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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 not The People v. OJ but it is official. I go to trial on December 15.

In addition to going to trial, thanks to the great work of my attorney Nana Gyamfi the judge found “good cause” for disclosing the personnel records of the two officers who claimed that they witnessed me (1) as a leader of the protest on November 26 and (2) in front of the protest group on November 26 saying (and I quote from their fairytale report) “we’re coming through!” All of this while trying to cross a skirmish line resulting in me allegedly having to be pushed back by the police.

As of now, besides the account of these two officers—which was taken by two detectives (Tagliere and Kramer) two months later on January 29, 2015—the City has no audio, videos, or photographs of me committing the alleged crimes. They are building their case off of the words of what two detectives say these two officers told them. Yes, you read that right. Hearsay.

I told you it was going to get interesting really quick.

The two officers fabricating this narrative are Sergeant Raul Pedroza (Serial No. 27721) and Officer Jesus Martinez (Serial No. 34593). They are being assisted by our friend Captain Jeffrey Bert (Serial No. 33112). The same Captain Bert who was the shot caller during the Ferguson Protests when things went shall we say awry. The same Captain Bert in charge of Northeast Division where the Los Angeles Times noted that “the highest misclassification rate was found in the LAPD’s Central Bureau — which includes downtown, northeast and east L.A. — where 13% of minor assaults were incorrectly categorized.” The same Captain Bert named in a civil lawsuit filed by a 34-year veteran of the Department for discrimination, harassment and retaliation. And the same Captain Bert that according to the Los Angeles Times, “a department review found Northeast Division’s staffing levels were skewed many days by the use of so-called ghost cars — a scheme in which officers are shown to be in the field when they are actually behind a desk or working non-patrol duty.” Yes, that Captain Bert.

And even though I’d love to let you know all of the juicy details regarding Pedroza and Martinez’s personnel records as it relates to what information we were given from the Pitchess motion, I will unfortunately be under a gag order and cannot tell you about any falsified police reports or wrongful acts of moral turpitude committed by them. I also can’t tell you about their illegal detentions, arrests, searches, and seizures. Mums the word until trial about any use of excessive force or fabrication of the need to use excessive force. Instances of these two officers concealing and/or tampering with evidence will have to remain under wraps lest I be found in contempt of court for breaking a judicial gag order. That ain’t happening.

So aside from the trial readiness hearing scheduled for November 19, it looks like we are full steam ahead as it relates to the start of my trial. Jury selection or Voir Dire will commence on December 15 with opening arguments likely to take place on December 17.  We’ll have a number of witnesses ready to testify, as I am sure the City will.

As I have stated before, I am going to take this as far as the city attorney and the Los Angeles Police Department want to go. When you are innocent and essentially being framed—you don’t make deals, at least I do not. I would rather take my chances with a jury than admit to doing something I didn’t do.

While everyone likes to assume that all Black people are members of Black Lives Matter just because they believe that Black lives matter—that is just not case. I have nothing against Black Lives Matter or the groups who choose to protest the police but I don’t belong to any of them.

Neither is it true that I hate police officers. While this may not be a popular or shared sentiment, I actually have a lot of respect for police officers. I don’t particularly care for misconduct and those who help to cover it up but that is not the same as hating police officers or the police department. It is not liking misconduct and those who help to cover it up. Period.

As I have said before, the case against me has more to do with the bruised egos up on the 10th floor of LAPD headquarters. It has to do with a horse named George, a top cop and his daughter’s very public relationship with a sergeant. It has to do with a now ex-detective named Frank, a couple of cops who killed Ezell Ford, an ex-mafia hit man named Boxer and his LAPD sponsored book signing for wealthy donors to the Department. It also has to do with the officer who killed Brendon Glenn, Clinton Alford’s beating and that video. But mostly it has to do with the fact the some folks don’t like that Los Angeles police officers of all ranks and races talk to me about the Department’s shenanigans.

Out of 323 arrests made by the LAPD during what they refer to as the Ferguson Protests, that the city attorney’s office has filed charges against only 27. And somehow out of the 27, I get singled out as a leader of the protest on November 26 and for resisting arrest.

And while the rest of Los Angeles news media is focused in Mayor Eric Garcetti and his Black Lives Matter problem, they need to be asking City Attorney Mike Feuer the hard questions–namely how did his office choose the 27 to prosecute from the 323, how many cases have they won so far, how much is this costing Angelenos and most important, how many people arrested on November 26 are now suing the city of Los Angeles?

I work in government and politics and on occasion write about the shady dealings of the LAPD as told to me by members of the LAPD. On the one hand it would be career suicide to be running through the streets of Los Angeles protesting the police and on the other I don’t think cops would feel as if they could come to me with the goods on the Department if I took the stance that I hated them. It doesn’t work that way—at least not for me.

Which is not to say that I can’t own the opinion that I dislike all cops, it’s just that anyone who knows me knows that I don’t. And trust me, that’s not a popular view to have these days in certain circles, but it’s mine and I own it.

Add to all of that, people are forever trying to put me in their box and when I don’t fit they go bonkers.  Sometimes their box is community activist, for others it’s political consultant and yet for others it’s journalist or blogger.  First, I don’t really consider myself a community activist and as far as I’m concerned, if Bruce Jenner doesn’t consider himself male and wants to be called Caitlyn I think I have the right to define who I am and what I do.  At times I work in front of the camera or mic and sometimes behind.  It’s not something I do quite as often as I use to since I’ve chosen to focus more on my work in politics–but don’t ever get it twisted.  I’ve been around for awhile and I’ve paid my dues both in politics and journalism.

I’ve co-anchored and reported the news in Los Angeles on the radio, I’ve been a segment producer, a political commentator for NPR, Fox News, CNN, and the list goes on. I’ve written cover stories for Ebony Magazine, op-eds for the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Daily News and had a syndicated column in African-American newspapers from coast to coast with the awards to back it up.  These days I choose to freelance report and produce based on my available time which lately hasn’t been much. All that’s to say, I am who I am and I do what I do which is a lot.  You get one life and yes–I am living it to the fullest. I may not fit into folk’s box but that’s their issue.  I am clear on who I am.

So Team Jasmyne will be preparing for trial over the next month as we head into the holiday season. I am still optimistic as to the outcome of my case with the understanding that when you have powerful folks behind the scenes pulling strings to get you charged with crimes—anything can happen.

And while last year on this date I was reveling in the fact that Detective Frank Lyga was no longer employed by the LAPD, it seems that this year on my birthday I’m facing the fact that I am going to trial. I hope that when this all said and done that folks in the Department haven’t lost an ally in the fight for truth and justice in me because I have to tell you, I am none too pleased about all of these lies permeating from the LAPD about me.  But nevertheless, I shall continue to try and not paint the entire Department as a bunch of liars–just the ones doing the lying.

In the end though, I’m gonna be alright.