Race

Ferguson: the Grand Jury, the Evidence Dump, Darren Wilson’s Testimony, the St. Louis Prosecutor…and More

We will have lots of other news after the Thanksgiving weekend, but today we are focusing on Ferguson.

THE PROBLEM WITH BOB MCCULLOUCH’S GRAND JURY PROCEEDING

Instead of charging Darren Wilson with a crime and initiating standard criminal procedure that would likely have allowed a trial jury to find Wilson guilty or not guilty, St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch made the highly unusual choices of opening a grand jury investigation into the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, and then dumping all gathered evidence in front of the jurors to consider without any overt guidance from a prosecutor—which was its own tacit communication.

The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin says that while a regular trial jury might have come to the conclusion that Wilson was not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, Wilson should not have received the “special treatment” of a grand jury combined with an unprecedented and undifferentiated evidence dump that seemed to overwhelm jurors. Toobin goes on to ask what would have happened if McCulloch had treated Wilson as any other suspect in St. Louis County. Here’s a clip: Here’s a clip:

In sending Wilson’s case to the grand jury, McCulloch technically turned over to them the decision about whether to prosecute. By submitting all the evidence to the grand jury, he added to the perception that this process represented an independent evaluation of the evidence. But there is little doubt that he remained largely in control of the process; aggressive advocacy by prosecutors could have persuaded the grand jurors to vote for some kind of indictment. The standard for such charges—probable cause, or more probable than not—is generally a very easy hurdle. If McCulloch’s lawyers had simply pared down the evidence to that which incriminated Wilson, they would have easily obtained an indictment.

The grand jury chose not to indict Wilson for any crimes in connection with Brown’s death. In a news conference following the decision, McCulloch laid out the evidence that he believed supported the grand jury’s finding. In making the case for Wilson’s innocence, McCulloch cherry-picked the most exculpatory information from what was assembled before the grand jury. The conclusion may even have been correct; based on a preliminary review of the evidence before the grand jury, it’s not clear to me that a trial jury would have found Wilson guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

But the goal of criminal law is to be fair—to treat similarly situated people similarly—as well as to reach just results. McCulloch gave Wilson’s case special treatment. He turned it over to the grand jury, a rarity itself, and then used the investigation as a document dump, an approach that is virtually without precedent in the law of Missouri or anywhere else.

The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank slams McCullough and his “joke of a grand-jury proceeding.” Here are some clips:

What causes the outrage, and the despair, is the joke of a grand-jury proceeding run under the auspices of McCulloch, the St. Louis County prosecutor. In September, I wrote that it appeared he wasn’t even trying to get an indictment; he had a long record of protecting police in such cases, and his decision not to recommend a specific charge to the grand jury essentially guaranteed there would be no indictment.

When McCulloch announced the inevitable result Monday night, he prefaced it by blaming the press and social media for whipping up emotions in the case with inaccurate information. He went on to ridicule witnesses who had given inconsistent testimony. He hid behind the grand jurors, as if he hadn’t orchestrated their decision with the finesse of conductor Christoph Eschenbach: “Anyone suggesting that somehow it’s just not a full and fair process is just unfair to these people” who “gave up their lives” to deliberate.

McCulloch essentially acknowledged that his team was serving as Wilson’s defense lawyers, noting that prosecutors “challenged” and “confronted” witnesses by pointing out previous statements and evidence that discredited their accounts. “Physical evidence does not change because of public pressure or personal agenda,” McCulloch lectured piously. “Physical evidence does not look away as events unfold.”

[SNIP]

Asked Monday night whether he had any regrets about the way he handled the case, McCulloch replied, “No, not at all.” This shouldn’t be a surprise, given McCulloch’s history. That his father, a police officer, was killed by a black suspect doesn’t by itself disqualify him, but his record should have: not a single prosecution of a shooting by police in his 23 years on the job. Four times he presented evidence to a grand jury in such a case and didn’t get an indictment; now he can add a fifth.

An NY Times editorial lays out the context of the Ferguson riots—from McCulloch’s mistakes to citizens’ mistrust of law enforcement officers. Here’s how it opens:

The St. Louis County grand jury’s decision not to indict the white police officer who in August shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, would have generated widespread anger and disappointment in any case. But the county prosecutor, Robert McCulloch, who is widely viewed in the minority community as being in the pockets of the police, made matters infinitely worse by handling this sensitive investigation in the worst possible way.

First, he refused to step aside in favor of a special prosecutor who could have been appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri. He further undermined public confidence by taking a highly unorthodox approach to the grand jury proceeding. Instead of conducting an investigation and then presenting the case and a recommendation of charges to the grand jury, his office shifted its job to the grand jury. It made no recommendation on whether to indict the officer, Darren Wilson, but left it to the jurors to wade through masses of evidence to determine whether there was probable cause to file charges against Officer Wilson for Mr. Brown’s killing.

Under ordinary circumstances, grand jury hearings can be concluded within days. The proceeding in this case lasted an astonishing three months. And since grand jury proceedings are held in secret, the drawn-out process fanned suspicions that Mr. McCulloch was deliberately carrying on a trial out of public view, for the express purpose of exonerating Officer Wilson.


