Boxergate: It’s time to play the blame game

Check out AM The Answer 870’s Randy Economy show on the LAPD’s Boxergate scandal with guest yours truly.

 

We’re not against the police. We’re not against the police department, but we are against police who commit misconduct (and those who help cover it up).

 

It’s finger pointing time at LAPDHQs and everyone is invited.

The shit is hitting the fan literally over at 100 West 1st Street as it relates to what I have dubbed as Boxergate—and the show is far from over.

Just a quick recap for those not up on game. Someone (and we’ll get into that later) thought it would be a great idea for the Los Angeles Police Department to utilize police resources to essentially host the January membership meeting of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) while simultaneously providing an opportunity for ex-Mexican Mafia convicted hitman turned informant Rene “Boxer” Enriquez to talk about his life and sign copies of a book written about him.

The event took place back on Jan. 28 at a place called The Reserve in downtown Los Angeles near 6th and Spring streets. And while the LAPD tried to spin it in the media as a meeting to educate local authorities and private sector tycoons about the workings of a “transnational criminal enterprise,” we have since learned (in my best impression of Maury Povich), that was a lie—or as the department likes to say, false and misleading information.

The summary I got from those in attendance was that it was basically a YPO membership meeting with a special guest star, Boxer, courtesy of the LAPD.

The event featured valet parking, waiters, cocktails, appetizers, a buffet, a bar and even a stage for the guest of honor. Boxer was free to sign copies of the book written about him. He was situated right next to the bar. I still haven’t been able to get confirmation on whether or not he actually partook in the consumption of alcoholic beverages but if he did, that wouldn’t surprise me either.

Boxer was escorted into downtown Los Angeles like he was a visiting president complete with LAPD air support up above keeping a watchful eye. I can tell you that this was huge production at the taxpayer’s expense and a huge waste of resources in a city with soaring crime rates.

And while the department flip-flopped on their excuse saying that this was some sort of training event for local authorities, I shall prove before it’s all over (cue Maury Povich) that too was a lie.

According to my sources, Deputy Chief Michael Downing announced the LAPD/YPO event on Jan. 17, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. at a Bureau meeting with his captains. It was number 16 on the agenda. At this time he did not reveal the location and I’m told only said that it was for the YPO members to get a perspective on this person who built an empire in criminal life.

Below is a department email dated Feb. 7, 2015 from one of our favorite subjects the newly transferred Captain Ed Prokop to Deputy Chief Downing detailing the resources that went into “handling” Boxer for the event—as if he didn’t know already. But whatever.

Boxergate 2

Boxergate 3

Boxergate 4

So let’s fast forward to the present.

Thanks to our friends in the news media, currently there’s a fascinating version of the blame game going on in the upper echelons of the LAPD. So fascinating that I brought a bag of popcorn (forgot the Red Vines) to Tuesday’s Police Commission meeting to further enjoy the fallout up close and personal—I was not disappointed.

At issue is who to blame for the okaying of this event and who knew what when.

From the jump Deputy Chief Downing vigorously defended the event as being some of sort of training for local authorities and an elite group of top business executives about the workings of a “transnational criminal enterprise.”

First and foremost, what kind of sense does it make for wealthy business executives to learn about the workings of a “transnational criminal enterprise” courtesy of the Los Angeles Police Department? None. Another common sense question to have asked would have been why would the LAPD be training members of the YPO?

Second, let’s say that it was a training for local law enforcement authorities, it wasn’t, but let’s say it was. Since when does the LAPD hold trainings with alcohol being served? And why would you be training people who arguably are on their last leg any damn way with one foot out of door headed for retirement? But the kicker is, why would over 100 YPO members get the invitation first before law enforcement officials—I mean if it was really about a training for local authorizes. Exactly.

The reality is that out of 150 guests, less than 10 percent were official law enforcement officers and the rest were members of YPO and their wives.

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But who knew what when? And who okayed what?

Below is a January 15, 2015 email from Lieutenant Helen M. Lopez to Michelle Messina who works directly for Assistant Chief Michel Moore.

Notice that in paragraph three Lt. Lopez explains that Captain Vito Palazzolo requests that they refer to the “training location” simply as Downtown Los Angeles – Spring Street.

As already proven and explained, this was not a training by any stretch of the imagination—not unless that training was an exercise on how to misuse taxpayer money and misappropriate police resources to show off to “friends” of the command staff. If that was the training then they nailed it.

