Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pedro v. City of Los Angeles (Cal. Ct. App. - Aug. 25, 2014)

You sort of wonder when you read this opinion why the LAPD is making such a big deal out of Officer Jason Pedro's decision to drive a friend of his to a medical appointment in an unmarked police car while he was on duty.  Should he do that?  No.  Should he have been a bit more courteous to the person with whom he interacted on the sidewalk outside the clinic?  Sure.  Should he have been more, shall we say, "forthright" in his statement to a fellow officer about what he was doing there?  Absolutely.

But the guy's been a cop with the LAPD for 15 years.  Why such apparent excitement about dragging the guy through a Board of Rights hearing and getting that guy suspended from his job?  Sure, I'd love to think that he LAPD's that serious in every single case of alleged misconduct.  But somehow, I doubt it.

Though maybe I get what's going on a little bit more once I get to page 9 of Justice Croskey's opinion. Which reads:

"[T]he board believed that [Officer] Pedro was not completely truthful in describing his platonic relationship with the minor, who apparently was 16 years old at the time of the incident, or in stating that he did not know either the nature of her visit to the clinic or that abortions were performed there."

Yeah.  Now I get it.  You drive your sixteen-year old "friend" to an abortion clinic twice while on duty and in uniform.  Allegedly telling a fellow officer who spots you there that you're "working the Gang Unit in Detectives and was conducting a follow up with a victim.”

Now I can sort of see why the LAPD might make kind of a big deal about that.

Though Officer Pedro gets entirely off.  On what the police generally call a "technicality" as applied to perps but that becomes an extraordinarily important procedural limitation was applied to one's self.