LAPD Chief Charlie Beck has been leading a cause towards building relationships with his undocumented populations, not building walls around them. His approach towards a softened enforcement of Federal immigration statutes is part of his plan towards ensuring that a community once fearful of deportation trusts the City’s police enough to report crimes instead of hiding them.
His announcement that he will no longer honor detention requests from federal immigration officials is the latest in a series of measured steps taken to strengthen bonds with nearly 400,000 undocumented residents of Los Angeles. Previous steps included reducing the incidents of cars being impounded during sobriety checks or simple traffic stops and not checking the immigration status of people reporting crimes.
Beck, a long time member of the Los Angeles police force, began his career when officers would stop anyone suspected of being in the country illegally, and then run their prints through federal authorities. That, he says, fractured the trust with the city and he has made it one of his priorities to improve the relationship. His approach is modeled after former Chief William Bratton worked to rebuild the relationship with the African-American community in the wake of the Rodney King riots.
But Beck’s approach is not without its critics.
Read the full story at the Los Angeles Times.