CA Attorney General’s Office Reverses Refusal, Will Now Review Mitrice Richardson Case


Six years after Mitrice Richardson’s body was found in Malibu, the California Attorney General’s Office announced it would conduct a criminal investigation into the way the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department handled Mitrice’s case. The decision came just three months after the AG’s Office denied a request to look into the case in November.

Many people are asking what caused the AG’s Office to reverse its decision.

For those unfamiliar with the backstory, in September 2009, an employee at a Malibu restaurant called the sheriff’s department after Mitrice was unable to pay an $89 dinner tab. Mitrice appeared to be in the middle of a mental health crisis, and was talking about Mars and acting bizarrely. Arresting deputies found Mitrice to be sober, and took her to the LASD’s Lost Hills Station.

Instead of holding Mitrice based on her questionable mental state, the 24-year-old woman was freed in the middle of the night at the Lost Hills Station on Agoura Road, 40 miles away from her home in South LA without her purse, identification, wallet, or cell phone—all of which had been towed away with her car. Officers told her mother, Latice Sutton, that they would not let Mitrice out until the morning, but when Latice called the station in the early morning hours before heading out to Malibu, her daughter had already been released.

The next time Latice phoned the station, she asked how long she had to wait to report Mitrice—who had neither shown up nor called—as missing. Latice said she was concerned about Mitrice’s safety because she believed her daughter to be highly depressed. The officer Latice spoke with told her call back if her daughter was still missing after a few more hours, saying once more time had expired, “maybe we can do something for you.”

An hour later, around 6:30a.m., a Monte Nido resident called the Lost Hills station to report that he had encountered a slender black woman sitting on the back steps of his house. When he asked if she was okay, the woman told him she was just resting. Deputies went out to the house, but Mitrice was gone. It took more than six hours beyond that sighting for the station to issue a “be on the lookout” alert. The sheriff’s department did not launch a formal search for two days after Mitrice was sent out into the night.

Nearly a year later—and one month after the LA County Office of Independent Review found deputies’ midnight release of Mitrice to be within policy—park rangers searching the Santa Monica Mountains for a marijuana farm found Mitrice’s naked remains, just two miles from the Monte Nido home where she was last seen, far from any established trail. Her bra, jeans, and other clothing items were scattered 100 or more yards away from her body. Her underwear, shoes, socks, and shirts were never found. There were other strange things about Mitrice’s remains: her body and clothing were not as decomposed as would be expected for having been exposed to the elements for 11 months, her femur had been detached from her soft tissue and found uphill, and her arm was in a gravity-defying position, as if her body had mummified in a different environment.

Instead of bringing in the LA County Coroner that day, department members removed Mitrice’s remains via helicopter, allegedly against orders from the coroner. The deputies did not collect soil samples, and left neck bones and other bits of Mitrice behind. When Latice trekked into the remote area of Malibu Canyon where her daughter was found, Latice reportedly found Mitrice’s finger.

In November 2015, Mitrice’s mentor, Dr. Ronda Hampton submitted a 500-page complaint to the AG’s Office requesting a review of the case. The AG’s Office responded with a letter denying the request. “Your inquiry has been given a careful evaluation by attorney staff who have determined that no formal action is warranted by this office,” said the letter. “The records you provided do not create a reasonable inference that the actions of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department or its employees violated the law.”

It’s yet unclear what caused Harris’ office to change its tune and pick up the Mitrice Richardson case.

In December, Mitrice’s father, Michael Richardson sent Attorney General Kamala Harris a letter that was very personal and compelling in tone.

In the letter, Richardson alleges former Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station Captain Tom Martin concealed evidence by hiding camera footage of the night Mitrice was in custody and telling the Richardson family the cameras were not in operation the night Mitrice was arrested. “Captain Martin later confessed to the Malibu Surfside news paper and Editor, Anne Soble that he lied about this information,” wrote Richardson. “Several months after he finally provided the tape to the family it was severely altered and tampered with.”

Richardson said department members violated the same law—Penal Code 135 PC—when they moved his daughter’s remains despite an order to “not touch anything,” from the County Coroner.

“Due to the haste and the manner in which the untrained Sheriffs carried this out, when Mitrice mother was allowed to visit the site where Mitrice was found, she continued to find parts of Mitrice remains like fingers and such,” Richardson said. “This action literally destroyed and killed the investigation.”

Richardson pleaded with AG Harris, appealing to the fact that Harris is a woman of color in an elected position of power.

