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).
Oh happy day–sort of.
In a proposed decision and order, Administrative Law (and I’m guessing common sense expert) Judge Samuel D. Reyes has ruled that former Los Angeles Police Sergeant Jim Parker won’t have to pay a $10,000 fine for releasing the audio of his encounter with actress Daniele Watts. Click here to read the judge’s decision and rationale.
I’m told the Ethics Commission could choose to reject the judge’s ruling–but at this point, really? The judge sustained the charges against Parker. If they were to reject the judge’s decision it would show even more just how much of a witch hunt this whole stunt was to begin with. While I’m sure Parker isn’t happy about the charges being sustained, I don’t think he’ll lose any sleep over not having to pay $10,000 in fines. That part.
Sergeant Parker released an audio recording from his encounter with the “Django Unchained” actress after she took to social media complaining that she and her boyfriend has been racially profiled and discriminated against. This after Parker responded to a report of a couple having sex in a car parked in Studio City. Watts, who is Black, and her boyfriend Brian Lucas, who is white, were found to match the description of the couple involved. Watts very publicly complained about the way she was treated while her boyfriend wrote on Facebook that police acted as though the couple had been engaged in prostitution because he is white and Watts is black. The story quickly garnered national attention and it didn’t take long for folks to start accusing the LAPD of being racists—again.
Meanwhile, after the audio of what really happened during Parker’s encounter with Watts and her boyfriend came out, folks who were publicly criticizing the department for what they believed was a continued pattern of racial profiling, discrimination and harassment by the LAPD took several seats and lowered their voices to barely audible whispers.
Parker was accused of violating city ethics rules for releasing the audio and was awaiting a decision on whether or not he will have to pay a fine of up to $10,000. He claimed that he released the 24-minute audio recording to protect both his reputation, the department’s and to correct claims of racial harassment and discrimination made by Watts in the media. No one from the 10th floor took to the media to try and correct any of the inaccurate information about Parker or the department’s handling of Watts. Parker, like Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and the Carnell Snell video, released the audio 72 hours later—the Watts incident happened on a Thursday and the following Sunday is when the accusations began to surface on social media and in entertainment and news media outlets. Click here to read the judge’s decision.
For his troubles, the veteran police sergeant was essentially forced to retire or face a disciplinary board where he would have most certainly been fired because we all know what Chief Beck expects to happen when he sends officers to a board of rights hearing.
Watts and Lucas ended up pleading no contest to disturbing the peace and were ordered to write apology letters to the officers and people who reported them.
We’ve stood with Parker from day one of this incident and we’re happy for today’s ruling. Congratulations Sergeant Parker for winning one for the little people.
I would say better luck next time Chief Beck and co. but why in the hell would I wish you luck in your efforts to destroy the lives of officers who don’t deserve it? Exactly, I wouldn’t.