Police

When Cops Get Sued, Can Insurers Force Reforms?

WLA Guest
Written by WLA Guest

By Cara Bayles, Law360

One woman alleged a policeman in Maywood, California, pulled her over, threatened her with his gun and raped her.

Then there was the class action accusing the town’s police force of unconstitutional traffic stops.

In another case, a man claimed he was handcuffed when an officer punched him, breaking his nose. His racketeering suit called the Maywood Police “a renegade, largely out-of-control ‘gang’ that routinely tramples the rights of those unfortunates who come under its oppressive thumb.”

In 2008, the police department for the one-square-mile city just outside Los Angeles was facing 14 civil misconduct lawsuits. A year later, an investigation by California’s attorney general found “a troubling pattern” of excessive force.

By 2010, Maywood’s litigation bill topped $12 million, and its insurance carrier, the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority, dropped it as a client. The city soon shuttered its police department and contracted out law enforcement to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

But the Sheriff’s Department is “hardly problem-free,” said Rachel Harmon, a law professor at the University of Virginia with expertise in the legal regulation of policing. She noted that in 2015 the department was subject to a U.S. Department of Justice consent decree for its policing practices in Antelope Valley.

“Would successful reform of the Maywood Police Department have served the community better than the contract they have now? I don’t know,” she said. “It’s very hard to say.”

Maywood is not the only town to close its police department after losing liability insurance. It’s happened in municipalities in Michigan, Louisiana, Illinois, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Ohio and elsewhere in California.

While such closures might be a last-ditch option, the increased insurance rates that several cities and towns have faced recently after paying large settlements or losing excessive force lawsuits demonstrate how the fiscal toll of police misconduct allegations can quickly escalate.

For example, Champaign, Illinois, saw its liability insurance rates go up 10% last year, after its police department faced an excessive force lawsuit and a case claiming police coerced witnesses to win a wrongful conviction against a man who was later exonerated. Madison, Wisconsin, saw its insurance rates go up 42% between 2015 and 2018, in which time it paid $13 million in three police shooting lawsuits.

“All around the country, it’s sort of the implicit backstop, it’s the unspoken threat: If things get out of hand in your city and you can’t control your losses, we might choose not to renew you next year,” said University of Chicago law professor John Rappaport, who studies how liability insurers affect the criminal justice system.

That threat is more salient than ever. Federal excessive force claims against police departments and municipalities have tripled between 2005, when 95 suits were filed, and last year, when there were 312 new complaints, according to a Law360 review of civil U.S. District Court filings.

“If this keeps up for a few more years, it’s possible then we would see more cities being dropped if insurers feel costs are getting out of control,” Rappaport said.

While sheriff’s departments may have more resources than small towns, they also can’t cater their law enforcement to local needs, leaving legal experts split on what that means for access to justice in those communities.

Bad Behavior

Before CJPIA dropped Maywood as a client, it set up a plan to help the city shape up.

CJPIA executive Norm Lefmann told Law360 the authority’s initial concern was the police costing the insurance authority “significant dollars on claims and settlements.” But after the city council fired an administrator who was receptive to reform, the CJPIA started to worry “the city was not being properly managed.”

“We let them know a condition of ongoing coverage would be for them to follow the work plan,” Lefmann said. “Even though the city council made promises to address our concerns, they did not do that. We decided to pull coverage when we saw that the exposure continued.”

A spokesman for the city did not respond to requests for comment. Today, the city still owes the CJPIA about $10 million.

Maywood may be an extreme case, but police misconduct lawsuits are on the rise, and so are associated jury awards and cash settlements.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s been more bad behavior by law enforcement.

Rappaport’s research compares this rise in litigation with insurance claims against municipal police departments. Such claims are opened regardless of whether a lawsuit is filed, and because they are “closest to the bottom of the dispute-resolution pyramid,” he said, they paint a more complete picture of law enforcement practices.

And while the rate of police misconduct lawsuits has jumped in recent years, insurance claims have “gently declined,” he said.

Rappaport attributes this paradox to a change in attitudes since 2014, when two incidents of unarmed black men dying at the hands of police drummed up public outcry — first over a video of officers in New York City choking Eric Garner to death and then from the shooting of Michael Brown by an officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown’s family reached a $1.5 million settlement with the city of Ferguson, and New York City paid the Garners $5.9 million to end their wrongful death suit.

“Police behavior is not getting any worse, but people are becoming increasingly intolerant of bad police behavior,” Rappaport said. “They’re more likely to find the police have done something wrong, and they’re more likely to award high damages.”

