LAPD Investigator on Ezell Ford Case Under Investigation

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).

Here’s some more information Los Angeles Police Chief Beck and his cohorts up on the 10th floor don’t want you to know about.

We’ve been told that one of the lead investigators for the LAPD on the Ezell Ford case has been placed on administrative duty and is under investigation. This after her colleagues made allegations that she provided false and misleading statements in several of her previous investigations including an off-duty officer-involved-shooting involving her 60-year-old neighbor and his 19-year-old daughter.

For the purpose of today’s reading we’ll call her “Detective B.” Before Detective B was promoted to Sergeant II and shipped off to the projects in Watts, she worked the Department’s Force Investigative Division or FID. FID is responsible for the investigation of all incidents involving the use of deadly force by an LAPD officer including all in-custody deaths of arrestees or detainees. It is there that she was assigned the 2014 Ezell Ford shooting.

It seems that Detective B likes to shoot her gun. Before the 2015 incident—which we’ll get into in just a but—she endangered the lives of her fellow colleagues when she fired a warning shot from her service pistol after a large crowd gathered (as they often due when a home team wins) near the Staples Center following the Lakers win of the 2010 NBA Championships.

Well five years later–January 25, 2015 to be exact–Detective B again fired one round from her service pistol during an altercation involving her neighbors.

No one was hit but a Use of Force Review Board was convened as is the case whenever there’s what the Department refers to as a Categorical use of force–but what we just call an officer-involved-shooting. We’re told that Detective B’s Board was chaired by Assistant Chief Michel Moore and included among others Deputy Chief William Murphy, the Commanding Officer of the Police Sciences and Training Bureau, Deputy Chief Debra McCarthy, the Commanding Officer of Professional Standards Bureau, and Stuart Maislin, Commander over Internal Affairs.

Sources close to the investigation in LAPDHQs say that both McCarthy and Maislin voted that Detective’s B shooting was IN policy while Moore and others voted that it was not. McCarthy and Maislin were outnumbered.

Our sources also say that Chief Beck did not want the shooting to be found out of policy but went along with the Board’s final decision to avoid any further backlash considering he did her solid with her 2010 warning shot situation that left a bad taste in the mouth of her colleagues who had to deal with the aftermath.

But here’s where the side eye comes in and all attorneys with clients whose cases were handled by Detective B might want to pay close attention.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) allegedly has oversight over the Department’s internal disciplinary process. As a part of their duties they also have oversight over the Department’s use of force investigations including accuracy of those investigations.

From the jump I’m told that the Department’s investigation didn’t pass the smell test with folks from the OIG office.

One of the major issues had to do with video surveillance footage from Detective B’s house. It seems that Detective B was not as helpful with the video footage from the night of the shooting as she was with pulling out her service pistol that night.

To start, it is alleged that Detective B mishandled video evidence in her own case. If you are a FID detective, why in the hell are you handling your own evidence? Yes, that part.

Folks in LAPDHQs involved say that Detective B changed her story regarding the video several times. At one point Detective B claimed she downloaded the video on her own personal laptop. Then in another interview she said she did it from a work computer. After a forensics expert was brought into to examine her work computer they couldn’t find any evidence of her doing that. She told investigators that she was directed by another detective to download it but that detective said they said no such thing.

All I know is that one, Detective B shouldn’t be handling evidence in her own case but that two as a seasoned police officer, Detective B should know if she downloaded something onto a personal or work computer. To this day there is still a question of how the video was obtained, was it altered in anyway and whether or not all of the video footage from that night was turned in.

Add to that, the sheriffs who investigated the shooting said Detective B claimed she only fired one of her infamous warning shots at her neighbor but when later interviewed she told FID she tried to hit her neighbor. So which is it?

One of the OIG’s investigators told the Assistant Inspector General Django Sibley things didn’t look right and there were too many discrepancies. Sibley in turn had a meeting with FID and told them how screwed up their investigation was. Fearing the jig was up, FID engaged in the Department’s routine ritual of their version of the Vatican Shuffle and removed the original investigator from Detective B’s case and assigned it to two different investigators.

