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).
One of my favorite scenes from the movie the Wizard of Oz is the one where Dorothy’s dog Toto begins to pull back the curtains and the Great and Powerful Oz says the famous line, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”
Today while members of what has often been referred to as the Los Angeles Police Department’s multi-headed snake were slithering their way around questions at the Police Commission meeting regarding the latest in an ongoing scandal (just in time for Halloween) involving the findings of the Inspector General’s report on the “ghost cars,” even more disturbing deeds were being carried out and I bet you didn’t even know about it.
While Chief Charlie Beck was front and center at today’s Police Commission meeting, someone very high up on the totem pole over at 100 West First Street decided to or was ordered to (I haven’t found out which yet) sic the city’s Ethics Commission on one of their own.
Sergeant Jim Parker was ceremoniously informed today that the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission has launched an investigation into him for possible ethics violations. I think this has got to be a first for the Commission to investigate a sworn peace officer. I could be wrong, but I think it is.
At issue for the Commission, allegedly, is the dissemination of private information pertaining to a personnel investigation. That’s all code talk for the multi-headed snake is pissed about the TMZ leak of that audio and Parker’s attempts to set the record straight about that incident with Daniele Watts and her man in Studio City.
Parker was the cop who had that awful encounter with Watts and her man in Studio City last month that went viral after she took to social media to claim racial profiling. Watts and her man alleged that Parker and two other cops unfairly handcuffed her when she refused to identify herself after being asked by officers responding to a call of a couple having sex in their car.
I’ll say it again, Parker and the two other cops showed remarkable patience with Watts and her man. Had that been me, I can’t say she’d have gotten the same treatment. I don’t do diva, never have and never will. But I digressed.
Since when does the Ethics Commission investigate cops?
And I’ll quote from their own mission statement:
The Ethics Commission helps to preserve the public trust by promoting elections and government decisions that are fair, transparent, and accountable. The Commission acts through its voter mandate to shape, administer, and enforce laws regarding governmental ethics, conflicts of interests, campaign financing, and lobbying.
The Ethic Commission was put into place primarily to deal with elected officials, candidates, and election campaign financing—none of which has anything to do with Sergeant Parker or his situation.
Add to Parker’s woes, I hear that he was guest of honor at LAPD’s Valley Internal Affairs office where he was grilled for about 90 minutes. The department launched an investigation after Watts and her man went public claiming racism. Watts nor her man ever filed an actual complaint—but that’s not stopping the department from moving ahead with a full investigation.
I’m told that Parker is facing about six counts of—wait for it, wait for it—discourteous remarks. Yes people, discourteous remarks.
And it’s at this point that I want to call your attention to the audio recording of that incident. There were a lot of discourteous remarks but for once, they weren’t from the cops.
Among one of the most stupid claims by the department, if it’s true, is that Parker was being discourteous when he said that he was mildly interested that she had a publicist. Also at issue is Parker saying ‘who brought up a race card’ after Watts insinuated she was stopped because she is Black and her man is white. His comment, ‘thank you for bringing up the race card, I never hear that,’ is also under scrutiny as evidence of even more discourteousness, as is his asking Watts if she needed the paramedics. Good God people, there are real injustices happening to civilians everyday in Los Angeles by the police and this is what the department wants to waste resources and energy on?
Parker was also questioned on whether or not he was paid by any media for the audio that he released. I’m told this was right around the time that he was informed that the department had pulled and reviewed all of his incoming and outgoing emails–as he knew that they would. Having nothing to hide, Parker is said to have told the investigators the same thing that he told all of us, he released the audio to protect himself and no he wasn’t paid anything to do so.
Again, and I know I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but it must be said.
You’ve got Captains in the department stealing money and laptop computers from non-profits. You’ve got a detective who thinks he’s God’s give to the department and who very well might have gotten away with murdering another cop. Then there’s the police officer who beat his cop wife (Happy Domestic Violence Prevention Awareness Month) and seemingly with the department’s blessing is allowed to keep his job and represent the LAPD in its recruiting efforts and THIS is what the department deems a priority? Give me a fucking break.
This was probably one of the few opportunities for the LAPD and Blacks to stand together on an issue involving racial profiling—because it didn’t happen and many of us said so and made it clear that Daniele Watts and her man needed to STFU and go somewhere. But no—instead of seeing this as a win-win for the department, the 10th floor gets its panties (or boxers, I just can’t tell these days) in a bunch over a cop trying to prove to the world, that for once the LAPD did not racially profile a Black person.
There are some cops who actually do deserve to lose their job, Parker isn’t one of them. I think there are enough people in Los Angeles who agree and could help drive that point home to the multi-headed snake’s lair at 100 West First Street and the people who feed it just across the street.