DARREN WILSON’S TESTIMONY

The New Yorker’s John Cassidy gives a good summary of Darren Wilson’s grand jury testimony. Here’s a clip:

At this point, Wilson testified, Brown “grabs my gun, says, ‘You are too much of a pussy to shoot me.’” Brown then pushed the gun down toward Wilson’s thigh, the officer went on, and a pulling match ensued, during which Wilson twice tried to shoot the gun, but it didn’t go off. Eventually, it did, blowing out one of the windows and drawing blood from somewhere on Brown’s body. The gunfire startled both of them, Wilson said. Brown took a step back, and then looked up at him with “the most intense aggressive face. The only way I can describe it, it looks like a demon, that’s how angry he looked. He comes back towards me again with his hands up.”

Wilson tried to pull the trigger again, he testified, but the gun again failed to shoot, and Brown struck him. Wilson racked the slide on the top of his pistol and squeezed the trigger yet again, this time successfully. “When I look up, I see him start to run, and I see a cloud of dust behind him. I then get out of my car. As I’m getting out of the car, I tell dispatch, ‘Shots fired, send me more cars.’”

Obviously, questions can be raised about the accuracy of this account, which Wilson prepared in conjunction with his defense attorney. But even assuming it’s true, what stands out is that once the second shot had been fired and Brown had started to run, he no longer represented a deadly threat to the officer or to anybody else. He was a large, bleeding, unarmed man running down the street in an attempt to get away. Wilson, who chased after Brown, was the one with the deadly weapon.

The Root’s Lauren Victoria Burke gives five points Darren Wilson makes in his grand jury testimony that are problematic and will likely come up again in a civil case. Here are two of the five:

3. Wilson testified that Brown handed cigars to his friend Johnson at the same time Brown was allegedly hitting Wilson in the face.

Johnson, who was with Brown the day of the shooting, told CNN in the days after Brown was shot that Brown passed him a handful of cigars as he ran away. But Wilson testified before the grand jury that Brown was punching him in the face with his right hand—the same right hand in which, Wilson told the grand jury, Brown held the cigars.

On Page 209 of his testimony, Wilson said, “When I start looking at Brown, first thing I notice is in his right hand, his hand is full of cigarillos.”

Then, on Page 211 of the transcript, Wilson is asked, “Now, he was hitting you with what hand?” and Wilson answered, “I believe it was his right.”

Wilson further testified that Brown freed his right hand by placing the cigars in his left hand and then handing the cigars to Johnson.

4. Wilson refers to Brown as “it” and says that he looks like “a demon.”

“The only way I can describe it, it looks like a demon, that’s how angry he looked. He comes back towards me again with his hands up. At that point I just went like this, I tried to pull the trigger again, click, nothing happened,” Wilson testified.

It’s interesting that Wilson referred to Brown as “a demon” and then acknowledged that Brown had his “hands up.”

The NY Times’ Juliet Lapidos has some interesting things to say about how Wilson viewed Brown. Here’s a clip:

Much has been made of the fact that Mr. Brown was 6-foot-4 and weighed roughly 290 pounds. Mr. Wilson, though, is not a small guy: He’s also 6-foot-4, and about 210 pounds.

But let’s give the officer the benefit of the doubt. Let’s say he was so genuinely scared that his fear distorted what was happening. Whether or not he committed a crime, as defined by a criminal justice system that tends to let cops off the hook, he shouldn’t be carrying a gun. Someone who can let fear get the better of him—who sees a teenager like a super-villain—shouldn’t have easy access to deadly force.


MORE ON THE DEMONIZATION OF MICHAEL BROWN

On To the Point, host Warren Olney talks with a number of guests about the Ferguson riots, the evidence and grand jury proceeding, and what the non-indictment means for the nation.

One of a number of guests was Delores Jones-Brown, of the John Jay College Center on Race, Crime and Justice. Jones-Brown (who comes on just before the 15-minute mark of the program) discusses the grand jury process, which she calls a “one-sided trial,” and the demonization of Michael Brown. Here’s a clip of the transcript:

…typically it’s a secret proceeding, and evidence isn’t given out. And I think, in this case, the evidence is given out for the purpose of convincing people who might be easily convinced—once you have demonized the victim—that that victim deserved the behavior that they received. And I don’t think that it was not self-serving. I think it was a self-serving effort.

Olney: You said a couple of times that the victim was “demonized” not just before, but now in the process itself…What do you mean?

So, when the video footage from the Bodega where allegedly cigars were stolen (by someone I’m still not completely convinced was Michael Brown and his companion), that videotape was to indicate that this was a violent young man. So, when the officer, Wilson, then takes the stand and says to the grand jury that ‘he looked demonic, or he was like a demon when he attacked me,’ an otherwise incredible story—one that wouldn’t easily be believed—becomes more believable, particularly for people who already have perceptions of young black men as dangerous and criminal. There was an emphasis on Michael Brown’s size, so he’s the large, scary young black man, and therefore he’s dangerous, and he’s going to act out like an animal, and that’s why the officer had to shoot him.

Go take a listen.


MORE NEWS FROM FERGUSON

The AP and NPR have a combined story on the grand jury investigation, Darren Wilson’s testimony, witnesses’ testimonies, and the ongoing federal investigation, which Attorney General Eric Holder says will remain independent of the St. Louis investigation.

And, criticizing the grand jury process and decision, attorneys for Michael Brown’s family say they will fight for federal charges to be brought against Darren Wilson, according to an AP update to the story.

Here’s a clip from the AP section:

Attorneys for the family of Michael Brown are vowing to push for federal charges against police officer Darren Wilson.

They’re also renewing their calls for peace, after a night of violent protests in which several businesses in Ferguson were burned to the ground.

