Kinder and Gentler Policing at Occupy L.A.

Posted on November 18, 2011 by

LAPD brass and officers have shown enormous respect and restraint in handling city hall occupiers and downtown protest marches

Sure there have been some minor street battles and arrests.  But Occupy L.A. has none of the rancor and brutality that has marked OWS in New York and Oakland. 

Occupiers seem more comfortable and trusting of civic authorities here than they do in other cities. 

Let’s keep it that way. 

Politicians, police and protesters can thank the Southern California labor movement – no stranger to “street heat” and other militant actions – for helping to maintain calm. L.A. union activists are pretty good mentors.  They know how to apply pressure but still maintain mature and productive relations with elected officials and law enforcement. 

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck earns high marks for his composure and for insisting that his officers employ minimal force when faced with crowd control and civil disobedience.  Mayor Villaraigosa praised LAPD’s handling of the recent protest for its “world-class professionalism.”

(The only outlier among L.A.’s political leaders appears to be City Attorney Carmen Trutanich who has an overtly belligerent posture toward protesters in general). 

Of course, the real test will come if and when occupiers are asked to relocate

A rainy winter could incentivize a mass evacuation.  But because downtown temperatures never drop below freezing, it’s hard to imagine unprovoked occupiers picking up their tents and going home.

Comments (3)


  1. Toby Higbie says:

    Lou: I completely agree with this assessment. I would add to your list of badly-behaving police those at the University of California Berkeley and Davis. The recent news from Davis is here:

  2. John Connolly says:

    This morning Chris Hayes’ MSNBC show had a truly amazing guest: Ray Lewis a retired Philadelphia, PA police Captain who was arrested in full dress uniform by NYPD at the Thursday afternoon Shut Down Wall St. demo by OWS.

    Lewis said he now lives in upstate NY’s Catskill mountains and has become active in the Anti-Fracking movement against this nefarious and dangerous Gas & Oil industry drilling method.

    He saw video of OWS people being attacked by cops nationwide, and decided as a former cop he had to speak out against such anti-constitutional repression. The Way-Past-Midnight-Bloomberg’s-Revenge-Raid on Tuesday was his last straw.

    He went to NYC and joined in and got arrested Thursday.

    It’s a remarkable interview, and more evidence that Hayes’ show ‘UP’ is the best in-depth news & commentaryshow in the media.


    I’d like to hear more about the series of Homeland Security coordinated Stop-OWS teleconferences with Mayor’s and Police Chiefs — Progressives like Villaraigosa and Quan included — that have been going on over the last few weeks.

    Homeland Security is a US Government Cabinet Department What does President Obama know about this and did he authorize it, or will he come down hard and put a stop to it and fire the malefactors?

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