“You see Ms. Harris; I look at you and I see Mitrice Richardson,” the young woman’s father said in his letter. “A young intelligent, smart, black, and beautiful young lady who busted her butt in school to one day become someone who could be helpful and make a difference in people lives.”

Senior Assistant Attorney General Lance Winters responded to Richardson’s letter on January 29, notifying the father that the AG’s Office had decided to look into the LASD’s handling of the case, but did not elaborate further. Ten days later, US Attorney Eileen Decker announced that former LASD Sheriff Lee Baca would plead guilty to a felony, a deal that had been in the works for weeks.

When WitnessLA requested an explanation for the decision reversal, a representative from the AG’s Office told us, “We can’t comment on an ongoing review.”


  • I think it is time for this to be over and for the individuals from the LASD who are aware of what happened to Mitrice Richardson and any acts of violation of law or policy and procedure surrounding her arrest, disappearance and death to come forward. No longer can individuals claim that there is no corruption in the department when we know at least the leader during the time of Mitrice’s arrest and disappearance is corrupt by his own admission.

  • About time. Incompetence at the least and obstruction of justice at the worst. Missing or altered video tape. Sounds like a page right out of the civil litigation handbook. Rest in peace Mitrice. God bless you and your family.

  • Well, there is a mouthful in this story. Releasing Richardson at 0200 hours, with no car, no one picking her up, far from home, was just plain wrong. Releasing her under the same circumstances, knowing she had obvious mental issues, was absolutely uncontainable. The allegations that the captain concealed and lied about the station video tape, well that speaks for itself. The allegations the tape was altere? Another problematic situation. Then there are the emails. Is this the same captain that was involved in some manner with the Mel Gipson case? Whatever happened to the Watch Sergeant and Watch Commander? Oh, they were taken care of. And the Deputy? Oh, he was fired. Well then, what about the Captain, certainly he was dealt with, right? After all, leadership starts at the top. Oh, he was promoted to Commander. Rather harsh I would say. Well what did the IAB case say about the Richardson case involving her midnight release and Homicide’s investigation and crime scene processing along with her remains being swooped up like chicken bones after a picnic instead of the Coroner being slowed to do their job? Oh, there wasn’t an IAB investigation conducted, at all, about anything. Oh, Tanaka stopped that? Well then, at least that Watch Dog of a Watch Dog, OIR was all over this case providing an independant review of this fiasco and said everything was just fine. Boy, thank God for OIR because without them, Lord knows what kind of misconduct and corruption could have taken place with Tanaka and Baca at the top.

    And it only took the father to write a letter to AG Harris, the political pimp that she is, to get her to open a “criminal investigation” into this case after repeatedly saying she was not interested? Oh, he had to play the race card to get her to pay attention. Well, isn’t that dandy or simply par for the course?

  • Who was the U/S when all those shenanigans went down? Could this investigation reach way back to the Waldie era? Now wouldn’t THAT be a real shame? There may be statute of limitation issues regarding 135PC, but maybe not with 182PC, Conspiracy. Let’s hope AG Harris’ staff is sharper than the Feds and can actually do some investigating beyond going for the low hanging fruit. Let’s see if they can actually hold the shot callers accountable beyond a mere tap on the bald head.

    I knew Tom Martin back in the day, and thought he was a pretty good guy. Don’t know if he later went to the dark side, but I suspect that the “cover-up” right after this caper was orchestrated way above his head. Tom, don’t let Waldie and Baca throw you out as chum like the Pandora Box foot soldiers.

  • #6 Larry Waldie was in office at the time of this incident. He was none too helpful and less than concerned.

  • Interesting how the AG’s office has “finally seen the light.” I’m sure this is not due to an opportunistic politician taking the opportunity to ride the public’s blood lust for any sensational issue that puts the enforcers of the law in a bad light. It’s a shame that LEO’s not only have to worry about physical assaults from those they arrest, but “white collar” pen and pencil attacks from those supposedly fellow members of the justice system who “practice” from behind the scenes in a nice clean office. I guess the AG’s office wants to get this one in before the political winds/climate change in the November election. It’s also a shame that LEO’s not only have to worry about infringing on someones civil liberties/constitutional rights at the time of arrest and while in custody but know have to insure they have a way home when they are released to. Why should anyone get arrested anyway…I guess?

  • #9 Jim, swerved a lil off subject Pal, it is Navahda (pronounced) it’s a Spanish word meaning “Snow Covered”. This explains you having only one stamp “Lawndale, California” in your Passport.

