Tag Archives: Michel Moore

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

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.1

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

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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

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.1 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 Moore2 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.3 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

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LAPD Announces Resumption Of Racist Random Car Stop/Searches In South Central Los Angeles — Touts Effectiveness As Measured By 50 Arrests And 38 Gun Confiscations In One Week — Meanwhile I Have A Copy Of A Confidential LAPD Major Crimes Briefing Report On Archie Duenas — Now-Arrested Former Manager Of The LAPD Revolver And Shooting Club In Elysian Park — Who Stole More Than 40 Pistols And Illegally Sold Them To Various Cops — None Of Whom Were Even Arrested At All — And The Report Shows That ATF And The LA County DA Agreed With LAPD About Not Arresting The Buyers — So Why Is The Number Of People They Arrest In South Central Relevant? — Does Arresting Illegal Gun Possessors Enhance Safety Or Not?

This post is ultimately about this confidential Major Case Briefing report from LAPD detectives about LAPD Revolver and Athletic Club manager Archie Duenas stealing 40 guns and illegally selling them to various cops. If you don’t feel like reading my nonsense, just take a look at the damn report! It’s confidential! And has some info that’s not in the newspapers! And the fact that LAPD doesn’t want you to see it is enough of a reason to read it! Now!

In 2019 the Los Angeles Police Department severely curtailed its putatively proactive policing practice of stopping and searching random cars driven by black people in South Central Los Angeles after the Los Angeles Times published a story revealing, to no one’s surprise, that the whole program was deeply, irredeemably racist. And even the cops understand that the practice didn’t stop crime:

LAPD Chief Michel Moore told The Times that Metro’s vehicle stops have not proven effective, netting about one arrest for every 100 cars stopped, while coming at a tremendous cost to innocent drivers who felt they were being racially profiled.

Obviously Moore’s implication, that the effectiveness of the program is measured by the number of arrests, is a deliberate lie. Terrorism rather than arrests was and is the point, and by that measure the program was, is, and will continue to be extremely effective.1 And despite Moore’s statement at the time, well, just yesterday he reversed course and ordered the famously crime-doing2 Metro Division to resume random vehicle stops in South Central. And this time Moore seems to be pushing gun confiscation rates as an effectiveness metric:
Continue reading LAPD Announces Resumption Of Racist Random Car Stop/Searches In South Central Los Angeles — Touts Effectiveness As Measured By 50 Arrests And 38 Gun Confiscations In One Week — Meanwhile I Have A Copy Of A Confidential LAPD Major Crimes Briefing Report On Archie Duenas — Now-Arrested Former Manager Of The LAPD Revolver And Shooting Club In Elysian Park — Who Stole More Than 40 Pistols And Illegally Sold Them To Various Cops — None Of Whom Were Even Arrested At All — And The Report Shows That ATF And The LA County DA Agreed With LAPD About Not Arresting The Buyers — So Why Is The Number Of People They Arrest In South Central Relevant? — Does Arresting Illegal Gun Possessors Enhance Safety Or Not?

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My Public Records Requests Have Apparently Caused Both LAPD And Deputy City Attorney Bethelwel Wilson To Embrace A Kind Of Self-Destructive Paranoid Madness — They Are Randomly Accusing Various Not-Me Requesters Of Being Me — LAPD Has Evidently Put Random People Other Than Me On My “Work Plan” — The Plan Amounts To Not Filling My Requests At All — So Basically LAPD Is Denying Requests From Random People In Order To Take Revenge On Me — Which Is Not Only Illegal — It’s Also Idiotic — And Unsustainable — Did I Ever Mention “The Caine Mutiny”? — It’s A Really Good Movie! — Very Timely! — Very Relevant!


Have you ever seen The Caine Mutiny?1 Humphrey Bogart plays Captain Queeg, who at one point calls in all his ship’s officers at 1 am to interrogate them about some putatively missing strawberries. He forces them to investigate all night and give him a report at 8 am. They can’t find the culprit and tell him so, but he regales them with a long story of how, as a young ensign in 1937, he nabbed a cheese thief on his ship who’d made a duplicate pantry key. He told them that he was sure the same thing had happened with the strawberries on the Caine:2

Now, I’ve worked out a very simple plan. First, we collect every key on this ship and tag it with the name of the owner. Second, we strip all hands to make sure we got all the keys. Third, we test each key on the icebox padlock, and the one that fits will give us the name of the owner.

Humphrey Bogart won an Oscar for his role, and as far as I’m concerned he deserved it just for the way he’s fooling with his damn toast in this scene. Anyway, as you probably know, the Los Angeles Police Department is very, very upset with my use of the California Public Records Act. Their displeasure goes to the very top, as shown by this personal letter I received last Summer from supreme LAPD chieftain Michel Moore.

