LAPD stands against immigration reforms

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LAPD stands against immigration reforms

Noelle Natividad, Staff Writer

As controversy and division spark across the nation, those caught in the crossfire take a stand of their own.

The police force of LA side with the job description, even as they face government scrutiny and a possible federal offense. When asked whether they would uphold President Trump’s order for deportations and a stronger hold on immigration, Officer Chris Beckman responded, as he told The Los Angeles Times, “At this point in my career, I’d take whatever consequence came down the pipe. So what? Go ahead and suspend me for 10 days. I’m not going to do it.”

The maelstrom of issued executive orders since Trump’s official inauguration has affected the nation as the moral code of America seemingly wavers, but we often forget that those who are tasked in carrying out those orders have a moral compass of their own. In the vastly liberal LA, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) have come across numerous occasions of road blocks. In one instance, Detective Brent Hopkins relayed, “A day after Donald Trump was elected president, two detectives walked up to a building site in Koreatown. The pair was hoping to find someone who might have witnessed a motorist intentionally knocking down a construction worker. They introduced themselves to a group of Latino workers. The workers got up and walked away. ‘Trump is coming,’ one of them said as he left.”

More and more situations just like those mentioned above keep arising on a day to day basis. Witnesses are refusing to aid officers in fear of being scrutinized for their legal status and with a 50% immigrant population, there aren’t many left to think of the LAPD as the friendly hand of justice.

LAPD Deputy Chief Robert Arcos of Central Bureau commented, “They should be running to us, not away from us. We are here to be their protectors.”

As a way of protecting the cultural diversity of such a prominent city, the city had long since instated “a policy that forbids officers from initiating contact with a person solely to ask about immigration status”. Along with that, the rights of officers are protected by law, making them exempt from having to carry out Trump’s executive order. By a mere technicality, the situation becomes a question of what each officer feels is right to them. This opinion-based decision has been made by the whole with the factors of respect for their higher-ups and background in mind.

However, many agree with Officer Beckman, refusing in order to maintain the value of the judicial system and the relationship this service team has with its people.

Photo courtesy of A.SCPR.ORG