The protests followed the announcement by prosecutors that a grand jury had decided not to indict Wilson in the fatal shooting of the unarmed black 18-year-old.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, the attorneys said the grand jury process had been rigged from start to finish in order to clear Wilson in the shooting death. They criticized the types of evidence the prosecutor presented, as well as the way it was presented and the timing of the grand jury’s decision. (Scroll below to see details of the evidence.)

And here’s a clip from NPR’s update from AG Eric Holder:

Attorney General Eric Holder says “far more must be done to create enduring trust” between police and communities they serve, even as his Justice Department continues to investigate possible discriminatory police actions in Ferguson, Mo.

Civil rights lawyers at Justice working alongside FBI agents have also been examining whether white officer Darren Wilson intentionally violated the civil rights of 18-year-old Michael Brown, the unarmed black man he shot dead Aug. 9.

Proving that Wilson, who was cleared Monday by a St. Louis County grand jury, violated federal criminal law will be difficult, DOJ veterans say.

But in the aftermath of the local grand jury announcement, Holder insisted the federal probe of the policeman is ongoing and independent of St. Louis prosecutors.

“And although federal civil rights law imposes a high legal bar in these types of cases, we have resisted forming premature conclusions,” Holder said.


THE MARIJUANA IN MICHAEL BROWN’S SYSTEM

Reason’s Jacob Sullum takes a look at the misleading picture prosecutors tried to paint about how much marijuana Michael Brown had in his system and what effects it might have had on his behavior. Here’s a clip:

Kathi Alizadeh and Sheila Whirley, the assistant county prosecutors who presented evidence to the grand jury, did what they could with pot, raising the possibility that Brown had smoked enough to experience “paranoia,” “hallucinations,” and maybe even a “psychotic episode.” They planted that idea in jurors’ heads mainly by presenting a toxicologist’s misleading testimony about the amount of THC in Brown’s blood and the possible effects of large doses.

The toxicologist testified that Brown’s blood contained 12 nanograms of active THC per milliliter, a level that he said indicated Brown had consumed cannabis in the previous two or three hours. That contradicted testimony by Dorian Johnson, the friend who was with Brown when Wilson shot him. Johnson, who said he was with Brown all day, testified that they had planned to get high (hence the cigarillos that Brown stole from a convenience store) but never got around to it. Despite the blood test results, Johnson could be telling the truth. Daily marijuana users have been known to register 12 nanograms or more when they get up in the morning, and they may even perform competently on driving tests at that level.

In a 2013 experiment sponsored by KIRO, the CBS station in Seattle, one volunteer, a medical marijuana user, tested at 16 nanograms when she arrived but nevertheless completed a driving course satisfactorily and continued to do so until she hit 58.8 nanograms. A subject in another 2013 experiment, this one sponsored by KDVR, the Fox affiliate in Denver, was already at 21 nanograms when he arrived, even though he had not consumed any marijuana that day, and reached 47 after he smoked some pot. He performed fine on a driving simulator at both levels.

Alizadeh noted that Colorado and Washington both have set five nanograms as the cutoff for drugged driving. But as the experiments by KIRO and KDVR indicate, that standard is highly problematic, treating many regular users as impaired even when they’re not. The fact that Brown’s THC level was “over twice” this arbitrary number, as Alizadeh emphasized, does not necessarily indicate he was too stoned to drive, let alone that he had consumed enough marijuana to precipitate a psychotic break.


READ ON…

By the way, St. Louis Public Radio has all of the evidence and a live blog on what’s happening in Ferguson.

And for further reading, Andrew Cohen has a Ferguson news roundup over at the the Marshall Project.

68 Comments

  • Pretty one sided story , with references to web sites in lock step with each other , all telling the same narrative. I saw the prosecutors statement ,thought it sounded compressive and fair. The narritive against the prosecutor sounds petty. Look around Witness LA ,I’m sure you can find good arguments on the other side of this story from legitimate sources. I respected your efforts on the LASD scandal. You can do better than this.

  • I saw Mr. Johnson on television stating how Officer Wilson, through an open window, pulled all 300 pounds of Mr. Brown up to the car that began the altercation. He lied to the press, he lied to the police, he had no credibility. I don’t even know why his name is used to justify a lack of an indictment. The people of Ferguson want to make changes to the law? Fine, African Americans are 67% of the population in that city. If they vote in the next election, they can have a Black mayor and Black representatives in city hall who can express their viewpoints. Otherwise, if you don’t vote, you should not complain.

  • McCulloch made a very wise choice in giving the case to the Grand Jury. Had he not, and he evaluated the evidence and arrived at the same conclusion, he would have been castigated as a racist . Why would the appointment of a special prosecutor arrived a a different decision that members of a Grand Jury ?
    Don’t overlook the U.N. who evaluated the evidence and exonerated Wilson and referred to the Brown family as entitled thugs.
    When are the nay-sayers going to abandon their the search for “THEIR TRUTH ” . This was never an issue of truth or justice for them.

    How does looting, theft and destruction of property equate a protest for the truth and justice of this incident. it doesn’t . It opens the door for street hoods to play their games, Been there, seen it, The real victim is Officer wilson. IMO

  • None of this would have happened had Brown and his friend just got their butts out of the middle of the street and on the sidewalk….There is no doubt that had Brown gained full control of Officer Wilson’s gun he would have killed him.. Sorry but Brown was a thug and he chose the day to die.. There are no tears coming from me for his demise..

