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DOJ Says LASD Routinely Violated Civil Rights in Lancaster & Palmdale, Now Wants County to Pay Residents $12.5 Million…So Where Was Department Leadership?

July 2nd, 2013 by Celeste Fremon

It seems like we’ve seen this movie before:

Sheriff Lee Baca, once again, ” embraces” a new round of department reforms pressed on him by an outside watchdog agency—in this case, the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, which has painstakingly documented a pile of problems at the LASD stations in the Antelope Valley, that the sheriff is now cooperating to fix. But where was Baca during the years when all the reported racial profiling, the abusive practices, the civil rights and Constitutional violations that the DOJ has been investigating for two years were going on? Where was he when the string of civil lawsuits were being filed and settled, the resident complaints were piling up, and disregarded…?

Do those questions matter? Or is all simply forgiven?


FORK OVER 12.5 MILLION, SAY THE FEDS

On Monday afternoon, U.S. Department of Justice officials demanded that the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, LA County’s Housing Authority, plus the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale, pay $12.5 million to residents of the Antelope Valley who, according to the DOJ, had been subject to repeated and ongoing harassment, intimidation and civil rights violations by members of the LASD, the Housing Authority and a string of local officials.

(The LA Times’ Jack Leonard and Richard Winton have more on the payout demand.)

Monday’s demand from the DOJ was a follow-up to the 46-pages of “findings” delivered to Sheriff Lee Baca on Friday, as part of an agreement for widespread reform in how the department polices the Antelope Valley.

In single-spaced detail, the findings accused the LASD of:

a pattern or practice of discriminatory and otherwise unlawful searches and seizures, including the use of unreasonable force, in violation ofthe Fourth Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, and Title VI. We found also that deputies assigned to these stations have engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against African Americans in violation of the Fair Housing Act.”


PATTERN AND PRACTICE IN VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTION AND FEDERAL LAW

Specifically, the DOJ accused LASD’s Lancaster and Palmdale station deputies of such violations as:

**Stopping and/or searching African Americans, and to a lesser extent Latinos, far more often than whites, “even when controlling for factors other than race, such as crime rates.”

**The widespread use of unlawful backseat detentions violating the Fourth Amendment and LASD policy.

NOTE: A “backseat detention” is when officers put someone in the backseat of a patrol car for a period of time. The DOJ report describes instances when someone pulled over for the smallest of vehicle infractions—like a broken license plate light.—would be put in the back of a patrol car and then questioned.

In another instance, the victim in a domestic violence situation was handcuffed and given backseat detention “for no articulated reason.”

** A pattern of unreasonable force, including a pattern of the use of force against handcuffed individuals;

**A pattern of intimidation and harassment of African-American housing choice voucher holders by LASD deputies, often in conjunction with HACoLA investigators.

The report then described how:

“….more often than not, multiple deputy sheriffs, sometimes as many as nine, would accompany HACoLA investigators on their administrative housing checks. Deputies would routinely approach the voucher holder’s home with guns drawn, occasionally in full SWAT armor, and conduct searches and questioning once inside.

And so on.

Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said the department disagrees with the findings completely, but is cooperating with the DOJ. “We stand resolute that we have not discriminated against members of the public. We haven’t seen any racial profiling.”


SO WHERE WAS THE LASD LEADERSHIP ON ALL THIS??

Curiously absent from the discussions of the DOJ’s findings is the observation that the responsibility for this alleged entrenched pattern of corrosive behavior on the part of department members in the Antelope Valley ultimately must come back to supervision and leadership. The DOJ investigated for two years, but there were plenty of earlier red flags—the piles of resident complaints that were routinely ignored, a bunch of high ticket civil lawsuits that alleged discomforting abuses, the reports of Special Counsel Merrick Bobb, who warned that matters were not well in Antelope Valley.

And then there were the tattoos:

Some Antelope Valley deputies wear tattoos or share paraphernalia with an intimidating skull and snake symbol as a mark of their affiliation with the Antelope Valley stations. Though there are varying interpretations of what these tattoos may symbolize, they provide an undeniable visual representation of a gulf between deputies and the community, and are an unfortunate reminder of LASD’s history of symbols associated with problematic deputy behavior.

As noted above, the DOJ and the LASD have reached preliminary agreements to make signicant changes to policing in the Antelope Valley, which include recruiting more African American and Latino officers to the area, participating in community outreach in order to engage residents in a “collaborative relationship,” revising training and use of force polices, and more.

Whitmore told the AP’s Greg Risling that the department now has an exhaustive process to determine whether deputies need to come out during housing inspections. Deputies also carry complaint forms when they are on patrol. The forms are also available at the front desk of the two stations.

In other words, as it was with the jails. Sheriff Lee Baca is now responding to external pressures to correct what needs correcting—all of which is, of course, good. But where was he (and other department leaders) earlier? Why were years of warnings ignored? Why does it take radical action on the part of the DOJ or the FBI or the press or a Citizens Committee on Jail Violence to force the changes that should have been put in place long ago?

Posted in Civil Rights, HACLA, LASD, Sheriff Lee Baca, Uncategorized | 57 Comments »

57 Responses

  1. J.London Says:

    Same old crap different day!

  2. J.London Says:

    “In other words, as it was with the jails. Sheriff Lee Baca is now responding to external pressures to correct what needs correcting—all of which is, of course, good. But where was he (and other department leaders) earlier?” Stonich and Waldie!!

  3. Surprised Says:

    HA! The only victims are taxpayers. Sorry, but I’d be willing to bet a higher percentage of taxpayers would be happy knowing somebody was checking up on Section 8 cheaters. Good job LASD!

  4. Bandwagon Says:

    A little off topic, but on previous occassions, comments made by alleged former Internal Affairs Investigators have spoken of the undue influence and interference by executives on the Department regarding the findings of Internal Affairs investigations. Sounds like abuse of power and violations of civil rights and the Police Officer’s Bill of Rights. How bout the DOJ looking into those allegations. Time for an Inspector General with no ties to the Department or political pressure.

