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"I killed the dinosaurs."
~Rachel M. Stark
Jul. 4th, 2008 @ 12:40 am Snoozeville
The DL
I'm Batman

</lj-embed>


Jun. 14th, 2008 @ 03:38 am DARK KNIGHT TRAILER # 4
The DL
I&#39;m Batman
Current Location: The Batcave
Stay on my good side, mother fucker: ecstaticecstatic
If it's too loud, you're too old: Molossus by Zimmer/Newton-Howard


New footage.  New Dialogue.  More Joker!

May. 25th, 2008 @ 01:42 am New Empire Magazine
The DL
I&#39;m Batman
Current Location: work
Stay on my good side, mother fucker: accomplishedaccomplished
If it's too loud, you're too old: Nycteris by Zimmer/Newton-Howard
featuring The Dark Knight: http://forums.superherohype.com/showthread.php?t=303228  
Apr. 20th, 2008 @ 11:23 pm Some buttery-flavored goodness:
The DL
I&#39;m Batman
Current Location: work
Stay on my good side, mother fucker: accomplishedaccomplished
If it's too loud, you're too old: Oil by Johnny Greenwood
First, a sad story with a funny title:

Dry Another Day
Don't worry, they've got, like, 10 of 'em.

And on the lighter side:
The Goonies: Where are they now?
You know you gotta look!
Apr. 7th, 2008 @ 12:54 am THE DARK KNIGHT
The DL
I&#39;m Batman
Current Location: work
Stay on my good side, mother fucker: bouncybouncy
If it's too loud, you're too old: Antrozous by Zimmer/Newton-Howard
*pics stolen from BubbaGump on the SHH boards*




Amazing cast. Check.

IMAX format. Check.

Done filming. Check.

Leaked photos. Double check.

102 says left.


I WANT IT NOW!!!!!


P.S. Thanks to StarwriterLv, aka Assistant DA Dawes, for the Superlative new icon. Which may also be illegal.

/
:oD
\
Jun. 27th, 2007 @ 02:33 pm LIVEjournal FREE or...
The DL
I&#39;m Batman
Stay on my good side, mother fucker: quixoticquixotic
If it's too loud, you're too old: Yippie-Kay-Ay by Bruce Willis
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTyw6cq86kY

*mad laughter*
Jun. 27th, 2007 @ 01:30 pm Don Szechuan Sean TRIUMPHANT!
The DL
Mighty smushieface of DOOM
Stay on my good side, mother fucker: curiouscurious
If it's too loud, you're too old: The Calm Before The Storm
I'm back. And better. And Badder.


Who loves you, baby?




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSvJwUFI_es
May. 26th, 2006 @ 12:18 pm RACHEL!!!
The DL
Who are you working for?
Stay on my good side, mother fucker: creativecreative
If it's too loud, you're too old: Descent Into Mystery by Dnnay Elfman
Marathon 'Runner'
WB preps 'final cut' of sci-fi classic

By DIANE GARRETT



Warner homevid has disentangled "Blade Runner's" famously thorny rights issues to pave the way for a September reissuereissue of the remastered "Director's Cut" version, followed by a theatrical release of a version promised to be truly Ridley ScottRidley Scott's final cut.
Warner's rights to "Blade Runner" lapsed a year ago, but the studio has since negotiated a long-term license. The pic, now considered a sci-fi classic, has had a troubled history from the start: When Scott ran overbudget, completion bond guarantors took control of it and made substantial changes before its 1982 theatrical release, adding a voiceovervoiceover and happy ending. That version was replaced by the much better-received director's cut in 1992, but Scott has long been unhappy with it, complaining that he was rushed and unable to give it proper attention.

The helmer started working on the final cut version in 2000, but that project was shelved by Warner soon after, apparently because the studio couldn't come to terms with Jerry Perenchio over rights issues.

The restored "Director's Cut" will debut on homevid in September, and remain on sale for four months only, after which time it will be placed on moratorium. "Blade Runner: Final Cut" will arrive in 2007 for a limited 25th anniversary theatrical run, followed by a special edition DVD with the three previous versions offered as alternate viewing: Besides the original theatrical version and director's cut, the expanded international theatrical cut will be included. The set will also contain additional bonus materials.

The massive "Blade Runner" project comes on the heels of Scott's four-disc treatment for "Kingdom of Heaven," released this week by Fox homevid, less than a year after the pic's initial homevid release.

Date in print: Fri., May 26, 2006, Los Angeles
May. 12th, 2006 @ 11:11 am CRASH and Burn
The DL
I&#39;m Batman
Stay on my good side, mother fucker: crazycrazy
If it's too loud, you're too old: Batman Theme by Danny Elfman

CRASH and Burn:
Corruption, Gangs, and the L.A.P.D.


Sean Culkin
SOC 301
Tim Delaney
5/04/06
Word Count: 5,629



Introduction

The line between those who break the law and those who enforce it is dangerously thin. Gang-members and police officers are often reflections of each other, holding many similar customs and practices, i.e., a shared tradition, code of loyalty, group isolation, etc. Often the distinction between the two is hard to define. It is common for police officers to cross that line and participate in criminal activity. This paper will examine police corruption, and the gang mentality in relation to the infamous LAPD CRASH Units, with a special focus on the Rampart Scandal of 1999.

The formation of CRASH Units

The Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums Unit (CRASH) was a group of anti-gang units within the Los Angeles Police Department. Begun in the 1970s, CRASH Units were “set up to tackle increasing gang-related crime in the city” (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001). “CRASH officers were required to get to know gang members – their names, habits, friends – to keep on top of gang activity (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001). Former Chief of the L.A.P.D. Daryl Gates said the Units were made up of “the very best – individuals who are not afraid – people who are willing to work, people who are willing to get out and mix with the gangs, and get a better understanding of the gangs, who are not intimidated by the gangsta" (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001).
According to Gerald Chaleff, Former President of the LA Police Commission CRASH officers were "some of the most, you could say, gung-ho or ambitious officers.” (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001). The title was a prestigious one, highly prized. The position offered “freedom of movement and activity" (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001). The responsibilities of the Units were varied.

The duty of CRASH Units

Sergeant Brian Liddy, a former CRASH officer, defines the primary mission of the Unit as gathering intelligence on and monitoring the activities of criminal street gangs. Liddy says, “There are kind of two sides to it. There's the intelligence side, where you kind of got to know all these people by their nicknames, where they hang out, what kind of cars they drive. Then there's the crime suppression mode, where you're out trying to keep them from doing drive-bys and robberies and extortion – the criminal end of their involvement” (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001). In April 1988, Police Chief Daryl Gates initiated Operation Hammer, “a series of street sweeps of gang-infested areas in South Central” conducted by as many as a thousand police officers moving from one neighborhood to the next, resulting in the arrest of hundreds of suspected gang members and drug dealers (Cannon, 1997: 17). CRASH Units were assigned to special details aimed at getting gangsters off the streets. According to Joe Domanick, there were ‘tag teams’ set up to enforce the operation, consisting of motorcycle cops who conducted traffic sweeps.

They knew the vehicle code backward and forward, every clause in the section. Every
clause. They knew that a car had to be parked eighteen inches from the curb, and if
it was twenty-two, it was a ticket. If the windshield wipers didn't work, it was a
ticket. If there were no floor mats, it was a ticket. They knew everything and could
get anybody...Sure, you pissed off a lot of people, and sure most of them weren't
involved in killings or serious violence, but it was a way, the LAPD way, of getting
at the problem" (Domanick, 1994: 324).

Liddy describes the expertise of the Units further: “Some gangs are into stolen cars. Some gangs are into dope. Some gangs are into robberies. Some gangs are into burglaries. Then the bigger gangs have different cells--this group of gangsters sells dope, this group of gangsters does this. You need to know all that to be an expert on the gang that you're assigned to” (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001). Liddy offers a description of the CRASH Unit acting as a community experiment in goodwill, rather than a hammer, saying that the majority of time is spent talking with gang members, relating to them on a personal level, in order to get information (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001).

CRASH Culture

A sense of elitism and privilege was fostered among members of the police unit, deriving from their use of unmarked cars rather than the standard black-and-whites, freedom from radio check-ins, and being sought out by other officers to answer gang questions (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001). Sergeant Liddy notes a feeling of being important, of not being tied to the “day-to-day business of a policeman in any city. You're just dealing with gang members. You're not being assigned radio calls unless it strictly pertains to gang activity. You're supervised, but you're supervised at a different level. You're expected to be mature, responsible, go out there and do what you're supposed to do” (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001).
Liddy cites a positive effect on the quality of life, especially in his own Rampart area, as a direct result of the CRASH Unit:

In 1990, I believe Rampart had right around 150 murders in the division. In 1997, it
was down to about 33. When I left Rampart, in the afternoon, people would take their
kids to the park and play at Rampart. When I had first went to Rampart, nobody took
their kids to the park. So the quality of life in those eight years had changed
drastically in Rampart. Crime was down. The gangs were nowhere near as bold as they
had been. They had taken to staying in the back of the buildings and not showing
their face, because they could expect to get visited by the CRASH officers (“L.A.P.D.
Blues,” 2001).

The Rodney King Legacy

In the early 1990s, Los Angeles was generally thought of as a harmonious, culturally diverse city; a near utopia (Cannon, 1997: 4). However, “Poverty and discord rippled through forty square miles of mean streets. This Los Angeles was the city of which mystery writer Walter Mosely said, ‘It's a land that on the surface is of dreams, and then there's a kind of slimy underlayer’” (Cannon, 1997: 4). Racial tensions and deteriorating conditions for minorities did not receive attention from national or local media, the belief that such squalor was an “old hat” story, and unfashionable as news in the decade of political correctness (Cannon, 1997: 14).
The public image of the police received a damaging blow on August 1, 1988, when eighty Los Angeles police officers, acting on a false tip, “decended on four apartments near Thirty-ninth street and Dalton Avenue that they believed were gang-controlled crack cocaine houses. They smashed toilets, destroyed furniture, broke windows, and wrote pro-police graffiti on an outside wall” (Cannon, 1997: 17) Thirty-three African Americans were arrested, but the raid turned up less than an ounce of cocaine and resulted in only one single successful prosecution on a minor charge. “Dozens of officers were disciplined, and three were prosecuted on felony vandalism and other charges" (Cannon, 1997: 17).
Operation Hammer was regarded by many as an inconvenience; many of those arrested in sweeps were simply teenagers in the wrong place at the wrong time. Chief Gates was seen as unresponsive to the community’s needs, and out of touch (Cannon, 1997: 17). "While some activists described the LAPD as an occupying army, polls showed that a majority of blacks and Latinos were supportive of the police. One objective measure of the community's attitude was the consistent support given by South Central voters, especially blacks, to ballot measures that would have raised taxes to pay for additional officers or better police equipment" (Cannon, 1997: 17). Individual officers in high-crime precincts often developed ties with citizens (most often Latinos) who supported a crackdown on gangs (Cannon, 1997: 18).
That all changed with the release of a videotape of the beating of Rodney King. The world witnessed an unarmed man being beaten with batons by several police officers, while others looked on in the background. The consensus was that this was a case of excessive force (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001). Following the incident there were a number of comments from police trying to be supportive of their fellow officers, but these were viewed by the public as an attempt to justify King’s treatment, and as a result the L.A.P.D. lost credibility with the community (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001). This inevitably led to citywide riots after the officers were acquitted.
The incident served to “handcuff” the police department; Chief Gates was unwilling to offer a forceful response to the riots for fear of appearing too aggressive or provocative. The result was millions of dollars worth of property damage, a wave of lawsuits against the city, and the irreversibly tarnished image of what once was the greatest police force in the country (Domanick, 1994: 426-427). The near-reverence of the community for their police department was gone, replaced with “a white-hot cauldron of hatred and resentment” at the arrogant behavior of the police (Domanick, 1994: 333).
According to Los Angeles civil rights attorney Gregory Yates “the public began to view L.A.P.D. as being a corrupt, an almost SS troop kind of organization. I think the people that lived here wanted to deny it as long as they could, because you have to feel that you're protected. Who are you going to go to if you're in trouble (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001)?”
Chief Gates reluctantly retired from the force, causing an upheaval in the leadership in the department:

They brought in a chief of police from the East Coast. That was a mistake…He came in,
a very nice guy, and all of that. But he was an individual who did not understand the
Los Angeles Police Department, did not have…"the L.A.P.D. mentality"…and didn't
understand any of that. He didn't understand the structure of the Los Angeles Police
Department, and he undermined that structure…He took away an awful lot of the kinds
of things that are necessary in order to make sure that you don't have police
officers doing things that they ought not to do…It's important to have that
supervision…he really screwed up by taking the CRASH units away from the supervision,
and putting them down at another location outside of Rampart, where they were on
their own. What in the hell did anybody expect was going to happen? And it happened.
It happened (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001).

The Rampart Scandal

On March 18, 1997 Undercover L.A.P.D. officer Frank Lyga shot and killed off-duty L.A.P.D. officer Kevin Gaines in a case of apparent road rage. The fact that Lyga was white and Gaines was black created a highly publicized controversy. Lyga claimed that Gaines “had ‘I'm a gang member’ written all over him.” (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001) The investigation into the shooting revealed that Gaines, and several other officers had been working off-duty as a security guard for Death Row Records, a rap recording label owned by Marion "Suge" Knight. Indeed, it appeared that several officers had played a role in the murder of rapper Notorious B.I.G. (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001)
Nearly eight months later, an investigation into a bank robbery revealed the participation of officer David Mack and his ties to Death Row Records. It was discovered that two days after the robbery, Mack and several other officers, including Rafael Perez, a member of the Rampart CRASH Unit had gone to Vegas, spending thousands of dollars. (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001).
In March, 1998 the investigation of Perez lead to the discovery of several pounds of cocaine missing from the L.A.P.D. property room. Perez had switched the drugs with Bisquick and sold them via his girlfriend (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001). Chief Bernard Parks established the Rampart Corruption Task Force to root out ties between any other CRASH officers and Death Row Records (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001). Perez cut a deal with prosecutors, meeting with investigators more than 50 times over a nine-month period. Perez provided more than 4,000 pages in sworn testimony, implicating about 70 officers in misconduct ranging from bad shootings to wrongful arrests to filing false police reports to drinking beer on the job. Perez was quoted as saying, “Believe me when I tell you, if there was 15 officers in CRASH, 13 of them were putting cases on people” (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001).
Based upon Perez's allegations nearly 100 convictions were overturned and 58 officers were brought before an internal administrative board (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001). 12 of these officers were suspended, seven, and five were fired outright (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001). On March 3, 2000 Chief Parks disbanded the CRASH Units, replacing them with new anti-gang details that he assured “would include more rigorous requirements for membership, stressing the officers' level of experience” (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001).

CRASH Corruption

In the late 1980s, as a result of a newly instated consent decree, the L.A.P.D. experienced an influx of new police officers from various backgrounds. The police department was effectively integrated and became much more diverse. Daryl Gates, chief at the time, confirmed that the measure was largely a positive one, but unfortunately, in the struggle to make quotas, often one is forced to compromise:

You can't hire all the people you need. So you've got to make all of those quotas.
And when that happens, you get somebody who is on the borderline…And we made some
mistakes. No question about it, we have made some mistakes. No police department
should hire more quickly than they can assimilate the people that they bring in, and
we did…Some folks became cops, L.A.P.D. officers, who shouldn't have: "That's right,
no question about it. The background investigators slipped, probably because they
were overwhelmed. . . . They did not do the depth of research that's necessary in
order to really weed out those that ought not to be police officers. Some people were
slipped in that ought not to have been police officers" (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001).

