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Warrior Culture in Los Angeles Police Force

Anguished questions are being raised over the police brutality seen while dispersing a rally of immigrants in Los Angeles on May Day.

To quote from an eye-witness account - Without warning, cops descended into a park full of families, homeless and handicapped individuals and street cart vendors. They were merciless.

For the next 30 minutes, hundreds of activists and bystanders were shot, beaten by night sticks and run out of the park. The police had no intention of entertaining requests from people who were not able to move quickly enough. They were forcefully hit on the legs until they were immobile."

Police Chief William Bratton himself admitted the next day, " Quite frankly, I was disturbed at what I saw. Some of the officers' action .were inappropriate in terms of use of batons and possible use of non-lethal rounds fired."

Critics charge that a "warrior culture" has permeated the Los Angeles Police Department (LPAD).

It's an ethos that's been on display before the use of clubs and tear gas to disperse 15,000 peaceful anti-war protesters in Century City in 1967 the Watts riots, the Rodney King beating in 1991, the harsh crackdown on demonstrators at the 2000 Democratic National Convention.

Public outcry and inquiries that followed each event haven't deterred some officers from cracking a few kneecaps to assert order, even in front of cameras.

Bratton has quickly reassigned two high-ranking officers after the incident.

He was appointed in 2002 to steer the LAPD after a rogue anti-gang unit scandalized the department by assaulting and framing people in the tough Rampart district. Dozens of criminal convictions were tossed out as a result of the scandal.

The anti-gang unit, known as CRASH (Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums), "developed an independent subculture that embodied a 'war on gangs' where the ends justified their needs,' the report said. "They re
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