The primary union representing the men and women of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced this morning a Vote of No Confidence in the department’s current leader, Sheriff Jim McDonnell.
The vote comes after a rocky four years for the LASD, which has struggled with rising crime across the county, ongoing allegations of abuse and sexual assault by deputies, violence by deputy cliques, an ongoing focus on deputy tattoos, allegations of racial profiling, a massive and unprecedented budget deficit, a worsening mental health crisis–which McDonnell proposes to address through incarceration, departmental morale and proactive policing at historic lows, and widespread complaints about McDonnell’s lack of transparency and mismanagement.
It also comes after rising disappointment with McDonnell from the county’s minority communities.
According to a recent survey of its members by the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS), 82% of LASD deputies do not have confidence in McDonnell; 88% say McDonnell has been ineffective in managing the ongoing staffing shortage. Over 85% of deputies do not feel McDonnell is competent to move the department forward.
ALADS characterized the deputy participation rate in the survey as “above average”.
ALADS, which has endorsed reformer Alex Villanueva to be the next Sheriff of Los Angeles County, also held a press conference this morning. Villanueva spoke as well. You can find the video of that press conference here.
As you probably know, the Los Angeles Times reported two weeks ago that it was statistically likely LASD deputies had racially profiled Hispanics driving on the Interstate 5 through Santa Clarita Station’s patrol area. The article is long and detailed and we recommend you read it.
Let’s be real: obviously Mexican nationals are moving dope, money and illegal immigrants along the I-5. But so are white people (which is why the cartels pay them more). And so are blacks. We’re all for proactive police work. What we’re not for is a huge percentage of people subject to pretext-based interdiction stops not actually being dirty. Nor are we good with a sheriff who claims the credit for the good news but pretends the bad news doesn’t exist.
Sheriff McDonnell, the Times reported today, refused requests to be interviewed about the report. Because he’s such a transparent, transformative…low-integrity hack of a “leader” that is driving almost every-single-deputy we know (many who were just hired!) to try to lateral out of the organization.
Instead, he posted to his Facebook page an article the Times ran last year about the increase in narcotic seizures along the I-5 that resulted from the same activity, in a pretty transparent attempt to paper over the Times’ new article detailing how the results were based on questionable cause. To be clear, he not only posted an old Times article to confuse people with the new one, but he praised the results of alleged tactics he also says he doesn’t tolerate. Because he’s a politician desperate for survival after four years of abject failure in virtually every regard.
The Office of the Inspector General said it would investigate (yawn). A few days later, the Times endorsed McDonnell–just as it did Lee Baca…every…single…time. The Daily News endorsed McDonnell, too, apparently without even interviewing Villanueva. The Establishment is really circling the wagons for ‘ole Fresh Eyes!
The Sheriff, undoubtedly, will cynically refuse to comment. Just as he refuses to debate. He’ll play his word games. The Vladimir Putin of LA County.
A deputy-involved shooting occurred this morning in Compton after a deputy ran a vehicle’s license plate, it came back stolen, and the suspect brandished a knife while resisting arrest.
The incident occurred this morning around 0700 at the 2100 block of North Long Beach Boulevard. (A stolen vehicle on Long Boulevard–shocking!)
The suspect was struck by the deputy’s gunfire and listed in critical but stable condition.
Here’s more information from ABC 7.
Here’s the Department’s statement.
In other major news, there was a burglary in Malibu.
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).
- 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…
- 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.”
- 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.
Two East Los Angeles station deputies were shot tonight after responding to an assault with a deadly weapon at Salazar Park (near where the 60 splits from the 5).
They are alive but seriously wounded (we understand they were shot above their vests). The suspect is dead.
The initial call went out around 6:18 p.m. Responding deputies observed the suspect vehicle in the area, tried to stop it, and after a short pursuit the suspect(s) shot at the deputies. The deputies returned fire. After being wounded, responding deputies rushed them to the hospital (LCMC).
Here is the radio traffic. The initial assault with a deadly weapon call goes out around nine minutes in. Units pull up behind the suspect vehicle around 14:40 in. The actual shooting traffic is not heard since the patch was dropped on this recording. At 21:20, Aero advises a deputy involved shooting occurred and additional resources are needed.
Additional response coordination can be heard via this recording around 5 minutes in.
Here’s the latest from SHB as of 2200 hrs.
The LA Times has a quick summary of the details here. NBC 4 has video here.
LASD.News will be out of action for the next couple weeks as our team is on vacations. We will be back in business in early-ish September. Keep the faith.
Deputies at South Los Angeles and Compton Stations were each involved in shootings on Friday after separate short vehicle pursuits.
The first shooting occurred in Lennox where deputies stopped a vehicle around 1 a.m. Upon approaching the vehicle, its driver put the car into reverse and rammed the deputies with the car, injuring one deputy. The deputies gave chase and the suspect crashed. The suspect was armed with a handgun and a deputy-involved shooting occurred. The suspect was hit several times and transported to the hospital. Here’s more on the story from channel 5.
The Compton shooting occurred around 11:20 p.m. after deputies pursued a suspected drunk driver. The vehicle crashed, the occupants fled, and a shooting occurred. It doesn’t seem anybody was hit. Channel 5 also has more on this story.