I don’t know about you but I find it incredibly hard to understand how much money this City spends on policing. Even leaving aside all the lesser-known police forces, like the Airport Police, and the School Police, and the Port Police, and probably a dozen other kinds of police none of us has ever even heard of, it’s even hard to understand how much money the City spends on just the familiar LAPD. One hears $3 billion, or $1.5 billion.
No one seems to know if pension spending should be included or not. And if you ever do figure it out it’s still impossible to understand where they’re spending the money. Public Records Requests would be ideal for this purpose but LAPD refuses to fulfill them, unless of course they have their own reasons for wanting to get information out there.
However, I just recently obtained this incredibly useful document from the City of LA that really lays out LAPD spending in just the right amount of detail. It divides the fiscal year 2020 money up into ten “programs”, which are: Field Forces, Specialized Investigation, Custody of Persons and Property, Traffic Control, Specialized Enforcement and Protection, Personnel Training and Support, Departmental Support, Technology Support, General Administration and Support, Internal Integrity and Standards Enforcement .
The spending for each program is broken down into detailed but not too detailed categories, like Salaries, Pensions, Benefits, Electricity, and so on. This document leaves a lot of questions unanswered, but it answers a lot of questions for me, and perhaps it will be as useful to you! Download the PDF here and read on to see images.
Continue reading Here’s A Copy Of A Record Which Provides A Useful Breakdown Of LAPD’s Completely Incomprehensible Budget — Broken Down By Program And Category — The Programs Are Like Field Forces — Or Custody Of Persons And Property — The Categories Are Like Salaries — Or Pensions — Or Current Benefits — Or Water And Electricity — Et Cetera — It’s Detailed But Not Too Detailed — And Very Informative!
On June 30, 2020, investigative reporter Aura Bogado tweeted a thread about text messages sent or received by LAPD Chief Michel Moore during the June 2, 2020 meeting of the Los Angeles Police Commission. Bogado obtained these on June 29, 2020 as a result of a June 3, 2020 NextRequest filing.
As you may know, I’ve had some trouble getting the Los Angeles Police Department to even respond to my CPRA requests, let alone to actually produce significant records quickly enough to be useful. So I asked Bogado how she’d done it, but it turned out that she had no idea whatsoever, although she thought she understood. Here’s what she had to say:
I did a standard CPRA to police records; made sure to include why I thought the records existed (Soboroff lifted his phone to the camera at some point) and also included that the request was subject to litigation if I didn’t get a response. I sue, and win, but that’s usually with the federal gov (I cover im/migration nationally) so I think this was part of the motivation to take my request seriously.
Continue reading In June 2020 LAPD Took Only 26 Days To Produce 60 Pages Of Michel Moore’s Text Messages In Response To A CPRA Request From Investigative Reporter Aura Bogado — Which Is So Fast It’s Unbelievable — Bogado Attributed Their Speedy And Complete Response To Her Litigious Reputation And Some Specific Phrases She Included In The Request — But We All Know From Experience LAPD Doesn’t Care About That At All — They Get Sued Successfully All The Time — And I’ve Seen No Evidence That They Care How Requests Are Written — It Turns Out That Bryan Lium — Commander Of LAPD’s Legal Affairs Division — Took A Special Interest In Bogado’s Request And Emailed Richard Tefank About Eleventy-Jillion Times To Hurry It Along — Which Is Actually Why It Got Filled Fast — Meanwhile Lium Tells Everyone That Stop LAPD Spying’s Requests Will Just Have To Wait Because They Have To “Balance” Them With Other Requests — Where “Balance” Apparently Means “Ignore Completely”
You know how you go to a Los Angeles City Council meeting and all the action seems scripted and predetermined? That’s not an illusion. Obviously they decide everything in advance, or they did before everything changed last year. And this is completely illegal in California per the Brown Act but it is so freaking hard to catch them at it!
