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Bratton's 'knucklehead' mantra becomes pop art

June 18, 2009 |  3:50 pm

Knuckle The term "knucklehead" is enjoying a popular comeback of sorts thanks to Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton.

Bratton has repeatedly used the word as an all-encompassing description of unruly celebrants of the Lakers' NBA title who started fires, looted stores, pelted police officers with objects and generally tried to spoil the fun for everyone else.

Now, local artist Rudy Martinez has created artwork with his own take on Bratton's new favorite word.

The silkscreen work, left, has Bratton in  a definite tough-guy stance.

It's too soon to say whether the chief has created a knucklehead renaissance or knucklehead chic. But it's far from the first time the outspoken chief's language has created waves.

He likes words like "characters" and "idiots" to describe those he considers bad actors.

Five years ago, Bratton famously referred to community activist Najee Ali on a CNN television interview as "one of the biggest nitwits in Los Angeles" and to gang members as "tribal," "thugs" and "terrorists."

-- Andrew Blankstein

Art: Rudy Martinez