But the uptick in successful litigation against law enforcement means more risk for the insurers who indemnify municipalities.

If litigation costs uniformly increase, premiums could skyrocket, Rappaport said, but if costs are limited to a few communities, those departments could face a fate similar to Maywood’s.

Mixed Results

Shutting down the Maywood Police Department solved the city’s insurance problem, but it hasn’t relieved its justice woes, according to Frank Hauptmann.

Hauptmann was hired as the Maywood police chief in 2008, and implemented some of the insurer’s requested reforms before the department was shut down.

He said Maywood residents still tell him “how poor policing has been since the Sheriff’s Department took over.”

“Response times are much longer,” he said. “With your own police force, you have a much greater ‘buy-in’ by the officers. Deputies come and go and never spend enough time in the area to create a relationship.”

According to FBI statistics, the crime rate decreased in Maywood, from 151 violent crimes in 2009, the year before law enforcement was turned over to the Sheriff’s Department, to 88 incidents in 2014, the most recent year statistics were available.

Yet, according to patrol statistics, sheriff’s deputies put in about 114,000 minutes in Maywood per month — the equivalent of 12 patrolmen working 40 hours a week. When the Maywood Police Department shut down in 2010, it had 41 officers.

The Sheriff’s Department did not respond to requests for comment.

Harmon said that when a small community contracts out with a large, county-wide sheriff’s office, it often gets the same services provided to other jurisdictions, not policing tailored to its own needs.

Maywood has about 30,000 residents, while the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department provides law enforcement services to more than 3 million residents, she said, meaning “it’s unlikely that Maywood is going to have a lot of influence over the kind of policing it gets.”

“Communities often have particular concerns or priorities. They often have values about the kinds of intrusions or tradeoffs they’re willing to make in policing,” she said. “If you contract with a county that you have very little influence over, you may not get the policing you want.”

But sometimes communities benefit from economies of scale, said James Brunet, a professor at North Carolina State University’s School of Public and International Affairs. He says a larger law enforcement organization can afford higher costs, from uniforms and fuel to liability insurance and pensions.

Brunet has studied small towns in North Carolina that shut down their police departments for various financial reasons, and said they were all “pretty well satisfied” with the sheriff’s services.

“If the sheriff’s office is much larger than that small municipal police department, they may have better training, they have more updated equipment that they can provide,” he said. “That’s a large burden on a small town tax base.”

Scarce resources can create staffing and recruitment issues as well, according to Michael Lambert, mayor of Sorrento, Louisiana, a town of about 1,600 a few miles from the Mississippi River.

“Small, small towns just can’t afford to pay salaries and offer the career enhancement to attract high quality people,” he said. “We just don’t have it. That’s a nationwide problem.”

When Lambert was running for mayor in 2013, Sorrento’s eight-member police department had already gained notoriety. In 2009, an officer shocked a community college student who had asked what a stun gun felt like. Another policeman was fired for driving more than 75 miles per hour 700 times in two months.

In 2013, the town’s chief was dispatched to help an intoxicated woman at a gas station. Instead of driving her home, he took her to his office and sexually assaulted her. Not only did the woman end up winning a $50,000 lawsuit against the town, the chief, Earl Theriot Jr., later pled guilty to federal charges, admitting he’d lied to the FBI about the incident.

A month into Lambert’s term, Sorrento’s insurer, Risk Management Inc., threatened to drop the town as a client.

“They made good on that promise about 60 days later,” he said.

After the town’s residents voted to disband its police department, it contracted out law enforcement with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, which has committed to have one deputy on duty in Sorrento at all times.

Those deputies engage in community-based policing, riding around with their windows down and chatting up residents, Lambert said.

Crime is down, according to Lambert, and the town hasn’t had a homicide in six years.

“I think Sorrento is a much safer town now,” he said.

Insurers as Regulators

In recent years, some insurers have developed “improvement plans” like the one attempted in Maywood to help troubled departments get back on their feet. Those plans can include auditing more frequently, overhauling use-of-force policies and offering more training for officers.

The CJPIA has implemented improvement plans six times, according to Lefmann, and some initiatives have been more successful than Maywood’s.

In 2011, the CJPIA issued a warning and improvement plan to the town of La Puente, California, instructing it to hire a permanent city manager, report any claims of harassment within the department, and even send City Council members to etiquette classes.

Lefmann said such measures are meant to protect the CJPIA’s members. The public insurance pool formed after private insurance companies stopped covering many small municipalities in the late 1970s. Because the members share one another’s risk, everyone suffers when one town is governed irresponsibly.