Not impossible, though. Scope this Sunday, June 21, 2020 email from LAPD City Council liason Harry Eddo to Chief Michel Moore discussing some of this summer’s flood of cop reform motions, these scheduled for the Wednesday, June 24, 2020 meeting of the Ad Hoc Police Reform Committee. Apparently it’s part of Eddo’s job to track such motions, ones that potentially affect LAPD, and help Moore plan responses.
Which by the way brings up an important question — why does LAPD have a person doing this job at all? If the idea is that the police are an instrument of civilian public policy, controlled by elected civilians to carry out the public’s purposes, then it’s hard to justify spending public money paying staff to monitor and influence the source of control. It almost looks like the LAPD is more concerned with institutional survival and control rather than with doing their jobs.
So Eddo talks to Council staff, which I guess is what liasons do. And they talk back to him. And apparently, on June 21, 2020 or before, he talked to folks from the office of then-Chair Herb Wesson, who told him exactly what would happen with the motions: they would be approved “on consent after holding considerable public comment.” Wesson’s staff had it all figured out three freaking days before the meeting, and any of that “considerable public comment” that happened to oppose Wesson’s plans was wasted. It was all wasted, actually, even supporting comments:
Continue reading Anyone Who Watches The Los Angeles City Council Closely Suspects Them Of Colluding Behind The Scenes — In Blatant Violation Of The Brown Act — But Man It Is Hard To Find Proof! — Cause They Do It By Whispering In Both The Literal And — These Days — Figurative Corridors — But A June 2020 Email From LAPD City Council Liason Harry Eddo To Chief Michel Moore Reveals That Ad Hoc LAPD Reform Committee Chair Herb Wesson Had Exact Foreknowledge Of The Fate Of A Number Of Motions — His Staff Told Eddo Four Days Before A Committee Meeting That They Would Pass On Consent After Extensive Public Comment — Is There Any Legal Way He Could Be So Sure? — I Doubt It!
Commander Anne Clark runs LAPD’s Detective Services Group, which makes her second in command of the Detective Bureau, reporting directly to Deputy Chief Kris Pitcher. But it’s not a happy workplace, apparently. According to an anonymous email sent on August 6. 2020 to Los Angeles Police Commissioner Shane Murphy Goldsmith by someone using the pseudonym David Well, Internal Affairs Group was at that time conducting a “workplace audit”, apparently LAPD-speak for IAG investigations that lack “CF numbers”, whatever those might be.
Despite the pseudonym, though, I’d bet good money the anonymous complainant is a woman. The accusations against Clarke are not only completely plausible, they have to do with the kind of pro-male sexism that certain women in certain powerful positions can display. They’re not really the kind of problems that men tend to notice in this amount of detail. E.g.
“Anne Clark dislikes other female command staff within Detective Bureau, which appears to be based on their gender. She is very cordial to and supportive of the male Captains but rude, obnoxious, disrespectful and downright mean to the female Captains.
It’s hard for me to imagine a male LAPD officer noticing this kind of behavior and at the same time thinking it’s worth complaining about. There are plenty of other examples like this. In fact all of the specific examples have to do with Clark’s mistreatment of high-ranking women, which suggests that the complainant is also a high-ranking woman. The email also faults Clark’s superior officer, Kris Pitcher:
Deputy Chief Kris Pitcher is complicit in that he listens to how she speaks to others during Compstat inspections or other venues, yet does nothing to stop her unprofessional demeanor, most likely because he has been promised the next Assistant Chief position and does not want to jeopardize his appointment by being blamed by Clark for taking action against a female employee.
Michel Moore received Well’s email, which is transcribed in its lurid entirety below, and had his command staff initiate a personnel complaint against Clark. He also asked for a briefing on the Workplace Audit Well refers to. But I have no idea what happened after that, at least not yet I don’t!
