In 2020 LAPD was in full-on attack mode against the protesters who filled the streets of Los Angeles supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and other progressive causes. They shot, beat, and falsely arrested protesters by the hundreds. As part of their carefully planned media response strategy LAPD engaged former Police Commission president Gerald Chaleff to write a report on their misbehavior.
Given the psychopathically lenient approach the Commission takes with respect to LAPD oversight no one sensible expected Chaleff’s report to tell much truth, and we the sensible certainly were neither disappointed in this expectation nor surprised that Chaleff’s recommendations boiled down to the usual training, training, and more training.
Chaleff’s connections with LAPD, from his time on the Commission to his stint as William Bratton’s Special Assistant for Constitutional Policing, whatever that may be, have been widely reported. But I haven’t seen any reporting on the fact that in February 2020, before COVID shut down the City and before he was engaged to write his report, Chaleff applied to LAPD to be a civilian hearing officer.
Continue reading Gerald Chaleff — Who Wrote A Report Exonerating LAPD Of Moral Responsibility For Their Appalling Violence Against Protesters During The 2020 Civil Unrest — Applied In February 2020 To Be An LAPD Civilian Hearing Examiner — Which Casts Even More Doubt On His Ethical Independence From LAPD — Hearing Examiner Applicants Have Their Fingerprints Run Against DOJ And FBI Databases — Even Chaleff Had To Do This Although He Was Formerly President Of The Police Commission — No Surprise That He Came Back Clean But What Is Surprising Is That I Have Copies Of The Confidential Reports! — And So Do You If You Want Them!!
The Los Angeles Police Department routinely violates the civil rights of Angelenos. They kill, beat, and maim, of course, but also conduct countless racist pretextual stops of drivers and bicyclists. They’re allowed to do this by the LA City Council, and without good information about what they’re up to it’s not easy for Angelenos to control them.
But they also routinely violate the California Public Records Act. The details range from egregiously obvious to subtly technical but in every case the goal, and for the most part the actual result, is to keep public records out of the hands of the public. They have been sued repeatedly and successfully for this over the last five years. To my knowledge they’ve never prevailed in a public records case.
LAPD’s violations are expensive. Since 2016 the City of Los Angeles has paid out at least $1,377,224 to settle CPRA suits against the police department only. Given the number of pending cases this figure is likely to top $1.5M by the end of 2021. The fact that settlement payments come from the City’s general fund clearly facilitates LAPD’s strategy of denying access to records until a suit is filed.
One of the most common reasons LAPD gives for denying the public access to records is that to produce them would be “burdensome.” There’s no such exemption in the CPRA, but courts have found, in some cases, that a public agency’s use of its resources, including employee salaries, to fill a request serves the public interest less than the production of the records would do.
Continue reading Los Angeles Has Paid Almost $1.5M Settling Recent Public Records Suits Against LAPD — But LAPD Continues To Violate The Law With Impunity — Newly Obtained Reports Show That They’ve Radically Decreased Staff In The CPRA Unit — Even As They Deny Requests Which They Claim Would Use Too Much Staff Time To Fill — They Pad Their Request Completion Stats By Prioritizing Innocuous Automated Reports Rather Than Substantial Material — And They Handle Requests From Mainstream Media Outlets More Promptly Than Others
In January 2021 Lorena Ochoa of the Los Angeles Conservation Corps emailed Ellen Endo of the Little Tokyo Business Improvement District to tell her that one of their Big Belly trash cans often had hypodermic needles in it and that therefore they wouldn’t service it any more:
Just want to bring to your attention the high volume of syringes being tossed inside this bigbelly. I cannot have the corpsmember driver service anymore bigbelly’s under these conditions. It’s a safety hazardous matter taking syringes to the City of LA sanitation site. I’m going to attach a list of Call Active Clean up companies that can come out and service these types of matters.
Endo wrote to Adriana Velasquez, a staffer in CD14 rep Kevin De Leon’s office, explaining Ochoa’s position and suggesting that they replace the Big Bellies with normal wire trash cans as soon as possible:
Continue reading According To LAPD Senior Lead Officer Adrian Lopez “providing services to the homeless is useless. The homeless need to be removed … and the area cleaned and restored back to its original state.” — The City Of LA Cedes Municipal Services To Private Actors Like BIDs — Who Are Incapable And Unwilling To Provide Them — And To Police — Who Are Incapable Of Delivering Anything Other Than Violence — Here’s An Example From Little Tokyo
In March 2021 self-proclaimed LAPD Northeast Division rank and file officers sent an anonymous complaint to the Attorney General of California against their leaders Arturo Sandoval, Cesar Rivas, and Gina Paialii over a couple of 2020 fundraising raffles widely believed to have been rigged by Sandoval. Here’s a copy of their letter.
They allege that Sandoval rigged the first raffle so that he won the big prize, which was half the money collected. Subsequently, due to the fact that everyone thought the first one was rigged, they held a second raffle a few months later. The complaining rank-and-filers don’t have evidence of rigging, though, although who’d be surprised if it were true?
