Justice In El Lay

February 11, 2016

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Justice In El Lay

It was 88 degrees in the motorcycle outlaw capital of America yesterday. Bikes threw up little rooster tails of crumbling asphalt as they put-put-putted down the rotting roads. The roads and the heat and the police and the $3.50 a gallon gasoline come with the territory. The rest of the country does not give a damn about the woes of paradise.

The rest of the country has its own agenda.

There was a big football game last Sunday and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani was deeply offended by the halftime song and dance routine performed by Beyonce Knowles-Carter. “I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive,” Giuliani complained endlessly on previously recorded video.

The really big news this week came from New Hampshire, where it was 27 degrees and there was some kind of an election that was won by a billionaire with a working class affect named Donald Trump. Trump proclaimed, “The police are absolutely mistreated and misunderstood and if there is an incident, whether it’s an incident done purposefully, which is a horror, and you should really take very strong action, or if it’s a  mistake it’s on your newscasts all night, all week, all month and it never ends.”

Local News

All of this was very far from El Lay where it smelled like 88 yesterday. It smelled like exhaust fumes and cynicism. Very low on the national agenda was a local story that nobody ran “all night, all week, all month.” It is practically forgotten already. Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca agreed yesterday to plead guilty to a charge of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during a probe into the Sheriff’s Department.

Theoretically, Baca could be sentenced to six months in jail. He had faced five years in federal prison, plus three years’ supervised release and a $250,000 fine. He won’t do a day. His plea and sentencing agreement protects him from further federal charges – like obstruction of justice. He copped to a felony so he will lose his right to vote and own a gun until the next President pardons him. Baca wore his badge on his brown suit when he appeared in court. He resigned in 2014 after 15 years as Sheriff. He will continue to collect his $19,000 a month pension. United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker issued a press release that actually announced – really, direct quote – “this case illustrates that leaders who foster and then try to hide a corrupt culture will be held accountable.” Her empty words quickly evaporated in the February heat.

During his tenure as Sheriff, Baca tried to raise Los Angeles’ nine percent sales tax by half a percent to pay for more deputies and started a special program that gave badges and guns to campaign contributors.

Ninety-seven hundred L.A. Sheriffs patrol 4.057 square miles of Los Angeles County including all of what locals call “unincorporated L.A.” and all the parks, marinas, public transportation, and public buildings and the largest jail system in the country.

Pandora’s Box

The FBI launched an investigation called “Operation Pandora’s Box” into the treatment of prisoners at the Los Angeles county jails in 2010. The FBI had to investigate the jails because the complaints about routine beatings of prisoners and even visitors by Sheriff’s Deputies, of prisoners raped by deputies and prisoners raped by other prisoners on the orders of deputies, and the tales of contraband sales by deputies had become impossible to ignore. The incidents were numerous as the palm fronds that litter L.A.’s streets after a storm. Deputies armed with clubs regularly rat-packed and busted up prisoners. Once, the Austrian consul general was roughed up when she attempted to visit an Austrian prisoner. The FBI called Baca’s nephew, a suspected burglar named Justin Bravo, “one of the most egregious inmate beaters.”

Baca learned of the FBI investigation after a prisoner named Anthony Brown was found with a cell phone. Brown had paid a deputy a $1,500 down payment on an eventual fee of $20,000 to smuggle in the phone. When deputies examined the phone, they found that most of Brown’s calls were to the FBI office on Wilshire Boulevard. Thirteen deputies were assigned to rebook Brown under various names and reassign him to multiple jails. The FBI thought he might have been killed. Brown was told the FBI had abandoned him.

Those deputies were thanked for cooperating, “without asking too many questions and prying into the investigation at hand.” Baca later explained that Brown was hidden by the Sheriff’s Department to protect him from rogue deputies within the department. It was only coincidental that the FBI couldn’t find him.

Baca Learned

“On August 18, 2011,” Baca learned, according to his plea deal, “from the FBI Assistant Director in Charge that the FBI had conducted an undercover operation that resulted in” Brown “receiving a cellular phone from a deputy sheriff at MCJ. Defendant later learned that the FBI, the USAO, and a federal grand jury were conducting a civil rights and public corruption investigation involving LASD deputies working at MCJ and TTCF.”

Paranoia about the FBI became rampant within Baca’s department. Sheriff’s were convinced their offices were bugged. They regularly held meetings outside, in a barbecue area outside the Men’s Central Jail, hiding their mouths behind their hands.

