American Artists LAPD

Rampart, the Movie


This week, Variety reported the production of a feature film
based on the LAPD Rampart scandal. The film is to be written and directed by Oren Moverman, the guy who wrote and directed the critically well-received Woody Harrelson film “The Messenger.”

“Rampart” is focused on a single police officer during the scandal and based on a story by James Ellroy. More than 70 officers were implicated in misconduct including unprovoked shootings, beatings, planting of evidence, framing of suspects, stealing and dealing narcotics, bank robbery, perjury and covering up evidence.

The news of the planned film, did not make the Police Protective League happy—at all.

In a release Wednesday, the union stated the following:

First off, we take issue with the broader characterization of a Rampart scandal, which should have been renamed long ago as the Rafael Pérez scandal. Because after all was said, written and investigated, the Rampart “scandal” resulted in four convictions — only two of which were for corruption. Also, as a result of Pérez’s lies, a federal court upheld a $15 million jury verdict for three Los Angeles police officers who were falsely arrested and prosecuted.

Now, after years of building trust and cooperation in the communities that need our officers’ protection the most, we are concerned that dramatic license will again be taken to twist the Rampart allegations into “proof” of widespread corruption in the LAPD — and that the actual facts in the Perez scandal will be glossed over in favor of what works creatively.

Yes, well.

Okay, in one sense the union is right. There is no evidence that anyone but Rafael Perez and a couple of associates engaged in the kind of thievery and other criminal acts for which he was convicted.

On the other hand the expendiency corruption that has been talked about here and elsewhere in the course of remembering Daryl Gates, the physical brutality, the shaving of legal dice, the us-versus-them ethic—that kind of corruption was not isolated to a few individuals. There were streams of it running through the whole of the department.

That element of what came to be known as the Rampart scandal has never been publicly pulled apart and faced by the LAPD, or by the city as a whole.

Will it be examined with intelligence and nuance in a Hollywood movie? Oh, likely not. But one can hope.

NOTE: Light blogging this morning. More later today.


  • Gary Coleman, Sean Penn, and Mr Bean … with Jerry Stiller as the captain and Bette Midler as the singing lady?

  • I can see their point. Even if they don’t screw around with the facts, they’ll gloss over some things. I can’t see the consent decree proceedings making for riveting drama.

    At the same time, I think you’re right about the city not facing the scandal. There’s been a collective sticking our fingers in our ears and going “lalalalalala”.

    Hell, how many people in this city even know about the consent decree? Or even what the Rampart Scandal is?

    Personally, I think the timing sucks. Should have happened years ago. Having it now, particularly with all the dirt on Gates being tossed about is just going to sow more distrust that the LAPD can’t afford.

  • Let’s talk about the sheriff’s narco case. It resulted in twice as many convictions. None of the deputies that were arrested and prosecuted were awarded judgements either.

    The Rampart Scandal?

    Turns out it was mostly the Rafael Perez Scandal.
    He jerked the D.A.’s chain.
    “Man, I could tell you shit that would curl your toenails, and I’ll name names. By the way, how much time do I get off my sentence for it”?
    And the D.A. fell for it. You could go to ANY big city police division and find four cops that you could convict of something. But this was a big “scandal”.

  • FOUR out of about 70 cops that Perez said were dirty were ever convicted of anything.
    Somebody want to bust out the calculator and figure the percentage? I don’t want to sound like an elitist by enlisting basic elementary math skills.
    Oh well, at the risk of appearing uppity, here we go.

    Add a zero to the four (40). Nope, 70 still doesn’t go into it. We’re at less than 10 percent already.

    Add another zero to the 40. There we go. 70 goes into 400.
    Man this is advanced stuff.

    Let’s see now, 70 goes into 400 five times. 70 x 5 = 350.
    Won’t go six, that makes 420. So it’s less than six percent, but more than five. Lookout NASA, there’s a new kid in town.

    Let’s see now, 400-350= 50. 70 won’t go into 50. This is where the “point” comes in. Put the decimal point in place and add a zero. 70 goes into 500, yep, seven times.
    70 x 7 = 490. Now’s there’s only 10 left over. Must I go on?
    I really don’t want to sound like an elitist. We’ll just round it off there.

    5.7 percent.
    After all that money spent, all the headlines, all the cop bashing and all the “experts” saying how they “knew” this shit had been going on for years. Everybody was ready to take Rafael Perez’ word for it.

