It appears to many that Bratton’s brazen actions in defying the City Council knows no boundaries. Some say he already has the Police Commission and watchdog Inspector General André Birotte whipped into submission. Disturbingly, judging from what I saw at the last Commission meeting, one would be hard pressed to disprove such charges.
Bratton has a history of defying the Council. When, for instance, Councilmember Bernard Parks called to the Chief’s attention that his office received a number of calls because of Bratton’s callous use of terms like “nitwit,” “tribal,” “thugs,” and “terrorist” in reference to members of the Black community, Bratton’s bold, brazen response to former police Chief Parks was a terse, “That’s your problem.”
When Parks demurred, reminding Chief Bratton that as councilmember of the 8th district he represents one sixth (over 250,000 residents) of the City of Los Angeles, Bratton fired back, “I understand that.” The message was that it didn’t matter how many people Parks represented in his predominantly Black district, if the aforementioned designations were applicable to the residents therein, so be it. Michael Carreon, a substance abuse counselor at Warm Springs, who also attended last week’s Council meeting, and who referred to Bratton’s defiance of Park’s when he spoke before the full Council.
In the latest round of volleys Bratton balked at the Council’s request to have the LAPD supervisors on the scene at the May Day Mauling appear before the Council for questioning, or, as Councilmember Zine said, to find out their “state of mind.” The LAPD brass involved that day were Deputy Chief Cayler “Lee” Carter, Commander Louis Gray, and Captain John Egan. Some see the politics of race in Bratton’s handling of the matter. Chief Carter, who is White, was demoted, whereas Commander Gray, who is a light-skinned Black was simply reassigned, presumably so as not to further upset the Black community.
Whatever the dynamics, Bratton, with umbrage rarely seen in a city employee who is appearing before our distinguished City Council, said that he doubts Carter, Gray, or Egan would appear. Finally, after taking a few barbs from Bratton, Councilmembers began to fire back, politely insisting that Bratton present the supervisors, with the discussion turning to the subpoena powers of the Council.
Regarding the May Day Mauling in connection with the obviously composition mostly Latino crowd, Bratton says that he knows that there are White racists in the LAPD, and when he finds them they’ll be rooted out. One cannot help but wonder how many racists he has found thus far during his tenure as Chief, and what their names are. To date, LAPD critics are not aware of one. This fact does not bode well for a successful search during a second 5-year term.
See related article “Bratton Embraces a ‘Webb’ of Lies?” in National section of this issue, page 18. Also, come hear Dr. Carr as he lectures and signs his best-selling books, as well as his latest one, “America in Black & White: 2005-2007” at Eso Won Books on Friday, July 20, 2007. Dr. Carr can be reached at