  • Taylor Walker, it is common to present this type ofcase to a grand jury. Here in LA County, a Deputy Sheriff was recently charged with murder by a grand jury. And where is the evidence that there was an “evidence dump” on the members of that grand jury? This is irresponsible reporting!

    And where is the media’s outrage or even reporting on the murder rate of young black men in this country by other young black men? The leading cause of death of young black men in this country ages 18 to 34 is murder. They are not being murdred by police but other young black men. This is almost genocidal. And where is the outrage?

    No media outlets want to talk about that Taylor! Will you???

  • Nothing but speculation by people not fond of cops in the first place. Nobody knows if the jurors were overwhelmed by the evidence, the amount of time it took to reach their conclusion seems to me to speak to how carefully they weighed everything placed before them. As for Wilson’s testimony, seems pretty much like what I found out with 48 hrs of the shooting and told many in law enforcement took place. Down to the grabbing of Darren’s weapon, Brown calling him a pussy and on and on. You on the left want to poke holes and find fault where there is none Celeste, too bad, question know is will the racist AG try to screw an officer for saving his own life from a crazed thug.

  • The role of a prosecutor is not to pursue indictments and convictions without regard for the facts. The opinion writers who are so critical of the way this grand jury was conducted seem ignorant of the capacity for the criminal justice system to produce wrongful convictions when prosecutors act without regard for exculpatory evidence. Here we have a prosecutor who, refreshingly, didn’t shade the facts to get an indictment and he gets chastised as if he committed prosecutorial misconduct.

    McCulloch’s approach is being criticized in large part because the court of public opinion has already tried and convicted Wilson of wrongfully shooting Brown. With public opinion set against Wilson, anything short of an indictment followed by a conviction was going to be interpreted as a sign of pro-police bias. Letting the grand jury assess the facts and return indictments as they felt were indicated was in the best interest of justice.

  • Celeste, I believe you have done an outstanding job reporting news for quite some time. It is interesting to read post of individual’s criticism of your reporting of cases like Brown’s. It seems when your reporting is in the defense of a minority (to be more specific, an African American) the boo birds come out about your reporting.

    Where was the criticism by LASD deputies of all ranks when a deputy illegally gave LA County Office of Public Safety background files to former LA Times reporter Robert Faturechi? What happened to the deputy that stole the files? Hush, Hush… Robert Faturechi reported a lot of allegations without vetting the source and I bet that is why he is no longer reporting for LA Times. Celeste has way more integrity as a reporter than this Robert character.

    There wasn’t much of a fight by the union to stop the release of OPS background. It would be interest if a federal consent decree required every current LASD employee to go through a second background, the same background process as OPS, and any negative findings will be made public. I am sure lawyers and the union will be all over that. So many at LASD have some much to say about everybody and what is fair and what is not. But I know many of you are having sleepless nights hoping the feds don’t discover your past discetions or your darkest secrets.

    Now, everyone that has commented in defense of Officer Wilson, how many have taken that same position when the officer/deputy is African American and the suspect is white? I can say for a fact, I have witness caucasian deputies treat minorities different in the inner city and police the streets completely different in the suburbs.

    Why is it ok on a traffic stop in Compton to call a motorist derogatory names upon contact, but a similar situation in San Dimas, Malibu, Santa Clarita, Marina Del Rey the same caucasian deputy will approach the motorist with professionalism and respect?

    When you have this uneven/unfair culture and approach to policing a community, all those derogatory contacts on traffic stops, ped stops, radio call responses start to add up. This kind of policing creates a disconnect with the minority community and all it take is a case like Rodney King, Trayvon Martin and a Micheal Brown to erupt a community.

    So in my opinion, both sides are wrong in the Ferguson case. Micheal Brown’s behavior and the Ferguson Police Department’s behavior all lead up to this tragic situation. Better community policing, and less deragatory contacts creates a more understand community. I do question would Office Wilson had been as quick on the trigger or shot as many rounds if this incident took place in the suburbs and the suspect was caucasian (I question this the same way I question LASD deputies firing 100 rounds at a motorist in Compton, would deputies have responded the same way if the incident happened in the suburbs)? I also question, why would he drive up to a possible robbery suspect and be sitting in his patrol car giving orders? I would think the robbery bolo call would have made it a felony stop situation. If I heard right from the prosecutor he said, Office Wilson received the bolo call before making contact with Micheal Brown.

    Deputies that patrol the inner city communities need to do so with the same respect they would give in the suburbs. You should choose to work the inner city to help make a difference not because you want to put it on you resume in hopes of getting in a special unit or a promotion. That attitude is associated with the old regime and those still in line with that culture beware of the feds.

  • Great comments, the reports and stories regarding this incident are pretty harsh and one sided, even for WItnessLA. These reports were written by people that were not there the day of the shooting. Michael Brown (RIP) and Officer Wilson are the only ones that know the truth. Either way Officer Brown did what he felt he had to do. Inner city or suburb it’s all the same to me, had this been me in either location with a White suspect, I’m shooting. A lot of pointing fingers and judging by people that don’t know.

    I’m not going to argue “shine some light” points, but I will merely say this do you get the same response from the community or persons you contact on your T-Stops, Ped Stop, and calls for service in San Dimas as you do in Compton. It pretty safe to say that you don’t, which is sad but the truth with todays society. Go to San Dimas meet up for coffee at your local Starbucks for a cup, and you’ll probably have citizens approach you and thank you or share their gratitude for your service. Go to Compton or similar and meet up for a cup at 7/11 (cause we know they don’t have that many Starbucks there) and 99% time you get nothing but attitude and people making what they consider “educated” comments. Just a thought…..

