City Attorney Contracts Hired Guns to Defend Internal Corruption

By: 
Stephen Downing

A Case History

On Sept. 26, 2019 the Beachcomber reported the story of Christopher Williams’ inexplicable experience with the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD), the Citizen’s Police Complaint Commission (CPCC) and the city attorney’s office after the 35-year old African American city bus driver suffered a broken arm at the hands of the LBPD and subsequently filed a complaint alleging excessive force, unlawful detention/false arrest and conspiracy to cover-up.

The article exposed how City Hall’s so-called “separate and independent” internal complaint investigation process amounted to nothing more than a deceitful public relations ruse perpetrated upon the community.

The story also explained why the Beachcomber filed a lawsuit to compel production of the investigative records surrounding Williams’ complaint following City Attorney Charles Parkin’s contrived decision to refuse release of the internal investigative records as required by Senate Bill 1421.

The article can be read here: https://beachcomber.news/content/frustration-dishonesty

Fifteen months later – in a Part One story titled “City Settles Beachcomber Lawsuit” – this newspaper published an in-depth audit of the CPCC investigation which exposed gross investigative incompetence, a failure to provide photos for identification, locate and interview independent witnesses, an arbitrary and unsupported assignment of Williams’ use of force allegations against Officer Reyes (a Hispanic) to Officer Ernest (a Caucasian) and the corrupt concealment from CPCC commissioners of corroborating statements from medical personnel who treated Williams.

That Part One article can be read here: https://beachcomber.news/content/city-settles-beachcomber-lawsuit

The Part Two article – entitled “Lawsuit Exposes LBPD Internal Affairs Corruption” – published on Feb. 11, 2021 – exposed collusion between the city attorney’s office and the LBPD’s Internal Affairs Division to conceal documents required by the settlement, the gross failures of the Internal Affairs investigation, an arbitrary, unsupported change in investigative focus against the accused officer, the incompetence of the LBPD’s review systems, a cover-up engineered by the IAD investigator and “The Big Lie” a seven-paragraph opinion piece based upon this writers’ conclusions as a former LAPD deputy chief of police in matters related to internal investigations, review and adjudication processes.

That article can be read here: https://beachcomber.news/content/lawsuit-exposes-lbpd-internal-affairs-corruption

Hired Guns File Motion to Exclude Beachcomber Witness

Prior to the Beachcomber investigations related to this case, Williams – though his attorney – filed a civil rights action with the United States District Court.

The city attorney – for reasons unexplained – hired outside counsel to defend the city. The costs related to the litigation thus far are unknown.

According to court documents recently filed by the outside law firm – Thomas Hurrell and Natalie U. Luongo of Hurrell Cantrall LLP – the defendant’s attorneys argue that the Beachcomber’s investigative facts uncovered in the SB 1421 lawsuit and this writers discoveries of what the documents exposed should not be admissible. They also argue that the entire Internal Affairs investigation into the incident is irrelevant and inadmissible evidence to prove Williams’ claims of conspiracy and cover-up.

In a Nov. 15 motion filed with the court the attorneys allege that this writers’ findings though the PRA lawsuit and document discovery are “irrelevant to the issue of liability, inadmissible hearsay and unreliable.”

They also advise the judge that everything that this writer can testify to regarding content of the Beachcomber’s Public Records Request (PRA) and the documents produced as result of the Beachcomber lawsuit would be “irrelevant hearsay”… alleging that “news reports, blogs or other media of the subject incident or other unrelated incidents are not based on personal knowledge, contain inadmissible hearsay…” and are “not a reliable means by which plaintiff can establish liability.”

The lawyers argue “The probative value of media coverage is substantially outweighed by the danger of undue prejudice, confusion of the issues and waste of time.”

After reading the motions made by Parkin’s outside attorneys this writer informed Christopher William’s attorney that “If subpoenaed to testify I assure you that my testimony will not be based upon any online or published media article defined as inadmissible hearsay, but restricted to my personal investigation of the incident, review of medical records, walk-through in the area of the incident with Christopher Williams and his attorney, my personal examination of documents recovered by means of the Beachcomber lawsuit, my personal correspondence with the city attorney pointing out the internal cover-ups related to failures in settlement – related document production and my conclusions as a person with extensive personal experience in law enforcement matters related to internal police investigations, their review and adjudication processes as applied to a thorough examination of the related documents.”

This is a developing story.

Stephen Downing is a resident of Long Beach and a retired LAPD deputy chief of police.

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Comments

AGAIN, !! using our tax dollars to help the LBPD hide incompetence and corruption. The corrupt city attorney don't care because its not their money and we the citizens of the LBC let them get away with it. Lets bring in the Fed's to investigate this out of control corrupt city, when will we have enough SMH

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