The Curious Case of the Disappearing LAPD Investigations

In the spirit of transparency and accountability, I have a suggestion for the Los Angeles Police Department, Police Commission president Steve Soboroff and the Office of the Inspector General.

I’ve been giving some deep thought to the numerous, and I mean numerous, investigations that are oftentimes opened up on some of these more high profile scandals involving the police department.

These are the investigations that are usually opened up miraculously after the news media reports on it and goes to the police department for some sort of comment. That comment is almost always that an investigation is being opened.

For example, about five months ago broke a story involving the LAPD and a song that was sung during a party hosted at the Glendale Elks Lodge by a retired officer.

That song was a parody of “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and referred to the death of Michael Brown and included lines such as, “His brain was splatter on the floor.

Well when the story broke which was around December 23, 2014, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck wasted no time in having the following tweeted out for him: “I am aware of the video released via TMZ. Like many of you, I find it offensive & absurd. It does not reflect the values of the #LAPD. I have directed our Professional Standards Bureau to look into this & determine if any active department employees were involved.”

That was followed up with one of the department’s public information officers telling the news media that an investigation would be opened immediately.

That was in December and according to my sources nothing was ever done by the department in terms of an investigation. Basically, the public was given lip service and as soon as the cameras and reporters moved on to the their next story it was back to business as usual.

That needs to stop.

First, it’s too damn hard to keep up with all of the “investigations” that are opened up as soon as the media comes a knocking. Second, the department owes the public more than lip service when it comes to these investigations. We call that accountability.

So I am proposing that the Police Commission add a standing agenda item to their weekly meeting that is dedicated to updating the public on the status of these investigations.

The update would include what phase the investigation is currently in and what is going on with the investigation. For example, who’s been interviewed? Are there more interviews that need to be conducted? Etc., etc. until the investigation is complete and then the Commission can report on the findings of said investigation.

Seems reasonable enough and it let’s us, the public, know that the Commission is monitoring the progression of these investigations from beginning to end.

As it stands now, investigations are opened up on an evening newscast and that’s usually the last we hear of it from the department.

Ideally, I’d like to see a section on the department’s website that provides this information as well, but we can get to that later. Getting the Police Commission on board to first at least agree to update the public regularly on these investigations would be a great start.

Sometimes I have to push the department to bring an investigation to closure like with the now unemployed Detective Frank “Foot-in-Mouth” Lyga and the ongoing Boxergate saga–but that’s not really my job now is it?

I think we can all agree that 2014 was a banner year for the opening of investigations after something was reported on in the news (or my blog) that the department claimed to know nothing about. I used to joke that the 10th floor of LAPDHQ’s opened up investigations every time they opened up their mouths to speak.

It’s time for huge dose of that transparency and accountability that Chief Beck is always force feeding and hoodwinking the public with and I think the Police Commission can and should help to make that happen. Follow up and follow through is everything and would greatly help with the community relationship policing or whatever it’s being called that Los Angeles is about to embark on.

The Court of Public Opinion

  • esteban flores

    The Los Angeles City Council is moments away from voting payment of a $50,000 reward in the Dodger Stadium Bryan Stow assault case.
    There will be no publicity and no media coverage.
    Councilman Englander has kept Chief Beck’s request carefully guarded to fly under the radar.
    The vote approving the reward motion today will:
    rewrite the history of the Dodger Stadium investigation.
    the original defective investigation which billed hundreds of hours of overtime for LAPD detectives and featured Chief Beck holding a news conference announcing the wrong suspect is getting erased.
    the city council is voting to approve payment to 4 anonymous reward claimants.
    chief Beck has left the required paperwork incomplete.
    this will allow Beck to disqualify 3 of the 4 claimants.
    only one anonymous claimant will receive the $50,000.
    Beck will then proceed to collect on $200,000 in reward money pledged from private sources

  • NinaG

    Oh please… The LAPD doesn’t even tell its own employees they are being investigated, much less letting the public in on anything.
    The system is set up as it is for the express purpose of secrecy under the guise of “confidentiality”.

  • SurfPuppy619

    And you think this is NOT intentional???? LAPD is a cesspool, and it starts at the top, Beck, he sets the tone and culture. Just ask Shaun Hillman.

  • robert peel

    so many times its an insider who is accused of misconduct and the system will do everything possible to silence the wronged person.when an officer comes forward to report misconduct their life as they know it is finished .how on earth in this day and age is this still going on is beyond me. but its now becoming so obvious to the public even many who allways backed the system that something has gone terribly wrong with the lapd and other departments.again officers terrified to come forward as many have heard the stories of what happens.

  • ChoirBoy

    jasmynecannick, you are right on the button about those dissapearing investigations. I have a great story for you that truly deserves your attention. His name is Detective I James Edwards. He was arrested in 2013 for embezzling money from the “Oscar Joel Bryant Foundation”..this is what the Daily News wrote:

    James Edwards, 64, was charged with one count of embezzlement with an “excessive-taking allegation” of more than $50,000, officials with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement. Prosecutors allege Edwards stole more than $150,000 over two years.

    Edwards, who began serving as president of the Oscar Joel Bryant Foundation in July 2011, an organization founded to help black officers. Edwards resigned after he was questioned by foundation officials in July 2013 about “unauthorized transactions,” officials said. Edwards, who was the only person authorized to write checks or make withdrawals from the group’s bank account, also retired from the LAPD shortly afterward.

    You should really look into this guy and his whereabouts. Where did the LAPD investigation lead??
    Dig,dig,dig jasmyne and find answers. This man truly was corrupt and a disgrace to other black officers who believe in the OJBF.

    Then again….you might not do a single thing since he is black officer who stole over $150k from donations made mostly by other black officers and donors. How juicy would it sound if it was a white or Latino officer who did this?? Let’s wait and see…what cannick’s true motivation really is. Or I she just exploiting the race card and playing victim.

  • callingoutjasmyne

    You should also post this on her Facebook so all her followers can also ask her to explain or not

  • callingoutjasmyne

    She may not respond cause whenever you call out her pot stirring lies, she goes quiet.

  • callingoutjasmyne2

    and while you are at it, please follow up on what happened to the investigation regarding who is leaking you confidential LAPD files to post on this blog…..

  • Citizen

    Shes just another police hating race baiter…