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Embattled L.A. County Sheriff to Retire

Criminal indictments announced against 18 members of the Sheriff’s Department.

by
Jack Dunphy

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January 15, 2014 - 12:00 am
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The king is dead, the king is dead.  Long live the king.

Well, okay.  Leroy Baca, sheriff of Los Angeles County, isn’t really a king and he isn’t really dead, but in modern America there are few political positions that offer the kind of royally unlimited tenure as his.  So when he announced last week that he would soon step down from the post he has held since 1982, the news was greeted with the kind of shock that followed Pope Benedict XVI’s abdication of the papacy last year.

In point of fact, the papacy changes hands more frequently than does the position of sheriff in Los Angeles.  Since 1900, there have eleven popes but only nine L.A. County sheriffs, and until recently it appeared that Baca was a shoo-in for reelection later this year.  But then fate intervened and suddenly, for Sheriff Baca, the allure of a peaceful retirement was too strong to resist.

But will it be peaceful?  I suspect not, as the Sheriff’s Department is embroiled in scandal, the taint of which will follow Baca into retirement like a specter.  Last month, federal authorities in Los Angeles announced criminal indictments against 18 current and former members of the Sheriff’s Department, accusing them of corruption and civil rights violations stemming from incidents that occurred at the Men’s Central Jail.  Deputies are accused of using unlawful force on inmates and conspiring to thwart investigations aimed at exposing the illegal activity.  In one case, deputies are accused of illegally arresting the consul general of Austria and her husband, who were at the jail attending to an Austrian national already in custody.

And it gets worse.  Federal prosecutors allege that when sheriff’s deputies learned that the FBI was investigating conduct within the jail, and that an inmate was an FBI informant, they altered jail records so as to make the informant impossible to locate within the sprawling jail system.  Even more incredibly, some deputies are accused of confronting one of the involved FBI agents outside her home and threatening her with arrest, falsely claiming that they were obtaining an arrest warrant.  Of course it’s only an allegation at this point and the accused are presumed to be innocent, but if this really occurred it’s a sign of a deep malignancy within the department.

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Top Rated Comments   
The problem is, Fed, that many of the violent thugs on the street in L.A. County, wear uniforms, and carry badges and guns, the better to prey on the citizens.

Why should society tolerate the thugs just because they wear uniforms?
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
" it’s a sign of a deep malignancy within the department"

Its a sign of a deep malignancy within “The State”, Jack, and I'm not (just) talking about California....

No one trusts The Law Enforcement Officer anymore….nobody.

We no longer trust them, because we know this:

You do not respect us, the citizen. You have contempt for our dignity as people. You do not exist for us, you exist for The State. And The State demand you exact Absolute Physical Submission from us, in every circumstance, no matter how unnecessary that Submission is to resolution of the actual matter at hand.

If we question, object, or cannot comply even if we WANTED to because of old age, ailments or injuries that prevent us (bad back, arthritis, knee brace, wheel chair), or we are in some kind of medical episode in which we cannot control our bodies (diabetic shock, seizure, strokes), you will beat us into submission as rather than assess the call (or listen to bystanders who placed it) , no matter how small, frail, old, young, or otherwise non-threatening we are. Anyone trying to intervene, or bring Information or REASON to the officer, will also be beaten and arrested…

To instill and maintain that all-important Fear of the State, you will shoot Old People who are Too Slow, and Young People who are too frightened, to immediately obey and submit to you. You will Body Slam a women less than half your size for not comprehending what you’re asking for, and then Taze her when her NATURAL reaction to the PAIN you’ve inflicted causes her to squirm and attempt some RELIEF of that pain.

In your arrogance and contempt for us, you will shoot Blind People for not “seeing” you, and mace Deaf People for not “listening ” to you. You will shoot an unarmed Elderly Person struggling in a walker to maintain their balance for not “getting down” fast enough, and another sitting in a chair for not “standing up” immediately upon order.

Even the fully bed ridden, on oxygen and feeding tubes, can expect to be shot at by a GROUP of two-hundred pound, armor-clad, heavily armed “men”, because they were somehow “threatened” by his sudden wheezing and arm flailing…“resistance”….that only occurred when they cut off his oxygen hose, in retaliation for his failure to “comply” with some other physically impossible demand made of him. And the whole episode “within department guidelines for use of force”

If that is so, what hope is there for my wife, when she looks at the Trooper and says “seriously?” when told to get face down on a wet and icy roadway, because of an overdue Inspection Sticker?

We don’t trust you anymore, Jack, because we know there is no limit to what you can do to us to gain “compliance”. The State has The Power. We must Obey. No exceptions.

Our eventual death in such an event is, to The State, sufficient proof that we DIDN’T….

and that’s all they need to know.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mr Dunphy, do you understand that the actions of LACSO contribute to the public perception that the only difference between criminal gangs and the police is the badge? we are already sliding down the slippery slope to a point where police are 'the enemy'.

The only way to reverse this trend is for you and other good cops to stop turning a blind eye to the activities of the bad apples in your departments, and instead begin weeding out those bad apples.

