Wednesday, November 17, 2010


In the past three years, LAPD cops who have been fired or otherwise disciplined have been awarded over $20 million by jury verdicts in lawsuits they brought against LAPD and the City of Los Angeles. And you can add to that the millions of dollars that have been awarded by juries to Angelenos who have filed suits claiming they were mistreated by the cops. That’s sure not helping a city that was already facing a deep financial crisis.
Here are some excerpts from the Los Angeles Police Protective League blog:
By John R. Mumma
November 12, 2010
Another sunny day in Los Angeles, another multimillion dollar jury award to a former LAPD officer treated unfairly. This, of course, does not happen every day, but it does happen all too often for a city that is in such dire budget straits that it forces veteran cops to fill in for clerical workers at the stations and can’t afford to hire jailers.
Consider the latest case, which involved 18-year veteran officer Richard Romney. He was fired in February 2008 in retaliation for telling the truth in testimony against the Department in a labor dispute. A Los Angeles federal jury awarded him nearly $4 million on November 2. This brought the total awards to former LAPD officers and sergeants to more than $20 million since 2008. When will the City and LAPD command staff learn?
For those keeping score, here are the major awards in just the past three years:
__Officer Richard Romney -- $4 million (plus $1.6 million in anticipated additional legal fees)
__Sergeant Blaine Blackstone -- $2 million (including legal fees)
__Officer Paul Waymire -- $125,000

__Officer Malcolm Thomas -- $700,000

__Officer Melissa Borck -- $2.3 million

__Officer Patricia Fuller -- $2.5 million

__Officer Donald Bender -- $3.5 million

__Officer Robert Hill -- $3.1 million

__Sergeant Ya-May Christle -- $1 million
It gets worse. The awards above don’t include an additional $18 million paid to Officer Paul Harper, and Sergeants Edward Ortiz and Brian Liddy, whose earlier verdicts were upheld by an appellate court in 2008 (and thus accrued an extra $3 million in interest). So in reality, Los Angeles taxpayers are liable for over $38,000,000 to LAPD officers in just the past three years thanks to persistent systemic abuses within the LAPD. But because not a single cent of that money came out of the LAPD budget, nothing, it seems, has changed.
If these outrageous totals haven’t been enough to get the attention of the Chief of Police, Police Commission, Mayor and City Council, and prompt them to reconsider their actions and decisions, perhaps realizing that there are still other pending cases with facts nearly identical to Romney’s will bring about the needed changes. Meanwhile, we can only continue to watch the tally grow and wonder when the madness will finally end.
Los Angeles Times reporter Joel Rubin, in a story on the Romney case, wrote: "The verdict, which stems from one of several similar lawsuits that thousands of disgruntled LAPD officers are pursuing against the department, underscores a long-running, internal rift between LAPD cops and the department’s command staff that could ultimately cost the city millions of dollars more." Just how many millions is anyone’s guess.


Anonymous said...

This is what LAPD officers say: The problem is with the LAPD Command Staff, a group of about 100 or high rankers (Captain through Chief) out of about 9900 officers. A group of about 500 or so "command staff wannabes" (lieutenants and sergeants in admin jobs who want to promote) back them up from the ranks. LAPD commanders have a well-earned reputation for arrogance and incompetence. The commanders only promote their back-office staff who have very little police experience but lots of loyalty to their bosses' careers. You cannot get promoted in LAPD unless you have a high-ranking sponsor to whom you have demonstrated loyalty. The promotion scores are based 100 per cent on interviews conducted by the command staff so they pick and choose who they want in advance. Lieutenants and above are all pre-selected by command staff; the interviews are just formalities to satisfy civil service requirements. This creates inbreeding where people are promoted as a reward for political loyalty and service that advances their sponsor's career. Most of the commanders come from blue-collar backgrounds, are socially ambitious and are seeking some affirmation that they are, as Jesse Jackson used to say, "somebody," and become extremely arrogant and self-important once they rise in the ranks. They do not know how to treat people with respect or serve as leaders; they do not have those traits because those skills do not get you promoted in the LAPD- being a political hack does. The LAPD is by no means alone- many other government agencies are like this as well. The fact that LAPD commanders have taken heavy-handedness and bad leadership to a new level, coupled with the fact that most street cops who are the targets of the abusive command staff know bullies when they see them and fight back using the legal system, has generated these lawsuits.

Anonymous said...

How can I find out who their attorneys were?