Despite his blah blah blah about a work plan and handling requests sequentially, what they’ve really done is to stop producing records at all. But they’re somewhat hindered in this project by the fact that Gmail is free and the law doesn’t allow them to inquire too deeply into the identities of requesters.

However, they try, they try, and one of the ways they try, it turns out, is by randomly and wrongly accusing various requesters of being me. Their raving paranoia matches and perhaps exceeds Queeg’s. Think I’m exaggerating? Take a look at this blog comment from the other day:
Continue reading My Public Records Requests Have Apparently Caused Both LAPD And Deputy City Attorney Bethelwel Wilson To Embrace A Kind Of Self-Destructive Paranoid Madness — They Are Randomly Accusing Various Not-Me Requesters Of Being Me — LAPD Has Evidently Put Random People Other Than Me On My “Work Plan” — The Plan Amounts To Not Filling My Requests At All — So Basically LAPD Is Denying Requests From Random People In Order To Take Revenge On Me — Which Is Not Only Illegal — It’s Also Idiotic — And Unsustainable — Did I Ever Mention “The Caine Mutiny”? — It’s A Really Good Movie! — Very Timely! — Very Relevant!

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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!

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 Act1 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.2

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!

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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?!

GREETINGS NEW READERS FROM LAPD!! If you’re enjoying this story please note that it was only possible because some lovely and thoughtful person inside LAPD leaked a confidential email to me. Maybe you’ve seen something the world ought to see? Send it along, friend! You can use my Dropbox here, just make up an email address and name, or go full tinfoil hat and use Tor and PGP! Details here.

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.1 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?!

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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

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.1 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

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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


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.1 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,2 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:

🜰  Raymond Hernandez
🜰  Unintentional gunshot 1
🜰  Garrett Scott Coressel
🜰  Unnamed pit bull 1
🜰  James Frazier Lazzeri Jr. — Incl. minority report
🜰  Rodolfo Louis Coleman
🜰  Unintentional gunshot 2
🜰  Unintentional gunshot 3
🜰  Alex Flores — Incl. LAPD Family liason rpt
🜰  Nathaniel Robert Pinnock — Incl. minority rpt
🜰  Nathan Alexander Tovar — Incl redacted version for comparison
🜰  Lonyea Calloway
🜰  Julio Rafael Rodriguez
🜰  Oktawian Balenkowski
🜰  Unintentional gunshot 4
🜰  Alfonso Mauldin
🜰  Aleksandr Rusanovskiy
🜰  Daniel Rivera
🜰  Unnamed pit bull 2
🜰  Ben Montemayor
🜰  Kwame Page
🜰  Abigail Rodas
🜰  Yordy Ochoa
🜰  Maximillian Ochoa
🜰  Unnamed protester
🜰  Kevin Carr
🜰  Julie Anne Archer
🜰  Brandon Maxwell
🜰  Bryan Gudiel Barrios
🜰  Vanessa Nunez
🜰  Unnamed pit bull 3
🜰  Manuel Marshall Hernandez

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

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The Oscar Joel Bryant Foundation — Which Represents African-American LAPD Officers and Civilian Staff — Surveyed Its Members On Workplace Racism Regarding The George Floyd Protests — Sixty Percent Of Respondents Witnessed Or Were Aware Of Racist Statements Made By LAPD Employees — Foundation President Jody Stiger Met With Chief Michel Moore To Discuss — Here’s A Copy Of The Foundation’s Newsletter With Stiger’s Report — And A Lot Of Other Interesting Material

The Oscar Joel Bryant Foundation “represents African American officers and civilian employees who proudly serve the Los Angeles Police Department and other municipal agencies throughout the county.” The Foundation publishes a quarterly newsletter known as Pursuit. In the Second Quarter 2020 issue Foundation president Jody Stiger wrote that soon after this Spring’s protests over the killing of George Floyd began, he …

… began to receive numerous calls and texts from members and non-members regarding the harsh and callous comments being made about the Black Lives Matter movement, officers that decided to kneel with protesters, and countless other comments that were, quite frankly, racist and incongruent with the Department’s Core Values.

The Foundation’s board of directors surveyed the members, asking simply “were you witness to, or aware of, any concerning statements made by LAPD employees in regards to the recent protests and calls for police reform?”