From what I’m told, Lt. Lopez has quite the history with Boxer having been a partial handler of his during his previous speaking engagements while she was supervisor of the LAPD/FBI gang task force. Apparently she works for Deputy Chief Downing at Major Crimes. Many folks in the department believe that she is directly responsible for making the connection to Boxer for Downing.

Boxergate 1

From the jump this was all about appeasing a group of wealthy people who donate to the campaigns and causes near and dear to the hearts of the Los Angeles Police Department’s leadership. Now that the shit has hit the fan so to speak, folks are trying to scramble to place the blame.

I didn’t say it was your fault, but I am going to blame you…

So let me make a couple of things crystal clear.

If you think for one moment that Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck wasn’t fully aware of the planning of that event you are not thinking. He is the chief of police and as easy as it would be to place all of the blame squarely on Deputy Chief Downing, he is not the chief of police and would not have been able to pull something like this off without the express permission of Beck. So let’s start there.

While Chief Beck likes to speak incessantly about accountability, truth, honesty and transparency—don’t expect any of that from him on this issue. He’s already revealed to us that he’s playing the starring role of the deer caught in the headlights in this show and knows nothing. Or wait–what was it I heard? That he was misled into believing the event was something other than what it was.

Basically in my opinion, that was code talk for he was deceived by Deputy Chief Downing—whom he coincidentally initiated a personnel complaint investigation against last week but only AFTER the LAPD’s independent watchdog Inspector General Alex Bustamante released a scathing but not surprising report.

For the record, the only folks who were deceived in all of this were the public, the men and woman who had to follow the orders of command staff and put on this event  and my guess Boxer.  himself. Boxer probably was assured that he’d be getting parole because of his work with agencies like the FBI and LAPD, but Governor Jerry Brown put an end to that pipe dream and back to prison he went.

The Inspector General’s report concluded that LAPD officials spent weeks (but I believe it was more like months) — and $22,000 — planning the event at the request of the YPO. It was also revealed that the LAPD probably broke the law when they used an expired writ to remove Boxer the state custody and bring him to this shindig.

If I was the judge that signed that writ, I’d be pissed off right about now because that event had nothing whatsoever to do with assisting the LAPD in the prosecution of a murder case.

It is alleged that Chief Beck was told that the event was a “law enforcement training event.” Which again makes no sense whatsoever when you consider the fact that YPO suggested Boxer as a speaker and out of 150 guests, less than 15 were actual law enforcement officers.

To quote Chief Beck, “I have said in the past, and I’ll continue to say it: I have issue with the way the event was conducted. There are some issues about the degree of notification that I received, there are some issues about the propriety of the venue and there are some issues about the removal of the inmate. So we’ll look at those things.”

I find it hard to digest that Chief Beck didn’t know exactly what was going on. If he didn’t then he has no business leading the Los Angeles Police Department and if he did, then someone needs to initiate a personnel complaint investigation against him.

Then there’s Deputy Chief Downing who clearly from the emails that I have read was intricately involved in the planning of this event.

Downing is a well-regarded and connected 32-year LAPD veteran who heads the counter-terrorism and special operations bureau.

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But Downing isn’t going to be the fall guy for this latest massive lapse of good judgment involving LAPD command staff.

At Tuesday’s police commission meeting when the issue of Boxergate came up, Downing had his attorney issue a stern warning to the Inspector General, commissioners and Chief Beck about not discussing a personnel matter in public and to follow the law.

From what I’ve heard Downing is pointing the finger back at Chief Beck and Assistant Chief Michael Moore. I’ve heard there are a string of emails between Downing and Moore regarding this matter that may be used as evidence.

But Downing has enough issues to deal with without Boxergate.

There’s still that little issue of those Colt guns and that order by ASD—we’ll call it the Kimber scandal part two until I can come up with a better name. Just because I haven’t written about doesn’t mean I don’t know about it.

And in the middle of all of this finger pointing, now there’s word that rank-and-file members of Metro Division might find themselves in trouble behind Boxergate.

Something about a lieutenant from internal affairs insinuating that they might be disciplined for following command staff’s orders in the transportation and securing of Boxer.

That’s some bullshit right there.

There are those who make the orders, give the orders and those who must follow the orders. It takes some audacity to look into the faces of the men and women forced to follow bad orders and tell them that they could be in trouble for it.

