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Unfortunate Ruling for LAPD

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  • Unfortunate Ruling for LAPD

    The following is a comment posted by CGIA reference the new federal decision handed down on the Los Angeles Police Department. I'm sorry to hear about this, and unfortunately, the citizens of L.A. are going to suffer for it:

    felt compelled to comment on this ruling as it has such a vast potential for harm not only locally but nationally.



    On Thursday, August 21, 2008 U.S. District Judge Gary A. Feess issued a ruling requiring that LAPD officers working in designated specialized units submit reports fully disclosing their personal finances along with the financial holdings of any family member living in the household, whether law enforcement or not. Officers in gang and narcotics units are particularly targeted. This seems to be more of a territorial dominance stance by the federal court, backed by some civil rights lawyers with vindictive agendas, rather than a rational decision. The Los Angeles City Council seems impotent in the case, while the civilian Police Commission for some inane reason is backing the implementation of the decree. Furthermore, the ultimate irony is that this ruling comes from a court. We have courts to decide guilt or innocence, with the basic precept that all ARE INNOCENT until proven guilty. Judge Freess seems to have turned that idea on its head. His ruling appears to be founded on the premise that all are guilty from the outset.

    This ruling comes on the heels of the Rampart incident and is supposedly designed to prevent a reoccurrence of the infamous Perez scandal. The rationale is that if officers reveal their finances, internal investigators can more easily track corrupt officers. However, it has been shown by many investigations and investigators that none of the Perez capers would have shown up on his financial records even if he had been required to submit them at the time. Another obvious point that seems to have been missed in this convoluted process is that if officers have mandatory disclosure records and decide to cross the line, they certainly would not place the ill-gotten proceeds in accounts that could be discoverable and traceable.

    Besides the fact that this ruling is not likely to prevent any of the alleged violations as the court anticipates, the decision could cause catastrophic damage in the national gang violence arena. Officers from LAPD gang and narcotic units have indicated that they will not comply with the consent decree; it is an unnecessary invasion of the privacy rights of the officers and their families. They have further indicated that they will accept transfer from these highly specialized units. Such mass transfer of experienced officers would leave a great void in the management of street gang violence.

    These officers have a tremendous amount of experience, notwithstanding the vast amount of time and money that has been invested in their training. This training and experience cannot be replaced overnight. It is not simply something that a chief of police, police commission, or a federal judge can wave a magic wand over, make a decree, and after a group hug make the problem disappear. These officers cannot suddenly be replaced with qualified men and women. Who is going to want to subject themselves to this added layer of paperwork and heightened vulnerability? It takes a long while and much investment to get the quality of officers needed to do these jobs. This ruling undermines that investment by automatically questioning the integrity of every officer in these units.

    Where will the collected information be stored? Who has access? No matter the promises now, new administrations, slackened controls, not to mention simple human error could cause exposure of this sensitive material. There are no guarantees that information will not be released or leaked to defense counsel during court proceedings. Like other U.S. citizens, officers already file income tax returns in which full financial disclosure is required. Judge Freess apparently believes that 600 highly trained LAPD personnel must also file what seems to be another return and submit this to their supervisors.

    One must remember gang and narcotic officers deal on a daily basis with the most dangerous elements of our society---gangsters who have no soul, gangsters who simply kill any problem that they encounter, gangsters with a thug mentality that on a regular basis kill children, women, witnesses, and innocent bystanders. Los Angeles County has been declared the Gang Capital of the World, although in the last year there has been a reported decline in the overall gang violence in the county and specifically Los Angeles City, this decline did not happen by itself; it happened because of the dedicated men and women in the Los Angeles Police Department's Gang Impact Teams. They are the ones on the front lines bringing the gangsters to justice.

    While any rational gang cop supports prevention and intervention as a core tool in the fight against gangs, those elements cannot and do not work until the hardcore gangsters are incarcerated or fear going to jail. Once their savage element is removed from the street equation, prevention and intervention programs have a chance of success.

    In the military there is a term MLR, Main Line of Resistance. In the gang world there are two such lines: The first one is the family of the gangster, which has obviously fallen victim long ago, hence the horde of gangsters on the street. The second line, which is the only one standing between the street thugs and total anarchy on the street, Is that one maintained by the street cops, who are the first, and in some cases the only persons in the gangsters' lives to say NO, you cannot do this. Now if this decision is carried out and the officers follow up with their threat to transfer, that MLR is breached. It was breached a few years back when LAPD set the CRASH units down for months. Gang crime ran rampant. Gang violence stats spiked not only in the City of Los Angeles, but gang violence spread like wild fire across the country, the state, and the country. It is a proven fact that how Los Angeles goes in the gang world, so goes the nation.

