What are the bounds of religious freedom?



"The hearing held by the Public Safety Committee on October 27 featured presentations from many LAPD officials on the efficacy and purpose of Special Order 40, including Police Commissioner Andrea Ordin, Deputy Chief Sergio Diaz, and former Police Chief Daryl Gates. The officials made it clear that Special Order 40 does not prohibit the LAPD from working with ICE when appropriate, and that the department is in the process of embarking on a large-scale effort to train all officers regarding how to properly and uniformly enforce Special Order 40. Councilman Zine also repeatedly stated that the purpose of the hearing in front of the Public Safety Committee was to clarify the widespread misunderstanding of what Special Order 40 does and does not authorize for both the LAPD and the general public so that everyone understands exactly what the department policy is going forward."

"The hearing concluded with the Committee delaying a vote on Councilman Zine’s proposed amendment, and directing the LAPD to prepare a report for the City Council regarding its plans to train officers regarding Special Order 40. The Committee also directed the LAPD to include in its report an explanation of how the department communicates with the Sheriff’s Office and County officials regarding the handling of criminal suspects who are believed to be undocumented immigrants, and stated that the Committee would like to hold another hearing in the future in which the Sheriff’s Office is available to offer testimony." <Source>

Chief Bratton was not present, but former Police Chief Gates managed to show up and explain his position. Unfortunately, after all of the years that have passed, the LAPD is embarking on training the rank and file of the LAPD; the details of the training and the training materials were not introduced.

Original blog entry ...

The debate over Los Angeles as a sanctuary city and the current policies of the police department concerning the handling of illegal aliens has come to a head here in Los Angeles.

The trigger...

"Last month, Jamiel Shaw, Jr. was gunned down by an illegal alien who was not deported after leaving the Los Angeles County Jail. The illegal alien had told police, upon arrest, that he was born in Los Angeles. Had police been able to check and deport him, Shaw, whose mother is serving the nation in Iraq, would still be alive."

Shaw who was Black was killed by a Mexican illegal, thus re-igniting community fears that Mexicans were specifically targeting Blacks. (reference)

Technically, Special Order 40 may not have applied in this particular instance as the perpetrator was arrested by the Culver City Police Department and held by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Bratton: between a rock and a hard place...

Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton is between a rock and a hard place. One one side are the far-left liberals who run the Los Angeles City Council and Police Commission. In the Middle is Hispanic Los Angeles Mayor and former Mexican-activist Tony Villar (his real name) who has further political aspirations, possibly to run for the Governorship of California. And on the opposing side, there are the citizens of Los Angeles; White, Black, Hispanic and others who are sick and tired of mollycoddling violent criminal gang members, most of whom are illegal aliens. They are demanding an end to the Los Angeles sanctuary city policy and especially the notorious "Special Order 40" which allegedly prevents police from questioning or detaining gang members solely on their immigration status.

From the Los Angeles Times...

"Bratton defends order outlining when to question suspects."

"Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton said Wednesday that the department's controversial policy on dealing with illegal immigrants was widely misunderstood by the public and some of his own officers, and he would clarify the rule in the next couple of weeks."

"Bratton strongly defended the basic intent of the policy -- known as Special Order 40 -- which prohibits officers from initiating contact with individuals for the sole purpose of determining whether they are illegal immigrants."

"Bratton said the recent criticism is based on a faulty understanding of the rule."

"There is a misrepresentation, misinterpretation, misunderstanding on the part of all the concerned parties here -- whether it is immigrant advocates, immigrant haters, the talk shows, drive-time radio talk-show hosts," Bratton said. "When it comes to our situation in L.A ., . . . the vast majority of them don't know what . . . they are talking about."

"Bratton acknowledged some of his own officers were also confused about the policy. For example, he said, he has heard accounts of officers who believe they are prohibited from calling federal immigration officials to report known gang members who have committed crimes and reentered the country illegally.
Officers privately say they often avoid the issue of a suspect's immigration status altogether -- largely out of fear it will anger superiors who see it as a lightning-rod issue."

"'I don't understand that mind-set,' Bratton said of such officers. 'That is a cop-out.'
Instituted in 1979 by then-Chief Daryl F. Gates, Special Order 40 states that 'officers shall not initiate police action with the objective of discovering the alien status of a person." It is now incorporated into the LAPD manual."

