Editors Note:


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Patti Gets Paid

Normally, when someone receives more than a million dollars in damages, it's customary to kid them about buying the next round. But one gets the feeling former photog Patti Ballaz would just as soon do without the money- and skip May 1, 2007 altogether. That's the date members of the LAPD lost their collective minds long enough to assault a group of journalists covering an immigration rally in MacArthur Park. Patti was wearing press credentials and wielding a KTTV fancycam when helmeted officers, apparently worried the Rodney King legacy of years past was fading from the nation's memory, went medieval on the Fourth Estate . It made no sense then; three years later, it makes even less...

Which, in my not so humble opinion, is why a Los Angeles Superior Court jury awarded Patti $1.732 million in damages - after a single day of deliberation. Sound excessive? Apparently, you've never been struck repeatedly by police batons and threatened at gunpoint just for doing your job. That job is one Patti has not returned to. Having received severe physical and emotional injuries from the attack, she opted not to settle her civil lawsuit and went to court instead. Now she has a million dollars to show for it, but even that amount won't render Patti whole...
“May 1, 2007 is a day that I will never forget, it is a day that has changed my life forever,” continued Patricia Ballaz. “My genuine hope is that this trial and its verdict will serve as a strong reminder to the LAPD to think twice about using excessive force in any kind of situation. Our free speech and civil rights are precious and if we can’t rely on the police to protect them, who can we trust?”
Good question, Patti. Should you ever get an answer, let us know. Meanwhile, I'll be respecting you from afar and reminding the official whiskey of Viewfinder BLUES is Maker's Mark, or if you insist, Knob Creek.

Just sayin'...

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