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).
Honestly, this seems like a story more fit for The Onion, but I will do my best to do justice by it.
With the straightest face I can muster up while typing this, it seems that Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck does not wish to be oppressed—or harassed or annoyed or have his time wasted for that matter. This according to an ex parte application filed Tuesday in federal court on behalf of the City of Los Angeles, Chief Beck, and the LAPD officers involved in that heinous October 16 South LA beat down of 22-year-old Clinton Alford.
You remember Mr. Alford. He was guy who was minding his own beeswax riding his bike home on October 16 near 55th Street and Avalon Boulevard in South Los Angeles when out of nowhere he was subjected to unwarranted harassment and annoyance by five police officers. Being a Black man in South Los Angeles, according to the police he was suspected of drug possession. However that case didn’t quite pan out and those charges were a big waste of time and eventually dropped. But not before they proceeded to oppress Mr. Alford by beating and kicking him until he lost consciousness after he got scared and ran away from the plainclothes officers. Which I will add sounds similar to that recent LAPD officer-involved shooting in South L.A. on 43rd Street and Figueroa Street.
But I digressed.
A nearby business had a camera that captured the whole Alford incident and that video has since been confiscated and now is under lock and key (if not destroyed). As far as I know, Chief Beck is not releasing it—and with good reason. From what I’m told it’s the kind of stuff that uprisings more commonly referred to in the media as riots are made of.
Chief Beck said he was “extremely concerned about this particular use of force.”
Clinton Alford told the media that he was “just praying that they wouldn’t kill me. I just closed my eyes and tried to hold on.”
The application filed goes on cite F.R.C.P. 26 (C) (1) (A) (Federal Rules of Civil Procedure) and argues that because Chief Beck was neither personally involved with, nor does he have any personal knowledge of the use of force against Mr. Alford that his deposition must not be allowed. The City Attorney’s office argues that Beck’s position as Chief of Police of the Los Angeles Police Department does not automatically make him subject to deposition nor do his limited statements made to the media and that the only objective in having him deposed on this issue is to harass and annoy him and to waste his time. It goes on to say that the courts must issue a protective order barring the deposition of Chief Beck in this matter.
F.R.C.P. 26 (C) (1) (A) defined:
A party or any person from whom discovery is sought may move for a protective order in the court where the action is pending—or as an alternative on matters relating to a deposition, in the court for the district where the deposition will be taken. The motion must include a certification that the movant has in good faith conferred or attempted to confer with other affected parties in an effort to resolve the dispute without court action. The court may, for good cause, issue an order to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense, including one or more of the following:
(A) forbidding the disclosure or discovery;
(B) specifying terms, including time and place, for the disclosure or discovery;
(C) prescribing a discovery method other than the one selected by the party seeking discovery;
(D) forbidding inquiry into certain matters, or limiting the scope of disclosure or discovery to certain matters;
(E) designating the persons who may be present while the discovery is conducted;
(F) requiring that a deposition be sealed and opened only on court order;
(G) requiring that a trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information not be revealed or be revealed only in a specified way; and
(H) requiring that the parties simultaneously file specified documents or information in sealed envelopes, to be opened as the court directs.
According to the City, the beating of Clinton Alford is not a case with extraordinary or exceptional circumstances that would warrant the taking of Chief Beck’s deposition. The City believes that there is no basis for deposing Chief Beck–other than to annoy and harass him.
And I quote directly from the application:
“As the Police Chief of the second largest city in the United States, Chief Beck clearly qualifies as a high-ranking government official. Further, he is extremely busy and has several important duties, including the responsibility of overseeing nearly 10,000 police officers, and dealing with public security issues in a post 9-11 world, not to mention addressing the current financial problems facing the City, and various other time constraints, all which make Chief Beck very different from other witnesses.”
In the words of rapper Big Sean, Beck’s “got a million trillion things he’d rather fuckin’ do” than to be fuckin’ with some deposition.
But I don’t know about that. I’m sure that he’s seen the video of his officers going to town on Mr. Alford and beating him unconscious. That fact alone makes him a witness in my eyes and gives him “personal knowledge” of the case.
But enough about what I think, what say you?
As of now, Chief Beck is scheduled to be deposed at 9 a.m. on March 9.
I will tell you, I can’t wait for that video to be released.
For my media friends, that’s Case No.CV14-08874. It was an ex parte application filed on Tuesday so the hearing has probably already taken place on this issue.