Today In LASD Mismanagement and News

In our last post we promised we’d catch you up on the news you may have missed when we were on vacation. And true to our word, here is some of what’s been going on in the world of LASD.News:

  • TODAY is the sentencing for the Juan Manuel Martinez, the dirtbag who shot two Lakewood Station deputies in Bellflower in June 2016. Martinez–an armed felon–fled a DUI checkpoint, engaging in a gunfight with a deputy on a motorcycle and then with a group of responding deputies several minutes later. Two deputies received severe injuries that have significantly impacted their careers and the rest of their lives.  A deputy presence is expected at Norwalk Superior Court, Department H, around 8:30 this morning (though his exact spot on the docket is unknown).

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  • After Susan Leeds was brutally stabbed to death in a Rolling Hills mall parking garage, Sheriff McDonnell moved swiftly (just before the June primary) to make an arrest. Only, the DA refused to press charges citing insufficient evidence and five months later the case remains unsolved. As we and others reported at the time, sources close to the investigation said the arrest was rushed, with deputies pulled off workable cases in brown/black areas to make an arrest in a politically-connected white one. Now, the woman who was falsely arrested (pictured above) has announced she is filing a claim against the county and arguing that her arrest was the result of McDonnell playing politics. Read the full story here from the Los Angeles Times.
  • As this site reported in the spring, numerous Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff’s have committed suicide over the years–including several at department facilities. We also understand there have been deputies fired by Sheriff McDonnell who have committed suicide because of his capricious actions. We know for a fact that there are current and former deputies who are considering it. While Sheriff McDonnell may not care, the Board of Supervisors does recognize the problem–at least of suicides among people who haven’t yet been arbitrarily fired.
  • LA Weekly ran a long spread on reform candidate Alex Villanueva.
  • And speaking of the campaign, the ACLU is holding a sheriff debate this Saturday from 10 am-12 pm at 44226 10th Street West in Lancaster. Presumably the sheriff himself will chicken out from attending again, though, because he doesn’t like being disagreed with…42937185_1895013930807005_1365832555412062208_o
  • More details emerged about last weeks deputy-involved shooting in East LA — the second in East LA, and the third deputy to be shot, in a week. Here are additional details from the LA Times.
  • Another deputy-involved shooting occurred in Compton last week. A robbery suspect was shot; a deputy received a minor injury. Meanwhile, over at the dog-and-pony show
  • Lancaster Deputies Montanez, assisted by his partner (and videographer) Deputy Chapman, pushed a disabled woman’s wheelchair one mile home after its battery died. Check out the video.
  • Sheriff McDonnell wants people to lock their guns up.
  • A large group of immigration activists publicly endorsed Alex Villanueva for sheriff. It was covered prominently on ABC channel 7.
  • Despite the fact that the Reserve Task Force has existed for at least 10 years, and despite the utter decay of the reserve program under his “leadership”, Sheriff McDonnell somehow got the LA Times to write a fawning account of his “new” Reserve Impact Team. This program is basically a dog-and-pony show in which a few reserves are told to show up at some station and drive around for a few hours, allowing the station to say they’ve done something about a problem because they have more minutes to report that month. The program is neither new nor consequential. Must have been a slow news day.
  • Deputies from Santa Clarita Station arrested an alleged kidnapper–living in a creepy RV!
  • The Professional Peace Officers Association endorsed Sheriff McDonnell for re-election. This despite accusing McDonnell or those around  him of illegally leaking employee personnel information to the media for political gain. (Wonder if that investigation ever happened…)
  • Lakewood deputies saved a toddler’s life. Be sure to check out the video of the deps bringing the kiddo into the ER in their arms.
  • The Board of Supervisors moved closer to authorizing the Citizens Oversight Commission having subpoena power–which has been demanded after Sheriff McDonnell has dragged his feet in sharing information with it–describing it as an advisory body, and a bridge to the community, and an apparent oversight board in name-only. Here’s what the LA Times said about the matter over three years ago…
  • LA Opinion ran a long article about Alex Villanueva. Meanwhile, McDonnell launched a Spanish-language website (still with pictures from 2014). Unclear if it comes in a Boston accent…
  • The County agreed to pay over $14 million to settle a lawsuit stemming from a wrongful shooting in 2014. Deputies had gotten into a gunfight with the suspect (pictured on the left), who was a wanted gangster at a house in Pico Rivera. During the gunfight, Frank Al Mendoza, Sr (right) walked out of the house and was mistakenly shot in the head.“I was never really angry with the sheriff’s,” Mendoza’s son told the LA Times. “I’m disappointed in their tactics, but not really angry. I could understand they are here to serve, and they’re here to protect; it’s just that day it didn’t go their way.”la-1535423570-h5ctry91aj-snap-image.jpeg
  • Now for some good news, there’s a new program to more quickly locate dementia patients who wander out of their assisted living facilities. It will involve RFID-enabled bracelets trackable by deputies in the field. As any deputy knows, this is a very frequent and highly time- and resource-consuming process, often tying up much of a patrol shift and involving helicopters. This cannot get deployed soon enough!
  • In Brady List-related news, St. Louis’s Circuit Attorney delivered to local police a list of 28 police officers it believes are untrustworthy and for whose arrests it will no longer prosecute.
  • Five more women have filed lawsuits against the County alleging that Deputy Giancarlo Scotti sexually assaulted them while they were in custody.
  • And finally, as you may know, West Hollywood Station Deputy Garrett Rifkin was involved in an off-duty motorcycle accident in August, resulting in his anguished decision to have his leg amputated. He is eager to get back to work. You can donate to help with his recovery here.

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