Tag Archives: Mark Smith

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?

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?

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Inspector General Mark Smith Is Reviewing LAPD’s Disciplinary Process According To Kevin Rector Of The L.A. Times — The LAPPL Is Fighting Smith’s Plan To Observe Boards Of Rights Hearings But Doesn’t Seem Mad About His Plan To Audit Hearing Outcomes — Smith Needs Data For That And He Has It — And You And I Need Data Too — So We Can Audit The Auditors! — And Here Is The Data! — Six Spreadsheets With Detailed And Unprecedented Information On Hearing Outcomes Since 2016 — In Some Cases Including Case Numbers — Summarized Allegations — Names Of Officers, Advocates, Hearing Board Members, And So On — And Proof That Accused Officers Have Overwhelmingly Chosen All-Civilian Review Boards Since 2019 When The Option Became Available — Since June 2019 When The Option Became Available

Kevin Rector has a story in today’s L.A. Times about LAPD Inspector General Mark Smith’s intention to review the police discipline process. Rector explains:

According to Inspector General Mark Smith, his office is developing plans to begin monitoring police Board of Rights proceedings to identify “inconsistencies” in board decisions, “inequities” in the process and other ways the system might be improved to ensure “just outcomes for all stakeholders.”

As I’m sure you can imagine, the Los Angeles Police Protective League is fighting Smith’s plan. Absolute secrecy of every possible aspect of the disciplinary process is one of the LAPPL’s main issues. And if the case of Nicholas Owens is a reasonable example, I can certainly see why they don’t want the process monitored when more serious offenses are involved. Also according to Rector, the monitoring plan is not all Smith is working on:

Smith said his office is already conducting a more limited audit of the outcome of disciplinary hearings since the City Council passed an ordinance last year allowing for all-civilian panels.

Voters amended the City Charter in 2017 to allow for these all-civilian panels if the accused officer chooses to have one and the change took effect last year. Most observers expected civilian panels to be much more forgiving of officers’ misdeeds, and I assume that that’s what Smith is already looking into.

And you can look into it too, if you’re interested. I recently obtained an unprecedented set of six spreadsheets filling with information about pending and complete boards of rights, administrative appeals, civil service hearings,1 and maybe other LAPD disciplinary processes.

The data includes outcomes of both all-civilian panels and traditional panels for comparison, and just an incredible amount of other information including names of officers and civilian staff with pending hearings, the names of their representatives and the board members, and so on.

A proper analysis of this material is far beyond my personal capabilities, but its importance is indisputable. I’m publishing it today to make it available to people who have the capacity to understand and use it. All the files can be found here on Archive.org, and there are individual links to the files below, both in the original Excel format and also as PDFs for ease of reading:
Continue reading Inspector General Mark Smith Is Reviewing LAPD’s Disciplinary Process According To Kevin Rector Of The L.A. Times — The LAPPL Is Fighting Smith’s Plan To Observe Boards Of Rights Hearings But Doesn’t Seem Mad About His Plan To Audit Hearing Outcomes — Smith Needs Data For That And He Has It — And You And I Need Data Too — So We Can Audit The Auditors! — And Here Is The Data! — Six Spreadsheets With Detailed And Unprecedented Information On Hearing Outcomes Since 2016 — In Some Cases Including Case Numbers — Summarized Allegations — Names Of Officers, Advocates, Hearing Board Members, And So On — And Proof That Accused Officers Have Overwhelmingly Chosen All-Civilian Review Boards Since 2019 When The Option Became Available — Since June 2019 When The Option Became Available

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More Records From The Police Commission Committee On Building Trust And Equity — Including Eileen Decker’s 25 Page Discussion Of Reforms Recommended By The Christopher Commission In 1991 — With Her Thoughts On Current Compliance And Potential Improvements — And 74 Pages On The 2001 Consent Decree Reforms — And Much More — Demonstrating The Police Commission’s Compliance Check Methodology — Which Is To Count A Reform As Implemented If LAPD Adopts A Policy — Or Requires More Training — Or Introduces Another Level Of Review — Without Looking Independently At What The Police Are Actually Doing — This Won’t Change LAPD — As The Forty Years Of Reform History In These Documents Shows Very Clearly

