Former LASD Commander Discusses Baca Leadership….Treating Locked-Up Kids Like Adults…LAPD Chief and the Game Anti-Violence Campaign….Reseda Church Holds Police-Community Town Hall


In an interview with KTLA’s Kareen Wynter, former L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Cmdr. Ralph G. Ornelas, says former Sheriff Lee Baca did not properly supervise the actions of his number two in command, former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka.

“[Baca] didn’t do the one thing that was extremely paramount, was to manage the people below him,” said Ornelas, who was in command of Men’s Central Jail from March of 2011 until mid-2013.

At a sentencing hearing for Baca last week, U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson dynamited Baca’s plea deal (a sentencing range of 0-6 months in prison). Now, Baca and his lawyers can either come back with a deal Anderson is more likely to accept, or withdraw the plea and go to trial.

Paul Tanaka was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison for the dual crimes of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice while a federal investigation into brutality and corruption in the county jail system was taking place.

Ornelas, who testified against Tanaka, said Baca’s sentence needs to send a message. “It’s bigger than Baca,” he said.


A growing body of research on teenagers’ still-developing brains (notably the areas of the brain governing impulse control, critical thinking, and consideration of consequences), has led to major juvenile justice reforms at the local, state, and federal levels. Yet, the majority of juvenile lock-ups don’t reflect the fact that kids and teens are fundamentally different from adults.

Writing for Medium, youth justice advocate and CEO of No Kids in Prison, Liz Ryan, points out some of the ways that juvenile detention centers mimic adult prisons, and why the similarities—like solitary confinement, a focus on punishment, dehumanizing treatment, and rampant violence and victimization—are especially harmful to children. Of course, not every youth facility subjects kids to these injustices, but most do.

In California, it’s taken many years to improve conditions for locked up kids. In 2003, the nonprofit Prison Law Office sued the state of California over huge problems in the California Youth Authority facilities. In order to settle the case in 2005, the state agreed to “provide wards with adequate and effective care, treatment and rehabilitation services, including reducing violence and the use of force, improving medical and mental health care, reducing the use of lock-ups and providing better education programs.” It took the state more than a decade to implement the necessary reforms and end the lawsuit (like reducing use of force, overhauling education, and implementing evidence-based rehabilitation programs).

Here’s a clip:

Focus on punishment, not rehabilitation

Youth prisons were designed to serve as an alternative to adult prisons by having a more rehabilitative focus. It hasn’t turned out this way in many instances, even when the purpose of the juvenile facility is defined in a state’s statute to rehabilitate youth.

For example, in Connecticut, the Department of Children & Families (DCF) states that the mission of Connecticut’s youth prison, the Connecticut Juvenile Training School (CJTS), “is to provide a safe, secure and therapeutic environment while providing opportunity for growth and success.”

This mission statement which promotes a rehabilitative approach is not consistent with the report and videotapes released by the Office of the Child Advocate last year documenting youth being brutalized by staff. These actions appear to be more about punishment than rehabilitation.


In a video released Wednesday, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and rapper the Game announced they would be partnering on a new anti-violence campaign.

The duo called for an end to bloodshed in the city. Chief Beck pointed out that of the nearly 1,000 people shot in 2015, close to 300 died, and 80% of both victims and shooters were young men of color.

“We have to stop killing one another,” the Game said.

Snoop Dogg and the Game led a peaceful march to LAPD headquarters earlier in July, and joined LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti for a press conference.


On Thursday night, the Reseda Church of Christ hosted a town hall for community members, city officials, police, and clergy to discuss race and policing to “facilitate healing and reconciliation” between law enforcement and communities of color.

The predominantly black congregation has lost two members to violent encounters with officers.

“For us to make progress, we’ve got to focus on the reduction of overall violence in these communities,” said LAPD Deputy Chief Bob Green, who spoke at the meeting.

LA Daily News’ Brenda Gazzar has more on the town hall. Here’s a clip:

In 1982, congregant James Mincey, 20, died after he was put in a chokehold by a Los Angeles police officer during a struggle in Lake View Terrace. The public outcry that resulted from the Pacoima man’s death prompted limitations on the use of the controversial technique by the LAPD.

