Former L.A. City Councilman and Police Chief Bernard Parks wrote a scathing statement about developer and mayoral candidate Rick Caruso. The 12-page, April statement was written in response to a L.A Times article. The statement provides a fascinating look at Caruso’s time on the L.A. Police Commission, the efforts to discredit Parks, which provided an excuse to not rehire him as police chief in 2002, the results of Caruso’s and former Mayor Jim Hahn’s efforts to change the L.A.P.D. to gain support from the police union, Caruso’s current statements as he runs for mayor, corruption, privilege, and oh so much more.
Although the statement is a fascinating read, it must be noted that those around the water cooler are not journalists and Calpeek does not have the resources to do extensive fact-checking. We cannot verify the accuracy of the statement, but Parks includes 32 citations so readers can confirm what was documented by news sources.
The statement is well-detailed. Parks does not hide his disdain nor does he mince words. A theme that runs through the statement is privilege and Parks offers many examples of how Caruso sees the world through a lens of privilege.
Parks acknowledges disappointment at not being reappointed Chief, but what seems to trouble him the most are the attacks against his abilities and accomplishments while serving as Police Chief. According to Parks, some of the attacks have been rehydrated by Caruso’s campaign. Parks also details his concerns about the changes made to the L.A.P.D. once Hahn, Caruso and newly-hired Police Chief Bill Bratton took over. Parks believes Hahn and Caruso worked to change officer discipline rules and schedules (3-day work week) in order to gain favor with the police union and receive support for their future political efforts.
For a fascinating look at recent and current L.A. politics from someone who was there when it happened, read the entire statement here. Some highlights:
“’Privilege’ is what prompts some to blur the lines between, who is wealthy and who is skilled.”
“These are the symptoms of the politicized police force Caruso helped create.”
“Let me say this: It’s really easy to remain a career politician, if some hapless billionaire, like Caruso, keeps funding you.’”.
“These emboldened police unions are at the root of our nation’s modern-day battles between the community and the people paid to protect them. And, these battles are centered around police abuse.”
“…an uninspired and underperforming sitting mayor and his billionaire flunkey…”
“On the Coliseum Commission, Caruso teamed with the now-indicted Ridley-Thomas and others to see to it that more than $1 billion in property: the Coliseum, the Sports Arena and the surrounding parking lots were gifted to USC— for free, in contrast to the desires of the overwhelming majority of people who live in the Exposition Park Area.”