Riot Response: L.A. and London
L.A.P.D. Officer Jack Dunphy on the London riots. An excerpt:
In one sense, London’s ineffective response to the violence on the first three nights is more understandable than was the LAPD’s failure to control rioting in 1992. L.A.’s riot came at the conclusion of a long and contentious criminal trial, the outcome of which clearly would placate or enrage segments of the city’s population. The police in Los Angeles had weeks, if not months, to prepare for trouble. Yet like most officers at the time, I received no training in crowd-control techniques; nor was I instructed on any planned response to violence. When violence did break out, the ten of us thrown together that night adopted tactics on the fly, and I was fortunate to have a supervisor who could think on his feet and not wait for orders from a chain of command in disarray.