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LAPD’s Broken Internal Affairs Division

VOICES

LAPD FILE - Promotions within LAPD (Not What You Know, But Who You Know).

1)  A few years back, when Edward Prokop was the Captain III of LAPD's Newton Division, he removed and transferred Ten Thousand dollars from the Newton's Division Booster Club (non-profit ) without their knowledge and or consent. The Booster club ended up filing a lawsuit naming Prokop, LAPD and the City of Los Angeles. Jasmyne Cannick a journalist wrote an extensive article on this theft by Prokop which included printed copies of all of the sworn depositions. The depositions showed how Prokop was less than candid in his responses.  The Los Angeles City Attorney’s office decided to settle this matter and repaid the Booster club their original Ten Thousand dollars and added an additional 30-40 thousand dollars.  What kind of discipline did Prokop face or receive? None. Instead, he was promoted to the rank of Commander. Prokop was part of the Good Ole Boys Club under Chief Beck. 

Now retired, he is suing the city of Los Angeles alleging he was chastised by current LAPD Chief Michael Moore for his continued Air Force Reserve status which forced him to retire earlier than he wanted from LAPD. The lawsuit alleges discrimination and harassment based on Military Service. 

Prokop seeks unspecified damages and alleges that he was passed over for promotion to the Rank of Deputy Chief in favor of less qualified candidates due to his refusal to give up his military duties. 

Prokop could very well win his lawsuit. But the big question is how did he ever deserve to be promoted to the Rank of Commander in the first place?  

2) Shaun Hillman’s career as a Los Angeles Police officer should have been terminated back in 2014.  Hillman was in a bar named Maverick Saloon located in Norco, California (Riverside county) on July 14, 2012.  It was close to closing time and Hillmann’s wife was dancing with a black male when she pushed the male claiming that he groped her breasts. Hillmann rushed over to the male and shoved him. A bouncer and the bar's manager intervened and took Hillmann outside. 

As the black male left the venue with his friends, a shouting match erupted with Hillmann who is white. Hillmann then reached into the front pocket of his pants and drew a .45 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol.  A short time later Hillmann got into his own car and drove off.  Hillmann was met in the parking lot exit by a Riverside County Sheriff' deputy.  In a recording Hillmann told the deputy that he was drunk and reached for his firearm because he saw the black male grab the waistband of his pants.  

Hillman further stated to the deputy “Dude, I’m watching this (expletive) monkey reach for his waistband, under his shirt, trying to intimidate me”.  Both the bouncer and the bar's manager told the sheriff deputy that Hillmann repeatedly shouted racial slurs at the black men as they left the bar.  The deputy asked Hillmann to take a breathalyzer exam, which he refused. A sheriff's sergeant was called to the scene and after conversing with Hillmann determined that he was not intoxicated and he was allowed to leave the location. Note that Hillmann told the first responding deputy that he was drunk. 

During the Board of Rights hearing, Hillmann denied all of the above. He also denied that he drove away from the location.  Parking lot security video showed that Hillmann had lied to the Board of Rights Investigators. They recommended that Hillmann be terminated from the Los Angeles police department.  It is to be noted that Hillman’s father retired from the Los Angeles Police Department and that his uncle also retired from LAPD as a Deputy Chief. 

However, Chief Beck ruled that Hillmann receive a 65-day suspension. 

3) Ex-LAPD Captain Joel Justice settled his Retaliation lawsuit with the city of Los Angeles. According to the law suit former Chief Charlie Beck told all of his Captains that when they are seated on a Board of Rights Hearings they must make a recommendation that all police officers especially those that fall under Rank and File be fired. 

Capt. Justice stated that when seated as a Board of Rights Hearing officer, the Captains  should go into the hearing with an open mind and not make a predetermined decision until they have heard from all participating parties and reviewed all of the evidence. 

Capt. Justice found that two police officers did not deserve to be fired as a result of their Board of Rights Hearing. Chief Beck and others then started their retaliation campaign against him.  

Now maybe everyone who has a family member who retired from LAPD as a Command staff member can just get a slap on their hands instead of a termination as with the case of Hillmann. 

4) In 2018, Commander Nicole Mehringer was involved in an off duty incident which took place in Glendale, California. During a Board of Rights Hearing, she told the truth and accepted the responsibilities for her actions.  Police Chief Moore then made the decision to fire her.   Recently a Los Angeles Superior Judge ruled in her favor in allowing her Whistleblower lawsuit to proceed. Mehringer claims that her termination was excessive, and was motivated by retaliation, after Mehringer filed documents that revealed several high-ranking male LAPD members had engaged in egregious acts of unlawful behavior.  But unlike herself, they were allowed to keep their jobs or to retire with their full pensions. 

5) The LAPD continues to promote individuals, namely Captains and Commanders, even when they are named in civil lawsuits. 

At the time that Captain III Jeffery Bert was transferred to LAPD Headquarters from the Northeast Division he was named in three civil law suits, Unlawful arrest, Retaliation, Racial and Age Discrimination and Harassment.  Prior to the three civil cases being resolved he was promoted to the rank of Commander.  Bert was part of the Good Ole Boys Club. 

Two of the three lawsuits were settled and cost taxpayers thousands of dollars. 

Captain II Patricia Sandoval was named in two civil lawsuits, Retaliation, Harassment, and Racial Discrimination.  She was promoted to the Rank of Captain 111 and transferred to head a police Division. 

Now the City of Los Angeles wants to settle both civil lawsuits and avoid going to trial. Combined the city will be paying out thousands of taxpayers’ dollars. 

Is it now time to take a good look as to how an individual can be promoted if they are the subject or a lawsuit? Is it now time that everyone be treated as an equal?  Do away with Cronyism, Nepotism and Favoritism. 

Not that long ago, to appease Black Lives Matter, group Chief Moore promoted a black female with a rank of Captain 1 to the Rank of Deputy Chief.  This was unfair, because she was not qualified to take the Commanders’ examination. There was a highly qualified Black female Commander Beverly Lewis who should have been chosen for that position. Did the fact that this Captain I spouse retired as a Deputy Chief within LAPD issue into her promotion  to the rank of Deputy Chief?  As of this day she has very limited knowledge in management skills. Many are now saying that she is on the short list to become the next Chief of Police for LAPD. 

After her promotion to the Rank of Deputy Chief she applied for the Chief of Police for Dallas, Texas but was not chosen. 

6) On December 2nd. there was a male with a gun who entered the Super A market during regular store hours. The store is located in LAPD Northeast area.  Attempts to contact Northeast Division via telephone were met with negative results.  An e-mail message was sent to the Command officer of Northeast Division Captain 111  Chris Waters on this same date. It was only this evening December 13th. that this writer was notified by detectives that Waters had sent a police officer to the stores location on December 12th.  

On December 8th. a male  individual with a gun entered a nightclub in West Hollywood.  Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies immediately responded to the location. The deputies recovered the night clubs video camera  footage  as the suspect was no longer inside of the location. LASD immediately notified outlining police agencies of the event. 

What is going on with LAPD Northeast Division?   Did Waters forget about the LAPD slogan To Protect and To Serve? 

In Part 3 we will address  Major coverups by LAPD BRASS and failed LAPD Internal Affairs Investigations on now Disgraced Retired LAPD Commander Cory Palka.

(Caroline Aguirre is a retired 24-year State of California law enforcement officer, LAPD family member, community activist and Neighborhood Watch captain. Aguirre is a CityWatch contributor.)