Baca ordered deputies to surveil the FBI case agent in charge of Pandora’s Box, a woman named Leah Marx. When the subtle approach didn’t work, Baca ordered deputies to threaten Marx with arrest, and the same treatment other prisoners got. She called their bluff.

So Baca eventually became the eighteenth member of his department to be convicted of systematically abusing prisoners and then hiding the abuse. Paul Tanaka, a former Undersheriff and the current Mayor of Gardena, California, is the last remaining defendant in the case. He is scheduled to go to trial on March 22.

U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson will formally sentence Baca on May 16. The nation won’t hear anything about that either although America may hear about the record breaking heat in El Lay that week.

Fearless Forecast

That will be the day before the Idaho, Kentucky and Oregon primaries. Not much will have changed.

Hillary Clinton will bravely promise to “listen to law enforcement leaders and work with communities to prevent crime.” Whatever the hell that means.

Bernie Sanders, if he is still in the race, will tell voters he has “worked very closely and well with police officers,” and that he knows them to be “honest, hard-working people trying to do a difficult job.”

Ted Cruz will still be “proud to stand with law enforcement.”

Marco Rubio, if he survives, will campaign that, “The overwhelming and vast majority of law enforcement officers in this country are just trying to do their jobs…. It is troubling that there are groups and rhetoric out there now that is encouraging people to demonize law enforcement, to target law enforcement or in some cases, quite frankly, to misrepresent what law enforcement is trying to do.”

If he’s still around, John Kasich will continue to argue that “people have to respect law enforcement.”

Pacific Coast Highway will smell of the sea and fresh tar. Gasoline in Redondo Beach will hit $4.50 a gallon. And the freest place in the world will still be in the wind in Los Angeles.


33 Responses to “Justice In El Lay”

  1. Sieg Says:

    Damn…good thing they didn’t have on distinctive indicia at the time they were committing predicate crimes, then they would have REALLY had trouble…might even have had to do some work-release time or like that.

    Thanks for staying on em, Rebel!


  2. Nick Mead Says:

    My son’s back from college and goes cycling down by Marina del Rey. Two good things, he’s got into college and he likes to keep fit… good things you’d think. But no, some Sheriff busts him for walking his pushbike through a red light. Then says it was two red lights. My son argues and is thrown in the back of the patrol car. He cites him on one of the red light charges. $500 fine. What a bunch of fucking wankers.

    Probably off topic but I’m glad I got that off my chest! Wankers.

  3. JohnP Says:

    Nick, sorry to hear about your son and the mind numbing attitude of some cops, it would appear they are dicks the World over. I’m actually commenting to congratulate you on using the English term wanker, it’s not used nearly enough, especially when referring to cops , politicians, members of pretend patch clubs etc.

  4. ipsick Says:

    And they thought they got rid of the trash when Gates left.

    Nick, sorry about your son’s troubles here. it is hard enough to dodge the cars without worrying about cops.

    Rebel, you riding yet?

  5. ipsick Says:

    And they thought they got rid of the trash when Gates left.

  6. Phuquehed Says:

    That stinking cunt Eileen M. Decker has the gall to speak, much less show her fucking face in public after letting that fucking pig keep his fucking pension should swallow some faggot pigs service pistol barrel and have him pull the trigger,

    Rope. Tree. Pigs and DA(‘s) of El Lay.

  7. Dasein Says:

    ‘…the woes of paradise…” is essentially why I read here. This is the general depth of Rebel’s writing, and it speaks to a poetic immersion in the firmament of all our lives that only some can feel, and fewer still can address. The (occasionally)anally tidy and inane critiques of Rebel’s work here, “…fractured syntax, malapropisms…”, etc., (yeah, HEEHEEHEE, I mean you), are borne of a lesser vision, and the accompanying simplemindedness to express that shallowness as something worthwhile. Suggested reading: a few from “The Rebel Rides”, one of my favorites is “Bombay Beach.” Also keep in mind, Rebel’s an actual journalist, a working writer, and a poet, an easy target for anonymous dimwitted snipers in the internet shadows. If you can’t appreciate or understand what you see here, write something better, on a site of your own. Maybe someone will read it.

  8. Lijaha Says:

    Great writing, Rebel. You’re channelling Raymond Chandler and I mean that as a great compliment.

  9. xplor Says:

     Raymond Chandler did his best work in this town.

  10. troyez Says:

    Are they following the script from True Detective Season 2?! No, seriously! If you haven’t seen it check it out, it’s actually good, a surprise for the boob-tube these days. You can’t make this stuff up, or can you? Wow.