Sixty percent of the respondents answered “yes,” and Stiger told Foundation members that the board had met with LAPD Chief Michel Moore “and expressed your concerns to him. I personally read some of the responses to him, and he was very disappointed with what you all witnessed in the workplace.”1

Stiger goes on to describe other actions the board planned to take to protect the safety and well-being of their members while on the job. Stiger’s entire statement is transcribed below. The Foundation’s members have a unique perspective on the question of what should be done about the LAPD. I haven’t heard as much about it as I have some others, and it makes the whole newsletter, which I was lucky to obtain a copy of, definitely worth reading.
Continue reading The Oscar Joel Bryant Foundation — Which Represents African-American LAPD Officers and Civilian Staff — Surveyed Its Members On Workplace Racism Regarding The George Floyd Protests — Sixty Percent Of Respondents Witnessed Or Were Aware Of Racist Statements Made By LAPD Employees — Foundation President Jody Stiger Met With Chief Michel Moore To Discuss — Here’s A Copy Of The Foundation’s Newsletter With Stiger’s Report — And A Lot Of Other Interesting Material

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LAPD Disciplinary Procedures Are Notoriously Secretive — But I Recently Obtained Records About An Officer — Nicholas Owens — Accused Of Using A Monkey Emoji To Comment On A Video About Mike Tyson And Subsequently Exonerated By A Board Of Rights — Which Reveal Unprecedented Information — Including The Board’s Detailed Rationale For Its Findings — Which Doesn’t Create Much Confidence In The Validity Of The Process — Like E.g. One Reason They Exonerated The Guy Is That None Of His Extensive Sensitivity Training Specifically Covered Emoji-Based Racism — It Sure Looks Like LAPD’s Disciplinary System Is Performance Rather Than Substantial Process — Remember This Whenever Politicians Or Cops Pass Off Disciplinary Procedures As Some Kind Of Police Reform — The Police Run The Process — And Can Make It Look Genuine As Long As The Proceedings Are Secret — So Let’s Open Them Up!

Summary: LAPD officers accused of rule violations often appear before a Board of Rights in an adversarial proceeding with the Department playing prosecutor. Most end in exoneration. All records of these proceedings are top secret so no one can tell if the process is corrupt or not. I recently obtained records about a disciplinary case against Officer Nicholas Owens, accused of posting a monkey emoji as a comment on a Mike Tyson video, which include the Board’s detailed Rationale for Findings. This includes an explanation of the reasoning behind the Board’s exoneration of Owens. The explanation doesn’t provide much confidence in the integrity of Board of Rights hearings in general. The other document records the Departmental discipline process, which precedes the Board of Rights hearing.

Police discipline records are notoriously top secret in California. Since forever until 2019, when Senator Nancy Skinner‘s monumental SB1421 took effect, they were uniformly exempt from the California Public Records Act. Even now, though, only records relating to the most egregious misconduct can be released, and only when the officer is found guilty.1

But the huge majority of complained-against officers, at least in Los Angeles,2 are exonerated and most police misconduct isn’t covered by SB1421, which leaves most police disciplinary records completely off limits, and even the release of these very limited SB1421 records was and is highly contested. The

In 2019 police statewide fought SB1421 implementation in court, they fought to stop its retroactive application, and are still slow-walking and otherwise obstructing access to the newly available records.3 Releasing records of disciplinary procedures that end in exoneration isn’t even being discussed. But it certainly ought to be, not least because such secrecy really reinforces mistrust of the police.

The most obvious reason for police to be so vehemently against release is that proceedings ending in exoneration are empty performances with predetermined outcomes. If they’re not scripted, the thinking goes, then why not release the records? If privacy is the issue then why not release public versions, as LAPD does for use of force cases? As Peter Bibring of the ACLU says, “That lack of transparency prevents the public from having any faith that the process is working.”

What Bibring doesn’t say is that if the process isn’t working but the public still has faith in it, transparency is likely to destroy even that. Let’s find out! I recently obtained copies of confidential LAPD disciplinary records from a case where the subject was ultimately exonerated. Even though the offense was relatively minor, involving the officer’s use of a monkey emoji in a Facebook post about Mike Tyson, these records provide unprecedented insight into LAPD’s complaint handling procedures.

It started with a July 2018 complaint, called in to LAPD by a citizen, about the contents of Officer Nicholas Owens’s4 Facebook page.5 These two records reveal an unprecedented6 level of detail about LAPD disciplinary proceedings in much, much more ordinary cases than are covered by SB1421. I have never seen anything like them. Here they are:
Continue reading LAPD Disciplinary Procedures Are Notoriously Secretive — But I Recently Obtained Records About An Officer — Nicholas Owens — Accused Of Using A Monkey Emoji To Comment On A Video About Mike Tyson And Subsequently Exonerated By A Board Of Rights — Which Reveal Unprecedented Information — Including The Board’s Detailed Rationale For Its Findings — Which Doesn’t Create Much Confidence In The Validity Of The Process — Like E.g. One Reason They Exonerated The Guy Is That None Of His Extensive Sensitivity Training Specifically Covered Emoji-Based Racism — It Sure Looks Like LAPD’s Disciplinary System Is Performance Rather Than Substantial Process — Remember This Whenever Politicians Or Cops Pass Off Disciplinary Procedures As Some Kind Of Police Reform — The Police Run The Process — And Can Make It Look Genuine As Long As The Proceedings Are Secret — So Let’s Open Them Up!

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