Bratton lashes out a critic ... ex-police officer

"Councilman Dennis Zine -- citing Shaw's slaying -- introduced a motion last week calling for Bratton and the department's civilian oversight commission to require officers to check on the immigration status of gang members who are suspected of being in the country illegally -- even if the suspects are not under arrest."

"Bratton lashed out at Zine, saying the proposal amounts to 'racial profiling.' He said that Zine is a reserve officer and 'should be very up to speed on this and apparently is not.' When police get retrained on the policy, Bratton said, 'the first person we will put in the class will be Councilman Dennis Zine.'"

"Zine rejected the chief's suggestion that the proposal would unfairly profile minorities, saying officers would check someone's immigration status only after confirming they were an active gang member. 'With all due respect to the chief, I've been around this department a lot longer than he has -- before Special Order 40 and after it. And I can tell you that there is a lot of confusion about what can be done and what cannot,' Zine said. 'I am concerned that there is all this resistance from the chief of police about what we're trying to do here.'"

According to Zine's official Council bio, he is not just somebody who fell off the turnip truck. 

"He began his public service career over 39 years ago when he joined the Los Angeles Police Department eventually achieving the rank of Sergeant and working a wide variety of assignments including Patrols, Detectives, Intelligence, Administrative, and Vice. Within the LAPD, he was elected three times to the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Police Protective League. Furthering his commitment to public safety, Councilman Zine was sworn in as a Los Angeles Police Department Reserve Officer in 2001 assigned to the Fugitive Warrant Detail where he is involved in the apprehension of felony suspects."

Read it for yourself...

While there is often a significant difference between the actual written policy and the policy as it is applied in the field, here is the basics of  "Special Order 40" as described in the official LAPD police manual. I believe the policy is clear and can be understood without any need for translation by Chief Bratton. 


Officers shall not initiate police action where the objective is to discover the alien status of a person.  Officers shall neither arrest nor book persons for violation of Title 8, Section 1325 of the United States Immigration Code (Illegal Entry)."

390.  UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS.  Undocumented alien status in itself is not a matter for police action. It is, therefore, incumbent upon all employees of this Department to make a personal commitment to equal enforcement of the law and service to the public regardless of alien status. In addition, the Department will provide special assistance to persons, groups, communities and businesses who, by the nature of the crimes being committed upon them, require individualized services. Since undocumented aliens, because of their status, are often more vulnerable to victimization, crime prevention assistance will be offered to assist them in safeguarding their property and to lessen their potential to be crime victims.

Police service will be readily available to all persons, including the undocumented alien, to ensure a safe and tranquil environment. Participation and involvement of the undocumented alien community in police activities will increase the Department's ability to protect and to serve the entire community.


"Supplemental holds charging illegal entry against persons in the custody of this Department for an unrelated criminal offense shall only be authorized by officers of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Arrestees against whom the INS has placed a hold shall be released to the custody of INS within 24 hours after:

  • All local charges are dismissed; or,

  • Bail is deposited on the local charges; or,

  • The arrestee is determined to be eligible for release on his/her own recognizance on the local charges."

"Note: Under no circumstances shall any person be held longer than 24 hours when an illegal entry hold is the only remaining charge. There is no extension of the 24 hour detention limit because of an intervening holiday or weekend period. Procedures governing the booking and detention of prisoners held enroute are unaffected by this section."

Source: Current Los Angeles Police Handbook

There is a current lawsuit challenging the regulation and the matter will be resolved by Bratton, the Los Angeles City Council or the Courts in the near future.

There was a time...

Racial profiling is a politically-charged term used by liberals to denounce those whose common sense would tell them that in an area where the majority of criminal activity is perpetrated by illegal alien gang members -- that's where you start enforcement. And believe it or not, honest citizens, legal or illegal, will thank you for it. You are not stopping grandmothers or people peaceably going about their business. You target the guys with the gang tattoos who are hanging out on street corners. 

There was a time when Bill Bratton knew how to identify crime and where it was occurring. And he demanded that his officers pursue it an an effective and efficient manner. In fact, he implemented the process right here in Los Angeles.

COMPSTAT Policing in Los Angeles... 