As a result, incidents occurred such as the rousting of fifty-five year-old Jessie Larez by CRASH officers, in the search for a gun allegedly used in a murder. Larez’s nose was broken during the early morning raid and his family won a settlement against the L.A.P.D. (Domanick, 1994: 353). Ruben Rojas, a Temple Street gang member, recounts that CRASH officers often went beyond just doing good police work, conducting surveillance on the houses of gang members and even pitting gang members from different neighborhoods against each other just to watch them fight (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001).

Their job was to keep us off the street.... But they just forgot that, you know? You
just don't put cops in neighborhoods like that, because there is a lot of temptation,
and the temptation will get you. You will bite into it--especially in West L.A…You
know what I can say about that? They were a wannabe mafia (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001).

Gangs policing gangs

Gerald Chaleff, former President of the L.A. Police Commission, describes the nearly rogue behavior of the CRASH Units:

First of all, there was something in L.A.P.D. called the “Rampart Way” – things in
Rampart were done differently. But second of all, this particular Rampart unit was in
a building away from the main station because of space problems, without supervision.
So you had these sergeants, senior police officers and others doing whatever they
wanted to. That's always a problem (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001).

Chaleff says the CRASH Units developed their own methodology of police work, apart from departmental policy. “Many people who would say that the CRASH unit in Rampart became just another gang, and that's how they dealt with things. If some of the things that are alleged are true--and I'm certain that some of them are--they were as violent as gang members are” (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001).
Without proper supervision, the CRASH Units began redefining the rules for what constituted “good guys” and “bad guys.” Their sense of autonomy and superiority led to officers acting extra-judicially, or outside the law (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001). Clearly the line between those who enforce the law and those who break it began to blur.
Detective Mike Hohan, the principal investigator on the Rampart Corruption Task Force notes the CRASH Unit’s adoption of a motto: “We intimidate those who intimidate others” (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001).

I believe that had to deal with that they created such fear in the gang members,
because no matter what had to be done, again, stretching whatever had to be
stretched, you would go to jail if you were a gang member. He told us that officers
in the CRASH unit carried what we call our drop guns, which are guns that they
recover on the street, but they don't recover them from anybody. The policy would be
to book them as evidence. And what these CRASH officers would do, including Perez, is
keep them. When they found a gang member that they wanted to go to prison or wanted
to go to jail, they would plant one of these guns on him. They would do a similar
thing with rock cocaine (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001).

Hohan also reports that CRASH officers would hold back some of the narcotics from drug busts. “They would use it to give to informants. They would use it to plant on people that they couldn't get a case on any other way” (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001).
The Unit operated very much like a gang; painting graffiti, identifying themselves with specific clothing and a unique logo, and, above all, engaging in criminal activity. Hohan continues:

They would give plaques. And they had tattoos and patches that they wore on jackets,
sort of like bomber jackets that they had. And the tattoo and the patch had a cowboy
hat with a skull, and then aces and eights on it. The aces and eights, of course,
stood for the dead man's hand that Wild Bill Hickock had. When an officer was
involved in a shooting and the officer had a hit, he would get a plaque that had the
aces and eights in it, a patch, and some other memorabilia. And allegedly, they would
put a couple of shell casings for the number of times that the officer hit the person
he was shooting at. There were two types of plaques. One was for a fatal shooting,
and one was for when they wounded somebody (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001).

According to Ruben Rojas, “CRASH was basically an organization that was created like a gang. Their method was to get us off the street, to arrest as many gang members as possible and lock them up. That's what the CRASH unit was based on” (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001). Chief Parks points out that much of the gang-like behavior of the Unit stemmed from the officers’ personal lifestyles.

So all those things begin to reflect on [Kevin Gaine's] off-duty associations, how
he's conducted himself. And the variety of complaints that were going on around him
at the time began to give some concern about who he associated with, who were some of
his friends, what was going on. And we finally began to realize that some of our
officers, in working off-duty, were heavily involved in the whole hip-hop culture,
providing security for many of the rappers that were involved with other kinds of
crimes. These things began to reflect a completely different view of some of our
personnel than we had before…any time you deal with a criminal element and you're
being part of a security force, you become part of that criminal element, because
it's difficult to separate yourself ("L.A.P.D. Blues," 2001).

Ethics in policing

What does the Rampart scandal reveal about the nature of law enforcement? How much does personal character have to do with one’s performance as a police officer? Should officers be held to a higher moral standard than normal humans being?
Edwin Delattre (1994) cites the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics in his book, Character and Cops: Ethics in policing:

As a Law Enforcement Officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard
lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against
oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to
respect the constitutional rights of all men to liberty, equality, and justice. I
will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in
the face of danger, scorn, ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly
mindful of the welfare of others. I will never act officiously or permit personal
feelings, prejudices, animosities, or friendships to influence my decisions. With no
compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the
law courteously and appropriately without fear of favor, malice or ill-will, never
employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities. I recognize
the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust
to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service" (Delattre, 1994:
31).

With the passage I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others, there is a clear distinction made that police officers serve as models for the rest of society. How can the law be enforced by those who do not believe in it and do not follow it to the letter? Delattre emphasizes the importance of the police officer’s authority, and the power of its effect on society:

A police officer is authorized to make decisions about the lives of others, an
enormous power the rest do not have. Such power should be exercised only by those
whose public and private behavior befits authority. A person who is hung over or
weakened by other intemperance is more prone to errors of poor concentration,
inattention to detail, and so on. The public cannot allow those who have special
powers to indulge in excesses allowed others. The rights of police arise from their
institutional mission (Delattre, 1994: 156).

Delattre makes it clear that (ideally, at least) holding the position of a police officer requires a very hard sacrifice. They must adopt the manner befitting the model officer at all times. Unlike the average McDonald’s employee, the police officer can not turn it off at the end of the day and be himself. They are expected to uphold the values of their police department and adopt them as their own.
In Police Deviance Thomas Barker and David Carter (1986) define police occupational deviance as “the deviant behavior--criminal and noncriminal--committed during the course of normal work activities or committed under the guise of the police officer's authority.” They posit that occupational deviance is one of the many forms of the general topic of police deviance. This is usually thought of in two forms, police corruption and police misconduct. Barker and Carter note that both of these specifically apply to the officer's role as an employee rather than to the practice of policing in general (Barker and Carter, 1986: 4).

Even though every occupation may provide the basis for deviant acts, there are few
occupations which place their members into work settings with so many opportunities
for deviant acts as does the police occupation. This phenomenon is particularly
aggravated by the authoritarian nature of policing as well as the subcultural
solidarity associated with law enforcement (Barker and Carter, 1986: 5).

Moreover, Barker and Carter emphasize the fact that the ramifications of police deviance can be devastating to the community. “A cop engaging in corrupt acts is not only subverting his/her authority but he/she is also denigrating the public trust in and respect for the law. The officer who commits a theft during the course of a criminal investigation not only violates the criminal law but also damages the relationship between the community and the entire criminal justice system” (Barker and Carter, 1986: 5). This damages the effectiveness of law enforcement activities. As in the case of the L.A. riots, the authority of the police was totally undermined and mass destruction ensued.
Barker and Carter note that “persistent deviance typically is not a solitary enterprise; rather is best flourishes when it receives group support. Second, deviance typically is not an individual or group innovation, rather it has a history in particular locales” (Barker and Carter, 1986: 16). This, of course, is true of the L.A.P.D.; the Rodney King beating was a group effort, and the Rampart scandal was one of many examples of uncovered police corruption in the department.
The authors found that “officers who engaged in shakedowns of criminals and accepted payoffs from vice operators and businessmen who operate outside the law were likely to be reported. Over 70% of the subjects believed that a policeman who engaged in any of these acts would be reported” (Barker and Carter, 1986: 18). Yet, the Rampart scandal was uncovered only after a tragic incident of “friendly fire.” One might assume that the gang mentality of the CRASH Units existed elsewhere in the department, and that certain forms of police corruption were not disapproved of.
Barker and Carter persist: “Those most likely to witness police actions are other police officers…But police will rarely incriminate another officer. They will either support the officer's actions or deny knowledge of the incident. This attitude has come to be referred to in police circles as the blue curtain” (Barker and Carter, 1986: 273). Is this “curtain” of silence the accepted norm in the Los Angeles Police Department? Is corruption really so tolerated? The authors offer an explanation:

(1) The police see themselves as members of a group aligned against common enemies.
An attack upon any one of their members is considered an attack on the group. (2)
Officers are greatly dependent upon one another for help in difficult situations. If
an officer wants to count on fellow officers when his own life is endangered, he
cannot afford to develop a reputation for “ratting.” (3) The police are vulnerable to
false allegations. An officer can easily imagine himself accused of wrongdoing in a
difficult-to-review incident. He hopes that his defense of fellow officers when so
accused will result in their willingness to assist him should their situations be
reversed. (4) Police officers are as aware as their administrators of the disparity
between formal policy and actual practice. The feeling emerges that it is necessary
to cover up wrongdoing because practices that have developed which the police have
rationalized as serving the public interest will not stand up to scrutiny. (5) An
officer has no occupational mobility. He must anticipate continuing to work in the
same place with the same people. He cannot ordinarily avoid an uncomfortable
situation by transferring to another agency. He may even have to work, at some time
in the future, under the supervision of an officer whose wrongdoing he observed
(Barker and Carter, 1986: 273-274).

One can see that there are many reasons for officers to turn a blind eye toward corruption. Things are never so black-and-white as to allow for the correctness of only one viewpoint toward the issue. If corruption were perceived as commonplace, it would surely not be fair to condemn the inactivity of honest police officers. Indeed, with so many obstacles to justice in the form of threats to the well-being of officers and their families, it’s a wonder that any instances of corruption are reported at all.
Returning to Delattre’s (1986) emphasis on the importance of personal character in police corruption, two types of personality prone to corruption appear: “meat eaters” and “grass eaters.”

A person of bad character will seek opportunities to profit by victimizing others.
Other people exist for him only to be used for his own advantage. Whatever he may
have been taught about right and wrong has nothing to do with the conduct of his
life. He feels no shame in abusing his authority. The so-called meat eaters are
dangerous to life and property, they are often shrewd, and they are invariably
rapacious and without conscience. Such persons must simply be weeded out by
background investigations, by observant academy instructors, by careful field
training officers, and so on (Delattre, 1994: 8).

Of course, as seen above, proper background investigations can often be compromised by other circumstances, such as a lack of funds or a need to fill quotas.

A person who is uncontrolled in some aspects of his character may behave like a
person of bad character, if his passion for gain overrides his regard for the law. A
person who is weak willed and vulnerable to childish temptations may be teachable but
does not belong in a position of public trust. Such ‘grass eaters’ cannot trust
themselves under pressure for peers or in circumstances of illicit opportunity and
may fall into progressively worse behavior. They can be ‘reached’; they ‘have a
price’ (Delattre, 1994: 9).

According to Delattre, a police officer's fitness to wear the badge depends on the adoption of morally sound behavior. The officer is expected upon taking up the position to be able to change his/her own behavior and shape it to the requirements of the badge.

A just officer will see that providing special-even if legal-services in return for
gratuities takes time and unjustly deprives other members of the public of the
attention they deserve. Officers who respect justice will have nothing to do with
racial prejudices, will not exceed their authority in the exercise of discretion,
abuse the powers of their office, falsify reports, or give perjured testimony"
(Delattre, 1994: 10).

Of course, as with the case of the Rampart scandal, not every officer will be willing – or even psychologically capable – to make that adjustment.
Delattre notes that police studies address the “curtain of silence” more frequently and extensively than studies of any other profession. “In its monopoly on the use of force, undercover investigation, and so on, police work is distinctive but probably no more subject to corruption than other activities” (Delattre, 1994: 93-94). Some police departments are corrupt to the core, and others are scarcely corrupt at all. Some individual police are corrupt but many officers are not. “The same can be said of ministries, businesses, educational institutions, industries, retirement centers, hospitals, and government agencies” (Delattre, 1994: 93-94).
The bottom line is: humans being are not perfect. We are not incorruptible, and perhaps there is no basis for allowing one group to exert authority over the other. After all, what is the measurement for the superiority of one group when compared to the next?
Rafael Perez's statement to the court reveals much about him and the nature of police officers as a whole. He says that in the Rampart CRASH Unit “The lines between right and wrong became fuzzy and indistinct. The ‘us’ against ‘them’ ethos of the overzealous cop began to consume me and the ends seemed to justify the means” (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001). Here Perez presents himself as being confused and overwhelmed by the situation as surely anyone could have been.
He goes on to say: “There is no justification for my misdeeds, either on or off duty. I can only say that I succumbed to the seductress of power” (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001). Again, humans being are not infallible. We all make mistakes. The importance of Perez’s position, however, adds a gravity to his mistakes such that the average person would be thankful he/she does not have to contend with.
Perez continues:

Above the threshold of doors that lead to CRASH offices, you will read such
philosophical statements as: ‘Some rise by sin and some by virtue fall,’ as well
as ‘We intimidate those who intimidate others.’ To those mottos, I offer this:
Whoever chases monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a
monster himself (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001).

Here Perez acknowledges the fact that the proverbial line between those who break the law and those who enforce it is dangerously thin. Gang-members and police officers are two sides of the same coin. Not because of their involvement with crime. But because they are both merely human.
Chief Parks sums up the dilemma presented by the participants in the Rampart scandal:

We hold our people accountable for their off-duty and on-duty behavior. And it's very
difficult to have a life outside of L.A.P.D. that deals in the criminal element, and
then come back to work, and put on your badge and your uniform and say, “I'm now
protecting the community and enforcing the law.” I don't think we can ever take the
human nature out of this job, and I don't think we'll ever be able to overcome a
situation where a person chooses to be personally dishonest. That's something in
which people always will have to make their own judgment. It's our role to eliminate,
to the best of our ability, the opportunity for people to believe they can do it with
the same flair that occurred in Rampart" (“L.A.P.D. Blues,” 2001).



References



Barker, Thomas and David L. Carter, ed. 1986. Police Deviance. Cincinnati: Anderson.

Boyer, Peter J. 2001. “Bad Cops.” The New Yorker. Available:
http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?010521fa_FACT

Cannon, Lou. 1997. Official Negligence: How Rodney King and the Riots Changed Los
Angeles and the LAPD. New York: Random House.

Carney, Thomas. 2001. "Live from Death Row." Los Angeles Magazine. Available:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/lapd/race/deathrow.html

Delattre, Edwin J. 1994. Character and Cops: Ethics in Policing. Washington, D.C.: AEI
Press.

Domanick, Joe. 1994. To Protect and To Serve: The LAPD's Century of War in the City
of Dreams. New York: Pocket Books.

Kratcoski, Peter C. and Duane Dukes, ed. 1995. Issues in Community Policing.
Cincinnati: Anderson.

"L.A.P.D. Blues: The Story of Los Angeles' gangsta cops & the corruption scandal that
has shaken the once great L.A.P.D." 2001. Frontline. Available:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/lapd/bare.html

Manning, Peter K. and John Van Maanen, ed. 1978. Policing: A View From the Street.
Santa Monica: Goodyear.

Sherman, Lawrence W. 1978. Scandal and Reform: Controlling Police Corruption. Los
Angeles: University of California Press.


Copyright © 2006 Sean P. Culkin
May. 12th, 2006 @ 11:04 am SHAKEDOWN
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4/28/06



Executive Summary

SHAKEDOWN is a daring new one-hour prime-time drama. Its subject is hard-hitting: the thin line between those who enforce the law and those who break it. The treatment is frank and unsparing: each of us has a vice, flaws in our character that could lead to our undoing – the same is true of the police.

Striking a balance between character drama and action-thriller, the program also features an ethnically diverse cast of the most popular names in television and film. A show unlike any other in look and feel and intent.

Synopsis

Seven detectives. Thousands of crimes. A city full of corruption. Will any of them manage to stay clean?