  5. Prophet Mo' Teff Says:

    One week ago, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck brought in the specialized units and placed the residents of 25 city blocks under house arrest for 11 hours. This was justified as a manhunt for a suspect who shot at 2 undercover detectives in their unmarked vehicle at the entry gate of the Wilshire Station parking garage.

    Why don’t we have a composite sketch of the suspect, yet?

    From the LAPD website:

    “Los Angeles: On June 25, 2013, around 4:34 a.m., West Bureau Surveillance Unit Detectives were returning to Wilshire Police Station, preparing to turn into the secured parking lot west of the station when they observed the suspect walking towards them on the sidewalk. As the driver officer drove the vehicle up the sloping apron towards the key card reader to activate the parking lot security gate, the passenger officer continued to watch the suspect as he walked past the rear of their vehicle. As the suspect passed the rear of the vehicle, he suddenly turned and fired a handgun at the officers and an officer involved shooting (OIS) ensued. The suspect fled south across Venice Boulevard and then west towards Highland Avenue.”

    Neither officer was struck by gunfire. They sustained only minor injury, yet it seems they chose not to pursue the suspect. Both officers observed the suspect, yet we don’t have a composite sketch after a week.

    Didn’t we send Jeff Stenroos to prison for something like this?

  6. Investigative Mind Says:

    #4, DOJ needs to look into just more than jails, Internal Affairs, I.C.I.B. and Antelope Valley. Didn’t two people just win over $500,000.00 on an arrest with deputies planting evidence? Weren’t deputies supposedly terminated a couple of weeks ago? This was in the media?

    I mean, don’t people realize your not above the law and you will be caught one day!!!!

  7. CSN83 Says:

    Oh, Ditmore claims to not see any racial profiling with the public. How could he see it way over there when he can’t see it going on within the department. Can’t wait to hear him explain why the department is having to pay so much to the employees for all the pending cases and past case payouts.

    Under Baca, as it all starts and ends with him. Lancaster and Palmdale stations have been overseen by Captains that obviously did not know an investigation or don’t you think they might have stepped in to do something proactive about it., before Ditmore had to do his same old song and dance.

    One of the Captains retired to go work else where and Denham, prior Captain of Palmdale is now been promoted to Commander of North Patrol. Good Job!

    So now there are 2 more Captains sent to fix the problem. Wonder if they will get sent to the wolves for the mess created over the past.

    Bless this department oh Lord and please send help…..SOS

  8. Intel? Says:

    Prophet…. Not sure what intel you have available but we have had a still picture of that suspect from a surveillance video for over a week.

  9. Wild Turkey Says:

    But Leroy didn’t know! He didn’t know! So it’s not his fault you see, for he didn’t know! Poor Uncle Leroy… he never knows.

  10. Eye Spy Says:

    So typical of the Times Editorial Board not to fault Baca for his miserable and failed leadership. No blame at all to Baca, Waldie, Tanaka nor any Chief, Commander or Captain. Baghdad Bob Whitmore said nothing is wrong so it must be so. The taxpayers will shell out millions and Baca will proclaim under his leadership he solved the problem. Perhaps he will find a Chief of Police in Oklahoma who runs a 3 man department and bring him to LASD as an Assistant Sheriff of the Palmdale-Lancaster Section 8 Squad.

  11. J.London Says:

    Eye: I totally agree! Why hasn’t one supervisor been held to task? It appears the more you donate, the more you screw up, the more Baca will promote you. I travel quite a bit and in every place I go I ask about the current scandals and Lee Baca! Every voter I have asked is aware of many of the scandals and won’t vote for Baca! That means the message is getting out! None of this criminal activity can occur without the direct or indirect knowledge of Baca and his supervisors!! The LAT and many other media outlets are responsible for endorsing this madman, Lee Baca!

  12. NCCF slap Says:

    I’m sorry, is this the same DOJ that twice turned a blind eye toward New Black Panthers who stood in front of a polling place in Philadelphia, holding batons and wearing full racist uniforms to intimidate whitey?

    Sorry, DOJ has zero credibility and moral authority to stand in judgment of any one. That will be the case as long a Obama and his white-hating appointee, Holder, are in power.

  13. me Says:

    No comment on the mayor who encouraged the abuses either.
    R.Rex Parris, who donated heavily to both Baca and Tanaka’s campaigns. Rex was given free reign over the Lancaster sheriff’s station. He even used them as body guards or for intimidation at city council meetings when passing some constitution crushing ordinance or other, and expected dissension from the populace.

  14. LeftatTheBall Says:

    A little point of realism here. “meSays” very smart observation. The media continues down this path of giving the Sheriff free passes. He IS the PERSON in CHARGE. He IS supposed to be accountable. His whole repeating, “I didn’t know” and the spokes hole always denying any knowledge is old news. They use the same lines because they work. And in all reality the Sheriff probably didn’t know since it would appear he wasn’t in charge for at least four years. I am dismayed how this works. He is the Sheriff so he isn’t accountable, and he can say he didn’t know and everyone is like “Oh ok, that’s a pass.” He knew, and if he didn’t he isn’t in charge!
    And #12- I pray you aren’t a deputy, we have no room for your type. Obama has nothing do you with how you are suppose to do your job. People are people and everyone deserves to be treated with professionalism.
    The corruption will not stop, Why would it? Who has been held accountable? A Sergeant and a Lt.? PLEASE!

