LASD

D.A.’s Investigator Assaulted & Unlawfully Detained by LA County Sheriff’s Deputies According to New Lawsuit

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon

DA’S INVESTIGATOR FILES CIVIL RIGHTS LAWSUIT

Maurice Lallemand is a retired member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department who now works as a senior investigator for the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation. On Tuesday of this week, Lallemand, and his attorney Olu K. Orange filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that the inspector was assaulted and wrongly detained by a group of deputies who knew perfectly well that he too was law enforcement. The lawsuit also alleges that, when Lallemand attempted to file an official complaint at a local sheriff’s station about the deputies’ behavior, one or more of those named in the complaint helped prevent its filing.

Here’s the story according to Lallemand’s federal filing.


COPS DETAINING COPS?

On May 13 of 2016, at around 6:15 in the evening, Maurice Lallemand attempted to serve a subpoena to a robbery victim he believed lived at 15533 Eucalyptus avenue in Bellflower.

Although Lallemand had retired after a career in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, his work for the LA District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation is a sworn position. In other words, he is still law enforcement. He carries a badge, a gun, and drives a county-issued Crown Victoria which has government plates, and a fully outfitted law enforcement interior. Lallemand parked the Crown Vic across the street from the residence in question, and used the car’s radio to call in his location to his bureau’s headquarters.

(Interestingly, the investigator’s bureau of which Lallemand is a member shares their radio frequency with the LASD.)

After radioing in, Mr. Lallemand reportedly got out of his car and attempted finish his job serving the subpoena on the quiet stretch of Eucalyptus Avenue, when some LA County sheriff’s deputies rolled up on the location. The deputies had reportedly been dispatched after a neighbor called to complain about a strange guy “wearing civilian clothing” who was “knocking on doors saying he was a police officer,” according to a statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

According to the federal lawsuit filed on Tuesday, Mr. Lallemand was wearing his investigator’s ID on a lanyard around his neck, his cop’s sidearm was visible, as was his investigator’s badge, which was right next to the gun on his belt. Plus he was driving the conspicuously county-issued Crown Vic.

In his civil complaint, Lallemand stated that he identified himself to the deputies, explained that he was at the location to serve a subpoena but, according to the complaint, the deputies continued to detain and hassle him.

“You guys are are incompetent and inexperienced at what the hell you are doing,” Lallemand reported that he told the deputies, at some point during the incident. “Is the sergeant on the way?” And, “Oh, yeah I am going to write paper on this!” and other words to that effect. (Writing paper being filing a complaint.)

It was after his remarks that things reportedly took a turn for the physical. According to the civil rights complaint, deputies proceeded to assault, batter, push and threaten Lallemand, then put him in a painful “compliance hold.” Finally the deputies put him in the back of a patrol car with another suspect who was also being detained but who was, according to Lallemand, a drug addict who appeared to be having a bad drug reaction of some kind or another.

Eventually an LASD sergeant was called to the scene, then reportedly a field supervisor. Finally Lallemand was released.

Two months later, on July 14, the investigator made good on his promise to “write paper” and, together with “a colleague from his department” went to the Lakewood sheriff’s station with the intent to file a complaint against the deputies and supervisors involved in “violating his civil rights.” Lallemand brought with him his own typewritten statement, that he planned to attach to the regular LASD complaint form.

Yet, when he told the desk sergeant of his wish to file a personnel complaint, according to Lallemand’s lawsuit, the sergeant exited the desk and returned with the supervisor who was allegedly part of the incident that was the basis of the complaint. The supervisor reportedly exclaimed unhappily then conferred again with the sergeant who, according to Lallemand’s legal filing, refused to accept either the investigator’s written account or allow him to file a complaint at all.


“A MAJOR & DIRECT VIOLATION…”

Being a former department member, Lallemand escalated and reportedly contacted Internal Affairs directly to file the complaint.

Department spokesperson, Nicole Nishida said in a statement that, four days after the incident occurred, “the Sheriff’s Department arranged a conflict resolution meeting between the parties and their respective supervisors…”

According to another source, Mr. Lallemand was not at all satisfied with idea of the “conflict resolution.” Rather he wanted his complaint to be properly investigated.

When asked about these issues, Nishida sent along the department’s answer: “There are multiple aspects to any incident. Subsequently, a thorough inquiry was conducted into the plaintiff’s allegations.”

She could not be more specific than that, Nishida said.

A former department supervisor, now retired, who is veteran of the LASD’s Internal Affairs Bureau, called the account “a very interesting claim, almost unbelievable.” In particular, he said, “refusing to accept a complaint at Lakewood Station is a direct and major violation of department policy.”

More as we know it.

