As angry Prop 8 demonstrators block traffic and disrupt city life, officers are under orders to leave them alone.
The first paragraph of the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics reads as follows: “As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve the community; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality and justice.”
These are noble ideals, but here in Los Angeles we have seen once again that noble ideals can be trumped by the demands of politics, which are often not so noble.
Witness the furor that has erupted following the November 4 passage of California’s Proposition 8, a referendum that amended the state’s constitution so as to read that “[o]nly marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
” In approving the proposition, the voters of California affirmed the meaning of marriage as it had been understood for millennia until May of this year, when four members of the California Supreme Court rummaged through all those emanations and penumbras that only liberals can claim to detect in written documents, miraculously finding therein the right for same-sex couples to marry.
Angered by this expression of the will of the voters and the repudiation of an activist court, advocates for same-sex marriage have taken to the streets in Los Angeles, venting their outrage at what they describe as “hate” on the part of those who voted in favor of the proposition.
The protests thus far have come in the form of impromptu marches down various thoroughfares, disrupting traffic and raising a minor ruckus here and there. Los Angeles Police Department officers have arrested a handful of protesters, but most of the marchers have been voicing their opinions loudly but peacefully nearly every day since the election.
But even peaceful demonstrations can be disruptive to a community, and it’s been disheartening to witness the lengths to which the management of the LAPD has acquiesced to the disorder engendered by these protests.