Dear Editor – The CCPD’s Demonstrably Systemic Racism

Dear Editor, 

On March 9, 2020, I submitted a public records act request to the City of Culver City for all documents reflecting the race of every individual arrested by CCPD, and the reason for arrest. First off, Lt. Troy Dunlap put in writing “No such documents exist.”  However, those documents indeed exist, as will be discussed further below.

I also asked Culver City for all lawsuits filed against the City for actions of the CCPD, and the resulting settlement or verdicts. In response, City Attorney Lisa Vidra provided me with a list of 12 cases/settlement amounts.  


However, in light of the murder of George Floyd, and my personal observations of CCPD targeting people of color, I started doing my own research, and using my own funds to conduct research on the federal US District Court website and Los Angeles Superior Court website. I found seven additional lawsuits against CCPD within the past ten years. I also found two additional lawsuits filed in 2007 and 2003. Because of this abysmal lack of transparency, I decided to do more research into the misrepresentations of CCPD, and found that two of the seven wrongfully withheld lawsuits had personally named Lt. Troy Dunlap as a defendant. How could Lt. Dunlap not remember the two cases he was named as a defendant?

Last year, a small blog by the name of muckrock.com requested public records from CC. Lt. William Browne produced to muckrock.com arrest reports which include race, age, and reason for citation/arrest. Over ten hours of me looking at these records, I have come to these disgusting and offensive findings, which I am absolutely going to provide to UCLA School of Law’s Public Interest Law Program so they can conduct a further statistical analysis of CCPD’s racism. And I will be going public with this to every news organization and civil rights organization and law firm I can possibly imagine.

Between 2017 and 2018 CCPD made 320 juvenile arrests. 205 or 64% were of black children. 87 or 27% were of Hispanic children. Whereas only 14 (4%) were of white children, and 14 were of “Others.” The names of the “other” children arrested have names such as Lowell Marquis, Mohamed, Keyon, Cordova and Malik, etc. There was a single Asian child arrested. This is horrific.

Just as some of the most repulsive examples of racism, our beloved CCPD arrested:

 A 9 year old Hispanic boy for disturbing the peace;

 An 11 year old Hispanic boy, a 12 year old black girl and separately a 12 year old black boy. In addition to arresting many, many 13 year old children of color.

As for bookings, CCPD booked an 11 year old black boy.
CCPD booked dozens of 13 and 14 year old black children for petty theft, and booked dozens more for other crimes which would be better addressed through counseling.
You know how many of the five white children arrested for petty theft were booked? NONE.
CCP booked dozens of children of color for felony assault. Was the white child who was charged with the same felony booked? Of course not! The 13 year old white boy was simply cited.
A 13 year old Hispanic boy was booked for felony vandalism.
A 12 year old black boy was arrested for petty theft.
On his 13th birthday, CCPD booked a black boy and probably his three 13-14 year old black friends, on trespassing charges. Just missed booking a 12 year old by one day, CCPD!
A 13 year old Hispanic boy was cited for bringing a knife or BB gun to school. Funny side story, my white ex-husband in 3rd grade brought his unloaded 357 Magnum to school for show and tell. His teachers laughed and said not to take it out of his backpack for the rest of the day.
CCPD even booked one black girl and two black boys for felony horse/bovine theft. WHAT? You bet I’m going to look into these.

A white boy, less than two months shy of being 18, who was arrested for child molestation? He was just cited. Not booked. Protect and serve, CCPD.
CCPD booked a 15 year old black girl for petty theft of under $50.

CCPD is creating a society in which young children of color and put into the legal system, and set up to fail. I found CCPD lovingly booked children of color for violating bench warrants-meaning they failed to appear at a court hearing. Thus, you have absolute proof of the systemic set up to fail. You charge a young child with a crime, a hearing is set, the child can’t or won’t go to the court, and Viola …booked and jailed.

Please note that two of the 14 white children arrested, one’s last name is “Munoz” and another one has a traditionally African-American name.

