Crime and Punishment LA County Board of Supervisors LASD Law Enforcement LGBTQ

LASD Gets $$….Allegations Ongoing for Pasadena PD Officers…Supremes Hear DOMA…


At Tuesday’s LA County Board of Supervisors’ meeting the board voted to give the sheriff’s department $22 million to help shore up the LASD budget. The money is reportedly slated to pay for officers to adequately patrol the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County—namely the areas that the sheriff’s department is legally obligated to patrol. (But why quibble.)

Christina Villacourt of the Daily News has the story on the board’s vote. Here’s a clip:

….Short on cash at the beginning of this year, Sheriff Lee Baca reduced patrols in unincorporated areas but not in cities and agencies where his department is contractually obligated to maintain a certain level of service.

An audit revealed residents of unincorporated areas ended up having to wait 17 percent longer — a minute more — for deputies to respond to their 9-1-1 calls, compared to people in contract cities and agencies.

At a tense board meeting, Supervisor Gloria Molina accused Baca of “stealing” from unincorporated areas to serve contract cities and agencies.

Baca restored the patrols by pulling dozens of deputies out of gang enforcement and other units and sending them to monitor unincorporated areas.

Speaking of audits, wasn’t there going to be some kind of audit of the LASD budget when this whole thing came up a month or so ago? Or did we all just get tired and forget about that? (I’m just curious.)


The Pasadena Star’s Brian Charles continues to vigorously report on this hydra-headed story of alleged Pasadena Police misconduct, misadventure and, in the case of Kendric McDade, a series of tragic mistakes—or worse. Here’s a clip from the latest sad wrinkle.

In the final moments of his life, Kendrec McDade was handcuffed and “began to twitch” on the ground after being shot by two Pasadena police officers, according to a civil rights lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court.

McDade, a onetime standout football player at Azusa High School, tried to talk to officers as he lay dying, the lawsuit reads.

Instead, Pasadena police officers left McDade handcuffed in the street late Saturday night “for a protracted period of time without administering first aid,” the lawsuit filed by McDade family attorney Caree Harper reads.

The 19-year-old Citrus College student died later at Huntington Memorial Hospital.

Pasadena police spokeswoman Phlunte Riddle denied that McDade was left to die, but would not comment on the specifics of the case.

Named as defendants in the lawsuit are Pasadena police Chief Phillip Sanchez, Officer Mathew Griffin, Officer Jeffrey Newlen and detective Keith Gomez. It seeks unspecified damages.

Read the rest. And note that off to the right side of the story there are links to Charles’ other stories.

ERICA AGUILAR OVER AT KPCC reports that one of the officers involved investigating the McDade shooting is already being investigated for a hefty string of allegations of misconduct.

Here’s a clip from her story:

Pasadena’s police chief said he’s investigating two officers on accusations that they intimidated suspects and witnesses. One of those officers is a detective investigating the officer-involved shooting of Kendrec McDade.

Pasadena police shot and killed 19-year-old McDade in March after they said he reached for his waistband. Police say they thought he had a gun because of a false emergency call, but McDade was not armed. Keith Gomez, a corporal with the Pasadena department, is looking into the incident.

Last week the Pasadena chapter of the NAACP filed a complaint with the police department alleging that Gomez intimidated a suspect and witnesses and manufactured evidence in a 2006 murder case he investigated.

“Sometimes officers may do things that are inappropriate,” said Joe Brown, the chapter president, “and there appears to be sometimes patterns that certain officers are using that are really going over the line.”


Here’s a clip from Adam Liptak at the New York Times writing about the justices’ doubts about DOMA.

The Supreme Court appeared ready on Wednesday to strike down a central part of a federal law that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman, as a majority of the justices expressed reservations about the Defense of Marriage Act.

On the second day of intense arguments over the volatile issue of same-sex marriage, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who most likely holds the decisive vote, returned again and again to the theme that deciding who is married is a matter for the states. The federal government, he said, should respect “the historic commitment of marriage, and of questions of the rights of children, to the states.”