  15. Hard Working AV crews Says:

    J. London and the rest of the old retired white guys who didn’t get their promotion – Thanks for selling out all of the hard working men and women in AV just so you can take a shot at Baca. We did nothing wrong. We work one of the busiest stations in the county and live in the area we work. We have a vested interest in policing AV and we do it well. We are fair and impartial. That is more than I can say about your crowd. You are all left overs from the Block era when racism and sexism was rampant against the public and against fellow deputies. You are the people that helped Block create a situation where a federal judge had to take over the hiring and promotion process. Why weren’t you complaining then. You were in bed with Block. That is why.

  16. Thanks a lot Says:

    Gee, where have we been hearing “I dont know” from. All Baca is doing is using the same strategy as King Zero. It seems that NO ONE in DC seems to know anything when the time comes. What happened in Benghazi?……”I dont know”…..What about the IRS targeting Conservative groups??…..”I dont know”……But we will “investigate” and find out WHY……SURE, RIGHT!!! All the same BS!!

  17. Eye Spy Says:

    @AV Crew, my friend, none of us are throwing you or your crew under the bus. I have not read the DOJ investigation, so I have no idea did or did not happen. But I do know a slew of Section 8 folks left from the basin to nest like rats in the dessert, taking their mentality with them. So we know what you folks have been facing. How it was dealt with is another matter, hopefully to hit that 10-15 button as often as possible with the welfare suckers and cheats living in taxpayer subsidized housing along with their yard cars and yard yachts.

    Our beef is with Baca and his little man. The point of the postings is Baca and his 4th floor fools see all the problems and do nothing, not one single iota of leadership. Then, when the fit his the sham, it’s all about, “I didn’t know, no one told me, there are no problems, are there?” Does Baca come out swinging to support his people in AV? Not a peep, not a word, nada. Does he use his bully pulpit to argue the facts with facts? Nothing, zip, zero, nada. The Spokeshole in Chief, Baghdad Bob Whitmore, rattles off a comment about nothing, and that is all one hears from SHQ. No defense of hard working deputies doing the Lord’s work, not a peep from a desperate politician name Leroy Moonbeam Baca. So that is who are beef is, my friend. We will watch a series of deputies get beat down yet not a single word of accountability from the top. Why? Because it’s all about them, covering their own worthless asses, not the troops.

  18. Wild Turkey Says:

    # 15, sorry, but I’m not an old retired white deputy, and I know for a fact that there are deputies all over the county doing the 1030 shuffle. It’s probably not you. Maybe it’s not your team. But if anyone says that a department of 10,000 doesn’t have dirty cops in the ranks (most of them supervisors and executives), they are stupid, they are liars or they are sticking their heads in the sand.

    I’ve worked with hundreds of deputies in my career, and 90% of them are outstanding, righteous gentleman warriors. But there are dirty cops on our department. Lots of them are Lieutenants and above.

    And by the way…. you try to shame the old retired guys for getting a consent decree placed on the department. I would be careful with the taunts, because I have news for you:

    Combine the AV secontion 8 issue, with Tanaka’s pay to play, with Anthony Brown AKA “Hide the FBI informant”, with Greg Thompson’s dirty work, with the jail commission findings, with the sex scandal emerging, etc., etc., we have another consent decree coming.

    Blaming the old timers is truly ignorant. I’m going to play the odds, and say you’re an absolutely righteous cop, because there’s a 90% chance you are. But don’t try and front like there aren’t guys working around you who do the dirty. It makes you seem dishonest when you’re probably not.

  19. Hard Working AV crews Says:

    #17 – Yes, all of you are throwing AV under the bus for politics. I don’t care about your beef with Tanaka and Baca. That is the old white guy club that has that problem. Those of us in patrol doing the job are not involved in your politics. Baca has defended AV deps vigorously to DOJ and has worked with the stations to refute these allegations. That is where it counts, not on some anti-LASD blog that never publishes anything good about the Department. Baca is defending AV deps in the legal arena. That is the appropriate venue. I am sorry no one came on your blog to explain his strategy for you.

    #18 – Same for you. You are way out of the patrol loop. Get out in a radio car and look around. You complain about the lots of lieutenants and above that are dirty. Patrol has very little contact with any of those ranks. We don’t see that corruption at all. What we see is you arguing politics and complaining that you didn’t get promoted to one of those ranks. We don’t want to go back to Block’s club that did not let women work patrol or special units. We don’t want to have to be white to go to special units or get promoted. We want women to promote. Thankfully those old Block days are gone for good.

  20. J.London Says:

    AV: Ask yourself why hasn’t Baca come out in support of all your efforts? Why did Baca throw ALL OF YOU under the bus? I do not agree that LASD was the organization that you describe. However, for the sake of debate let’s say that LASD was a terrible department is the past. With Baca at the helm is our LASD going forward or backward? Has Baca EVER gone out there to even compliment any of you on the dangerous job you and the good guys were doing? How about Waldie or Stonich? How about Tanaka? Like our brave in Benghazi you and the good guys were cut loose! I know exactly what you are feeling. And I intend to fight back by getting rid of Baca! If I fail I will brave in the attempt!

  21. Lesser evil Says:

    J.London: You are absolutely right.

  22. Getting close Says:

    4 years to go. I honestly don’t care. This agency is no longer family.

  23. Eye Spy Says:

    AV, you sound like you have an identity crisis, perhaps about your race and gender. There is no room for that mentality in LASD. I’ve been through three sheriff’s and Baca is an absolute failure. Do you “really” think Baca has ever focused on “us,” as an organization? Negative, because I can tell you from having a front row, center stage seat, that Baca, from day one, is and has always been about Baca. His bullshit “progressive” ideas were all about promoting himself for higher office, and it almost worked, until folks in Sacramento and DC realized with an ill man he is. Baca has made NO public comments about this recent scandal in your RD, he has hidden himself, insulated himself and has made no comment. So if you think he is out there pounding his chest and supporting you, he is not and will not. All he will say via his spokeshole, Baghdad Bob Whitmore, is “The Sheriff disagrees, but there is always room for improvement and we will work with all involved.” This entire debacle is about Baca’s LACK of leadership. 14 years of leadership failure, and no one in the media tags him with it. Why? Because he is “progressive,” and to call him out is to call out progressives and their failed ideology. Seriously, I have sat in so many meetings from Divisional staff meetings to EPC and listen to Baca and his talking sock puppet who goes on an on and on and on and on about looney tune ideas and visions. Ever hear him speak a a deputy’s funeral? Embarrassing to say the least but that is the crap he spews to us behind closed doors.

