Ethics Commission Goes After Cop At Center of Daniele Watts Controversy

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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).


Let’s shift our attention to some other nefarious shenanigans also involving the L-A-P-D.

A lot has happened since we last spoke about our friend LAPD Sergeant Jim Parker.

To begin with, he’s no longer a member of the LAPD. I know, I know.

Sadly, Parker quietly retired earlier this year in lieu of termination (more on that later). This after the Department initiated an investigation against him and two other officers for their unfortunate encounter with actress Daniele Watts.

You remember the story.

In September of 2014 a radio call was generated for lewd conduct in Studio City. The lewd conduct was said to be that of a man and a woman behaving indecently inside of a silver Mercedes with the door open.   It turned out to be “Django Unchained” actress Daniele Watts and her man.

You already know the rest of the story.  She acted a complete fool and cried, and I mean literally cried, racism and racial profiling — which as I have said before was a bunch of feces from a bull.

The story took off nationwide. Once again a white police officer targeted and mistreated an African-American. Except that it wasn’t. Not only wasn’t it a case of racism or racial profiling, as we all heard on that audio, Daniele Watts was the one tripping after being caught by police with her man presumably having sex in the car.

At the time, the Department seemingly said and did nothing to contradict Watts’ claims and so understandably there was outrage from Blacks once again targeted at the LAPD.

But then something remarkable happened.

This audio recording appeared online and told the whole story. Not only did the recording exonerate the officers involved, it showed that the officers involved actually went of their way in dealing with Watts’ who clearly was not well.

So let’s talk about that recording.

According the Department’s own records, they had a copy of the 24-minute recording of the interaction between Watts and Parker. And instead of trying to set the record straight in the media like they usually do, they choose to sit on that audio recording for whatever reason.

So enter Parker who could see where all of this was headed. I mean this story was literally national and international news. Black actress crying that she was racially profiled and discriminated against by a white LAPD officer. I mean it couldn’t come at worse time considering that everyday it seemed there was some new story of a dead or beaten nearly to death unarmed Black person by the police.

Parker releases the audio to TMZ and from there the rest is history—well sort of.

It was clear from the audio that the story wasn’t as black and white as Watts and her man made it out to be.

Eventually her and her man would be charged for misdemeanor lewd conduct to which they would both enter not guilty pleas. In the end, they would be allowed to plead no contest to disturbing the peace and ordered to write an apology letter to Parker. An apology letter that I’m told Parker never did receive.

But what about Parker?

Instead of the Department lifting him up as a hero for helping to save them from yet another embarrassment and possibly causing further tensions between the police and those policed, for his troubles Parker was sent to a Board of Rights—this after an investigation netted 42 allegations against him. Below are some of the allegations I found the most amusing–especially numbers 32 through 38.

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A Board of Rights is a disciplinary hearing. On speaking about ex-detective Frank Lyga, remember Chief Charlie Beck told us that he only sends officers to Boards that he wants to see terminated. Nuff said.

So knowing all of this Parker decided to retire in lieu of termination depriving the LAPD the opportunity of further humiliating him before firing him.

But low and behold, the LAPD isn’t done with Parker just yet.

Today, Parker was notified that the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission is pursuing an Accusation against him. (Case No. 2015-02)

I guess since the Department couldn’t get him they’ve passed the baton (no pun intended) to the Ethics Commission to pick up.  Or you could say, where one head of the multi-headed snake failed, another is making a push for it. One way or another–right?

Parker is being accused of misusing or attempting to misuse his position or authority as a LAPD sergeant to create or attempt to create a private advantage or disadvantage. Say that fast three times.

He’s also being accused of misusing or disclosing confidential information acquired as a result of his position as a LAPD sergeant.

All of this stems from TMZ’s publication of the audio of what actually transpired between Watts and Parker and Parker’s admission before the Police Commission that he released the audio to protect himself from allegations of racism. I guess someone ran quick fast and in a hurry to the Ethics Commission to go and tell that.

This after his own Department put their heads in the sand and let the story get completely out of control without coming to defense of one of their veteran officers with the proof that he was in fact innocent.