Title

SHAKEDOWN. A word that stresses crime, retribution, action.

“Elevator Speeches”

:20

What makes a good cop go bad? Where is the line that separates those who break the law and those who enforce it? These are the questions posed by SHAKEDOWN, a new hour-long DRAMA.

We follow the lives of eight detectives on the Chicago Major Crimes Unit. We see the way they work, but also peer into their personal lives, to uncover the people they are when they’re off duty and why they do what they do. We will see them struggle to uphold the law in an overwhelmingly corrupt city.

Who will stay clean? Who will become dirty? Who will fall in the line of duty? These questions will all be answered as we witness their stories, and gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between cops and criminals.

:90

What makes a good cop go bad? Where is the line that separates those who break the law and those who enforce it? These are the questions posed by SHAKEDOWN, a new hour-long drama.

The series goes inside the MAJOR CRIMES UNIT of the Chicago Police Department, a specialized unit of eight detectives investigating homicide, robbery, assault, missing persons cases, harassment, and organized crime. They are charged with locating and apprehending fugitives and conducting surveillance operations.

We see the methods employed in profiling suspects and the special tactics used to hunt down and capture criminals. We meet the detectives in the unit, learn the way they work and what makes them tick.

But we also peer into their personal lives, to uncover the people they are at home and find out why they do what they do. We learn the personal story of each cop and each criminal. We meet the people they care about and we see how their lifestyle choices have affected their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives.

We follow them through their intersecting lives, gaining sympathy and respect for characters on both sides of the battlefield. We are with them during times of crisis and joy. We see them grow, adapt, reform, become corrupt, fall in the line of fire, and, through it all, gain an understanding of the relationship between cops and criminals.

Setting

Chicago, historically infamous as a city consumed with greed, controlled by graft, is the perfect setting for a story of good people struggling with the temptation to go bad. Its nickname, “The Windy City” was originally not coined for the weather, but for the ease with which the city’s politicians' stance on issues could be bought.

Cast


Detective EDDIE WILCOX, a reformed gambling addict with two kids, struggling to make ends meet. BRUCE WILLIS, the star of blockbuster films such as Die Hard, Armageddon, and The Sixth Sense makes his triumphant return to television. Willis’ big screen star power and popularity will be a definite asset to SHAKEDOWN.


Detective TYRA GRIER, newly appointed to the Major Crimes Unit, struggling to cope with the racially tense atmosphere in the police department. Played by MICHAEL MICHELE, whose appearances in New Jack City, Law & Order, and Ali have proven her considerable acting talent, will offer a great attraction for men of all demographics.


Captain TED BILLINGS, a veteran, hard-nosed cop, honest to a fault, determined to weed out dirty cops WITHOUT the intervention of Internal Affairs. Played by TOM SELLECK, best know for his roles in Magnum P.I., Her Alibi, and In & Out. Tom has long been an audience favorite, and his presence on the show is sure to draw his loyal fans.


Detective CONSTANCE MEDINA, a tough-as-nails go-getter trying to make up for her family’s past crime history. Played by EVA MENDES, who gained notoriety for her parts in Training Day, 2Fast2Furious, and Hitch. Eva adds to the wonderful diversity of the ensemble.


Detective MARTIN RANDLE, a fast-talking interrogator, determined to keep his suspects, as well as his coworkers, off-balance and confused. Played by DULÉ HILL of New York Undercover, Men of Honor, and The West Wing. His popularity is sure to bring devotees of The West Wing to this program.


Detective ALEX MORENO, a former gang member currently fighting a drug habit in secret. Played by VALENTE RODRIGUEZ, veteran of E.R., The X-Files, and George Lopez. Valente is a familiar face and has proven himself a gifted actor of both comedy and drama.


Detective RACHEL CHEN, a newlywed struggling to balance her dedication to her job with her dedication to her marriage. Played by MING NA, as seen in The Joy Luck Club, Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit, and E.R. Ming infuses all of her roles with a sense of class and intelligence.


Detective BRENT TULEE, a Native American trying to overcome the negative stereotypes of his people and bring honor to his family name. Played by BENJAMIN BRATT, renowned for his roles in Homicide: Life on the Street, Law & Order, and Traffic. Benjamin brings a level of dignity and appeal to his characters.

Storyline

The first season begins with the murder of a Detective. The remaining seven Detectives of the Major Crimes Unit will be tasked with tracking down the killer. The murder was gang related. The motive: a drug deal gone bad. Confronted with the truth about their friend and colleague, the rest of the unit is forced to face their own flaws and shortcomings. Each one of them is susceptible to corruption, and the dramatic push of the show will be their individual battles against their own inequities. The cliffhanger will be whether or not Detective Moreno has been corrupted.

The second season will showcase the growing temptation for each character to abandon their ethical convictions. Their dedication to the cases they investigate will be challenged by the intervention of their own personal problems. The season finale will leave us wondering if Detective Wilcox is all that he seems.

The third season will deal with Moreno’s hiding the fact that he has been taking bribes. Captain Billings will launch his investigation as a response to increasingly adamant queries by the Internal Affairs office. The finale will leave the results of Billing’s investigation in question.

The fourth season will see the complete breakdown of Moreno, leading to the murder and frame-up of an innocent suspect. The cliffhanger will be that character’s arrest and arraignment.

The fifth season will deal with Moreno’s trial and its affect on his former coworkers. When Moreno is acquitted, a citywide outrage ensues, with rioting and buildings being burned. Billings will see his department being torn apart, leading to the breakdown of other characters’ integrities.

How the Show is Different

A gritty, action-packed drama with special emphasis on character relationships and personal dilemmas. It features an ethnically diverse cast, with each character shown as highly-educated and successful, despite their ethnicity. Features some of the biggest and most popular names in television and film.

Audience Appeal

The diverse and attractive cast will be a draw to both men and women ages 18-49. The popularity of each cast member will attract a wide range of audience members in the target demographic and the complex, character-driven storylines will keep them tuning in each week.

Production Techniques

SHAKEDOWN will be a single camera production, reproducing a cinematic atmosphere. With the exception of interiors (the police station, characters’ homes, etc.) the production will utilize real locations, both in Chicago and Los Angeles, to foster a sense of verisimilitude.

Scheduling Strategy

SHAKEDOWN, scheduled at 10:00 on Wednesdays, will attract Audience Flow from the competing networks. It will counter program FOX and TBS, who have been doubling the comedies, and will offer something fresh for HBO, USA, FX, and LIFETIME audiences who may have already seen the heavily rerun programming shown on those networks.

It will have retention from the crime-themed lead-in, Criminal Minds, flowing through to 10:00. Dial switching will be fostered from NBC and ABC, flowing across from the other prime-time action dramas Alias and Lost, while blunting Law & Order. Dial switching will be due to the superior production value, writing, and cast of SHAKEDOWN. It will offer great attraction to new tune-in viewers.

Target Demographics Projection

The target demographic will be men and women 18-49. The popular and attractive cast, consisting of members of this demographic, as well as the riveting storylines and superior production value, will draw this demographic to SHAKEDOWN.

Advertiser Analysis

Advertisers targeting the men and women 18-49 demographic include McDonald’s, Revlon, Target, and Verizon. Contests and promotions could include Sony’s PSP wherein the winners would receive free UMD copies of the show. Similar DVD contests could be held. Also, the classic Universal Studios tie-in could be utilized.

Production Costs

Quality star talent will be costly, but more than worth it in the show’s appeal. Much location shooting to foster a sense of realism and believability. Plenty of action scenes. The subject matter is universal and will be relevant for years to come, making SHAKEDOWN a natural for syndication.


Copyright © 2006 Sean P. Culkin
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Pierre Goubert tells us that in Beauvaisis under Louis XIV out of every four children born one died before reaching the age of one year, and another died between one and twenty-one. Thus infant and juvenile mortality combined amounted to 50 per cent. (221)

Several people might died [sic] almost simultaneuously in the same family, especially in the early 1300s. But epidemics are never referred to as such. Perhaps it was not until after the wave of plagues after 1348 that the rural consciousness was gripped by the dread of contagion. The classification of illness was very elementary and based merely on the symptoms which affected different parts of the body - and, even then, usually the external parts (221).

Skin diseases were rife and included the itch, ringworm, scabies, leprosy, St [sic] Anthony's Fire and St [sic] Martial's Fire, which could be treated at the sulphur baths at Ax-les-Thermes. (222)

if anyone disappeared suddenly from the uplands, local rumor had three possible explanations for his flight: either he was in debt, or he was a heretic or he was a leper. In the latter case, he had to go down to Pamiers or Saverdun and enter one of the leper colonies there. (222)

Death in Montaillou was, of course, attended by certain prescribed social activities. These mainly concerned the women, and were organized in terms of the domus system. They entailed ritual laments on the part of daughters and daughters-in-law when their mother or mother-in-law was dead or dying or merely in danger. (223)

Sometimes the women's wailing, which might of course be sincere, accompanied the mere prospect of death. (224)

The laments of daughters and daughter-in-law continued after the death and followed their mother to the graveyard. Mourning might be purely ritual, without tears, or genuine, with tears. In either case, the mourning was expressed in socialized forms. (224)

As elsewhere, women watched over the dying. They played a major role in preparing the dead for burial, and in preserving locks of hair and nail-parings from the corpse. After the burial, which took place soon after death and was attended by a large crowd, they would comment and gossip on the matter. The funeral itself was an illustration of the contrast between men and women in upper Ariege (accent on the first "e"). The toll for the dead was different according to whether the deceased was a man or a woman. Local Catharism, which was very anti-feminist, tried to make death into a masculine affair. We have already seen how the people who attended the consolamentum, apart from the sick person and the parfait, were often men, pious local Cathar militants, such as the Belot, Clergue and Benet brothers. But one day a good Catholic rounded on the son of a Cathar doctor and told him that women too had the right to resurrection after death. (224)

Death also offered an opportunity to remind people of rank. Mengarde Clergue, who was 'rich,' was buried in the church, under the altar of the Virgin of Montaillou. But the vulgar herd were buried in the graveyard outside the walls, which was occasionally allowed to lie fallow to prepare space for further batches of dead. (224-225)

Over and above the social structures surrounding death, there was the primordial anguish which haunted the dying person and his nearest and dearest. This dread was not so much concerned with death in itself as with salvation in the after-life. (225)

For good Catholics (and there were such, even in Montaillou, though the Fournier Register is not concerned with them), to make a good end was to throw oneself on the will of God. (225)

The Cathars of Montaillou were not very different from the Catholics when it came to preoccupation with salvation. They differed about means rather than ends; about earthly intercessors rather than about the heavenly object to be obtained. According to Pierre Maury, the mendicant friars could not save souls. All they were fit for, after having given a man the last sacraments, was to sit down at table and guzzle. Pierre Maury concluded: 'Let us resort to the parfaits! They at least can save souls.' The same belief is repeated on every page of the Fournier Register, whenever it is a question of consolamentum or endura. And the parfaits were always there to supply the demand whatever the weather, except in heavy rain. (225)

So the peasants of Montaillou were able to prepare themselves consciously for imminent death, on condition that illness left them a minimum of awareness. They accepted in a spirit of responsibility the risks inherent in the consolamentum, in other words, the prospect of a painful endura which added to the natural suffering of illness the pangs of hunger [sic] and, for those who were toughest and held out longest, of thirst. (225)

Sometimes, when the demands of heresy were too rigorous, a Catholic death seemed to offer a solution. (230)

To return to Montaillou itself, all the cases of heretication known to us among countrymen and countrywomen, young and old, show the same attitude towards death. The main problem is that of salvation; the dread of annihilation, as such, does not seem to arise. Sometimes the concern with the soul's salvation is socialized, as in the case of Guillame Guilhabert, who was hereticated in the midst of his friends and relations. In the case of Na Roqua, the struggle for salvation was apparently carried on in solitude. This attitude to death was cultural in origin, emanating from the group of domus, and under the virtually collective pressure of the villagers, Prades Tavernier was even forced to break the Cathar rule and give the consolamentum to people no longer in possession of their faculties and even to infants. (230)

But while this concern with salvation was both cultural and collective, it was also Christian, and even Catholic in the traditional sense of the term. And this despite the difference in the choice of mediators. These country folk were no Huguenots to speak direct to God for themselves. They needed a mediator, a priest for those who remained orthodox Catholics, a goodman for those who no longer had confidence in the rectors and Minorite friars they considered to be corrupt. If possible, everyone, Cathar and Catholic alike, died surrounded by the members of his domus and of his family. The great thing was not to die alone - and to be saved. (230)


Bibliography:

Le Roy Ladurie, Emmanuel. Montaillou: The Promised Land of Error. Translated by Barbara Bray. New
York: Vintage, 1979.

Citation in footnotes:

Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Montaillou: The Promised Land of Error, trans. Barbara Bray
(New York: Vintage, 1979), page #


Copyright © 2006 Sean P. Culkin
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...

Title: LAPD CRASH Units: The Rise and Fall.
Thesis: The line between those who break the law and those who enforce it is dangerously thin. Gang-members and police officers are often reflections of each other (shared tradition, code of loyalty, group isolation, etc.). It is common for police officers to cross that line and participate in criminal activity. This paper will examine police corruption, and the gang mentality in relation to the infamous LAPD Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (CRASH) Units, with a special focus on the Rampart Scandal of 1999.

I. Introduction

II. History of the CRASH Units

Did you all feel like you were part of an elite team?: "Yes, we were special--not in the sense that we were better than anybody. But we were a specialized unit. We got to drive unmarked cars versus driving the black-and-white. We weren't tied to the regular radio call stuff. We got to pick and choose what we wanted to do, to a certain extent. Do we want to go to that call or not? You were sought out by other officers for gang questions."
Tell me about the CRASH logo I've seen--aces and eights: "It was there when I got to the unit. I didn't know what it was. I heard it was a dead man's hand. I didn't know what a dead man's hand was. It was like a white skull with a cowboy hat on it, with the regular Rampart castle on the cowboy hat, and four cards that I guess are the dead man's hand. When all this Rampart controversy started is really the first whole story of the logo that I heard. I just knew it was on our T-shirts." (L.A.P.D.)

Ruben Rojas Temple Street gang member - What was CRASH?: "CRASH was basically an organization that was created like a gang. Their method was to get us off the street, to arrest as many gang members as possible and lock them up. That's what the CRASH unit was based on. But their theory on the street was more like they're just making money off them. The corruption in Rampart has always been going on, [but] it's just [that] someone just got caught. But even back in my days, when I was hanging around in Rampart area, it was always going on.... You wake up in the morning and you're a young man, and you know that at any moment a police can just come up to you and just shoot you, man. Because that's what Rampart was really based on anyway." (L.A.P.D.)

Fmr. Chief Daryl Gates Chief of L.A.P.D., 1978-1992 - In the late 1980s, a lot of new folks came into the force--a great thing for the L.A.P.D., I would guess: "I thought so. I must admit that I was one of those that believe that we are going to take the opportunity to bring in more police officers. . . . We had a great deal of seized funds, that is, seized through narcotics seizures. Those funds were there. [I was] asked if I would object to using some of that to hire additional people, and I said, "Absolutely not. We really need additional people." The mayor objected to it, but it was a political thing, and we finally prevailed and got the opportunity to hire more people.
"Unfortunately, when you do that, you go out and sometimes you slip, in terms of your background investigations not being as thorough as they ought to be. Plus, there's the fact that we were under a consent decree that says you have to have so many women, you have to have so many blacks and so many Hispanics. You've got to have a certain percentage, and we're trying to hire.
"As a result, if you don't have all of those quotas, you can't hire all the people you need. So you've got to make all of those quotas. And when that happens, you get somebody who is on the borderline, you'd say "Yes, he's black, or he's Hispanic, or it's a female, but we want to bring in these additional people when we have the opportunity. So we'll err on the side of, we'll take them and hope it works out." And we made some mistakes. No question about it, we have made some mistakes.
"No police department should hire more quickly than they can assimilate the people that they bring in, and we did. I take responsibility for it. It was the first opportunity I had to hire, and I wanted to do it, and I take responsibility."
Some folks became cops, L.A.P.D. officers, who shouldn't have: "That's right, no question about it. The background investigators slipped, probably because they were overwhelmed. . . . They did not do the depth of research that's necessary in order to really weed out those that ought not to be police officers. Some people were slipped in that ought not to have been police officers." (L.A.P.D.)