    AV, you can look objectively if you wish, as we do, or you can not see the forest because of a tree. All of the problems we have today rest on the shoulders of Tanaka and his tyrannical band of renown and Baca for allowing him to do it. The little man was a train wreck from the minute Baca gave him the keys to the kingdom. Once he was anointed to the rank of A/S, all of the shackles were off, he was the shot caller he always wanted to be. Too Tall Paul now had the ability to place his “hand selected” people of all ranks, into policy and leadership positions. The concrete was poured into the mold and it dried. When they broke open the mold, a turd appeared and all clapped. Tanaka lashed out against any and every supervisor, manager and executive who insisted on professionalism and discipline for the sake of protecting their people from themselves, all because these good people reminded him of his father. So the little man went on his self-promoting tour of the “Gray Zone” speeches, cigars on the patio, “I got your back” presentations to the troops, minted coins for the special people who gave him blind loyalty, pay for play, peekaboo a promotional exams, ramming “his people” down the throats of captains, the list goes on and on. And what came of it? The most predictable results every, a series of Federal and local investigations. Maybe AV, you are one of those folks, the Kool-Aid drinkers. So you don’t care about “our beef” with Tanaka and Baca? Maybe you should. Because just like the little man did in front of the Jail Commission, you know, where he denied knowing anything about anyone doing anything wrong, you might find yourself tossed under the bus by the very person who you hooked your wagon onto in hopes of something good coming your way. If you don’t believe me, ask the captains, lieutenants and sergeants who have all had their asses handed to them in the last six months. Ask Cavanaugh, ask Clark, ask Cruz. And fellas, the party hasn’t even started yet. Wait until the Feds start handing out indictments. In fact, ask the little man, he was finessed by his daddy. Their day is coming and it will make for quite a show.

    So chill out, AV, us “old folk” still on the job know exactly what we are talking about. We have a front row seat. Look around with your eyes open and as they say, smell the coffee. It’s burning.

  24. Just another poster Says:

    As poster AV says, its not about Baca or his staff. It’s the fact that ACLU, DOJ or whoever making decisions based political correctness regardless of facts or merit. On top of that accusing hardworking line Deps of doing their jobs, racial bias and then criticize them for their tattoos?

    I make little effort to post on this site. It’s comments on this site that compel the author to write negative articles on our department whether there is merit or not. We fuel the flames, taking our bitterness towards Baca and management, and posting them here.

    This is not about Baca, it’s about hard working deputies doing their job and getting hung out to dry.

  25. Same ole Says:

    Eye Spy: I agree. However the problems occurred way before Tanaka was in power. This falls on the entire leadership of LASD. Now that Tanaka is gone, the same old song and dance continues to occur.

    After so many years in office, what’s the Sheriff’s excuse now?

  26. Investigative Mind Says:

    Well, just remember one thing. DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT. No matter who your loyalty is tied to on this department, always watch your back and save your evidence. Someone will always ‘LIE AND DENY”….especially during administrative invest, depositions and on the stand.” I am also not an old white guy and am still on the department.
    What I have experienced and seen during past/present is very much what people on here have been posting about: Trust no one and never let your guard down.

    Just pray all of you make it out in one piece.

    Happy 4th.

  27. Wild Turkey Says:

    # 19 Hard Working AV Crew- You literally did not address anything I said. All you did was try to figure out where I worked, decided it wasn’t patrol, and took a swipe at me. Then you started repeating the same assertions from your last posts. You did not respond in any way to anything I posted. I don’t know who taught you how to debate, but you can’t just keep hammering the same talking points regardless of the conversation… that’s what Baca and Whitmore do.

  28. Jack Dawson Says:

    @AV-

    I guess the cliche used in every radio car in LASD, “Deputies do it to themselves or we are the ones to step our own c@#!s” does not apply to you guys up there on the 14. You guys got a great cast of characters up there as well so spare us the holy than though garabage. Especially when you guys are that far from the flag pole.

    You know what I was thinking while I was in a BW last week in up there in that heat? I hope it isn’t true…. But then again boys will be boys. How long does one have to work in custody to be up there?? I can smell the seasoning

    Back to work

  29. Hard Working AV crews Says:

    J. London – You didn’t even read my post before moving into your political statement. You ask what Baca has done for AV deputies. Like I previously posted, Baca has defended AV deps vigorously to DOJ and has worked with the stations to refute these allegations. That is where it counts, not on some anti-LASD blog that never publishes anything good about the Department. Baca is defending AV deps in the legal arena. That is the appropriate venue. I am sorry no one came on your blog to explain his strategy for you. You are way out of touch. This has been going on for months. Just because you read about it yesterday doesn’t mean no one has been doing anything about it.

    Wild Turkey – You are further out of touch. Your generation has passed. You have no credibility. Your generation was beyond dirty. Don’t tell me that AV deputies have done anything wrong. There has not been one conviction of any deputy for anything. There has been no department discipline. The citizens of Palmdale and Lancaster are fully supportive of their deputies. The section 8 housing people that were arrested were criminals preying on the community. The only people giving these allegations any credence are retired, white, bloggers who think they or their buddies should be Sheriff. We are not into politics in AV, just good police work.

  30. Wild Turkey Says:

    Sigh. We’re of the same general generation; I’m neither retired, nor old. I wasn’t even on the department when Block was alive. This pervasive generalization that anyone on this message board who criticizes the department must be an old retired white guy with a beef about a promotion is silly. It’s the fallback of those who can’t actually articulate a real argument. Just silly. And you still didn’t address a single thing I said.

