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).

His desperation is showing.

Los Angeles Chief Charlie Beck has sunk to a new low—a feat that I didn’t think possible even for him.

Today a lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of one Commander Patrick Smith. It seems that Beck, along with his cohorts Debbie McCarthy, Michel Moore and Arif Alikhan, somehow came to the conclusion that Smith was one of my sources leaking information on the misconduct and corruption taking place over at LAPDHQ.

According to the lawsuit, Beck and McCarthy dislike me because I’ve been writing negative articles about Beck and exposing command staff shenanigans and misconduct. Boo [bleeping] hoo.

Let’s stop and talk about that for just a moment.

To begin with, I had a life and career long before I ever wrote one single thing about Chief Beck and the LAPD. I still do for that matter.

But because folks had lost all faith in the Los Angeles Times when it came to reporting on anything that wasn’t spoon-fed to them by the Department’s spokesperson, I was asked to take an interest in what was going on the 10th floor of LAPDHQs. So I did just that.

From Chief Beck lying about buying that horse for his daughter to ride at work, to that hot mess formerly known as Detective Frank Lyga, to Beck’s daughter’s relationship and the ensuing scandal, proving that Christopher Dorner didn’t lie about his former training officer, the Department’s swanky book signing event for an ex-Mexican mafia hitman and most recently exposing how now Commander Ed Prokop aided and abetted in the stealing of tens of thousands of dollars from a non-profit that the City of Los Angeles quietly struck a backdoor deal to pay back this year.

And that’s just a sampling of what I’ve exposed.

But instead of taking a long hard look in the mirror and asking himself why is this happening, nah, Beck decided to go on a bloodthirsty witch hunt in the Department to find out who my source is. And that my friends is where this story gets very interesting.

If need be, I’ll testify to this in court under oath. Hell, I might even be willing to take a lie detector test but only if Beck does as well and my attorney says that I can.

I don’t know Commander Smith. He could walk up to me right now and I wouldn’t know who the man is.

I have a lot of sources, but he’s not one of them. And for the record, when I say I have a lot of sources, I have sources from floors 1 through 10 of LAPDHQs and throughout every single division and beyond. So good luck Beck and team with trying to pin down even one of my sources. If what is alleged in this lawsuit really happened—and I have no reason to believe that it didn’t—my sources and I can rest easy because these folks are idiots.

But back to the lawsuit.

So in Beck’s quest to find out who my source is, he came to the (albeit mistaken) conclusion that it was Smith. Oh, but did I mention that Commander Smith is African-American? That part.

According to the lawsuit, Smith’s office was unlawfully searched including his desk which was rummaged through. But the plot thickens.  It seems that when his desk was searched a file was found that was supposed to be for Inspector General Alex Bustamante.

What was in the file you ask?

The file contained Smith’s notes for the Inspector General concerning My Little Ponygate— the purchase of a certain horse by the City that was owned by Chief Beck’s daughter. Also in the file were notes 
 questioning the legality and ethical propriety pursuant to city ordinances 
and regulations for the sale of the horse.

The file was taken from Smith’s desk and never returned.

Now if you recall, that was a story I broke back in 2014. Chief Beck authorized the purchase of his daughter’s horse for her to ride at work.

The Los Angeles Police Department Foundation paid $6,000 for Chief Beck’s daughter’s horse. The horse known as “George” was purchased for her to use in the Mounted Platoon where she was assigned.

I remember how Chief Beck went on a whole rant claiming innocence before the news cameras and mics only to have come back hat in hand the next day trying to explain how his signature ended up on the paperwork okaying the purchase.

The lawsuit states:

Chief Beck and 
others in command staff, formed the belief that Plaintiff was going to report the aforesaid 
violations to the Office of the Inspector General. These beliefs were formed after Members of the Department broke into Plaintiff’s desk and found a file describing the sale 
 of the horse along with the annotation “Hold for the Inspector General.”

Cindy Beck (Chief Beck’s wife) served as a Director of the Mounted 
Foundation and assisted in raising money which was then directed to the Police 
Foundation (a separate organization) for the purchase of her daughter’s horse for use by 
the Los Angeles Police Department Metropolitan Division’s mounted unit. Chief Beck’s 
 daughter is a Los Angeles Police Officer and part of the mounted unit. Consequently, 
 Chief Beck’s daughter has and will in the future ride the horse that her family arranged for 
purchase by the Police Foundation. Plaintiff was the commanding officer of Metropolitan 
Division at the time of the purchase of the horse.

The horse was ultimately purchased by the Police Foundation and payment 
of the money was directed to Beck’s daughter upon the approval of Chief Beck.

