LAPD Sergeant Parker did the right thing

UPDATED: Audio added of Sgt. Parker’s appearance on KJLH-FM’s Front Page with Dominique DiPrima show.

 

Los Angeles police sergeant Jim Parker does not deserve to be fired for handcuffing and detaining actress Daniele Watts when she refused to identify herself.  I know that probably isn’t going to set well some African-Americans but that’s how I feel about the situation.

Daniele Watts and her man celebrity chef Brian Lucas have worked my last nerve regarding this situation.  Watts, whose claim to fame is her role in the film “Django Unchained” is still pissed about being detained after she refused to identify herself when the police were called to investigate two people possibly having sex in a car parked on Radford Avenue in Studio City.

Lucas wrote in Facebook post that the police had acted as though the couple had been engaged in prostitution because Lucas is white and Watts is Black.

Now what probably really happened is that it did look like prostitution to a passerby who in turn called 911.  I’m not so sure looking at the both of them if I wouldn’t have had the same thought and that’s just keeping it real.

As far as I’m concerned, and this is just my way of thinking, cars are for transporting you from one place to another.  Not for making out in.  Why even be in the position of having someone think that you are having sex in your car in public in the first damn place? And if you are caught in the act of whatever the hell it is that you’re doing, before you scream racism, just show the cop your frickin’ ID and then carry on.  IDs were made to ID.  But hey, that’s just how I look at it.

This story has taken off all over the place and just when I think it’s died down, I find something new on my damn Twitter feed about it.  The latest being Watts’ op-ed in the Los Angeles Times defending her position and Tuesday’s appearance of Sgt. Parker at the Police Commission meeting.

Yesterday, before the Police Commission Parker defended giving the September 11 recording to celebrity news site TMZ in an effort to “avert a potentially volatile racial controversy.”

Quoted in the L.A. Times, Parker said, “I had to make a decision. We were facing another racial, tumultuous incident in L.A.  I said, ‘This has to stop right away.’ I drove to my station, grabbed the recording and called TMZ. It stopped the next day.”

This is new territory for the LAPD who in recent months has seen quite a few members of the rank-and-file speak up about the internal dealings within the department (good for them).  As you know, the department generally frowns upon its officers publicly releasing confidential records, including audio recordings (let us not forget Lygagate).

“Is it against department policy? Yes,” Parker said. “Is it the right thing to do? Yes.”

Again, good for him.  It’s about time.

What I’m absolutely sure got Chief Charlie Beck’s panties/boxers in a bunch is Parker’s description of him as “one head of a multi-headed snake on this department.”  That comment alone is probably enough for the department to find some way to excuse him from his position.

I spoke with Parker today and he told me he’s pretty sure the department is going to try and relieve him of duty.

He said that he’s on a 30-day medical leave right now and that he was told he was going to be removed from patrol and ordered to have no contact with the public.  I understand that attorney Ira Salzman (yes, Detective Frank Lyga’s Ira Salzman) is representing him.  Good luck with that.

I believe in fighting police misconduct wherever it rears its ugly head here in Los Angeles, but this ain’t a case of it.  This is about a woman and her man not being able to wait to get it on at home and then when caught, the woman causing a big ole’ scene for no apparent reason other than publicity.

Black people have real issues with law enforcement and quite frankly it’s a waste of my damn time and others to have to deal with Daniele Watts and her man.

There are police officers beating the shit out of Black people.  There are police officers killing unarmed Black people and getting away with it.  There are police officers actually racially profiling Black people, but this isn’t one of those cases.

From what I’m told Parker is actually a good guy.  I believe my sources.

What’s going to be really interesting is seeing just how expeditiously the department moves on trying to relieve Parker of duty, especially when they have done pretty much nothing about Detective Frank Lyga’s little meltdown or any of that nasty business going on over at Newton Division which we discussed in previous posts.

Parker, while I hope this isn’t the case, may just become another poster child for all that is wrong with LAPDs disciplinary system. Parker from what I can tell is not sponsored or related to anyone in command staff so his chances of escaping the wrath of Beck aren’t looking so good.  If they don’t nail him on the Watts handcuffing and detainment then they’re probably going to nail him on releasing the recording (but really for calling Chief Beck a snake).  All of which is going to do nothing to help morale in a department that’s already so low, it’s hard to believe it can get any lower.

The public is always talking about how they want cops who do the right thing patrolling their streets and neighborhoods.  Well this is a perfect opportunity to back a cop who did the right thing.  You and I both know if Parker hadn’t released that recording it would have likely never seen the light of day.  I mean we are talking about the LAPD.

While I have no real faith in the Police Commission given their past track record when it comes to officers stepping up to expose the department’s dirty laundry and trickery, for those who actually care about Sgt. Parker’s outcome—now would be the time to reach out to the Police Commission, Mayor Eric Garcetti, and members of the Los Angeles city council to voice that support.  His job is on the line.