  • There are still plenty of corrupt people in the LASD. Always will be, and they get away with it. They get promoted.

  • #10 The AG is investigating the potential illegal actions and policy violations that MAY have occurred in the handling of her case. 1) Why was she not taken in for a 5150 evaluation when the arresting officer Armando Loureiro wrote in an email to Scott Chew that the reason he detained her was because she was acting “ditzy” and he was concerned for her safety? He was informed by the staff at the restaurant of her bizarre behavior and officers even referred to her as a “ding”? 2) Why did former captain Tom Martin lie about there not being a video of Mitrice Richardson at the station only to finally have to be forced to admit that he had it hid in his desk the entire time? Did he suppress that evidence for some reason? 3) Why did the detectives remove Mitrice Richardson’s remains and destroy the potential crime scene? Why did they ignore the coroner’s orders? This is among several concerns highlighted in the complaint to the AG which only discusses those issues that might be intentional violations of law and you are right, there is no law that states that they must drive her home so that was not included in the complaint even though it is unconscionable that a deputy would have an individual leave all of her possessions in her car and have no concern of how she would get home – that is not protecting or serving. I filed the complaint and would be happy to forward it to you if you are in truly interested learning some facts of the case. The complaint is rather large because the case is serious, the potential violations are significant and change needs to happen for Mitrice and for us all. Let me know…

  • Drronda, everything you brought up is valid, and there is probably so much more to include Baca and others, who blew this off. The real travesty, amongst others, is IAB was never instructed to investigate the entire A-Z of this incident, that smells of a coverup. I am not alleging criminal conduct unless you have some facts. But there was a host of administrative procedures and actions that should have been looked at to determine what did and did not happen; it didn’t happen, so why not? Who squashed that decision?

    But I think the point some are making, is “why now,” is AG Harris interested in this case? After all these years of coverup and stonewalling, why now does she decide to become involved? I submit to you it is purely for her self-gain and self-promoting political purposes. She is going to pimp this case for her never ending quest of a higher political office, this family will be used for political gain. Wait for the press release and news conference when it is over, nothing will be gained but political points. It’s a shame, there will be no accountability for this string of tragic events, the door has been closed.

  • @ 10. If it were your family member, your response would definitely be different. Next time check out evidence & everyone involved if you expect any validity to your opinion.

  • @Dr. Ronda: I haven’t followed this case too closely, but you seem to know many details. It was reported that there was disturbing graffiti that demeaned African American females and even had some resemblance to the victim that was found near the crime scene. Did anyone ever follow through and identify the tagger(s)? It would seem obvious to find who did this. It’s not too hard to identify these clowns, since their “art” and signatures are unique, besides leaving behind possible DNA and fingerprint evidence… was this important evidence ignored or covered up too? It’s too coincidental to ignore.

  • @15 I do not deny that there may be some vested interest on the part of the AG but I must also admit that I only filed that complaint in October due to the fact that lower level resolutions had to be attempted before the AG would even consider reviewing the case. Prior to making that complaint I had to make complaints to the ICIB which took years and a great deal of pressure to get them to finally respond with a written notice that there was no wrong doing. From there, the OIR took their sweet time responding as well as the DA etc. There has been and continues to be a great deal of stonewalling which has prolonged this process – I can only hope for an appropriate outcome.

  • @19 As far as the mural is concerned, it was discovered during a well publicized search in the Monte Nido area (where her body was eventually discovered). The paint brushes were still wet and paint cans were still on the scene. In addition to that, the individual(s) who painted the mural defecated on the base of the mural in the center. When I alerted the Lost Hills Captain (Joe Stephen) of the mural he stated that the mural had nothing to do with Mitrice, that is was not pornographic in nature and he did not consider the writings to be offensive. He did not send anyone out to the scene as he was not concerned. I then contacted James Lopez who was at the main headquarters at the time and sent him the images. Within hours of that phone call the mural was painted over and no information was collected from the scene. I continued to press James Lopez about the mural and he eventually informed me that that the individuals who painted the mural turned themselves in (with their attorneys) and that he determined that the mural had nothing to do with Mitrice. When I asked him how he made that determination he said that the individuals stated that the mural had nothing to do with her. I asked if they would be charged as this was a very expansive mural and there is a zero tolerance for graffiti, he said that there would be no charges and he would not disclose the names of the individuals. See here:

  • Many of us know, all too well, that crooks will inform on each other. When you have had series of convictions against a particular gang you know you are on the right track. Then one day the leader of the gang (Lee Baca) comes in and offers you a deal. You don’t need him and your case against Baca is strong in the side of conviction. The ONLY reason to deal would be that Baca would exchange vital information on other cases. No one would make a deal and not get anything in return! Unless you are the DOJ?