    It took several years of hard police work to bring balance back to the local gang scene and actually achieve a reduction in gang crime. How many died due to this ill-conceived idea of shutting down the gang units? We will never really know. The stats are hidden in the overall murder statistics of the county. Many gang killings are miscalculated as some other type of homicide, thus preventing the general public from knowing the real horrendous picture of what is happening on the streets, much of it driven by gangs and narcotics. If this decision goes forward without refinement and some negotiated workable agreement, this city, county, state and nation are in for a wave of gang crime that we have never experienced before, all in the name of showmanship. The federal judiciary and the local LAPD baiters can step back and say "We showed you", while the rest of us run for our lives.



    Court orders strict LAPD financial disclosure
    Overruling the police union and the district attorney, a federal judge requires specialized officers who frequently confiscate cash, drugs and other contraband to give detailed reports.
    By Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    August 23, 2008
    A federal judge has cleared the way for the Los Angeles Police Department to impose strict financial disclosure requirements on hundreds of specialized officers, sternly criticizing the police union and Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley for opposing the measure.

    In a 26-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Gary A. Feess said his years of experience on the bench and as a former prosecutor have led him to conclude that "having a financial baseline is an essential starting point in an investigation into officers who appear to be living beyond their means or are otherwise engaged in corrupt conduct."


    He chided the Los Angeles Police Protective League for threatening that the hundreds of affected anti-gang and narcotics officers would seek transfers from their units if they were forced to submit to the disclosure requirements.

    "It would be difficult . . . to commend the LAPPL for its commitment to the public interest," Feess wrote. He said it "would be inequitable to reward them for their conduct" by granting their request for a temporary restraining order.

    Feess also went out of his way to criticize Cooley, who testified at City Council hearings on behalf of the union earlier this year. The judge said that he was "unimpressed" with the district attorney's "counterintuitive view."


    Cooley, in a statement released Friday, said he had read Feess' ruling and considered the "matter of great import and worthy of an appeal."

    The judge's ruling was signed Thursday but obtained by union and city officials Friday. At issue is the final piece of a broad reform campaign that began after the Rampart corruption scandal and has kept the department under federal oversight since 2000.

    The financial disclosure requirement for officers who frequently confiscate cash, drugs and other contraband has been one of the most contentious sticking points of a wide-ranging federal consent decree. It was meant to be a tool for supervisors trying to identify rogue officers, and union and city officials tried for years to strike a compromise between officers' privacy rights and the need to satisfy the decree.

    Late last year, as political and internal LAPD pressure mounted to get out from under the decree, the civilian Police Commission, which oversees the department, moved ahead, approving a stringent disclosure plan. The Police Protective League promptly filed a lawsuit against the plan and asked Feess, who oversees the consent decree, to issue an injunction against the department until the suit was settled.

    In his ruling, Feess decisively shot the union down, saying that it had failed to prove that it stood a good chance of winning in court and that it was in the public's interest to block the plan.

    League President Tim Sands said the union would file an federal appeal and expressed disappointment at the nature and sharp tenor of the ruling.

    Under the terms of the policy, about 600 officers would be required to disclose to department officials any outside income, real estate, stocks, other assets and debts every two years. They would also have to reveal the size of their bank accounts and include any holdings they share with family members or business partners.

    [email protected]

    Wes McBride (Sgt. LASD Ret.)
    Executive Director
    California Gang Investigators Association
    PMB 331
    5942 Edinger St., Ste. #113
    Huntington Beach, CA 92649
    888 229 2442
    Fax 714 908 7100
    Last edited by TheInlandEmpire; 08-25-2008, 02:35 PM.
    Well...Bye

  • #2
    F - THAT.

    Comment


    • #3
      Imagine how many groups like the ACLU would have a coronary if the police went around requiring lawyers to disclose ALL personal information because one of them might be corrupt or on the take.......but I guess its ok for them to require the police to do it. Ridiculous

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Fuzz View Post
        Imagine how many groups like the ACLU would have a coronary if the police went around requiring lawyers to disclose ALL personal information because one of them might be corrupt or on the take.......but I guess its ok for them to require the police to do it. Ridiculous
        The ACLU is not interested in protecting liberties ... that's the guise.
        I find laws tend to protect the criminals from the law abiding more than the contrary. $.02
        There is nothing to see here.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Fuzz View Post
          Imagine how many groups like the ACLU would have a coronary if the police went around requiring lawyers to disclose ALL personal information because one of them might be corrupt or on the take.......but I guess its ok for them to require the police to do it. Ridiculous
          Although I think that the financial disclosure requirements are unreasonable and overly intrusive, the policy certainly does not require disclosure of "ALL personal information."