All of this is political, it shouldn’t be, but it is.  Nobody wants angry Black people in front of their office or down at city hall screaming about the LAPD.  But I think most Black people are smart enough to see that while we may have issues with the LAPD, this isn’t one of them.  This is just a woman and her man (but really more the woman) trying to push an issue that isn’t really there and make a bigger name for herself in the world.  She might have succeeded in the latter, but I doubt it’s the name she was going for.

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 to cover it up)–this just isn’t one of those cases.

The Court of Public Opinion

  • What?

    Why was it presumed to be prostitution because she was black and he was white? Which one was selling and which buying? Is it assumed that black women would only f— white guys if they are paid? How demeaning to white males. If the reverse, how demeaning to black females. Either way it’s racist and sexist profiling… In a demeaning way.

  • When you don’t use your real name to express your opinion then you don’t have one. So whoever posted below me, shut the hell up on that wolf crying. If you act like a prostitute on the streets in broad daylight, then the “public” with think you’re performing your duties as one. The Watts person has demonstrated to the commonsense of the media following public that she’s an idiot. And what is a celebrity chef anyway? In this case it’s an ex-felon performing a lewd act in public with his poor excuse for a parent’s child girlfriend. Her parents should do a press conference to express how embarrassed she made them feel.

  • Watts Gwynnon

    Have Mr. Lucas or Ms. Watts filed a formal complaint with the LAPD over the recording made by Officer Parker or his sharing it with the media?

    If not, then an internal complaint and adjudication process must have been commenced from within the department. If so, then explain to the public exactly what LAPD rule has been broken or policy violated by Officer Parker in his handling of the audiotape, issue a reprimand, and then hand all the paperwork over to IG Bustamante for a thorough review.

    Due to the release of this audiotape, the LAPD Officer now has Dr.Hutchinson in his corner regarding this incident. Why not just enjoy that for a while – being on the same page as Dr. Hutchinson, because if need be he can lead a caravan of church women from Crenshaw to the Police Commission on behalf of this white officer.

  • Watts Gwynnon

    Naomi Watts is soooo’ last months news. There are serious issues remaining from 1 1/2 years ago, such as
    What has Chief Beck done to examine and address the costly failures of tactical judgement revealed in the formulation and approval of the so-called Dorner protection operation?

    August 26, 2014 Meeting of LAPD Board of Commissioners

    BPC #14-0321

    TO: The Honorable Board of Police Commissioners

    FROM: Chief of Police

    SUBJECT: RECOMMENDATION FOR THE MEDAL OF VALOR

    ……..On February 7, 2013, Officer Cesar Chavez and his partner, Officer Mario Vega, were directed
    to respond to the Operations-Central Bureau Command Post to be assigned to a protection detail
    for police officers who were possible targets of a wanted murder suspect…………

    ……During the briefing, the officers were provided with a crime alert flyer with a physical description of Dorner and his personal vehicle……..

    ……..Officers Chavez and Vega were assigned to a protection detail in the city of Corona, and they
    were to meet two additional Newton Area officers who were already at an officer’s residence.
    Upon exiting Interstate 15, they were approached by a citizen in a nearby gas station parking lot,
    who advised them that Dorner had recently left the location. While interviewing the citizen,
    Officer Vega observed Dorner’s vehicle traveling westbound and entering Interstate 15. The
    officers began following the vehicle and requested back-up units to assist them, but were unable
    to contact Communications Division because their radios would not transmit outside the City
    limits……

    —————————————————————————————————————————–

    COMMENTARY

    ( The two officers were sent to protect the Corona home of an LAPD person potentially targeted by Dorner . The LAPD Dorner security command had decided not to notify any law enforcement agency in the Corona area of the officers sent into their community so as not to unnecessarily burden them. The LAPD patrol car could not communicate via radio with LAPD or any other municipal frequency from the Corona location. LAPD has patrol cars which are capable of radio interoperability, but they have never been programmed for that function. According to another report on the Corona/Dorner encounter, there was at least one personal cell phone with the LAPD officers when they exited the highway and pulled into the Wierick Road AM/PM Market and Filling Station. However, that cell phone was dropped, causing the battery to fall out not retrieved – leaving the two Newton officers in pursuit of Dorner while unable to notify anyone, nobody)

    —————————————————————————————————————————–

    ………They followed the vehicle for approximately five miles while attempting to verify that it
    was the wanted vehicle listed on the crime alert flyer. As they continued to follow the vehicle,
    Dorner exited the freeway, made an eastbound turn and immediately came to a stop near the south curb.
    Officer Chavez advised Officer Vega that the vehicle had stopped and to prepare for a possible
    ambush by Dorner. Officer Chavez made a wide turn upon exiting the freeway, allowing them
    distance and time as they approached in their police vehicle. As Officer Chavez stopped the
    vehicle, Dorner exited his vehicle and began firing at the officers with an AR-15 assault rifle…

    ————————————————————————————————————————–

    COMMENTARY: (Let’s see how much distance and time bought from a wide turn helped the situation?)