  11. Paladin Says:

    Baca retired when he did, so his pension wouldn’t be forfeited. Baca knew it was on;y a matter of time before he got thrown under the bus by his subordinates. Baca and his administration was universally despised by the majority of the deputies on the Department.

    Tanaka too will retain his pension, because he retired prior to being indited. Tanaka and Baca are both poster boys for the corruption that is so pervasive in law enforcement these days. The old saying: “A few bad apples spoil the bunch” is no longer valid. Today; the whole bunch is bad and the few that aren’t, are getting the fuck out.

    Long May You Ride (to those that deserve to),


  12. David Torres Says:

    Fuck the 3000 Boys, Jump Out Boys and Code Black Death Squad.

  13. Meh Says:

    38 GA piggies just went down:


    One reflects on the money wasted to (not) convict bikers while the Man was making fat bank dealing in his own prison!

    “Five of those officers arrested were members of the COBRA unit, an elite group of corrections officers in GA DOC whose specialty is breaking up correctional facility-run drug rings.”

    At least they can join the IO after they serve time.

  14. Meh Says:

    Typo, correct to “46” though it will likely end up a running tally as they flip.

  15. R&R Says:

    Coincidentally, yesterday, my step son was found guilty of possession of .8 gram of cocaine. He was sentenced to 450 days jail & $3000.00 fine. The problem is that he was convicted because the judge refused to acknowledge that his vehicle was illegally searched. The cops totally ignored his rights in the area of search and seizure. They had neither permission, or a warrant to search the vehicle. Yet when it was presented in a defense motion to suppress, the judge declined. The judge – district attorney relationship is just way too cozy.
    I live in Texas and I thought the Waco scenario was an anomaly – but not so. These cocksuckers decide who’s going down & who’s not. Anyway, we decided to appeal and that hit the DA like a stick – they’re not used to being challenged in a higher court. They think they can run roughshod over constitutional rights to get the outcome they desire.
    As for Baca, take his retirement money. It’s the only language that will ever get through to these low life, self righteous pricks.


  16. RLG Says:

    I wonder if Baca will be open to civil liability…

    Also, I smell something Bernin!

  17. bones_73_ Says:

    “And the freest place in the world might still be el lay”…..or long beach @rebel

  18. Dark Corner Says:

    I happen to be in Corona Ca on biz right now. I haven’t been to the left coast for years; this whole area is a fucking disaster area, no surprise the pigs are especially fucked up around here. And damn, there are a shit ton of em.

  19. Road Whore Says:

    @ Rebel, who wrote: “He will continue to collect his $19,000 a month pension.” Is that a typo with one too many zeroes, Rebel??? Hell, I’d be happy to make 19g a year right now, much less a month! You can buy a lot of gas for the bike with that kind of money. Fuck me.

    Ride Free

  20. Tech Says:

    God damn it’s awesome when you get poetic, Rebel.


  21. Fr. Abraham Says:

    @Road Whore, I’m guessing probably not. You’d be amazed at what the annual pensions for retired politicians with decades on the public teat are worth…and their salaries are just the tip of the iceberg. They hardly ever spend any of it, because just about anything else you can imagine from their vehicles to their liquor is already being paid for by John Q. Tax-slave!

  22. Mike 184 Says:


    Yeah, Corona is where we used to street race waaaay back when I lived out there. I miss the being out there, but the cops and courts were awful… All about the $$$$$$.

  23. Mike 184 Says:

    @ FR, that’s how the rich stay rich – they don’t pay for shit themselves.

  24. Road Whore Says:

    @ Fr.Abraham…damn! Ain’t no fairness to be had in this life.

    Ride Free

  25. TX_Biker Says:

    the pigs all lay in the same mud and will never turn on those that they wallow with…..

  26. Left Coast Says:

    Well written Rebel.

    They’re shitbag goons. All of them.

  27. Left Coast Says:

    almost forgot. ACAB

  28. Road Whore Says:

    @ Left Coast…thanks for the link to the story on the baca pension. Un-fucking-believable!

    And Rebel, keep up the great work. At least someone is shining the light into the dark places.

    Ride Free

  29. old & stoned Says:

    and the most fucked up part is this piss-stain’s pension will be paid in part by the people he facilitated brutalizing. justice? retroactive abortion comes to mind.

  30. Austin Says:

    He isn’t collecting ALL that pension – His ex-wife gets …mmmm…. $7800.00/month.
    She’s gotta be feeling better about the breakup.

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