“All we can control is who we extend coverage to,” he said. “We need to make sure we have good members of the family.”

With the advent of performance improvement plans in the last decade, the insurance industry has become a sort of private regulator for public police departments, said Rappaport, who has researched the phenomenon.

But Harmon questioned whether insurers driven by their bottom line will implement “best practices” for developing reforms.

“Insurers have very particular interests,” she said. “They push to reduce costs, sometimes by the cheapest path necessary. That means even when they induce reform, often they do it by pressuring a municipality to adopt cookie-cutter policies, or out-of-the-box online training modules that might help mitigate liability concerns but won’t necessarily change officer behavior significantly or reflect community concerns and values.”

Perhaps the biggest regulator of police behavior will be public opinion, which has become more critical of police misconduct, Rappaport said.

That sentiment trickles down to the courts, he said, and could inspire towns to take action to prevent misconduct claims instead of reacting to them — heading off insurance coverage woes in the process.

“Hopefully the fact that juries across the country are turning up the heat on the police is going to put pressure on municipalities to do a better job of training the police and regulating the police,” he said.


This story by Cara Bayles first appeared on Law360.

Image: City of Maywood

49 Comments

  • “While sheriff’s departments may have more resources than small towns, they also can’t cater their law enforcement to local needs, leaving legal experts split on what that means for access to justice in those communities.”

    Absolute hogwash, just like the opinions of a former Maywood Police Chief. Of course station commanders are tasked with adapting their resources to local needs, we have 23 stations that do that on a regular basis, author notwithstanding. By the way, comparing patrol minutes from deputies logged on to the total number of Maywood officers is a pretty idiotic example of apples and oranges.

  • I LOVE the way Cara Bayles starts her story: “One woman alleged a policeman in Maywood, California, pulled her over, threatened her with his gun and raped her.” What an attention grabber! RAPE (alleged)..by ANOTHER rogue cop!

    Another disappointing story, Celeste. It IS a story that should be told, but fairly. I had to read it carefully to understand that “Bad Behavior” as one section is titled, isn’t on the rise at all. It’s that society is lawsuit happy because of the liberal media furor over BS high profile cases like Eric Garner and Michael Brown. The writer shows a graph titled “Federal Courts See A Spike In Cop Excessive Force Suits” so the casual reader thinks, “Man…those cops are REALLY using more force,” when, in fact, they’re not.

    “Fed Up,” you’re absolutely right…what a ridiculous point the author made when she implied (wrongly) that the number of cops on patrol went from 41 (Maywood police) to 12 deputies. THEN she says violent crime was nearly cut in HALF after LASD took over! And yet she doesn’t bother to explain this discrepancy. I could be wrong, but I’d bet at any given time Maywood fielded 4-5 officers on any given shift.

    And WOW….talk about an unbiased opinion, the FORMER Chief of Maywood says residents tell him how bad the the Sheriff’s Dept is. Permit me to doubt. I’ve put my money (and home) where my mouth is and intentionally moved to a LASD-patrolled area specifically BECAUSE it was LASD.

    Having worked in contract cities, I know LASD bends over backward to please residents and the city council. Contract cities also generally get a LOT more than they pay for in many ways including additional, un-billed deputy minutes when surrounding personnel respond to major incidents and air support. Contract cities don’t lose QUALITY of services, what they lose is CONTROL of their private security force.

  • @LASD Apostle,
    I agree. I moved to an area patrolled by LASD. When I call I want my situation resolved.

  • @Fed Up, Apostle & Side Lines,
    100% agree, great responses. I think the subtext in the article is about the discomfort associated with Villanueva’s very public repudiation of past discipline cases & the perception by many that he’s lowered the disciplinary bar. The reinstatement/rehire of a fired deputy, substantial revision of discipline & return to duty of a large group of deputies has garnered a WHOLE lot of attention. As with Maywood & Irwindale, where lack of professional management/discipline lead to bankruptcy or uninsurability, is Sheriff Villanueva’s change in course leading LASD in a similar track? The Contract City Managers are uneasy & warrant an interactive explanation. The Contract Cities Model & LASD have been the national standard for decades & deserve an unmitigated effort to sustain/expand excellence in government. In my opinion, a little less ego( Villanueva’s) & more collaboration with the cities is key. Although it’s hard to envision the Contract Cities Model coming apart summarily, it could fracture based in cost increases driven by litigation & alienation of our client Cities. The advantages to a contract with the Sheriff are clear, logically overwhelming frankly, but there are other models that might evolve given enough discomfort, just ask Santa Fe Springs. In the art of the day, blame is the surface to be painted, so let’s just say this, the Baca team ran the ship on the rocks damn near all the way to the stern, the McDonnell team didn’t measure up & to the Villanueva team, stop whining about the past, roll your shirt sleeves up, consult with your clients & staff & look Forward!

