<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California.
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Crime & Justice

Ask the Chief: Teardrop Rapist update and more

Chief Beck at a press conference on Thursday, February 23, 2012.
Chief Beck at a press conference on Thursday, February 23, 2012.
Ruxandra Guidi/KPCC

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It’s time for Ask the Chief, your monthly opportunity to put your law and order questions to top cop Chief Charlie Beck.

Patt gets the latest on the ongoing hunt for the “Teardrop Rapist,” the recent eight shootings in six hours in South L.A., and the arraignment hearings of the two suspects charged with murdering USC students Ying Wu and Ming Qu.

Chief Beck also responds to the report out this week that called LAPD police shooting data “misleading” and took a look at officer related traffic incidents, which now account for 25 percent of all suits filed against police officers, and a lot of taxpayer money.

Interview Highlights:

On new statistics showing the crime rate in LA is down for the first six months of 2012:
“I am very proud of the efforts of the men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department.”

On the falling crime rate over the last eight years in LA:
“You really have to look at long term trends...the steady crime reductions in the city of Los Angeles show a city that has changed. You also have to remember that in the late 90s this was the murder capital of the United States.”

On motorcycle police weaving in and out of traffic:
“It’s called lane splitting and it is legal in California. It’s part of the vehicle code. You do have to be extremely aware of it. And anybody that drives our freeways...has to be aware of it.”

On officer involved car accidents and subsequent lawsuits:
“The policy has not changed but I have changed the way that we investigate these real high profile, high value traffic accidents involving our officers. We do them much more in the way we do the officer involved shooting which is the most thorough investigation that is done by any law enforcement agency in America.”

On the LAPD officers who leaked the Rihanna photos:
“It’s not only against department policy but it’s also against state law, if you do it for profit. It is something that we absolutely demand our officers not do.”

On disciplining officers:
“Discipline in the Los Angeles Police Department...is the sole responsibility of the Chief of Police. I’ve been a police officer in LA for over thirty five years. I know the things that affect the behavior of my workforce.”

On the LAPD helicopter fleet:
“I don’t get to buy all the newest helicopters that are quieter than what we have. The helicopters that we use, believe me, the citizens of Los Angeles are getting their monies worth. There is nobody, no entity whatsoever in the world that gets more hours out of the helicopters than we do.”