    ___________________________________________________________________________

    …..Dorner continued to fire his rifle at the officers, striking the vehicle numerous times. The
    persistent gunfire pinned both officers down and prevented them from escaping from their
    vehicle. The impact of the gunfire caused the police vehicle to be disabled. As the gunfire
    continued, Officer Chavez returned gunfire over the dashboard. Believing that Dorner may
    attempt to flank their position and kill them, Officer Chavez peeked over the dashboard to
    identify Dorner’s location and acquire a better sight to stop the threat…….

    ……..The officers were stranded and unable to give chase, and they
    immediately flagged down multiple citizens and advised them of their situation. They notified a
    911 operator of Dorner’s description and direction of travel to advise other police units in the area.
    Officers Cesar Chavez and Mario Vega…………. displayed extreme courage by
    confronting an armed suspect with an assault weapon in order to protect each other’s life, and
    their actions are worthy of consideration for the Medal of Valor……

    ——————————————————————————————————————————
    If the LAPD wants to award a medal for driving into an ambush while unable to make contact for any backup, that is their business.
    What we need to know is who sent these two officers into harms way so woefully equipped and inadequately prepared?
    What form of discipline, reassignment, retraining or termination is scheduled for command/control staff of Dorner security fiasco?
    What contingency has been made to cover a potential claim by the family of ambushed Riverside PD Officer Michael Craine?
    How many more millions will be paid for gross negligence by LAPD Dorner security command that forced a critical delay of the notification bulletin in Riverside, thus contributing directly to Officer Craine’s death?

  • NoDirtyBirdies

    Officers Chavez and Vega showed great courage and heroism by following and attempting to apprehend that murdering coward. Whatever missteps were made by command officers who gave the marching orders, these officers are well deserving to be decorated with the Purple Heart and Medal of Valor. They should already have been honored publicly. God bless you Officers Chavez and Vega, you will always be heroes in the eyes of your peers.

  • c. marx

    It is a misdemeanor to make a false complaint against a police officer- 148.6 of the California Penal Code. I wonder if that applies to the COP and command staff who initiated a complaint against Parker, while knowing he had done nothing wrong.

  • Jeff

    Ms. Cannick: You are incorrect in stating that you are required to show your ID to cops when they have “reasonable suspicion”

    You may be and generally should provide cops with your name and DOB if they are conducting a criminal investigation. In the current case this was clearly not the case. The cops investigated, did not observe lewd acts, questions to the suspects to did not warrant further investigation.

    If you read the OPed, the actress was making a point about not having to be detained, handcuffed and interrogated by the police. After listening to the tape my reaction was this dude was so worried about being called a racist that he releases a tape showing him bullying (calmily I grant you) a smallish, educated, articuate, if upset, black women to the point he had to put her in handcuffs. I really don’t think he was afraid of her he did it to humiliate her and put her in her place. Hmmm. rape culture anybody.

  • Jeff

    My previous comment was posted in ignorance that the couple was having real or simulated sex in a car in a public street with the door open. Now that I am aware of that I believe the cop acting appropriately in administering minor “street justice”

  • Pingback: LAPDs Multi-Headed Snake Targets Cop At Center of Daniele Watts Incident | Jasmyne A. Cannick()

  • Pingback: Sgt. Jim Parker on Daniele Watts Being Charged with Committing Lewd Act | Jasmyne A. Cannick()

  • moore2317

    WOW!!! HEROES!!!

  • moore2317

    I AM GOING TO HAVE TO SEE HOW I CAN READ THE OPED AND ALSO TO LISTEN TO THE TAPE.

  • Pingback: Actress and Her Man Must Apologize to LAPD Sergeant--Will Chief Beck Do the Same? | Jasmyne A. Cannick()

  • Pingback: L.A. Police Chief To Testify In Trial Of Whistleblowing Captain | Jasmyne Cannick()

  • Pingback: LAPD Commander Accused of Being My Source Sues Department | Jasmyne Cannick()

  • Pingback: Judge: No Fine for LAPD Sergeant Accused of Racially Profiling Actress | JasmyneOnline.com()

  • Pingback: Administrative Law Judge Samuel Reyes Finds That Jim Parker Violated LAMC 49.5.5(A) As Alleged By City Ethics Commission, Which Is A Good Sign For Our Ongoing Project | MichaelKohlhaas.org()