    • The Past,
      Kudos to you, going to depths where most are reluctant to tread, specifically in your last paragraph in which you identified ALL of the elephants in the LASD Zoo.

    • You make interesting points, however you lost me at the end. The Villanueva team inherited a massive caseload of really bad employment decisions that will continue to make headlines for years as each one is lost in civil service and superior court. The sins of Diana Teran are coming home to roost, and the taxpayer will have to foot the bill. The gag rule has been lifted, and all the evidence will be on full display for hopefully objective decision making.

      The course corrections of the present is exactly what the LASD needed, and now the ship has been righted. While you may assail egos all you want, take a closer look at the engine that’s driving all the political discord: Sheila Kuehl.

  • Having worked in contract cities I sure wish I currently lived in one versus Unincorporated. LASD does bend over backwards to CC’s most have a dedicated Dep/Sgt or Lt to act as kind of a police chief.
    I’m sure if you ask city official’s in WHD, LHS, WAL, LKD, SCV, CVS or IDT to name a few, they would be extremely happy with LASD.

  • Superduty: Respectfully, you’d be wrong. But it’s not the current regimes fault. CC’s aren’t happy at all and it’s the BOS’s fault. Cities are unhappy because they want more bodies and many have the money to increase their contracts. The LASD is telling them no because they can’t create bodies they don’t have.

    This has been coming for 25 years or more. They were warned and did nothing.

  • To expand a bit. Contract Cities generally love the Line. We’ve had a mantra to take ownership in the cities we work in and to bend over backwards to deliver!! The Line has done more with less for decades.

    But now we’re bleeding profusely. We are covering vacancies with overtime and the City Managers HATE that. In the past, we could cover it with some overtime and the occasional “draft”. Now we are killing the Line with both.

    The Line is the best in the world, but they can only take so much. The BOS has been warned for years about this current generation that’s currently retiring or getting very close to it. The Vacancy Factor will increase exponentially over the next few years and there’s no way to stop it. The BOS sat on their hands for too long.

    Just Watch.

    • Doing more for less has become ingrained in LASD since forever.

      Logistically speaking, the image of the Sheriff’s Department from Custody to Patrol and everything else in between has superseded (along with exposure) the true cost of logistic$ and the shortage of actual manpower.

      The image alone has withered with reality kicking in exposing the dollars and sense (yes, sense).

      You can’t blame the current BOS for something that started in the Pitchess Era.

  • Yes I can. They are sitting on their hands just like their predecessors. Absolutely nothing has changed, so the to are culpable.

  • It isn’t police abuse that is out of control, it is frivolous law suits. Michael Brown who attacked and tried to disarm a police officer 1.5 million? “Hands up” don’t shoot Michael Brown? Eric Garner who refused a lawful order to be arrested and struggled with the police resulting in his death 5.9 million,? A death directly attributed to his medical condition. Give me a break…..

  • Nice Tweet regarding the re-actions of the police in Virginia Beach toward the actions of the shooter. However, a Tweet only…really? I honestly feel a Tweet is nothing more than, “it’s probably the thing I should do” comment.

    Do you ever (have you ever) published a story or article that cast law enforcement, their actions and behaviors in a positive light? Or as an investigative journalist, is this simply not your mission or is it something you personnely do not believe in?

    I know it’s your site and perogative to write and publish the views you want, but a healthy diaglogue requires at least two view points… doesn’t it?

  • The Past, you’d think, as the smartest guy in the room, Sheriff Villanueva would realize how important the Contract Cities are to the LASD. Some of his statements and behavior sure as hell don’t reflect it, for sure. But maybe it’s part of his over-all scheme that us mere mortals don’t understand. You know, like the fact that he spent a quarter mil to move his office out of the Hall. He said it really didn’t cost the tax payers any money because he just got the money from cost savings elsewhere in the Department. As someone who has not soared to the intellectual heights as El Jefe, I’d never have figured that out – it was free!!! Oh and BTW, please throw in a few paragraphs in your future writings please. Deputy Sheriff gave you credit for a great last paragraph when there wasn’t one!

