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).
This post was updated 11/30/2015 at 11:21 a.m.
While much of the nation is focused on the release of the videos showing the execution type killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in Chicago by a white police officer, in Los Angeles the wheels continue to turn to make sure Angelenos and the world never see the Rodney King type beating suffered by Clinton Alford in South L.A. in October of 2014.
If you don’t know the story of Clinton Alford, you can thank the Los Angeles Police Department, city attorney’s office and the Los Angeles Times. While the police department and city attorney’s office have been seemingly working in cahoots to keep the video from ever seeing the light of day, the Los Angeles Times as expected, is ignoring the case for the most part.
According to sworn testimony given in a deposition on Oct. 16, 2014 Los Angeles police officers kicked Mr. Alford in the head, hit him with their elbow, all while he was lying motionless on the ground. Prior to Mr. Alford falling to the ground, the same witness testified that one of the officers used a baton on Alford that helped bring him to his knees.
When a black-and-white car arrived on the scene, an officer got of the car and walked up to Alford and kicked him in the head and hit him with his elbow.
At some point the witness says the officers noticed the cameras on the building.
Four officers came and knocked on the door of Just Denim Jeans just about an hour after the incident occurred inquiring whether or not the cameras on the rear exterior of the building worked.
Witnesses testified that the officers asked if they could see video that was recorded in the last hour. They viewed the video and then proceeded to leave when one officer came back. This officer asked for the video to be played for him one more time and he took out his cellphone, believed to be an iPhone, and recorded what he was being shown.
The next day the LAPD used a search warrant to commandeer the video—but not before stationing an officer outside of the building until they could come back with that warrant.
The officers involved were Detective Steven Razzo, Officers Julio Cortez, Brent McCoy, Joshua Tornek, and Richard Garcia. Officer Tornek is the son of Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek and is being represented by separate council as is Officer Garcia who Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey has seen fit to charge with assault under the color of authority related to this incident.
Garcia’s would be co-conspirators and accessories after the fact to date have not been charged with a crime relating to this incident.
Chief Charlie Beck has been quoted in the media as saying that the other officers involved were “not nearly as culpable as Garcia.”
But back to that video.
A federal judge ruled in April that the LAPD had to turn over the raw video they confiscated to Alford and his attorney, but placed a protective order on the video barring either side from making it public.
Garcia will be back in court on December 15 in Department 45 of the criminal courts building in downtown Los Angeles. Alford’s federal civil rights case, which was scheduled to start in February, has been stayed until after the criminal case. This, over the strong opposition of his attorney Caree Harper.
Below is the Los Angeles city attorney’s response to Alford’s attorney Careee Harper’s motion to lift a stay of action regarding the video and it really shows you just how far the city attorney’s office is willing to go to try and keep this video from being made public.
We already know how scared the LAPD is from the internal memo I leaked back when the judge ordered that the video be turned over to Alford and his attorney.
If the LAPD can troll the pages of civilians then it’s certainly not above and beyond the city attorney’s office to do the same to opposing council in an effort to persuade the Court to keep a video that should be public private.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is your city attorney’s office at work…