    I have no doubt that almost all AV deputies are doing amazing work. I have no doubt that these federal investigations are overblown and that many great men on the department are doing great work and being unfairly painted with a broad brush. But our department has a pervasive problem with accountability, supervision and “grey area” police work, there are corrupt deputies and supervisors that need to go. It is what it is. The sooner we as a department confront that, the sooner we can fix our problems. I mean, Jesus. Look at how much dirty activity is finally pouring out into the media. Let’s say only some of what is reported is true. It’s bad. To deny we have deep problems is just child like and counter productive.

  31. Lesser evil Says:

    #29- I agree with you. The AV Deputies are “Hard Working” and have a very difficult job up there. The problem is the Sheriff. He has single handedly ruined this department and put a dagger into our credibility amongst the community and Federal government. As the long standing incumbent, his time in office is finally coming to a close.

    Which is good.

  32. J.London Says:

    HW: That is not true!! Tell Baca to come out publicly and answer questions and defend us! Pitchess did. Block did! I have been aware since 2000 when it first started and Baca, Stonich, Wadlie, Tanaka and you ignored it! So, your HERO Lee (I love Paris Hilton)Baca doesn’t find it necessary to come out from under his desk and defend us??!! At 12.5 MILLION Baca’s defense is not going too well!
    So, you’re on: Start listing all the good things Baca has done on the past 15 years of corruption. Start with the illegal campaign funds and being dropped of at his girlfriends houses on duty. Go ahead. I’ll have to leave for WORK now and continue picking up after Baca’s mess! I read your BS later; I promise!

  33. Getagrip Says:

    Just an observation; it appears as though this conversation has gotten way off track and angry. For better or worse, old or young, retired or humping in a black and white, we are all cops. This other crap will sort itself out. We shouldn’t be taking pot shots at each other for the amusement of others reading this blog.

  34. Eye Spy Says:

    AV- You say Baca is defending you? I’m not sure authorizing a 12 million dollar “settlement” defending anything. Has Baca held a press conference about this issue and brought out point after point where the Feds are wrong? As a matter of fact, the uber friendly Times editorial board asked Baca to meet with them BEFORE they wrote their softball Ed-Op last criticizing his lack of leadership. Baca refused to meet with them. In fact, when was the last time Baca held a press conference to say. “Ask me anything you want.” Years and years since that happened, for obvious reasons. That old white dude, Block, did it every month. Baca is under his desk, sucking his thumb telling Whitmore to make the press go away. Baca is arrogantly hiding like he always has. Jr, Baca is not defending you. He is a desperate politician in full campaign mode.

  35. Hard Working AV crews Says:

    Wild Turkey – I am neither pro or anti Baca. I am not into politics. I didn’t address your department wide allegations because that was not the purpose of my post. I haven’t followed the jail or upper admin members of the department stuff at all. Those issues haven’t affected me. I took offense that you, and others on this blog, threw AV deputies under the bus to take a jab at the Sheriff and to support your theory that the department is more corrupt now than under past Sheriff’s.

    AV deputies did nothing wrong. That is my point. Don’t use us to criticize the Sheriff and say he should have watched us closer. We did nothing wrong that he should have been watching. We simply arrested criminals illegally living in section 8 housing and preying on the community and put them in jail. We allowed hard working, non-criminal, but indigent members of the community, to move into the section 8 housing that was previously filled by criminals. This was done without regard to the criminals race. If you were breaking the law you were arrested and removed from your section 8 housing. The community is behind us 100 percent. The city of Palmdale and the city of Lancaster are behind us 100 percent. Baca has supported AV deputies throughout this ordeal, which did not just start. It has been going on for months. We live in the community we police and have a vested interest in what happens here. We do a outstanding job in policing this very diverse area.

    J. London – You are not on your way to work to pick up anything for Baca unless it is his dry cleaning. You are a disgruntled old, white, admin hack. The days of white males running the department are over. No matter how many times you criticize others, it doesn’t change what occurred during your tenure with Block. Force in custody and throughout the department more than triple what it is currently. The biggest scandals in the history of the department took place under Block. Dozens of deputies were arrested and/or fired for stealing money and narcotics. Deputies were arrested for stiffing in false calls in Temple and shooting a pregnant women. Racism was rampant. Women were told they were too “frail and weak” to work patrol. Women were discriminated against in promotions to a point where a federal judge had to take over the promotion process. Women and minorities could not get to special units. Again, a federal judge had to take over the coveted position transfer process to ensure fairness. No J. London, your good old Block days weren’t good for those that aren’t white and male. I am sure there are plenty of current problems that should be fixed, but compared to the past, we have advanced tremendously.

  36. Lesserevil Says:

    Let’s bring it back on track and to the point.

    How many people feel the Sheriff has done a great job his last 4 terms in office?

  37. Knock it off Says:

    Your doing what this hippie, Celeste Freemoan wants. She would love to see this Department at war within itself. Probably an ex-cops wife getting a good laugh while she takes a bong hit. Things will work out.

  38. Wild Turkey Says:

    Okay, fine. I’ll only stop trying to force a toddler to share his toys for so long before I give up. You’re right, Lesserevil, let’s bring it back on track.

    There is NO corrupt activity ANYWHERE in the Antelope Valley. No Deputy there has ever done a bad thing. But everywhere else, Baca has been ruining our department with an appalling hypocrisy. Firing Deputies for “Core Values Violations” while Baca routinely violates them with lies, questionable political behavior, retaliation against whistleblowers and political enemies? Attitude reflects leadership. The problems of the rank and file are the problems of our department executives.

