I hope this becomes a forum for interesting discussions on topics that are compelling, important and even banal. I hope I can post your thoughtful comments and ideas for further discussion. In those early days of newpapers, some editors continued a back and forth with letter writers. If the subject warrants it, I hope we can do that.

I have no grand plans to use this in any way as a commercial venture. I am comfortable where I am and feel it would lessen the passion I have for this if there is a fiduciary interest. I seek truth, transparency and a reminder that we are the people, and those who serve do so at our behest and whim. We must never relinquish the power we have as citizens and cannot take for granted, the rights and responsibilities that are part of the package.

President Obama was able to energize and mobilize a generation to make them part of this republican democracy we have. It is important for the future of our country that they stay informed and energized. Let’s hope we can show them what substance looks like.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


For the second time in six months, the City of Los Angeles was ordered by the court to pay more than $2 million to a female police officer who had been sexually harassed. The first time, a jury awarded $2.35 million to another female cop. This time it was $2.3 million. You could probably buy an entire fleet of new cars, or hire 40 more cops or do more outreach – or something more positive than punishing the department for tacitly condoning behavior that was inappropriate in the 7th grade.

There are some men, it seems, who are so insecure in who they are, that they behave like bullies to prove to the world that they are tough and “manly,” whatever that means. The most recent victim to be awarded the money, had, among other things done to her, had her head forced into a male cop’s crotch, who said, “I thought you’d never ask.”

Would he do that to a male officer?

Some would ask, “why didn’t she just kick him in the nuts?” I don’t know if she tried, but I’m guessing that since she was new, this cretin probably outranked her and that action would result in something less than positive for her. There was also testimony that she and other female officers were ordered to pick up laundry and do other chores for the male officers. When she became pregnant, the harassment picked up with comments about the size of her breasts and requests to be breast fed. Do we really want guys with guns, mace and tasers to act like this? Here child was stillborn. Due to the stress, she said.


What if some men feel so shaky about themselves because in order to create a new one of themselves, they need a woman? Yeah, big tough guy can do everything except reproduce. That’s got to make some guys really pissed. A woman can actually do something they can’t, so they become enraged and take it out on a typically physically inferior person. Women are tough, but men usually are stronger. They tend to do more damage when they hit a person who weighs less than they.

None of this could have happened without someone in authority knowing about it. When none of her immediate superiors would do anything to stop it, she went to Internal Affairs and was then retaliated against. That is part of that awful culture of so many police departments that cover up everything, including what is often criminal behavior. It’s why I never became a cop.

All of the aptitude tests I took when I was younger and again when I was in the USAF, indicated I would make a good police officer. The idea appealed to me then. For awhile, I was even detached for temporary duty as an Air Policeman. But something happened when I was discharged and went back to college.

I was in a couple of classes with some LAPD officers who would tell me how excited they were to go down to the Sunset Strip on the weekend, so they could “smash a few hippie heads.” The Strip wasn’t even in their jurisdiction. It was county territory, under the “protection” of the Sheriff’s department. They just wanted to help out.

“Why?” I wondered, if they weren’t doing anything but congregating? I still wore my hair the way I had when I was in the service. My classmates in blue didn’t think anyone with a buzz cut could feel the way I did. Which was that banging heads because someone had long hair was just plain wrong! And keeping quiet about how much they enjoyed doing it, convinced me that the police were not for me.

But we need them, and I know that most of them are decent, proud and law-abiding. Knowing human nature as I do, there is no way we can do without an effective force to deal with those who would take advantage of others in their community. We just don’t need cops who do not respect others.

We need to make sure that those in charge really mean it when they say they won’t tolerate sexual harassment. I know Chief William Bratton has said plenty of times how the department won’t put up with this kind of behavior, but yet it persists. And as long as it does, it’s going to cost us citizens dearly.

You would think, that here at the end of the first decade of the 21st Century, the “good old boys” would have all gone fishing or moved in with Mark Furman in Idaho.

But here, in the city of Los Angeles, there are still bunches of them that don’t get it. One would think, cops would realize that not only do women make good police officers, but that in many situations, they are better than those testosterone-laden men in blue. The only way this is able to continue, is that those at the top still think they are the Taliban and can make women do their bidding.

Can we all grow up now and act like responsible adults? Or will we be forced to endure more macho posturing and attitude? I don’t think we can afford it.


  1. Thank you Terry, for bringing this story and others to our attention. After reading this one, I can’t get away from a very strong feeling that…


    1. There is a jerk working for the Los Angeles police department who is guilty of sexual harassment.
    2. The Los Angeles Police department is sexist as an entity.

    What has our legal system done to remedy these two problems? The individual’s criminal record remains clean, although he has most likely been fired. The harasser has not been punished any more harshly for human cruelty than he would’ve been for being late to work a lot. The conduct of this man has not been addressed by the court, the woman who’d been harassed, or any of the newspapers that have covered this story, as far as I can tell. What is this man’s name? Can someone please find this man’s name and post it to this page?

    Secondly, The Los Angeles Police department is also sexist as an entity according to the ruling of the courts. They're also clearly guilty of hazing. Has the court’s decision to award this woman millions of dollars of the city of California's money solve this problem? Some would argue yes, others would argue no, I leave that up to you who are reading to decide for yourselves, but something else that's happening here is that this woman has effectively been paid to go away. And SHE HAS! Where’s the change in policy at the police department? Where is the justice she was after? Have any changes been made, or could this same thing happen to someone else working at the exact same police department tomorrow? Whose 2.35 million dollars was that? And where did it come from?

    Has justice been served?

  2. You bring up some very important questions that should be adressed by the police department. By paying out money, these kinds of injustices quietly disappear after an initial but short-lived uproar. The money is paid and the problem is swept up under the carpet only to inevitably reappear again, as if it had never happened before. Where is the accountablity for change in the police department? Who is holding them accountable?

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