45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (43)
All Comments   (43)
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You admit to being an habitual lawbreaker. Best stay in Podunk Center The nice policeman tells you to stay in your car for his safety and for your safety. If you refuse to comply with is orders you subject yourself to whatever force he needs to use to force your compliance. That may not be how they do it in Podunk, but in the real world you would be asking for a lot of pain, expense and trouble.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
The next time you need a cop, don't subject yourself to a thug like him; call for a doper; better yet, a dealer, and accept his protection. Right?
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Retired after 42 years in law enforcement, as a fifth level supervisor, without a single complaint ever filed against me, I bitterly resent the cop hating attitude of many of the bloggers here. I conducted many internal affairs investigations, and found officer misconduct in a miniscule percentage. Most of the time the complainant is ignorant of the law and of the compliance required by the person of interest. Often she/he is under the influence of whatever and is not functioning at his/her highest level. The officer needs to ensure that the suspect is unarmed and not hostile. He does that by searching you, and by reading you. If you display an hostile attitude it is reasonable for him to conclude that you are, in fact, hostile, and may become violent. The law permits him, with all sorts of conditionals, to take those actions necessary for his and your protection. If you resist, he is authorized to use that force necessary to assure your compliance with his lawful commands. Without that fiat it would be impossible to enforce the law. When normal people meet someone new they try to make friends. Apply this aphorism to your contacts with the police and it will do wonders for you. The "thug with a badge" will morph into "that nice policeman" Exception: If it looks like you are committing or have just comitted a crime, the officers smile may not be quite as big.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
A badge and a uniform is the modern day Letter of Marque. So long as they're beating people up and confiscating property for the state, it's all good.

First indication that you're part of that crowd: "...can expect, and should expect, to be swiftly corrected if any sense of order is to be maintained."

"corrected" means: subject to assault and or death.

When cops display respect for due process and the rule of law, over their own perceived superiority and their pathological need to "correct" or "control" us peons, when the beatings, seizures, malicious prosecutions and other petty retaliation is no longer condoned under 'the color of law', then I'll have respect for you and your peers, beyond the natural fear we have of any other predatory thugs.

Your kind have nothing but contempt for us, and you see us as means to an end, usually as a revenue stream and a resume enhancer. And you, specifically, minimize and rationalize it.

The police are the largest factor in my disgust to have wasted 6 years of my life in the defense of this nation's values and principals - it no longer has any.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
We lost control when we gave up the grand jury power to the professional prosecutor which happens to be another institutional sore spot. We lost accountability when the court gave a qualified immunity to cops and prosecutors that functions more like absolute immunity. Screwing with a citizen's rights ought to be as dangerous as a bomb squad job; one mistake and you're dead.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
"those jail deputies who have acted lawfully (and the great majority of them do)"

Not possible. Every deputy who beat someone up just for the hell of it acted unlawfully -- as did every deputy who know about it AND DID NOTHING.

Who did that leave? How many deputies in the department are innocent not just of brutality but of countenancing the brutality of others? Is there a single one?
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"How many deputies in the department are innocent ... of brutality...?"


Probably the majority, really.



"How many deputies in the department are innocent ... of countenancing the brutality of others?"


Probably none.


44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
One more time Jack comes onto PJM to twist and obfuscate truth. I have no doubts whatever that you've also participated in coverups - either to bail your own ass out or that of a fellow cop. Few citizens will ever get 'justice' after getting the crap kicked out of them by you and your fellow cops. You deserve every nasty word posted here. And more. A pox on you and your fellow cops.



45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Guilty until proven innocent. Yes, that's a good paleo-conservative principle.

Sam Adams would be proud of you.


Or... maybe not.

44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe I misunderstand you, but "innocent until proven guilty", the rule of law, the rules of evidence, due process and a justice system that serves the public's interests, (rather than the officials), are still important issues with conservatives.

"The police state" is NOT a desirable outcome for conservatives, regardless of what the press might tell you. Sure, you can find those with a conservative label that think otherwise (Peter King), but you'll find far more insidious intrusions on your privacy and liberty from the state-loving left.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Before Obama was voted in as President, I would never have believed that our country might be taken over in the same way as Mexico has been by the unemployed and the crooked. I thought if worst came t worst, that the Pentagon and the military would refuse any such orders to shoot at citizens that might be issued by a deranged Commander in Chief.

But if you've been paying attention the last year or so dozens of generals, admirals and brigadiers have been fired and cashiered, from Petraeus on down, which leads me to wonder if someone has been deliberately emasculating our military so that who-ever is left *would* be willing to shoot at a recalcitrant citizenry.

Note, too, the determined and on-going efforts to subvert the 2nd Amendment and take any and all guns away from American citizens.

So, if the military should ever get an order to go into a city or a state or a neighborhood and take over control, who would stand up to them and resist? I sort of hope that all the ornery cops people are sneering at here would still be feeling ornery then, and that they might just be mean enough to tell Obama and his minions to f*** off and die. And then help them along to become that way soonest.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"In one case, deputies are accused of illegally arresting the consul general of Austria and her husband, who were at the jail attending to an Austrian national already in custody."

Our local police had similar contests to see who could arrest the most people in an 8 hour shift. We as a nation are absurdly over-policed. We could get rid of probably 75 percent of all cops and not notice any difference whatsoever regarding the crimes we all care about: property crimes, violent crimes and so on. The 75 percent of cops we could get rid of are Drug Warriors, where half of all drug arrests are for marijuana, now legal in two states.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
In major cities, and some not so major, the local police and Sheriff's Dept are on about equal footing. When either, or both, determine they need mine resistant vehicles to do their work, some of those leaders have a loose screw. They want these vehicles to protect themselves AND the politicians from the masses of protesting citizens. AND, that's coming!!
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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