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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?
1 year ago
1 year 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.
1 year ago
1 year 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.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (38)
All Comments   (38)
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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.
1 year ago
1 year 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.
1 year ago
1 year 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?
1 year ago
1 year 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.


1 year ago
1 year 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.



1 year ago
1 year 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.

1 year ago
1 year 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.
1 year ago
1 year 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.
1 year ago
1 year 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.
1 year ago
1 year 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!!
1 year ago
1 year 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.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You have your finger on the issue right here...TV procedural cop dramas have everyone trusting that if someone dies "resisting arrest" or someone with no record at all happens to "have drugs on them" incident to some cop totally overstepping, the citizen must be at fault.

I really used to trust the police, now my nightmare is a raid by some jack booted thugs kicking in the wrong door or my actually having to defend myself from an intruder or in the street and being screwed over by some cop wanting to notch up a violent felony arrest.

The local cops around here use the citizens like ATM's. They sit behind walls and watch you "roll" a stop sign IN A PARKING LOT with no visible traffic ANYWHERE. Seriously, how many of you come to a complete "everything in the car jerks forward" stop at every stop sign, with no traffic? Is that worth a $280 fine?

We're NOTHING, we're dog sh!t to them. Not even citizens, just ATM's or potential reasons they might not come home tonight.

Most neighborhoods would be better off with volunteer police, just like volunteer fire departments. Otherwise, take away their guns unless they are in a neighborhood that has had a homicide in the last six months, and if they do kill someone treat them EXACTLY like a citizen with a CCW who shoots someone.

Anyone concerned should read Sir Robert Peel's nine principles of policing...just to see how far we've fallen.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well said. I get so G-D'ed steamed up when I read crap like this from a cop trying his 'good cop' act on us. I don't know how long Jack is going to take our verbal abuse - if he never writes another article for PJM I certainly won't miss it - or him.

I live in a small town of 7,000. We have a few too many cops now so it seems like each of them try acting tougher than the next cop in trying to keep his job. They know the layoffs are coming due to budget constraints and they'd likely be out of work for a long time - not much work for laid-off cops. I think they feel like an arrest is like a job recommendation. The more the merrier.

I've been pulled over more than a few times in the late evening in the 10 years I've lived here. I get the "your tail light was out but its working now" crap. When I started to get out of my car to check said tail light I was warned not to. I do it anyway - I've been beat up before. I even told one cop to arrest me if he thought he could do it without getting sued - because I surely would do just that. I went to the back of the car and kicked the fenders near the tail lights which didn't even flicker - just a bunch of dried up road dirt fell down. These assholes are like cops everywhere - the mentality is we are all guilty until proven innocent.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Given the comments below, there are a lot of ignorant people who think that violent thugs should be left on the streets instead of locked up. Massive crime by black and Hispanics is the cause of the problem of violence in the jail system. The black and Hispanic thugs want to run the jail and it is a few brave men who stand up to the thugs. You know that all the "libertarians" below would not last a minute in the jail system as deputies. They would ask the thugs to behave then get their asses beat by the thugs. What is their solution, let the thugs out on the street to rape and murder? And these FBI agents, they would not last a minute on the streets or in a jail system. Violence is part of the criminal lifestyle. Don't do the crime if don't want to do the time.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
They wouldn't be in the jail because libertarians would repeal the idiotic drug laws and the gangs would implode as the money dried up. Also without the jails and courts clogged up with pitiful addicts and street dealers we could actually get serious about violent crime.

Also, I for one would, after things settled down, trust the police again. No more drug war means no more botched search warrants "made right" by planting drugs on the homeowner. No more drug war means no more stacks of loose cash in the hands of gangs to buy cops. No more drug war means no more militarized thugs in crypto-nazi black battle dress looking for an excuse to use the "dynamic entry" crap they practice.

I shoot a little with the head of the SWAT here in town. He is a great guy, funny, serious on the range, very helpful to my god daughter and a great range master when one is needed. It kills me that there is a good chance that this decent guy, who I really do think means well, is gonna go through some innocent guys door someday, kill his dogs, and injure someone, and then knowing the consequences, will probably either plant or allow another cop to plant a non commercial quantity of some "serious" drug so the DA can make the mess "go away".

Law enforcement is a cesspool, and it is mostly structural...and exactly how the authoritarians like it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sorry but the problem is the ignorant cops who think every citizen they cross paths with is a criminal element. I don't know how good a judge of people you are but I know how good the cops are.

Read the newspaper some time. You might get an education - there is published and video abuse reported by cops on a daily basis. Some ex-cops just got off the hook in Fullerton California for beating a mentally ill homeless man for over 20 minutes - only stopping when the poor guy died. They lost their jobs but thats not good enough IMO. The cops made an on-the-spot assessment that the guy was high on drugs. The toxicology report came back - no drugs - no alcohol - just a mentally ill and very confused man.

Cops are the worst bunch there is when it comes to making on-the-spot assessments. Why? Because there are seldom penalties for screwing up. The game is fast becoming The System VS We The People and we are letting them win. Until people understand and correct that we will continue to see such instances.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And of course, your definition of a "Thug," is broadly sweeping and inclusive enough to catch the Austrian consul general in its web.

Motto of the local Police: "You are a cop or you are a criminal."

Probably 90 percent of the "thugs" that "Federale" mentions got incredibly hardened by involving themselves in illegal drug sales. We are exactly, precisely getting what ultimately ended alcohol prohibition - which ended promptly once alcohol gangsters started having running gun battles through the streets of Chicago, riding on the running boards hosing down the streets with Tommy Guns as terrified pedestrians dove for cover. Legalization puts the cartels and gangsters out of business.

In Mexico, the cartels recently murdered a cop by beheading, sewed his face onto a soccer ball and rolled it into a wedding reception in front of horrified onlookers. Even though about 100,000 people have been murdered, sometimes in grizzly snuff films, in Mexico's latest Drug War, the violence is only getting worse and more often.

The cops created the thugs that are now overpowering the jails.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And you, sir, would be spat upon by our Founding Fathers.


You, "Blind Law and Order Supporters" are as much a threat to this nation as the idiot Obama voters.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
wondering who supports blind law ...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Our Founders supported Blind Law (remember the statue of Lady Justice?), but I was referring to those who blindly support whatever is done in the name of Law and Order.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sadly the author identified himself as a bureaucrat enabler of injustice, for having suspected/known such atrocities were occurring, while keeping mum in his cozy position.

These are precisely the type of 'citizens' who have totally ruined any chance this nation has of maintaining a 'civil society'.

Dunphey and former SECDEF Gates would make great comrades, both only have courage to speak up, after there is little risk associated with their revelations.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It is one thing to suspect.

It is another to know.

It is still yet another to have evidence which is actionable.


I KNOW my former boss should be fired for malfeasance, but I can't prove a thing. To "blow the whistle" would get me nowhere except fired, and rightly so. I don't have ANYTHING that would hold up in court. Nothing.

But still, I know.

Am I a coward for keeping quiet?

Or am I just wise enough to know when there is nothing I can do about it, at this point?




1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hmmm, when was the last time you overthrew a boss? In point of fact, did you vote in the last election, and if so, who for? My bet is that no, you couldn't even be bothered to vote, let alone be Gary Cooper on the street alone at high noon.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Which leaves me wondering if Gary Cooper could have stood on the streets alone at high noon...

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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