Continue reading An Anonymous Complaint Against LAPD Commander Anne Clark Of The Detective Services Group Details Her Sexist Misrule — Reveals The Existence Of A Secret Internal Affairs Audit Of The Detective Bureau — Accuses Clark Of Hating Women Command Staff — Humiliating Them In Public — Accuses Deputy Chief Kris Pitcher Of Enabling Clark’s Bad Behavior For His Own Selfish Purposes — And Of Conspiring With Clark To Criminally Misuse Federal Funds — And Michel Moore Opened Up A Personnel Complaint Against Clark On The Basis Of This Anonymous Email — Did I Mention There Is A Complete Copy Of It Right Here For You?!
On June 14, 2019 off duty LAPD Officer Salvador Sanchez killed Kenneth French in a Costco in Covina. On September 9, 2019 Riverside County DA Mike Hestrin presented the case to a grand jury, which subsequently declined to indict Sanchez. In 2020 both LAPD Chief Michel Moore and the Los Angeles Police Commission ruled that Sanchez violated Department rules by killing French.
This is all well-known. What I haven’t seen discussed, reported on, or even published is this 24 Hour Occurrence Log form about the shooting, prepared by LAPD Force Investigation Division Detective Anthony Rheault on June 18, 2019, just four days after Sanchez killed French. In particular this initial report states that “In an unprovoked assault, Kenneth French struck the officer in the head, causing him to collapse to the ground with his child.”
The 24 Occurrence Log also states that “The off-duty officer sustained blunt force trauma to his head.” While there is some testimonial evidence that French did strike Sanchez it’s not completely convincing and given that later pretty much every other aspect of his story turned out to be a lie, I’m not completely convinced.
Furthermore, Moore’s final report, which was obtained and published by the Los Angeles Times, contains no convincing evidence that Sanchez suffered from any serious injury. To the contrary, Moore states:
The UOFRB majority noted that although the attack on Officer Sanchez by Kenneth was unprovoked, the inconsistencies in Officer Sanchez’s statements and the lack of supporting evidence led them to determine that this incident did not support the drawing and exhibiting of a firearm. … The UOFRB majority also noted that Officer Sanchez indicated he was struck hard enough to be rendered unconscious, yet after receiving medical treatment, there was a lack of any substantiated injuries…”
So basically Rheault accepted Sanchez’s story as fact on these two essential issues, issues on which all the different levels of review later found Sanchez’s story to be inconsistent and implausible. It seems to me, at least, that investigators ought to keep their unsupported conclusions out of their reports and stick to the facts.
Continue reading Hitherto Unpublished LAPD 24 Hour Occurrence Log Form On Salvador Sanchez’s 2019 Killing of Kenneth French In A Costco — Reveals That Initial Force Investigation Division Detective Anthony Rheault Concluded Immediately That Sanchez Was Truthful Regarding Key Elements Of The Story — And Presented His Unsupported Statements As Fact — Statements Which Were Later Shown To Be Either False — Or Contradictory — Or Unsupported By Evidence — Perhaps It Would Be Better For Investigators To Stick To Verifiable Facts On These Forms So As Not To Influence The Direction Of The Later Investigation
When Los Angeles Police Department officers shoot, hurt, or kill people or animals, and even when they fire their guns by accident, the Department investigates the incident and reports on it to the Police Commission. For sufficiently serious incidents both the Chief and the Inspector General review the evidence and write confidential reports, which are then considered in closed session by the Commission. Even the least serious incidents get covered in a so-called “Chief of Police 24 Hour Occurrence Log Force Investigation Division” report. The ones for which
The Department publishes summaries of the first kind of reports on their website and it’s possible to get redacted versions of the original confidential closed session reportsif you ask for them, but I’ve never seen the unredacted reports published anywhere. Until now, that is, because I have an unprecedented set of records comprising both Chief and OIG reports from 14 cases in 2019 and 2020 and 18 of the previously mentioned 24 Hour Occurrence reports from 2020 for you today!