    If you haven’t read the plea deal you should. Why wasn’t Baca forced, as part of the deal, to testify against Tanaka and tell all he knows about corruption, from Stonich, Waldie, Tanaka and lord knows who else? Does anyone believe that once the Feds had Baca by the throat the Feds offered Baca 90 days at Club Fed? Does anyone believe that Loretta Lynch would jeopardize her lack luster career by letting Baca go without any return? No and neither do I!

    Celeste has reported above that Kamela Harris decision to review the Mitrice Richardsen case was shorty after Baca’s plea deal with the feds. Implying what exactly? That Harris is doing this for her political gain and run for US Senate?Or that Baca had covered up a murder for Waldie’s incompetence? No doubt that Waldie screwed the case up and likely ordered the cover up and supported by Tanaka. And wasn’t Waldie the U/S when the FBI sting started in 2009? Isn’t ICIB and IAB under the command and control of U/S Waldie at that time? What did Waldie know and when did he know it? I sense Baca maybe the only person that can answer that. Recall that Waldie took many bribes and royally messed up the hiring of thugs and gangsters from the LA County Police and then denied it. Waldie took a free car from another corrupt A/S from OC Sheriff. All documented in the newspapers. Did all this violence and corruption only happen when Tanaka was U/S? That doesn’t make sense.

    To be clear when the FBI sting occurred Baca/Tanaka had the phone and the inmate. Nothing was on the phone and the inmate would have been a terrible witness. So, why did Baca/Tanaka risk their careers, reputations and cause the fall of and entire organization for a cell phone with nothing on it? Or an inmate that was just a fool? THEY WERE HIDING SOMETHING ELSE!

  • Obviously, it is asking way too much to have leaders exhibit honesty and integrity within the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Recent history has proven that fact. The Mitrice Richardson case however, is beyond mere incompetence, and borders on criminality. Hopefully, AG Harris will conduct a thorough investigation, free of political interference, and hold those responsible accountable.

  • Re: #21 Thank you. It is unbelievable that this scene was not processed and more incredible that the actual crime scene was destroyed by deputies. How could a captain determine it was not related over the phone? Any cadet in the academy would know it may have relevance. It appears that this fiasco began with poor judgement, then the Banaka, Waldie machine egomaniacs did not want to look bad and ordered their minions to make sure it was not solved and the cause of death to be uncertain. I hope at least the AG investigators follow through on whatever evidence is left and can bring some closure. This case is shameful and an embarrassment to LASD, besides a tragedy for the family.

  • If Sheriff McDonnell was truly a “change agent,” an individual focused on cleaning up the deep reaching corruption of LASD, a Sheriff who was committed to reform and transparency, he would order an in-depth IAB investigation into this entire incident. His “fresh eyes” approach to reforming LASD is consistent with Hellen Keller. Nothing has changed.

  • It’s fairly obvious none of the commenters here, have any investigative or law enforcement experience. Nothing but the Black Helicopter crowd commenting here.

  • Sadly, IAB has always been a pawn to be used by those in power and authority. I would imagine great thought is given before a Captain is chosen for the unit. Curiously, they all seem to promote to Commander or Chief. I guess knowing where all the bodies are buried has its advantages. Age old question “who investigates the investigators?”

  • I thought the major criteria for a peace officer to detain someone for a 5150 WIC hold was a “person representing a danger to themselves or others.” Did the officers have any indication she meet this standard? If “odd behavior” or “ding” like behavior were the dominate factor, half the people LEO’s contact would be going to mental hospitals for 72 hours.

  • @ 26. Lynviking…. It’s the “white smoke screen” crowd that is obscuring the truth, preventing the black helicopter from landing.

  • Finally a real investigation can take place. Hate to burst your bubble, but LASD is full of liars and cheaters. LASD hates the Feds and the public hates the corruption within LASD. Obvious path to justice is clear to see.

  • “I then contacted James Lopez” – At the time, I believe that James R Lopez was a Commander, and he was assigned as (now convicted Federal Felon) Baca’s, assistant.

    Mr Lopez was not known for his integrity or his leadership ability. He was a disgrace to the honest, hardworking personnel of LASD.

