First Lady Michelle Obama invited two LAPD veterans to last night's State of the Union to honor their work in community policing. Captain Phil Tingirides and his wife Sergeant Emada Tingirides are part of a formal program created in 2011 to build partnerships between Watts residents in South LA and the LAPD. After months of "Black Lives Matters" protests, the symbolism of the Tingirides' efforts have taken on new importance. The distrust between some community members and policing is still very real.
Last week, impassioned Angelenos gathered at a forum to learn more and to express concerns over the use of body-worn cameras. How will Chief Beck quell fears over manipulation of camera footage or releasing video to the media? A more pressing issue for Chief Beck is the uptick in violent crime. Statistics released last week show that after more than a decade of decreasing violent crime rates, 2014 saw a 14 percent increase over 2013. Aggravated assaults accounted for most of the jump - and a change in how those assaults are defined in the statistics. There were 260 murders last year (251 murders in 2013) and 924 reported rapes (764 rapes in 2013). What impact has policing had on these violent crimes?
We will also ask about civil asset seizures on the heels of Attorney General Eric Holder's announcement limiting such seizures. Tens of millions of dollars from such seizures were used by the LAPD. What is Chief Beck's reaction to the significant policy change? How will LAPD make up for the cash squeeze? Finally, LA street vendors say LAPD has been confiscating goods without any documentation, and we'll ask Chief Beck's reaction to a Sacramento bill that seeks to change how officer-involved fatalities are investigated. What are your questions for Chief Charlie Beck?
Charlie Beck, Chief, Los Angeles Police Department