Saturday, July 10, 2004

Former police chief and current city councilman BERNARD PARKS said in a radio interview that he doesn't believe the LAPD's latest crime stats. According to all official sources, violent crime is down citywide and homicides have leveled off or dropped dramatically in some parts of the city. Parks doesn't buy it. His bizarre rationale is that when a homicide occurs, it affects the whole community. So, according to him, even if homicides are down, a single homicide still impacts the neighborhood. No argument there. But hey BERNIE! Violent crime is still down! And not just in the city, but statewide. Property crimes are rising modestly, but that's probably as much a reflection of the huge spike in the California population.

This isn't the first time PARKS has had doubts about LAPD crime stats. If you remember back to the days when Parks was fighting to keep his job, the crime stats were UP. While Parks couldn't publicly argue against the stats, he had his pal NATE HOLDEN (whose council seat Parks now occupies) go in front of the cameras and defend Parks' record. I remember this clearly because it was one of the most logic defying moments in recent city history.

There were three strikes against Parks at the time. One was that LAPD recruiting had dropped lower than a FALUJAH spider hole. At the time, half the LAPD academy classes had been cancelled. Two, his approval rating among rank and file cops was in the single digits. And three, the crime rate was definitely heading north.

While Parks couldn't come out and dispute the numbers, NATE HOLDEN, the DOODLES WEAVER of the Council who was on his last term, came out in Parks' defense. Holden claimed that Parks was an effective leader. And the drop in recruitment wasn't Parks' fault. It was the result of a superheated economy that was sucking away qualified candidates into the private sector. And furthermore, the crime stats were being fabricated by white cops to make Parks look bad. And even more furthermore, Holden said if the crime rate was going up, it was because of a bad economy and there were no jobs.

The contradictions in Holden's arguments were as evident as an AMBER ALERT. In his Orwellian doublespeak world, the economy was simultaneously good and bad. And Parks was such an effective leader that he couldn't even keep his own staff from printing bogus crime stats.

Parks now has Holden's old council seat. And it looks like he also inherited Holden's Bizarro logic. Clearly Parks doesn't want Chief Bratton to succeed. A steady rise in crime and a few more flashlight incidents would probably work to Park's advantage. Not that he'd want to see more bodies in the street, but frankly a crime spike would add to his "I told you so" political capital.

Look for the Parks rhetoric to get even more loonie as his mayoral campaign starts heating up. We can't wait for Holden to come out of his life-support chamber and go on the stump for Parks. I need the material.

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