    What happened to Mitrice should never have occurred – if the LHS captain truly retrieved the video evidence and secured it in his desk, then lied and said there was no video – that’s horrendous. I hope the AG can get to the truth of this matter. No ones’ loved one should have been treated by any law enforcement agency, as she was.

    @ 26 – I’m calling you out – you are not the only one here, who worked Station 25, or Detective Division. You need to come to grips with the reality of the LASD in 2016.

  • @28 A 5150 is required for an individual who is a danger to themselves, a danger to others or gravely disabled. Grave disability would be behavior that would interfere with the individuals ability to make sound decisions and would not be able to provide for food, clothing or shelter, as in the case of Mitrice, due to their mental state. In this case the officers concern that she was ditzy and he was concerned for her safety is an indicator that there was a reason for her to be evaluated for a grave disability. In most cases individuals are brought to the psychiatric ward for grave disability, in my experience in working in triage at a psychiatric hospital. For example a person in a manic episode may not be stating that they are going to kill themselves or others but they are running down the street with no clothes on stating they are Jesus, that person should be considered for an evaluation.

  • The gravely disabled category is not so simple to satisfy when you are dealing with overcrowded psychiatric facilities, frowning on your admission. Mitrice’s case, and those similar to hers, are easily denied because they are clothed, can walk and talk, follow simple directions, and not run into traffic.

  • Let’s not lose or get off track, the handling of the whole case is totally unacceptable. Lying about the videotape is criminal, the hasty removal of Mitrice’s body prior to the coroner arriving is suspect and Captain Joe Stevens quick actions to have graphic graffiti painted over is unheard of. Lying, denying & hiding is indicitive of criminal activity. Pandora’s box was similar with different scene and players. Stevens had enough problems with Bishop Turners family member

  • @34 It is up to the trained medical professionals to determine the 5150 so rather they are denied or not it is not the job of officers to determine the outcome, it is their job to recommend the 5150. While she may not have been admitted on the 5150, she may been offered medication and social services may have contacted family members. Having worked at the county hospital I am aware of overcrowding; however that is not a good enough reason to not have some assessment conducted as there are other options to assist beyond a psychiatric hold. Certainly releasing her in the middle of the night with no means to care for herself and miles away from her car in a compromised mental state is not a prudent or safe.

  • I don’t think she qualified as a 5150 WIC. She might have been an oddball but that does not fall under 5150. Maybe…Maybe you have a 647F or a 537 but that’s a stretch. Is there no record of her arrest? Log entries, Jailers log? Has anyone been by that station at 0200 hours? It’s not exactly remote but it’s dark and not a place for anyone to be wandering around.

  • @37 I am thinking that if the officers at the scene called her a “ding” they should have had her evaluated, they knew something was wrong.

  • Rhonda, forget about the arresting officers, forget about the evaluation of 5150, that is not the issue, that ship sailed. There is nothing that can be proved at this point that she was “gravely disabled and posed a threat to herself or others.” Did she have psychology issues? Absolutely, no doubt but I don’t think it rose to the level of 5150, so let’s close that door, you are wasting time on a non-issue.

    Focus on the jailer’s concern about releasing her at 0200 hours because of her psychological condition (not 5150, but clearly acting “dingy”). Did the jailer say, “We should keep her until the morning? Can’t we call her Mom and allow her to pick her up? She’s a ding, we should not let her out now, she has no car.” Were any of those concerns raised to the Watch Sergeant or Watch Commander by anyone? Who made the decision to cut her loose knowing she had issues? Focus on the tape, the alleged lies and coverup. Focus on Homicide Bureau’s outrageous arrogance and incompetent actions. Was anyone ever held accountable? Focus on Tanaka and Baca’s role and the behind the scene conversation, instructions and alleged coverup, why no IA investigation. That in itself is a scandal, but that was directed by those on the top.

    But with all that said, none of this rises to the level of a crime. Administrative misconduct and complete incompetence? Yes, but so what, that ship has sailed too. There has been a small cash settlement to the parents (for reasons I can’t figure out) so there is no legal standing for further civil action. The AG “criminal investigation” that is being now initiated, you have heard opinions on that. Unless there is some unknown information relating to specific criminal actions, you’re being pimped. So what will come out of this absolute tragedy? Unless there is a smoking gun that we don’t know about, most likely nothing but just another chapter in the Baca history book. Focus!

  • @39 – You speak the truth. Ronda – The serious crime here may be on that video tape. What does that tape contain? Who were the responsible Watch Commander and Watch Sergeant on the EM shift when she was released? What role(s) did they play? Also, was any of this noted in the station Watch Commander’s log?