But you know, maybe that’s what needs to happen. Maybe then the rank-and-file will be motivated enough to press their union for a vote of no confidence in Police Chief Charlie Beck.

I think Boxergate is far from over and it will be interesting to see what happens next or who blames who next between Beck, Moore and Downing.

Between the false and misleading information provided by Chief Beck and Deputy Chief Downing and the lack of a valid court order to move Boxer into LAPD custody— I do believe that a grand jury needs to be convened ASAP because it’s clear that laws were broken.

I mean the fact alone that Chief Beck said “The Inspector General isn’t privy to all the information that I am regarding this particular writ, but we’ll look into all that,” should make people sit up and take note.  Could it be that I’m getting more information about Boxergate than Bustamante?

The Inspector General is supposed to be the watchdog for us civilians when it comes to the LAPD. If they aren’t privy to all of the information on Boxergate, can we assume it’s the same when it comes to officer-involved-shootings and other LAPD shenanigans?

Well until the next chapter in this saga is ready to be told, many thanks to the men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department who serve the City of Los Angeles with the decency and integrity that sadly many of your bosses don’t seem to possess. I hope that you’re enjoying all of this as much as I am.

The Court of Public Opinion

  • robert peel

    well if anyone would have listened to me 2 of these 3 would never have been able to promote so high.even when the city settles with you the involved individuals all seem to promote and besides evidence of serious /criminal misconduct no investigation is ever done its covered up.plus the city has no money to repair the infrastructure or officer wage increases yet one of these command staff has been on all sorts of world wide trips ,at what costs and who approves them all. i agree a grand jury is needed ill testify

  • NinaG

    If this whole thing weren’t so disgusting and pathetic, it would be outright hilarious.
    It is very interesting in the PAB elevators these days.

  • robert peel

    nina so many of these command staff have no right being where they are ,its systemic how they protect each other and assist in promoting one another.but at some point they usually turn on each other like now

  • SurfPuppy619

    The plot thickens! I still have no idea why Beck was given a second term, the writing was on the wall in 20 foot letters….

  • Telles

    Paysinger has taken care of Natalie Torres-Sorriano to the point of creating positions for her that are/were not tested for. She has run of the mill for cash overtime and he Paysinger knows he needs to take care of her or she will talk/speak the truth. She’s coverered for him for years but at the same time she is making $120k plus unlimited overtime. Again just tells u if you have a sponsor of the higher ups you will be taken care of. Torres-Soriano has not worked a hard day in her carrer to justify 130k.

  • Truth of the matter

    Jasmyne, great job on tonight’s (March 28, 2015- 8PM) segment on KRLA-Talk show. U know if this involved the rank and file or even a captain- Beck would seek to severely discipline or maybe even recommend demotion or up to termination. Assuming it wasn’t someone connected to him that is. It’s all too familiar-consistent disparity in his penalties and application of the discipline system. This is exactly why he chose to move family friend- Deputy Chief Deborah McCarthy to oversee IAG. Deputy Chief Mark Perez who held that position and was replaced by McCarthy wouldn’t have tolerated this. Beck figured he could get away with his shenanigans (Hoopes, Hillman, Kroeber, Pape, etc-the list goes on) that’s why he placed someone near and dear to him and his family- in that position. She has his back for sure.
    The million dollar question though is why hasn’t the Mayor or city council spoken out about this? Do they know something we don’t? Why isn’t the chief being held accountable. I’m afraid Downing will be made the fall guy and I hope he fights back and discloses the truth. Many on the Department have lost all confidence in the chief. You know he started off as a popular chief- an insider- what many felt was “one of us” a person who started at the bottom and rose through the ranks. His favoritism/nepotism and blatant disparate treatment of pals/associates etc. has changed many officers opinions of him. He single handedly managed to lose the trust and confidence of the men and women who had high hopes for him. Bratton was a tough disciplinarian but one thing he was- was consistent. And its that fairness and consistency that earned Bratton respect. The department has taken one major step backward and is losing that momentum that Bratton left. Bratton left Beck a well oiled machine and he’s managed to somehow destroy it. I think the Protective League should also be speaking out now defending and being the voice for the troops- who were made to carry out orders for this murder’s dog and pony show.Tthese officers were just doing their job and the Chief must be held accountable. This needs to be investigated by an outside independent entity- let the chips fall where they may………..