Some of the more serious cases also have confidential minority opinions filed by LAPD Command staff and I have those too, also unredacted. One of the cases, Alex Flores, has an unredacted LAPD Family Liason report. AYou can download all of them here on Archive.Org, or read on for brief summaries and direct links. Here are internal links to the files organized by victim in ascending date order:
Continue reading Never Before Seen Unredacted Confidential Closed Session LAPD Use Of Force Reports Now Available — Twelve From 2019 And Two From 2020 — Along With Sixteen Confidential 24 Hour Incident Summaries From 2020 — Including Police Killings — Wounds — Complete Misses — Officers Shooting Their Guns By Mistake — Three Dead Dogs — A Very Rare Example Of An LAPD Family Liason Unit Report — Apparently After LAPD Officers Shoot A Person They Send These People Out To Meet With Their Victim’s Family — Which I Did Not Know About
Santa Claus teaches children many important lessons about ubiquitous surveillance and moral judgments, but if those children grow up to be LAPD officers, well, the lessons are no longer true for them. I mean, Santa Claus can make a list and check it twice and no matter how naughty officers are accused of being, a lot of time no one outside of 100 W. 1st Street ever hears a word about it.
This deep, deep silence gets even deeper when a board of rights is involved. These shadowy hearing boards review the Chief’s punishment recommendations and almost always overturn them. But the names of officers appearing before boards of rights are secret, as are their findings and pretty much everything about them. Boards of rights have gotten some attention from the news since 2017, though.
That’s when LA voters amended the Charter to allow for all-civilian membership. People feared that civilian boards would go much easier on accused officers, and the officers themselves clearly believe that this is the case. The usually toothless LAPD Office of the Inspector General is currently looking into the process afforded by these boards. And he’s going to release his conclusions in the aggregate. Like e.g. since they’ve been allowed to, it looks like 100% of LAPD officers choose all civilians.
Why? Well, we could ask them if we knew who they were, but … well, actually, I have a record for you! It’s a spreadsheet from August 2020 with lists of all pending board of rights hearings. I also exported this as a PDF and you can read it in HTML over here. It includes the names of the accused officers, their attorneys, and the names of the members of the boards of rights.
It reveals the date the precipitating incident took place and the date of the next scheduled hearing so it’s possible to see how long the process takes. So for instance, the next time you see LAPD Officer Oscar Rojas, serial number 43061, you could ask him how his hearing on December 7, 2020 went. Or LAPD Officer Monica Moore, serial number 35815, you can ask her if she’s worried about her upcoming hearing on February 8, 2021.
Continue reading California Cop Disciplinary Processes Are Notoriously Top Secret — They Don’t Even Release Names Of Accused Officers Except In Very Extreme Circumstances — But Here Is A Spreadsheet From August 2020 Showing All Pending LAPD Board Of Rights Cases — Including Accused Officers’ Names And Serial Numbers — Names Of Hearing Officers — Defense Attorneys — LAPD Department Advocate — Who Acts Like A Prosecutor — Dates Of Upcoming Hearings — And Other Disciplinary Processes Also — I Have Never Seen Anything Like This Document!
Recent events have made it clear that we need an effective way to search the content of Los Angeles film permits for names and phone numbers of location managers, locations, and other essential information. Permits are coordinated by an entity called FilmLA. FilmLA is putatively private but is made subject to the California Public Records Act at least by its contract with the City of Los Angeles. But FilmLA bossman Paul Audley refuses to comply with the law.
And while I’m not giving up on legal remedies, they take forever and it turns out that it’s not necessary to wait in order to obtain some of the records. In particular, the permits themselves. Audley admits that the permits are subject to the CPRA and they are all in some technical sense available on FilmLA’s website. However, the search is abysmal.
It’s only possible to search on four predetermined fields, which are Permit Number, Company Name, Production Title, and Date of First Activity. If you want other information, like all permits at a given location, you’re out of luck. Not only that, but it’s impossible to search even those fields without being logged in. This excludes search engines from indexing the permits (unless arrangements are made to allow them in, which FilmLA has not done).