  39. Love the Dept Says:

    As a retired person, I have never seen so many incidents that got out of hand. As a supervisor, even when in patrol, supervision was required. Where were the first line? Our job was to protect the public, the deputies, and the department. You had to know case law. I was always of the mind to nip-it-in-the-bud before things got bad. A firm believer in progressive discipline. We would not have these alleged problems If people had done their jobs. Problematic deputies should be monitored before the smoke becomes fire.

  40. New media Says:

    Retired folks – Please keep in mind the advent of new media. When you were in your prime there was no facebook, blogs, twitter, instagram etc. Many of you never worked with the internet. Corruption is about the same now as it was under Block or Pitchess. However, it is now instantly transmitted to the media and between deputies. This is a good thing. There are no more dirty secrets. Everything comes to light. The down side is when everything comes out people think this never happened in the past. Besides the racism and gender discrimination under Block that has been previously mentioned in other posts, how about the seventy-eight (78) deputy sheriff’s that went down with Arco-Narco under Block. How about one deputy killing another deputy (Arthur) under Block. The list goes on and on. Unfortunately this stuff isn’t new, but the sky isn’t falling. Guys on the street are still plugging away just like you guys did.

  41. Bandwagon Says:

    Hardworking AV Crews:

    You obviously have some deep rooted resentment toward old whife males.
    Get rid of tbe chip on hour shoulder and stop crying. I worked under both
    Block and Baca. The old white boys club is long gone. Time to move on!

    Respectfully,

    The Old White Boys Club

  42. Bandwagon Says:

    Forgive the spelling errors, typing too fast.

  43. jim hitchcock Says:

    Wow, Knock it Off, that’s very impressive.

  44. Lesser evil Says:

    New Media:

    Just because questionable conduct occurred in the past, doesn’t mean it should occur now. The Sheriff has fostered and continues to foster this conduct. Why? Because he’s part of that era. He can’t adjust to change. Now that people want change, he can’t deliver. All he could accomplish are knee jerk reactions that affect a productive work force. He has become ineffective and people who vote ARE taking note.

    The LASO needs an overhaul and that starts at the Sheriff level. We will see that in the next election. People are sick of paying MILLIONS in law suits along with the overall bafoonery entrenched in the Sheriff’s office.

  45. True North Says:

    Partners, I tend not to post often or get involved it silly, vitriolic nonsense, but I find myself compelled to comment… As I read these posts I see a once great and mostly unified department, divided. I hate to tell you this, but there have been poor leaders in the LASD since its inception. There are some truly great people currently on the 4th floor, but the political climate has hampered their ability or willingness to step up. Deputies, sergeants, lieutenants and captains are now political lambs to the slaughter. Over the past few months, some of our chiefs and commanders have been caught in lies, some during Civil Service hearings, and none are being held accountable for their actions. They are doing so at the Sheriff’s behest. Do you think that is what is in the best interest of the people on the line?

    The County and its citizens are paying dearly for our command staffs’ lack of integrity. It is just the beginning my friends. Our wrongful termination lawsuits are going to make LAPD’s paltry 90 million look like a drop in the bucket. County Counsel knows it, but the Sheriff is not listening. OIR and the Sheriff are making decisions based on their beliefs regardless of the facts or employee rights. There are high-power attorneys lining up to take these cases and they are no joke. Our people are entering into good faith settlement agreements for discipline, only to have OIR and the Sheriff tear them up and impose their own discipline. How is that beneficial to anybody; especially those at the line level? So much for EBD and bringing credibility to the discipline process… It has been pushed aside for political gain. As the employee body count increases, so does the Sheriff’s political ego. When election time comes around, he will present the heads on his wall in order to prove he is “now” in-charge. What you will not hear is how many won their jobs back, along with multi-million dollar payouts.

    Those of you still banging the “pay-to-play” drum, what about those who were recently paid to drop their lawsuits with money and/or promotions? How about those being offered promotions to back the Sheriff, instead of an opposing campaign?

    Everyone needs to wake up and look at the entire picture. The time for burying your heads in the sand is at an end.

    As for those throwing out the race card, you really need to take a step back and reevaluate. None of this is about race. What it is about is politics and an upcoming election. I have a great deal of respect for the AV personnel. They are dealing with some of the worst of the worst up there and get little credit. People say no good deed goes unpunished… Well, the AV situation is a prime example. But, some of this was brought on by our command driving a wedge between the department and the Feds. So, if you want change, you won’t get it with our current leadership. They are all running for cover hoping to save themselves from the Sheriff’s sword and doing so at the expense of the lower ranks. I am not in any one corner in this fight; however, if you think the boss is looking out for you, guess again. It’s politics, pure and simple.

  46. me Says:

    Knock it off Says: “Your doing what this hippie, Celeste Freemoan wants. Probably an ex-cops wife getting a good laugh while she takes a bong hit.”

    Do you think the DOJ was talking about profiling like this^^^?

  47. Time to Clean House Says:

    Some of these lawsuits and issues can  likely be tied to hiring the wrong people and not holding staff accountable. Leroy has made too many  political decisions  in his 15 years, instead of  sound professional decisions. It’s all about making his donors and friends happy. The other day a BI received a call to reevaluate a candidate.  The candidate had been let go by another agency, provided conflicting information during background, and  done poorly during their polygraph exam. However, someone close to this individual is alleged to be an ardent supporter  of the Sheriff.  Forget  about the safety of the public and deputies who have to deal with or work with the  substandard employees who we have  failed to hold  accountable. People can be critical of The Los Angeles Times or Witness Los Angeles. However, they are reporters of the  ridiculous  actions of others. They didn’t  put the 3000 boys together, let Tanaka follow his personal agenda, and whatever else has come out in court testimony or investigations over the years.    Hey  Leroy, How is your nephew working out with the department by the way?   If the foundation of an oganization is poor, it will fail. We caused these problems ourselves, not  Celeste or other media outlets. 