A. The formation of CRASH Units


"CRASH--Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums--was a group of elite anti-gang units within the
L.A.P.D. set up to tackle increasing gang-related crime. CRASH officers were required to get to know
gang members--their names, habits, friends--to keep on top of gang activity. The units were
successful, city-wide, in reducing gang related crime. But some critics, especially after Rafael
Perez's allegations surfaced, believed that CRASH administered rough street justice--harassing and
abusing suspects and falsifying reports. Worse, others accused CRASH members of being a police gang
themselves." (L.A.P.D.)

i. Membership requirements

ii. Personality types


"For a black officer to have challenged any of this would have raised the ugly specter of
disloyalty. And there was no worse notation for an African-American cop to have in his jacket
than that charge. Betrayal is always in who is defining it, and loyalty to each other is
everything for cops, always. No nuances, no exceptions. But never, in the case of black cops,
was loyalty assumed. It was up to them to prove it. To prove they were whiter than white, and
that their fellow cops and the department came first. None of this Negro-dignity, black pride
shit, you're a cop. Caught in the middle of conflicting loyalties. That was the bind, the
strain, black cops would always be in." (Domanick, 140)


Fmr. Chief Daryl Gates Chief of L.A.P.D., 1978-1992 - What kind of cops went into [CRASH]?: "You
try to select the very best--individuals who are not afraid--people who are willing to work,
people who are willing to get out and mix with the gangs, and get a better understanding of the
gangs, who are not intimidated by the gangsta." (L.A.P.D.)

Gerald Chaleff Former President of the LA Police Commission - What sort of officer would be ideal
[for CRASH]?: "They were some of the most, you could say, gung-ho or ambitious officers that
wanted to get into this office, because it was highly prized, and they had freedom of movement and
activity." (L.A.P.D.)

B. The duty of CRASH Units


"The 'tag teams' were a beautiful example" of Operation Hammer. "You assigned a bunch of motorcycle
cops to a CRASH (Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums) detail, that is, the gang police, and
watched them go to work. They knew the vehicle code backward and forward, every clause in the
section. Every clause. They knew that a car had to be parked eighteen inches from the curb,
and if it was twenty-two, it was a ticket. If the windshield wipers didn't work, it was a ticket. If
there were no floor mats, it was a ticket. They knew everything and could get anybody. Then,
the guy gets his car impounded because it's unsafe. He can't pay the car out, can't afford it, so he
can't drive and go around town and do a drive-by. Sure, you pissed off a lot of people, and sure most
of them weren't involved in killings or serious violence, but it was a way, the LAPD way, of getting
at the problem." (Domanick, 324)


"A jury had just awarded more than $90,000 to a family named Larez as a result of their being rousted,
punched, kicked, and thrown to the ground by LAPD CRASH officers in an early-morning raid on the
Larez's home in a search for a gun allegedly used in a murder. Among other things, Jessie Larez,
fifty-five, had had his nose broken during the search." (Domanick, 353)


Sergeant Brian Liddy Former CRASH officer implicated by Rafael Perez - What is a CRASH unit?: "The
primary mission of the CRASH unit is to gather intelligence on the criminal street gangs that exist
within their geographic division and to monitor their activities. There are kind of two sides to it.
There's the intelligence side, where you kind of got to know all these people by their nicknames,
where they hang out, what kind of cars they drive. Then there's the crime suppression mode, where
you're out trying to keep them from doing drive-bys and robberies and extortion, spray painting the
buildings--the criminal end of their involvement."
You're a cop. You have a chance to get on a CRASH unit. What's it like? What's the perception of a
CRASH unit?: "A CRASH unit is a good job. As far as going to work every day, you're not tied to the
radio or the computer. As a rule, you're not going to domestic violences and traffic accidents and all
the day-to-day business of a policeman in any city. You're just dealing with gang members. You're not
being assigned radio calls unless it strictly pertains to gang activity. You're supervised, but you're
supervised at a different level. You're expected to be mature, responsible, go out there and do what
you're supposed to do. The supervisors make sure that you're doing that.
"A lot of different tasks go with it. The CRASH unit would be tasked with a lot of different
events. If there's a concert at MacArthur Park, the CRASH unit would be deployed to try and keep the
gang element out of the park. We know who the gangsters are, even if they don't come dressed up in
their gang attire. We're able to look over and say, "Oh, that's so and so from the such and such gang.
Keep an eye on him, see what he's up to.
"As a CRASH officer, you're assigned to a specific gang. I wouldn't give any gang the benefit of
saying their name in an interview, but let's say the "ABC" gang. I get assigned to the ABC gang. It's
my job to know who's in that gang, what their nicknames are, where their girlfriend's pad is, what
kind of cars they ride around in, what their tattoos are, where mom lives. So when the heat's on, we
know that they go to mom's house over in another neighborhood. We get to know as much [as possible]
about that gang. That includes knowing the history of the gang--how it started, where it originated,
how it came to be, what the gang is all about.
"Some gangs are into stolen cars. Some gangs are into dope. Some gangs are into robberies. Some
gangs are into burglaries. Then the bigger gangs have different cells--this group of gangsters sells
dope, this group of gangsters does this. You need to know all that to be an expert on the gang that
you're assigned to."
How can you ever relate enough to a gangster to be able to understand them?: "You go out and you
talk to them every day, eight hours a day. That's what your job is in CRASH is: get out and get into
these gangsters and talk to them on a daily basis. That's how you get to know them."
Are you ever able to actually sort of know them, to just know them as human beings?: "Yes,
absolutely. Drive up in parking lots, they'll come up to the car. "Hey, Liddy, what's going on?" "Hey,
guys, what's happening?" They know you. They'll tell you, "Hey, you were off for two days. Where you
been? You got a new car." They know everything about you because, to a certain extent, they're trying
to do the same thing. They know when you come around, if you're always around, if you're sneaky when
you come around or if you make a lot of noise when you come around. And they're going to gauge you as
an officer. They know the CRASH officer's different than the patrol officers. You get out and it's a
fine line of keeping the balance. But you get out, just you and your partner, and you'll stop ten
gangsters on their turf. You'll pat them down, make sure they don't have any guns or anything; then
you'll talk to them. "What's going on? What are you guys doing? Hey, we heard that so-and-so got
killed last week. What happened?" "Oh, those fools from the other neighborhood drove by and shot
him." "Hey, when's his funeral?" "We don't know yet, because we don't have enough money to bury him.
His family can't afford to bury him. We're having a car wash on Tuesday." So you speak to them, and
you find out what's going on in that neighborhood.
"There's times that you pull up and you say, "Hey, how's your mom?" because you knew mom was in
the hospital. You knew that a brother got hit by a car. You might have one kid who's a hard core-
gangster and the rest of his brothers and sisters are good kids, and you'll talk to him about that.
But mostly you're talking to them about the gang, what's going on in the gang. "Who are you feuding
with? Who's doing drive-bys on you? Who's your enemies? What's happening with the Mexican mafia? Are
they still taxing you? Are you still paying taxes to the Mexican mafia?" Now, the other end from the
intelligence is you're getting radio calls. They're spray painting buildings. They're drinking and
breaking the glass in the street. They're taxing people. And by taxing people, if you've got a little
pushcart down in MacArthur Park and you're wheeling it around on the 18th Street side of the park,
you're paying 18th Street a certain amount of dollars to have your pushcart. If you've got a little
store on Alvarado Boulevard, you're paying 18th Street X number of dollars to have your little store.
"If you're a dope dealer at MacArthur Park and you're not an 18th Street dope dealer, you're
giving 18th Street a piece of the action. And that's the way it's going to be. Otherwise, you will get
shot or you will get beaten.
Give me a sense of whether or not the work you all were doing in CRASH was effective at
all: "Through a combination of things, CRASH being one part of it, I think there was an impact on the
quality of life in Rampart Division, in the level of violence and the level of crime that the gangs
were participating in. In 1990, I believe Rampart had right around 150 murders in the division. In
1997, it was down to about 33. When I left Rampart, in the afternoon, people would take their kids to
the park and play at Rampart. When I had first went to Rampart, nobody took their kids to the park. So
the quality of life in those eight years had changed drastically in Rampart. Crime was down. The gangs
were nowhere near as bold as they had been. They had taken to staying in the back of the buildings and
not showing their face, because they could expect to get visited by the CRASH officers." (L.A.P.D.)

III. The Rodney King Legacy

"Mayor [Tom Bradley] thought of Los Angeles as a harmonious city where Latinos, blacks, Asians, and whites worked together to enrich a a region that would increasingly resemble the world with which it traded." (Cannon, 4)

"Poverty and discord rippled through forty square miles of mean streets. This Los Angeles was the city of which mystery writer Walter Mosely said, 'It's a land that on the surface is of dreams, and then there's a kind of slimy underlayer.'" (Cannon, 4)

The Los Angeles City and County Commissions on Human Relations "worked together to analyze conditions in South Central twenty years after the Watts Riot. The two commissions took testimony from eighteen analysts and community leaders and issued a report called 'McCone Revisited: A Focus on Solutions to Continuing Problems in South Central Los Angeles.' The title referred to John McCone, a former Central Intelligence Agency director who had headed the inquiry into the 1965 Watts riot." (Cannon, 14)

"It lacked the artiness and optimism of the lavishly designed LA 2000 report, offering only a somber and dispassionate assessment of what has happened in South Central since the 1965 riot. Improvements in transportation and health services were duly noted, but 'critical problems' in employment and social services had not improved since Watts, while other 'critical problems' of education and housing had become worse." (Cannon, 14)

"'McCone Revisited' gathered dust for seven years. It was not mentioned by the LA 2000 Committee report in 1988 or, as far as I am aware, in any other of the many surveys of Southern California life that proliferated in the 1980s. Nor did the report or the deteriorating conditions for African Americans attract attention from national or local media. 'Latinos and diversity were the new media fashion in the eighties,' recalled Jay Mathews, then the Los Angeles bureau chief of The Washington Post. 'Blacks were the old minority, on the way out. Racial tension was unfashionable as a media story. Black frustration and the reaction of blacks to the police was a twenty-year-old story. It was old hat.'" (Cannon, 14)

A. Police image in LA before the incident


"All categories of crime decreased early in the decade, but the crime rate turned upward again in the
mid-1980s, spurred by an epidemic of crack cocaine. Within Los Angeles County the rate of violent
crime rose steadily from a decade low of 1,179 incidents per 100,000 inhabitants in 1984 to 1,601 in
1989. The increase in violent crime fed the public's fears an put pressure on Southern California
law enforcement agencies to 'do something' at a time when police forces were feeling the impact of
cumulative budget cuts." (Cannon, 17)


"What Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl F. Gates decided to do was launch Operation Hammer, a series of
street sweeps of gang-infested areas in South Central. Starting in April 1988, as many as a thousand
police officers moved from neighborhood to neighborhood, arresting hundreds of suspected gang members
and drug dealers. Gates believed that such 'proactive' policing was necessary to bring the gangs to
heel. But while the sweeps inconvenienced drug dealers, gang killings and assaults continued to rise
steadily." (Cannon, 17)


"Then on August 1, 1988, eighty Los Angeles police officers, acting on a tip, decended on four
apartments near Thirty-ninth street and Dalton Avenue that they believed were gang-controlled crack
cocaine houses. They smashed toilets, destroyed furniture, broke windows, and wrote pro-police
graffiti on an outside wall. Thirty-three African Americans were arrested, and some said they were
cuffed around by police. Although this accusation was never proved in court, the raid became a
costly embarrassment to the Los Angeles Police Department. The tip had been wrong. The raid yielded
less than an ounce of cocaine and six ounces of marijuana and resulted in a single successful
prosecution on a minor charge. Dozens of officer participants were disciplined, and three were
prosecuted on felony vandalism and other charges." (Cannon, 17)


"While some activists described the LAPD as an occupying army, polls showed that a majority of blacks
and Latinos were supportive of the police. One objective measure of the community's attitude was the
consistent support given by South Central voters, especially blacks, to ballot measures that would
have raised taxes to pay for additional officers or better police equipment." (Cannon, 17)


"Operation Hammer removed hundreds of gang members from the streets, but also resulted in the rounding
up, and sometimes the roughing up, of teenagers whose crime was being in the wrong place at the wrong
time. The Thirty-ninth and Dalton raid strained fragile ties between citizens and a police force that
under Chief Gates resisted "community policing," in which neighborhoods are enlisted as allies of the
police. But neither South Central nor the LAPD was a monolith, and individual officers in high-crime
precincts often developed ties with citizens who favored a crackdown on the gangs. These ties were
most apt to be with Latinos." (Cannon, 18)


"Blacks, particularly young males, complained that they were often stoped by police and 'proned out'-
made to lie face down with legs and arms spread and palms up-for minor traffic violations or for no
reason at all. Such indignities had been a prelude to the Watts riot. After Watts the LAPD
instituted race-relations training, and a steady influx of black and Latino officers had changed the
composition of the once white police department. The proportion of blacks within the LAPD became
roughly equivalent to the proportion of blacks within the city population. Nevertheless, many blacks
were convinced that they were persistently mistreated by police officers of all races." (Cannon, 18)


Community service policing, also known as team policing, "make officers or a group of officers
responsible for a particular neighborhood or area instead of dispersing them throughout the city. As
James Q. Wilson has observed, 'The immediate objective is to develop among the officers a strong sense
of territoriality-their beats are 'their turf'-out of which will arise, it is hoped, a stronger sense
of identification with the community and the fostering of reciprocity in information and service.'"
(Cannon, 88)


B. Police image in LA after the incident


Daryl Gates "backtracked, saying instead that he didn't want his troops to appear too aggressive or
provocative, the subtext being that he'd been handcuffed by his critics. There was something to that,
except that he himself had done the handcuffing. His relationship with the black community was now so
abysmal, and the department so hated, that Daryl Gates had been precluded from using the massive
display of force that might have immediately snuffed out the riot before it got really started. In
fact, he had been warned the day before the verdicts were handed down not to do that. Speaking
for a coalition of South Central ministers, business leaders, and civil rights organizations, the
area's fiery new councilman, Mark Ridley-Thomas, said at a news conference that 'we should not repeat
the errors of the past. A massive show of force would be a mistake. These are very tough times.'
Daryl Gates by his total disdain for the black community in the past had placed himself in the
position where a preventive show of force would now have been considered a gross provocation, and he
chose not to do it." (Domanick, 426-427)


"Pico-Union, teeming with tens of thousands of Salvadoran refugees and impoverished immigrants, was a
white-hot cauldren of hatred and resentment of the LAPD, just inches away from boiling over.
Moreover, [Jesse] Brewer's white friends were complaining to him about the arrogant, high-
handed way LAPD officers were acting, about their cavalier rudeness, about the feeling they radiated
that they 'didn't have to show any courtesy at all to the public." (Domanick, 333)


"And he had responded by intensifying what had been the cornerstone of the department's policing in
the city's ghettos for decades: drawn guns and orders over the loudspeaker, 'Out of the car...on your
knees...hands behind your neck,' while all the time, the whirl of one of the department's eighteen
Bell Jet Ranger or French-made Aerospatiale helicopters armed with state-of-the-art surveillance
technology buzzed overhead, serving as ambience, like in Boyz in the Hood. Then he had ordered
the gang sweeps-flooding the streets with cops, proning out and rounding up almost twenty-five
thousand black or brown males-anyone, it seemed, under forty not wearing a suit or tie who happened to
be on the street at the wrong time." (Domanick, 16)


