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Homeboy Turns 25…..LASD Talks About Retaliation…WHAT Right to a Speedy Trial?…Feds Visiting LA Jails Tuesday…and More

April 30th, 2013 by Celeste Fremon


HOMEBOY INDUSTRIES AT 25

“If you want to change the world, change the metaphor,” said Father Greg Boyle, quoting Bertrand Russell, when he delivered the final speech of the evening at Homeboy Industries’ 25th birthday celebration on Saturday night.

Twenty-five years ago, Father Greg Boyle and Homeboy Industries— before it was Homeboy Industries—changed the metaphor. Rather than demonizing young gang members, Boyle practiced compassion and what he calls kinship. He said that gangs and gang violence were symptoms of “a lethal absence of hope. So you want to infuse young people with hope, when it seems that hope is foreign.”

So Fr. Greg did—and does. And he built an organization to reflect that same sense of compassion and the belief that “we belong to each other.” Lives were changed—and not just those of the homeboys and the homegirls, but of others in the city, many of whom came to celebrate on Saturday night.

Mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel was there at the party (shown below with former homegirl, my pal, Frances Aguilar), as was Hilda Solis, Sheriff Lee Baca and other elected officials and policy makers. Eric Garcetti did not attend, but he sent his dad Gil did in his stead.

Happy 25th Birthday Homeboy!


JAILS SUPERVISORS HAD BRIEFING MONDAY ON “RETALIATION”

Newly promoted custody commander Marvin Washington called a meeting on Monday of jail supervisors, including those from OSJ, to talk about the issue of retaliation.

(OSJ is the unit in which deputies Mike Rathbun and James Sexton have been working.)

Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore confirmed the meeting, saying that Sheriff Baca has long been committed to a firm no retaliation policy, “And the message is finally getting through loud and clear; that you can’t do that!”

About the Sexton/Rathbun lawsuit, Whitmore said that the department is “cooperating fully with the federal investigation,” but also reiterated what he’d earlier told the LA Times, that Sexton and Rathburn “were not retaliated against.”


DO WE STILL HAVE THE RIGHT TO A SPEEDY TRIAL? NOT SO’S YOU’D NOTICE. (DEAR SCOTUS, YOU’RE NOT HELPING.)

Andrew Cohen at the Atlantic has a column on the topic of not-terribly-speedy trials, which are now the norm. His doorway into the topic is the matter of a case involving a 7-year wait for trial in Louisiana, which the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear, and then, this week, decided….um….maybe not.

Here’s a clip from the story:

There has been for decades now an ideological split at the United States Supreme Court over the Sixth Amendment’s right to a speedy trial — one of the most basic of due process rights. Court conservatives have successfully limited the scope of the right by justifying and forgiving unconscionable delays in bringing criminal defendants to trial. And the Court’s progressives, outnumbered now for a generation, have complained not just about the unjust results of those cases but about the indigent defense systems which have fostered trial delays in the first place.

And so it is again. On Monday, in a case styled Boyer v. Louisiana, none of the Court’s five conservative justices were willing to come to the aid of a man who had to wait seven years between his arrest and his trial because of a “funding crisis” within Louisiana’s indigent defense program. In fact, those five justices refused even to render a ruling on the merits of the matter, instead deciding after oral argument and all the briefing in the case that their earlier decision to accept the matter for review was “improvident.”

It was left to Justice Samuel Alito to defend the Court’s inaction. The long delay in bringing Jonathan Edward Boyer to trial on murder charges was not just the fault of Louisiana and its infamously underfunded and understaffed indigent defense program, Justice Alito concluded. “['T]he record shows that the single largest share of the delay in this case was the direct result of defense requests for continuances, that other defense motions caused substantial additional delay, and that much of the rest of the delay was caused by events beyond anyone’s control,” he wrote. That was enough to deny Boyer’s claims.

Read the rest.


THE FEDS TOUR MCJ AND TWIN TOWERS

Officials from the U.S. Attorney’s office, the Department of Justice, and the FBI are conducting a tour of Men’s Central Jail and Twin Towers on Tuesday. According to the notification passed around to custody personnel, the tour is expected to last for approximately 8 hours, and the feds will be interviewing random inmates and videoing certain areas of the jails.

The tour is reportedly a part of preparations for an upcoming Civil* Grand Jury Inquiry.

LASD spokesman, Steve Whitmore, admitted he was not aware of the tour, but said that the department “welcomed” such inquiries and saw them as beneficial.


*NOTE: We took the designation “civil” grand jury from the LASD internal memo we obtained but, upon reflection, we now suspect that the word was simply incorrect verbiage that we unwittingly repeated, and that the department supervisor who wrote the memo meant the latest federal grand jury to be convened in the ongoing and ever-expanding FBI investigations. If we get further clarification, we’ll let you know.