It seems the City is implying that (1) Parker was paid by TMZ for audio and that (2) Parker disclosed confidential information.

So let’s talk about that.

Parker has always maintained from day one that he was not paid for the audio and that he did it to stop a riot and to protect the Department and himself from the allegations of racism that were being hurled. On that point, he’s never wavered. Nor has TMZ ever admitted anything different. Now about a riot popping off I’m not so sure, but the story had irked quite a bit of people who thought it was just more of the usual.

I don’t know what’s so confidential about Watts screaming and carrying on like child after being caught in public allegedly having sex. But let’s say that the audio was confidential information. It was confidential information that probably played a role in her and her man pleading guilty and it was confidential information that saved face for a Department that is constantly being accused of engaging in racial profiling and bias policing.

Finally, it appears that Parker is the first rank-and-file police officer that the Ethics Commission is pursuing these accusations against—ever.

If the accusations are found to have occurred and we know that at least one likely will be in terms of disclosing what the City deems as confidential information, Parker is facing a penalty of $5,000 for each violation for a total of $10,000.

Before we get there though there will be a public evidentiary hearing sometime in the next ten days and then the findings will be announced.

The Ethics Commission made an attempt on the low to try and settle with Parker and get him to pay $5,000 to which he said no.

Now before I close this out, I want to put things in perspective for you.

The incident with Daniele Watts occurred on September 11, 2014, the same week Parker was informed that an IA investigation was being launched. (1 WEEK)

The Ethics Commission notified Parker after his September 30 appearance at a Police Commission meeting that he was being investigated by that body as well .(LESS THAN A MONTH)

By January 6, 2015 the Department’s investigation was complete and Parker was recommended for a Board of Rights disciplinary hearing. (4 MONTHS)

Parker officially retired from the Los Angeles Police Department on June 30, 2015 pending a Board of Rights hearing to be held in January 2016. (NINE MONTHS).

So let’s be clear, when the LAPD wants to fast track an internal investigation, it is possible and that’s what it looks like.

Parker did what most people would expect a good cop to do, tell the truth.  That’s all he did and in the process he helped stave off some of the bad mojo constantly being sent towards the LAPD.  For his troubles you could say that he lost his job.  I doubt Parker would have retired this year had he not been facing a Board.

By targeting Parker the City and the police department are sending a mixed messages especially as it relates to biased policing not only to the community but to the men and women who patrol the streets of Los Angeles.  I don’t work for the police department but this is what I gather.  If you’re a cop and someone of note accuses you of racism and discrimination in the media, even if you have a video or audio that proves otherwise, your Department will not defend you.  Should you choose to defend your Department and yourself, your Department will come after you. Does that about sum it up? I thought so.

As for the rest of us, some of us end up having to deal with the likes of cops like Officer A-Hole and others a Sergeant Parker.  I’d rather deal with a Sergeant Parker any day of the week.



The Court of Public Opinion

  • C Pltn

    Well, he warned everyone of the “Muti Headed Snake” and if that isn’t proof there, I don’t know what is.

    Sgt Parker protected himself and embarrassed somebody. Now, the Dept (sorry Chief Beck) is going to send a message to every LAPD sworn member “I can destroy you”, by making Sgt Parkers life a living hell. Way to go Chief! Your the best!

    Sgt Parker, good luck to you Sir. You have always been an honest and kind individual. It’s no wonder management wants to make an example out of you.

  • The American

    I think Sergeant Parker made a tactical mistake by retiring in lieu of. A lot of cops are making this choice instead of going to Boards of Rights and defending themselves on an official record that can be reviewed by the Superior Court. Case in point is the LA County Deputy who arrested Mel Gibson and released audio to TMZ. The deputy was fired instead of resigning for sharing “Confidential Arrest Information” with Tmz. The court overturned the termination and now there is a wrongful termination suit. Depending on which pension plan Parker was on, he could have fought and still collected his pension but would only lose his retirement badge and privilege to carry a concealed weapon.

