Stark contrast in LA news coverage

Leo Gonzalez, an LA area comedic actor and library assistant, pointed out the stark contrast between KCAL's and KTLA's take on the Anaheim police response to a protest of a police shooting. Embedded above, KCAL's report shows video of police unleashing a snarling police dog on women and children. KTLA's report has an entirely different tone.

At Facebook, Leo notes: "The KTLA report might've been an hour later, but they didn't include any of the footage that KCAL had."

Judge for yourself; it seems surreal to me.


  1. This footage should not have been released for the same reason that the second round ofAbu Graib photos were not released, namely, no one responsible up the chain of command will be disciplined and good cops will find their jobs even more difficult.

    1. Or maybe it should be released to pressure the good cops to do something about the bad ones, so we can all feel like we’re playing on the same team.

      1. Well, from the good cop’s perspective: if they get in trouble and need armed back up, who’s more likely to cover them, a bad cop, or the bad cop’s victims? However bad the bad cop is, the bad cop has his back; if he turns in the bad cop for being a bad cop, that’s one less backup he can call on.

        (This is stupid logic; it assumes that no good cops will be hired to replace the fired/jailed bad cops. But apparently it is how cops think.)

    2.  Then “good cops” shouldn’t be shooting unarmed protestors. Or if you’re suggesting that a police reputation for mindless violence makes policing difficult: the community is already aware that the police force is violent and thuggish. Hence the protest. If “good cops” want to repair relations with the community, that’s a long slog.

    3. I like the notion of “good cops”. Perhaps its time some decent and educated human beings apply for the jobs typically filled by these undomesticated primates. Until then, being brown, educated, gay, poor, opinionated, or otherwise marginal, is a walking target for human rights violations.
      Not telling this story however , not showing the footage, an odd though familiar proposition. This is why things like this occur in the first place, no sense of accountability or recourse. So what if this makes a cop’s job difficult. I can’t imagine why policing should not be difficult. These people are accountable for how they keep peace. And if this means going against an order to unleash german shepherds on a mexican baby… 
      Perhaps even a no-brainer like this requires a backbone.

    4. Perhaps we need to reconsider the ‘goodness’ of the ‘good cops’ if nobody responsible ends up being disciplined…

      When your job is, ostensibly, ‘protect and serve’ you cannot really be said to be ‘good’ at it(or even ‘good’ in an ethical sense) if you permit your compatriots to threaten the public safety. You are at best gutless and at worst complicit.

      1. I once heard Florynce Kennedy speak, and she made a point that stuck with me.  She said if the good cops aren’t going to stand up and condemn the bad cops, “why not call them all pigs indiscriminately?”  Fair question.  When’s the last time any of us heard a cop in uniform say that police brutality was unacceptable?  Did a single police officer make a public statement against Lt. Pike in Davis, pepper spraying nonviolent protesters?  I didn’t hear it but maybe you did.  If no one in Anaheim PD is willing to stand up and say this was wrong, we know what we need to know.  Silence is assent.

        1. “You know the score, Pal. If you’re not Cop, you’re little people!”

          That really is the mentality for many officers. It’s a society of sorts — thus things like the Fraternal Order of Police, who I have literally had get semi-threatening with me on the phone, trying to coax me into donating.

          However, it’s not useful in my opinion to put all police officers into a single category, and because we live in a complex world, I’m sure many officers who generally are positive forces within their communities sometimes do things that are highly questionable.

          The issue is one of changing our culture, and doing what we can to encourage more police departments to, well, protect and serve.

    5. The job of a good cop is to expose and denounce the misconduct perpetrated by the rest of them.  There aren’t too many, unfortunately, and it’s a hard job indeed.  But releasing footage will only make it easier.

    6. Noone responsible up the chain of command will be disciplined _if_ the footage is not released. The only way to have a chance of correcting things going wrong is by pointing at them.
      If the footage is released and there is still no consequence, well, than _that_ is gonna point at another problem still that is even more urgent.

