A May 5 column by The Times’ media reporter, Tim Rutten, is emblematic of the anti-LAPD rhetoric circulating among activists and professional cop critics since the park incident. He claimed that the "LAPD’s recourse to brutality and wanton abuse of civil liberties … is an old and obviously still entrenched" problem. Actually, the misconduct at MacArthur Park is not entrenched. Instead, what happened there represented an unusual collapse of supervision, lousy tactics and the unique challenges of crowd control, which police organizations infrequently train for and whose group demands run counter to the individualized nature of conventional policing. The Metropolitan Division platoon detailed to the park had not been trained in crowd work for at least a year.
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