    A lot had to change and its not just LASD or Law Enforcement.

  • Get your facts straight, SHINE, And shine some light on this . All the supercilious things you spout are merely smoke screens to distract from the Brown decision. You obviously are another who is only interested in a ‘truth” which promotes your agenda , as opposed to the real truth of the matter. You try to mask the real truth and how it was determined. You criticize a grand Jury and know nothing of the members individual backgrounds or the process, You agreed with the statement that McCulloch strangely and for self-serving purposes gave the case to the Grand Jury. You, Mr/Mrs shine need to educate yourself, because you are way far afield.

    Having spent 32 + years in law enforcement in all areas of the County in patrol related functions at several ranks, i must say your liberal assessment is child -like. I suggest you grow up and get off the childish band wagon on which you have jumped. I will pit my knowledge of the facts against yours any time.

  • @ 9)…….You have made the 100% truest statement that I have read on WLA.

    Any law enforcement officer ( who has worked in various reporting districts and communties) who disagrees with this is either a liar or in denial.

  • grow some whiskers. #12 You are not a cop. You are trying to sound like one, but you just don’t have it, end of tune. Go take a nap , put your head on a peace symbol and leave the working men and women in law enforcement do their jobs.

  • @ proud ole retiree

    Let me clarify my above statement a little bit, but at the same time I am expressing only my opinion based off of my experiences.

    When I mention caucasian deputies attitude toward the inner city community, I am talking about a select few, not all that work these areas. There are a lot of good deputies and police officers that do their job without biases and with integrity. It only takes a select few to give a bad impression to the community.

    I agree with @unknown, the attitude toward police officers in the inner city is mostly negative. That is why community policing is very important to slowly change perception.

    Proud Ole Retiree, I respect your opinion and I don’t see it necessary for me to make a personal attack at you in response of your opinion. I believe I made mention that Micheal Brown’s behavior was wrong. Wrong at the store and wrong when he was contacted by Officer Wilson. I never said Officer Wilson was wrong for his actions, I said the department was wrong because even they admitted they could have done a better job community policing prior to this tragedy. Would community policing have prevented the incident, probably not, but the aftermath of the public outcry might have had a different result.

    The majority of my comment was to say there is a bigger picture, a bigger problem. This is not just a Ferguson problem, it is spread throughout the USA. There has to be a better way to build relationships with the inner city communities and law enforcement.

    Proud Ole Retiree, in closing, I don’t have an agenda to promote in regards to the Brown case. I did not say Officer Wilson should be charged. I only questioned a few things Officer Wilson allegelly did. I never made any factual statement that Officer Wilson was right or wrong. I never critized or made any mention of the Grand Jury. So, I am not clear on your critism of my comment. There is no need to challenge you on the facts of this case. Congrats though on your 32 years of service. If you worked 32 years in LA County and never saw any racial injustice I am very impressed. As far as me being child-ish, I don’t think there is anything I said that was a joke or child’s play. This is a very serious issue that has a lasting effect on many people’s lives.

  • @ 13……..You are just like I called it. YOU ARE A LIAR IN DENIAL. I too, came on with Peter J.and still here at LASO.

    (Not impressed with your 32 years or your ranks) I’m glad you’re gone. Thank God!

  • Lot’s of non Leo’s here or guys who have never worked the streets. Have a friend like that who worked CDC at Chino Women’s most of his career and went soft in the head, they’re all really good people, we just don’t get it. Told me it was like working at a college, oh my.

  • At “old retiree”

    Your time is over. No thanks for your war stories or skewed opinions.

    Live your life as a civilian. The “New Regime” has “The Handle”

  • Shine some light: I have come to the defense of Celeste on many occasions. That being said, she does lean to the left and on occasion, fails to offer balance to some of her editorials.

  • In your previous post (#9), you sounded like a leftist liberal with no clue and an agenda to promote. You cleaned it up nicely in your last post. You must have gotten some sleep after making bail at CJ.

  • I’ll bet anybody who posts here, including those who tend to lean to the more liberal side, would want a thief who stole from them or an arsonist who set their house or a business they owned prosecuted. I’m guessing nobody would take the position that it was ok, because the person who did it was a good person, really, but at that particular time when they committed the crime they were extremely frustrated, angry and overcome by emotion.
    Just guessing.
    If that’s not the case, if I’m wrong, then the next time a verdict comes down that those in the inner city don’t like, you can put a big sign on your place saying: Loot and burn here, I understand. I know you’re good people who HAVE to have an outlet to express your anger. Take everything and then burn this bitch down. I feel you. I get it.

  • @Shine:
    Good comment and great response to those who are obviously incapable of believing what they see as they only see what they believe.

  • #9, 13, #17 .. I read what you folks had to say and did a bit of soul searching. We are all probably right , from our own individual perspectives. I was not looking at some of your issues re: disparity of treatment of citizens in patrol I saw it in my prospective which is really the early ’70’s. I was not have any knowledge of what happens ( for the most part ) today. The culture has certainly changed. The leadership has been severely compromised your generation is arguably much smarter that I . I guess i lost myself with all the liberal media ramblings and saber rattlings that i temporally lost sight of the importance of respect for others’ perspectives. Guess I got a tad blinded.

  • @ Ol’ Tired Retiree. Save your rancid rhetoric for the “non-cops” at your Thursday night bingo game.

    Old wine does not go into new skin.