    As for blaming the BOS for the shortages, forget it. There’s one to blame but the LASD and their past failure to put recruiting and hiring as a priority – and I don’t mean rehiring people who have been fired. This started back in the Baca/Tanaka days and has gotten progressively worse. El Jefe inherited it as pointed out elsewhere, but it is his job to fix it. I haven’t seen a lot of “We’re Hiring” posters around town. Where are the public service announcements?? Paid advertising ? (maybe some of that “free” money could have been spent for that instead of that idiotic move out of the Hall). The ball is in the court of the smartest guy in the room (ask him if you don’t believe me). Let’s see if he can do anything with it besides blame others.

    • Yes our emerging “leader” & not a “politician”, AV’s words, has everyone mesmerized. Rumor has it, acknowledge that they are often not completely accurate, that Villanueva showed up at the Contract Cities annual Palm Springs gathering squired by our infamous driver Mandoyan. He made a presentation emphasizing his status as a “leader” & not as a “politician” as he said the Contract Cities members were. The groans were said to be audible, even to the old mostly hard of hearing ex gunslingers. Then the trailer to the new TV program DEPUTY was shown. Perhaps Dirty Harry has been elected under a false name. The ship has been righted, relax folks, we’re being lead by an extraordinary bright “badass”! The ELA Bandidos had a “jump in” in celebration.

    • Just Say”n,
      Actually the last paragraph technically started with, “In the art of the day” ……
      Regardless, the undisputed truth was spoken.
      .

  • There is a saying, something to the effect of, Same Hell but Different Devil. Maywood police was bad, and LASD is only slightly better, but neither is good and they both think they are the Sheriff of some backwoods town in the south.

    LASD Apsotle, your great point is that “bad behavior” is not on the arise? Really? Bad behavior is bad behavior and whether it is on the rise or not it should not happen. No one is lawsuit happy. You F’ed-up, you get sued. In fact, you F-up more times than you will ever get sued, so consider yourself fortunate. Reminds me of doctors, who commit malpractice much more often then they are sued, but they think the problem is the lawyers. My only regret is that the money does not come from your pocket, or at least from the police budget.

    Bandwagon, now the brothers are costing some money. About 20-30 years ago, a brother couldn’t get a dime after he got a whuppin’. It took Johnny Cochran years before he was able to get more that five figures from your departments. Now, the brothers costs you. They will protest you, call you a member of suidae family and then sue you. Perhaps not the kind of money a white person gets, such as the family of Justine Ruszczyk. That white woman was worth $20 million. Hell, with that money you could have killed 13 Michael Browns, or at least 3 Eric Gardners. But, alas, we have made some progress.

    Again, gentlemen, stop complaining and quit if you do not like the job. The pendulum is swinging against you. Can you say, welcome to walmart.

  • cf, was wondering if the cat had our fingers. Justine Ruszczyk’s family got way too much for what was essentially an accident – I don’t think even you believe that cop shot her knowing who she was, he was startled – sadly, unfortunate things like that occur. That incident offers proof that “unfortunate things” are color blind. However, comparing that incident of Brown and Gardner is like comparing apples and oranges. She was an innocent victim, or maybe you believe Brown and Gardner were innocents just killed by the police because they were in a killing mood that day. You know, just looking for a black man to kill. Any black man. Millions out there, just pick one out and knock him off. Or maybe, just maybe Brown and Gardner contributed to their own demises. You know, like committing a crime (or two). And when confronted by police not following their commands and fighting with them. A few itty bitty differences between them and Ms Ruszcyk….besides being a different race.

    There are plenty of bad incidents you could have picked. This ain’t two of them.

  • Speaking of reforms and suing, this month we’ll see how the court handles the Carl Mandoyan controversy.
    The ruling will either embolden the acts of Villanueva or shut his nonsense down.

    • When you launch a mass firing campaign, conceal evidence, and install a gag rule so managers can’t testify truthfully without fear of retaliation, at some point the truth catches up to you. Call it nonsense if you may, the truth can be threatening for those who spent their careers screwing other people over. Interesting, should Villanueva just leave the skeletons in the closet? Please note there is a direct relationship between being perceived as a good employer and the ability to recruit and retain employees.

      I find it interesting that those who are hoping Villanueva’s efforts fail are the same ones who had nothing to say as McBuckles and Banaka destroyed the LASD. Now we know where their heart lies.

      • There are two sides consisting of two narratives as most will accept the court’s decision.

        No man is an Island and LASD IS NOT Villanueva’s personal fiefdom.

