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Friday, Aug. 25, 2000 at 4:41 AM
LAPD harasses Philly officials for jaywalking while black. DNC officials' daughter gets strongarm treatment from LAPD.
DNC Official Angry Over LAPD Treatment of Daughter
Wednesday, August 23, 2000
By Dan Whitcomb
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Democratic Convention is over and peace restored to the streets, but Los Angeles now has a war on its hands with the "City of Brotherly Love" -- Philadelphia.
The mayor of Philadelphia, host of this year's Republican convention, is furious at the Los Angeles Police Department, claiming one of his aides was harassed by officers after being stopped for jaywalking. He points out that the aide was black and most of the officers white and suggests that the incident amounted to "racial profiling" by the officers.
Now a high-profile Philadelphia lawyer who is also a Democratic campaign official says an LAPD detective bullied his 20-year-old daughter outside a convention event attended by President Clinton, treating her as if she was
a demonstrator even thorough she was wearing a black evening dress, high heels and had DNC credentials.
Alan Kessler, a Democratic campaign finance vice chairman, said the detective used "physical conduct" against his 20-year-old daughter Stacy without provocation.
His complaint to the LAPD's top brass, revealed Wednesday, came during an escalating war of words between the city and Philadelphia Mayor John Street, who wanted an apology from Los Angeles officials for the treatment of his assistant.
"Given the fact that you had a situation where all but one of the police officers were white and all of the people from Philadelphia were black, you would hope that the (Los Angeles) police officers would have been a little more sensitive," said Mayor Street's director of communications, Barbara Grant.
But while Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan has apologized, LAPD brass accused Street of throwing his weight around. Police Chief Bernard Parks said Street "made it into a driving-while-black issue when it was not."
Both Parks and Street are black.
A LAPD spokesman declined to comment on Kessler's allegations, saying that the department never responds to "any kind of lawsuit or threat of litigation."
Kessler declined to say what kind of physical contact the detective had with his daughter, but said she was left badly shaken and nursing a sore arm. He said he was not considering a lawsuit. He declined to let a reporter speak to Stacy Kessler.
"On the one hand I came from the Staples Center (convention site) that night and I saw the massive protests, so I know there was pressure on the police," he said.
"But that does not give somebody the right to take physical action against a young woman who is dressed up and polite and there as a guest of the city," he said. "She was there as a guest of the city of Los Angeles. If this convention was too much trouble the city didn't have to hold the
Kessler said the altercation came on the first day of the convention after a dinner on the Paramount Studios motion picture lot that was attended by President Clinton, when Stacy Kessler, her 16-year-old brother and a friend
tried to leave to attend another event, also on the lot.
Kessler said that when his daughter ventured near the gates of the studios, officers told her that the lot was closing and that she would have to leave immediately. When his daughter responded that she first had to find her brother, Kessler said, a female detective demanded to know if she
"And with that, physical conduct ensued that was totally inappropriate, totally uncalled for and totally unprovoked," he said. "If my daughter was out in the middle of the protests throwing bottles that's one thing. But
this is another."
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