Friday, December 14, 2012

Held Hostage!

*  All images courtesy of "Google Images".
Information contained in this article courtesy of "Wikipedia,
"The Los Angeles Times" and "89.3 KPCC,Southern California Public Radio"
Titles by FBN.


My Name if Felicity Blaze Noodleman and I write for the Noodleman Group.  This week’s article will address the problems we all are faced with concerning the sky rocketing financial costs of Government at every level and especially the exorbitant costs of law enforcement here in Los Angeles, CA.  First of all let me state the need for law enforcement.  It should be responsible law enforcement.  I’m usually one to cry “police brutality”, but every once and a while I run across an incident which leads me to ask myself; what in the world do these guys think they are doing?


Now; before I go any further let me say in all fairness, Los Angeles has some very special law enforcement needs.  LA is a major port area -  a port of entry for all air and sea traffic coming into the United States.  LA is also not that far from the US – Mexico border which presents other security issues.  Lastly; LA is home to the entertainment industry which has its own law enforcement issues.

"The color of authority".

The List of law enforcement in the county of Los Angeles is truly astounding and our tax dollars are paying for it all.  It would seem to me that local law enforcement easily our number the National Guard.   With approximately 20,612  officers working out of an estimated 4 different local law enforcement agencies (LAPD – Los Angeles Police Department;  LASD – Los Angeles Sheriff Department; LAGSP – Los Angeles General Services Police; and the LAXPD – Los Angeles Airport Police Department) it is no exaggeration to say that we are living in a police state similar to Nazi Germany.  Also consider all of the other law enforcement agencies working within the LA area (Highway Patrol, Port Authority, State Police and FBI ect.). 


Each of Los Angeles 42 contract cities also maintain a police force.  The list is truly extensive.  These days the trend for law enforcement is growing steadily since 9/11 with more and more safety police, special interest guards and security guards showing up on a yearly basis.  Policing is becoming big business!  Many of these agencies are paying good wages including benefits – you know; the works – health and pension!  When all the expenses are added up including cash settlements for police misconduct it would seem that taxpayers are being held hostage - pay what is being demanded or else! 

2012 has not been a good year for the LAPD as this South LA
accident illustrates.



The other day I was having breakfast and coffee at my regular Jack In The Box.  After using the woman’s room I was stepping out for a cigarette when I noticed 6 or 7 police officers arresting another of the restraints customers whom I will call “Johnny Boy”.  Johnny comes to the Jack In The Box also for breakfast.  He is homeless and a mental case as I have observed him talking to his imaginary nemesis.  Sometimes Johnny can get quite loud and I believe this is why he was being arrested.  Question:  Why so many police officers who all showed up in their 5 police cars just to detain and arrest one mentally disabled homeless man?  I feel this was excessive.


As I go about my daily business moving back and forth in Los Angeles, so many times I observe the police committing a high number of infractions which you or I would be cited for.  Shouldn’t our police be setting a good example for us all?  Of course they should but don't always do so.  I suppose they think their badges grant them extra rights.  Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.  On the very same day I witnessed Johnny Boy being arrested by a brigade of LAPD officers I am going home when I see this LAPD riot vehicle parked in a bus stop zone.  I questioned the officers about it and suggested they move ahead to a more neutral area and park their vehicle which they did.  Sometimes I think the police just aren’t paying attention to what they’re doing at all!


The two above incidents are just a few of so many cases I have witnessed over the years.  Are the police just stressed out and not even thinking at all?  I realize they are only human but give us all a break officers!  You are supposed to be making our streets safer but in some cases the police are the number one hazard.  We need to really "be ware" when these officers who operate under the motto "to protect and serve" are around.

LAPD auto accident in N. Hollywood - 2010, (give yourself a ticket
for that one officer)!

Speaking as one citizen who gets a little upset when she hears about police officers who are involved in any kind of misconduct and the law suits that go along with this kind of lawlessness, I become enraged by the cash settlements the city is obligated to pay out in judgments for irresponsible police officers. 


 LAPD on Hollywood Blvd. 2006 involved with brutality incident.


Are the police as bad or worse than criminals?  City budgets are now operating in the red financially and having to borrow money to meet their annual payrolls. This has been happening for some time now and is expected to continue rising out of control.  Record payouts by Jury awards to victims of police brutality seem to be at an all time high.  This also includes property damage settlements for the irresponsible behavior of our officers in blue.  Credit ratings for all levels of our government have fallen and are approaching the default point.  If you or I had a credit rating this bad we would be cut off and be expected to repair our finances or else!  We cannot afford this kind behavior from our police officials not to mention the stigma it gives society as a whole!

