In Los Angeles, the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department, informally known as the Christopher Commission, was formed in July 1991, in the wake of the Rodney King beating, by then-mayor of Los Angeles Tom Bradley.
The Christopher Commission was chaired
by attorney Warren Christopher (who later became U.S.
Secretary of State). Here we see him pictured to the
The commission was created to conduct "a full and fair examination of the structure and operation of the LAPD," including its recruitment and training practices, internal disciplinary system, and citizen complaint system. However, with the election of Richard Riordan, these reforms were put on hold and Chief of Police, Daryl Gates rejected the Commissions findings. The Christopher Commission's findings were largely ignored irregardless of Chief Gates claims to have implemented all that were in his power.
Here we see a photograph of the skyscraper that is home to
the LAPD. Such an exalted building does little to humble
those who come and go there.
Rodney King was not an isolated occurrence as Chief Gates would have
the world believe. The Rodney King beating is to this day a common
happening in police forces all across this great country. The one
thing we can be sure of after the whole world was made aware of
justice at the hands of the LAPD was their continuing fear of
video camera's. An LAPD officer would most likely prefer facing a
gun or a knife than a video camera.
Rodney King was a criminal on probation when he was videotaped while four Los Angeles police officers beat him after a high speed freeway chase on March 3, 1991. The subsequent acquittal of four officers charged with using excessive force against King led to massive and destructive rioting in Los Angeles in 1992.
Here we are looking at the mess looters left behind them.
Here we see rioters pushing a patrol car over.
Here we see evidence of widespread looting. Empty boxes on the
street indicate other looters before the ones pictured, had
left boxes behind to get rid of the evidence they had stolen
shoes from Payless.
This is an aerial photo of the near deadly beating of Reginald
Denny, the truck driver trapped in the riots. The black fellow
is dancing gleefully after kicking Denny in view of the
As might be expected when a city's population is out of control,
the national guard had to be called in to suppress the riots.
A very dangerous assignment since the black population had
developed into a mob mentality.
The L.A. riots were largely a by product of continuing police
brutality, media irresponsibility in broadcasting the Rodney
King beating without balancing it with the big picture that he
was a thug who not only led the police on a dangerous high speed
chase but fought back when apprehended. The L.A. riots were also
a testimony against Major Bradley's lack of leadership at the
helm of the city and the moral bankruptcy of the people of Los
Angeles in general.
The following are, verbatim, some of the commission's findings:
"There is a significant number of officers in the LAPD who repetitively use excessive force against the public and persistently ignore the written guidelines of the department regarding force.
The failure to control these officers is a management issue that is at the heart of the problem. The documents and data that we have analyzed have all been available to the department; indeed, most of this information came from that source.
The LAPD's failure to analyze and act upon these revealing data evidences a significant breakdown in the management and leadership of the Department.
The Police Commission, lacking investigators or other resources, failed in its duty to monitor the Department in this sensitive use of force area.
The Department not only failed to deal with the problem group of officers but it often rewarded them with positive evaluations and promotions.
We recommend a new standard of accountability....Ugly incidents will not diminish until ranking officers know they will be held responsible for what happens in their sector, whether or not they personally participate."
The commission highlighted the problem of "repeat offenders" on the force, finding that of approximately 1,800 officers against whom an allegation of excessive force or improper tactics was made from 1986 to 1990, more than 1,400 had only one or two allegations. But 183 officers had four or more allegations, forty-four had six or more, sixteen had eight or more, and one had sixteen such allegations. Generally, the forty-four officers with six complaints or more had received positive performance evaluations that failed to record "sustained" complaints or to discuss their significance.
The Christopher Commission found that only forty-two of 2,152 allegations of excessive force from 1986 to 1990 were sustained - or less than 2 percent.  According to the Christopher Commission "... the complaint system is skewed against complainants." The majority of investigations at that time were done by division staff, not IAD, and the commission found this seriously problematic because division investigators often failed even to interview or identify witnesses.
The problems in any city begin when people who might sit in judgment upon a police force are dependent upon them for their own protection.
The Federal government could establish police forces to police the police but they would most likely make friends rather than get involved in arresting armed police where backups could easily out gun them.
Re-arming good citizens in every block and deputizing them would not be a bad idea but the police departments in every city are a political power and they will oppose any compromising of their power grip over the people.
Though armed citizens would do wonders in controlling crime, they would be subject to being gunned down by police officers who have shown themselves to be trigger happy when they see a gun brandished by a citizen.
Internal investigations are a farce. The police will never police themselves.
Police Departments are such a financial and political power that setting up a Tribunal out of town to judge police brutality complaints would soon prove futile. Police Departments are able to manipulate evidence, intimidate witnesses, deceive the media and influence any panel of judges set over them.
The bottem line is moral decline. The cure for America is Jesus
Christ. Were the people to humble themselves and return unto the
Lord, crime would diminish and police departments would find it
much more difficult to get away with murder and violence.