    5.7% of his bullshit was corroborated by the facts.

    That means, let’s see, 100 – 5.7 = 94.3

    94.3% of his stories about the other cops were complete bullshit. Laughable on it’s face. And there making a movie about it?
    Let’see how many cops the movie portrays as dirty.
    Then you’ll know how much of the movie is bullshit.

    Complete incompetence by the D.A. is what the “Rampart Scandal” movie should be all about.

  • Of course that is an approximation. That’s why I said “about” 70 cops. Over 90% bullshit however you choose to cook the books.

  • I’m in the middle of meetings, and my tech whiz is updating the site, so I can’t delete.

    So please try not to attack each other with your impressive math skills if at all possible.

    In the meantime, may the sacred 3.14159265 be with you and yours.

  • I’d rather John Singleton, Antoin Fuqua, Allison Anders or Edward James Olmos did it, they wouldn’t hold back and ride the fence. Based on a story by Ellroy? Eh. I can already see where this film’s going. But I’ll check it out.

  • When you think about it, if you really consider the history of the LAPD, the entire department in and of itself is pretty much a scandal. Same with the LA Sheriffs. It’s documented fact that racism is a pillar of southern California law enforcement.

  • Diversity Bolsters the LAPD
    Force nearly matches ethnic makeup of city as police gain trust of minority communities

    EDITOR’S NOTE: This appeared as an Editorial in the LA Daily News, and congratulated the LAPD for significant improvements made over the last several years. It refers to a recently completed Harvard Report that we presented here on LA Community Policing (see: Harvard Report). Do you think LAPD’s doing well as it diversifies? What else would you suggest?

    May 24, 2009

    As the Los Angeles Police Department enjoys a resurgence of its public approval, one of the key factors has been a sharp increase in the diversity of the force, to nearly match the texture of Los Angeles itself.

    It’s a new day. The old LAPD is gone. Dead. The consent decree mandated that they hire more minorities. They have.
    It appears some people would like us to think that things are still done the same way they were prior to 03/91. They’re not.
    Except, of course, by Rafael Perez, Nino Durden David Mack and a few other rogue cops. You’ll never have a squeaky clean police dept. as long as they draw their recruits from the human race.
    To assert that there are still LOTS of rogue cops running around today brutalizing people at random is proportionally inaccurate. Technology won’t allow it. Everybody’s got a cell phone now. Video at our fingertips.

    How long are some people going to beat that dead horse?
    WHY are they beating it? We know how it used to be back in the day. It’s a new day now. They need to catch up.

  • # Answering The Question Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    As the Los Angeles Police Department enjoys a resurgence of its public approval,



  • I’m much more “familiar” with the LASD narco scandal. Rampart was a cop hater’s wet dream thanks to the press and Perez’s stories, nothing more.

    Nobody likes a dirty cop Mavis, I hate guys who have made the job that much more difficult. People who believe every cop whose name comes up in some investigation is dirty has a leaky brain stem.

  • Sure Fire Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    I’m much more “familiar” with the LASD narco scandal.


    Possibly the first thing you’ve ever said in here that I believe.

  • Seeing a cop hater strut his weak shit around any site is pretty much always amusing. Their over the top claims are laughed at by just about everyone no matter their take on cops.

    More proof of that is our resident clown’s claim time and again that I’m not a cop but ahen I talk about being more “familiar” with the LASD narco scandal than Rampart, well suddenly something he can believe in.

    Mavis, I’m thinking you’re Rob Thomas Lite with this stuff.

    Mavis Beacon Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 9:52 am
    Since this thread will almost certainly go kablooey once we start debating the possibility of cops doing something bad, I’m going to ask a question.

    You have to be on crack or spun to post such nonsense. Yeah Mavis, nobody that’s ever been in law enforcement ever thought there was “the possibility of cops doing something bad”.

    What bullshit, knew you were a whiner but thought you were smarter than the class clown.

  • The burning overlooked question is would those certain guilty Rampart Police officers committed the same heinous crimes in high socioeconomic areas or in their own home neighborhoods. I doubt they lived in the Rampart area and they were probably regarded as professional outstanding citizens in their own neighborhoods. There should be a film or a reality show based on their lives after the Rampart scandal. How did their families and friends viewed them after the scandal?

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