LAPD beating victims top left to right:  Rodney King 1991 - Michelle Jordan 2012
bottom left to right:  Oliver Martinez 2012 - Brian Mulligan 2012
Now we have come to the subject of officer involved shootings.  The numbers are not good for the LAPD.  I've pulled a recent report from the "LA Times" which explains:

Watchdog disputes LAPD rationale for rise in police shootings

A report by the Police Commission inspector general disagrees with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck's assertion of a link between the jump in officer-involved shootings and assaults on officers.

July 02, 2012|By Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times

Last year, as the number of police shootings soared, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck repeatedly gave his bosses and the public an explanation: Officers were discharging their weapons more because they were coming under attack more. He bolstered his assertion with LAPD statistics that showed an increase in the number of assaults on officers.

But an independent LAPD watchdog now contends there was no link between the dramatic rise in officer-involved shootings and assaults on officers.

Alex Bustamante, the inspector general for the Los Angeles Police Commission, which oversees the LAPD, scrutinized the 2011 assault and shooting figures in a report he will present to the commission Tuesday. In the report, he challenged the way the LAPD tallies assaults on officers, suggesting it is misleading.

Los Angeles police fired their weapons in 63 incidents last year, a total which marked a roughly 50% increase over the shootings in any of the previous four years, according to the report. Beck has explained the increase by pointing to what the LAPD said was a 22% increase in assaults on officers from 2010 to 2011. Police officials counted 193 such incidents in 2011, which were recorded as assaults with a deadly weapon or attempted murders, according to the report.

"Officer involved shootings are also up — largely in response to these kind of attacks," Beck told the Police Commission in November.

But the inspector general found several reasons why he said this cause-and-effect relationship wasn't accurate. For one, from 2007 to last year, the number of assaults on officers fluctuated dramatically from one year to the next. The number of officer-involved shootings, however, remained relatively flat until last year, when they jumped. If there had been a connection between the two, the year-to-year totals should have climbed and dropped in sync, according to the report.

The way the department tracks shootings and assaults on officers also muddied matters, Bustamante found. Attacks on officers are tallied based on the number of officers present when assaults occur. By contrast, the department counts an officer-involved shooting as a single event regardless of how many officers open fire. In an incident in April 2011, for example, in which a suspect shot at police from inside a house, the LAPD counted 16 assaults on officers and one officer-involved shooting, despite the fact that 15 officers fired their weapons.

When Bustamante recalculated last year's assault total to count the number of incidents instead of officers, he counted 106 attacks — a 45% drop from the department's total. And, instead of a double-digit increase that Beck had contended, Bustamante said the number of assaults was actually about even from 2010 to 2011.

Finally, the report examined the department's Southeast and 77th Street divisions, both of which experienced large increases in officer-involved shootings in 2011. It showed that while attacks on officers rose in 77th Street, they fell in Southeast.
"As such, there does not appear to be a clear correlation" between attacks and shootings, the report concluded. Bustamante's report did not offer any possible explanations for the increase in officer shootings.
The Los Angeles Times
I recently read of a case involving an police shooting of an unarmed 19 year old youth.  Officers discharged 120 rounds killing the suspect.  The youths family is suing  the city of LA for $120 million, a million for each round fired. Do you have $120 million?  I don't!  I couldn't afford the legal costs.  I guess the police were feeling exceptionally wealthy that day and must have thought the city's insurance would take care of the mess.  The story was reported by 89.3 KPCC; Southern California Public Radio and follows below:

Family of Abdul Arian sues city for $120 million — $1 million for every shot fired, they say

County of Los Angeles

A drawing from Abdul Arian's autopsy shows multiple bullet wounds. Arian's family is suing LAPD, claiming they used excessive force when officers shot and killed the 19-year-old.

Abdul Arian was shot and killed by LAPD officers after a freeway chase April 11, 2012. Today, his family announced they're suing the city for $120 million — that's $1 million for every shot they say police fired at the teen.

The family's attorney, Jeffrey Galen, said it was the worst case of excessive force he's seen in his 25-year career, and that more accountability is needed to keep police shootings from escalating.

"It would have been excessive to fire just one shot," Galen said. Meanwhile, he said police and the city have been uncooperative in giving the family information about the night of Arian's death. The lawsuit, he said, is to seek justice and to seek answers.

The incident made national headlines. After a chase, Arian, 19, stopped his car, blocking lanes on the 101. A police car then hit the car's drivers side door, and Arian ran out the other side of the car. Video from a news chopper shows Arian running back and forth across the freeway, sometimes taking an odd stance (which some have described as a "shooting stance"), before he's fatally shot.

Tyler Izen, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, has said Arian's actions made police believe their lives were at risk.

