LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Two former ranking LAPD veterans say police officers need to be reminded about their responsibilities so they don’t become desensitized to the job.
LAPD veterans Cheryl Dorsey, author of the autobiography “Black and Blue,” and Scott Landsman spoke to community activist Earl Ofari Hutchinson Friday on his radio show, the Hutchinson Report.
“We’re talking about the LAPD, but we’re going much more than that,” Hutchinson said. “It’s a take off Ezell Ford, however, we’re also looking at police tactics, procedure, policies, training, deadly force, excessive force – all of these are in the mix now in so many cases we see around the country.”
Across the country, the issue of police force – both in connection with fatal officer-involved shootings and in response to protestors – is a hot button topic.
“A lot of the things I’ve seen in the news recently, Eric Garner in New York, Missouri shooting with Michael Brown, it seems to me, and Ezell Ford, it seems to me like maybe those officers became too personally involved,” Dorsey said.
The discussion was inspired by the national protests following the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. and a week of demonstrations throughout Los Angeles this week after police say they were forced to shoot 25-year-old Ezell Ford, whose family says he suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Both men were unarmed and, in both cases, police say there was a struggle for the officer’s weapon.
“It comes down to training,” Landsman said. “As an instructor, there’s never enough training for my purposes. But it’s letting the officers know exactly what their responsibilities are and why they’re motivated to behave the way they do.”
“Every three years, a police department should put their officers through some kind of a psychological evaluation and let’s take the temperature on how that officer feels and thinks and how they react so we don’t wind up in a situation where we have a contempt of cop or we have an officer taking something personal because they’ve been exposed and desensitized,” Dorsey said.