    My guess is the contents of the video tape are critical. If it contains nothing of note, then why did the station Captain take personal possession of it? And, why did he personally lock it down?

    There are so many other factors to explore here, as well…such as “Why no IA investigation?”

  • ICIB & IAB was an extension of Baca & Tanaka along with Dick Shinee who bargained with all three parties. No mystery there.

  • @39….I had dinner with Lee Baca last week and he shared similar thoughts as you, I will say to you what I said to him, “I will not let this go”.

  • 44. and how do we know you are telling the truth? We all know that Baca is as dumb as a rock but for Baca to talk about anything is beyond the pale considering the legal risk to him, his family and even more liability to the county who has been paying many of his legal bills. Got a pic?

  • @46. I had more important things on my mind than a photo opportunity. I have no reason to lie. I personally do not think he is a dumb as a rock, I think many things about him, but he is not dumb.

  • 47 You don’t know like we do! However, next time remind him that he pledged to help people wherever he found them. Ok, when is he coming forward and tell the truth about past wrongs? I’m sure you mean well but again none of this makes sense. Did he admit to you why he lied?

  • Rhonda, you are being played. And you have been played from day one. Baca was never straight with you or the family from jump street. This entire fiasco was a tragedy, an exercise of ego, arrogance and cover-up. Tanaka was behind the scene pulling all the strings covering his Boyz at Homicide and keeping IA out of the loop. The captain at Lost Hills was following orders, as usual, marching the goose step stating, “anything you say, Paul.” One massive cover up, and Leroy was most likely convinced if he allowed you into his throne room, and just whispered hollow words of nothingness, throw a little settlement money at Mom and Dad, you would go away. Rhonda, Baca and Tanaka never had ANY intention of getting to the bottom of this. Otherwise there would have been an in-depth IA investigation of the A-Z of this incident, all of it. And they didn’t!!!! The disgusting lap dog OIR took their instructions and swept it under the lumpy rug. It was all a sham to make the family take that chump change and go away. There was an election to deal with down the road. The captain was promoted to commander, the Times played ball, OIR did as they were told, the family attorney paid his rent, just another LASD cover up at the highest level.

    And now your AG, running for Congress, is gonna play the game so no one can point a finger at her. That way she can say, “I’m going to Washington to fight for you, just like I been fighting for justice all my life.” Hell, she’s already been anointed, just like McD. But hey, we got new uniform shirts. Move along folks, there is nothing to see. So why do you think Baca had dinner? He’s playing you. Unless there is really something for the AG to criminally investigate, and I will keep an open mind, chances are she is playing you too. Good luck. PS, I think the family hired the wrong attorney. He probably took his quick cash and booked instead of seeking justice and accountability. Just say’n.

  • Rhonda, this is the last day that this thread will be displayed. Good luck, no doubt Celeste will update us one way or the other on this tragedy.

  • It doesn’t matter whether or not, Baca voluntarily speaks on it. Reckoning day for LASD is here
    Press and media will continue to kick them in the ass, exposing their B.S.
    I too, believe that heads will roll or they will roll over on each other. Pressure and time created the Grand Canyon.

  • Let me make myself perfectly clear. It is of no consequence to me if I am being played, pimped out, bullied, intimated or being made a fool of. I am not naive enough to believe that an agency that would treat Mitrice the way they did would treat me any better. I have been fighting for justice for Mitrice since day one and through all of the B.S. what I have learned most is that the BLUE WALL of SILENCE is real. Most present in my mind is that someone in the LASD knows what happened to Mitrice and one of YOU needs to come forward. So don’t worry about my plight because I am in the game too, a little game playing is not going to thwart my efforts. Anyone who wants to step forward with information can contact me at (951) 660-8031 or

  • @48 – if you would like to hear more about my conversation with him I would be happy to inform you – contact me and we can talk.

  • 51. I don’t think we can wait for the Grand Canyon-just kidding. But, Baca never does anything unless he wants something down the road. Be careful Rhonda!

  • In any organization, corruption exits. It is part of the human condition. Every day, we all make decisions that test our values and judgment. Thank goodness for people like drronda that hold our feet to the fire. Keep up the good work ronda!

  • @25&30 you are correct. Nothing is changing. I work with a bunch of cheaters and liers. But they don’t see them as being one. I hope it catches up with them. I’m waiting to see them fall.