"A promising trend in significantly reducing violent crimes in the communities of Los Angeles is beginning to emerge. Although many may argue that there are many factors that directly effect any downturn in crime, one new factor, which was absent prior to Chief William Bratton's appointment to the Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, was the implementation of his crime control model known as COMPSTAT. COMPSTAT, short for computer statistics, has a well-established and proven track record in reducing crimes and improving the overall operating systems of several major metropolitan police departments."

"Police Departments such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, New Orleans, and Newark, New Jersey have all experienced significant reduction in violent crimes as a result of the implementation of the COMPSTAT crime control model."

"Although many of these departments have custom tailored the COMPSTAT process to their own department and community needs, the core elements of COMPSTAT have remained the same. The core elements provide a basic road map of the getting police officers back in the business of actually proactively fighting crime rather than just reacting to it."

"A vital component of the COMPSTAT philosophy is its emphasis on holding police managers directly accountable for combating the crime in their assigned area and providing them the authority to deploy their resources to achieve the desired results."

The real New York Crime-fighter...

Former Deputy Police Commissioner Jack Maple, a former transit cop, was a key aide to Bill Bratton.

"Raised in Richmond Hill, Queens, Maple earned a night school diploma from Brooklyn Technical High School. His crimebuster education started as a city transit cop."   

"Maple came up with the idea of tracking crimes on 55 feet of maps taped to a wall. He called them the "charts of the future" and used them to discern underground crime patterns, and dispatched cops accordingly." 

"It worked so well transit cops were able to reduce gang robberies in the subway from 1,200 a year to just 12. 'Treat every case as if your mother was the victim,' Maple would often tell cops under him."

"When Bratton took over as transit police commissioner in 1990, Maple caught his attention. They worked together to spark an unprecedented drop in overall subway crime." 

"In 1992, Bratton became the police commissioner in Boston and took Maple with him. They were hitting their stride in Boston when Giuliani chose Bratton as New York's top cop in 1994. Bratton made Maple his deputy commissioner for crime control strategies.
Although he often said he outlined his points of strategy on a napkin one night at Elaine's, he was anything but casual when it came to deploying it."

At war with crime

"Maple helped establish the now-famed Compost, a computerized version of his "charts of the future." During weekly, Compstat strategy meetings, he would often terrorize police commanders about crime in their precincts."

"'Jack was a smasher of old ways, he would use humor, ridicule and self-effacement to get a point across and get somebody to believe in something,' said Philadelphia Police Commissioner John Timoney, who worked with Maple in the NYPD. "

"Both Maple and Timoney left the NYPD after Bratton was forced out in 1996. During the Bratton team's tenure, murder plummeted 50% and overall crime dropped 39%.
Television journalist John Miller, the former NYPD spokesman under Bratton, said Maple 'changed the way we live.'”

Bratton is not so much a police chief as he is a liberal politician with greater political ambitions...

It is my personal opinion that somewhere along the line, Chief Bratton abandoned his profession and his officers and morphed from a police chief into a liberal politician. Perhaps, charitably, to save his job in a city where the far-left and liberal police commission seem to wield much of the real power.

And there is no denying that Chief Bratton appears to be grooming himself for a higher, more political, position. Perhaps a cabinet appointment as the Secretary of Homeland Defense?  So why should anyone be surprised at Chief Bratton's actions. He is not so much a police chief as he is a liberal politician with greater political ambitions.

Which does somewhat explain some of his current actions. 

Bratton the Politician: Any illegal alien wanting to press charges against a police officer for the May Day Melee, step to the head of the line...

Witness Bratton's widely publicized activities:  immediately appearing with Los Angeles Mayor and ex-Mexican activist, Tony Villar (his real name) and condemning his own police officers for an apparent lack of training and a breakdown in command-and-control during last year's so-called "May Day Melee." And apparently before one word of an official report reached his desk. The politicians and police made a concerted effort to find "aggrieved" illegal aliens who may have been subject to excessive force while apparently ignoring those who actually sparked the mini-riot. The City and its ambulance-chasing lawyers couldn't wait to file lawsuits against the city to recover big fees and payments for the very people, most of whom had no legal right to be in our Country at the time, who caused the melee. Definitely a politically motivated move.