  • 25 cents, “unfortunate things” happen. With Justine Ruszczyk, the cop shoots an unarmed person, through the car, into the passenger side because he was “startled.” If I recall correctly, this was the woman that called the police to report a crime. That is not unfortunate, its, at minimum, a negligent homicide, manslaughter. And, she was innocent and Gardner was not? Please. At best, and many accounts dispute it, he was selling cigarettes. Something is terribly wrong when you send a shitload of cops to deal with a black man you “claim” is selling cigarettes. And then you wonder why “they don’t like us?”

  • CF:. It’s an old tune “white man trying to keep the black man down”. Time for u to get another song. Ur still stuck in the sixties……yep poor black man minding his own business doing nothing…..then a bunch of white cops throw him on the ground and choke him out “for nuthen”. Hmm. I wonder what would have happened if Mr. Garner had just complied with the “lawful” orders of the police as we require our citizens to do in order to maintain law and order in our democracy.

  • CF:. By the way I am not discounting the historical mistreatment of blacks in this country by law enforcement. That is an historical fact. But 2019 is a long way from from the Jim Crow and civil rights era. I would agree that as a profession law enforcement has been behind the power curve as far as race relations and community involvement. On a personal level I made an unofficial complaint against two LAPD cops a couple of years back. One was white and the other black. Both were extremely arrogant and disrespectful. Im quite sure they shared that attitude with all their contacts regardless of race. I know for a fact they were counseled by their sergeant. Next time I ran into the white cop he seemed much more respectful.

  • cf, as usual you win. In the case of Ms. Ruszczyk, she was the victim of a racist cop who gunned down an innocent (you are correct she was the person who called the police) individual only because the cop had not had a good day. (BTW, I thought the shooting was negligent as well but you want to make something that it isn’t). Score one for racist cop (black) shooting innocent victim (white).

    In the case of Mr. Garner. You score again. The cops (TWO white ones) were accusing Mr Garner (black) of illegally selling non-taxed cigarettes. He disputed this and they said they were going to arrest him. He (who stood a foot taller and weighed 100 lbs more than each officer) told them not to touch him. They asked for back-up. Once back-up arrived (oops, multi-racial) they attempted to arrest him and he resisted. One of the officers put his arm around his neck as he went down and held it there for 16 seconds before they got his arms behind his back and he released it.

    (https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=eric+garner+video&&view=detail&mid=8C4A6593B8F0E27924DD8C4A6593B8F0E27924DD&&FORM=VDRVRV )

    Then the officers beat him with their clubs………….no, I guess they didn’t do that.
    Then they hit him…………………………no, not that either.
    Well, they kicked him………………….not that either.
    Smack his head in to the ground??? Nope.

    Well, they broke his windpipe in 16 seconds. Mission accomplished.

  • 25 Cents, you would be a good commentator on Fox. Please notice that I did not say the cop that killed Ms. Ruszczyk was racist. I know he was black, and he still could have been biased against Blacks. If you were to tell me so, I would not doubt it. That is the nature of the profession, if you can call it that. I said, in essence, that he was an idiot, incompetent, grossly negligent, and committed manslaughter. Maybe he thought it was a black man. I do not know. The issues that I have with the police are with the police, many are racist, but that is secondary. The problems with white cops also infects black and brown cops. Its the nature of the beast, an occupational hazard, if you will.

    And, with Garner, the problem as I see it, is you have these cowboy cops that want to harass and arrest people because, because they can, because they want to show who is boss, because some kid called them a pig or talked back. I know, and you know, you can probably stop any car you choose after following it for a few minutes. The driver will commit some minor violation or the car has a minor violation. Same with the Terry stops – you can find something on just about anyone. they walk to fast or too slow, they look anxious, worried or suspicious to too happy, who knows, but I know you can find anything. To give you an example, you can go to SC, USC, and stop dozens of white kids for the things you stop black kids – hanging out in groups, drinking in public, intoxicated in public, riding without a helmet, riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, etc. But, you will not do that. You wont do it because you see them as good kids doing stupid things and when you see black kids you see criminals up to no good, and because the President of SC will be meeting with the chief before you even drive away. You do not see black kids that way, and they do not have that clout. At best they can call you a pig.

    • CF – Also look at Dave Chappelle’s humor on his “white friend Chip” and the white cop’s interaction between Blacks & Whites.

      Very funny but all so real.

    • WOW! To be so insightful and know “what, how and why” every cop acts the way they do, and thinks the way they do in every situation is truly a gift you should be proud to have been anointed with. It must also be a heavy burden that weighs heavily on you…all that wisdom.

      Sorry to burst your bubble though, only God almighty is all knowing and you ain’t God…Satan maybe.

      You probably an atheist anyway.