  • Like Mitrice Richardson, i have also had an encounter with Malibu L.A. Sheriff Deputies.
    I attended the wedding reception for a friend I had known since junior high school. It was held at a venue right off the Pacific Coast Highway in Trancas on a Sunday afternoon.
    Soon after I began the drive back home, I realized my driving was impaired.
    I had consumed several glasses of champagne and now i was trashed. And I was driving on a stretch of PCH with hills on one side of the road and a narrow strip of beach and the Pacific Ocean on the other side.
    There was no where to turn out as i drove southbound, so I pulled over into the emergency lane next to the highway railing, shut off the engine and fell asleep.
    I was awakened by a Malibu sheriff deputy rapping on the car window.

    They said I could not stay parked in that spot.
    I explained that i was not in a condition to drive.
    They said my car had to be impounded.
    They had me get out of the car and the deputy committed a battery on me.
    He did this by directing me to participate in a false Field Sobriety Test – the deputy took my wrist and took a timed measurement of my pulse beat.
    He then used the result to accuse me of being under the influence of drugs. I offered a reasonable explanation why i was over 100bpm.
    The deputy continued insisting that i was on drugs and urged me to give them up to him.
    As I went back and forth with him, the second deputy was conducting a search inside my car – behind my back without my permission.
    Aha! – the second deputy emerged and confronted me with a clear sandwich bag containing marijuana that he found in my backpack on the front passenger seat.

    In summary:
    Like Mitrice, they said my car could not stay.
    Like Mitrice, they committed a battery by performing a pulse reading under the guise of an FST.
    Like Mitrice, they found a baggy of marijuana in my vehicle.
    Unlike Mitrice, they did not cite me for misdemeanor possession of marijuana, they simpy took it away.
    Unlike Mitrice, they did not call the tow yard for impound.
    They told me to stay in my car parked in the emergency lane on PCH until i was ready to drive.
    And they left.
    I’m an average white male.
    Mitrice was a gregarious, vivacious black sista.
    That is a big difference.

  • Quasi should report this injustice immediately to the proper authorities if you have not already done so. Be sure to tell them you were in possession of enough marijuana to warrant a misdemeanor citation so they can conduct a more thorough follow investigation as to why you didn’t get a citation. Please get back to us with the results.

  • My first thought: Election year. Kamala Harris is running to replace retiring Senator Barbara Boxer. It makes me wonder if politics haven’t changed the original decision. Regardless I’m glad they are investigating. Kamala has a very good chance to win the election so I’m not sure who would take over the investigation. If anything I hope at least it helps to get more training for law enforcement on helping people possibly suffering from mental illness. RIP Matrice.

  • @58 a speck of marijuana is enough for a misdemeanor possession citation. In my case, the deputies chose not to spend any time completing paperwork because marijuana was not what they wanted.

    The more important question –
    who trained the Malibu Sheriff deputies to commit battery by using a fake FST as a routine tactic to facilitate violating civil rights?

    Taking measurement of the pulse rate is not a standardized field sobriety test and is not used in determining sobriety.

    The Malibu Sheriff deputy took a reading of my pulse so that :
    1. they could distract my attention while a deputy conducted
    an unauthorized and illegal search inside my vehicle
    2. as a tactic to compel a confession to using narcotics

    With Mitrice Richardson, the Malibu Sheriff had no legal cause to administer any FST.
    She was arrested inside the restaurant on charges unrelated to driving and her vehicle was being taken away.
    She was in a manic and extremely compliant state of mind.The Deputies could gain her authorization or confession to almost anything without needing to use any tactics.

    The Malibu Sheriff deputy used the FST as a cover story for allowing himself to enjoy an intimate experience with Ms. Richardson.
    Instead of administering an FST which measures motor skill reaction or cognitive functioning, he chose to administer the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus so that he could draw himself close up to Ms. Richardson’s face and stare into her eyes.

    He took a pulse measurement as an excuse to gently hold her hand and wrist and feel her heartbeat.
    He took two separate pulse readings – committing two counts of battery.
    The pulse readings were taken 10 minutes apart, thus allowing the deputy 10 uninterrupted and private minutes to chat with Ms. Richardson trying to gain her affection.

    The deputies made sure Ms. Richardsons cell phone and personal belongings remained in her car, and she would need to pay fees to retrieve the vehicle.
    The deputies had maximized her situation for being dependent on assistance from others.
    On the paperwork, they blamed Ms. Richardson for requesting the impound – yet they never got her signature for approval.