  48. Cognistator Says:

    #45: Your comment “OIR and the Sheriff are making decisions based on their beliefs regardless of the facts or employee rights” is most interesting, in that the former complaint against the Sheriff was that he was disconnected & allowed the Undersheriff, Paul Tanaka, to run things.

    Now he & the OIR are in cahoots, working closely together–nobody ever accused the Sheriff of working closely with the former Undersheriff.

    That, coupled with this from the OIR’s website http://www.laoir.com/HarmtothePublicServiceLAL.pdf would suggest that getting brownie points by working “The Grey Area” is no longer a safe thing to do.

  49. Lesser evil Says:

    The bottom line is: The Sheriff was in charge in 1998 and after 15 years in office, is in charge now. No more excuses or deflection. His incompetence has been exposed and will continue to be exposed during his last term in office. Billions wasted for what?

    Selfishness.

    I’m sure more to come.

  50. North of the 5/14 split Says:

    #12 NCCF Slap, you are right on the money. Many on this site have acted like the DOJ was the savior coming to to finally take LASD to the promised land. Please! Look at their work on the Black Panthers, the IRS scandal, Libya, Fast & Furious etc, etc. That organization, and Eric Holder, are a JOKE! I worked on one of the teams that assisted those Section 8 investigators. For the uninformed, most of the Section 8 cheats who filed this complaint were inspected and their “rights violated” long before Rex Parris became mayor. In fact, most occurred when Henry Hearns, who is black, was mayor. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of of Parris, but he has no more or less juice at LAN station than any past AV mayor has, he just has a louder voice and a taller pulpit. Back to the inspections: If IF we’d had bad apples on our teams (we didn’t)there was no need to be scandalous because finding fresh charges on these crooks was like fishing at a hatchery. We would accompany John O’neal or Gary Brody (both retired deputies with impeccable records) into the home, which all Sec 8 recipients agreed to when they signed up. Nobody was in “SWAT gear”, but our normal everyday uniform was the outer vest (before Tyler deemed them “too scary”). While standing in the living room counting all the parolees living unauthorized in the home, it was easy to see weed, rock, fake ID’s, stolen property etc. in plain view on their table,laps, mattresses on the floor. Lock it down, go back and knock out a quick warrant and come back and serve it and arrest bad guys. To my knowledge, none of the cases were dismissed. Nothing scandalous there. Sometimes there were 2 Deps, sometimes we brought 8, depending on what problems were described by the complainant. Let’s remember that these locations we visited were due to complaints from the PUBLIC. Deps didn’t pick the locs, the neighbors did! Here’s a link to a newspaper report in 2009 of a few stats of those compliance checks:http://www.avhidesert.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=512

    Back to the DOJ report regarding here and now alleged “injustices”: Read it. It contains a lot of “we found…..” Really? Where are the examples?
    #15 Hard Working AV, I can only back you up on a few lines. We are working hard up here, but Leroy has not defended us on this, or any other issue really. He is not a leader, not a cop, but instead, a social worker. The AV stations have been the bitch boys of LASD since long before I got here. We rarely have aero, K-9, or the other tools the stations down south have, but we make it work. Half the execs don’t think LA County goes past SCV. Leroy has come up twice in the past 5 years for Q&A sessions, but of course you have to submit your question in advance. At the last one a few months ago, Leroy even said that his new Chief, Sexton, has a helicopter pilot’s license, and would probably even be 10-8 in Air 29 up here on his days off just to help out! I swear he said it!
    Before you say it, yes, most of us choose to work here, and yes, we could transfer anytime. We work here because we like to try and clean up our home towns. The DOJ is taking as gospel whining from parolees, probationers,and ex-felons. When we start seeing a trend of taxpaying, hard working honest citizens of the AV being detained in back seats too long, let me know. By the way: Hey DOJ, there is nothing illegal about a back seat detention under the right circs. The thugs may not like it, but its not illegal. If they had their ID in possession, and they weren’t breaking laws, and they weren’t 10-29P, they’d be in our back seat less. I still believe most of the people in the AV still support LASD, but they are the silent majority. They are not out raising hell, capering, then calling the so-called civil rights groups to claim racism when caught. They just want to go to work, pay their bills, and have a quiet neighborhood. They like seeing thugs with hands on our hoods or in our back seats. Those of you blaming the last several Captains, Lt’s, etc, you need to get educated. There were no more or less problems than any other station. The crooks are always going to whine. These complaints just happened to get some press in an area that had alleged racial probs many years ago. What we need is new leadership, starting at the Sheriff position. We need someone who is more interested in policing and crime, than hug-a-thug social programs which take deps off the line or out of patrol cars. Ok I’ll get off my soapbox now.

  51. Eye Spy Says:

    @50 North. Your comments are well thought and clearly articulated. I seriously doubt anyone who has ever dealt with the savages and welfare Section 8 suckers, be it in R-II or in R-1, doubt for one single moment the problems you have in doing your job. I have not read the DOJ report so I cannot state one way or the other what is bogus and what may be individual and specific incidents of misconduct.

    What started this thread’s shit storm was “Hard working AV” popping off with her anti-White, racist comments and the flag waiving about Baca “supporting” AV. If she takes a moment to stop reading her Jesse Jackson handbook and reads your comment, perhaps she will realize Baca’s typical “tell my audience what they want to hear” speeches are nothing more than self-serving statements. One of the little voices in Baca’s mind says, “My audience are all stupid people who want to hear what I have to say and they will believe everything that comes out my mouth. Hell, they will even applaud when I’m done talking my line of industrial grade political bullshit.” Baca is NOT going to support you, he is NOT going to back your play because you are doing the right thing. Baca is going to do EVERYTHING he can to make this complaint and DOJ investigation go away, at any cost (12 million bucks). Baca is concerned about one thing and one thing only, his reelection. And if you or anyone gets in his way, you will be tossed to the side.