What they do have evidence of, what’s clear on its face, is that Sandoval, Rivas, and Paialii organized the two raffles on their own, without a non-profit organization being involved. This is, as the complainants note, a crime in California. The Penal Code at §320 forbids lotteries, although at §320.5 and §320.6 it has exceptions for appropriate private non-profit organizations, which can hold lotteries for certain enumerated reasons.
The reasons and the criteria aren’t important in this case, though, because the law is very clear that the non-profit must be private, which LAPD is not. There are a bunch of other requirements as well, including that the private non-profit must register annually with the state as a lottery-conductor before engaging in lottery-conducting. So if Sandoval and the others really did organize these lotteries they did violate §320 PC, which is a misdemeanor.
Continue reading “The overall morale at the LAPD Northeast Division can best be described as being in the TOILET” — Anonymous Letter From LAPD Northeast Officers Accuse Station Brass — Arturo Sandoval — Cesar Rivas — Gina Paialii — Of Rigging A Raffle So That Sandoval Won — And Of Running An Illegal Lottery Right In The Station — It Looks Like Sandoval And Friends Committed At Least Five Other Misdemeanors — The Letter Also Claims That Internal Affairs Is Too Corrupt To Investigate The Complaint — And That Sandoval And Others Are Raising Funds For A Slush Fund They Control — And On And On And On — Did I Mention That We Have A Copy Of This Letter?!?
On September 20, 2020, I sent a request for some old reports to Mark Smith, the Inspector General of the Los Angeles Police Department. On April 16, 2021 Smith produced the responsive records. This is the story of what happened in the seven months between the request and the production!
On September 22, 2020, just two days after receiving my request, Police Commission Executive Director Richard Tefank emailed Deputy City Attorney Soraya Kelly who, along with Carlos De La Guerra, staffs CPRA requests for the Commission and the OIG. He wanted legal advice, and he had some very … colorful … ideas about my work:
Good Morning Again Soraya,
So now I receive this email from [Kohlhaas].
From what he is doing to my office and the OIG I feel this guy is harassing us via CPRA requests. Is there any action that can be taken. Quite frankly I don’t have the time for these games.
It’s clear from this that Tefank and Mark Smith had been talking, and they weren’t happy with me! Their default attitude towards people who expect them to follow the law they voluntarily made themselves subject to is that they’re being harassed. Meanwhile, on September 29, 2020, precisely when required to do so by law, Smith sent me a letter claiming a 14 day extension to respond, in which he stated that he would in fact respond by October 13, 2020.
And Tefank’s anxiety about my requests got worse! Just three days after Smith sent me that extension letter Tefank sent a heartbreakingly plaintive email to Smith, LAPD Constitutional Cop Lizabeth Rhodes, CPRA cops Bryan Lium and Marla Ciuffetelli, and a bunch of deputy city attorneys, including Soraya Kelly, Julie Raffish, Debra Gonzalez, and Carlos de la Guerra:
Continue reading Los Angeles Police Department Inspector General Mark Smith Is Supposed To Investigate LAPD To See That They Comply With The Law — Which Is Pretty Hypocritical Since His Office Intentionally And Egregiously Violates The California Public Records Act — Which Is A Violation Of Requesters’ Constitutional Rights — I Made A Request In September 2020 — His Staffer Julie Buchwald Had The Records Ready By October 2020 — She Messed Around And Didn’t Produce The Records Until April 16 2021 — If Smith Doesn’t Know That Buchwald Is A Liar And An Outlaw Then He’s Incompetent — If He Does Know He’s A Co-Conspirator — Either Way He Has No Business Whatsoever Overseeing Anything Related To Obeying The Law — Especially The Police — He Is A Hypocrite And Ought To Resign Immediately — He Probably Exonerates Every Cop He Investigates To Sooth His Conscience Over His Own Lawbreaking — Even Cops Ought To Refuse To Be Overseen By This Guy — Who At This Point Has Zero Credibility — Did I Mention He Ought To Resign?
The Los Angeles Police Commission does not hold its meetings in a public-friendly manner. They severely limit comment time, for instance, and they also, at least pre-COVID, regularly have members of the public arrested. But as bad as they are they mostly don’t violate the Brown Act while doing it.
However, it turns out that they have a bunch of committees, and it really looks like at least one of them, the Use of Force Committee, is itself subject to the Brown Act. But it meets in secret, and has done at least since 2011. This is against the law, of course, so today I sent this complaint about it to the Public Integrity Division of the LA County District Attorney’s Office.
Under Jackie Lacey these Public Integrity jokers didn’t do much, but perhaps things are different now? I guess we’ll find out! Read on for an html version of the complaint, although you’ll have to look at the PDF to see the evidence.
Continue reading The Los Angeles Police Commission Has A Use Of Force Committee — Which Meets In Secret — Which Is Against The Law Since It’s Pretty Clearly Subject To The Brown Act — So Today I Sent A Complaint To The Public Integrity Division Of The Los Angeles County District Attorney — Which Meant Essentially Nothing When Jackie Lacey Was In Charge — But Conceivably Things Are Different Now — Maybe?