    The deputies may have actually directed the restaurant owner to refuse the credit card payment offered over the telephone by Mitrice’ grandmother.
    And they may have directed him to assert a citizen’s arrest for the unpaid meal tab.
    That would elevate a questionable arrest into a false arrest or possibly even kidnapping.

    The deputies weren’t particularly worried about anything when they assumed that a 90 year old Watts grandmother was all Mitrice could depend on.

    The deputies had their own reason not to report Ms. Richardson as 5150.
    It would have meant transferring her to custody of another division while they were finding her presence quite enjoyable.

    Everything changed once Mitrice’ mother began calling the Sheriff’s Malibu/Lost Hills substation.

    I may not have been arrested that night I passed out in my car on the PCH after my friend’s wedding, but I have been arrested more than once and spent time in custody of LASD.

    I will say this –
    Mitrice Richardon was booked and released by LASD in record time.

    In addition, while it is true that according to law the Sheriff isn’t allowed to continue holding someone in custody after they have been booked and signed the promise to appear, that rule has never prevented them from delaying release for many hours or even days.

    It is so common for LASD to hold people in custody beyond the legal limit that the courts have even set a standard rate of $100 some dollars/day that is offered as compensation whenever it happens.

    The Sheriff could have claimed extra time needed to check for warrants or to verify I.D. with the DMV, or just about anything, in order to keep Mitrice until morning if they were truly concerned for her well being.

    Instead they lied to Ms. Sutton to postpone her from coming to pick-up her daughter, while they expedited the booking process for Mitrice and then flung the bars open.

  • From the time his daughter went missing until her remains were identified, Michael Richardson faced a sprectrum of abuse from every agency and official with a role in the case.
    He was disenfranchised, stonewalled, mocked, ignored and humiliated.The treatment he received was disgraceful.

    Wasn’t it enough for him to learn a lesson?
    Maybe not.

    Because here he is supposed to be a growed-up man and he is telling us about a letter he wrote to the Easter Bunny and he wants to believe she read it!
    Pardon me while I bend over and throw up.

    The response sent from Assistant California Attorney General Lance Winters reads, at its best, as a cause for some hope – probably false hope.
    It should really be seen as a negative development  requiring a serious proactive response from anyone disgusted over justice delayed far too long, justice denied Mitrice Richardson.

    It appears Lance Winters is the latest on the list of the wrong people assigned to this case.
    Not saying bad people, just the wrong people.
    People with the wrong orientation for a productive investigation where misdeeds by the Sheriff Dept. may have occured.

    Winter’s record shows an orientation towards protecting the image of uniformed law enforcement and earning their trust and favor.
    He ran for election to the bench in 2008.
    The most highlighted achievement on his resume described working to defend the application of capital punishment on 2  inmates convicted of killing an LAPD cop.

    You can’t expect Winters to prosecute cop killers and then turn around on a dime and go after possible criminal cops.
    Just like you can’t expect Detective Steve Eguchi to punch through a blue wall at Lost Hills station right after working to find the killers of Sheriff Deputy Juan Abel Escalante.

  • The communication from Assistant CA State AG Winters is not a cause for celebration.
    His letter says nothing about conducting an investigation into the disappearance and death of Mitrice Richardson.
    It says that he will conduct a review of the handling of the case.

    If the AG had reviewed the entire charade 3 – 4 years ago, then we might be looking at some benefits today – like disciplined personnel and some solidly reformed practices at LASD.
    But there was nobody at any agency willing to take responsibility for doing the right thing  after LASD’s complete abdication of their duty to society and to the victim.

    Its now past the 6 years statute of limitations which prevents initiating criminal prosecution for some of the hijinks that were or could have been uncovered.
    Which leaves only the really big stuff and some of the esoteric federal stuff to prosecute on.
    That requires seriously conducting the full investigation, which was never done in the first place.

    The investigation of the Mitrice Richardson case needs to be comprehensive and full bore. 
    It needs to be appointed, authorized and activated now. And it has to be federal.

    We should see the turnabout by the AG on this case in light of recent events.
    The letter means a possible obstruction could be presenting itself through Asst. AG Winters.

    I don’t believe in the Easter Bunny.
    But I do believe that ex-Sheriff Lee Baca may have applied his influence for the CA AG to take over the Mitrice Richardson file.
    That would indicate Baca is concerned about his exposure that could result in charges if the case was properly investigated.

  • We are witnessing
    a system
    set up to strip Mitrice Richardson
    of her civil rights
    and guarantee Lee Baca
    can get away
    with murder

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