- Relax, It's Just a Game: Scott Glover and Matt Lait at the Times reveal today that Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies have been playing on-duty law-enforcement competitions. According to an internal department e-mail obtained by the reporters, one game was called “Operation Any Booking,” in which the goal was to see who could make the most arrests during a 24-hour period in poor minority neighborhoods not far from the Orange County border. Other competitions have included “Operation Vehicle Impound” (who could impound the most cars during the game?), and there have been contests to see who could stop and question the most gang members. Results were posted. Sheriff’s Lieutenant James Tatreau, who helped organize the games, told the paper, “It's just a friendly competition to have a little fun out here.” Sheriff Lee Baca said, “We're not into numbers; we're into quality,” and suggested the games were “well-meaning.” But others are shocked and horrified. According to the report, Jane White at the National Center for Community Policing said, “It’s crazy. I’m at a loss for words. I’ve never heard of anything like this before.”
- Dana Doodling: It’s not just the threat of space rocks colliding with the planet that has Dana Rohrabacher worried. The Huntington Beach Republican congressman wants to personally select in advance who will replace him as his district’s representative in Congress if terrorists kill or incapacitate him. In proposed legislation identified by Roll Call this week, Rohrabacher suggests that congressional candidates for both the House and Senate handpick alternatives whose names would also appear on the ballot. But, Dana, what if the terrorists learn of your legislation and incapacitate everyone on your list? Would it be okay then if citizens actually held an election to determine who would represent them?
- Fullerton Roach Motel: Gregory Lee Parkin faces 40 criminal allegations that he’s a slumlord whose Fullerton apartment complex houses thousands of cockroaches and rodents along with tenants. According to Barbara Giasone at the Reg, city officials—who filed the charges—claim Parkin has refused to clean up his Parkin Gardens on South Gilbert Street. In 2005, for example, officials handed Parkin 247 health-and-safety-code violations for mold, rodent and electrical problems. Last year, a return inspection found 400 more violations. Parkin, who has a license to practice law in California, declined to speak to the paper.
- Deputies Don't Kill People; Inmates Do: Jail deputies purposefully instigated the killing of an inmate by identifying the man as a child molester, according to a lawsuit filed last week in the Ronald Reagan Federal Court at Santa Ana. Rachanee Srisavasdi at the Register reports that the father of the victim is seeking $60 million in damages against the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and deputies Kevin Taylor, Jason Chapuk and Phillip Le. Srisavasdi forgot to mention Chamberlain’s first name, John, in her first reference to the victim, whose brutal beating prompted the District Attorney to open a secret grand jury proceeding and the county Board of Supervisors to consider oversight reforms. The deputies reportedly claim they did not see as many as six inmates kick Chamberlain to death in a lengthy attack just feet from an glass-enclosed guard station. Some sources claim Taylor was busy watching a baseball game or porno during the attack. Sheriff’s department officials say the deputies did nothing illegal and have no responsibility in the killing. But Newport Beach attorney Jerry Steering, who is representing the victim’s father, alleges the deputies are the villains. “John Chamberlain is dead because for many years, jailers allowed inmates accused of sex crimes to be beaten up,'' he told the paper.
R. Scott Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing Southern California law enforcement corruption.