AFTER DORNER, 40 OTHER COPS WANT THEIR CASES REVIEWED

I’m presuming you’ve seen this story, by the LA Times Joel Rubin, but just in case anyone missed it, about the 40 former LAPD officers who believe their respective cases out to be reviewed.

The news for those officers dismissed who believe their cases are wroth of review is both good and bad.

Here’s a clip that explains the situation:

In the wake of Christopher Dorner’s claim that his firing from the Los Angeles Police Department was a result of corruption and bias, more than three dozen other fired LAPD cops want department officials to review their cases.

The 40 requests, which were tallied by the union that represents rank-and-file officers, have come in the two months since Dorner sought revenge for his 2009 firing by targeting police officers and their families in a killing rampage that left four dead and others injured.

Dorner’s allegations of a department plagued by racism and special interests left Chief Charlie Beck scrambling to stem a growing chorus of others who condemned Dorner’s violence but said his complaints about the department were accurate. To assuage concerns, Beck vowed to re-examine the cases of other former officers who believed they had been wrongly expelled from the force.

Now, details of how the department plans to make good on Beck’s offer are becoming clear. And, for at least some of the disgruntled ex-officers, they will be disappointing.

In letters to those wishing to have their case reviewed, department officials explain that the city’s charter, which spells out the authority granted to various public officials, prevents the police chief from opening new disciplinary proceedings for an officer fired more than three years ago.

“Therefore the Department does not have the power to reinstate officers whose terminations occurred more than three years ago,” wrote Gerald Chaleff, the LAPD’s special assistant for constitutional policing. “You are being informed of this to forestall any misconceptions about the power of the department.”

Yep, that last would be the the bad news.

Posted in Charlie Beck, Civil Liberties, crime and punishment, FBI, Homeboy Industries, jail, LA County Jail, LAPD, LASD | 11 Comments »

11 Responses

  1. Prophet Mo' Teff Says:

    In the 2 1/2 months since the killing rampage popularly attributed to disgruntled ex-LAPD Christopher Dorner – the public hasn’t seen or heard any reference made to evidence that can support a logical fact-based conclusion that Chris Dorner actually shot or killed anyone.

    Despite the supposed high-priority status of the Dorner case and the supposed allocation of top-notch field and laboratory personnel and equipment towards the investigation, the void of forensic evidence is striking.

    Maybe the investigators have decided to keep silent about details of evidence until their reports reach final draft. But the public hasn’t been told this is the plan, the public hasn’t been asked to remain patient.

    When do investigators expect they can finally show the public any evidence that supports a conclusion the “Dorner Manifesto” was actually composed by Chris Dorner or actually posted online by Chris Dorner?

    Will investigators ever look into the surveillance video from the Torrance, CA Sports Chalet supposedly showing Chris Dorner buying scuba equipment? The subject of the video certainly bears great resemblance to the official photos of Dorner, yet close observation leaves doubt that its the same Chris Dorner.

    When do investigators plan to reveal the documentation of Dorner fingerprint evidence pulled from any of the vehicles, cabins, persons or weaponry which Dorner is alleged to have handled?

    As to the various witness sightings of Chris Dorner which the public knows through media reports – not a single witness statement has been revealed in the form acceptable as legal evidence.

    There has been no mention that any Dorner sighting witness has provided a sworn affidavit.

    Even the application for Arrest Warrant on Chris Dorner submitted by the Riverside Police Department, which details the shooting of RPD patrol officers Crain and Tachias based on information gained from speaking with 2 unnamed eyewitnesses, does not mention any effort to validate the witness info through producing a sworn affidavit.

    The identity of those two witnesses has since been made public.

    Unfortunately, Riverside Police Department Chief Sergio Diaz placed a low priority on ensuring legally sound eyewitness evidence against Dorner.

    It appears Chief Diaz’ primary concern was to buffer himself from criticism over his unsupportable claim that Officer’s Crain and Tachias were attacked either immedeatly following broadcast to field patrol of an urgent Dorner sighting bulletin or at the same time as they heard the Dorner bulletin.

    In other cases, a stunt similiar to that pulled by RPD Chief Diaz earns an accusation of tampering or obstruction.

    RPD Chief Diaz debuts his key Dorner eyewitness before an awards banquet attended by the top echelon of Riverside law enforcement, prosecutors, media and civic officials.

    Diaz presents the hero onstage and summarizes his role vis-a-vis Dorner and the RPD victims.

    Chief Diaz himself thus communicated and enshrined the witness statement and proclaimed the heroics of Jack Chilson. For good measure, Mr. Chilson draws the winning raffle ticket for a ride-along with Chief Diaz.

    Maybe Chief Diaz will finally find time during the ride along to take Jack Chilson’s sworn affidavit against Chris Dorner.

    Until then, reasonable and prudent heads should reserve final judgement on who fired the deadly shots against innocent civilians and law officers during the “Dorner rampage”.