  • CF:. U remind me of the Dave Chappelle skit where he is blind and a KKK member who hates blacks. What color is the hood you wear at your meetings. Hatred and bigatory is infectious isn’t it?

  • You know what killed Garner? Obesity, diabetes, asthma, and hypertension. In other words, he killed himself as a result of a lifetime spent doubling down on cheeseburgers and french fries.

    • You’re correct concerning the health of Eric Garner, none of which killed him at that time.
      Without the “Coup de gras” video of the “chokehold” aka “police bar hold” or “arm hold” it would have never been in the written report.
      Some cops lie, dead men don’t talk and video captures it all.

      • People shouldn’t die from the application of a control hold. Garner died because:
        A) he broke the law, weak as the law may be
        B) he didn’t cooperate
        C) his fat a$$ couldn’t handle the stress of the encounter he created

        • Obviously you’re not a Doctor, Cop or Lawyer.
          I could go further with valid discussion but based upon your perception and perspective, it would be a waste of time.

  • Conspiracy, no, its not a heavy burden. Actually, I am average, at best, but I gather that from the perspective of a petty mind I may come across as more knowledgeable. If you turn off Fox and pick up a book or two, you, too, may sound a bit more intelligent and fool the feeble minds around you. One can look like eagle, even if you are not, if all the other birds are turkeys.

    Bandwagon, that was a funny skit. One of my favorites. I guess we have Chappelle in common. The only hate group that has been known to wear hoods are the white folks in the Klan. And, as I mentioned before, a bad pig is a pig, weather white, black, or brown, any and every color. In fact, as we saw from the officer that was recenlty convicted in Florida, now they come in Indian Brown. I have an issue with bad cops, regardless of color, which, unfortunately, are too many. We need police, just ones that take to heart the motto of Protecting and Serving. Given what we pay, its not too much to ask for.

    BanObesity, reminds me of the heavy set officer that was killed back in the mid-2000s around Atwater or Silverlake during a traffic stop. He, too, was obese and I guess his obesity did not allow him to jump out of the way in time. Obesity got him squished like a bug. Maybe you are right, obesity kills. I would talk to your colleagues on the motorcycle duty, as they can be fairly portly.

    • Hmm….what crap you so easily spew forth. You should talk to people and get a real job to really know what people think and feel. There’s a real world out there versus the one you and your Socialist Antifa brethetrn have fabricated in your mind. California is but one small state in the Union. There’s a reason why, even with all it’s wealth, California is floundering and a large numbers of it’s inhabitants are living in conditions that are appalling in a so called “civilized society”.

      You keep spewing your broken record regarding racism and clear hate for law enforcement as the problems only get worse. The many ills of the state speak for themselves and serve as a clear warning to other state governments of “how not to run a government”.

      All I can say….Trump 2020.

  • CF no doubt. Everyone here feeds your troll when they should just walk away. Garner was a fat piece of $hit. There’s plenty of that walking around in uniforms on patrol. Have some damn self respect you turds, on both sides of the law.

  • The city of Maywood is a corrupt city. Its council ran scams within the city and victimized the community. The sheriff department took over the city because of the lack of insurance. The police department was a joke. Lost reports, drugs in the evidence lockers, money and a lot of other crap. They had no idea on how to handle the evidence. What a nightmare. Their chief had no clue on what he was doing. The police budget was about 10 to 13 million. Oh did I mention all the impounding of vehicles the department was doing for kickbacks from the tow company, in the millions. Then the department proposes a safe number of deputies to patrol the city. I am guessing that it was about 8 million a year. What happened next is the city manager said it was to expensive and needed to cut back to a fraction we started with. Well you get what you pay for and it is an officer safety issue. The city expected the station to roll from the county areas to Maywood for free and we did. They want everything but paid nothing. We saturated the area with deputies in an attempt to control crime, It worked. They city never paid their bills on time. On another note, Who did they hire as interim city manager? A person from Bell that ended up in jail. Talking about double dipping. This city should have been taken over by the county years ago. So tell the chief that he sunk that city. He had responsibility to lead the department and failed. The CJPIA told him what needed to be done and he ignored the request. Don’t blame the sheriff department. Vernon PD also didn’t want to take over Maywood. You can’t take a piece of shit and turn it into Gold.

  • City: The bottom line is had Eric Garner obeyed the lawful orders of the police.,,,,and submitted to their authority..,,,he would still be alive..,..being black doesn’t give you a free pass. He was required to obey the police just like the rest of us.