23 Comments

  • In reading this article, I have lots of questions about the particulars of the alleged incident. I’m also a retired supervisor and many year veteran of Internal Affairs Bureau. On the face of it, as described in the article, it appears there’s much more to the story. Typically, deputies aren’t going to screw with another member of law enforcement in a routine contact. One thing that stood out, was that the complainant waited 2 months to actually file a complaint? Being a retired sheriff’s deputy (allegedly), and a current LA County DA investigator, with his knowledge and experience, why didn’t he file a complaint immediately? Whether it was his mouth, or the deputies’ demeanor that set things off during the May contact, it appears that there was some hesitancy on the complainant’s mind to document things while it would have been still fresh in everyone’s minds. Not that sheriff’s deputies don’t goof or lose their cool sometimes, but I’m very skeptical of what little facts the complainant provided for the article.

  • Lallemand not only a former deputy but a current ALADS Representative. Wonder what ALADS take is, regarding this incident. Totally unacceptable behavior by Lakewood Station Supervisor’s. If deputies do this to fellow Law Enforcement Officers, imagine how the public is treated. This is not the first battle of Deputies vs. Deputies or the last.

  • Did he notify the local Sheriff’s station he’d be at that location prior to arriving ? That’s standard operating procedure and common courtesy. A cop’s sidearm? How does that differ from a sidearm worn by someone impersonating a police officer? Was the Sheriff’s department notified of his presence via a telephone call from someone believeing he was impersonating a police officer and trying to gain entry into a home? What made his conspicuous county issued Crown Victoria more conspicuous than a Crown Victoria driven by those impersonating a police officer or one driven by a security guard? How many women have been assaulted in Los Angeles County by men posing as law enforcement who were wearing “Police” marked jackets, gun belts, a “cops sidearm” and driving a conspicuous Crown Victoria? He’s looking for a pay day and anyone who knows him well enough will say the same thing.

    • You’re partially right re: notification, however many agencies conduct business in other agency’s jurisdiction and counties without notice given, depending upon the nature of business. Feds didn’t notify Baca & Crew in the Pandora’s Box Scandal for obvious reasons.

  • Sounds to me like the LASD people don’t know what other cops look like — AND DON’T CHECK DISPATCH FOR OTHER AGENCY ACTIVITY IN THE AREA before they make decisions.

    That’s NOT the fault of the other agency cop. That IS the fault of the LASD cop.

    Besides radioing his location, displaying his badge, and wearing stuff that says “POLICE” — what the heck else is he supposed to do???

  • Maurice worked for the Sheriff’s department for a few years, trained and worked at Lennox for approximately one year before moving on to the DA Investigator’s office. As a previous person said it is rare that LASD would challenge and hassle a fellow law enforcement officer unless that person was a complete jerk.

    • FBI Agent Special Agent Lea Marx wasn’t a jerk and LASD tried to punk her. Payback came in the form of their homes being raided by the FBI. The “Coup De Gras” was a boot to their ass, sending them to prison. I believe Lallemand and I hopes he exposes the bullshit in LASD.

  • LASD plays so well with others after all. Just doing their job nothing to see here.

    Maybe he was serving a witness on a LASD executive’s case and they were following orders…. I mean it was a SEB call out.

  • While you talked to the Internal Affairs guys, did you ask them who burglarized their offices and stole evidence ?

  • Funny Policeman, really:”As a previous person said it is rare that LASD would challenge and hassle a fellow law enforcement officer unless that person was a complete jerk.” Is it against the law to be a jerk, either partial or complete? Some of these cowboy sheriffs deputies may have pigskin, but its pretty thin. I think they need to take some customer service classes at the Ronald McDonald University for customer service. They are already overpaid and we do not even get decent service.

    And, Mutual, you have more excuses than a hillbilly that just got caught fingering his girlfriend/sister in the back shed. And, you forgot, the badge could have been fake and he could have surgically removed the real Lallemand’s fingerprints. We really do not know until you harass the person, right. If you can only put that much thought into solving actual crime instead of harassing people, maybe you will have earned that county money/paycheck. The truth of the matter, as we just saw from the criminal prosecutions, these things happen all the time, but usually to some black or brown kid with saggy pants that no one cares about. This time, they just fucked with the wrong person.

    And, “How many women are assaulted by men in Los Angeles county by men posing as law enforcement.” Really? I would venture to say it is not more than those who have been assaulted by actual law enforcement. I know it may be a challenge for some of these fine officers to memorize anything more than a few sentences, but perhaps they can read the side of their patrol cars when they get out to harass people and actually began a tradition of SERVICE. Or, if you are among the City of Angeles’ finest, “to SERVE and protect.”

    • Boy, your a real piece of work! Ok bigmouth, why dont you strap on a Sam Browne, and go 10-8 in a patrol car? Without us there would be chaos, and you know it! All you are is a vacuous hypocritical windbag, hiding behind your keyboard!

