LAPD officers will now have to explain ‘pretextual’ stops on cameras, police union fumes

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(Video Credit: KTLA 5)

As of Tuesday, Los Angeles Police Department officers will now be required to explain “pretextual stops” recorded on cameras in an effort by leftists to prevent cops from stopping suspects for minor infractions and then using that as a pretext to go after them for bigger crimes.

The five-member Los Angeles Police Commission unanimously approved the requirement, according to Fox News. Officers will only be allowed to make a pretextual stop if they are acting on “articulable information” in conjunction with the violation, instead of “on a mere hunch or on generalized characteristics such as a person’s race, gender, age, homeless circumstance, or presence in a high-crime location” when going after motorists, bicyclists, or pedestrians.

Any officer who fails to follow the new vague policy will be subjected to “progressive discipline, beginning with counseling and retraining,” according to the commission agenda.

Commission President William Briggs justified the action and claimed that such stops were racist and hurt people of color.

“This revised policy will not result in more crimes, or more guns, or more lawlessness in the city of Los Angeles,” he asserted, according to the LAist. “The current policy harms our black and brown communities. The current policy does not stop crime.”

Briggs added there “is no data that anyone can point to that establishes pretextual stops curtail violent crime in our city.”

“The current practice of pretextual stops only serves to alienate whole segments of our community from law enforcement,” he said.

Commissioners and top LAPD officials argue that the new policy strikes the right balance limiting such stops without eliminating them entirely.

“This policy is the middle ground,” declared Lizabeth Rhodes, who is the director of the LAPD’s Office of Constitutional Policing and Policy.

City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson effusively praised the new policy as “a big, big step in the right direction,” saying it “focuses our resources on the most risky situations and the situations that present a very real and articulable public safety threat” while reducing the likelihood that black and Latino motorists will be subjected to unjust, racially-biased policing, according to the Los Angeles Times.

He added, “I don’t know of an African American male driver, (and) I know very few Latino male drivers, who don’t have half-a-dozen stories” on the issue. “It’s clear to them, or at least leaves the impression, that: `I am a person, I’m an individual in this space and for some reason, this officer has decided that I’m suspicious.”

The union is righteously angry over the move by the Police Commission.

The Los Angeles Police Protective League, which represents rank-and-file officers, claimed that the stops have taken thousands of firearms off the streets of Los Angeles and that stopping them will put public safety at risk.

“Police Commissioner Briggs should get off his soapbox, do his homework and tell the truth about pre-text stops and the important role they play in taking guns off our streets,” a union board statement contended. “Taking these guns off our streets through traffic and pedestrian stops saved lives. They prevented our residents from being shot, shot at, intimidated, victimized, and murdered. It’s that simple.”

The union also pointed out that LAPD’s Newton Division officers “recovered 817 firearms during 726 incidents. Of the 726 incidents, 699 resulted in an arrest being made, of which 507 suspects were arrested by traffic stops and 115 by pedestrian stops. That’s a significant amount of illegal guns taken out of our neighborhoods.”



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