught up in gang violence, I shouldn't have been in a gang infested neighborhood. Common sense is your greatest defense. Fear is your greatest weakness.
Duff Strong September 15, 2012 at 11:09 PM
LONG list of "LAPD Police Brutality" youtube videos: http://goo.gl/femXb LONG list of search results for lapd 'administrative leave' 'internal investigation': http://goo.gl/K1DPp They abuse the citizens, then they take a paid vacation on your taxes.
John J. Nazarian September 16, 2012 at 05:27 AM
Duff, I agree with most of what you say! Perfect, Michael W. You too are right on target. I and my entire family have never ever had a problem with cops.....4 generations. Why, we do not look for their attention unless we have a need in the neighborhoods that we have lived in. Or if we have the need to go to a police or sheriff station to make a report or to have a question answered. Oh for sure, I liked cops a lot more when I too had a badge, that was then this is now....and I dont care one way or the other. For me and my family it is nice to know they are there keeping the 'criminal element' at bay. Not happy getting a ticket once every three or four years.....but I dont have a getta outta ticket badge anymore ..... so I deal with it. I agree completely with Michael West, and he pretty much states what most of my friends feel.....Not a big deal! Note: cops are a great deal more friendly today then the 50's, The wonderful 60's, and all the fun of the 70's and then it all began to change for the worst....Officer Friendly has become the norm......I would love to hear some of these comment from the what is looked upon as the ' Good O'L Days ' John
Leigh Justice September 17, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Bravo, Scott! And, like Mark, I'm sure there are good guys & gals behind some of those badges. Sadly, we don't see much of them.
Leigh Justice September 17, 2012 at 02:09 AM
So Michael...it's OK with you that those officers body slammed the petite, unarmed woman - and did so again IN HANDCUFFS, then did the fist bump!?!?!? If so, I am sure you'd like to have your wife/daughter/sister/mother call you from jail, all roughed up because she (allegedly) was on her cell then (admittedly) "mouthed off" to the cops. To me, that's blatant abuse of power. Bullies with badges.
Scott Rubel September 17, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Yes, there are lots of good people in law enforcement, but even they are beholden to the "code of silence." In general, when you see the news of the world, police exist to defend the One Per Cent against the rest of us, and they often behave as nothing more than a gang. A trained gang, but still a gang. Whoever thinks that these acts of violence against civilians (especially those already penned, handcuffed, or jailed) are self defense, or even necessary, is a sycophantic apologist clod.
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