  • I had the opportunity to work this stations for several years. One thing that I know about this stations is that procedures are followed. I have investigated many of these complaints, and before making judgement let the Department do it’s investigation. Sounds like he went lawyer shopping until a lawyer decided to take it. Maybe it was a good idea for him to go to the DA’S office for his nice schedule. He hasn’t a clue what police work is about. Any person walking around with a gun on his side is a threat. Shame on him for not making notification. The street he was on is not a bedroom community. High crime rate, drugs, gangs etc.

    • @Really. You are a “Gutless Wonder” to talk shit about a Lennox brother. He utilized his option of going to the D.A’s Office, which by the way requires experience and/or a Bachelor’s degree. You & your excuses are prime examples of cocky punks who ruin LASD.

  • CF: Oh Well and I are still waiting for your reply at “Trump Targets Sanctuary Cities”. Did you get a bladder infection form all that “liberal Kool-Aid” you are always drinking. Too much sugar warps the brain my friend!

  • As others have said, there is much more to this story, on both sides. I’m not making anything about “not calling Lakewood” to notify them he is delivering a subpoena. Come on, do you think everyone working DB makes those types of notifications? I never did unless I knew for a fact I was anticipating a problem. I know the RD he was at, but I’m sure he had a stack of subpoenas that day, and this was just one of them. Not wearing a raid jacket or sports coat, so what? Who in DB hasn’t done the same, daily? The guy was wearing a radio, gun, badge and ID card, knocking on doors to serve a subpoena. If the responding deputies could not figure out in five seconds who they were dealing with, then they have no business pushing a radio car, they should be working Custody or Court Services. And, I’m not concerned in the slightest that he waited two months to file a beef only because we don’t know what transpired between the day of the incident and the day he went to Lakewood Station.

    What we do know, is something went sideways when that radio car went 97. Who pissed off who first is the million dollar question. Did Maurice (I don’t know the guy) pop off when the crew approached him? Did the crew start screwing with him, delaying their “investigation” with stupid questions and ended up insulting this guy because now they felt slighted? But what I really want to know, according to the allegations, why did the deputies put their hands on him? And placed him, forcibly into the back seat of a radio car? With a suspect already there and with his gun on? Or did they disarm him? WTH? What possible reason could they go hands-on and force him into the back seat? I don’t care what kind of attitude this guy had, to go hands on?

    What was 130-Sam’s take on all of this? Surely he made an immediate notification to 130-Lincon to advise of this meltdown. From there, what was done at the station level and at the DA’s office, there is no way this thing ended at the scene with Maurice being dusted off and kicked to the curb. If two months later, he felt LASD blew him off along with the DA’s Office, well, that’s how things like this turns into formal complaints and lawsuits. And NOT taking a complaint at the station, that is virtually unheard of in these times, but, it could have happened.

    All I know is there are a ton of unanswered questions we all have, from both parties. If Maurice was a jerk from jump street and was 100% at fault (I still want to know how this went hand-on) then he deserves some serious discipline. If Maurice popped off and the deputies developed thin skin and really screwed with him and were out of line, shame on them and they earned some serious discipline. It kind of reminds me of that caper back in the 80’s where LAPD jammed two of our guys wearing raid jackets or uniforms, and the deputies made that funny video for LAPD “How to identify a Deputy Sheriff.” Anyway, let’s not circle the wagons and taking sides until the facts come out. And if anyone has facts, please share. As they say, let the chips fall where they may.

  • Holy moly! Take the complaint. Allegedly, there was some attempt at conflict resolution within 4 hours of the incident. Word to the wise, write the paper and document. What part of the “old Banaka style rug sweeps won’t work” don’t folks understand? This is dumb. Maybe he was gonna sue all along. Who cares. Do your job. Experience teaches you some things can’t be fixed with conversation. You have to suck it up. Go the distance, and let the chips fall where they may. You are allowed to back up and re-group. There are techniques known as tactical alternatives/options. But if you want to have a dick contest, be careful you don’t end up with the other guy’s planted in your backside. Think and think again.

  • Easy to make assumptions and allegations if you are uninformed.
    A complaint form is NOT taken from sworn personnel, only from citizems.
    It is a POE or a memo to initiate an investigation. If conflict resolution was an option 4 hours later, then paper was written and an attempt to solve this incident commenced.
    Somewhere somehow an attorney became involved in this case and that is how incidents go to crap.

    • Obviously the resolution went awry with one of the parties. Lawyers become involved when leverage is toss aside and pseudo justice is presented as a top offer. Reminiscent of a used car salesman selling the Mustang only used by Grandma going to church on Sundays.

    • Not much of an option regarding a lawyer due to several conflicts of interest. Go figure.
      1.) Both are County Law Enforcement Officers
      2.) Top bosses are McDonnell & Lacy respectively
      3.) Both are in the same union (ALADS)

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