I looked at the 434 arrests for driving with a suspended license. First off, consider what the prerequisites are to arrest someone for driving with a suspended license. First the CCPD must find probable cause to stop the driver. Then CCPD has to pull the driver over. Then CCPD has to bypass citing the driver for whatever alleged probable cause existed to bring the CCPD to originally pull over the arrestee. That means CCPD gets to chose who they get to pull over, and then cites the driver only for suspended license.
Of the 434 arrests for a suspended license, 164 or 37.78% were for black drivers, 134 or 30.88% were for Hispanic drivers, 101 or 23.27% were for “other” drivers, and a mere 33 or 7.6% were for white drivers. Disgusting.

The names of the “other” drivers include names such as Tyrone Jamal, Edwardo, Jorge, Munoz, Jerome, Garcia, Lamonte, Davonte, Shabri, Reyes, Lopez, Badillo, Jovan, Morales, another Jerome, DeShawn Deanthony, Kleshaun, Lakia Donell, Ortiz, Breneisha, Shanay, Lashae, Estrada, Equalia, Arredondo, Guzman, Dewayne, Serrano, Mohammed, Alonzo, Becerra, Mendoza, Gutierrez, a third Jerome, etc. etc.

Annette Morasch

Editor note  – These comments were sent to the council prior to the meeting on Monday, June 22, 2020. 

www.culvercitysymphony.org

16 Comments

  1. Have you ever met Lieutenant Dunlap? I doubt it. Why don’t you publish the race of the suspects in crimes reported in Culver City and see if it corresponds to the percentage of arrest for people of the same race as the suspects? Should more white people be singled out and arrested just to even out the the number of arrests or should the arrests by race reflect the percentage of those who commit crimes?

  2. Since when is the name “Jerome” attributed to one race or ethnic group? Why would the writer suggest that citing someone named “Jerome” is racist?Is it possible, just possible, that the people cited committed the offenses cited? Is it possible that people who drive around without a license, or have licenses suspended, also drive around with no lights, broken lights, or drive recklessly or while under the influence, thus giving the police probable cause to pull them over? I, personally, am shocked how many people (of all races) are driving without a driver’s license and without insurance (as shown on LivePD).

    Is it possible that this person wrote the request for information incorrectly or that the City Attorney’s Office (not the police department) misinterpreted the letter requesting public information? Is it possible that the information requested was not all in one document and would have to be searched out from several documents, like what the writer did (but which the city is not required to do)?

    It is difficult to believe that the City Attorney misread the request,or that the request accidentally failed to cover the two lawsuits she mentions, but certainly neither reason is a sign that either the City Attorney or the CCPD is racist.

    How many of the people cited pled guilty or did not contest the charges? Is it possible that Asian drivers do not violate the traffic laws?