Zev Yaroslavsky would later say the problem with the LAPD has been "a problem of leadership.
Leadership at the top. It wasn't just Daryl Gates, particularly, although he was part of the
leadership. It was the mayor, the police commission, and the city council. That's where the tone had
been set for as long as I'd been here. There'd been absolutely no interest in investigating police-
abuse cases until they became public embarrassments to the political leadership." (Domanick, 357)


"The L.A. Times, La Opinión, the Daily News, the LA Weekly, local
television station KCBS, the ACLU, the area's three most powerful congressmen, Henry Waxman, Howard
Berman, and Tony Beilenson-all of them were also telling Daryl Gates to get out of town. And, to cap
it all off, the Los Angeles Times had just run a front-page poll in the wake of the airing of
the King video showing that two-thirds of the respondents believed that police brutality was common in
Los Angeles. It was an astounding statistic, even given the King tape's saturation broadcasting."
Overnight, it seemed, Los Angeles was being branded the Selma, Alabama, of the 1990s. And while
nobody was going around polling the heads of the city's banks, corporations, and old-line law firms
(at least publicly), it was clear that Selma was hardly the image of Los Angeles they wanted...Daryl
Gates, too, was now bad for business. He had kept the city's business titans reasonably satisfied,
but he was a functionary, and his leaving would be no loss. (Domanick, 387)


C. The effect of the incident on the police mindset


Fmr. Chief Daryl Gates Chief of L.A.P.D., 1978-1992 - "They brought in a chief of police from outside.
That was a mistake. They brought in a chief of police from the East Coast. That was a mistake. . . .
He came in, a very nice guy, and all of that. But he was an individual who did not understand the Los
Angeles Police Department, did not have what people ridicule and say--very divisively--"the L.A.P.D.
mentality," which is really a wonderful mentality. It's a mentality of police officers out there
wanting to do the job.
"He came in and didn't understand any of that. He didn't understand the structure of the Los
Angeles Police Department, and he undermined that structure, because he didn't understand it. As a
result of that, you set the stage for what happened in Rampart."
How?: "He took away an awful lot of the kinds of things that are necessary in order to make sure
that you don't have police officers doing things that they ought not to do. You have audits. You have
inspections. You have close supervision, particularly of specialized units, like gang units. You have
very, very close supervision. You need that supervision. It's important to have that supervision. He
took all of that away. I had a lieutenant in charge. I had sergeants that understood what all of this
was about, what gang investigations were all about. They are the ones that supervised and took pride
in the supervision of the CRASH officers. He took all of that away, and he put them in the various
areas. He put them into Rampart and didn't give them the supervision. He had the regular uniformed
sergeants supervising. Uniformed sergeants don't understand the gang activity, and they don't
understand how the CRASH units operate.
"And then he really screwed up by taking the CRASH units away from the supervision, and putting
them down at another location outside of Rampart, where they were on their own. What in the hell did
anybody expect was going to happen? And it happened. It happened." (L.A.P.D.)

Chief Bernard Parks Chief of L.A.P.D. - Was it racial?: "I don't know, and I don't think we've seen
anything in the sense that it is, per se, racial. I can't get in the heads of the officers [involved].
I think it was a breakdown in leadership and supervision, and I think it [the officers involved] lost
track of what they were there for. They got more involved and engaged in swinging the baton than
bringing this to a conclusion, and I think that's where the downside is."
People, in essence, justify that arrest, that scene, from a variety of perspectives,
including, "Well, you have to look at the whole tape." Why is there that insistence on providing a
rationale?: "I think you find a lot of officers that, no matter what, want to be able to be supportive
of other officers. And I think, unfortunately, they're not objective, often. But I don't believe, in
the sense of our own credibility to the community, that you can sit there and look at that tape, just
as the community looks at it, and find rationales that could justify what occurred.
"We certainly were not in a deadly force situation. With the number of officers there, it was time for
someone to make a decision that the baton strikes weren't working. He was not being any more
cooperative. Just sheer body weight would have taken him into control in the sense of the number of
officers that were present."
And you felt this way, presumably, more or less at the time? You didn't have to study the tape 42
times to come to that conclusion?: "No, I think it was pretty obvious. And I think that's where, from
the perspective of the community, that we lost credibility; when they sensed that there were comments
being made that there was some justification for that." (L.A.P.D.)

Gerald Chaleff Former President of the L.A. Police Commission - On some level, did the Rodney King
incident afford an opportunity to examine the way L.A. policing is done?: "Sure, absolutely. . . . The
old adage about a picture being worth a thousand words--when you see somebody on the ground being
beaten, or appear to be being beaten by four or five officers, with other officers standing around--
and then some of the comments that were made afterwards and how it was handled, it certainly conveys
an image. . . . When you have a symbol like that of that's how your police department operates, of
course it's going to lead to people saying that we have to evaluate what we're doing." (L.A.P.D.)

Gregory Yates Los Angeles civil rights attorney representing numerous Rampart clients in civil suits
stemming from Perez's allegations - Give me a sense of what the Rodney King case said about the
L.A.P.D. and its effect on Los Angeles: "Well, the obvious effect was that there was a riot, and I
watched the city burn. But there was still some optimism that maybe this was just a select crew that
had gone bad, so to speak. There were the racial implications, obviously. In 1988, the 39th and Dalton
incident was another eye-opener, where they went into what they believed or had information was gang
territory, drug-dealing territory. They just basically knocked houses down and arrested innocent
citizens.
"So the two things combined, Rodney King, 39th and Dalton, and then the findings of the
Christopher Commission made it very evident in the early 1990s there were some serious problems. And
more so outside of Los Angeles, the public began to view L.A.P.D. as being a corrupt, an almost SS
troop kind of organization. I think the people that lived here wanted to deny it as long as they
could, because you have to feel that you're protected. Who are you going to go to if you're in
trouble? . . . I don't think that, until about 1994 or 1995, did I became completely convinced that it
was an institutional problem." (L.A.P.D.)

IV. The Rampart Scandal
A. Illegal activities of CRASH Units


"March 18, 1997 - Road Rage Shootout - Undercover L.A.P.D. officer Frank Lyga shot and killed off-duty
L.A.P.D. officer Kevin Gaines in a case of apparent road rage. The shooting of a black officer --
Gaines -- by a white cop -- Lyga -- created a highly publicized police controversy. Lyga told
FRONTLINE that Gaines threatened him with a gun and that he responded in self-defense, adding, "In my
training experience this guy had 'I'm a gang member' written all over him." Investigators on the case
discovered that Gaines had allegedly been involved in similar road rage incidents, threatening drivers
and brandishing his gun. They also discovered troubling connections between Gaines and Death Row
Records, a rap recording label owned by Marion "Suge" Knight that, investigators came to find, was
hiring off-duty police officers as security guards.
"Lyga, who had been reassigned to desk duty while the L.A.P.D. reviewed the circumstances of the
shooting, including whether his actions had been racially motivated, was ultimately exonerated a year
later. Three separate internal investigations determined that the shooting was "in policy."
"After the shooting, the Gaines family, represented by attorney Johnnie Cochran, filed a wrongful
death lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles for $25 million. The city later settled the suit for
$250,000." (L.A.P.D)

"November 6, 1997 - Bank Robbery - Robbers targeted a Los Angeles branch of Bank of America, making
off with $722,000. Investigating officers were immediately suspicious of assistant bank manager
Errolyn Romero, who had had more cash than was necessary delivered just ten minutes before the
robbery. One month later Romero confessed to her role in the crime and implicated her boyfriend,
L.A.P.D. officer David Mack, as the mastermind. A former track star, Mack was arrested and later
convicted of the bank robbery. He was sentenced to 14 years and three months in federal prison. He has
refused to reveal the whereabouts of the money, and while in prison has reportedly associated himself
with the Mob Piru Bloods, a gang with ties to Death Row Records. Detectives investigating Mack
discovered that two days after the robbery, Mack and two other police officers -- including a former
partner, Rafael Perez -- spent the weekend gambling in Las Vegas, spending thousands of dollars."
(L.A.P.D.)

"February 26, 1998 -- Station-House Beating - L.A.P.D. Officer Brian Hewitt, a member of L.A.P.D.'s
elite anti--gang unit CRASH [Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums] in the Rampart division,
brought 18th Street gang member Ismael Jimenez to the Rampart police station for questioning. Hewitt
allegedly beat the hand-cuffed Jimenez in the chest and stomach, causing him to vomit blood. After
being released, Jimenez went to the hospital, where officials notified the L.A.P.D. of his injuries
and complaints. Subsequent internal investigations resulted in the firing of Hewitt and another
officer, Ethan Cohan, who, the Department determined, knew about but failed to report the beating.
Jimenez, who was awarded $231,000 in a civil settlement with the city, is currently in federal custody
pending a multiple count indictment for the distribution of drugs and conspiracy to commit murder."
(L.A.P.D)

"March 27, 1998 -- Missing Cocaine - Officials in the L.A.P.D. property room discovered that six
pounds of cocaine evidence are missing. Within a week, detectives focused their investigation on
L.A.P.D. officer Rafael Perez, a member of the Rampart CRASH unit." (L.A.P.D.)

"May 1998 -- Task Force Created - Concerned about a possible clique of officers involved in criminal
misconduct -- working off-duty for Death Row Records, robbing banks and stealing cocaine -- L.A.P.D.
Chief Bernard Parks established an internal investigative task force. The investigative team, later
named the Rampart Corruption Task Force, focused primarily on the prosecution of Rafael Perez. Further
audit of the L.A.P.D. property room identified another pound of missing cocaine -- evidence that had
been booked on a prior arrest made by Det. Frank Lyga, the officer who had shot Kevin Gaines. At the
time, investigators speculated that Perez may have stolen the cocaine booked by Lyga in retaliation
for the shooting of Gaines." (L.A.P.D.)

"August 25, 1998 -- Perez Arrested - When first stopped and arrested by detectives, Perez asked, 'Is
this about the bank robbery?' It wasn't. It was about the 6 pounds of missing cocaine, which
investigators believed had been checked out by Perez, under another officer's name, and sold on the
streets of Rampart through a girlfriend.
"In December, Perez was brought to trial on charges of possession of cocaine with intent to sell,
grand theft and forgery. After five days of deliberations, the jury announced that it was hopelessly
deadlocked, with a final vote of 8-4 favoring conviction.
"In preparing to bolster their case for a retrial, investigators discovered an additional eleven
instances of suspicious cocaine transfers. Detectives were able to identify dope 'switches,' where
Perez had ordered the cocaine evidence out of property and replaced it with Bisquick. (L.A.P.D.)

"September 8, 1999 -- Perez Cuts a Deal - Rafael Perez made a deal with prosecutors under which he
pled guilty to cocaine theft and agreed to provide prosecutors with information about two "bad"
shootings and three other Rampart CRASH officers involved in illegal activity. In exchange, Perez
received a five-year prison sentence and immunity from further prosecution of misconduct short of
murder.
"Among his first revelations, Perez told investigators of how he and his partner Nino Durden had
shot, framed, and testified against Javier Ovando, an unarmed gang member who was left paralyzed as a
result of the incident. At the time of Perez's admission, Ovando was in jail, serving the 23 year
sentence he had received for allegedly assaulting the two officers.
"Thus began a nine-month confessional during which time Perez met with investigators more than 50
times and provided more than 4,000 pages in sworn testimony. Before he was done, Perez implicated
about 70 officers in misconduct, from bad shootings to drinking beer on the job." (L.A.P.D.)

"September 16, 1999 -- Ovando Released - With Perez recanting his 1996 testimony about the shooting of
Javier Ovando, the District Attorney's Office filed a writ of habeus corpus seeking to overturn his
conviction. Ovando was released from prison after serving two and a half years.
"Based upon Perez's allegations of wrongful arrests, and investigations by the Task Force, nearly
100 more convictions were eventually overturned. (L.A.P.D.)

"March 3, 2000 -- CRASH Disbanded - L.A.P.D. chief Bernard Parks announced that he was disbanding the
department's CRASH units and creating new anti-gang details that that would include more rigorous
requirements for membership, stressing the officers' level of experience. (L.A.P.D)

"October 4, 2000 -- Three CRASH Cops Convicted - In the first criminal case stemming from Perez's
allegations, Sgt. Edward Ortiz, Brian Liddy, Paul Harper and Michael Buchanan, all of the Rampart
CRASH unit, were tried on charges of perjury, fabricating arrests and filing false police reports.
Perez did not testify at the trial, due to concerns about his credibility. All four officers pleaded
not guilty. On November 15, 2000, Ortiz, Liddy and Buchanan were convicted of conspiracy to obstruct
justice and filing false police reports, while Harper was acquitted of all charges." (L.A.P.D.)

"December 22, 2000 -- CRASH Cop Convictions Overturned - After a series of hearings investigating
allegations of juror misconduct, Superior Court Judge Jacqueline Connor overturned the convictions of
Rampart CRASH cops Ortiz, Liddy and Buchanan. Judge Connor called the verdict unfair because in post-
trial interviews the jurors disclosed that they had determined guilt based on a reporting issue not
raised in the trial. In January 2001, the new D.A., Steve Cooley, announced that he would appeal Judge
Connor's decision." (L.A.P.D.)

"March 23, 2001 -- Three More CRASH Cops Indicted; Two Plead Out - The District Attorney's office
brought felony indictments against three former Rampart CRASH officers: Ethan Cohan, Manuel Chavez and
Shawn Gomez. The complaints charge the officers with assaulting two gang members and filing false
police reports. Chavez and Gomez have reached plea agreements, including cooperation with prosecutors.
Cohan has pleaded innocent and awaits trial." (L.A.P.D.)

i. Rogue cops

ii. Ties to Death Row Records

B. CRASH corruption


Ruben Rojas Temple Street gang member - At what point did it go beyond just doing good police
work?: "A lot of times the CRASH unit would observe our houses. They would have surveillance. I guess
they became interested in what we were doing. I guess they became kind of a child inside of them,
because they would see us fight, and they liked it. They liked it very much. They would drive up into
a neighborhood and snatch one of the guys that know how to fight real well. And they'll take them to
another neighborhood just to see them fight.
"So that's what I'm saying. It was exciting. Their job was to keep us off the street.... But they
just forgot that, you know? You just don't put cops in neighborhoods like that, because there is a lot
of temptation, and the temptation will get you. You will bite into it--especially in West L.A."
Because these guys would go native?: "Oh, yes, man, all the time. They would sometimes even buy us
beer, man. It was a very exciting life. It was knowing that these are cops. I would tell my mom a
lot. "Mom, you know what? You're a taxpayer, you put money in those cops' pockets. You feed their
families. But do you know that they're committing more crimes than what I have done?" It was an
everyday thing."
Are you talking about committing crime in the sense of making bad arrests, or are you talking
about committing crimes like doing things like real gangsters are doing--peddling dope, that sort of
thing?: "You know what I can say about that? They were a wannabe mafia." (L.A.P.D.)

Gerald Chaleff Former President of the LA Police Commission - Was this particular CRASH unit a bunch
of rogue cowboy vigilante cops?: "First of all, there was something in L.A.P.D. called "the Rampart
Way,"--things in Rampart were done differently. But second of all, this particular Rampart unit was in
a building away from the main station because of space problems, without supervision. So you had these
sergeants, senior police officers and others doing whatever they wanted to. That's always a problem."
What was "the Rampart Way"?: "That's just the way of how they dealt with things. I don't know if
they ever really totally defined it. But Rampart had its own unique way of doing things. Also, Rampart
had a unique population. Many people in that community are recent immigrants from Central and South
America. They expected the police department to act differently than others might expect the police
department. So I think they developed their own methodology of how they wanted to deal with it. Many
people who would say that the CRASH unit in Rampart became just another gang, and that's how they
dealt with things. If some of the things that are alleged are true--and I'm certain that some of them
are--they were as violent as gang members are, and they cut corners. We, as a society, always have to
deal with the problem of, what kind of policing do we want? You could really have effective policing
if you have a police officer on every corner, and if you say to the police officers, "You don't have
to follow any rules. You just go find the bad guys." But that obviously creates problems, because then
you're letting the police department decide what the bad guys are, and what the rules are."
"We developed this constitutional system that has kept us going for over 200 years with the type
of society we want, so we need effective policing within the rules. I think sometimes, in places where
officers are not supervised--and CRASH is one of them--or don't have rules that they're following, you
end up with officers acting extra-judicially, or outside the law." (L.A.P.D.)

i. Gangs policing gangs


Detective Mike Hohan L.A.P.D. Detective, principal investigator on the Rampart Corruption Task Force -
Tell me what Perez told you about the CRASH unit's sort of ethos. He talked about a motto at one point
that the CRASH unit had: "Something like, "We intimidate those who intimidate," or something to that
effect. I believe that had to deal with that they created such fear in the gang members, because no
matter what had to be done, again, stretching whatever had to be stretched, you would go to jail if
you were a gang member. He told us that officers in the CRASH unit carried what we call our drop guns,
which are guns that they recover on the street, but they don't recover them from anybody. The policy
would be to book them as evidence. And what these CRASH officers would do, including Perez, is keep
them. When they found a gang member that they wanted to go to prison or wanted to go to jail, they
would plant one of these guns on him. They would do a similar thing with rock cocaine."
Did he tell him about what he and other officers did when they would find dope on the
street?: "Yes. They would hold back some of the narcotics. They would use it to give to informants.
They would use it to plant on people that they couldn't get a case on any other way."
So as he was describing it, this was a police gang: "Yes."
Within this sort of secret club within the CRASH unit, there was actually a kind of system of
reward and recognition, wasn't there?: "Yes. They would give plaques. And they had tattoos and patches
that they wore on jackets, sort of like bomber jackets that they had. And the tattoo and the patch had
a cowboy hat with a skull, and then aces and eights on it. The aces and eights, of course, stood for
the dead man's hand that Wild Bill Hickock had. When an officer was involved in a shooting and the
officer had a hit, he would get a plaque that had the aces and eights in it, a patch, and some other
memorabilia. And allegedly, they would put a couple of shell casings for the number of times that the
officer hit the person he was shooting at. There were two types of plaques. One was for a fatal
shooting, and one was for when they wounded somebody." (L.A.P.D.)

Chief Bernard Parks Chief of L.A.P.D. - "So all those things begin to reflect on [Kevin Gaine's] off-
duty associations, how he's conducted himself. And the variety of complaints that were going on around
him at the time began to give some concern about who he associated with, who were some of his friends,
what was going on.
"And we finally began to realize that some of our officers, in working off-duty, were heavily
involved in the whole hip-hop culture, providing security for many of the rappers that were involved
with other kinds of crimes. These things began to reflect a completely different view of some of our
personnel than we had before."
A completely rhetorical question: what's wrong with that?: "Well, what's wrong with it [is] that
any time you deal with a criminal element and you're being part of a security force, you become part
of that criminal element, because it's difficult to separate yourself.
"We hold our people accountable for their off-duty and on-duty behavior. And it's very difficult
to have a life outside of L.A.P.D. that deals in the criminal element, and then come back to work, and
put on your badge and your uniform and say, "I'm now protecting the community and enforcing the law.
"I don't think we can ever take the human nature out of this job, and I don't think we'll ever be
able to overcome a situation where a person chooses to be personally dishonest. That's something in
which people always will have to make their own judgment. It's our role to eliminate, to the best of
our ability, the opportunity for people to believe they can do it with the same flair that occurred in
Rampart." (L.A.P.D.)

C. The cover-up


"Even before Rafael Perez's allegations surfaced, the L.A.P.D. was conducting an internal
investigation into suspicious activity among some Rampart CRASH officers. As of May, 2001, the Rampart
investigation resulted in 58 officers being brought before an internal administrative board. Of these,
12 were suspended, seven have resigned, and five were terminated." (L.A.P.D.)

i. The role of Rafael Perez


"At the epicenter of the Rampart scandal sits Rafael Perez. His allegations of wide-spread
corruption within L.A.P.D. specialized units, particularly in the Rampart anti-gang CRASH unit he
served, ignited what was quickly coined 'the worst scandal in the history of the L.A.P.D..' While the
true scope of the scandal may never be known, there is little doubt about the magnitude of outfall his
story has wrought - nearly 100 convictions overturned, with thousands more under review; millions of
dollars in settlement costs yet to be paid; and major police reforms, monitored by the federal court,
soon to be undertaken." (L.A.P.D.)

"Arrested and facing the prospect of a lengthy prison sentence, Perez cut a deal with prosecutors and,
in the course of 35 interviews, began to unspool a story of widespread police misconduct ('believe me
when I tell you, if there was 15 officers in CRASH, 13 of them were putting cases on people')."
(L.A.P.D.)

Rafael Perez's Statement to the court: "In the Rampart CRASH unit things began to change. The lines
between right and wrong became fuzzy and indistinct. The "us" against "them" ethos of the overzealous
cop began to consume me and the ends seemed to justify the means. We vaguely sensed we were doing the
wrong things for the right reasons.
"Time and again, I stepped over that line. Once crossed, I hurdled over it again and again,
landing with both feet, sometimes on innocent persons...There is no justification for my misdeeds,
either on or off duty. I can only say that I succumbed to the seductress of power.
"Used wrongfully it is a power that can bend the will of a man to satisfy a lustful moment. It can
open locked vaults to facilitate theft. It can even subvert justice to hand down a lifetime behind
bars...Above the threshold of doors that lead to CRASH offices, you will read such philosophical
statements as: 'Some rise by sin and some by virtue fall,' as well as 'We intimidate those who
intimidate others.'
"To those mottos, I offer this: Whoever chases monsters should see to it that in the process he
does not become a monster himself." (L.A.P.D.)

V. Ethics in policing

LAW ENFORCEMENT CODE OF ETHICS: "As a Law Enforcement Officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all men to liberty, equality, and justice.
"I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.
"I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities, or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear of favor, malice or ill-will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.
"I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession...law enforcement." (Delattre, 31)

A. Social issues in community policing


"A police officer is authorized to make decisions about the lives of others, an enormous power the
rest do not have. Such power should be exercised only by those whose public and private behavior
befits authority. A person who is hung over or weakened by other intemperance is more prone to errors
of poor concentration, inattention to detail, and so on. The public cannot allow those who have
special powers to indulge in excesses allowed others. The rights of police arise from their
institutional mission." (Delattre, 156)

B. Police corruption


"Occupational deviance is the deviant behavior--criminal and noncriminal--committed during the course
of normal work activities or committed under the guise of the police officer's authority. We view
occupational deviance as but one of the many forms of the general topic of police deviance and believe
that it manifests itself in two forms--police corruption and police misconduct--both of which
specifically apply to the officer's role as an employee rather than to the practice of policing per
se." (Barker, 4)

"Even though every occupation may provide the basis for deviant acts, there are few occupations which
place their members into work settings with so many opportunities for deviant acts as does the police
occupation. This phenomenon is particularly aggravated by the authoritarian nature of policing as
well as the subcultural solidarity associated with law enforcement. Moreover, the ramifications of
police deviance can be disastrous. A cop engaging in corrupt acts is not only subverting his/her
authority but he/she is also denigrating the public trust in and respect for the law. The officer who
commits a theft during the course of a criminal investigation not only violates the criminal law but
also damages the relationship between the community and the entire criminal justice system. The
effectiveness of law enforcement activities may be seriously curtailed or destroyed by many forms of
police occupational deviance." (Barker, 5)

"The second category in the typology--abuse of authority--is any action by a police officer without
regard to motive, intent, or malice that tends to injure, insult, trespass upon human dignity,
manifest feelings of inferiority, and/or violate an inherent legal right of a member of the police
constituency in the course of performing 'police work'. Within this context, abuse of authority
addresses...physical abuse...psychological abuse...legal abuse." (Barker, 6-7)

"Sleeping on duty, accepting a bribe, releasing confidential information, and having sex on duty are
all illustrative of police occupational deviance." (Barker, 7)

"Matza states that the major contribution of sociology to the understanding of deviance consists of
two fundamental insights: 'First, persistent deviance typically is not a solitary enterprise; rather
is best flourishes when it receives group support. Second, deviance typically is not an individual or
group innovation, rather it has a history in particular locales.' In many police departments one
finds these two factors, group support for certain deviant practices and long histories of corrupt
activities." (Barker, 16)

In one medium sized police department, "All variants of corruption of authority, i.e., the receipt of
free meals, services or discounts and liquor, were perceived to invoke little risk of sanction. This
is seldom reported because the group does not perceive it as a form of corruption. Free meals and
services or discounts are "fringe benefits" of the job or occupation. Nonetheless they violate
departmental rules and regulations and prescribed ethical conduct for police officers (such as the
Code of Ethics for police officers adopted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police) and
involve a material reward or gain. The policeman has placed himself in a compromising situation
whereby one or both parties to the act may expect some favorable treatment in the present or the
future." (Barker, 17-18)

"Officers who engaged in shakedowns of criminals and accepted payoffs from vice operators and
businessmen who operate outside the law (Corrupt Patterns 4 and 5)were likely to be reported. Over
70% of the subjects believed that a policeman who engaged in any of these acts would be reported."
(Barker, 18)

"It would appear that the presence or absence of a human victim, the nature of the material gain,
i.e., whether it is goods and services, money or liquor, the identity of the corrupters, and the
corrupted, and the social situation are important variables in assessing the risk potential and
reinforcement from the police peer group." (Barker, 19)

"Those most likely to witness police actions are other police officers. It follows that review of a
specific incident often is heavily dependent on the testimony of other officers. But police will
rarely incriminate another officer. They will either support the officer's actions or deny knowledge
of the incident. This attitude has come to be referred to in police circles as the blue curtain."
(Barker, 273)

"(1) The police see themselves as members of a group aligned against common enemies. An attack upon
any one of their members is considered an attack on the group. (2) Officers are greatly dependent
upon one another for help in difficult situations. If an officer wants to count on fellow officers
when his own life is endangered, he cannot afford to develop a reputation for 'ratting.' (3) The
police are vulnerable to false allegations. An officer can easily imagine himself accused of
wrongdoing in a difficult-to-review incident. He hopes that his defense of fellow officers when so
accused will result in their willingness to assist him should their situations be reversed. (4)
Police officers are as aware as their administrators of the disparity between formal policy and actual
practice. The feeling emerges that it is necessary to cover up wrongdoing because practices that have
developed which the police have rationalized as serving the public interest will not stand up to
scrutiny. (5) An officer has no occupational mobility. He must anticipate continuing to work in the
same place with the same people. He cannot ordinarily avoid an uncomfortable situation by
transferring to another agency. He may even have to work, at some time in the future, under the
supervision of an officer whose wrongdoing he observed.
Under these conditions it is not surprising that an officer at the bottom rung in an organization,
concerned about such pragmatic things as supporting a family, will maintain the blue curtain. It is
the easier alternative; he avoids subjecting himself to the harassment and anguish he may suffer on
being ostracized by his fellow workers." (Barker, 273-274)

"For anyone tempted by [bribery], the central questions are: Is this behavior worthy of me? Is it
consistent with the reasons for which I respect myself? Do I have a price? If such questions are not
sufficient, more compelling questions are, Am I willing to be viewed with contempt, however tactfully,
by the person who has bribed me, and to deserve it? Am I willing to be bought-for I am being bought,
not merely rented-by such a person? What would the people who love me think? What about the people
whose respect I cherish and want to deserve?" (Delattre, 41)

"A person of bad character will seek opportunities to profit by victimizing others. Other people
exist for him only to be used for his own advantage. Whatever he may have been taught about right and
wrong has nothing to do with the conduct of his life. He feels no shame in abusing his authority.
The so-called meat eaters are dangerous to life and property, they are often shrewd, and they are
invariably rapacious and without conscience. Such persons must simply be weeded out by background
investigations, by observant academy instructors, by careful field training officers, and so on."
(Delattre, 8)

"A person who is uncontrolled in some aspects of his character may behave like a person of bad
character, if his passion for gain overrides his regard for the law. A person who is weak willed and
vulnerable to childish temptations may be teachable but does not belong in a position of public
trust. Such 'grass eaters' cannot trust themselves under pressure for peers or in circumstances of
illicit opportunity and may fall into progressively worse behavior. They can be 'reached'; they 'have
a price.'" (Delattre, 9)

"A police officer's fitness to wear the badge depends on the acquisition of habits of just behavior.
A just officer will see that providing special-even if legal-services in return for gratuities takes
time and unjustly deprives other members of the public of the attention they deserve. Officers who
respect justice will have nothing to do with racial prejudices, will not exceed their authority in the
exercise of discretion, abuse the powers of their office, falsify reports, or give perjured
testimony." (Delattre, 10)

"Police studies, however, address the curtain of silence more frequently and extensively than any
other field, perhaps because of the history of literature about police. In its monopoly on the use of
force, undercover investigation, and so on, police work is distinctive but probably no more subject to
corruption than other activities. Some police departments are corrupt to the core, and others are
scarcely corrupt at all. Some individual police are corrupt; many are not. The same can be said of
ministries, businesses, educational institutions, industries, retirement centers, hospitals, and
government agencies." (Delattre, 93-94)

VI. Summary


Works Cited

Barker, Thomas and David L. Carter, ed. 1986. Police Deviance. Cincinnati: Anderson.

Cannon, Lou. 1997. Official Negligence: How Rodney King and the Riots Changed Los Angeles and the LAPD. New York: Random House.

Carney, Thomas. "Live from Death Row." Los Angeles Magazine. Available:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/lapd/race/deathrow.html

Delattre, Edwin J. 1994. Character and Cops: Ethics in Policing. Washington, D.C.: AEI Press.

Domanick, Joe. 1994. To Protect and To Serve: The LAPD's Century of War in the City of Dreams. New
York: Pocket Books.


Kratcoski, Peter C. and Duane Dukes, ed. 1995. Issues in Community Policing. Cincinnati: Anderson.

"L.A.P.D. Blues: The Story of Los Angeles' gangsta cops & the corruption scandal that has shaken the once
great L.A.P.D." Frontline. Available: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/lapd/bare.html


Manning, Peter K. and John Van Maanen, ed. 1978. Policing: A View From the Street. Santa Monica:
Goodyear.


Sherman, Lawrence W. 1978. Scandal and Reform: Controlling Police Corruption. Los Angeles:
University of California Press.



Copyright © 2006 Sean P. Culkin
Mar. 8th, 2006 @ 10:16 am Snoozeville
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Right Reasoning

The Virtues of Saint Thomas Aquinas



Sean Culkin
HIS 313
Primary Source Paper
Dr. Karen Nicholas
3/8/06



In his Treatise on the Virtues, Saint Thomas Aquinas fully deconstructs the notion of a virtue, examining its semantic as well as its theological properties. In order to do so, Aquinas narrows his study to five general areas of interest. These are the essence of virtue, the subject of virtue, the division of virtues, the cause of virtue, and certain properties of virtues.

Aquinas begins by attempting to formulate a solid definition of a virtue. Using Saint Augustine’s definition, Aquinas determines that virtue, being the “good use of free choice,” is a conscious act. It is a maximum of power, meaning that the name of virtue is given to some object of the virtue or the act itself, meaning that “the maximum of which a power is capable is said to be its virtue.” The word virtue implies a “perfection of power” both in regards to being and acting:

But power in regard to being is on the part of matter, which is potential being, while power in regard to acting is on the part of form. Now in the nature of man the body is considered as matter and the soul as form. With respect to his body, man has this in common with the other animals; the same holds also for the powers which are common to the soul and the body. Only those powers which are proper to the soul itself, the rational powers, belong to man alone. Hence, human virtue...cannot pertain to the body, but only to that which is proper to the soul.

Because of this, virtue orders the soul to action; it is an operative habit.
Aquinas asserts that the maximum of any power must be a good thing, thus virtue must always be expressed in terms of goodness, because evil implies weakness or defect. Human virtue as an operative habit must be a good habit, producing good works. “Virtue does not have matter out of which it comes to be, as neither do other accidents, but it does have matter about which it is concerned, and matter in which it is, namely, a subject.” Virtue drives towards an end, which is action, or the operation of virtue.

On the subject of virtue, Aquinas writes that it belongs to a power of the soul, for it is perfection and, as every operation, it comes from the soul through some power. Virtue makes the intellect it subject, as the intellect “is moved by the will” and commanded to faith. The body obeys the soul without resistance and therefore any action is evidence that virtue lay within the soul for the genesis of operation. The intellectual part of the soul acquires certain attributes, which could be likened to habits, which influence the soul’s internal sense powers of knowing and affect operation:

For even if in fact there are habits in such powers, they cannot be called virtues. For virtue is a perfect habit by which only something good is done, and hence virtue must be in a power which brings a good work to completion. Now the knowing of truth is not brought to completion in the sense powers of knowing, for such powers prepare the way for intellectual knowing.

Aquinas writes that habits perfect powers in regard to acting; therefore in order to act well powers must be perfected by virtue:

Since, then, the object of the will is a good of reason proportionate to the will, in regard to this the will does not need a virtue perfecting it.

But if man's will is intent upon a good which exceeds what is proportionate to it, whether this be as far as all mankind is concerned, such as the divine good, which transcends the limits of human nature, or as far as the individual is concerned, such as the good of one's neighbor, then the will needs virtue.

Because of this, Aquinas asserts, the virtues that order man to love God and his fellow human beings are already in the will of man.

On the distinction of the intellectual virtues, Aquinas posits that “since every virtue is said with reference to what is good” a habit is called a virtue for two reasons: one is that a habit creates an ability to act well; the other is that it “induces good use of it.” The good work of the intellectual virtue is perfecting the speculative intellect for knowing the truth. Aquinas defines art as “right reasoning about certain works to be made.” Art has something in common with the speculative habits, as “how the thing how the thing is known which the speculative habits consider, affects them, but not how the human appetite is related to the object.”

On the cause of virtue, Aquinas cites virtue as being natural to man, as “naturally known principles in regard to both thought and action are in man’s reason naturally, which are like the seeds of intellectual and moral virtues, and insofar as there is in the will a certain natural appetite for good in conformity with reason.” He asserts that both intellectual and moral virtues are in us by nature, but not in their perfection – the reason for this is that nature is given to one specific mode of behaving, while the fulfillment of virtues is brought about by various modes of acting, corresponding to the different matters and circumstances. He states that divine law is the superior rule, and whatever is ruled by human reason is also ruled by divine law, though this does not work both ways.

Saint Augustine defined virtue as “a good quality of the mind, by which we live rightly, of which no one can make bad use, which God works in us without us." Aquinas interprets this as meaning that the virtue which orders man to do good by divine law cannot be caused by us. Rather, the cause of this infused virtue is God himself, giving virtue “without action on our part but not without our consent.” In place of the natural principles, from which all virtues are acquired by our actions, God “has bestowed on us theological virtues whereby we are ordered to a supernatural end.”

On certain properties of virtues, Aquinas insists that moral virtue relies on its conformity to a certain mean. Evil results from a thing’s failure to conform with its measure. It is conforming with right reason that determines moral virtue.

Aquinas speculates that there are two things involved in choice: “the intending of the end, which pertains to moral virtue, and the previous acceptance of the means to the end, which pertains to prudence.” Prudence, in contrast to art mentioned above, is “right reasoning about what is to be done,” and it relates to the exercise of powers and habits, internal human arts. In regards to prudence, one must have moral virtue and be “well disposed in regard to ends.”

Prudence is a virtue that is most necessary for human life, for a good life consists in good deeds. Now doing good deeds not only involves what a man does but also how he does them, namely, that he does them from right choice and not merely out of impulse or passion.


Aquinas insists that as long as a man performs good actions “as moved by the counsel of another” his action is not “wholly perfect.” In order that one leads a truly good life, one must want to perform good deeds, and not be unwittingly caused to perform them.

Aquinas writes of three acts of reason in regards to man’s actions: deliberation, judgment, and command. The first two emanate from the speculative intellect while the third, command belongs to the practical intellect, in its productivity. Prudence, as the virtue that commands what is good, is the more principle power.

Aquinas measures theological virtue as God himself. He posits that faith is regulated by divine truth. Charity is regulated by divine goodness and hope is regulated by God’s divine omnipotence and kindness.

In conclusion, Thomas Aquinas believes that man has a natural capacity for performing good acts. In the search for true happiness, which can only be obtained from God, man has to rely on the additional infused theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity. These are given to him by God to achieve the perfection of operation, and obtain eternal happiness.



Bibliography:

Aquinas, Saint Thomas. Treatise on the Virtues. Translated by John A. Oesterle.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1966.


Copyright © 2006 Sean P. Culkin
Mar. 4th, 2006 @ 05:47 pm Tommy Aqua's Treatise on Virtues
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Introduction by John Oesterle:

Thanks in part to an extremely rigid moral tradition, stretching perhaps back at least to Puritan times, virtuous living has been linked with joyless living, and the very notion of virtue has been narrowed to signify principally some form of temperate conduct. And just as temperance, in turn, has been primarily restricted to restraining the appetite for alcoholic drink (in which respect, temperance has sometimes been confused with abstinence) so virtue, though actually much broader in meaning than temperance, has been largely confined, in the minds of many, to another area of temperance, restraint or even abstinence in regard to matters pertaining to sex; it is in this sense, for example, that some speak of a woman's "virtue," as the dictionary acknowledges. (xiii)

To be morally good, it is not enough to merely refrain from evil and injurious acts, and so perhaps only reluctantly follow out what we know we should do. The morally virtuous person is one whose appetite has the order of reason realized in it; his very appetite, in other words, operates with perfection, and the infallible sign that a person has reached this state of human excellence is that he enjoys acting virtuously. (xiv)

The whole purpose of virtue is to achieve happiness, but happiness is twofold. The happiness which is proportioned to man's nature, and obtainable by means of man's natural capacities, is the happiness to which the moral and intellectual virtues are immediately ordered. But man is directed ultimately and primarily to a happiness surpassing the capacity of human nature, and obtainable from God alone. Accordingly, man needs additional principles to act well and attain such an end. These additional principles, directing him to supernatural happiness, are the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. Contrary to the moral and intellectual virtues, which are acquired by our own efforts though not without divine assistance, the theological virtues are wholly infused in us by God. (xvi)

Question LV: The Essence of Virtue

Augustine says that "virtue is the good use of free choice." But the use of free choice is an act. Therefore virtue is not a habit, but an act.
We merit by acts, not by habits, otherwise a man would merit continuously, even when sleeping. But we do merit by virtues. Therefore virtues are not habits, but acts. (50)

We sometimes give the name of virtue to that to which the virtue is directed, either to its object or to its act. For example the name faith sometimes stands for that which is believed, sometimes for the act itself of believing, and sometimes for the habit by which one believes. Hence, when virtue is said to be a maximum of a power, virtue is taken for the object of virtue. For the maximum of which a power is capable is said to be its virtue; for example, if someone can carry a hundred pounds, and no more, his virtue is determined according to a hundred pounds, and not according to sixty pounds.
We are said to merit by something in two ways. In one way, by the merit itself, as we are said to run by running, and this is the way we merit by acts. In another way, we are said to merit by something as it is a principle of meriting, as we are said to run by the power of moving, and this is the sense in which we are said to merit by virtues and habits. (51)

Virtue, from the very meaning of the name, implies a certain perfection of power. Now, since power is twofold, power in regard to being and power in regard to acting, the perfection of each is called virtue. But power in regard to being is on the part of matter, which is potential being, while power in regard to acting is on the part of form.
Now in the nature of man the body is considered as matter and the soul as form. With respect to his body, man has this in common with the other animals; the same holds also for the powers which are common to the soul and the body. Only those powers which are proper to the soul itself, the rational powers, belong to man alone. Hence, human virtue...cannot pertain to the body, but only to that which is proper to the soul. Accordingly human virtue does not imply an ordering to being, but rather to act. It therefore belongs to the very notion of human virtue that it be an operative habit. (52)

Now the maximum of any power must be what is good, for all evil implies a defect; hence Dionysius says that every evil is a weakness. For this reason, the virtue of a thing must be expressed in terms of the good. Hence human virtue, which is an operative habit, is a good habit and productive of good works. (54)

"Virtue is a good quality of the mind, by which we live rightly, of which no one can make bad use, which God works in us without us." (54)
For the formal cause of virtue, as of anything, is taken from its genus and difference, when it is defined as "a good quality," for the genus of virtue is quality and the difference is good. But the definition would be more appropriate if in place of quality, we use habit, which is a more proximate genus.
Now virtue does not have matter out of which it comes to be, as neither do other accidents, but it does have matter about which it is concerned, and matter in which it is, namely, a subject.
Now the end of virtue, since it is an operative habit, is operation. But we must note that some operative habits are always related to evil, as in the case of habits of vice; others are related to what is good and at other times to what is evil, as opinion, which is related to both the true and the false; but virtue is a habit which is always related to the good. (55)
The efficient cause of infused virtue, which is the virtue defined here, is God.
Infused virtue is caused in us by God without action on our part, but not without our consent. The expression "which God works in us without us" is to be understood in that way. As to actions done by us, God causes them in us but not without action on our part, for God works in every will and nature. (56)

Question LVI: The Subject of Virtue

It can be shown in three ways that virtue belongs to a power of the soul. First, because of the very notion of virtue, which implies the perfection of a power, and a perfection is in that of which it is a perfection. Second, from the fact that virtue is an operative habit, as we have said, and every opweration comes from the soul through some power. Third, from the fact that virtue disposes to what is best, and the best and the best is the end, which is either a thing's operation or something acquired by an operation proceeding from the power. (57)

Now it happens that the intellect is moved by the will, as are also the other powers; for a man actually considers something because he wills to do so. Hence, the intellect, inasmuch as it has an ordering to the will, can be the subject of virtue in the absolute sense. And in this way the speculative intellect, or reason, is the subject of the virtue of faith; for the intellect is moved to assent towhat is of faith by the command of the will, for "no one believes unless he wills to do so." (60)

The body spontaneously obeys the soul without resistance in those things in which it is natural for it to be moved by the soul. Hence, the Philosopher says that "the soul rules the body with despotic power," that is, as a master rules a servant, and therefore the whole motion of the body is referred to the soul; and for this reason virtue is not in the body, but in the soul. (62-63)

Two things are involved in choice, the intending of the end, which pertains to moral virtue, and the previous acceptance of the means to the end, which pertains to prudence. (63)

Some have claimed that there are some habits in the internal sense powers of knowing. (63-64)
Hence Cicero says about virtue that it is a "habit like a nature in harmony with reason." In man, however, what he acquires by custom in his memory and in the other internal sense powers of knowing is not strictly a habit, but something annexed to habits of the intellectual part of the soul.
For even if in fact there are habits in such powers, they cannot be called virtues. For virtue is a perfect habit by which only something good is done, and hence virtue must be in a power which brings a good work to completion. Now the knowing of truth is not brought to completion in the sense powers of knowing, for such powers prepare the way for intellectual knowing. (64)

Since habits perfect powers in regard to acting, then, in order to act well a power needs perfecting by a habit (and such a habit is a virtue) when the power's own nature is not equal to this.
Since, then, the object of the will is a good of reason proportionate to the will, in regard to this the will does not need a virtue perfecting it.
But if man's will is intent upon a good which exceeds what is proportionate to it, whether this be as far as all mankind is concerned, such as the divine good, which transcends the limits of human nature, or as far as the individual is concerned, such as the good of one's neighbor, then the will needs virtue. Therefore the virtues which order the love of man to God or to his neighbor, such as charity, justice, and the like, are in the will as in a subject. (65)

Question LVII: The Distinction of the Intellectual Virtues

Since every virtue is said with reference to what is good, as we have said, a habit is called a virtue for two reasons...The first reason is that a habit gives an aptitude to act well; the second is that it induces good use of it. (68)

As we have said, an intellectual virtue is one that perfects the speculative intellect for knowing truth, for knowing truth is its good work. (69)

Art is nothing other than right reasoning about certain works to be made. The good of these things, however, does not consist in man's appetite being disposed in some way but in the very work produced being good. For praise is bestowed upon the craftsman as craftsman not for the will with which he does the work, but for the quality of his work. (71)
But art does have something in common with speculative habits, for how the thing is known which the speculative habits consider, affects them, but not how the human appetite is related to the object...Consequently, art has the nature of virtue in the same way as speculative habits, that is, insofar as neither art nor a speculative habit effects a good work in regard to the use of habit-which is characteristic of a virtue that perfects the appetite-but only in regard to the aptitude to work well. (71-72)

The reason for this distance is that art is right reasoning about that which is to be made whereas prudence is right reasoning about what is to be done. Now making and doing differ in that making is an activity having an effect on exterior matter, such as building, sawing, and the like, while doing is an activity remaining within the agent, such as seeing, willing, and the like. Accordingly, prudence is related to such human arts, that is, the exercise of powers and habits, as art is related to external works, for each is perfect reasoning about the thingswith which it is concerned. (73)
Consequently, for prudence, which is right reasoning about what is to be done, it is required that man be well disposed in regard to ends, and this depends on right appetite. hence for prudence, one must have moral virtue, which rectifies the appetite.
Clearly, then, prudence is a virtue distinct from art. (74)

Prudence is a virtue that is most necessary for human life, for a good life consists in good deeds. Now doing good deeds not only involves what a man does but also how he does them, namely, that he does them from right choice and not merely out of impulse or passion. (75)

As long as a man does a good action, not by the deliberation of his own reason, but as moved by the counsel of another, his action is not wholly perfect as regards reason's direction and his will's movement. Consequently, if he does a good act, he still does not do a good act simply, which is required in order that he lead a good life. (76)

Whenever there are powers subordinate to one another, the more principal power is that which is ordered to the more principle act. (77)
Now there are three acts of reason in respect to actions done by man; the first is deliberation, the second judgment, and the third command. The first two correspond to acts of the speculative intellect, namely, inquiry. The third act, however, is proper to the practical intellect insofar as it is productive, for reason it is not such that it can command those things which are done by man, the principal act is command, to which the other acts are ordered. Consequently prudence, as the virtue which commands what is good, and is therefore the more principle power, has joined to it the secondary virtues of good deliberation, sagacity, and equitable judgment. (78)

Question LXIII: The Cause of Virtue

Virtue is natural to man in respect to his specific nature insofar as certain naturally known principles in regard to both thought and action are in man's reason naturally, which are like the seeds of intellectual and moral virtues, and insofar as there is in the will a certain natural appetite for good in conformity with reason. Virtue is natural to man also by reason of his individual nature insofar as by certain bodily dispositions some are disposed either better or worse to certain virtues. (125)
Both intellectual and moral virtues, according to a certain incipient aptitude, are in us by nature, but not in their perfection. The reason for this is that nature is determined to one way of acting, and the fulfillment of these virtues is not brought about by one mode of acting, but by various modes, corresponding to the different matters with which the virtues are concerned and according to the varying circumstances. (126)

Because divine law is the superior rule, hence it covers more things, so that whatever is ruled by human reason is ruled also by divine law, but not conversely.
Accordingly, human virtue, as ordered to the good which is measured by the rule of human reason, can be caused by human acts insofar as acts of such virtue proceed from reason, under whose power and rule such good is established. However, the virtue ordering man to a good as measured by divine law, and not by human reason, cannot be caused by us. Hence, defining virtue of this kind, Augustine put the following phrase in the definition of virtue, "which God works in us without us." (127)

Effects must be proportionate to their causes and principles. Now all virtues, intellectual and moral, which are acquired by our actions, proceed from certain natural principles which pre-exist in us, as we have said. In place of these natural principles, God has bestowed on us theological virtues whereby we are ordered to a supernatural end, as we also have said. Hence it was necessary that other habits, corresponding proportionally to the theological virtues, be caused in us by God which are related to the theological virtues as the moral and intellectual virtues are to the natural principles of virtues. (128)

Question LXIV: The Mean of Virtue

The goodness of what is measured and ruled consists in its conformity to its rule, just as the good of works of art is in following the rule of art. Consequently, in matters of this kind, evil results from a thing's not being in accord with its rule or measure, which can happen either by exceeding the measure or by falling short of it, as is clearly apparent in all things which are ruled and measured. Hence it is evident that the goodness of moral virtue consists in conformity to the rule of reason. Now it is clear that the mean between an excess and a defect is an equality or conformity. hence it is manifest that moral virtue observes a mean. (132)

Moral virtue is said to observe a mean by conforming with right reason. (134)

The goodness of something consists in its being in a mean in conformity with a rule or measure in respect to which there may be excess or defect, as we have noted. Now intellectual virtue, like moral virtue, is ordered to a good, as we have said. Hence, the good of intellectual virtue is subject to a mean insofar as it is subject to a measure. Now the good to which intellectual virtue is ordered is the true. (135)

Now a twofold measure of theological virtue can be noted. One is taken from the very nature of the virtue, and in this way the measure of and rule of theological virtue is God Himself. Thus, our faith is regulated by divine truth, charity by divine goodness, and and hope by the immensity of His divine omnipotence and loving kindness. (137)

Bibliography Citation:

Aquinas, Saint Thomas. Treatise on the Virtues. Translated by John A. Oesterle.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1966.

Citation in footnotes:

Saint Thomas Aquinas, Treatise on the Virtues, trans. John A. Oesterle
(Englewood Cliffs, NJ:Prentice-Hall, 1966), page #
Feb. 26th, 2006 @ 08:07 pm Welcome To The Family
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Feb. 24th, 2006 @ 06:51 pm SPIDEY A TROIS
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Feb. 23rd, 2006 @ 12:18 pm Swear to ME
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From Variety.com:

Warner's men in tights
'Batman,' 'Superman' to see sequel action

By PAMELA MCCLINTOCK

Warners is already planning sequels to 'Batman Begins' and 'Superman Returns.'
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The superhero sequel engine is revving up bigtime.
Warner Bros. Pictures is already planning the next installments to "Batman Begins" and "Superman Returns," with respective helmers Christopher NolanChristopher Nolan and Bryan SingerBryan Singer in line to return.

Neither director's deal is closed; the studio has hired Jona[t]h[an] Nolan -- Christopher's brother -- to pen the screenplay for the untitled "Batman""Batman" project. Studio has options on "Batman Begins" star Christian BaleChristian Bale and "Superman Returns" star Brandon Routh.

Next installment in the Caped Crusader franchise is further along in the process since "Batman Begins" was released last summer; Singer's "Superman Returns," now in post, doesn't bow until June 30.

Legendary Pictures, which put up half the financing for both "Batman Begins" and "Superman Returns," is expected to board the sequels and split the budgets 50/50 with Warner Bros. In return, Legendary would split all profits, also 50/50.

The Warners-based Legendary, led by Thomas Tull, is a financing and development company backed by more than $500 million in private equity.

Projects come as no surprise considering Warner's proclivity for big-budget tentpoles. "Batman" and "Superman" sequels could make their debut in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

"Superman" update, which has been in the works for the better part of a decade, is already considered one of the more costly pics in Hollywood history, although Warner Bros.' exposure is dramatically lessened by Legendary's involvement.

Factoring in tax breaks offered in Australia -- where "Superman Returns" was shot -- studio execs have unofficially put the production budget at $185 million. Without those breaks of about 12%, budget is easily north of $200 million. And it's not clear how much previous commitments have cost the studio.

Warner execs are high on Singer's pic, which returns the comicbook hero to the bigscreen after more than 20 years. Traditionally, Superman has enjoyed wider appeal than the grittier Batman.

Nolan's "Batman" took in $205.3 million in the U.S. and $166.5 million overseas.

One idea being tossed about is for Singer to direct a "Superman" sequel soon after he finishes with Warner's remake of sci-fi thriller "Logan's Run," which he's also expected to direct.

"Logan's Run" is tentatively skedded to begin shooting this fall in Vancouver. If Singer did pactpact to direct the "Superman" sequel, that pic could be shot in Vancouver as well.

Singer is also set to direct "The Mayor of Castro Street," which is in development at Warner Bros.

It's not clear when the "Batman Begins" sequel would begin shooting, although it would likely start production and be released before the "Superman" sequel.

Christopher Nolan is presently shooting "The Prestige," a Disney release that Jonah Nolan scripted from a Christopher Priest novel.

"Batman Begins" co-writers David Goyer and Christopher Nolan wrote a treatment for the sequel. Goyer, who recently completed "The Invisible" for Touchstone, also is set to write and direct "The Flash" for Warners.

(Ted Johnson contributed to this report.)
Feb. 22nd, 2006 @ 06:11 am NANOTECHNOLOGY NOW
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Feb. 21st, 2006 @ 10:21 pm Oh yeah
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Feb. 21st, 2006 @ 10:06 pm CHEAH
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No, seriously. CHEAH.
Feb. 21st, 2006 @ 09:47 pm WTF?
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http://www.ljseek.com/cached/movieguru101/66283733/International%20Study%20Abroad%20Program/THE%20M%20F'in%20FINAL!/

That's right. I just posted a link to a search result for my own post.

Media. . .
Feb. 21st, 2006 @ 09:30 pm Dr. THOMAS F' in BERTONNEAU!
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Feb. 21st, 2006 @ 03:18 pm I AM NOT ALONE
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If it's too loud, you're too old: Runaway Main Title by Jerry Goldsmith
Whisker1976: I bought the dvd of Runaway of a couple of days ago. I had seen the movie a couple of times on TV and video, but I still enjoy watching this film. It's fun and entertaining and has some nice scenes in it. One of favorite scenes in this film has to be the "LOCK-ON" scene, where Ramsay and his partner get chased by explosives that hunt them down on the highway.

marbleann: I am looking at it now on cable. I haven't seen it in a while but I always thought it was a enjoyable movie too. And I am not what you call a Tom Selleck fan. But this is my favorite movie that he is in. It was a big deal when it first came out because of that Lock On scene. the people in the theater were flipping out. I thought Gene Simmons was very good and wondered why he didn't make more movies then he did. Also it was good seeing Cynthia Rhodes again.

ginnybims78: It is a guilty pleasure of mine, because I don't know anyone (except the two of you - yay!) who like it :). I haven't seen it in quite a few years though so my opinion could be different today.

The things that were most memorable for me about the movie:

1) Like you guys mentioned, the highway chase scene with the robot explosive devices
2) Gene Simmons' creepy performance
3) The widescreen point-of-view shots of the bullets that follow their target
4) The scene at the end with the elevator and the robot spiders (I used to be really scared of spiders so I could barely watch)

MTil77: Make that 3 people. I saw this in the theater when I was 15 in 1984 and loved it. For some reason I liked a lot of the Selleck movies that came out around this time. Check out the prison movie "An Innocent Man" that came out a few years later. Great movie

deluxworld: just have to say that this movie is the one of my best movie in my youth.
scary,fantastic,realistic,classic.
i watched it on VHS several times..

capnsid: Make that FOUR fans. Booyah! While the other threads are lambasting the film for its various lackings, they fail to realize the real point: most of us who enjoy films like these were in our teens in the 80s, when Golan-Globus (the Go-Go boys) were KING of cinema (sci-fi, space-fantasy, dance, action, ninjas, etc.), when Sly was at the top of his form (First Blood, F.I.S.T., Over The Top- okay, maybe not that one), blue imps ruled the airwaves (Smurfs! SMUUUUURFS!!!), and it was common for kids to carry guns in the streets (Lazer Tag, anyone, anyone, anyone?).

The fact is, we're all suffering from a sufficient lack of our daily allowance of vitamin 80s, and have to suffuse our day-to-day existence with some kind of reminder of how relatively good we had it, back then: candy and pop were cheap, Sizzler was actually GOOD food (steak and finger-lobster platter), the internet was a semi-distant reality (woodgrain plastic finish Apples), video tapes were the new go-to for entertainment (goodbye, Super-8), and skateboards were wide enough for lugeing down empty arterials at 4 in the morning (I wore out three sets of ass, skidding on my tookas, on my way down 24th E, on Capitol Hill- Seattle, not D.C.). So is it any wonder that some of us hold dear those 80s films which haunt the cableways at ungodly hours? Breakin', St. Elmo's Fire, Revenge Of The Ninja, Empire, Escape From NY, Krull, 80s Porn.

Thank yer lucky stars we've still got films that were made with deft hands, a masterful craftsmanship, some small c.g. (Last Stafrighter), good use of much c.g. (Tron), and the good old blue screen process (everything else). Anyway, I gotta go. I'm watchin' Jack's Back, hibbity BOOyah!!!

tufface1: I totally agree, I own this movie and think it rocks! We all really need a super dose of the fantstic 80's every now and again. As for remaking this film....NOWAY! I am not a fan of remakes.
1. They are almost allways horrible in comparison to the original(I realize there are nastolgic reasons but still)
2. Why can't anybody come up with new sweet ideas instead of trying to make old ones more hip.
3rd.(and final reason) You then get 20,000 lame ass's that totally love this sweet new movie cause Christian Bale is in it(no offense to Bale)and don't even realize that there was an original that came out 10 years earlier(people need to learn how to respect there elders, no matter what media they are).

mr. skandl: This movie rocks! It has a great director, a superb leading actor, a cool villian, and Kirstie Alley when she was still attractive. Although I haven't seen it since the early 90's... I'm tempted to dash out to Target and purchase it this weekend.

Ron-501: Wow, this movie is the mother of all Kirstie Alley movies, isn't it?
As far as I know, this film was among the first films to lead the way in terms of underlining the attractiveness of beautiful actresses by having them wear elegant leather clothes.
In this movie, Kirstie Alley wears one of the hottest black leather skirts ever seen!
It is a movie well worth watching!

rucuk3000: I dvd recorded this movie when it came on TV. I don't know why everyone is blasting it for....I mean c'mon it was made in 1984 and it does pretty damn well for tht time period.
Obviously the director knew what he was doing...just like he knew what he was doing when he made westworld a while ago....or wrote it...I forget.
Definetly one for the 80s but can always be watched again n again :):)
I wondr how many of u watched it for the debugging kirstie scene hehe ;) yeh c'mon own up own up :):)

8/10 by my standards

chrisdg66: loved this movie...! but i can't remember what other movie i saw Cynthia Rhodes in....can anybody help? It's bugging me...!!!

shawnDW: Gene Simmons was awesome, Selleck was good, good movie overal in my opinion.

rkeneally-2: Best scene is the one where he is removing the bullet /missile from her arm and you can see and actually hear it as he is pulling it out; really intense. Gene Simmons played a great villain; he was also good in Wanted Dead or Alive.

BennyM: I liked it. Haven't seen it since 1986, though.

osa420: I like this movie. It's not a bad film, so I don't know why so many rip on it. The "LOCK-ON" part was some cool special effects in it's time. Also, Gene Simmons was a cool bad guy. I'm surprised he didn't get more acting opportunities simply because he has an evil look to him.

Taplow: I'm a fan of this movie, just haven't seen it in forever. :) I was four! when it came out.

So I'm going to be watching it again soon. My library has a copy.

I remember those poisonous spiders scaring the hell out of me, as did the ending when Gene Simmons seems dead, then gives out this one last HISSSSSS before dropping dead. Scary. :P

Now I look forward to seeing Kirstie Alley. ;)

rucuk3000: I think they should do a remake

Bale could be the bad guy
and possibly some new actors could play the lead parts.

It'd not be as good as the original due to all the CG but my god itsd b gr8
might even have a chance for some cameos

milescorn: It would be too hard to remake this movie because nobody could pull off Gene's roll in the movie the way he did. Nobody else has that glare or those eyes!

Bloomer: I was 8 or 9 when my dad took me to see this and it is one of the really memorable, cool, effecting cinematic experiences from my childhood. I've watched it zillions of times since, on video after I recorded it the first time when it was on TV, and just the other day on DVD when it FINALLY came out in region 4.

I don't just think it's youthful eyes, though - I really think this is great as cinema. It's got some very silly parts but basically it exploits the medium of film superbly, to do everything that only a film can do, for a very exciting result. I think one of the most important atmospheric beds for the film is Jerry Goldsmith's entirely electronic and perilous sounding score - it still raises all the hairs on my neck. It's no surprise that copies of this still-un-re-released CD have gone for hundreds of dollars on ebay.

I think Crichton is an excellent director. He shows way more stylistic flair than as a writer!.. though as a writer his main skill has always been the big ideas rather than the style, I guess. In film he seems to be able to wrangle both. The dynamics, editing and acting are all great in this. I love the way the people talk over each other too, there is some kind of weird naturalism about it. And we all love the bullet-cam, the highway chase, the spider attacks.

The only thing that looks really dorky to me as an adult is the relationship between Selleck and his kid. The kid's dialogue is just really saccharine, finger-down-the-throat stuff.

The production design of the future still looks good to me. Basically it's more harshly lit and more silvery than the present, but this film doesn't suffer from either looking entirely like 1984, nor does it try to create something totally dissimilar to its time. It's in that inbetween zone which seems to resist the march of time quite well.

Gene Simmons is genuinely scary as the bad guy, and Kirstie Alley seems genuinely freaked out in fear of him --- and it's also the best she ever looked in anything.

What's left to say? I love Runaway.

leolito: Count me in!
I was 12 the first time I saw Runaway (in '87), I was scared *beep* as I had seen Terminator some days earlier.
Gene was PERFECT, the movie is much ahead of its time in many things, even with startling effects missing.
If you this movie with today's eyes may be dull, you need to watch this like a real classic of the genre.

And Kristey .... slurp! ...

anthony-emery1: I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!!!! Does anyone know when us Brits will get a chance to view this underrated classic on Region 2?

rucuk3000: lol sod buying it lol!!
I DVD recorded it from TV

perseo75mx: this movie is really good, i do'nt understand why in all the interviews and programs about Sellek they never mentioned it
Feb. 7th, 2006 @ 01:43 pm Photography research
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Preservation Problem

Understanding Lens Flare
Feb. 3rd, 2006 @ 02:51 pm William The Conqueror
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William The Bastard

The Norman Conquest

Harald, King of Norway

The Battle Of Hastings

The Anglo-Norman Language

The Anglo-Saxon Language

The Domesday Book

The Effect of 1066 On The English Language
Jan. 31st, 2006 @ 06:33 pm YES
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;)

Gravitas
Jan. 27th, 2006 @ 10:12 am "BUBBLE"
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From Variety:


BUBBLECollapse )