Galen said Arian was clearly taking photos with his camera and said that the nearest officer, who he said was maybe 6 feet away, would have been able to see that Arian was holding a cell phone. "With the headlights and the spotlights from the helicopter, it was like daylight," Galen said.

Arian was unarmed, but police have said he called 911 and told dispatch he was carrying a gun and was ready to engage with police. That recording hasn't been released, but police did release a partial transcript of the conversation. In it, Arian is quoted as telling the dispatcher, "I have a gun," and "If they pull their guns, I'm gonna have to pull my gun out on them."

Galen said the phone call lasted nine minutes and if released, could give insight into Arian's state of mind and why he failed to pull over for police cars. Galen said the family has tried to hear the tape on their own, without a public release, and has been repeatedly turned away. Galen said he called the City Attorney's Office to ask why they wouldn't let the family hear the tape or view photos on the cell phone, and was told, "if you want it, subpoena it." That's when the family decided to do just that and file suit, Galen said.

The City Attorney's Office was not immediately available for comment. LAPD spokespeople said they cannot comment on an open lawsuit.

The lawsuit names the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Police Department, Chief Charles Beck, and a number of anonymous police officers. The defendants are expected to be served with papers Monday and then will have 21 days to respond.

On Monday, standing on the steps of the Federal District Court in Downtown Los Angles, they questioned why officers couldn't have used less lethal force to subdue Arian. Galen also questioned why officers, if they were in fear for their lives, "charged" towards Arian instead of taking cover.

Galen said the shooting was also reckless, claiming shots hit nearby buildings, including a Porsche dealership. According to the Coroner's report, Arian was shot in the head, torso, left arm, right hand, right shoulder, right thigh, lower right leg, left wrist, and the leftside lower back. The Medical Examiner found no drugs or alcohol in his system and family said Arian had never suffered from depression.

Family members described Arian as a "good boy." His sister, Nelofar Arian, said her brother always came running when she needed help. She said more than anything, Arian, who drove a Crown Victoria, wanted to be a police officer. His favorite hobby, she said, was "driving his car." She said her mother is so distraught, she "can't talk."

Galen said if they win the suit, the family plans on donating a substantial amount of the money back to the LAPD to invest in officer use-of-force training.

Officer-involved shootings have risen dramatically in Los Angeles lately. In 2011, there were 54 fatal officer-involved shootings, up 70 percent from the prior year.
Around the country, the number of officers killed by suspects has also risen: 72 were killed last year, up 75 percent from 2008.
89.3 KPCC  S.C. Public Radio



The basic concept of law enforcement in the United States really hasn’t changed too much in the last 150 years.  Do the police really need to be carrying guns?  Most police departments and their officer’s act like they’re Wyatt Earp or something during the days of the wild west in Tombstone, AZ of the 1870’s.  Our police officers are the last of the cowboys!  In today’s world of 2012 shouldn’t we be advancing to the next logical step in law enforcement?  Do our police officers really need to be carrying guns?  A list of countries where the police no not carry guns is as follows:

Republic of Ireland
New Zealand
Cook Islands
St. Helena - They also police Ascension Island and Tristan Da
Falkland Islands
Pitcairn Island

Countries such as Japan and Germany are among other nations which normally don't arm their police offers as well but I do not have a complete list.  These nations are far more advanced than ours in the practice of policing.   I mean honestly;  the days of the gun slinger are over!  I feel a huge financial savings could be realized if local governments would only follow the examples of these more advanced civilizations.  STUDY IT, TEST IT AND IMPLEMENT IT!  What we need today in the 21st. Century is "smart law enforcement".  You would think with everything police officers carry on their belts for eight to twelve hours a day that they themselves would want loose their guns.

Let me offer another cost saving idea concerning our police departments.  Could we implement a program which would be similar to the military?  Officers would serve in a four year program like the National Guard and then be released.  This would save a lot of money since there would be no pensions offered and would continually add fresh young officers  eliminating the problem of stressed older policeman.  Just an idea!  I found a very interesting web site which reports national police statistics and will pass it along to you:

I have not enjoyed writing this article at all.  It cuts across my grain but these things have to be exposed.  In conclusion:  now that I've added my two cents worth about the police, that's about what it's worth.  Things probably won't change until there is some kind of monumental incident of catastrophic proportions.  This is Felicity trying to stay out of LAPD's way and hoping for the best! 


* “The Noodleman Group” is pleased to announce that we are now carrying a link to the “USA Today” news site.We installed the “widget/gadget” August 20, and it will be carried as a regular feature on our site.Now you can read“Noodleman” and then check in to “USA Today” for all the up to date News, Weather, Sports and more!Just scroll all the way down to the bottom of our site and hit the “USA Today” hyperlinks.Enjoy!

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