Update:
Based on the comments here and the reactions I've gotten from other readers, I've come to the conclusion that this post was out of line. I have nothing but respect for the police officers who risk their lives protecting me and mine, and I apologize for writing this post. I'm not going to take it down, because I don't like changing the record after the fact. I regret writing it, and I'm sorry.

Some friends and I just got back from lunch and several major streets around LAX are closed because of an investigation into the death of an LAX police officer who has not yet been named. Westchester Parkway was closed in both directions, and northbound traffic on Sepulveda was slowed to a crawl back up onto the 105.

When we first saw the traffic and police we thought there might have been a terrorist threat, and it was surprising to learn that so much disruption was caused by a single death. I can't even imagine how much money it costs to have a hundred police officers block off all those roads, not to mention the cost in labor hours for all the people stuck in traffic. The death of anyone, especially a police officer, should be investigated, but to what degree? What price should society bear to catch the killer and to learn the facts? It appears that the killer is already in custody, so why are the roads closed? Just to gather evidence? A murder investigation is worth spending money on, of course, but how much is too much? And if we put a limit on expenditures, does that mean that rich defendants can thwart the system by outspending it?

Update:
The officer's name was Tommy Edward Scott.

Officer Tommy Edward Scott, headed toward the airport, stopped the man walking along Lincoln just north of the airport about 11 a.m. and a struggle ensued, police said. The man, identified by police as 46-year-old William Sadowski, somehow gained control of the officer's patrol car and drove off, carrying the officer outside the driver's side. As Scott tried to regain possession of the car, it ran into a fire hydrant, sending a plume of water into the air, according to police and reports from the scene. "As the suspect basically drove away at a very high rate of speed, the officer attempted to disable that vehicle, attempted to gain control of it and it appears that he was carried for some distance," Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Michel Moore said at an afternoon news conference. "And unfortunately, the suspect drove off the roadway and struck a fire hydrant." Moments later, Sadowski commandeered a red Ford Expedition that was passing the scene, but crashed it about a half-mile away, crashing into and over the airport's perimeter fence and landing on a second fence on airport property, police said. "Somehow or another that vehicle ended up on (airport property), flipped over. The suspect ... has been removed, is still alive as of this time," Los Angeles police Chief William Bratton said. It was not immediately clear if any shots were fired in the confrontation between Scott and Sadowski. Sadowski was treated for injuries at UCLA Medical Center and will be booked on suspicion of murder, police said.

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Michael Williams muses on a huge investigation he ran into over a LAX police officer's slaying. He's wondering if all that fuss is worth it. I believe it is. Criminals generally understand that if they kill a police officer, their... Read More

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