After the story of the sale of the horse was broken by Jasmyne Cannick, 
Chief Beck was subjected to intense scrutiny by the news media. The scrutiny became 
much more acute after Chief Beck denied knowing about the sale, but subsequent 
 documents proved that Chief Beck actually signed off on the sale.

After discovering Plaintiff’s notes concerning the sale of the horse indicating 
that Plaintiff thought the sale was unlawful or a violation of city, state, and/or federal 
 statutes, regulations, and/or ordinances, and that Plaintiff was going to report the unlawful 
activities to the Inspector General, the Department increased its illegal retaliatory and 
harassing activities against Plaintiff.

Like I said, idiots.

Commander Smith wasn’t my source. As I said before, I don’t even know the man. I do feel for him though because apparently, he like so many others in the Department knew that whole deal to buy Beck’s daughter’s horse was a bunch of—horseshit.

But there’s more, there’s always more where Beck is concerned.

The lawsuit says that Beck and cronies then had documented that Smith was under criminal investigation when he was not. Smith was increasingly ostracized and ignored by 
command staff, and actually overheard Chief Beck comment that he (Chief Beck) was going to pop the stars off Smith’s collar.

Somebody needs to pop the stars off Beck’s collar. The nerve.

My trusty sources have also told me that in closed door meetings with the Police Commission and Chief Beck that the Department initially denied having SOD follow Smith but have now confessed to doing just that. For those not in the know, SOD or the Special Operation Division, reports directly to the Commanding Officer of the Professional Standards Bureau and is comprised of officers who provide support for internal investigations including the Ethics Enforcement Section (EES) which conducts secret operations on police officers.

If this is any indication of the investigative skills involved in finding my sources, let me tell you, I won’t be losing any sleep over this and neither will my sources.

 

It is sad though that instead of focusing on why officers feel it necessary to seek out a voice to expose the oftentimes criminal shenanigans of command staff Beck continues to be focused on the wrong thing. It also makes me wonder if these same tactics were used on people thought to be leaking information to the Los Angeles Times.  Probably not since it was the 10th floor doing all of the leaking and spoon feeding.  Nah, they’re just worried about who’s talking to me.

Also, I need to make it clear.  Take me out of the equation.  What happened here is that a sworn officer of the LAPD saw something he thought was wrong and tried to do the right thing by bringing it to the attention of the Inspector General. A right every officer has that is protected under law.  The Department didn’t like that and quite possibly broke the law by breaking into Smith’s office and taking the folder marked for the Inspector General in an effort to keep him from reporting this information.

Every chance Chief Beck gets he’s always trying to reassure the public of how serious he takes transparency and integrity and every chance I get I prove that out to be nothing more than false and misleading statements.

If Chief Beck will have a commander’s office broken into and use Department resources to follow him around, what do you think he’d be willing to do to lesser ranking officers? Exactly.

For the sake of the public, the men and women who are forced to serve under him and his cronies and the reputation of the City of Los Angeles, Beck needs to go.  Not at the end of the summer.  Not at the end of the year.  Right now, today.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, the Chief should be angry that his leadership has opened up the flood gates for members of the Department to air the LAPD’s dirty laundry in hopes of shining a light on a rigged disciplinary system.  That’s a hot mess Jasmyne Cannick did not create.

When you promote a man who shamelessly helped steal money from a non-profit organization that the City of Los Angeles had to pay back—you create an environment ripe with discontent and low morale.

When you give an officer a 65-day vacation —not for using the n-word but for lying about it to LAPD investigators–you piss folks off.

When you force a sergeant into early retirement because he did the job you couldn’t in defending the Department–you make people want to talk to me.

When you use City resources to host a swanky book signing event so that wealthy donors can meet a convicted killer and ex-Mexican mafia hitman, lie about knowing anything about the event, lie about what the event was really about and then when that doesn’t work try to make someone else out to be the scapegoat–you remind us all why you need to go.

I have no doubt that Commander Smith will prevail in his lawsuit. Why shouldn’t he? I don’t know him and he doesn’t know me.  End of story.

As for Beck, his resignation can’t come soon enough and is long overdue. Mayor Eric Garcetti needs to pop the stars off Beck’s collar sooner than later.

Finally, there are a million trillion things I’d rather be doing than sitting around writing about the LAPD. It’s not something I particularly enjoy but it is something I am committed to doing as long as transparency and integrity continue to be something the 10th floor struggles with and as long as I have the trust of officers who help make it happen.

As for the men and women who keep me in the loop at all times on each and everything happening up in the L-A-P-D—thank you. We don’t agree on everything but I appreciate you and your sacrifice to get the truth out there. We make a good team when it matters the most and it’s obviously working based on the crazy antics of your boss trying to find out who you are. Get at me and like you always tell me, watch your six.

 

I’m not against the police. I’m not against the police department, but I am against police who commit misconduct (and those who help cover it up).