  • Tommy

    This Department picks and chooses who they want to defend and who they want fired. It’s been this way for years and probably more years to come. Command staff beats to their own drum, everybody knows this. My only question would be how does the Ethics Commission go after someone who has already retired/resigned? As far as complaints being expedited you’re right, again they pick and choose how they want to handle them according to who’s involved.

  • C Pltn

    I thought the same thing. But, I had a friend recently do that also……he told me “I just wanted out, I was tired of the every other day calls with my Attorney, League, Rep and meetings, all in hope of keeping my job in a year. Im disgusted with the nepotism. I just want to live my life”

    That’s when it sunk in. Cause I get it. The nepotism is pretty sickening.

  • C Pltn

    The more I think of it, the more disgusted I get.

    Where is this Ethics Commission re:

    A certain Captain getting out of a DUI?

    A BOR being stopped, because the accused had naked pictures of a certain female.

    A reduced BOR punishment for a relative, accused of serious misconduct.

    No punishments at all for Wife Beaters, because the wives were talked out of showing up to the BOR’s

    Etc etc.,…who wants to add to the list? It paints a very bleak picture when that Dept investigates itself. And occasionally throws some Cop under the bus to show “Transparency”. It’s actually very scary.

  • A lot of cops are making this choice instead of going to Boards of Rights and defending themselves on an official record that can be reviewed by the Superior Court.
    That kind of representation can easily run $100K+, and the odds are against the cop. If they want to go that route (I know I would) they must do so with eyes wide open going in, knowing you will probably lose. Me, I would rather fight and lose than cave on bogus charges.


    Let’s add a couple of more people on the list of people who should answer to the Ethics Commission: 1) Shawn Duke (aka Lt. Slim Shady) for putting on the extra hash mark. 2) Detective Candace Duke for failing to report misconduct. And 3) Sgt. Manny Botello for also failing to report misconduct.

  • The American

    If you are eligible for retirement at the time don’t fold like a lounge chair fight fight fight!

  • 4) the Captain and officers involved in illegally taking the Newton PAL’s funds forcing them to sue to get everything back.

  • 5) Chief Beck and that horse is a perfect example of misusing or attempting to misuse position or authority as a COP to create a private advantage.

  • cutty sark

    Do you really believe they went through all that trouble to get their hands on 10 or 15 or $22,000 in pal funds?
    They will be very happy for us to believe it was all about the chump change.
    So what could have been so important and so valuable at newton pal for them to do what they did?
    Prokop ordered the pal civilian board of trustees to turn over all the records.
    Would that encompass names, addresses, contact numbers of minor children who signed up for specific programs and activities with dates and times, venue for those activities. Names of adults who supervised, participated in those activities. Schedules , sign-in sheets. Legally required consent forms signed by parent, guardian of minor children.

    If any participant in the pal programs had allegations of improper activity, we would have already heard about it, right?

    Then why did certain individuals spend day after day, week after week, standing on the sidewalk in front of the cathedral on temple and grand in dtla holding signs declaring they had been victimized years earlier when they were kids. Because nobody believed them.
    They were U.S. born, white American middle class adults. But they were ignored and ignored, because the alegations were against men of the clothe – men who are to be trusted and never doubted.

    What about a child being raised by a single parent, non-english speaking, U.S. residency status incomplete or undocumented, living below poverty level?
    Who is going to believe anything they say about a man of the blue clothe and silver badge.
    how dare they.

    Now, its ten years later. The child is in his/her 20’s. In therapy and finally with enough sense of self to pursue the alegations.

    Where do they take the alegations? to what authority? to the LAPD?

    they find an attorney willing to represent them in a civil suit.
    The attorney needs to verify dates, places, adults in position of authority in order start doing anything.

    He needs the newton pal records?
    call cap prokop?
    he’s been reassigned to metro, he doesn’t have those records anymore.

    well, then who in the he** does have them???

    who will ask that question – the l.a. times?
    yeah sure, ted rall will draw an editorial cartoon for the times – beck had buetner run rall out of town on a hot rail.

    cannick is next.

    beck, murphy, villaraigosa, garcetti are too big to fail.
    newton pal is the bombshell that must stay buried.