  • That is true. I guess my point is the vast majority of “unarmed blacks” killed in altercations with the police would be alive today if they had complied with the police and their instructions. I would hold that to be true regardless of race. BLM appears to paint a picture of the police shooting unarmed blacks citizens for no apparent reason. I think BLM would be hard pressed to show one shooting where a cop exited his patrol car and walked up and shot a black person for the hell of it. Instead of this false narrative against the police…..I think it would be in the best interest of BLM to educate and instruct people of color how to safely navigate contact with the police especially if involved in crinimal activity. Ok I’m off my soap box.

  • Conspiracy, people are leaving because its getting too expensive in California. The people moving into California tend to be wealthier and more educated than average. The people moving out tend to be on lower rungs of the economic ladder. It is getting too expensive. But for the cost, people would rather be in California. It’s not the crime you claim exists, or the immigrants or the gangs that are causing people to leave. It’s the cost of living. I’m telling you, please turn off Fox and pick up a book or two, or even the newspaper.

    BanObesity, Garner may have been that. I do not know and do not care. The difference is that the obese officers are getting tax payer salaries, getting a generous pension, etc despite their girth. I really do not care if people are obese or not. I just do not think obese people should be officers and receive a generous salary and pension when they can’t even outrun a parked car. One would assume that they should be able to run after criminals. Besides, it gives a bad impression. Imagine a bloated Marine marching in a parade. It would be an embarrassment.

    Bandwagon, no one claims police officers wake up one day and say, I am going to shoot a black person. They are just too quick to harass a brother, to stop a brother, and to target brothers. More importantly, they are too quick to pull the trigger. And, I do not doubt some of them are afraid, or as they say, feared for their life. Many are afraid of black people. If the brothers draw first, you would be more like that paragon of law enforcement, Officer Scot Peterson. Had he been run over the day before the school shooting, you would call him a hero. Alas, like many fine officers you hold up a heroes, we find out he was a coward. And, fat.

  • WHAT! I’ve never heard such BS in all my life. Wealthier, more educated people moving in and people in the lower rungs are moving out.

    I guess this is the California you and your progressive brethren want…a state for the very rich or very poor. Democrats at their best!!

    Sounds like an elitist, class driven half ass attempt at rationalizing a failed policy.

  • I stopped scrolling and reading this BS, I’ll ask the question as I have before. The black male process server is out in an affluent white neighborhood to serve papers on an individual who is white. The black male process server knocks on the white males door and ask for that specific individual of which he was paid to serve. Well the police are called, the black male has done nothing wrong, the black male is upset because Law Enforcement “white” are harassing him. A struggle ensues initiated by Law Enforcement and the black male is shot and killed.

    Headlines and individuals would find something wrong as to what the black male did and would more times than not, defend the white Law Enforcement officials.

    In America today, a black man is guilty and perceived as guilty even if he was just trying to serve some papers.

    I’m tired of folks who have not walked in a black mans shoes trying to justify this or that, just stop. This Great America wasn’t designed for everyone to prosper, its far from an equal playing field and most of you know it. It’s beyond making excuses, it’s beyond being lazy…..it’s just WHEN THEY US.

    “NOTHING THAT YOU CAN CAN ACCUSE A BLACK MAN OF, THAT PEOPLE WONT BELIEVE. ACCUSE A BLACK MAN OF SOMETHING AND YOU’LL GET AWAY WITH IT.”

    I’ll wait while an “immediate priority suspicious response” is initiated from dispatch for a male black subject knocking on a white mans door in an affluent neighborhood.

    Unless You’ve Been In The Shoes Of A Black Male In America, Don’t Judge One Who Lives On The Other Side Of The Tracks In Impoverish Neighborhood. He Just Tryna Live and Achieve The American Dream So Of You Were Born With.

    The Marathon Continues

  • So with your hypothetical incident a fight insues between the black process server and the police and he is subsequently killed. Let’s keep in mind the police were sent to the location because of a call for service. Now….how did the fight insue….did the police officers just started beating him because he was black….or did he resist a lawful investigation which led to his ultimate demise. Let’s keep in mind we are all responsible for our actions and behavior regardless of race or economic stature. As I have indicated before we all have a duty to comply with the police when stopped or detained. Poverty affects people of all races….I don’t have to walk ” in a black man’s shoes” to know what poverty feels like. By the way everytime a black person is stopped by the police doesn’t qualify as “harassment”

  • By the way I would agree the system is not a level playing field. I would add the system (poverty) affects people of all races and cultures. Blacks in this country do not have the market cornered on poverty. I would add the black culture has been able to assimilate and a middle and upper middle class do now exist. I don’t think you can deny that.

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