Bratton the liberal: SWAT NEEDS A WOMAN'S TOUCH...

To witness how much Bratton's liberalism affects his position, one need only watch while Bratton moves heaven and earth to be able to proclaim that he, the enlightened police chief, was the first Los Angeles police chief to place a woman on the LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department) SWAT (Special Weapons & Tactics) team in spite of the almost perfect record of performance in intense/high-conflict situations. Ostensibly using a bogus (my opinion) report that was supposed to be based on the sole death of an infant who was hit by gunfire in a SWAT take-down (the father was holding the infant as a shield during a close quarters shootout), the chief has allegedly demanded that SWAT relax its training standards to accommodate women. Unfortunately, there appear to be few women who can drag a 200+ pound man loaded with up to 100 pounds of tactical gear out of firing range if the need arises to assist a fallen comrade. 

One mealy-mouth finding was that:

" The panel found SWAT members were not diverse enough and at times too quick to act with force in dealing with the mentally unstable, with those hasty decisions sometimes making a situation worse. And the department failed to put in place a system to identify these trends and collect data."

Excuse me? SWAT is the "last resort" group that is called to deal with last-ditch efforts to end dangerous stand-offs and hostage takers who appear to be ready to take the life of a hostage. Mentally unstable? By definition the people who decide to challenge a fully-armed paramilitary-like SWAT team are not the most mentally stable people in the world or may be criminals who prefer a glorious criminal death to being incarcerated or facing the death penalty for their actions. Identify trends and collect data? These are not paper pushers and all of the data exists in the 99.9% successful actions of the SWAT team. In fact, Los Angeles just experienced the first SWAT office to be killed in the line of combat. A remarkable record by a remarkable group of guys. And now the chief of police wants to dilute that effectiveness -- by instituting a kinder, gentler SWAT, insinuating that a woman might have negotiation or other skills currently unavailable to the team. Unfortunately, Bratton does not realize "Hesitation and second guessing often gets you killed!" And they appear to already be relaxing the standards by eliminating some of the grueling physical fitness testing that help make SWAT a formidible force.


"In 1994, when then-Police Commissioner William Bratton was disturbed by videos of the fitness test in which recruits could barely scale a 5-foot wall, officials noted that some 18,000 officers had been hired with virtually no testing."

"Yet since then, the fitness test has gotten easier, sources said."

"NYPD spokesman Paul Browne argued that when Commissioner Ray Kelly returned to the position in 2002, 'physical and academic requirements to enter the Police Academy were toughened.'"

"He said that included the reinstatement of a 1.6-mile run that must be completed in 14 minutes."

It does not look like the Police Chief is becoming more professional, it looks like he is becoming more political.

What can YOU do?

Hold the Los Angeles Mayor, City Council and Police Chief Bratton responsible for all of the death and mayhem caused by illegal aliens who have escaped being deported due to Los Angeles' Special Order 40 and sanctuary policy.

Realize that Special Order 40 is hurting those immigrant communities whom it was designed to protect by affording criminals who happen to be illegal aliens a way to avoid deportation to their native country; be it Mexico, El Salvador, Russia or anywhere else in this world.

Do not believe that Police Chief Bratton lacks the power to change the order, first instituted by Police Chief Darryl Gates, at will and without consultation with any political entity. Bratton could simply resolve the current crisis by adding "with the exception of those known or believed to be illegal alien gang members."

Demand that Los Angeles' sanctuary city policy be overturned and Special Order 40 abolished. Criminals need to be prosecuted and jailed. Those who are found to be illegal aliens need to be deported.

It is time to return Los Angeles to its former glory and halt its slide into a third-world city populated with balkanized communities of various races and ethnicities  and preyed upon by roving gangs of violent criminals.

If the Mayor, City Council and Police Chief cannot do the job, they should be recalled or fired. No other solution is acceptable. We need competent city administrators, not political junkies looking for their next upward position with its cushy perks and privileges.

-- steve

Quote of the Day: "So long as you rob Peter to pay Paul, you'll have Paul's support." --Anonymous

A reminder from a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

Reference Links:

LAPD chief vows to clarify policy on immigrants - Los Angeles Times


“Nullius in verba”-- take nobody's word for it!
"Acta non verba" -- actions not words

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS