All posts by jasmynecannick

chp asst. chief chris oquinn

Black CHP Chief Justifies White Officer Punching Black Woman on Freeway

CHP Assistant Chief Chris O'Quinn on Los Angeles radio station KJLH.

CHP Assistant Chief Chris O’Quinn on Los Angeles radio station KJLH.

*Today in Los Angeles on Stevie Wonder owned KJLH-FM, California Highway Patrol Assistant Chief Chris O’Quinn took to their airwaves on the Front Page show with Dominique DiPrima to dodge (yes, we said dodge) discussing the recorded video of the July 1 beating of 51-year-old Marlene Pinnock that has since gone viral.  His appearance comes just one day after the family of Pinnock announced a civil rights violation lawsuit.

When asked if there was anything, anything to justify the beating of Ms. Pinnock by that CHP officer, Chief O’Quinn responded:

“An officer is permitted to use the force that is necessary to overcome resistance.  It’s doesn’t say equal force.  It says to overcome the resistance that they’re experiencing.”

Well, we’re not sure if O’Quinn saw the same video the rest of the world saw.  If he did, then he should have just answered no and called it a day.  No, Marlene Pinnock didn’t do a damn thing to justify that officer beating her to the ground like she was nobody and nothing.

Let us recap, because maybe we missed something the first one hundred times we watched this video.

Nope, like we said before.  The victim didn’t do anything to justify her very public beat down on a Los Angeles freeway by a cop.

But we digressed.

Also during the show Chief O’Quinn told Black Los Angeles that the agency was trying to be as transparent as possible–but still wouldn’t give up the name of the officer who put the beat down on Ms. Pinnock.  This even though the CHP has executed a search warrant for her medical records and has put all of her business in the streets.

Listen to the entire interview here.

Hosted by Dominique DiPrima, since 1992 the Front Page has been Los Angeles’ number one rated daily talk radio show focused on current affairs, news, and politics from an African-American point of view. The show can be heard on-air in Los Angeles and in surrounding counties between 4:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. on 102.3 FM and online at www.kjlhradio.com.  Owned by Stevie Wonder’s Taxi Productions, KJLH-FM is the leading broadcast radio station for African-Americans and urban consumers in Southern California.

chp beating black woman

CHP Trying to Discredit Man who Recorded Officer Beating Black Woman (Listen)

*In a live interview earlier today on KJLH-FM’s Front Page, David Diaz talked with host Dominique DiPrima about being at the center of the now national controversy involving the July 1 beating of 51-year-old Marlene Pinnock by a California Highway Patrol Officer in Los Angeles.

DiPrima spoke with Diaz after the video he took of incident went viral and sparked outrage from various communities including from African-Americans and advocates for the homeless and mentally ill.

1. On what Diaz felt as he was recording the incident.

“Like this is really happening. I’m really watching this officer really just plunge as hard as he can into this woman on the ground.”

“You can tell this was beyond the call of duty,” Diaz explained.  “This was clearly excessive.  He–this wasn’t just, again, soft hits.  You clearly see him cocking back his hand and his arms and really punching down with force. I mean, there’s no, there’s no bias in this.  There’s no conspiracy in this.  What was on the tape was what really happened.  What you see is what happened.  That force happened.  We need to stop rationalizing this.”

2. On why Diaz didn’t give the video to the police right away.

“Giving it to authorities, we don’t do that here.  We don’t do that in L.A., to give it to authorities.  Those were the authorities.”

“It’s funny because people say why didn’t you call the cops.  That was the cops! And everyone’s a tough guy, they go oh– you should have intervened.  Like yeah, so the other guy–so the other cop that comes in at the later end, so he can shoot me?  Like c’mon, people need to be realistic.”

3.  On the CHP trying to discredit him.

“The CHP has come to my house to take statements.  So they have questioned me.  They’ve tried to discredit me and they’ve tried to poke holes in my story. So that’s happened.  And they are one of the people that have questioned why I didn’t help out and why I didn’t call 911 and why I didn’t stick around to assist her into the hospital if I felt so concerned.  They tried to poke holes at me to discredit me for sure.”

Click here to listen to full audio.

Hosted by Dominique DiPrima, since 1992 the Front Page has been Los Angeles’ number one rated daily talk radio show focused on current affairs, news, and politics from an African-American point of view. The show can be heard on-air in Los Angeles and in surrounding counties between 4:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. on 102.3 FM and online at www.kjlhradio.com.  Owned by Stevie Wonder’s Taxi Productions, KJLH-FM is the leading broadcast radio station for African-Americans and urban consumers in Southern California.

chp beating black woman

Minuteklan Project founder Jim Gilchrist with Ted Hayes then anti-homeless activist in Los Angeles' Leimert Park.

Minuteman Founder to Speak with Blacks on Effects of Illegal Immigration

Jim Gilchrist to Appear on KJLH-FM’s Front Page Show Tuesday, July 8

Minuteklan Project founder Jim Gilchrist with Ted Hayes then anti-homeless activist in Los Angeles' Leimert Park.

Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist with Ted Hayes, then anti-homeless activist in Los Angeles’ Leimert Park.

*INGLEWOOD, CA – The Front Page show on KJLH-FM will host a live on-air town hall meeting on illegal immigration and its effects on the African-American community with Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman Project.

The show will air live on Tuesday, July 8 from 4:30 a.m. to 6 a.m. on KJLH 102.3 FM and online at kjlhradio.com.  Callers can participate by calling 520-KJLH (5554) from any Southern California area code or by tweeting questions and comments to @kjlhfrontpage or on Facebook at facebook.com/frontpageshow.

With national unemployment hovering around 10 percent and black male unemployment at a staggering 17.6 percent, many African-Americans do not believe that illegal immigrant workers are doing the jobs that Americans won’t do.

In addition, while some local Democrats hailed President Barack Obama’s announcement last week that he plans to use executive authority to make changes to the nation’s immigration system, a large contingency of African-Americans in Southern California continue to be concerned over the fate of unaccompanied Central American children who have surged to the Texas border and are now being brought to California for processing.

Jim Gilchrist founded the Minuteman Project on October 1, 2004 after years of frustrated efforts trying to get the U.S. government to enforce existing immigration laws.  Mr. Gilchrist is a passionate defender of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and an avid supporter of law enforcement organizations.  He believes he is only one of millions of 21st century minutemen / women / children who want the U.S. to remain governed by the “rule of law” and who want proactive enforcement of our national security protections and our immigration legal code.

Hosted by Dominique DiPrima, since 1992 the Front Page has been Los Angeles’ only daily talk radio show focused on current affairs, news, and politics from an African-American point of view. The show can be heard on-air in Los Angeles and surrounding counties between 4:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. on 102.3 FM and online at www.kjlhradio.com.  Owned by Stevie Wonder’s Taxi Productions, KJLH-FM is the leading broadcast radio station for African-Americans and urban consumers in Southern California.

Frank Lyga - slider

White LAPD Cop Threatened to Expose Black Cop’s Killing as Ordered Hit

Frank_Lyga_Jasmyne_Cannick_YouTube_NBC_LALAPD Detective Frank Lyga

Hear the Audio at the Center of the LAPD’s Lygagate Scandal

According to a November 18, 2013 memo to Los Angeles Police Department Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger from an unnamed officer, Detective Frank Lyga threatened to go to the media after he shot and killed Black police officer Kevin Gaines in 1997. Lyga told 37 people, including members of the LAPDGlendale Police DepartmentCalifornia Highway PatrolLos Angeles Port Police, and Los Angeles Unified School Police, that then Chief Bernard Parks wanted to “send him to another unit” after the shooting to “hide him for awhile.” Lyga said that he was “pissed” and told his Captain at the time that “if Parks puts me there I’m going to the media and tell them that this was a sanctioned hit on Gaines by the LAPD.”

The comments were made at a November 15, 2013 LAPD Detective School in-service training at the Police Academy prior to the start of the now infamous Lygagate audio recording.

Detective Lyga followed those comments by laughing and saying “I basically blackmailed the Chief.”

Lyga goes on to say that about three hours later he received a call from his Captain who said that Parks was going to let him stay in Narcotics and that Parks had a heart.

According to the unnamed officer, Lyga spoke about the Gaines incident for one hour of which only 26 minutes was recorded.

The memo to Paysinger also says that the officer didn’t want to participate in any complaint against Lyga for fear of more retaliation from the department and his own safety.

The officer tells Chief Paysinger that “I told you then (1997) and I’m telling you now, Kevin Gaines murder was no accident.”

This memo was sent to Asst. Chief Paysinger three days after the November 15th incident.

In April, the audio was given to LAPD brass after Lyga had received no discipline for his comments.

After there was still no response internally to the memo or Lyga’s comments, on June 16 the story broke publicly.

Only this last week was the instructor of the class who allowed Lyga to speak freely before the room of 37 was given a comment card, which is considered to be the most minimal discipline possible—basically a slap on the wrist.

On Thursday, Detective Lyga was sent home and relieved of duty pending the outcome of an Internal Affairs investigation.

Capt. Lillian Carranza, one of the people mentioned by Lyga in the recorded comments at the center of Lygagate, filed a slander suit Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Carranza alleges intentional infliction of emotional distress and false light invasion of privacy, is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

In the audio Lyga described Carranza as a “very cute Hispanic lady who couldn’t find her ass with both of her hands.”

Lyga also said Carranza had been “swapped around a bunch of times.”

In recounting the LAPD’s investigation into the 1997 shooting and the lawsuit the Gaines’ family filed, Lyga recalled a confrontation he had with attorney Carl Douglas, who helped represent Gaines’ family.

Douglas, Lyga said, asked him if he regretted shooting Gaines.

Lyga said he replied, “I said, no. I regret he was alone in the truck at the time. I could have killed a whole truckload of them and I would have been happily doing it—doing so.”

At the time of the shooting Lyga said that he didn’t know who Gaines was and that he had never met him before.

However, in the audio, Lyga recalls an earlier encounter he had with a former trainee who happened to have Kevin Gaines in the car with him. Completely contradicting his earlier account of the 1997 incident.

On KJLH-FM’s Front Page show last Thursday, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said that no decision had been made as to whether or not the killing of police officer Kevin Gaines should be re-opened and investigated.

There are calls for the offices of District Attorney Jackie Lacey and California Attorney General Kamala Harris to open an investigation into the investigation of the investigation.

Law enforcement agencies including the LAPD are always encouraging us to say something if we see something. Someone saw something and they said something and sadly the LAPD did nothing–that is until it was breaking news.

The LAPD needs to fire Detective Frank Lyga as soon as they legally can and André Birotte Jr., United States Attorney for the Central District of California needs to open an investigation into whether or not Frank Lyga murdered Kevin Gaines on his own accord or on the orders of the Los Angeles Police Department in 1997.

Jasmyne A. Cannick (official headshot)Selected as one of ESSENCE Magazine’s 25 Women Shaping the World and one the Most Influential African-Americans in Los Angeles Under 40, on radio, television, and in print, Jasmyne Cannick is a politics, race, and pop culture social commentator.  She works as a political communications and media relations consultant and lives in Los Angeles.

Frank_Lyga_Jasmyne_Cannick_YouTube_NBC_LA

@Jasmyne Cannick: Why LAPD Police Chief Must Fire Racist Cop at Center of #Lygagate

The Los Angeles Police Department wants you to say something if you see something.

Yet, last fall when a room full of police officers witnessed a veteran detective making racially charged comments about shooting black men and vulgar insults about command staff’s sexual behavior during a training lecture—almost no one had anything to say. Instead, they laughed, snickered, and applauded at the end.

Detective Frank Lyga, a 28-year veteran of the LAPD has been put on administrative duty after audio surfaced of that training. Lyga, whose claim to fame is the 1997 shooting death of an off-duty LAPD officer Kevin Gaines, can be heard recounting a conversation with civil rights attorney Carl Douglas.

Lyga says on the audio that his only regret regarding the shooting was that Gaines was alone in the truck at the time and that he could have “killed a whole truckload of them” and “would have been happily doing so.”

Lyga claimed self-defense and the department under then Police Chief Bernard Parks, exonerated him of any wrongdoing. However, the investigation into the shooting is what lead to the Rampart scandal.

Since the release of the audio publicly, Lyga has confirmed to the media that it is his voice. Police Chief Charlie Beck announced that Lyga has been removed from the field and placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation.

But what can we really expect from Beck when it comes to Lyga’s investigation and discipline? After all, Lyga is a veteran detective known for making high profile drug busts and he’s white.