  3. This letter to the editor proves nothing. The racial makeup of arrests is no evidence of racism.

  4. I would like to reply to Tanya Williams, who says I am “a liar,” Paul Ehrlich, Albert Mackinley, Eric, and any individual in the future who is affronted by my letter. I understand why you would be horrified and offended about my letter. I too did not want to see the things I learned while researching arrest rates and lawsuits against CCPD. Facts often place us in very uncomfortable positions. I have been a resident here since around 2010, and I have always believed our leaders when they boasted of the strength of our diverse community. I value the fact that my daughter has friends of every color and from every economic strata. So I agree, my letter is offensive. It is shocking. But I am merely the messenger. All I did was relay the facts given to me by the CCPD and city attorney. Your ire and frustration should not be directed at me.
    Mr. MacKinley raises the issue of my inferring that the name “Jerome” can traditionally be associated with black men. Mr. MacKinley points out perhaps I am racist. Yet Mr. MacKinley ignores the data CCPD provided themselves, and all the other names on the list. Why does Mr. MacKinley demand I explain myself when asserting the name “Jerome” is typically associated with black men, but Mr. MacKinley does not similarly demand accountability and explanations from the CCPD for having 90% of their arrests of children of color? Mr. MacKinley, are you asking CCPD to explain themselves? If not, why not?
    Mr. MacKinley, as it comes to your assertion that the City Attorney or Lt. Dunlap could have misinterpreted my public records act request. Here was my verbatim request on February 14, 2020, in writing, at 4:17pm:
    “7. All lawsuits against CC or CCPD alleging race discrimination, racial profiling, etc.
    8. All lawsuits against CC or CCPD alleging excessive use of force, false imprisonment, wrongful arrest, 42 USC 1983, Civil Code 52.1, or 63 violations. This request includes listing the case number, the parties, whether a verdict was reached, and if so the prevailing party, and the amount of judgment. If the case was resolved through settlement, the amount CC or CCPD paid to settle the case.”
    It concerns me that, if what you allege is actually true, that a Lt. and an attorney could somehow misinterpret these requests. However, I will not speculate as to why they did not disclose the lawsuits. It seems if you are curious as to why the lawsuits and settlements were not disclosed, then the way to learn that information is not from me, but go to the city attorney and the Lt. directly. And yes, they are legally required to disclose this information to the public under the [California Public Records Act]9https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Public_Records_Act#:~:text=The%20California%20Public%20Records%20Act,inspection%20or%20disclosure%20of%20governmental). Do you know something the readers do not know? Did you talk to Lt. Dunlap or the City Attorney to make your assertion that they maybe misinterpreted my requests?
    Do you know Culver City paid out almost $10,000,000 in settlements and verdicts (plus any results not yet turned over to me) over the past 10 years for CCPD civil rights violations? That figure does not include attorneys’ fees and costs. This is coming out of the pockets of us taxpayers. I don’t want to pay that amount of money. No one should.
    Eric has asked if I have met Lt. Dunlap. That is neither here nor there. The fact is, Lt. Dunlap wrote a letter to me stating there are no documents reflecting the race of the arrested individuals in this city, and that was inaccurate. Eric, is there a reason that you personally do not go and ask Lt. Dunlap yourself why he said that to me in writing?
    For those of you who made, what I find to be an excruciatingly heartbreaking argument, that black and Hispanic people commit more crimes and deserve to be arrested more often, I encourage you to read the [97 page report put together by a coalition of California law enforcement, nonprofits, churches and scientists, analyzing statewide arrest and stop data]. (https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/ripa/ripa-board-report-2020.pdf) This shows, among other things, that across the state, the stops of law enforcement agencies are 39.8% Hispanics, 33.2% white, and only 15.1 black. This is a shockingly large statistical difference between CCPD stops and citations of 80-90% people of color. Do you believe, then, that Hispanic people and black people cross into CC boundaries and all of a sudden become possessed to commit more crimes? That something in the air, perhaps our beautiful jacaranda trees, make people of color turn into criminals? The answer can only be: no. Furthermore, there is an argument in one of the comments above that it is not the CCPD that is deciding to make these arrests, but crime victims themselves. However, that is not accurate. According to the linked 97 page report, about 95% of stops are officer-initiated. Meaning, no one called the police. The police just decided to stop someone. Also according to this report, while blacks and Hispanics are searched more often by police, when whites are searched, the white people have a higher percentage of illegal contraband. Keeping in line with your arguments, this shows whites commit more crimes than blacks and Hispanics. Right?
    I would like to add some more things for you all to think about. I am not just pulling this out of thin air. I am linking to primary source material to support my assertions. If you are offended, don’t shoot the messenger. Demand answers from your elected officials and CCPD directly. Don’t make excuses by pulling things from your gut. Go research things. Put yourself in uncomfortable places. Challenge yourself. Challenge your city to be better.
    Do you know that 2 white CCPD officers stopped a black LAPD Captain in May 2018 because he was [walking down the street](https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/los-angeles-police-department-captain-alleges-he-was-victim-of-racial-profiling-by-culver-city-police/153168/)? The LAPD Captain filed a tort claim with Culver City. The LAPD Captain was doing absolutely nothing, and CCPD released the video which can be viewed in the link. There is no lawful basis for a police officer to be stopping citizens without probable cause.

