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An LAPD Favorite

-by Bill Watkins 5/22/2017

Police Corruption

CPC 236:
False imprisonment is the unlawful violation of the personal liberty of another.

CPC 832.5 (a) (1) Each department or agency in this state that employs peace officers shall establish a procedure to investigate complaints by members of the public against the personnel of these departments or agencies, and shall make a written description of the procedure available to the public.

BPC 6068 Attorney Duties:
(a) To support the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this state.
(f) To advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which he or she is charged.
(g) Not to encourage either the commencement or the continuance of an action or proceeding from any corrupt motive of passion or interest

***

Once I posed the dangers of involving anger in police work to a Sergeant at LAPD’s Hollenbeck Division headquarters.

He answered back with enthusiasm:

“Anger helps us.  I believe it is good for officers.”

I’ve personally been arrested by LAPD twice without evidence or probable cause.  The arrests were made when I stood on the Constitution, asserted my rights…

And they got mad.

***

For both arrests, by the way, I swiftly went to court and proved my factual innocence to a judge, and am still awaiting City of Los Angeles reimbursements for the troubles they caused me, financially and otherwise.

The total personal financial cost of LAPD mistakes to me:

$2500 in bail money.

Twenty total hours lost in actual time in my life; about fifty total hours of affect, as I lost two days due to a sleep-deprived jail stay in one of those illegal arrests.

If one wondered, the criminal code for arresting and detaining a California citizen illegally without probable cause is CPC 236, spelled out above.

But practice and code are two different things, and one would be very hard-pressed to find any filings of charges against police officers in this state for a CPC 236 violation.

Unfortunately, police—including the LAPD, are protected in a biased perversion of another big code: CPC 832.5.

That is the code used and abused by City and District Attorney offices to keep a corrupt cycle of “police investigating police” whirling and swirling.

The wording is key: “complaints by members of the public against” police officers…

Complaints.  Okay, “They were rude.”  “Unprofessional.”  “Made me feel bad.”  “Made me feel scared.”  “Did not say ‘please’ or ‘thank you.”  “The officer was discourteous and ordered me around too much.”

What about Criminal Charges???

“He hurt my shoulder.”  “They had no evidence, got mad, then roughly cuffed me and arrested me.”  Those are crimes, if true.  CPC 240 Assault, and CPC 236 Illegal Detainment.

Shouldn’t a differentiation be made between “complaints” and “criminal charges?”

Shouldn’t an independent investigator without ties to police officers investigate all criminal complaints against police?

If there is a professional standards issue, by all means—832.5 plays, and the Internal Affairs process can have their way, decide if officers did wrong.

But with criminal charges:

We need to budget and acquire a way to independently investigate a police officer—like any other citizen—of culpability in that crime.

Nixon was not above the law.  Trump is not above the law.  Neither should cops be above the law, and neither should city and district attorneys claim them as “clients” to create even more bias in the process.

The Attorney’s Oath must be followed.

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