          The financial disclosure requirements were a consequence of a consent decree that LAPD agreed to several years ago.
          Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
          Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

          Comment


          • #6
            Hopefully, all the affected officers will transfer out of those units and no one will want to replace them. Maybe the ones who will be forcibly transferred into the units will do nothing more than is absolutely required to keep their jobs, the units will fall apart, and the chief will pay the price.
            Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

            I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

            Comment


            • #7
              So if you work in certain units all of your personal financial records are now public record. Yeah nothing bad will come from this...
              The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

              Comment


              • #8
                Wow....the Union was working hard on this one. Here's their response:

                For Immediate Release

                Contact:Jude Schneider O: (310) 854-8251 or C: (310) 497-7312



                Los Angeles, August 22, 2008 – In response to Judge Gary Feess’s lifting of the temporary restraining order that had halted implementation of the Special Order mandating that officers in gang and narcotics units be required to complete comprehensive financial disclosure forms, the Los Angeles Police Protective League today announced that it will be going to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal to put a stay on financial disclosures until the League’s arguments are fully addressed and heard in court.

                Tim Sands, President of the League today issued the following statement:

                “Judge Feess’s response to our petition for a temporary restraining order is astonishing. We are very disappointed that he did not give us an objective reading on any of the facts we presented, but continued to present arguments that are not factually substantiated and are internally contradictory.

                “We are particularly puzzled that he would discount the opinion of Los Angeles’ County District Attorney Steve Cooley, by suggesting that he has not provided ‘any foundation for his expertise in his field’ despite his 35 years of experience in the District Attorney’s office, including eight years as the District Attorney adjudicating cases involving LAPD officers. The judge uses this specious argument in order to dismiss the District Attorney’s arguments as ‘frankly counterintuitive’ and to hold up Monitor Michael Cherkasky’s comments as more persuasive. The Monitor has limited experience in the field, and in fact went to the District Attorney to obtain expertise and information in the field of financial disclosures.

                “The judge repeatedly refers to the Monitor’s assertions that the current financial disclosures represent best practices, which is technically impossible, since this form of financial disclosures has not been implemented anywhere in the country and the Monitor has provided no evidence to substantiate his claim.

                “The judge also fails to disclose that Cherkasky is not an objective observer. He has a financial interest in keeping the Consent Decree open at the expense of Los Angeles taxpayers. The taxpayers are currently footing the bill for 100% of Cherkasky’s services, despite that 95% of the consent decree has been met.

                “We are very disappointed that the judge continues to discount evidence that paragraph 132 is poor policy that would put officers and their families at risk, while having no demonstrable positive outcomes.

                “We are confident that we will prevail in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.”
                "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ygbfkm! Eff That!
                  The comments made herein are those solely of author and in no way reflect the opinions of any other person, agency or other entity.

                  Surfs Up on youtube!

                  Specialized Services Group on Facebook!

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                  • #10
                    I spoke with alot of the LAPD gang guys and they told me that they will leave all of the specialized units and go back to patrol!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      How are they going to force the disclosure of records for non department employees?

                      Comment


                      • #12

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DAL View Post
                          Although I think that the financial disclosure requirements are unreasonable and overly intrusive, the policy certainly does not require disclosure of "ALL personal information."

                          The financial disclosure requirements were a consequence of a consent decree that LAPD agreed to several years ago.
                          No, but just as we always talk about the slippery slope......this is a giant slide down it. If they can justify financial disclosure from not only an officer, but any family living in your home then whats to stop them from requiring all officers document all friends,contacts,destinations of travel, etc. Consent decree or not I cant for the life of me understand how the courts can trample on the lives of an officer and their family. I'd also like to know how that is going to be enforced...... how exactly are the courts going to justify forcing an aunt or grandmother living in the household to hand over personal records. Even if the officer wanted to what if the relative doesnt give them to the officer......what now? As I mentioned earlier..... lets have the attorneys and judges post all of their own personal financial information....... and their relatives too

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JoePublic View Post
                            The ACLU is not interested in protecting liberties ... that's the guise.
                            I find laws tend to protect the criminals from the law abiding more than the contrary. $.02
                            I completely agree.... but they sure like to talk a good talk.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JoePublic View Post
                              The ACLU is not interested in protecting liberties ... that's the guise.
                              I find laws tend to protect the criminals from the law abiding more than the contrary. $.02
                              Wow joe public i can't believe your already disclosing your finances on this website. I also find it hard to believe that you only have 2 cents. maybe all the LAPD guys just need to explain how they all have only 2 cents!!!
                              Not affiliated with my avatar. My opinions are all mine and do not represent anybody else. All names are fictional and coincidental if there is someone in the world with aforementioned name.

                              Comment

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