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).
A Los Angeles Times article entitled “LAPD panel seeks to learn whether Beck eased discipline of sergeant” dated August 3, 2014 quoted the following:
An LAPD official who has been briefed on the Hoopes case said the department reduced the punishment because, shortly before the hearing date, witnesses either changed their testimony or said they would not testify at all. The source, who requested anonymity because police personnel matters are confidential, said concerns about what Hoopes might have said at the hearing played no role in the department’s decision.
LAPD officers are not allowed to refuse to testify at a Board of Rights hearing or in any other legal hearing (court, etc.). LAPD officers are under what is known as Lybarger Rule.
The “Lybarger Rule” enables governmental employers to obtain compelled statements for administrative purposes by advising the employee the compelled statement cannot be used in a criminal prosecution.
If asked to testify and an officer of any ranking refuses, that is viewed as insubordination and an officer can and usually will be terminated.
This is information that you the average civilian would not know and the Department knows that. It was a nice try though.
The witnesses in the case regarding Sergeant George Hoopes’ sexual relations with female officers he supervised almost certainly involved other officers as witnesses and not civilians. I mean after all, it’s a LAPD Board of Rights hearing.
So what I am saying to you is that whomever the Times quoted, lied. And anyone else toting that same story about witnesses refusing to testify are lying or in more technical terms, are providing false and misleading statements that are then being passed off to the public as truth.
And because I know proof is a big deal when discussing such matters, I managed to get my hands on one of the forms used in the Department that says as much.
The Los Angeles Police Department Administrative Admonition of Rights Employee Advisement Form (PSB 02/09) says:
As a supervisor of the LAPD, and as authorized by the Chief of Police, I want to inform you that your silence could be deemed as insubordination and lead to administrative discipline, which could result in your discharge or removal from office, and that any statement made under the compulsion of the threat of such discipline cannot be used against you in any subsequent criminal matters.
I hereby order you to answer all questions and provide a statement in this manner.
You can download and read the form for yourself here. And keep in mind that officers can waive their rights but they very rarely ever do.
And if you Mr. or Ms. Civilian think that I am lying, please stop the next patrol officer you see and ask him or her two questions. 1, can you refuse to testify before a Board of Rights hearing? And 2, what would happen to you if you refused to testify at a Board of Rights hearing? You could also ask these attorneys who usually represent cops: Greg Smith, Bill Seki, Robert Rico, Jodi Ganda, Gary Ingemunson, Ira Salzman, and Matthew McNichols.
The bottom line is that the hearing was cancelled because Sergeant Hoopes had compromising photos of Chief’s daughter that through his attorney he made clear he’d be willing to use as leverage.
Those photos were sent via text to Newton Division’s Lt. Barboza, who as I have already documented, deleted them from his phone causing his boss Captain Rodriguez to be demoted and transferred to Foothill Division.
In other words, a hot mess.