Patterico's Pontifications


Police Misconduct? Yes — If the L.A. Times Is To Be Believed . . .

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 12:05 am

This sounds really bad — if you believe what the article says.

The thing is, I don’t trust the L.A. Times.

I’m not saying I do or don’t believe it. I’m saying that I want to see the evidence myself.

I’m saying I’m done blindly trusting this paper. I’ve been burned too many times.

The editors say they have the video. Would it be asking too much for them to post it?


  1. So…someone just HAPPENED to have left $200+ of drugs next to this guy?

    Or maybe the cops pack it in their batpacks….


    Comment by Foxfier (15ac79) — 7/1/2008 @ 12:43 am

  2. Anyone who has watched an episode of COPS knows that 20 minutes isn’t an unreasonable amount of time to go back and look for the drugs. Drugs are small. It takes a while to find them sometimes. Just because he couldn’t pick it up on the first pass, doesn’t mean he didn’t see the suspect throw it.

    Comment by XBradTC (e86bab) — 7/1/2008 @ 1:54 am

  3. You should learn to respect your journalistic betters.

    Comment by L.A. Times (42e9f0) — 7/1/2008 @ 2:32 am

  4. Anyone who has watched an episode of COPS knows that 20 minutes isn’t an unreasonable amount of time to go back and look for the drugs.
    Sworn testimony: “As it hit the dumpster, I observed that once it landed on the floor it cracked open,” Amio told jurors.

    Comment by cboldt (3d73dd) — 7/1/2008 @ 4:37 am

  5. Cops screw up their timelines all the time. Not just a year after the event when it’s understandable if they cannot remember clearly but an hour after the event when they’re doing their reports.

    First they had to secure the suspect and search him for weapons. I doubt if either would leave his partner alone with the suspect at that point to search for the thrown object. Not until backup comes. When backup does come, it takes a little while to shake out what needs to be done and who is going to be doing what. Twenty minutes would not have been an unreasonable time to recover the box as XBradTC said.

    Malice? I am more likely to attribute it to writing a retarded report and then sticking to it.

    I have seen it in as simple a thing as driving too fast in a school zone. I have a stock subpoena which demands, among other things, all calls in and all time-logs of the officer(s) in any case when the timeline is important officer testifies. It’s a lot of fun when the police report says your client was stopped at 16:40 and you see that that was actually the time he was brought into the station.

    Comment by nk (11c9c1) — 7/1/2008 @ 4:38 am

  6. it was good enough to persuade a superior court judge. i’m pretty sure she doesn’t work for the times.

    i have personally witnessed police perjury. on one occasion, a deputy sheriff lied about events i had personally witnessed.

    Comment by assistant devil's advocate (fef4a1) — 7/1/2008 @ 9:36 am

  7. From the article (web version):

    During the trial, which began Friday, the officers told jurors that they had chased Alarcon, 29, into his Hollywood apartment building last year and seen him throw away a black object.

    They seen him throw it away? Cripes, have they eliminated all the copy editors?

    Comment by JVW (ce519b) — 7/1/2008 @ 11:02 am

  8. OK, on second thought I understand that they are matching the tense of “had chased,” but I still think this could have been written differently to avoid the apparent awkwardness.

    Comment by JVW (ce519b) — 7/1/2008 @ 11:04 am

  9. What concerns me regarding this is:

    “Los Angeles Police Department officials said they had launched an internal affairs investigation of the officers. “

    In light of articles posted here and elsewhere re the internal conflicts of the LAPD and Bratton and Baca’s very differing views on cause and effect of crime in LA, is the dept. able to do a non-biased internal investigation?

    Also, if the internal investigation is pending, then why this:

    “Additionally, prosecutors said they would refer the matter to a division within the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office that investigates police misconduct cases.

    Is there already the assumption that there was indeed police midsconduct even before the internal investigation has taken place? Or is this standard practice?

    Comment by Dana (a61bbb) — 7/1/2008 @ 11:19 am

  10. Tell us the story, ADA.

    Comment by luagha (5cbe06) — 7/1/2008 @ 12:34 pm

  11. MR. DA, why don’t you speak to the DDA who handled the case? Isn’t she just down the hall from you? Perhaps she can help you get the facts straight.

    Comment by Friendly Advice (34e1c6) — 7/1/2008 @ 12:49 pm

  12. Seems silly to me, they had a good case without claiming they found the drugs immediately. I’ve had to search areas for drugs and sometimes it takes a while, and sometimes they’re right at the suspect’s feet, but either way, you go to court, you tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may. It’s foolish to risk your career for a 2-bit hood, who you can catch any one of the next 1,000 times he’s going to be holding dope.

    Comment by Patrick (8f254d) — 7/1/2008 @ 3:37 pm

  13. MR. DA, why don’t you speak to the DDA who handled the case? Isn’t she just down the hall from you? Perhaps she can help you get the facts straight.

    She is not. She is in a different office.

    Comment by Patterico (cb443b) — 7/1/2008 @ 11:40 pm

  14. Here’s the time line:

    –The PD locked the officers down to their testimony that they immediately recovered the tossed dope;

    –The PD then provided for the first time a copy of the video that may actually have been from a camera set up by the defendant;

    –The DA saw that it in fact required a 20-minute search to locate the tossed contraband. Also heard in the audio was a comment that “creative” writing was needed in the police report;

    –At the next court session, the DA moved to dismiss the case.

    By the way, the PD could have sought a dismissal by playing the video for the prosecutor’s boss before the trial. Instead, the PD locked the officers in and invited the LA Times to watch and shoot a picture.

    Comment by Alta Bob (e43e07) — 7/2/2008 @ 7:11 am

  15. There are times when you can talk to the other side and the judge and times when you can’t, Alta Bob. It’s a dynamic thing. It’s best to err on the side of over-aggressiveness when your client is facing a prison sentence.

    Comment by nk (16accd) — 7/2/2008 @ 3:14 pm

  16. Dismissal was a done deal. The drama was done to force the DA to go after the officers.

    Comment by Alta Bob (e43e07) — 7/2/2008 @ 11:06 pm

  17. By the way, the PD likes to say the dope was planted by the officers but that is contrary to the tape showing they spent 20 minutes looking for it.

    Comment by Alta Bob (e43e07) — 7/3/2008 @ 6:48 am

  18. Yes, I think at most it was a retarded story to avoid Fourth Amendment issues. And I wonder why this did not come up earlier in a motion to suppress.

    Comment by nk (16accd) — 7/3/2008 @ 7:08 am

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