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Let’s shift our attention to some other nefarious shenanigans also involving the L-A-P-D.

Daniele Watts Controversy

A lot has happened since we last spoke about our friend LAPD Sergeant Jim Parker.

To begin with, he’s no longer a member of the LAPD. I know, I know.

Sadly, Parker quietly retired earlier this year in lieu of termination (more on that later). This after the Department initiated an investigation against him and two other officers for their unfortunate encounter with actress Daniele Watts.

You remember the story.

In September of 2014 a radio call was generated for lewd conduct in Studio City. The lewd conduct was said to be that of a man and a woman behaving indecently inside of a silver Mercedes with the door open. It turned out to be “Django Unchained” actress Daniele Watts and her man.

You already know the rest of the story. She acted a complete fool and cried, and I mean literally cried, racism and racial profiling — which as I have said before was a bunch of feces from a bull.

The story took off nationwide. Once again a white police officer targeted and mistreated an African-American. Except that it wasn’t. Not only wasn’t it a case of racism or racial profiling, as we all heard on that audio, Daniele Watts was the one tripping after being caught by police with her man presumably having sex in the car.

At the time, the Department seemingly said and did nothing to contradict Watts’ claims and so understandably there was outrage from Blacks once again targeted at the LAPD.

But then something remarkable happened.

This audio recording appeared online and told the whole story. Not only did the recording exonerate the officers involved, it showed that the officers involved actually went of their way in dealing with Watts’ who clearly was not well.

So let’s talk about that recording.

According the Department’s own records, they had a copy of the 24-minute recording of the interaction between Watts and Parker. And instead of trying to set the record straight in the media like they usually do, they choose to sit on that audio recording for whatever reason.

So enter Parker who could see where all of this was headed. I mean this story was literally national and international news. Black actress crying that she was racially profiled and discriminated against by a white LAPD officer. I mean it couldn’t come at worse time considering that everyday it seemed there was some new story of a dead or beaten nearly to death unarmed Black person by the police.

Parker releases the audio to TMZ and from there the rest is history—well sort of.

It was clear from the audio that the story wasn’t as black and white as Watts and her man made it out to be.

Eventually her and her man would be charged for misdemeanor lewd conduct to which they would both enter not guilty pleas. In the end, they would be allowed to plead no contest to disturbing the peace and ordered to write an apology letter to Parker. An apology letter that I’m told Parker never did receive.

But what about Parker?

Instead of the Department lifting him up as a hero for helping to save them from yet another embarrassment and possibly causing further tensions between the police and those policed, for his troubles Parker was sent to a Board of Rights—this after an investigation netted 42 allegations against him. Below are some of the allegations I found the most amusing–especially numbers 32 through 38.

A Board of Rights is a disciplinary hearing. On speaking about ex-detective Frank Lyga, remember Chief Charlie Beck told us that he only sends officers to Boards that he wants to see terminated. Nuff said.

So knowing all of this Parker decided to retire in lieu of termination depriving the LAPD the opportunity of further humiliating him before firing him.

But low and behold, the LAPD isn’t done with Parker just yet.

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Today, Parker was notified that the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission is pursuing an Accusation against him. (Case No. 2015-02)

I guess since the Department couldn’t get him they’ve passed the baton (no pun intended) to the Ethics Commission to pick up. Or you could say, where one head of the multi-headed snake failed, another is making a push for it. One way or another–right?

Parker is being accused of misusing or attempting to misuse his position or authority as a LAPD sergeant to create or attempt to create a private advantage or disadvantage. Say that fast three times.

He’s also being accused of misusing or disclosing confidential information acquired as a result of his position as a LAPD sergeant.

All of this stems from TMZ’s publication of the audio of what actually transpired between Watts and Parker and Parker’s admission before the Police Commission that he released the audio to protect himself from allegations of racism. I guess someone ran quick fast and in a hurry to the Ethics Commission to go and tell that.

This after his own Department put their heads in the sand and let the story get completely out of control without coming to defense of one of their veteran officers with the proof that he was in fact innocent.

It seems the City is implying that (1) Parker was paid by TMZ for audio and that (2) Parker disclosed confidential information.

So let’s talk about that.

Parker has always maintained from day one that he was not paid for the audio and that he did it to stop a riot and to protect the Department and himself from the allegations of racism that were being hurled. On that point, he’s never wavered. Nor has TMZ ever admitted anything different. Now about a riot popping off I’m not so sure, but the story had irked quite a bit of people who thought it was just more of the usual.

I don’t know what’s so confidential about Watts screaming and carrying on like child after being caught in public allegedly having sex. But let’s say that the audio was confidential information. It was confidential information that probably played a role in her and her man pleading guilty and it was confidential information that saved face for a Department that is constantly being accused of engaging in racial profiling and bias policing.

Finally, it appears that Parker is the first rank-and-file police officer that the Ethics Commission is pursuing these accusations against—ever.

If the accusations are found to have occurred and we know that at least one likely will be in terms of disclosing what the City deems as confidential information, Parker is facing a penalty of $5,000 for each violation for a total of $10,000.

Before we get there though there will be a public evidentiary hearing sometime in the next ten days and then the findings will be announced.

The Ethics Commission made an attempt on the low to try and settle with Parker and get him to pay $5,000 to which he said no.

Now before I close this out, I want to put things in perspective for you.

The incident with Daniele Watts occurred on September 11, 2014, the same week Parker was informed that an IA investigation was being launched. (1 WEEK)

The Ethics Commission notified Parker after his September 30 appearance at a Police Commission meeting that he was being investigated by that body as well .(LESS THAN A MONTH)

By January 6, 2015 the Department’s investigation was complete and Parker was recommended for a Board of Rights disciplinary hearing. (4 MONTHS)

Parker officially retired from the Los Angeles Police Department on June 30, 2015 pending a Board of Rights hearing to be held in January 2016. (NINE MONTHS).

So let’s be clear, when the LAPD wants to fast track an internal investigation, it is possible and that’s what it looks like.

Parker did what most people would expect a good cop to do, tell the truth. That’s all he did and in the process he helped stave off some of the bad mojo constantly being sent towards the LAPD. For his troubles you could say that he lost his job. I doubt Parker would have retired this year had he not been facing a Board.

By targeting Parker the City and the police department are sending a mixed messages especially as it relates to biased policing not only to the community but to the men and women who patrol the streets of Los Angeles. I don’t work for the police department but this is what I gather. If you’re a cop and someone of note accuses you of racism and discrimination in the media, even if you have a video or audio that proves otherwise, your Department will not defend you. Should you choose to defend your Department and yourself, your Department will come after you. Does that about sum it up? I thought so.

As for the rest of us, some of us end up having to deal with the likes of cops like Officer A-Hole and others a Sergeant Parker. I’d rather deal with a Sergeant Parker any day of the week.


Jasmyne Cannick