This post is based on records from the Police Commission’s Committee on Building Trust and Equity1 consisting of lists of police reform proposals dating as far back as the 1991 Christopher Commission. I’m linking to PDFs of the documents here in case you want to start with the actual evidence. Other formats are available at Archive.Org:

Christopher Commission Recommendations — In a chart with current compliance evaluations and other comments (probably) by Commission President Eileen Decker. If you only look at one of these look at this one.
LAPD Reform Report Recommendations from the 2001 Consent Decree — Very detailed 74 page report. Essential.
Current Reforms Chart Data Tab — Comparison of four police departments’ implementation of various reform proposals with respect to data, including LAPD.
Current Reforms Tracker Training — Like the previous item but focusing on training.
Current Reforms Tracker Recruitment — Like the previous item but focusing on officer recruitment and retention.
OIG 2017 Review of Best Practices — Inspector General Mark Smith’s 2017 report on LAPD reform efforts, with recommendations.
OIG 2019 Review of Best Practices — Like the previous item but from 2019.

It’s been widely reported that the Los Angeles Police Commission contracted with the National Police Foundation to write a report on the Los Angeles Police Department‘s behavior during the recent May/June 2020 uprising in response to the May 2020 murder of George Floyd. The Commission and LAPD have been busy supplying the NPF with all the evidence they could ever desire.

Not quite so widely reported on is the Commission’s Advisory Committee on Building Trust and Equity. This group was convened in July 2020 to report back to the Commission with recommendations for reforming LAPD, Their report isn’t out yet, but recently I obtained a copy of a draft. It’s a very mainstream set of useless shopworn proposals that, in the words of renowned tweetist @banannaise, “mostly boils down to … tell[ing] the cops to be nice to people and … to stop breaking the law.”

Which was predictable given the Commission’s deferential attitude towards LAPD along with the unstated but obvious charge to the Committee to smooth things over as much as possible. But the fact that the Committee’s conclusions are predetermined doesn’t imply that they’re not committed to making the process look as valid as possible2 nor that much of their work, even if done in the service of appearing valid, is worthless.

As part of this work, then, the Committee is looking in detail at a huge range of existing police reform proposals, many of which LAPD has already tried, some voluntarily and some by court order. They’ve collected these proposals in a number of spreadsheets, also including LAPD-specific analyses, and I recently obtained copies of a number of these documents (and published them here on the Internet Archive).

Regardless of the value of the Committee’s final report3 these records are very interesting. Two of them, this 25 page list of LAPD reforms recommended by the 1991 Christopher Commission and this 74 page list of all LAPD reforms required by the 2001 Rampart Scandal Consent Decree, are extremely interesting.4 You can also view these files as HTML in your web browser. Click here for the Christopher Commission reforms and here for the Consent Decree reforms.
Continue reading More Records From The Police Commission Committee On Building Trust And Equity — Including Eileen Decker’s 25 Page Discussion Of Reforms Recommended By The Christopher Commission In 1991 — With Her Thoughts On Current Compliance And Potential Improvements — And 74 Pages On The 2001 Consent Decree Reforms — And Much More — Demonstrating The Police Commission’s Compliance Check Methodology — Which Is To Count A Reform As Implemented If LAPD Adopts A Policy — Or Requires More Training — Or Introduces Another Level Of Review — Without Looking Independently At What The Police Are Actually Doing — This Won’t Change LAPD — As The Forty Years Of Reform History In These Documents Shows Very Clearly

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The Los Angeles Police Commission Asked The National Police Foundation To Write An “After Action Report” On Police Responses To George Floyd Protests Between May 27 and June 10 — The NPF Asked LAPD For A Huge Amount Of Evidence — Including Surveillance And Bodycam Video — Training Records For Every Cop Involved — Training Curriculums For Relevant Courses — Mental Health Referrals (Of Police) And So On — In Fact I Have A Copy Of NPF’s Initial Requests — Four Pages Of Requests — And Inspector General Mark Smith Sent NPF A Long List Of Activist Social Posts About LAPD — And I Have Live Links To All Of Them As Well! — Including For Some Reason A Link To This Blog!

