By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
On a planet bombarded with daily stories of horrific violence and cruelty, there is one true Valentine Day's tale that proves once-bitter, seemingly eternal enemies can reconcile and fall into passionate, puppy love.
Think: Hezbollah soldier hooking up with an Orthodox rabbi.
Think: gazillionaire, Mormon Republican presidential candidate hooking up with a dirt-poor, illegal immigrant from Mexico.
Think: Rick Santorum hooking up with Elton John.
Now that you've been prepared for the impossible, consider a real-life, Orange County-born love story that gives one hope that anything is possible on Earth.
Meet Christopher Roger Brown, a 30-year-old plumber. He's a convicted felon, a member of a criminal street gang, a burglar, a thief and, if police are right, a violent white supremacist. He is so committed to the notion of Caucasian superiority to other races that he has covered his body with pro-Adolf Hitler symbols designed to terrorize minorities. Prominently tattooed on his chin is "88"—"Heil Hitler" in white-power shorthand. A "1" and a "4" are tattooed underneath his right and left eyes, respectively—a reference to the 14 Words, a neo-Nazi mantra stressing the importance of maintaining racial purity.
Now meet Jennifer Tamara McClain, a 29-year-old, veteran law-enforcement officer. Though she lives in Long Beach, McClain is an Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) deputy, a mother and a girlfriend. She is assigned to work in the Men's Central Jail in Santa Ana. She is also African-American and, although I wasn't able to interview her, most likely doesn't appreciate white-supremacist ideology.
As it turns out, Cupid has a terrific sense of humor because he simultaneously fired his magical love arrows into Brown and McClain, and the rest is history: The white supremacist who is currently in custody for attacking a black man while yelling racial epithets during an alleged 2009 Costa Mesa robbery hooked up with the black sheriff's deputy.
Well, the rest isn't history yet.
Society rejects the Brown-McClain relationship, but not for race reasons. He is an inmate, and until Feb. 9, she was one of his jail guards. On that date, the deputy's often-proved affection for her pro-Nazi paramour ended tragically.
McClain found herself in handcuffs when fellow deputies arrested her on suspicion of intensely pleasuring an Orange County Skinhead, or some similar charge. Never mind that the OC Skins are vicious soldiers (along with Public Enemy Number One Death Squad and Nazi Low Riders) in the Aryan Brotherhood's murderous underworld empire; deputies aren't allowed to have sex with inmates even when it's consensual.
For her protection (or was it to deny other white-supremacist inmates the chance for unexpected bliss?), McClain was booked in the Santa Ana city jail and released from custody on her own recognizance. The DA's office is investigating prior to making a formal decision on charges.
In the wake of McClain's arrest, Jim Amormino, an OCSD spokesman, told reporters the deputy and an unidentified inmate had "sex more than once." Sources tell the Weekly it happened at least 20 times and included every type of intercourse imaginable—and allegedly even took place inside a guard station.
If the allegations are true, the illicit sex muddies the sheriff's badge practically soiled several years ago by Mike Carona, our onetime horn-dog sheriff turned convicted felon and federal-prison resident.
Tom Dominguez, president of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs (AOCDS), felt the need to issue a statement. "The allegations being made against one of our own are very serious," he said in a prepared media statement. "It is my understanding the deputy has fully cooperated with investigators. We are confident that the investigation will be thorough, and we anticipate a fair and just outcome."
It's not surprising AOCDS would come to McClain's aid and comfort. But Brown—who remains goo-goo-eyed about his favorite deputy—is full of surprises. He chose for his upcoming March trial—drum roll, please—a Jewish criminal defense lawyer.
Cupid is laughing, but Hitler is rolling over in his grave.
Tustin-based attorney Brian N. Gurwitz is a former high-ranking prosecutor who played key roles in the grand jury investigation into the Orange County Jail murder of John Derek Chamberlain, the Haidl Gang Rape trials and the corruption prosecution of former assistant sheriff George Jaramillo.
I called Gurwitz and asked him if Brown knows he's Jewish.
"Of course," replied the attorney, laughing.
The situation reminds me of Rodney King's famous line after the 1992 Los Angeles race riots. King—the black man severely beaten by white cops during a traffic stop—asked, "Can we all get along?"
Who would have known that an avowed Orange County white supremacist could lead the way to, well, world peace by repeatedly screwing a black cop and hiring a Jewish lawyer?
'MCSTINKYNIGGER' CASE SETTLED IN FEDERAL COURT
Racial harmony inside our jails apparently doesn't always spill out to the community at large. Take the case of Mark McHenry. By all accounts, the Corona del Mar resident was a nice, well-educated man and a good tipper. He was loving life in the heart of coastal OC when he discovered he'd been the target of pathetically juvenile bigotry.
According to McHenry, an employee at Landmark Steakhouse repeatedly called him racist names on receipts for food and bar service. Those names included "McStinkyNigger," "McCottonwood" and "McNigShit."
After hearing of this, Mario Marovic, a partial owner of the restaurant, announced he would not tolerate any discrimination at his business and fired a bartender.
Nevertheless, McHenry filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit in March 2011, and earlier this month, on the verge of what would have been a sensational jury trial, both sides agreed to a settlement. The terms of the deal were not revealed in the court files.
We're guessing McHenry is McHappy nowadays. After he filed his lawsuit at the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana, his Los Angeles-based lawyers at Reed Smith LLP found 12 more examples of an employee mocking his race in other receipts. Cha-ching!
Plus, a U.S. District judge had overruled the restaurant's strenuous objection to allowing the plaintiff's lawyers from inspecting 167,000 receipts to see if there had a been a much wider pattern of racial discrimination. With the case now closed, we'll never officially know what those records might have revealed.
This column appeared in print as "Prisoner of Love: Black deputy arrested for having enthusiastic sexual affair with a white-supremacist inmate in OC Jail."