    Go watch your “Hee Haw” reruns and leave the current era of law enforcement officers alone.

  • OB just be proud of your retirement and enjoy life and LACERA benefits. We both did our 3 decades plus. Everything is changed. It’s a new generation’s time to perform. If you want to start an argument here, just have an opinion. My blood pressure doesn’t spike as much when I check in periodically and just read the comments. If I disagree, nothing I could write would change anyone’s opinion. This blog contributed immensely in helping get rid of Baca and Tanaka. If only it could help the Feds continue promptly with prosecution of the bosses who allowed criminal misconduct to continue. (Yes Santa, that’s all I want for Christmas.) So join me in the shadows my friend, and yes I know who you are though we never worked together, grab a cup of coffee and watch and read as the new generation has a shot at correcting the woes of the world. We should be proud of our efforts and just watch. They won’t listen to us anyway.

  • FNG: Your name says it all….FNG….translation….hasn’t been on the job long enough to form an intelligent opinion. Actually, I have quite an active life, although I do thank you for your concern. I will continue to be an active participant in this blog…..in an attempt to offer some balance and common sense. Something you and Justin are lacking. CYA on Monday!

  • Guys, try to leave out the attacks on eachother and stay on topic. You loose credibility.

    Now back to Ferguson…

    Why won’t the media address the issue of black on black violence which accounts for the vast majority of homicides to young black men. None of the big media outlets quoted above want to address the real issues here. No one protesting is calling for attention to black on black homicides. I asked Taylor Walker, the author of this WLA post, to comment on this at #6. I think I’ll be waiting a while……

  • Funny how some bloggers cried “Bloody Foul” regarding the shenanigans and downward spiral of the LASD, but continue to blast all their hate at the very vehicles that brought about the change & exposure, thus now rebuilding of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.(Bob Olmsted, ACLU, Los Angeles Times, Witness LA, Hard working deputies who kept their nose to the grinder, and countless others who are not named) I only bring this up to remind those who talk “smack/shit” to Celeste, need to toughen their fragile feelings and be respectful in your opinions. “It is” what “It is” in Ferguson…. “Que Sara Sara”. With that being said, be it locally or National. Be professional and respectful to one who has definitely helped LASD. FYI… I can take the punch from the Haters.

  • Bandwagon. Your balance is off and your common sense is questionable. . Your attempts to be relative with those who are current are in vain and futile.

    Come Monday, is a fresh start with new leadership. We look forward to it. You should let go and allow others to experience and work in a positive change within LASD.

  • Frank,
    Don’t hold your breath. Social Justice advocates aren’t going to address the black on black homicide rate. That’s not what they do. It’s all about racism to them. If they can find a single anecdotal example that their existence is needed, so they can feel validated, they seize upon it like a dog on a bone. Meanwhile, the much more serious problems and the root causes of the problems that plague the minority communities aren’t addressed.
    They won’t even refer to the people who burn and loot as criminals. They’re “protestors” to the Social Justice advocates. That’s their narrative. They won’t stray from it.

  • Tan and Green. You need to relax a little bit and learn how to appreciate satire. Although, I will
    certainly reflect on your comments/personal attack on my character. Perhaps you should do the same. The Department will survive despite my sometimes abrasive comments.

  • @ 35

    I will say it, people who burn down building are arsonist, if you steal/loot, you are a theft, if you vandalize property you are a criminal no matter what community you do these crimes in. These individuals should go to jail and be punished for their crimes.

    Within a peaceful protest there always seems to be a group that is hell bent on destruction and could care less about the cause of the protest. Case in point, years back when the Lakers won the NBA Championship you had this group of criminals that vandalized the area surrounding Staple Center. Should the action of those criminals be a reflection of all the fans that brought tickets and celebrated the victory peacefully? We should be careful lumping everyone into one group.

    Now to address your black on black crime comment. You can throw out all the statistics about the murder rate caused at the hand of black on black. This is a problem the African American community is very much aware of and it has even been addressed by the President concerning the murders in Chicago.

    Unfortunately, most of these murders are cause by the out of control gang and drug problems within these communities. So to reduce these black on black murders it is going to require law enforcement and the community working together. Everytime there is a civil rights violation or a unarmed minority is shot/killed by police it deteriorates the bond. “Oh Well”, like it or not, the African American community holds police officers to a higher level of standard than the gang members and drug dealers in their community.

    Let me throw a thought out there… When a deputy transfers to Compton Station in reality he/she is thinking about all the gang members, drug dealers, pimps, prostitute and all the code 3 calls he/she is going to get. Just like a few bad police officers can tarnish the image of the majority of hard working police officers, the same can be said in the African American community. There are a lot of hard working 9 to 5 professionals that live in Compton that are not on the corners at night doing illegal activities. The next Dr. Dre, Williams sisters, Richard Sherman, DeMar DeRozan…could be in Compton right now fighting through adversity hoping to make it out.

    I am sure there was black on black crime in the 60’s when Martin Luther King was fighting for civil rights. We all have seen the photos and video of how law enforcement handled business in those days. We have came a long way but there is still work to be done. The root of the problem between the African American community and law enforcement can be traced back to these times and before. History can effect the present and the future. Racism did exist in this county and it still does. Does that mean every negative encounter between a Cacausian Peace Office and a African American is racist? “NO”, But if the Peace Officer’s actions come into question will race be brought up? I believe it is a strong possibility because of history. Do that make it right? “NO”, But there are a lot of things that happen in this world that is not right in my opinion.

