Posts belonging to Category Case Law

December 2018 – Warning Bells article

Use of force “Clarification” clear as mud The Department’s “Clarification” notice issued on Jan. 22, 2018, says this: “The courts have held that Less-Lethal force are capable of inflicting significant pain and may cause serious injury. Therefore, consistent with the Department’s Use of Force Policy, Less-Lethal force options are only permissible when: An officer reasonably […]

August 2018 Warning Bells article

Facebook and the First Amendment I have joked in the past that an officer should be suspended for five days just for opening a Facebook account. Humor aside, what can happen to you while using the internet is no laughing matter. We see internet comments used in many Internal Affairs investigations.  How can that be, […]

June 2018 Warning Bells article

June 2018 – Beware the ORWITS It starts with a letter sent to you and the Chief of Police. “Dear Officer X: The Discovery Compliance Unit (DCU) of the Los Angeles County District Attor­ney’s Office (LADA) has been provided information regarding an alleged dis­crepancy between your report and the Digital In-Car Video (DICV) regarding the […]

August 2017 Warning Bells article

TASER tag, and you’re it! The Police Commission is becoming alarmed, and, therefore, so is the Department. TASER use is going up. No kidding, you say. Every patrol officer now must wear one on their belt. Of course, TASERs are being used more. Wasn’t that the idea? Didn’t Commission President Johnson mandate this in his […]

April 2017 Warning Bells article

Another reason not to use your personal cellphone for work On March 2, 2017, the California Supreme Court gave police officers another reason to leave their personal cellphones in the locker when they suit up and head out to the streets. Now your personal cellphone might be subject to a California Public Records Act (CPRA) […]

August 2015 Warning Bells article

One more way to get an out of policy use of force on your record In April 2014, the Police Commission added one sentence to the shooting policy under the Deadly Force heading. That sentence is, The reasonableness of an officer’s use of deadly force includes consideration of the officer’s tactical conduct and decisions leading […]

Oct 2014 Warning Bells article

Chief’s Interference with Board of Rights Rebuffed by Appellate Court “I send people to a Board of Rights for a reason – to be terminated,” Chief Beck told Dominique DiPrima during a KJLH-FM interview. As mentioned in previous columns, two prior Board of Rights members alleged in separate lawsuits that high-ranking Department officials told them pretty much the […]

May 2014 Warning Bells article

A cautionary tale It was a nothing beef. An ordinary, routine, everyday vehicle stop resulting in a ticket and an RFC. As so often happens, it resulted in a biased policing and discourtesy complaint. The Department found no biased policing and no discourtesy, and yet an officer was fired and a superior court judge affirmed the Department’s action. […]

January 2014 Warning Bells article

Thanks for the abuse The League recently won a lawsuit appeal in the appellate court. The appellate court ruled that classifying a personnel complaint as “not resolved” was a punitive action by the Department. Because it was punitive, it gave the officer the right to challenge the classification in an appeal under the Public Safety […]


WARNING:  THE CASE INTERPRETATIONS ARE MY OWN AND OTHERS MAY DIFFER IN THEIR OPINIONS.  BE SURE TO CONTACT YOUR OWN COUNSEL BEFORE RELYING ON ANY OF THESE INTERPRETATIONS. Case Name: Bagget v. Gates Case Citation: (1982) 32 Cal. 3d 128 Quick Holding: POBRA may constitutionally be applied to charter cities such as Los Angeles. The […]