      Allowing Police officers to be assholes and then help them cover it up is not helping anyone, least of all the “good cops”

    1. Yeah exactly.

      The thing we tend to forget with local news is they have almost no budget or time for original content. (If it’s not prepackaged from a national source, almost everything is free content like traffic, weather, police reports, and — with proper permissions — sports.)

      So when a station gets real original news content, they’re unlikely to let other stations use it and, with certainty, no station would use it anyway and have to give credit to their competitor.

    1. Yes, they’re really proving that they simply FAIL.  Time to tune out.   The true information is being  transmitted by twitter,, blogs etc….    

  2. Did everyone get the end of that report “Residents report Police officers offering to buy cell phone footage no questions asked”  They know they screwed up, they know there is video proof and someone was trying to get a hold of it before it hit the media, perhaps even prevent it from being part of the investigation.  What idiot released a K9 attack dog in a crowded area, no one does that.  We stopped sicking dogs on protestors back in the civil rights era protests.

      1. Maybe that K9 Attack Dog attended the same discipline school they send the Anaheim Police to train in.  

        All around Bad news for town with The Happiest Place on Earth.

        1. Seriously, that is a very badly trained police dog. It should have been able to be controlled with a verbal command immediately, and if it couldn’t its of no use in service.

          1. That would be a new achievement in buck-passing, wouldn’t it – fire the dog, everyone else gets to go back to business as usual…

        2. FYI Anaheim is pretty much a shithole once you go more than a few feet (no exaggeration) from Disneyland and the convention center. It’s not necessarily my least favorite part of SoCal, but it’s close, and I avoid it whenever possible. 

          If I remember correctly, the reason Disney bought such large tracts of land in Florida for Disneyworld was to avoid what happened to Anaheim after Disneyland was built.

          1.  This is false.  While it is true that there are some REALLY bad parts of “Ana-crime,” there are also some very nice, affluent parts far from Disneyland.  Anaheim Hills for example.

          2. @boingboing-cf425bc7a0a88470a5af84e4deffe688:disqus I know, I lived in Placentia which is right there in the middle. Anaheim Hills may as well be a completely different city – I always thought it was, actually.

    1. Thanks to the magic of digital technology, it would be my pleasure to sell the police department as many copies as they wish to buy…

      After a copy has been uploaded to an offsite host, of course.

    1. My guess is “zero” since the city will probably declare bankruptcy before a single penny is paid.

      But I’m guessing the police pensions will be safe as well.

  3. What was surreal was seeing them shooting rubber bullets amidst children, baby carriages, and women holding babies. 

    1. Absolutely – a guy having to use himself as a human shield to protect children from police ordinance – that’s pretty fucking fucked up that is.

  4. Don Corsini, KTLA General Mgr. – 323-460-5555
    Jason Ball, KTLA News Director – 323-460-3992
    Elizabeth Applegate, KTLA Prime News Exec. Producer – 323-460-5378

  5. This video is simply “Personal Injury Attorney” porn. Not sure how that video will stand in front of a civil jury.

    “Well, you see, the baby threw its bottle at the officer, and we simply had to get the situation under control….”

  6. The only exposure I’ve ever had to KTLA news is the bits and pieces that get replayed on The Soup, but even that is enough to convince me that KTLA isn’t terribly interested in reporting anything even remotely resembling actual news.

  7. Umm….correct me if I’m wrong, but the KTLA report appears to be from the following day, and was concerned primarily with covering the protests rather than the incident itself.

    This has no bearing on the police behavior, of course, but it seems a bit odd to compare those two news stories.

  8. A funny side note: 
    That website that hosts the KTLA footage has 6 categories of news:

    Editor Picks, Steve Jobs, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Latest News, 9/11

    And people wonder why Americans live in a bubble. How long ago did 9/11 happen that it still a hot category of ‘news?’

    1. L.A has been really serious about terrorism since the Nakatomi Towers incident of ’88

  9. couldn’t get the KTLA link to play in either firefox or safari, but the ads played right away!

