WE NEVER THOUGHT WE'D HEAR IT FROM FATHER BOYLE
Wally Fay has had his differences with Father Gregory Boyle in the past. Those familiar with Boyle, a Jesuit priest, know that he runs HOMEBOY INDUSTRIES in BOYLE HEIGHTS and that he has testified as a witness for the Defense in many cases involving Hispanic gangsters.
In court and in the LA TIMES OP ED pages BOYLE has made some startling assertions such as 1) the MEXICAN MAFIA has little influence on the street 2) there's no such thing as a "gang associate" 3) once in the COUNTY-wide gang database, a kid stays in that database for the rest of his life 4) there's no such thing as mutli-generational gangsters etc. All of this is nonsense as anyone with even a nodding acquaintance with the subject can confirm.
For years, Boyle has been the go-to guy for CELESTE FREMON of the LA WEEKLY. FREMON wrote a book years ago called FATHER BOYLE AND THE HOMEBOYS so we can assume that BOYLE and FREMON probably have a relationship that transcends that of the usual reporter/subject. There's obviously some sympatico there.
In the past, whenever the LAPD or the CITY COUNCIL passed a new gang-suppression initiative, you could bet your last dollar that FREMON's piece on it with would carry a BOYLE quote. Generally, his quotes were to the effect that the LAPD was being short-sighted, heavy handed and ineffective. Plus the LAPD history of horrible civil rights abuse would nullify any gains made in the crime stats blah, blah, blah. You could set your watch by it.
So Wally was reading FREMON's piece on the latest gang injunction against the Rollin 60s Crips. (The piece calls them the "ROLLING 60s" by the way. In MONSTER CODY'S book, he calls them the ROLLIN 60s. We'll go with the spelling from the guy who killed a good number of them. He should know, right?) And in this piece, FREMON does her usual lap around the "experts" and prosecutors, eliciting quotes. The experts said the injunction won't work and it's violation of basic civil rights. Which, by the way, we agree with. It is a violation of civil rights and discriminatory. But then so is giving seniors a break on movie tickets.
But here's what floored WALLY. In the inevitable BOYLE quote, the good father says that GANG INJUNCTIONS are not only an indication that the community has had enough of the violence, but that injunctions can benefit the gang members themselves. FREMON quotes BOYLE. "I mean, eight minutes after one was filed here on the EASTSIDE, I had kids in my office saying 'Get me a job.'" You could have knocked WALLY over with a communion wafer. What's going on here? Has FATHER BOYLE had his brain electronically scanned and "re-educated?"
Actually, we see something nearly as effective. We think we see the fine, charismatic hand of POLICE CHIEF BRATTON at work. We know for a fact, that one of the first people BRATTON spoke with when he took the job of CHIEF was FATHER BOYLE. And BRATTON has been cultivating BOYLE like a hothouse rose ever since. They appeared together on WARREN OLNEY's WHICH WAY LA. They appeared together on the same panel with FREMON and TOM HAYDEN at the ANNENBERG SCHOOL for a discussion on the gang problem. They speak regularly. They're, shall I say it? Almost pals.
FREMON quotes BOYLE in her piece again. "For an injunction to work well, it really needs a police department that we don't currently have. But we're getting there under BRATTON. While under PARKS, you never wanted an injunction because it could only lead to abuse."
WHOA! FATHER BOYLE is actually absolving the LAPD of something. He's on their side on this. Let's break it down shall we.
BOYLE is saying that the LAPD under the leadership of a black chief who was supposedly more sensitive to racial issues and police abuse would probably trample all over minority rights compared to a department run by a white guy? BOYLE may be drummed out of the PC brigade for this break with dogma. Everybody at the WEEKLY and on the Democrat Party mailing list knows that white chief equals insensitivity and abuse while black or latino chief equals "building bridges to minority communities." If we've heard that once, we've heard it enough times to induce nausea.
But we never expected it from BOYLE. And we bet FREMON didn't either. We knew BRATTON was smart, slick, an effective operator and a tremendous "convincer." But we had no idea he could get even GREG BOYLE to come around to some common sense conclusions. Has BRATTON the power to cloud men's minds like the SHADOW? If so, we urge him to go cultivate the CITY COUNCIL. Maybe he can get them to stop wasting time on resolutions on the IRAQ war and corporate descendants of slave profiteers and urge them to get on with the real business of running this city.