On May 25, 2020 Minneapolis police murdered George Floyd and the United States, including the City of Los Angeles, erupted in massive protests. And police around the country, including right here in the City of Los Angeles, responded with disproportionate aggression and overwhelming violence against the protesters. In the wake of that first wave of protests and nearly universal criticism of their response, the LAPD opened over 50 internal investigations against officers for brutality.1

And the Los Angeles Police Commission, nominally an independent oversight body,2 arranged for the National Police Foundation to conduct a putatively independent report on the matter. It’s doubtful that this report will do anything more than evoke the famous “Few Bad Apples” theory to justify maybe tossing a few cops under the bus while vigorously reaffirming the structural and institutional soundness of the LAPD. The NPF is far too compromised to expect much else.

So I’m predicting that the report, when it finally comes out, will be tedious and fundamentally dishonest. But none of that means that the report creation process isn’t interesting. In fact it’s very interesting, as I learned recently when I obtained a few records relating to the process. These documents have to do with evidence requested by the NPF from both LAPD and the Police Commission, and they’re interesting to me for at least two reasons.

First, the fact that Mark Smith, the Inspector General, gave the NPF a huge list of social media posts about the protests3 and told Richard Tefank, the Executive Director of the Police Commission, in an email that the OIG staff had collected them.4 Wondering if the cops are reading your tweets? Not only are they, but they’re quite likely handing them over as evidence! Smith even sent the NPF a 2016 blog post of mine about Cory Palka.5 Also I made an html version of Smith’s links for maximum clickability and it’s at the end of this post.

And second, there’s the sheer bulk of the material the NPF requested and the sheer promptness with which LAPD handed it over. See this August 27, 2020 memo from the NPF to LAPD and Tefank consisting of four pages of detailed requests for evidence. The version I obtained was marked up in red and blue by Lizabeth Rhodes, director of LAPD’s Office of Constitutional Policing, with the Bates Stamp numbers of all the material they’d already produced as of September 17, just three weeks after the request.
Continue reading The Los Angeles Police Commission Asked The National Police Foundation To Write An “After Action Report” On Police Responses To George Floyd Protests Between May 27 and June 10 — The NPF Asked LAPD For A Huge Amount Of Evidence — Including Surveillance And Bodycam Video — Training Records For Every Cop Involved — Training Curriculums For Relevant Courses — Mental Health Referrals (Of Police) And So On — In Fact I Have A Copy Of NPF’s Initial Requests — Four Pages Of Requests — And Inspector General Mark Smith Sent NPF A Long List Of Activist Social Posts About LAPD — And I Have Live Links To All Of Them As Well! — Including For Some Reason A Link To This Blog!

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Mark Smith Is LAPD Inspector General — Here Is His Appointment Calendar For January Through March 2020 — And The Harrowing Story Of How I Managed To Obtain These Records Despite Smith’s Lies — And Deliberate Misstatements Of Law — And General Obstructionism — Smith Rehearses Before Police Commission Meetings — And It Looks Like He And The Commission Met With The California DOJ Outside Of A Noticed Public Meeting — Which Of Course Is Against The Law Completely — Smith’s Job Is To Enforce Constitutional Policing — His Compliance With The Public Records Act Is A Fundamental Constitutional Right — In California — How Can He Be Trusted To Protect One Set Of Constitutionally Guaranteed Rights While So Freely Violating Another?

Here are three months of LAPD Inspector General Mark Smith‘s appointment calendars. There’s a lot of interesting information in there, including what sure looks like a Brown Act violation by the Los Angeles Police Commission. And the story of how I obtained these records is also interesting! And is revealed below! But first, here’s a selection of Smith’s calendar entries with some comments on ones that interested me!
Continue reading Mark Smith Is LAPD Inspector General — Here Is His Appointment Calendar For January Through March 2020 — And The Harrowing Story Of How I Managed To Obtain These Records Despite Smith’s Lies — And Deliberate Misstatements Of Law — And General Obstructionism — Smith Rehearses Before Police Commission Meetings — And It Looks Like He And The Commission Met With The California DOJ Outside Of A Noticed Public Meeting — Which Of Course Is Against The Law Completely — Smith’s Job Is To Enforce Constitutional Policing — His Compliance With The Public Records Act Is A Fundamental Constitutional Right — In California — How Can He Be Trusted To Protect One Set Of Constitutionally Guaranteed Rights While So Freely Violating Another?

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