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July 01, 2004

The Panel

Lots has been going on since I was away. I think I have a good reason to get back over to Ofari's post haste. I picked up the following from the LAT in reference to Najee Ali and this character who got beatdown by the LAPD. Black suspects all.

The panel includes members from a cross-section of the city, including Father Gregory Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries; Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean at the Simon Wiesenthal Center; John Mack, president of the Los Angeles Urban League; the Rev. Cecil "Chip" Murray of First African Methodist Episcopal Church; the Rev. Leonard Jackson of the First AME Church; attorneys Angela Park and Angela Reddock; William "Blinky" Rodriguez, executive director of Communities in Schools Greater Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley; Bishop Charles Blake, pastor of West Angeles Church of God in Christ; and Geraldine Washington, president of the NAACP's Los Angeles chapter.

Despite the inclusion of respected community leaders, Councilman Bernard C. Parks raised doubts about whether the panel is needed because the Police Department has an extensive process for monitoring and investigating allegations of police misconduct as part of a federal court consent decree.

This is basically an invitation to grant political grandstanding. You create an opportunity for people to say something in a pseudo-official capacity in which case they're likely to be circumspect. Why would any of these critics be louder at this moment than they would have otherwise? Hard to say LA would grant this exception unless it's an open an shut case of force within discretion, which I pretty much figured was a foregone conclusion given the reporting of the LAT that the guy said his nose hurt a little but other than that, no problem.

Aside from that, if people really believe that there is massed black rage ready to vent, then the amount of political integration and cross-communication is weaker than I have imagined. Considering what's being said about Ali, I can see that being true. It only speaks louder to this nasty feeling I have in the pit of my stomach about a folks like us in the Old School. I don't see which of us is on the panel. Granted, I'm going to have to get to know some of these people, but of the names I recognize, none of them is under 50 years old.

Over at LA Observed, there's some interesting links as well. I haven't bothered to give Parks quite the rundown, but a everything I've heard from him from interviews with KPCC folks sounds pretty solid.

Still, I'm fairly annoyed by this coalition of symbolic leadership, and while there's no denying that Murray, Mack and Blake are venerable old men, that's half of my problem with them. I'm going to ping my buddies and see what they have to say...

BTW, I had always thought that Lucy Florence had some ownership in that building. How else did they take over the fish market next door? Surprise. It only goes to show, it's not easy to know who has what in the bank.

Posted by mbowen at July 1, 2004 12:09 AM

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