The new investigators along with the OIG’s investigator basically started the entire investigation over and re-interviewed everyone involved. And here’s where it got real—real fast.

One of Detective B’s colleagues was interviewed and dimed her out.

They told investigators that they needed to be looking at ALL of Detective B’s cases for fraudulent activity including that she intentionally omitted key information in allegations of excessive force by officers. Information that was given to her by victims in Spanish that she was supposed to translate and then document in English—and this came straight from Detective B’s own colleagues.

Needless to say now the Department’s Internal Affairs Division is looking into ALL of Detective B’s cases from FID and her homicide cases from her time in 77th Street Division’s Criminal Gang Homicide unit.

Currently I’m told there are at least two complaints pending against the recently promoted Sergeant II. One from her neighbor and one initiated by the Department. Knowing how the Department works she’s probably looking at allegations of neglect of duty and providing false and misleading statements.

Detective B was pulled off the streets from her position in the LAPD’s Community Safety Partnership program with the Housing Authority that works in the Nickerson Gardens, Imperial Courts, and Jordan Downs Public Housing Developments. She is currently on administrative duty.

As for the Ezell Ford investigation which Detective B also worked on, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey is still allegedly investigating as to whether or not any crimes where committed by the officers involved in Ford’s 2014 killing. That’s her story and she’s sticking to it and as long as she does, the clock is stopped over at LAPD headquarters on any possible discipline from Chief Beck. The word around her office and the Department is that Lacey is not going to be filing charges against the officers involved. A couple of dates were put forth to make the announcement but for one reason or another were cancelled.

UPDATE

Hear ye, hear ye.  Henceforth Detective B shall now be known as Sergeant Trigger Happy.

The Court of Public Opinion

  • cutty sark

    Detective B’s colleague has told FID investigators they need to review all of the cases to which detective B contributed, going back years. The inference being that Detective B may have omitted and/or mistranslated witness statements she had a duty to collect and accurately record.

    Alright, has the colleague of Detective B established a prior record attempting to convey these concerns through appropriate channels designated within the organization? Or was he waiting patiently until someone bothered to ask him about Det. B?

    Why would Chief Beck have allowed Detective B to participate in the most politically sensitive and high profile FID case of 2014, already knowing Detective B’s past decision making was less than impeccable?

    Before anyone answers those questions, please first make note of the following:

    despite the remarkable, collective effort of the news media, local officeholders, appointed commission members and the citizens to ignore the truth, the truth simply cannot be denied.

    Investigations and reports on the Ezell Ford shooting were prepared, presented, debated and concluded although they contain no analysis and not a single reference to 2 absolutely critical items of forensic evidence –

    1. the clothing worn by Ezell Ford in the areas penetrated by the gunshots

    2. the bullet fired by Officer A from his back-up gun

    The press and the public(D.A. Lacey included) have happily moved on and won’t be bothered to consider how 2 essential items of physical evidence vaporized into the atmosphere before Ezell Ford’s blood dried on the pavement.

    However, the civil suit on behalf of Ford’s family grinds onward. The lawyers have no limitation on billable hours spent with discovery and depositions – because those costs will ultimately fall upon the taxpayers of the City of L.A. as part of the Ezell Ford settlement.

    There is not any question of whether the parties will reach settlement or proceed to trial. The City of L.A. will not go to trial with Ezell Ford when LAPD is mucked in this level of bulls**t.

    If L.A. City Attorney Feuer was able to act independently and save us some coin, he would order all the attorney’s to stop spinning their meters. He would sit down with Lerman and hash out a final number, $15 – $25 million. The longer it takes, the more it will cost

    But its too soon in the public career of Garcetti and Beck to open the lid and release the stench from the unofficial Ezell Ford shooting cover-up.

  • Knowing how the Department works she’s probably looking at allegations of neglect of duty and providing false and misleading statements.
    You have said many times this is a termination offense, will she be terminated? If no, will Sergeant Trigger Happy get a “Brady Letter” put into her jacket??