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Opinion L.A. Observations and provocations from The Times' Opinion Staff
LAPD calls in the reinforcements. What could possibly go wrong?

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck "wants to swarm high-crime neighborhoods with more than 200 highly trained officers from the elite Metropolitan Division without undermining years of progress the department has made in building better relationships with those communities," report Kate Mather, Richard Winton and Cindy Chang in The Times.

Metro Division cops are the best of the best — the department's elite. So what could go wrong?

"Parachuting reinforcements into unfamiliar territory on this scale marks a change from the LAPD's longtime community policing tactic of using beat cops to patrol neighborhoods. Metro officers are known more for their specialized tactical and weapons training than for their skills in building relationships with residents," their report says.


Civil rights lawyer Connie Rice told The Times that she’s concerned the Metro Division deployment may make things worse. "The Metro officers are a super paramilitary version of policing," she said. "They are not the...

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Mountain lion P-22 should have a real name; bring on the suggestions!

When we wrote an editorial last week suggesting that the mountain lion P-22, who strolled out of his usual Griffith Park habitat and temporarily hunkered down in the crawl space of a nearby Los Feliz house, should be given a proper name, our readers took up the challenge.

“Jack,” offered a reader named—yes, you guessed it -- Jack.

“Randy,” suggested another. "He is looking for love and he loves L.A." (We did a round-up of suggestions.)

Reader Pam Carlisle had a similar but more elegant take on that "lion on the make" meme. She sent it to Martha Groves, my colleague in the California section who has written in detail about the wanderings of P-22.

“May I suggest ‘El Soltero,’ which means ‘The Bachelor’ in Spanish,” Carlisle wrote.

Indeed, P-22 should be on the prowl for love. That’s what Kate Kuykendall of the National Park Service told me when I talked to her last week. “One of the big things for them, when they turn 2, is to be with a mate,” she said. That’s probably why he left the western...

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Hillary Clinton tees up an argument for opposing the TPP

You know that old joke about how to tell when a politician is lying?

Along those lines, here's how to tell when politicians are looking for a way to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership without looking like a protectionist or a captive of organized labor: They say the magic words "currency manipulation."

Witness former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose husband persuaded Congress to approve the North American Free Trade Agreement back in 1993. For free-trade advocates, that was one of Bill Clinton's biggest achievements in the White House.

On Friday, Hillary Clinton's spokesman appeared to set a condition for her supporting the 12-nation TPP that is impossible to satisfy.

In a statement to the New York Times, Nick Merrill said Clinton would support the deal only if it improved the lot of U.S. workers and strengthened national security. That's a brilliant bit of framing because no matter what's in the deal, supporters will argue that it passes Clinton's tests, opponents will argue...

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Public needs cold, hard numbers on use of deadly force

California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris wasn’t campaigning for U.S. Senate on Jan. 5, the day of her inauguration for her second term. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s retirement announcement was still a few days away. But even as Harris was making promises for the next four years, you got the sense that her mind was already on her next job.

Nothing wrong with that; ambitious elected officials tend get things done. And Friday, Harris delivered on one of the promises she made in her inaugural speech. To deal with the “crisis in confidence” sparked by the separate killings of two unarmed African American men, she said she would demand a “complete review of our special agent training on implicit bias and use of force.”

To announce the results of that 90-day-review, Harris convened a news  conference Friday in her Los Angeles office, flanked by a power lineup of police leadership -- LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell, the police chiefs of Oxnard and Stockton as well as the assistant...

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Death for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev? It's not the victims' call

A federal jury in Boston will soon decide whether to sentence Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston Marathon bomber, to death.  Lots of people have opinions on this question, including the editorial board of this newspaper, which reiterated its view that no crime, including this one, warrants the death penalty.

Now the parents of an 8-year-old boy killed in the terrorist act have asked the U.S. attorney to take the death penalty off the table.

In an essay published in the Boston Globe, Bill and Denise Richard -- whose son, Martin, was killed and whose daughter, Jane, lost her leg -- said that a death sentence for Tsarnaev would keep him “in the spotlight” and give the Richards “no choice but to live a story told on his terms, not ours. The minute the defendant fades from our newspapers and TV screens is the minute we begin the process of rebuilding our lives and our family.”

It’s a powerful appeal, but federal prosecutors should ignore it.  It would be equally wrong for the government...

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We all pay: The high costs of gun violence

Each year more than 11,000 people are killed with guns in the United States, an additional 20,000 people commit suicide with guns and 80,000 people survive gunshot wounds with a wide range of injuries, including life-altering paralysis. That means bullets pierce the bodies of at least 111,000 people each year. Maybe. Getting a firm estimate is impossible because lobbying by the NRA curtails such research, an atrocious display of the political system’s abject fear of angering the gun lobby.

So what is the financial cost to society from all that carnage? Mother Jones magazine, working with researcher Ted Miller of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, has taken a stab at crafting an estimate using 2012 data, and comes up with about $229 billion a year in medical costs, court costs, prison for perpetrators, lost wages for victims and other economic impacts.

According to Mother Jones, that amounts to $700 for every person in the country:

“Direct costs account for $8.6 billion...

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