On May 16, 2013, another congregant, Christian Eaddy, 25, was fatally shot during an encounter with Los Angeles police in Pacoima. His cousin had called 911, reporting that Eaddy was sticking himself with syringes and was armed with two knives. Police said Eaddy refused commands to drop the knives and continued to approach the officers before one used a stun gun on him and another shot him. Another cousin, however, said Eaddy was 3 feet away from officers when he dropped the knives and was shot, according to prosecutors who investigated the case.

Winrow said Eaddy had the mental capacity of a 10-year-old. No criminal charges were filed and the case is in civil litigation, he said.

The 63-year-old minister, who lives in Granada Hills, believes that more community policing as well as having more officers from the communities they patrol would help reduce such incidents.

“Sometimes we view people not in the same way that we view our own, and we become more likely to make mistakes of judgement,” Winrow said. “Those kinds of mistakes … can cost people their lives.”


On KPCC’S Take Two, host Alex Cohen spoke with Jerry Hoffman, co-chair of the community police advisory board for the LAPD’s Northeast division, and Ruben Arellano, Sergeant at the Northeast division, discussed how to get involved and improve police-community relations through open dialogue and other tools. Sgt. Arellano suggests attending the community advisory board’s meetings and attending the LAPD’s community citizen’s academy—where, one night a week for 10 weeks, participants get special lessons on policing issues. Attendees learn about everything from traffic stops and chases, to how Internal Affairs works. Go take a listen.


  • Baca NEVER took responsibility over anything that went bad. Regardless if it was Myron, Stonich, Waldie or Tanaka. Tanaka got caught was the difference! And Tanaka isn’t the only one with a gang tattoo on his leg, isn’t that right Larry?

  • I find Ornelas now finding his voice a sick joke. Where was he when he was busy attaching his lips surgically to Tanaka’s arse? Where was he when his subordinate’s careers were being destroyed by the little man?

  • LATBG, you’re calling it a spade. Ralph WAS the quintessential Yes Man to all. Never passed a back he could slap, never passed a hand he could shake, as long as he benefited in some manner. Just take a look at the picture posted in WLA (this article), it speaks volumes of his motivation. Where was he when Tanaka was screwing folks over? He was behind the scenes giving Paul the golf clap. I find it quite moving (not) that Ralph now finds the courage to speak out about the Two Stooges (although I don’t take issue with his assessment). History will always show Olmsted was the only one of executive rank, that did the right thing. Sadly, McD continues to do the slow breaststroke within the pool of raw sewage called, “Tanaka enablers, supporters and secret agents still holding and making rank.”

  • Spade: I always liked Ornelas on a personal level…but you are right, he took ass kissing to a new level. It was really embarrassing watching him work the floor at OSS warrant briefings….the leg humping saddle he wore was adjustable…..