LAPD, often acting through the Los Angeles Police Protective League, warps just about every aspect of municipal politics to serve its own twisted ends. They’re famous for their blackmail files on local politicians and all sorts of other intimidation tactics in order to strongarm them into supporting every aspect of the cop-first agenda. But it turns out that I had no idea of how deeply the LAPPL has insinuated itself into the terms and conditions of policing in this City until I read this October 2020 memo from LAPD sergeant Joseph Fransen to Chief Bea Girmala.
The context is a meet-and-confer process involving LAPPL and LAPD brass about when police dog bites are counted as a “use of force.” This is an official label, and its application has consequences for the officer. Per Fransen “the LAPPL views something being a use of force as de facto ‘bad'” and therefore they want it made harder to rule that a police dog bite counts as such. A November 6, 2020 update, part of the same memo linked to above, reveals that Girmala recommended that LAPD partially address LAPPL’s concerns.
The proposal was discussed by the Police Commission’s Use of Force Subcommittee on November 10, 2020 and again on March 9, 2021. As far as I can see it has not yet been considered by the full Commission. In other words, LAPPL, high-ranking LAPD officers, the Inspector General, and two members of the Police Commission have spent more than six months holding secret discussions of the rules under which police dog handlers operate.
Continue reading LAPPL and LAPD have been negotiating a revision of the department’s use of force policy as applied to police dog bites in secret at least since November 2020 — Police Commissioners are involved in the discussions via the LAPC’s Use of Force Subcommittee — which does not meet in public — and is only one of multiple secret subcommittees — none of which comply with the Brown act — used by the Commission to evade public oversight
December 31, 2018 was now-convicted felon Mitchell Englander’s last day on the Los Angeles City Council. He was all like “I am stepping down for a once in a lifetime career blah blah blah” but of course he was getting out ahead of his arrest, exposure, conviction, and sentencing for corruption. The impending disgrace, however, didn’t stop his zillionaire cronies from cushioning his landing with job offers and fancy lunches.
Most famously, of course, on January 1, 2019 he started his new career with the Oak View Group, which is a Los Angeles based “global advisory, development and investment company for the sports and live entertainment industries.” In other words, a perfect landing spot for an as-yet-unindicted former politician. Nothing hurts these politicos more than being forced out of the inner circles of power, though, and making a zillion dollars a year as a lobbyist doesn’t quite fill the kind of ego void created by public disgrace.
And unhinged typewriter fetishist and perpetual inner power circle dweller Steve Soboroff, at that time president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, apparently understood this quite well. Which is probably why, on January 31, 2019, Soboroff fired off an email to Hollywood power lawyer Warren Dern, also a member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Police Foundation:
Continue reading Soon-To-Be-Indicted Mitch Englander Resigned From LA City Council Effective January 1 2019 — By January 31 2019 Steve Soboroff — At That Time President Of The Police Commission — Was Conspiring With LAPD Chief Michel Moore And LA Police Foundation Board Member Warren Dern To Get Englander A Seat On The Police Foundation Board — Soboroff And Dern Had Lunch With Englander At Freaking La Scala To Discuss It — Although Nothing Seems To Have Come Of The Plan
This post is about a series of emails involving Steve Soboroff and Michel Moore discussing the donation of 250K face masks in July 2020 for LAPD to hand out for publicity purposes. The whole collection is available here on Archive.Org
. If you could use these in a usable format like MBOX or EML drop a line and I’ll work it out.
Zillionaire typewriter fetishist Steve Soboroff serves on the Los Angeles Police Commission. Officially his role consists of little besides acting as one of Michel Moore’s five voting proxy members and asking Jamie McBride how high whenever he’s instructed to jump. Unofficially, though, Soboroff seems to revel in the endless opportunities to fantasize that he and Moore are actual friends in real life and they’re hanging out like socially or something. Another of Soboroff’s favorite hobbies is sharing access to Moore with his zillionaire buddies, of course.
Not necessarily for social clout, although that’s not nothing, but often to arrange porkbarrel bucks for the ZBs. Like for instance on July 12, 2020 we find Soboroff emailing Michel Moore conveying an offer from Los Angeles Football Club supreme commander Tom Penn to sell a bunch of face masks to LAPD to hand out as a publicity stunt. Note that Soboroff doesn’t say word one about public health. It’s just not something that’s on his radar at all. But think how COOL it’s gonna be!!
Continue reading July 2020 — Utterly Corrupt And Incompetent Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff Organized A Scheme To Have Some Zillionaires Pay His Buddy Tom Penn Of The LA Football Club $100K For 250K Face Masks For LAPD To Hand Out For Free — Pretty Shady But Then In August — With The Masks Ordered, Delivered, And In LAPD Possession — Michel Moore Announced “I’m asking for us to hold any distribution on masks until Josh has fully organized messaging for our people as well as externally” — Which Took Two Weeks — Until September 4, 2020 — How Many People Caught COVID During Those 14 Days? — Who Would Not Have If They’d Had A Mask? —How Many Of Them Died? — Who Thinks Messaging Is More Important Than Public Health? — Psychopaths — That’s Who