That suggests that he is prepared to vote with the court’s four liberal members to strike down the part of the 1996 law that recognizes only the marriages of opposite-sex couples for more than 1,000 federal laws and programs. Such a ruling would deliver federal benefits to married same-sex couples in the nine states, and the District of Columbia, that allow such unions.

If the 1996 law stands, Justice Kennedy said, “you are at real risk with running in conflict with what has always been thought to be the essence” of state power, which he said was to regulate marriage, divorce and custody.

All four members of the court’s liberal wing questioned the constitutionality of the law, though they largely focused on equal protection principles rather than on the limits of federal power.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for instance, said the law effectively created “two kinds of marriage: the full marriage, and then this sort of skim milk marriage.”

David Souter and David Savage of the LA Times also think that the liberal justices and Justice Kennedy are in favor of striking down DOMA. Here’s a clip:

The Supreme Court wrapped up a second day of arguments on gay marriage, as Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and the court’s liberal justices appeared headed toward striking down the part of the Defense of Marriage Act that denies federal benefits to legally married gay couples.

Kennedy repeatedly said the states, not the federal government, have the primary role in deciding who is married. The question is “whether the federal government has the authority to regulate marriage,” he said.

Meanwhile, the court’s four liberal justices said the 1996 law is flawed and discriminatory because it treats married same-sex couples differently than other married couples.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she too found the discrimination troubling. Some couples can have “full marriage” under the law, but others who are gay are left with “skim-milk marriage,” she said.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the law creates two classes of married couples. “You are treating married [gay] couples differently,” she said. “You are saying that New York’s married couples [who may be gay] are different than Nebraska’s,” she said, even though both are legally married under state law.

She questioned whether the government “can create a class they don’t like — here homosexuals –and … decide they get different benefits on that basis.”

The ATLANTIC WIRE has a transcript of Wednesday’s hearing that is nicely laid out so your eye can skip over the less interesting parts, in order to read and assess what the SUPREMES said for yourself.


  • The Sheriff per CA law is to operate the county jails, the courts, and patrol the unincorporated areas of LA County. That’s what his job is. The problems in the jail are well documented. Now after an audit it’s obvious the unincorporated areas are receiving less adequate patrols than the contract cities. Why? Is it because the political power lays within the contract cities? It’s the supes that aren’t doing their jobs, which is making sure that the sheriff takes care of the obligations he is mandated by law to do before he provides the contract cities with services. The supes need to get off their lazy asses and take the sheriff to task for placing a higher priority on the contract cities and all the other crap that the sheriff spends his money on.
    How much of that 22 million will be funneled to his pet projects instead of being used on what it’s supposed to be allocated for? The sheriff hasn’t fulfilled his obligations so far regarding how he spends his money. Still, they give him more.
    Until the supes do their jobs and hold the sheriff accountable for his failures the sheriff will continue to take money from those areas he is mandated to police and provide “a little extra” for the contract cities. That’s why it’s cheaper for the contract cities to go with the sheriff’s dept. than to fund their own police depts. Because the sheriff can pull from the manpower pool, cook the books a little bit, and voila, the contract cities get a little bit more than what they pay for, while the county areas get less than what they’re supposed to. Why does the sheriff do this? Easy. The more cities under his control, the more voters he can woo and he can get more endorsements from city council members from the various contract cities.
    It’s the supes jobs to keep him in check and prevent him from doing this. They haven’t done their jobs. Gloria Molina included.

  • Money is money. It doesn’t matter which pocket is receiving the supplemental $22 million – Sheriff Baca is wearing the trousers.

    If Sheriff Baca is looking to squeeze the B.O.S. for extra cash, then cutting back on resources to the unincorporated areas is a logical strategy.

    If resources were cut back for contract cities, the discomfort translates into local politicians and civic leaders talking about starting their own police force.

    The unincorporated areas can also discuss having their own police force, but first they have to discuss the process of incorporation. Its much easier to start nagging their supervisor and threaten loss of support at election time.

  • There is another logical, and not so sinister part of this equation… the contract city areas tend to be highly populated, with everyone living in the same compacted space. The outlying county areas (like Palmdale and Lancaster, etc) are more spread out… hence the protracted response times. There’s a big difference between driving from one end of Compton and traversing the endless desert-scape of Lancaster.

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