  • @ Oh Well……. Other than racial make up, What would you choose to label “THOSE” people whose majority were not Black or Brown, during “Occupy Los Angeles” 2012?, who fought law enforcement and acted like fools.
    (Property was also destroyed) They too, were not labeled as “Criminals, but Protesters. Is there a difference between the two groups between Ferguson and Los Angeles. (both hating and fighting cops).My Oh My……”Those People”

    I’m not justifying any group for idiotic behavior, just your thoughts? Opening up discussion for dialogue, not drama.

  • At: Shine Some Light. ……Thanks For breakdown of information and clarification. Even with your pertinent info, there will always be haters among those who refuse to “see the light”.

    When I hear people who lump “every one” in a single box, I sense their fear and witness their lack of knowledge.

  • @37
    “People have tried to corner the market on being offended, corner the market on language and corner the market on opinion”.
    Patrice O’Neal

    #37 SeriouslyFolks,
    You seem to be one of those people Patrice was referring to.
    Yes indeed, my oh my. Before you “open up discussion for dialogue” without looking for drama, you need to put on your big boy/girl pants. Are you really offended that I use proper English to describe those people that I’m referring to? If so, you are definitely one of those people Patrice was referring to. If you are not really offended, it’s nothing more than a disingenuous attempt to make me defend my use of proper English, instead of my position and opinion of the topic at hand.
    Either way, there appears to be little chance of you and I engaging in any meaningful dialogue. The topic at hand will be lost in the pseudo intellectual quagmire of you being offended and trying to label me a racist. I’m not one of those feeble minded individuals that will allow you to corner the market on language. I won’t try to navigate the minefield of what you’ve decided is or is not acceptable proper English. I’ll use the proper English I was taught and is reinforced by Webster’s as accurate. If that’s offensive to you, that’s your problem, not mine.
    Try to have a pleasant day.
    It’s a lot easier if you aren’t looking to be offended or waiting to seize the opportunity to get pissed off.

  • Wuz Fuzz — I concur with your suggestions to Proud ole Retiree, OB. I had the honor and pleasure to work with OB in 88/89 when he was the sage ops sergeant at the “bu” when I was sent there as a newly promoted sergeant. John was loved and respected by all station personnel, not for being a slick talking politician, not for being someone who had an ego you could play up to to gain brownie points, but for being a knowledgeable, natural, ethical leader, and most importantly, giving a hoot about the subordinates and peers he worked around and about doing the Sheriff’s work along the coast and inland valley. He was a great mentor to me. The folks taking shots at him on here should know they are shooting at a good and decent man who showed respect to all and related well to everyone he worked with.

  • @ 37. You spooked “oh well” in addition to killing two pigeons with one stone.

    He basically answered your question and he failed to engage. Bravo my Brotha!

    His attempting to ascertain your answer without dialogue was out of the book titled: Scared & Unsure

  • http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/those

    It’s all good #37.

    Keep on keepin on #42. You described me perfectly. Scared? Unsure? You’re right on both counts.
    It’s scary that an otherwise seemingly intelligent individual could arrive at the conclusion you did by my interaction with #37. I’m unsure of how a person with a double digit IQ could come to that conclusion.

    Some people are so far behind in the race they think they’re ahead.

  • Interested Party. You are a very generous person and believe me, I appreciate your comments. I feel I did try to a be leader who deserved his subordinates.

    I am not thin-skinned and probably get pissed when I see injustice. I am saddened, but now excited about LASD, to those who suggest i ” roll it up” don’t count on it. This is a public forum and I intend to use it l Will , however keep Wuzz Fuzz ” and Interested party ” advice close at hand.

    Thanks again, Interested Party. I appreciate it

  • Race relations have always been ONE (1) sided here in America.

    James Hinkley killed James Brady (figure it out) and was granted and still has furlough after the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan.

    If Hinkley was any other race, we know that if that person was not killed, he would ROT in solitary confinement.

    No response NEEDED. ONLY in AMERICA!

  • @ 40. Even without the lame excuse, “Yakaty Yak” (#.40) could not answer a simple question. Typical of his kind to dodge topic. Did you actually expect a straight answer?

  • It’s truly comical to watch people lay themselves out like a Safeway chicken and expose themselves without being shrewd enough to realize they’ve done so. It’s even funnier when they try to deny it after somebody points out to them that they did in fact expose themselves and their agenda.

    “THOSE” people whose majority were not black or brown”… here’s the “white people were criminals during Occupy Wall Street” argument…..of course he/she is 100% correct.
    The Occupy Wall Street criminals who broke the law were criminals. But the Occupy Wall Street criminals isn’t the topic at hand, is it? The reason for bringing up the “non-black or brown” criminals at Occupy Wall Street, while the criminals in Ferguson are the topic at hand would be exactly what?…..uh huh. Stevie Wonder could see thru that. Oops.

    “My oh my…..”Those people”…….and the reason for pointing out my use of the words “Those people” and prefacing it with “My oh my” would be exactly what?……uh huh. Helen Keller could see the insinuation. Oops.

    “I’m not justifying any group for idiotic behavior”……lmao. This is the most telling of all. He/she does in fact try to justify it by subconsciously labeling criminal behavior as simply “idiotic behavior”… uh huh. Ray Charles would notice that. Oops.

    If #37 is ever arrested, he/she would be well advised to exercise the right to remain silent.

    #42 is obviously well versed in debate. Kudos to him. He’s got it ALL figured out.

    Comical. You can’t make it up.