  • robert peel

    im no fan of any of these command staff but dont just stick up for downing, he promoted far to quick up the ranks quicker than beck.like so many after a while they start to think they are great leaders and above being given any advise. then suddenly something comes to light that is so far out there everone is left wondering how this could happen.i agree anyone in lower ranks would be relieved off duty or assigned to the station.

  • Nomore

    No one will ever make officers happy. If you think it is bad now, open your eyes and see that it is starting again but with a new crew. Moore and Villegas are doing the same things promoting their friends. The Capt at Pacific is female and a friend of Villegas. McMahon just got promoted several times….oh wait he is good friends with Moore and Villegas. This is the way the WORLD works. Friends always promote friends or people who have worked for them and know they will do the job. The minute someone makes Capt or above they are now the enemy. You ALL also allow rumors and this blog to be the truth. Stop spreading rumors. Unless you are in the room, were part of the decision making, or was that fly on the wall watching everything, you only know a small part of the story, one side of the story, or just rumors. When you all go to a radio call you always try to get both sides of a story. When you write a report, you try to state both sides of a story. When you go to court, both sides are presented. This and everyone here is working on ONE side of a story. You ALL are destroying the LAPD. If you are not happy working for the LAPD…go flip burgers somewhere. And STOP making this one sided blogger look like she is a expert in a field that she is nothing more than a pot stirring trouble maker!

  • robert peel

    ok capt we will all shutup and fall in line

  • Nomore

    Not a cat but if you don’t like it then again get out. Nothing will make your life better as you are the problem where you want everything for free and with no work. You are the reason for the dept falling apart. You also must be part of affirmation action to have been hired.

  • robert peel

    so you suport institutional lying , policies that are so out of whack with the citizens of los angeles.its you who needs to leave.the days of us agaisnt them are over and you can thank heros like jasmyn for that

  • Nomore

    No people like you and Jasmyn are the problem with this world. Go get a education and then a brain

  • robert peel

    you just like the old days when a ultra right wing lapd are an entity in a liberal city. well those days are over in los angeles and the rest of the country.the gunslinger days are over

  • Mr. Now

    Mr. Now

  • Mr. New

    Nomore… It’s really sad to hear your comments. One I agree this is a rumor mill of stories. But when there’s this many stories about the same people there must be some truth sprinkled in.

    Secondly, you just summed up the LAPD leadership motto, “if you don’t like it leave.” That’s failed leaders ways of getting their message across. This Dept is a cesspool of failed leaders. Look up leadership in any successful organization and you won’t see the LAPD. The higher ups have failed and will continue to fail, but the egos won’t allow them to realize it.

  • Citizen

    I wouldn’t exactly call her a hero…

  • robert peel

    we would probably disagree on a lot of thing

  • cutty sark

    Take a guess.
    Maybe the chief had some leverage over the person who appoints him to his position. The kind of leverage which can end a political career; therefore, it trumps all other qualified candidates for the position in the final selection. Leverage over Mayor V who appointed him to the initial 5 year contract.
    And leverage over Mayor G who signed off on the 2nd 5 year contract.
    Or maybe the chief was given another 5 years because the mayor was impressed with the first investigation of an LAPD officer death under the Chiefs command.
    That would be the investigation into the death of officer Kenneth Aragon who missed Chief Beck’s public inauguration ceremony by approx. 8 hours.
    That investigation is no longer active, nor has it ever been completed.
    The current mayor resides in Getty House in hancock park. But at the time of Beck’s public inauguration as chief(the same day as Officer aragon’s untimely death) he was one of 15 city councilman and the president of the city council. So, of course, councilman G resided within his council district at the time, which was also the same council district in which officer aragon was killed.
    In fact, the distance from the councilman’s residence to where officer aragon died was ??? how far ???
    the future mayor could have stood out on his balcony with a pair of Boy scout binoculars and witnessed the whole shbaang

  • SurfPuppy619

    Dirt on Da Mayor? Hard to believe, but that would be a very good explanation, and explain it all.

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  • Disheartening

    That’s a lot of people there, henchmen getting big bucks to keep silent carrying out orders for the DON… that place is like the mafia and Beck is the DON. LAPD is retaliatory place to work, you don’t agree, or you say the truth you become the focus of an investigation. If a Captain does not like you he then begins to harass you looking for things to get you on, secretly plotting against you and the DON Beck approves this BS! So sad…..

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