  52. Cognistator Says:

    #50: Good post!!

    A basic rule of fairness is that there are two sides, at least, to every story, and if the side you presented gets a fair hearing up the appellate ladder–every action of the Government can be appealed, and I hope to God that happens here–all the way to the Supreme Court, then the DOJ’s complaint will end up out in the desert someplace, under a bush.

    Of that, I am sure.

  53. sgtrmcpt28 Says:

    Just like the ROCKS AND BOTTLE days. There went 21 million…

  54. CSN83 Says:

    I have heard the Dept has already paid out $148M this year with more than half being shelled out for wrongful termination, sexual harassment, and other work related “issues.” The other $ has gone to people or their families who have brought suits against the Dept for excessive force, wrongful arrests, or other complaints.

    When the Advocacy Unit tells the Dept (ie Sheriff & OIR) NOT to impose discipline on certain folks and the Sheriff moves forward with it anyway because he wants to show the world he has taken back command of the organization, then you are going to be faced with the large payouts. Cash out for stupidity & egomaniacal behavior by our fearful leader.

    Some of the earlier posts mentioned the Sheriff has not stood up & made any comments about defending the AV deputies. Can anyone remember the last time the Sheriff spoke publicly or gave a press conference? I believe it was the crime stat hoopla last year where he showcased 2 CEN deps who had been in a shooting the night before. Did the Sheriff really say anything newsworthy or bring up anything of substance? No. But I might not remember a more recent public appearance by our boss. Anyone? Is he in hiding or being protected? Keep him out of the public eye & he will be safe for reelection. Right?

    In the meantime, there is a road of bodies of all ranks the Sheriff is stepping on to reach that all-important one more time in office nod. It is disgusting and disheartening. But he IS a politician & many of us have forced him into a corner. So he’s doing what politicians do, send out his goons to take anyone down who might either stand in his way or be good fodder for his political campaign. True colors show when you are on the ropes or back is against the wall. It IS nice to see what his are.

    Additionally, #50 North of the 5/14 — I have heard the same (& much more) about Sexton wanting to fly Dept birds & some bullying he did regarding our pilots & observers. He basically told them to get it together or he would fire them! REALLY, sir? Maybe you could do that in the cotton belt, but that doesn’t “fly” here! I also heard through the grapevine that Mr. Sexton has a “significant” hearing loss in one ear & probably cannot get recertified as a pilot. Of course that hearing loss hasn’t been reported to the FAA. Hmmmmm.

    I guess the more basic question is — do the taxpayers in LA really want someone of significant rank flying a helicopter? Or should he concentrate on “learning” about his new “family” and learn how to lead the personnel of the greatest law enforcement agency in the US? Or do we intimidate him too much to the point he needs to go hide his head in the clouds??!!

  55. Investigative Mind Says:

    Well, things just get better and better each day doesn’t it? $148 millions dollars!!!!!! Wow.

  56. Answering The Question Says:

    ALL of the bullshit, enormous payouts, etc. because the Sheriff had more important things to do than run the LASD. “I didn’t know”? It is his job to know. How long before the LAT and all the other media outlets call him out for not doing his job? I’m not talking about doing an article here or there, I’m talking about a full fledged media campaign to let the public know that the man has been truly incompetent as the LA County Sheriff. There can be no other conclusion. While Leroy Baca travelled the world promoting his political ideology the LASD was and continues to be in shambles.
    The LA media outlets fail to do their job and report this for one simple reason. Because they support his political ideology. So he gets a pass. Same old story. Wait and see. The LAT and this website will both endorse Baca in the next election. The man who either can’t or won’t run the LASD in a competent fashion. Baca will be reelected and the LASD will continue to burn. All because of politics. It trumps everything in today’s society. You only have to say the right things. You need not be competent. All that is required for support from the media is that you have the right ideology and give a good speech. That’s ALL that counts today. Sadly, this country has come to the point where words speak louder than actions. Sad but true. That’s the reality.

  57. Time to Clean House Says:

    Due to the fact the County of Los Angeles is a public agency, settlements the county makes from it’s 35 departments  are available to the public. This does not include  cases that went to a jury and  what they awarded  plaintiffs.  Most of the cases settled from our department  have been for use of force.  Over a three year period we have paid out over 100 million in settlements and jury awards. If the department paid 148 million for half a year, we would be in deep financial trouble, since awards come from the respective department budgets. Here is the web address for settlements. 

    http://www.lacounty.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/b1/hZHJboMwEIafpQ-AbLOaI2UJEExqIAn2BZGllEACbQkpPH2JeugiJR3JB-v7xvOPDDhgAlIkRcJIVlSQAn7K-7LIu7I55fX1ztUMw68SF4SqUAwC355FmjRbwElgPziWqTNxGy89RRIhVcHtbuhAsAbs8frEZMEbZcD_IqwB_zXmTwiC7nOq_MPVL34v4L2I1z1DtznuAQNc-7ZmZogny4KSrlM4S2TA6n2Rb4erd1uECxUkIIVyFh-G1hurMTqMFIZv5EKS6diVSCx6CZe6H9ovYVK9j8RiKLYhSqzlB8I6WjnUNh7X7bDbPgAf8KJuNtNfrwJ2_rDevYtlR1kbiThsNR4XWyY6h3xT5r7neNtIrV60nZ44fJOoO6gR5a1teftUeCZCpYzPwZNZmL3bGdbRKzRacf8s0jCP96_Jsa-aV6WJiD9f7fR5JzDB6CRNrtKeZildST0pXYRjF3t0_mzFJ289J5nLuzoLamUQwJHXwSBUkf1sHtLRePgEfcI9dg!!/?1dmy&current=true&urile=wcm%3apath%3a/lacounty+content/lacounty+site/home/government/county+of+los+angeles+claims+board+statement+of+proceedings
     

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