  • @50. I don’t know which is funniest. ..

    Watching you fall into a hole or Watching you trying to climb out of a hole.

    Maybe it’s not the hole, it’s just you.

  • Such hypocrisy > “OH WELL” < You tell @ #37 that you won't address them @ #39 and was acknowledged and even thanked for responding @ #40. You then mock them @#50. Totally Busted!

    All reading this, can see right you. Heaven forbid if you are sworn or 10-8 in any RD…..if so, then let us know your RDO'S.

  • I can tell you, twice, and once was during a State of the Union Address. As a Chicago native I know this subject and know that city. He cares nothing about inner city violence, his record of doing nothing about the matter speaks loud and clear.

  • @ Surefire. Chicago native?…… I doubt it. Your suburban city was MAYBE adjacent to Chicago. West Side or South Side? You’re already lost with that question. Stop your bitchin, whining and crying. I bet you voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger and look what that got you. Find a hobby Pal!

  • Don’t worry about it Sure Fire.
    Those people who are posting telling others who post to find a hobby or get a life or shut up and enjoy retirement are priceless.
    It’s like Michael Moore calling somebody a fat ass.
    I especially enjoy it when they go into preemptive strike mode against me because of past spankings they’ve received and say something about me or what I’ll have to say on a thread before I even post about the topic at hand.
    That’s when you know you’re in their head, because they’ve just proved it to you.

  • @55 You were spanked by All the supporters of Deputy Sexton.

    It took credible deputies to put you “In Check” & in “Your Place”

    You are trailing a close 2nd place to the infamous blogger “BOOMER”

  • #57,
    You’re such a good friend of Sexton that when I was having debates over his situation with others you just sat back and kept your mouth shut.? Correct? This is your first time sounding off. You’ve obviously been kibitzing for a while, because you know Boomer. Yet you claim to be a friend of Sexton, when you’ve never spoken up on his behalf before? Riiiiggghhhttt.
    But of course now that I’ve pissed off a Johnny Come Lately you’re going to speak up? Riiiigggghhhhttt.
    You’re one of the same people who has been spanked previously using a new screen name.
    I respect the Bandwagons, LATBG’s, Jack Dawson’s and other long time bloggers who post here without using juvenile tactics and for having the integrity and balls to speak their mind and debate the right way.
    You couldn’t carry their war bag.

  • Thanks for the kind words Oh Well. Although I may not always agree with you, I certainly appreciate the debate, and the sarcasm! Something some of the commenters who are wound too tight cannot seem to appreciate!

  • Armitage and Whipple fool, next question? Most different type of neighborhood now. Cousins that are left there are outside of town but I’m back there every few years and my son made the Bear/Bills opener. Try someone else lightweight. Didn’t argue my point and made yourself look like an ass, well done..oh well.

  • And Yeah Right, anyone who knows a thing about Chicago would never ask someone if they were West Side or South Side you latte sipping poser. It’s North Side or South Side, Cub fan or Sox fan because you don’t roll both ways ever, even Obummer knows that. Course he roots for the Sox, wrong as usual.

  • @60 Locust/Cambridge is quite different from your Green Zone. You only impress those who are clueless.

    You posers crack me up with your “I’m from the rough side of town” stories.

    Quite telling when you state…”Most different type of neighborhood now” so was Compton in the 1930’s.

    My point is proven.Good night

  • @62
    If your point was that you’re nothing more than an antagonistic numbskull who has to rely on implying everybody who spanks you in a verbal exchange is a racist, your point was definitely made.

    People like you are as predictable as a Gilligan’s Island rerun.
    Everybody knows how it’s going to end. You’re going to antagonize others when you disagree with them, like you did in #54. You’re going to claim they’re bullshitting to try and discredit them. They will go deep up in ya and make you look like a clown. Then you’ll insinuate they’re a racist and you’ve won the exchange because you proved your point.
    The ONLY thing you’ve proven is that you have no idea how to debate like a mature, intelligent adult.
    There’s always community college. They have classes. Spring semester is coming up.

  • @ 62

    LOL at your comment… Compton did have a large caucasian community back in the day but many do not know that.

  • Oh well…obviously you are currently at home and not at a functional physical job, due to your “more oft than not” “knowing it all” comments 24-7. (Do you go by the nickname of Google?) Try counting sheep for sleep. (No black sheep….you’ll have nightmares)

    Most of your ” blog beatings” are due to you butting in other bloggers battles due to your boredom. I won’t encourage you to get a hobby, due to the fact that being a “butt head” keeps you busy. I’m done with you……. Next.

  • @63…..The exchange between Sure Fire & Yeah Right, was not about Race.

    You are definitely falling in the category of Race Baiter. @51…… kicks in again.

    Truly comical and typical.

  • I made my point about Obama not speaking to the violence in Chicago, hell even the Blacks there have spoke on it poser, check YouTube. That you can’t argue the point is fine but please the 30’s? I’m talking much later and it’s thanks to Dem control, your people I’m sure…be proud of the slaughter.

  • “Quite telling when you state……”Quite a different neighborhood now”….so was Compton in the 1930’s.”

    Now I ask you, who in their right mind would think the person saying the above is injecting race into the conversation?

    You’re done with me? You were done before you started. Your game is too weak, old and worn out. The sound of your axe grinding on the racism wheel is deafening, yet you claim not to be making that noise. We all hear your axe grinding, but you go ahead and lie to yourself that you’ve disguised it so you can feel good about yourself.
    My oh my.

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