    Did you know that a unanimous federal jury awarded the family of an unarmed black man, who was a passenger of a car, standing up with his hands up, [$8,800,000](https://www.juryverdictalert.com/jury-verdicts/item/wrongful-death/simplis-v-culver-city-police) because CCPD shot him dead on the spot 3 times? You know the shooter, Luis Martinez, after shooting Mr. Simplis, was promoted and is now making over [$340,000 a year from Culver City tax payers](https://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/search/?a=culver-city&q=luis+martinez&y=2018)? And the shooter is also a named defendant in a case which CC settled for another $50,000…

    Did you know that Culver City was a [Sunset Town](https://la.streetsblog.org/2020/06/11/continuing-to-reckon-with-culver-citys-racist-past/)?
    Do you know CCPD paid out $200,000 for jumping on a black man’s back and [choking him out two times](https://abc7.com/culver-city-police-department-dashcam-terry-walton-arrest/3372454/)?

    Do you know CCPD’s current acting Police Chief, Manuel Cid, and other officers stopped a black man for parking his car outside of home, then when he refused to obey an unlawful order to stop, sicced a K9 at him, beat him profusely, and then charged him with felony assault of a police officer? The man spent 8 months in jail until he was found not-guilty by a jury of his peers. Before you say “the system worked…” the system failed. An innocent man was in jail for 8 months. [And the Culver City paid the man $125,00](https://dockets.justia.com/docket/california/cacdce/2:2009cv03451/444468).

    Do you know that out of the 154 sworn CCPD employees, [only 7 are women, and only 8 are African American](https://www.culvercitypd.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=19096)?

    Do you know that CCPD Chief Bixby is making almost a [half million $/year](https://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/search/?a=culver-city&q=robert+bixby&y=2018), placing him in the top 1% of wage earners? Do you know that is $50,000 more than [LAPD Chief Moore makes](https://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/search/?q=michel+moore)?

    Did you know that CCPD has no homicides, and [2 rapes? But did you know that CCPD has only cleared 28% of crimes](https://www.culvercitypd.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=19096)? (That means almost 72 percent of crimes go unsolved.)
    Here are the [2017/2018 arrest reports.](https://www.muckrock.com/foi/culver-city-3174/california-police-data-culver-city-police-department-77515/) See for yourself. Do the research yourself so you don’t have to rely on other people.

  5. Thank you Annette for pushing hard for facts and sharing them with this community. I know you personally and professionally, as fellow attorneys, and I know that you are neither a liar nor inept at making public record requests or sifting through evidence. Don’t shoot the messenger folks. And Annette don’t let those who don’t want to hear the truth get to you; keep putting it out there, people need to understand that CCPD’s reputation for racial profiling is absolutely deserved and we have work to do to clean up our PD. Thank you!

  6. Thank you Annette for your letter and your response in the comments. It is obvious you did the painful work of researching the racist CCPD and are sharing the information with fellow CC residents.

  7. Thank you Annette Morasch for you excruciating and thorough dig into some of the ugly history of the CCPD. I am horrified, but not at all surprised by your findings, as I have also uncovered and published information about this city’s racism since its founding as a whites only town. I have read the CCPD and City Attorney’s response to your letter, published on this website, and found it pitiful in the extreme. They pick on a few minor extraneous points in your letter without addressing the substance at all. This city deserves much better. Thank you again and Bravo.

  8. Annette, you article is eye opening and your comments are mind-blowing. $10 million in civil rights lawsuits in past 10 years?! The facts presented are profound. Please share how else we can present these findings to LA County, state of California, and the rest of the country how unjust the situation is in Culver City to defund and reconstruct our racist police system.

