FishbowlLA was at the Downtown Public Library last night to check out author David M. Kennedy and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck talk about the ever-evolving problem of gang violence in Los Angeles. Father Greg Boyle, Celeste Fremon and most of the other social justice folks you’d expect to be there were in attendance. It was an interesting evening, as Kennedy–typically a vicious critic of police departments across the country–was highly laudatory of Chief Beck and his style of community policing. Kennedy told Angelenos they have no idea how rare it is for a police chief to take a human approach to policing (sometimes mocked as the “hug-a-thug” approach in cop circles) instead of a military one.
There were plenty more insights along those lines we could get into, but this is a media site, so we’ll get to the nut. When asked about the media’s coverage of gang violence in Los Angeles, Beck pronounced himself not a huge fan.
“The coverage here in Los Angeles is very shallow. No one spends very much time on these types of stories and the attention span is very small. These are complicated issues that don’t fit into a small news article or into a 30-second spot on Fox News.”