Skip to comments.Why Los Angeles ‘could be the next Ferguson’
Posted on 08/16/2014 5:49:43 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Could Ferguson happen here? Some would say it already did nearly five decades ago.
Days of sometimes violent demonstrations in Ferguson, Mo., erupted after Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen, was shot dead by a police officer Aug. 9, allegedly in self-defense. At the height of the civil rights movement, the Watts riots were triggered after a young black motorist was pulled over and arrested by a white California Highway Patrolman on Aug. 11, 1965, on suspicion of drunk driving.
The struggle to arrest him sparked six days of rioting that claimed the lives of 34 people, injured more than 1,000, resulted in more than 4,000 arrests and caused an estimated $40 million in property damage.
Those same class issues, that same sense of racial inequality, social inequality, economic inequality, those same frustrations and resentments that roiled 49 years ago and exploded in the Watts riots are still in effect in 2014, said USC law professor Jody Armour, an expert in crime and race issues. We see them bursting out in Ferguson, Missouri, rather than in L.A.
Why Los Angeles could be the next Ferguson
Since those same conditions still exist in areas like South Los Angeles, Watts, Inglewood and Compton, Armour said, we could be the next Ferguson.
Meanwhile, an incident Monday in South L.A. in which two Los Angeles Police Department officers shot and killed 25-year-old Ezell Ford, a black man described by family as mentally challenged, has also evoked strong concerns from community members. Police, in a preliminary account, said Ford was shot after he attempted to grab a gun from an officers holster during a struggle on the ground with that officer. Veteran gang enforcement officers had stopped Ford, who was walking on 65th Street near Broadway about 8:10 p.m., during an investigative stop for unknown reasons. Both officers, who police have not identified, have been assigned home duty while a probe by the departments Force Investigation Division continues, an LAPD spokesman said.
Hundreds are expected to gather at 3 p.m. today in front of LAPD headquarters to protest the shooting.
A common thread links the Ezell Ford case in South L.A. to the Michael Brown case in Ferguson and even to the case of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen who was shot in February 2012 by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, said Councilman Bernard Parks, a former LAPD chief. All involve young, unarmed black men who are viewed by community members as victims of the police or a vigilante and who appear to have died needlessly.
Parks warned that such events must be viewed with sensitivity in every community as tensions in one part of the country can easily inflame those in another.
You cant view something that happened in Florida as something that doesnt affect Los Angeles, Parks said. With the Trayvon Martin issue, they had demonstrations all over the nation, and some of them turned into acts of public destruction. You can no longer, because of social media and 24-hour news, view any of these cases in isolation.
What complicates matters in Ferguson and in South L.A. is that there are conflicting accounts of what actually happened from police and others. Because some people have already assigned blame, even the most objective investigation may not satisfy them if its conclusion doesnt match their own, Parks said.
Theres a need for law enforcement to understand that (racially charged) incidents will occur, Parks said. There has to be on a daily basis well before these incidents occur an accumulation of goodwill, a professional relationship, communication with the public so that if something should happen badly, that the first reaction is not to go out and get involved in a riot.
South Los Angeles activist Lita Herron said she lived through the Watts race riots of 1965 and the nightmare era of 1992 the year of the Rodney King riots when police tried to arrest their way out of the communitys problems of drugs, addiction and gangs. Incidents like the death of Ford, she said, make her feel that the progress shes seen in her neighborhood in recent years may be slipping away.
Im a survivor of 1992, of the (Los Angeles Police) department who it was and always had been in our history, said Herron, who is president of the Youth Advocacy Coalition, which offers alternatives to a gang lifestyle. Theres always been that line between me (and them), and its a fragile line, and these things like Ezell Ford fractures or kills any progress. It kills trust, demolishes it. It makes what they say just talk.
But Connie Rice, a local civil rights activist, sees differences between Ferguson and Los Angeles. Unlike L.A., Ferguson is a predominantly black community with no African-Americans on its City Council and very few on its police force. Two decades ago, LAPD was in a similar situation, much like the Ferguson Police Department is now in a state of war with a distrustful black community.
But with the help of federal oversight, community-minded reforms and guidance from civilian police commissions, the department has largely transformed from a militarized, hostile force that few trusted to one that is building relationships with the community and earning greater trust, she said.
I think L.A. is at the top (among large cities) if we keep up this campaign of change, Rice said. We have about 15 years of more work to do, but we have come a mighty long way.
Bias, whether conscious or not, also plays a role. Armour, the USC professor, said that to many officers and citizens, the sight of a large black man seems to trigger the use of lethal force.