  9. I had a father and mother growing up, who guided and taught the right and wrong, and took me to either Sorrento’s, Johnie’s or Tito’s every Sunday. How come I’ve never been contacted, arrested or even handcuffed by CCPD, ever? Both Tre and Doughboy had a choice, Tre decided to go to college while Doughboy stayed back, how did each end up?

    To the OP – I appreciate you for bringing up racism and injustices issues and fighting your cause, but I disagree with you on CCPD as racist. You have 10 years here, I have more than 3x that and I have never felt racism from CCPD. I have Black and biracial neighbors (both left and right) and non of them ever talked to me about racism from CCPD. Trouble makers comes in all race and CCPD deal with ALL trouble makers.

    Best

  10. Thank you, Annette Morasch, for your time and effort in researching the CCPD and sharing the findings with your community. Below is a portion of my public comment at the June 22nd City Council meeting. I did not take on the hard work that you did in your research, but anyone paying a little attention can agree that there is a problem within CCPD.

    “I recently learned that a disproportionate number of CCPD arrests involve people of color, and I am not surprised based upon personal observation. My husband and I have witnessed dozens of police stops made by CCPD over the past decade and have noticed that a VAST MAJORITY if not all of those stops involve people of color. It is hard not to take note of such a discrepancy.”

  11. This is absolutely horrifying. No matter what side of this issue you fall on you have to want public access to this information in order to ascertain the current state of affairs. If CCPD is the exemplary force it says it is the facts would bear that out. Without a willingness to confront and investigate the facts any argument is moot.

    To those claiming the statistics point to a “criminal element” that just so happens to overwhelmingly be black and brown your segments actually support the reality of systemic racism itself.

    Consider this – CCPD activity does more to create crime than it does to solve it. By stopping people of color and then finding something to charge after the fact that has nothing to do with the original stop and nothing to do with a threat to public safety the police have in effect created a crime to justify their racism with no good done for public welfare. This is all time that could be spent trying to solve actual crime that actually threatens our community.

    Officers who see children and see criminals need to find another line of work. That is not the job we are paying them to do.

    Shining a light into a department so shrouded in secrecy and deception is bound to reveal the cobwebs. A willingness to seek and discuss the truth is a necessary first step toward regaining public trust. If CCPD can’t do that then they prove they are the problem and not part of the solution they claim to be.

  12. Thank you Annette Morasch for putting this research together and exposing the facts of this systemic racism that Culver City continues to promote. I greatly appreciate your time and research. This evidence should give us the fuel we need to make change in Culver City. I am a white home owner in Culver City. I’ve been here 7 years and it is upsetting to see other residents get so defensive about the facts. Let’s make change and grow together.

    And for anyone who thinks a strong police force affects housing prices, I beg to differ. Well funded schools affect housing prices. Culver City needs to address systemic racism and change or businesses are not going to want to be associated with this area.

  13. There are a number of comments on this thread that are from fake email addresses and/or false names. If you are going to accuse someone of lying, you can start by being honest enough to identify yourself correctly. Five comments that have been submitted under false names have not been posted.
    Comments already posted will stand for now – you have 24 hours to identify yourself properly and give an email address where you can be reached, or your comment will be deleted.
    Everyone who has signed to have an actual dialogue is appreciated.
    If you are not willing to stand behind your comments, don’t send them.
    Judith Marin-Straw
    CulverCityCrossroads

  14. There are NO anonymous comments on this site. That is the policy. No exceptions. If you want to play those games, go play them with Mark Zuckerberg or Jack Dorsey. If you are actually afraid to express an opinion and sign it, this is not the place for you to participate.
    If you know where I stand, I stand on the truth. Sign your real name or go express yourself elsewhere.

    Notice that there are comments on both sides of the discussion, signed by real people. They get to stay posted.

  15. Hi Annette, CCPD is definitely racist growing up in CC it was common for CCPD to stop anyone that was of color and it was known in the neighborhood as a matter of fact I posted on facebook of the number of police office stopping blacks and hispanics they had quite of bit of officer the person was going to work. My family was seriously impacted by the CCPD. For further details please contact me directly..

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