  • What is really disgusting me today is Pres. Obama’s endorsement of CA Attorney General Kamala Harris for the U.S. Senate.
    Why is he getting involved with an election between 2 Democrats? With more than 3 months until election day? For a seat they will fill only a few weeks before he leaves office?
    Now that the Feds have Lee Baca tied up in their courtroom they should give him a chance to show how cooperative he can be.
    Ask Baca about the Mitrice Richardson homicide case.
    Ask him who did all the post-production work on the surveillance video that he withheld for several months.
    Did he pay for services to alter the recordings with his own private slush fund or did he misappropriate my taxpayer funds? Can he lead us to the original source recordings that belong to the L.A. County taxpayers or did he have that evidence destroyed?
    Hold on a second… the CA State AG has the Richardson file now. Of course, just when the Feds got some leverage on Lee Baca is when Kamala Harris swooped in and grabbed the Mitrice Richardson case file out of the ditch.
    And what did the AG say was the proposed timeline and the scope of their inquiry?
    Harris’ isn’t taking any questions about that right now.
    She is probably too busy going running with Lee Baca before daybreak every morning.
    Then limousine ride straight over to the Malibu filming site and into her trailer for 2 hours of make-up, hair and wardrobe.
    She wants to look her best when the DNC is spending a million$$ on her to shoot a 30 second campaign commercial.
    Please do me a favor, Ms. Harris – please subpeona all the field notes from the expedition Bill McSweeney led to Las Vegas in search of Mitrice Richardson sightings.
    Was it 4 or 8 or 10 personnel going around to casinos talking to bartenders and strippers in the search?
    That must be standard procedure – conduct an unannounced, secret canvas for possible sightings in places where callgirls might operate.
    Mitrice wanted to become a child psychologist or a hooker, of course – she was an attractive black girl, so hooker is always the second or first choice of career.
    Ask Bill McSweeney – he knows, he is the professional detective. If a bartender can’t recognize the missing person photo, then the detective needs to purchase another cocktail and leave a $20 tip.
    Bingo – another verified sighting of Mitrice in Las Vegas!
    Gather up 80 Mitrice sightings, then hold a news conference revealing results of your clandestine search.
    Steve Whitmore will look to the sky and call out softly on the airwaves – Mitrice, if you can hear my voice out there – everyone is worried about you. You don’t need to sell your body for money. And you are not in trouble. We won’t arrest you and impound your car and throw you to the wolves this time. Call mommy and daddy, they are very worried.
    As Steve Whitmore and Sheriff Lee Baca would say “Its all very unfortunate. However, we just need to get used to the fact that we will probably never find out who authorized that juncket to Las Vegas or who signed off on the timesheets and approved the requests for reimbursement for expenses from the B.O.S. We are still looking for the detective field notes. The files may have been misplaced during a move, but we will continue searching and let you know as soon as we find them, but we’re hoping that never happens because if anyone saw evidence of our “methodologies” we would be removed from every professional standards organization in the nation and banned for life.”
    Please look into that, AG Harris. Oh wait – that was in another state. Maybe that belongs in the Federal case docket?
    Ms. Harris – good news – you are off the hook, go get a facial and a pedicure. And thanks a lot – for nothing!
    So dear Mitrice Richardson – if you were alive you would probably admire and look up to Barack and Michelle Obama, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, Kamala Harris, Jackie Lacey.
    And you can look up to them now. You can look up to them because they’re all up there above you standing on your grave.
    But they can’t see you or hear you dear, cause they ain’t got no time for that – you understand? They’re busy making sure Number 1 is coming up good!

  • Orwell as was promoted to captain and sent directly to Narco. He failed there severely and was subsequently sent to MCJ as the FBI got deeper into their investigation. Tanaka set him up for failure but Orwell as once again found the right ass to kiss and was promoted to another rank he was unqualified for.

  • Ornellas was promoted to captain and sent directly to Narco. He failed there severely and was subsequently sent to MCJ as the FBI got deeper into their investigation. Tanaka set him up for failure but Ornellas once again found the right ass to kiss and was promoted to another rank he was unqualified for.

  • @CallingItaSpade. Can you please remind me of anytime when Olmstead spoke up while an “Active” member of the department? If my memory serves me right he claims to have “tried” to talk to Baca at a Xmas party but couldn’t get his attention. After he retired he called the FBI from his Lazy Boy chair behind locked doors while the drapes were closed. Isn’t that more accurate? Doesn’t sound all that heroic to me. Shifting gears- I must say I wasn’t really all that impressed with Ralph’s interview on KTLA. He’s always been a decent guy but not the sharpest, more the New York Street kind of guy. The interview came off as sour grapes and didn’t contribute anything to the greater good. It was payback to Paul for his roll up from Narco to MCJ. Nothing earth shattering and not much to criticize. It’s rather vanilla whenever someone who is retired decides to stand up and speak out, just like Olmstead did. Revisionist history?

  • Last I heard, OR-7 has a family
    OR-7, also known as Journey, is a male gray wolf that was electronically tracked in Oregon and California in the United States. He was the first confirmed wolf in western Oregon since 1947, and the first in California since 1924.

    You can Wiki the rest

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