Cracks have begun to emerge in a relatively united front in Los Angeles’s response to last week’s televised police beating of a black suspect, says the Los Angeles Times. Yesterday, foes of Mayor James K. Hahn took the opportunity to criticize him and his hand-selected police chief as the mayoral race began to gear up. Since the June 23 beating of 36-year-old Stanley Miller, most black leaders had seemed satisfied that police officials were taking the incident seriously.
During a terse exchange at a City Council meeting, Councilman Bernard C. Parks, a black former police chief, told Chief William Bratton that constituents have complained that Bratton has used racially insensitive language in referring to minorities. Parks, who is running for mayor, was replaced by Bratton after Hahn refused to back Parks for a second term as chief. Across town, Danny Bakewell, a prominent black activist and a longtime ally of Parks, criticized a civilian panel appointed by Hahn to monitor the incident, saying its members were not representative of the black community. Bakewell started his own oversight committee.