Matt Tinoco: LAPD Honors 25 Officers For Not Using Deadly Force
The Preservation of Life medal rewards officers for not using deadly force in dangerous situations, a point underscored by the narratives offered before each award was given to its recipient on Thursday evening. Officer Danielle Lopez was awarded for talking a man who was waving an assault rifle at passing street traffic to put down the weapon and move away. The weapon was later determined to be fake, but the fact remains that had officers opened fire on the man they believed to be holding an assault rifle, the inevitable (hypothetical) Police Commission investigation would likely have determined the officers acted within department policy.
Curiously, when LAPD Chief Charlie Beck first introduced the medal last year, he was harshly criticized by the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the LAPD’s police union.