If its a police officer who shoots a black citizen, he or she will say either I was justified because they actually did pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury to me or if I wasnt actually justified, at least I should be excused...for expressing ordinary human frailty under circumstances of extreme pressure and stress, said Armour, author of Negrophobia and Reasonable Racism: The Hidden Costs of Being Black in America.
Juries have repeatedly been shown to be sympathetic to such arguments involving police officers as well as citizens, as demonstrated in the case of neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, he said.
And studies show, Armour said, that people indeed consider race in assessing the dangerousness of an ambiguous person. A 2005 Florida State University Study, for example, found that officers in a computer simulation were more likely to mistakenly shoot unarmed black suspects than white ones until they underwent additional training.
While African-Americans are disproportionately represented in committing street crimes and in the criminal justice system, they are also disproportionately poor and disadvantaged, Armour said. He contends these issues can only be addressed by redistributing some of the nations wealth and power, thereby curbing frustration and resentments.
In Ferguson, theyre looking at a lack of jobs, grinding poverty and have a general sense of hopelessness that arises out of that, and these police incidents are often just sparks, he said. They are flash points for a lot of grievances that have to do with class as well as with enforcement, that have to do with equal opportunities, economic inequalities as much as particular encounters with particular police officers.
Companies are moving on to Hispanics.
I’ve had several business owners tell me, “The Mexicans talk back less and will do the work of three blacks.”
Yeah, I remember the LAST, supposedly peaceful protest in downtown LA.
The city burned for days.
Fergusons only happen when the Democratic party needs to destroy an old establishment, LA is safe they will never, ever see another riot by blacks, ever. Ferguson is all a fraud, merely the tactics of anti-White rhetoric and violence to topple a political establishment, or in other words, WAR.
I don’t think going happen
reason is 1992 riots woke up city official community leader and LAPD LAPD went through a lot bring in more minority oversight
Not going happen here in SO CAL
“He contends these issues can only be addressed by redistributing some of the nations wealth and power, thereby curbing frustration and resentments. “
It’s all our fault, because we don’t voluntarily give them anything and everything they want...
Yes, that’s what I’m hearing, too.
Not happening. LA’s black population has shrunk steadily since the LA riots. It is now 9.6% of the population vs 14.0% at the time of the riots, and poised to shrink further as LA’s black population continues to be priced out of the city.
1965-2014 America R.I.P.
Tom Bradley, LA’s black mayor, made the LAPD stand down during the LA riots, much like David Dinkins made the NYPD stand down during the Crown Heights riots. Under anyone other than these mayors, those disturbances could have been nipped in the bud.
Tom Bradley, the black Democratic mayor of LA, was instrumental is causing the riots by letting things get out of control. Ditto with David Dinkins (another black mayor) and the Crown Heights riot in NYC.
“...I look around this room and I see nothing but untapped potential....”
Anybody curious about what General George S. Patton wrote on this subject (of riots and insurrection and the like)?
He wrote a piece titled “FEDERAL TROOPS IN DOMESTIC DISTURBANCES” and it was dated November 1932.
Here is an excerpt:
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In general, never halt, except to give warning with a time limit and act instantly at the end of the period specified. Never permit a mob to gain a success. Should they do so, make instant and vigorous reprisals. When a mob starts to move, keep it on the run but always leave it a line of retreat; a cornered rat will fight desperately, while on the other hand, movement to the rear engenders panic.
In an attack, move first against the flanks via side streets using cavalry. While this action is in progress, start a rear attack also with cavalry but don’t push it home. Finally, make the frontal attack.
Tanks are useful against barricades or for forcing doors of houses but they must be closely supported by infantry as they can be rushed and destroyed by gasoline. Such a success encourages a mob.
If an enemy is met in a street, deploy completely across the street in close order and direct him to fall back, unless he is in equal or smaller numbers, in which case keep moving and use the bayonet to encourage his retreat. If they are running, a few good wounds in the buttocks will encourage them. ...
- - - -
There is a lot more, he covers some of the legalese of involving federal troops as well, and from his POV and period in time (of course).
I don’t see that happening. The Latinos are replacing the blacks. And the Latinos in LA come from just about every country between the Rio Grande and Cape Horn.
LA is too divided, it looks like the U.N. based in Mexico with everyone from everywhere in between... No one can can even communicate without an interpreter...
Most the blacks left the west coast 15+ years ago, most went back east, south, and northeast...They took the last train to Georgia...
For Sale. Nice 2 bedroom house in quaint town. Very civic minded as we have parades every night. The police are always out as well. If you like diversity, we have the place for you.Contact me at Ferguson, Mo.
Or was it the midnight train to Georgia?
Anyway, most blacks bailed out....
Only one recourse: send in Fred Sanford.
LA was Ferguson before Ferguson was.