  • cutty sark

    Has LAPD completed the investigation of how a 20 year-old audio recording of Ted Rall’s jaywalking arrest got duped, doctored and dropped on the L.A. Times?
    Will the Ethics Commission schedule a hearing to determine the appropriate penalty for using confidential audio of a civilian arrest in order to shut down a free press in los angeles?

  • NinaG

    Ha! I was Admin Transferred in a matter of hours – fastest
    turn-around ever in the history of the Dept, I’m guessing…

  • C Pltn

    A friend of mine (maybe ours) just had a BOR. He was just going to walk away also. He decided to go through with it and thankfully Robert Rico (League Attorney) stuck with it and did an awesome job. He was found Not Guilty.

    Despite a Dept LT coming in and lying to the Board, to further his own vision self righteousness.

  • C Pltn

    Parker did get his pension and like most retired guys, he doesn’t care about a ccw permit.

  • The American

    Well I’m happy to learn anyone else who will defend themselves and not take the easy way out. If you care you really should fight especially if you have done nothing wrong! ????

  • The American

    He should get everything he is entitled to for spending the best years of his healthy life being a good cop and Supervisor!

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  • Truth of the matter

    Jasmyne- it’s obvious the Police commission doesn’t think this is a big deal and no matter what the Inspector’s General reveals it goes no where. Maybe we need to go outside the city like the Feds/Department of Justice so they can independently look at the shenanigans that are going on. Beck needs to leave he has ruined the Department. He takes care of his own- the double standard is blatantly obvious.

  • cutty sark

    The LAPD and FBI have too much common interest in repressing the history of their cooperation in certain less than honorable activities. The current situation leaves neither of the 2 agencies as willing or capable to investigate the other.
    But that’s O.K., because bringing the D.O.J. or FBI to get involved will not solve the organizational/political problems here in L.A.
    Until we begin a comprehensive and sincere discussion of who we want to replace Mr. Beck as Chief, and why, then he may as well stay.
    Let him stay until the residents of Los Angeles are ready to wake up and pull their heads out of the sandbox.
    Ponygate is not the problem – its a minor symptom of a serious disease which the residents of L.A. continue to deny.
    In fact, Ponygate is a gift horse. Or rather, its a canary in the L.A.P.D. coal mine.
    If Officer Beck(Pearson, Scimoni) has been reassigned to Metro Mounted Unit, then its practical for her to use a horse with which she is familiar and has the ability to control. If the Dept. needs to acquire title to that horse and we end up paying double the fair market value, then its still a practical expenditure – because the cost is much less than the City may owe as liability for sending Officer Beck into public contact mounted on a horse that she has less ability to control under critical, high-stress situations.
    Allowing Officer Beck to bypass the waitlist for assignment to the Mounted Unit generates resentment within the ranks. Thats an acceptable cost in exchange for capping an open-ended volcanoe of internal strife. Officer Beck’s(Pearson, Scimoni) two marriages within the Dept. plus extra-marital affairs can erode lines of authority and damage cohesiveness whether she is stationed in Foothill or Harbor, Pacific or Hollenbeck.
    But when a rebound affair or some random NSA humping leads to a tearburst, and the only acceptable cure is for Officer Beck to run crying to the Chief demanding another Sgt get fired – that sends department’s internal image and external image crashing to a ditch.
    you can’t expect a father to detach from his protective nature over his baby girl.
    The best gift Chief Beck could have received was Brandi pursue her law enforcement ambitions at another agency.
    That’s not what happened. The best alternative left was reassign her to the Mounted Unit, stick a palomino named George between her legs, and pray to make it to years end in one piece.

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  • Pio Pio

    How about investigating all the command staff who is “runnign their sick time” before retirement? Standard practice for LAPD Command. Getting a paycheck for the last few months before retirement without having to show up at work. How is that for ethical conduct? What are you doing about it ethics Commission? Inspector general? Mayor? Blatant theft of City funds that could be better used somewhere else!!!!!!!!

  • Tyndon Clusters

    The best alternative? Maybe for the family of Beck but certainly not in the best interests of LAPD morale.

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