  2. Are You Serious? Says:

    You’re kidding right? Next thing you’ll be telling us that the dead body recovered from the burned out cabin isn’t Chris Dorner.
    Uh hu, right. You really want us to believe that Chief Diax (and the investigators) of RPD don’t give a flying fuck who really murdered their officer, they wanted to put it on Dorner?
    You really want us to believe the Dorner case is all one big conspiracy by several different agencies, all working together? Seriously?
    In trying to look like the smartest guy in the room, or the outside the box thinker, or whatever the hell it is you’re trying to accomplish here, what you’re actually doing is making yourself look like a conspiracy theorist nut job.
    Get back to proving 9/11 was an inside job by the Bush administration, or go find Elvis. You’ll have better luck at those endeavors than to make any right minded folks believe your delusional rants about the Dorner case.

  3. Celeste Fremon Says:

    EDITOR’S NOTE:

    Prophet Mo’ Teff, This is the worst kind of painfully offensive drivel, and I cannot believe I let it go through.

    You often post interesting and thoughtful comments that, while I don’t always agree with all of them, I appreciate them as lively additions to the conversation, as I believe most commenters here do as well. As a consequence, I approved your comment above without really reading it, as I was in a rush this morning.

    That is an error I greatly regret. The only reason I’m not deleting it now, is because it will leave “Serious” dangling—and because, now that it’s up, it requires an answer.

    In brief: This kind of blanket, baseless hatred toward law enforcement—or any other group for that matter—is repugnant, vicious and straight-up crazy.

    It doesn’t promote conversation. It only does damage.

    To make matters worse, you’ve chosen for your attack Chief Sergio Diaz who, as anyone who knows him even slightly will tell you, is the most decent, unassailably honest, morally courageous and compassionate of men. And a great cop.

    As Serious wrote, to imagine that all these agency heads would dishonor their dead officers (and the murdered daughter and son-in-law-to-be of one of their officers) by trying to frame some guy….is irrational conspiracy mongering of the first water—and a pile of vile crap.

    Please recalibrate or find yourself banned from this site.

  4. End this madness Says:

    @Serious, outstanding post, spot on. Mo, you ain’t no Prophet, not by a long shot. You are so out of line it is pathetic.

    @Celeste, Bravo. As always, so eloquently spoken and spot on.

  5. Fifty six Says:

    Celeste,
    Your appraisal of Sergio Diaz is absolutely spot on. Thanks for standing up for a good man in a tough job.

  6. J.London Says:

    Mo: You have lost it!! The guy from the grassy knoll is looking for you!!

    C: This is your site. At times you have allowed the most outrageous slander to get through. You have done a whole lot better. But, I think it’s way past time to end posting for Mo or whoever she is! Borderline Personality Dosorder

  7. Wild Turkey Says:

    I’d rebuke the first comment on here, but that would be giving someone with ridiculous viewpoints the attention they seek, and I’m not doing that.

    It’s pretty sad to see that the department still needs to remind their supervisors that retaliation isn’t okay. It’s sad because it makes it plainly obvious, despite efforts to deny it, that retaliation is still rampant.

    I would like to take classes from Leroy Baca and Steve Whitmore on how to sleep with a liars conscience. The department is putting themselves in a bad spot, claiming there was zero retaliation against Rathbun and Sexton, because if one single instance is proven, it makes Baca and Whitmore provable liars.

  8. Answering The Question Says:

    Celeste,
    This isn’t the first time Mo has engaged in this b.s. about Dorner. If you go back and check his comments on the thread you posted on Feb. 21st, you’ll see that Mo was on this tangent back then.
    Full of provocative insinuation and veiled accusations trying to support his conspiracy theory.
    Using the murder of a hero to take cheap shots at police agencies, investigators and so forth. All while trying to ride his high moral horse. His comments were sickening then and they’re sickening now. Hey Mo, nobody here wants to hear your bullshit conspiracy theories or your conjecture and speculation about what could have happened. It’s obvious nobody here wants to hear your b.s..
    It’s amazing how idiotic some people will reveal themselves to be when they try to play the role of the smart guy.

  9. Wait for Ax Says:

    The bottom line is that Dorner killed innocent people. Whether LAPD retailiated against him or not, he could have moved on and tried other departments or another career, but he let himself fester and became a killer. If others that were let go can have their cases reviewed fairly and reinstated, good for them. Some good may have come out of this awful situation.

  10. Big Corky Says:

    This Mo guy is way out of line. Way to put him in check, Celeste. But this “Answering The Question” seems like a snitch!

  11. Answering The Question Says:

    Mo IS way out of line. Yeah, way to put him in check Celeste. But this “Big Corky” doesn’t seem to know the difference between “snitching” and pointing out that Mo’s m/o is to dishonor murdered cops, their families and their partners.

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