But there’s probably no way to compel these people to let search engines in, even with a lawsuit, so I took matters into my own hands and scraped the site of most of the permits. I’m in the process of putting these all on Archive.Org. There are presently more than 45K individual files uploaded but there are over 100GB and it’s taking a while to get them up. The Archive allows search engines to index their site, of course, so eventually all the permits will be searchable on the open internet.
Continue reading Self Help And The California Public Records Act — The Case Of FilmLA — And Their Weirdly Intransigent Attitude Towards The Law — And A Hacky But Functional Way To Scrape Their Website — Which I Did Over The Last Week Or So — And Now It’s — At Least Theoretically — Possible To Batch Search The Permits
You might want to meet with Eric Garcetti but Eric Garcetti doesn’t want to meet with you. John Motter told that story recently in the essential Knock LA. And it’s not Garcetti’s problem, honestly. It’s all you. There are plenty of folks he will very gladly meet with, like e.g. members of the Central City Association. And in secret no less, as he did on November 16, 2020. Mike Feuer did the same thing on October 8, 2020.
And what were these luminaries talking to CCALA about in these top secret meetings? I’m glad you asked! I recently obtained copies of CCALA supreme commander Jessica Lall’s confidential members-only briefing notes for these two meetings that reveal quite a bit about what went on. Here are links to the original Microsoft Word files and PDF versions. HTML transcriptions and images appear below as well:
嬄 Feuer Meeting briefing notes — DOCX ◈ PDF ◈ JPG ◈ HTML
嬄 Garcetti Meeting briefing notes — DOCX ◈ PDF ◈ JPG ◈ HTML
You should read the originals, also. They have a lot more stuff in them than I discuss here. The notes include brief agendas and a list of goals. For instance, Garcetti:
Continue reading The Central City Association Held Secret Members-Only Meetings With Mike Feuer And Eric Garcetti In October And November — Attendees Included Tom Gilmore — Patti Berman — Sara Hernandez — And The Usual Gang Of Downtown BIDdies And Zillionaires Complaining About Homelessness — And Defunding The Police — And Regulations And Codes — They Really Really Hate Regulations And Codes — Featuring The Inimitable Blair Besten As Self-Proclaimed Expert On “Street Homelessness” — And Plenty Of Other Aggressive Lunacy
It appears that Mark Smith, Inspector General of the Los Angeles Police Department, and Mayor Eric Garcetti planned earlier this year to open a satellite Inspector General’s office in South Los Angeles “when COVID allows.” According to emails I obtained recently, Garcetti aide Jeff Gorell, Smith, and Police Commission President Eileen Decker were ready on July 9 to announce this publicly.
On July 7 Gorell emailed Garcetti to inform him of the plan, in which the satellite would have “some capacity for in-person report-taking and meetings [and] staffed 2 days per week.” Apparently Garcetti nixed the announcement, though, because it was never made.
According to Gorell’s later email to Decker they’d decided “to postpone the announcement of the satellite IG office until later when we can couple it with other UOF reforms.” The point being, I guess, that Garcetti intended the satellite office, like the use of force reforms, to placate people protesting daily to express their disgust for LAPD’s apparently unslakeable thirst for blood.
Well, I haven’t heard about this plan again, and I haven’t heard much of the ‘other UOF reforms” either. I guess none of it seemed so important while MEG thought he was on his way to Washington? Or something like that. Anyway, read on for a transcription.
Continue reading Garcetti Aide Jeff Gorell And LAPD Inspector General Mark Smith Were All Set In July To Announce Plans To Open A Satellite Inspector General’s Office In South Los Angeles — To Be Staffed Two Days A Week — For Accepting Reports And As A Meeting Space — But When Gorell Checked In With His “Chief” About It A Couple Days Before The Announcement Garcetti Put The Nix On It — Wanted To Bundle It Up With “Other UOF Reforms” — And Now It’s December — With No Satellite Office Announcement And No UOF Reforms — Maybe None Of It Looked Pressing To Garcetti While Visions Of Cabinet-Level Appointments Danced In His Head?