Why I Can’t Take the L.A. Police Commission Serious on Transparency and Accountability

We’re not against the police. We’re not against the police department, but we are against police who commit misconduct (and those who help cover it up).

Accountability and transparency in government starts with streaming your public meetings in real time and having them posted online within 24 hours of the meeting’s end.

In 2016—soon to be 2017—the Los Angeles Police Commission still is not live streaming or posting their meetings within 24 hours. Yet, by their comments, the commissioners themselves would have you believe that both accountability and transparency are their top priorities. It can’t be when they can’t even manage to use any of their power or the millions of dollars raised from the public via taxes to do one very simple task.

There is no reason at all why Angelenos should not be able to turn on L.A. Channel 35 and watch the police commission meetings or go online and watch them live from a computer or from their mobile phone. I would much rather see their meetings than another propaganda episode of “Inside the L.A.P.D.” The fact you can call in and listen to the meetings via phone (when they bother to to turn on the audio) seems to be a secret and isn’t even promoted to the public by the commission. Add the end of the day, it shouldn’t take complaining publicly via social media and over 72 hours for the meetings to be posted online. It just shouldn’t.

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Nov. 18th Screenshot of Los Angeles Police Commission website.

We know that the City, Los Angeles Police Department and commission are not quite as technically challenged as they would have the public believe because even though they haven’t uttered a word about it publicly, they commissioned and paid for a mobile app to allegedly aide them in their accountability and transparency efforts. It’s just that they’re keeping it a secret for now.

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Unlike with the LAPD’s iWatch app which was announced with much fanfare when asking you to say something if you saw something, not so much with the Inspector General’s app which is said to be the first of its kind in this country allowing the public to file complaints or compliments on Los Angeles police officers that go directly to the police commission’s Office of the Inspector General. Which might seem particularly useful in light of the LAPD’s repeated failure to find any evidence of “biased policing”—or racial profiling—among the thousands of allegations made against its officers. That part.

The police commission has the money and the means but apparently not the will (or the needed push from Mayor Eric Garcetti) to open their meetings up to a wider audience of Angelenos who may be interested in what is happening with their police department but find it impossible to attend their Tuesday 9:30 a.m. meetings in downtown Los Angeles.

If the Los Angeles Police Commission can’t manage to make their meetings reasonably accessible to everyone and in a timely manner, what faith should the public really have in their capabilities to do anything else as it relates to transparency or accountability with Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and the LAPD?

The Los Angeles Police Commission talks a big game on transparency and accountability when it comes to the LAPD but fails miserably at its own and that needs to change.

The Court of Public Opinion

  • Sad. But seriously, did you expect anything MORE?? It is so the bad news does not go viral.

  • anonymous

    Last meeting an 82 year old man was dragged out for trying to speak at the meeting!

  • bluethru1994

    The 82 year old should have followed the rules and not been so outspoken.