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).
It seems that the Los Angeles Ethics Commission is confused on exactly what a violation by a member of the Los Angeles Police Department looks like. So I thought I’d help them out.
Now while there are many examples that I could point to, none is more appropriate for this illustration than the one below.
This is what it looks like when a member of the Los Angeles Police Department misuses or attempts to misuse his or her position or authority as a sworn officer to create or attempt to create a private advantage or disadvantage:
Beck approved LAPD purchase of daughter’s horse, documents show
Los Angeles Times
August 6, 2014
Despite repeated claims by Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck that he played no role in the LAPD’s decision to purchase a horse from his daughter, Beck signed a document approving the deal, according to records obtained by The Times (after I published them).
When news of the horse deal surfaced earlier this week, the chief defended the purchase by saying through a spokesman he had deliberately recused himself from all aspects of the decision to acquire his daughter’s horse. Beck reiterated that stance during a news conference Tuesday. The internal deliberations over the horse between members of the mounted platoon and senior command staff had been “steered completely around me,” the chief insisted.
Volume 3, section 828 of the Los Angeles Police Department Manual reads as follows:
828. FALSE AND MISLEADING STATEMENTS. It is a violation of Department Policy for any employee to make a false statement or a misleading statement as defined in this section. Any violation of this standard constitutes misconduct, which may lead to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
False Statement Defined. A false statement is any manner of communication, including, but not limited to oral, written and electronic, which a Department employee makes when he or she knew or should have known the statement was false at the time it was made or the employee fails to correct the statement upon learning of its falsity.
Misleading Statement Defined. A misleading statement is any manner of communication, including but not limited to oral, written and electronic, which a Department employee makes when he or she:
- Provides information in an inaccurate context;
- Provides information designed to lead the investigator or another astray or misdirect others;
- Intentionally withholds information which is known or reasonably believed to be relevant; or,
- Intentionally fails to provide a complete or accurate account of matters which are known to the employee.
- Providing partial truth about an incident does not satisfy an employee’s obligation for truthfulness when relevant information has been deliberately left out. Further, an employee who becomes aware that a statement has been misunderstood or misrepresented has an obligation to correct the misunderstanding or misrepresentation. Failure to do so may create an inference that the employee made the statement with the intention to mislead.
A false statement or a misleading statement constitutes misconduct when:
- It is made while carrying out an employee’s duties;
- It results from actions incidental to an employee’s duties;
- It is made while conducting a criminal or administrative investigation, even if the investigation is preliminary in nature; or,
- It is made by an off-duty employee arising from a circumstance in which the employee’s occupation as a Department employee is a factor.
Ladies and gents, that is what an ethics violation looks like.
The Chief of Police lied about having the Department buy his daughter’s horse for her to use at work and no one at City Hall so much as raised an eyebrow let alone a concern or an investigation into ethics violations.
Why the Ethics Commission never even bothered to look into this, I don’t know. What I do know is that after the cameras and reporters moved on we never heard back as to the conclusion of the Department’s internal investigation into this matter. Like everything else involving 10th floor shenanigans, it just disappeared.