Michael Richardson, father of Mitrice Richardson continually disrespected by Sheriff’s department

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Latest developments not shared with father call into question sheriff’s disrespect towards Black fathers

Michael Richardson was not notified that the coroner’s office had decided to undergo a second search for possibly overlooked body parts of his daughter Mitrice Richardson, who was found dead in a Malibu ravine last year after being reported missing for 11 months. Although the media was alerted last Thursday to the search, Richardson didn’t find out about it until media reports surfaced Sunday that bone fragments, possibly including two fingers and wrist were reportedly found in the same area her body was recovered from.

This isn’t the first time that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office headed by Lee Baca failed to notify Michael Richardson about something regarding his daughter. When Mitrice was initially found after disappearing from the Lost Hills- Malibu Sheriff’s Department in September 2009, Richardson was notified via a voicemail from the coroner’s office that the skeletal remains were in fact his daughters while Baca and sheriff’s spokesperson Steve Whitmore called a news conference to tell the media.

For Richardson this is another mistake in a long line of mistakes that started with his daughter being arrested for failure to pay a restaurant bill and possession of less than an ounce of personal use marijuana.

“They’re playing games now,” says Richardson. “As a black man, I get no respect either way it goes from the sheriff’s department. My daughter is dead because of them and now even after her death, they are continuing to act as if she did not have a father, as if I haven’t been a part of trying to find her and solve her murder since she first went missing. This is ridiculous and as black men we have to demand better. I was not an absent father when Mitrice was alive and I won’t be after death.”

Richardson believes that the sheriff’s behavior is the result of a belief that black fathers are either in prison, on drugs, banging, or just missing in action.

“They don’t know how to act when there’s a black father who is involved in their child’s life,” reflects Richardson.

Besides not being notified about the search or discovery, Richardson also admits he was not notified about the federal bureau of investigations declining to assist in the investigation of his daughter’s death. A request that was made almost a year after the family first requested their involvement by Sheriff Lee Baca. On Friday, the federal agency said that its work would be duplicative and that there were chain-of-custody issues because of the handling of Richardson’s clothing after her remains were found.

“I got a call from a friend who told me after she found out from the news media,” said Richardson.

The Sheriff’s Department has come under intense fire from the Black community for releasing Mitrice Richardson into the remote area surrounding the Lost Hills-Malibu Sheriff’s Department headquarters after midnight, without her car, purse or cellphone, and without any apparent way of getting home.

When her remains were found, the coroner’s office blasted the Sheriff’s Department for moving the remains before coroner’s investigators could examine them.

In November, a coroner’s official said actions by sheriff’s deputies may have violated the law by removing the remains without permission from the coroner’s office and may have undermined the thoroughness of the coroner’s investigation.

Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said he was “very clear” with sheriff’s officials and could not think of another case in which a police agency had moved entire skeletal remains without the coroner’s approval.

A sheriff’s spokesman said at the time that deputies removed Richardson’s body from the scene without the coroner’s permission because they were concerned that it was getting dark and that animals might destroy the remains.

“It’s interesting and almost laughable that the sheriff’s would be concerned about the darkness considering when they say they let my daughter go free. It was pitch black at the time,” commented Richardson.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the sheriff’s department’s Steve Whitmore said Sunday that 99% of Richardson’s remains had been found shortly after their discovery but that the coroner’s office had long wanted to send out its investigators to search the area again.

Rainy conditions have hampered previous efforts, but sunny, dry weather allowed investigators to visit the site by helicopter on Sunday.

Richardson vows to keep strong in the fight for answers into how his daughter died. He does not believe that she fell or that she committed suicide. He believes that she was murdered and dumped there as most in the community believe.

“At some point the truth is going to come out and when it does you may be surprised—or not—at who the culprit is,” said Richardson eluding to the long held belief by many in the Black community that someone from the sheriff’s department murdered Mitrice.

For the latest information regarding Mitrice Richardson, please log onto www.bringmitricejustice.org.

Uncut & Unedited

Because the news media can’t say half of what Michael Richardson tells them…here it is in his words, uncut and unedited.

The Court of Public Opinion

  • Daz Dilli

    Yo – Michael Richardson.

    Its Dazz here. your white-skinned brother.
    Skin don’t come much whiter than my skin.
    I also like to think that it is rare to find this much soul wrapped in skin so white.

    I was lucky, there were no blacks living in the neighborhood where I grew up as a child.
    Now wait a second – I said i was lucky.

    I was lucky because even though I grew up in an all-white neighborhood the school made sure that I was not deprived. Every morning my enrichment was brought to the school from another neighborhood on yellow busses carrying my black classmates.

    It is difficult to explain to most people how lucky I was.

    Some things don’t lend themselves well to explanation. Some things you just have to know in order to really know. It can be frustrating, but I guess thats just just the way it is with some things.

    Michael Richardson – they have really been handing it to you lately, haven’t they?

    This is about more than just being rude and mean and discourteous.

    Most people wouldn’t even dream of the paid psychology specialists they have working as consultants on the underground team developing strategies just for tiring you out. Just for exhausting you to the point where even the strongest and sturdiest of men would want to let go and collapse.

    And say “Alright, I give up. I will take it.”

    “I need to rest. How much longer are you going to make me fight?

    I need to sleep. I need to lie down. Alright, I give up.

    I will take it. I will take your g-dd-m money.”

  • Daz Dilli

    I am guessing that is where things are right now.

    Its too quiet out there. The judge ordered them to turn over the booking video.
    Now everything is quiet. I am guessing that the county requested settlement negotiations and the judge has granted the request and put everyone under gag order.

    The county probably has put $20 million on the table. The Board of Supervisors have sent word they are ready to approve. Maybe they only have $12 million on the table. Wait til the end of the week and it will be $20 million.

    The attorney’s are probably advising you to settle. It is probably the best time for the attorneys to settle and take their cut. If you don’t settle now – they probably will have to go a long time ringing up fees and expenses with no cash flow.

    You know what, Michael Richardson?

    If they are telling you that now is the best time to settle – they are probably right.
    They are right from a financial analysis. Let’s say its $20 million.
    Let’s say it gets split 50-50 with Mitrice’s mother.
    So your team gets $10 million and let’s say the attorney’s get $5 million of that.
    Then you would be looking at $5 million for yourself.

    You could do a lot with $5 million. You could do a lot of whatever you feel is good and righteous with $5 million.

    But I don’t think you have been charging like a lion up that hill for almost 1 1/2 years for $5 million.

    I don’t think you have been coming as hard as steel and as serious as a left-hook from Cassius Clay for $5 million or $10 million or any of millions.

    For them to even imagine that they could hurt your baby daughter and get away with it is bad enough.
    For them to actually follow through and do it?

    Mr. Michael Richardson – I must confess, I am angry.
    I think I may be even angrier than you are.

    For these people to imagine that they can hurt my black brother’s baby daughter
    and then put my black brother through 1 1/2 years of what they have been doing and then to get away with it all?

    To imagine it is bad enough. But to actually follow through and try to get away
    with it over my black brother.

    No!. You don’t go there. You don’t never go there.

    If the money is on the table right now – and maybe I am wrong, maybe it isn’t – but if the money is on the table and you take the money, that means they get away.

    And I know that is not what you came for and it will not calm you.
    And it will not calm me, either.