Friday, September 17, 2021

Jackie Lacey: LA’s First Black DA Under Pressure to Prosecute ‘Killer’ Cops

Jackie Lacey

*Imagine being the District Attorney and head prosecutor of the second largest city in America and you have to decide whether to bring charges against police officers for the shooting deaths of black men.

Oh yeah, did we say the DA is a black woman? Her name is Jackie Lacey and she’s in charge of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.

And as you may have sensed, things aren’t going too well for Lacey in the black community of Los Angeles these days.

“You help killer cops, you help killer cops!” is what Lacey heard from citizens in South LA recently at a packed community center. “You’re a race traitor,” one woman screamed. “A betrayal, an accomplice to murder.”

When she finally addressed the crowd members at a town hall meeting on race and the criminal justice system, according to the LA Times, Lacey told them she understood their anger. A little boy screamed at her from the front row, “No, you don’t!” Her shoulders slumped and Lacey asked them to give her a chance. They booed and demanded her resignation.

READ RELATED STORY: NAN & BLACK ACTIVISTS WANT AFRICAN AMERICAN LA DA JACKIE LACY OUT. NOW!

jackie lacey youtube

As a new article in the Times points out, the recent event shows the intense pressure that Lacey is dealing with as LA County’s first black district attorney. She’s under pressure to take a tougher stance in prosecuting police officers who use force against civilians, particularly African Americans.

In her latest test, Lacey has to decide whether to file charges in two high-profile killings of black men by police, including one in which Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck has publicly urged her to prosecute the officer who shot an unarmed man in the back near the Venice boardwalk last year.

The decisions, and the larger issue of how prosecutors deal with police force, weigh heavily on the otherwise popular Lacey, who this year became the county’s first district attorney to win reelection without a challenger in 60 years.

Her office has not filed charges against an officer in an on-duty shooting in more than 15 years, long before she took the helm. But Lacey has drawn especially forceful criticism from some African American activists who say they feel she has failed them.

For her part, Lacey says she has a deep-rooted respect for police but also a clear view of their historical abuse of black people and how that influence carries into the present. After police shootings, she said her mind often jumps to the same question: Was it racially motivated?

“Who could not think about that?” she said in an interview, adding that she always looks for assumptions in cases, especially those involving people of color. She recently announced new mandatory training for prosecutors in how to avoid implicit racial biases.

Of course some say it’s unfair to blame Lacey, individually, for a system that trains prosecutors to view law enforcement as the good guys and then expects them to look at officers as potential suspects in force cases.

“The culture of the D.A.’s office is to circle the wagons around cops who you need to make your cases. That’s human nature,” said longtime civil rights attorney Connie Rice, adding that she believes Lacey is one of the fairest prosecutors she’s met.

Beyond that, Rice said, officers have wide latitude under the law in use-of-force encounters. Officers can’t be held criminally liable if they acted reasonably and genuinely feared for their safety when they fired their weapons — an extremely tough thing for prosecutors to disprove.

It’s a true pressure-cooker situation DA Lacey finds herself in. Read/learn MORE at LA Times.

 

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1 COMMENT

  1. 75 percent of America’s high-poverty neighborhoods in 1970 still classified that way four decades later. Racial and class inequality is very much alive. A “progressive politics” apartheid where blacks who have voted Democratic for almost 50 years are now being driven from their neighborhoods that have been their home for generations. We gave the Democratic Party our votes and they “took us for granted” leaving us living with social tension, unrest, and the worst GUN VIOLENCE AND VIOLENT CRIME . . . A diminished hope and no opportunities while the Democratic Party’s upscale hipster real estate speculators prosper.

    President-Elect Donald Trump wants to enable states with dedicated grants and implementation standards related to diversity, inclusion, and targeted hiring the resources necessary to spur investment in under served black neighborhoods. Stopping gun violence, revitalizing education, creating jobs, replacing substandard housing, and strengthening black families is a mandate we secured for him.

    That is, Mr. Trump owes his victory to “predominately black Democratic strongholds” who were convinced to give him more votes than the previous Republican candidates. African Americans (like Todd Elliott Koger) convinced hundreds of thousands blacks to “boycott” the vote and/or voting “straight” Democrat.

    All across America the black vote “boycott” masterminded by Todd Elliott Koger effectuated an insurmountable obstruction for Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. There is correspondence to the Trump campaign that outlined “Koger’s Plan.” The “Thank you for the suggestion” reply. And, President-Elect Donald Trump’s verbatim use of Todd Elliott Koger’s exact same words during “online videos” and speeches that followed in Michigan, Milwaukee (Wisconsin) and Pennsylvania. Mr. Koger’s writings at one point specifically advised that the “Koger Plan” to target the black vote will changed the destructive conversation and slip in the polls that the “verbal fight” with Khizr Khan, a slain U.S. soldier’s father had caused in late August 2016.

    When the Trump campaign started to collapse in October 2016, Mr. Koger suggested the “need for a writing” to change the conversation again. He suggested that the campaign needed to move away from the “hot mic incident.” Todd Elliott Koger’s correspondence suggested a “Treaty with Black America.” There’s another “thank you” from the campaign. And, Mr. Trump almost immediately announced a “Contract with America” and a “New Deal for Black America.”

    Maybe this is just a remarkable concurrence of events. Maybe Mr. Koger’s packaging of Mr. Trump’s visual optics and his efforts to communicate implementation of the ” Koger Plan” had no apparent connection. Maybe it was just “serendipity” in North and West Philadelphia (Eastern Pennsylvania) and Penn Hills, Allegheny County (Western Pennsylvania) where turnout fell 10 percent in the majority-black wards. Happenstance in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (District 15), where turnout was down 19.5 percent. And, “a fluke” in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, where 75,000 “Motown Voters” stayed home. One thing for sure, Todd Elliott Koger’s correspondence kept reiterating that “Mr. Trump’s only path to victory” was the “black vote.” Cities like Boston, Massachusetts’ “predominately black” wards had their greatest decline in voter turnout this century.

    And, just 50,000 votes in three states, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin (the focus of “Koger’s Plan”) decided the election. The National Diversity Coalition for Trump did send another “Thank You.” But interestingly, Todd Elliott Koger and his wife don’t even have tickets for the Trump inauguration, its events, nor any job offers . . . .

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dieNd5h_qpw

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