The choice of Charlie Beck as the next Los Angeles police chief was hardly a shoo-in, says the Los Angeles Times. His selection was complicated by quiet but persistent lobbying for him by outgoing Chief William J. Bratton. From the outset of the process, it was assumed by nearly all involved that support from Bratton would prove to be a tremendous advantage for Beck over the others. That did not turn out to be the case.
With police commission members peeved at Bratton’s involvement and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa increasingly concerned that he not be perceived as unduly persuaded by Bratton, the departing chief’s support surprisingly became something of a liability. “This was a very, very tricky process. Everything I thought was going to happen got turned on its head,” said someone closely involved in the selection procedure. “I was certain Bratton’s endorsement would be crucial. But he went too far. He became an albatross.”