  10. It looks to me that one station simply got scooped with the footage. Channel 9 was there or got video from the actual event, while channel 5 had only footage from before the riot. The snippet they did play of the riot looked to be recorded off of a tv. I imagine they could only show a small snippet of it to stay under ‘fair use’ of copy right.  At least that is what it looks like to me. I don’t know anything about the stations and how they report normally.

    1. By any normal person’s standards it is actually pretty far. Easily a 45 minute drive. But the police attitude through most of Orange County is consistent, so your comparison is accurate :)

  11. Ahhh. Forgive me for coming late to this story; I’d only seen headlines and summaries until today. The key sentence fragment comes early in the story: “a group who were protesting an officer-involved shooting.” In police culture, there are no bad police shootings, therefore anybody who objects to a police officer shooting a perp is standing up for the perps against the police, is objectively pro-perp, a bad person.

    True story from St. Louis history, an important part of the Pruitt-Igoe (look it up) story that most people don’t know:
    One side effect of the ghetto clearance that moved so many poor factory workers into high-rise housing was that police shootings that used to happen scattered all over the city were now all happening where hundreds of people could see them from their windows. Objectively speaking, there were no more crimes, or police shootings, than before Pruitt-Igoe went up. But to people who didn’t live there, who had no sense of how many people lived there, it was seen as “it seems like there’s always yet another crime at Pruitt-Igoe” and to the people who lived there, at a time where it was normal police practice to shoot any fleeing felony suspect, it was, “it seems like every night the cops shoot another Pruitt-Igoe resident.”

    So it became routine: whenever people spotted cops chasing someone into Pruitt-Igoe, protesters, mostly middle-aged and elderly women, would flood out into the courtyards and sidewalks to act as human shields between the fleeing felony suspect and the cops. They announced that they were going to keep doing that until cops stopped shooting unarmed people in the back. (Something that didn’t actually happen until the Supreme Court outlawed it some time later.)

    St. Louis cops responded with their own protest: the entire City PD refused to ever answer another police emergency call to Pruitt-Igoe for several months. By the end of that time, mafia-backed heroin dealers had taken over several whole buildings. And cops, interviewed about it a couple of years ago, still take the attitude of, “well, it serves them right for not supporting the police.”

  12. The LA Times online report was especially forgiving of the police.  That the dog was released “accidentally” was a given for them. While the civilians were all lumped together as bottle throwers and fire starters.

  13. The part that really bothers me about the KTLA video is at 1:50 where the police chief says “When an officer faces someone and says ‘Police stop! Don’t move!’ and they keep running and throwing and reaching for things, I can’t speculate what happened.”

    I wonder if there is any other details about this case that he would care not to speculate about?

  14. There was no “police line”. The police were in the crowds and leisurely fired their rifles into the crowd and taking careful aim. The police dog was let out of the car unrestrained and attacked.

    This was not officers attacking an unruly mob and attempting to exert control. This was a police riot.

    1.  oh common now, clearly any time citizens are gathering and making noise about something, its a threat!  This is what happens after 30+ years of militarizing the police, but thirty years ago the people speaking out against it were railroaded from police departments and called “soft on crime”.    we’re reaping what we’ve sown.

  15. Is it any wonder why you’d be seeing this from Tribune, a broadcasting company with Fox affiliations?

  16. For the record, I live in L.A. – and I don’t know anyone that gets their news from television. And I’m 50. So bear in mind, local television news caters to a very different demographic – one that has never heard of sites like Boing Boing or even stations like MSNBC.

  17. I don’t think this is a case of bad cop versus good cop but another example of how the culture of the constabulary has rotted out and is no longer here to serve but to occupy. There will only be animosity and violence as long as the police continue on this paramilitary path. 

  18. Am I missing something? 
    KCAL – reported a protest that for no apparent reason had police attacking it
    KTLA – reported rioters who were setting dumpsters on fire

    Oh, I get it now – the former is reporting on the actions of citizens and police, the latter is simply reinforcing the perception that People Who Don’t Look Like Us riot and deserve to be violently put down.

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