Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck won’t be able to make good on his promises to re-examine the firings of Los Angeles Police Department officers who feel racism tainted their termination after 40 officers took him up on his offer earlier this year. The city charter, Beck now says, bars him from looking into cases older than three years, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In February former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner released a rambling but scathing manifesto charging the Los Angeles Police Department with corruption and racism, then went on a shooting rampage before apparently shooting himself after holing up in a mountain cabin east of Los Angeles. Dorner’s alleged death toll was three–including the daughter of a Los Angeles police officer who sat on the review board which called for Dorner’s termination.
Dorner’s attack put LAPD Chief Charlie Beck on the defensive, even as Beck was leading the manhunt to locate him. Many critics of the LAPD recognized in Dorner’s manifesto a cogent critique. He railed against racism he said was rampant throughout the department and which was responsible for his own firing in 2009. He called out former colleagues’ harassment and discrimination of civilians. Beck, hoping to regain legitimacy, extended an offer to other cops whose jobs had been terminated, and said he would reexamine their firing.
About half of the 40 cops who asked that their cases be reexamined won’t get that opportunity though, because the city charter bars it. “Therefore the Department does not have the power to reinstate officers whose terminations occurred more than three years ago,” Gerald Chaleff, the LAPD’s special assistant for constitutional policing wrote to the former officers, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“You are being informed of this to forestall any misconceptions about the power of the department.”