On the audio, Lyga at one point says that he “doesn’t give a fuck” and that he’s “not afraid of command staff.”

I believe him. Administrative duty is not off-duty. It means that he gets to hang out at the office with the same people who apparently find his brand of humor amusing as demonstrated in the audio.

But perhaps Lygagate will force the department to do something different. This scandal breaks at a time when Beck is being considered for re-appointment for another five-year term. It also comes right on the heels of the revelation that cops were unpunished for breaking antennas to avoid being recorded while on duty in South L.A. and  Beck’s controversial decision to overrule recommendations from a disciplinary board that a white police officer be fired for using a racial slur towards an African-American during an off-duty altercation at a Norco bar.

Officer Shawn Hillman was given a vacation of 65-days by the department—not for using the n-word but for lying about it to LAPD investigators.

Criticism was raised after it was publicized that Hillman’s father is a retired LAPD officer, and his uncle is a popular former Deputy Chief who rose through the ranks the same time as Beck.

Police Commissioner President Steve Soboroff disagreed with Beck’s decision but Mayor Eric Garcetti said he trusted it.

Hillman was off –duty at the time of his incident. Lyga however was being paid by taxpayers when he decided to tell a room full of police officers that 77th Division Captain Lillian Carranza couldn’t find her ass with both hands because someone else’s hands were always on it and that the “cute little Hispanic lady” had been tossed around the department. Comments, which oddly drew the loudest laughter from the female officers in the room and which speak to an even sadder commentary about a department that is always trying to recruit women to join.

Lyga has since said that his words were taken out of context.

I’m not sure how you take out of context “I regret he was alone in the truck at the time. I could have killed a whole truckload of them and I would have been happy doing so.”

It doesn’t matter if the “them” is Black police officers or Black people in general—no member of the LAPD should publicly be taking pride in killing anyone. The fact this man is training the same police officers who pull over people like me and you should be of concern to everyone in Los Angeles.

Beck has been on a public relations tour touting that today’s LAPD is not the same LAPD it was 20 year ago.

I beg to differ, and so did Christopher Dorner who so eloquently and seemingly correctly pointed out “the department has not changed since the Rampart and Rodney King days. It has gotten worse. The consent decree should never have been lifted. The only thing that has evolved from the consent decree is those officers involved in the Rampart scandal and Rodney King incidents have since promoted to supervisor, commanders, and command staff, and executive positions.”

Remember, the LAPD deemed Christopher Dorner was lying about his partner kicking a mentally-ill man and was fired.  Officer Shaun Hillman was actually found to be lying thanks to a video that surfaced, and he was not fired.

Lyga is a relic owning to the Rampart days Dorner referenced and yes–he’s still in the department having promoted over the past 17-years since he shot and killed Kevin Gaines. He clearly has a problem with African-Americans but has been allowed to teach his brand of racism and bigotry to younger generations of police officers.

There are hundreds of current and former LAPD Black police officers who have witnessed racism towards both civilians and fellow officers at the hands of their white colleagues like Lyga in the department. And while the department tells you and I to report suspicious or criminal behavior, they damn near make that impossible for their own officers to do inside of the department for fear of losing their job or even worse–never promoting.

Beck, the Police Commission, and the mayor can’t waffle on Lygagate—especially after Hillman, especially after Donald Sterling. If we truly are a city that doesn’t tolerate racism and bigotry, then Lyga has got to go because anything less spells h-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y.

Jasmyne A. Cannick (official headshot)Selected as one of ESSENCE Magazine’s 25 Women Shaping the World and one the Most Influential African-Americans in Los Angeles Under 40, on radio, television, and in print, Jasmyne A. Cannick is a politics, race, and pop culture social commentator.  She works as a political communications and media relations consultant and lives in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter @Jasmyne.

LAPD Officer Kevin Gaines - LAPD Detective Frank Lyga

@Jasmyne Cannick: 20 Years After OJ, 2014 Audio Shows LAPD Not Changed Much

*Why is this man still working for the L.A.P.D.?

That’s the question I have for LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck and the Police Commission after listening to an audio recording (above) of Detective Frank Lyga at a recent in-service L.A.P.D. training where he proudly discussed the joy he took in killing off duty police officer Kevin Gaines in 1997.

Lyga, then an undercover narcotics officer, shot and killed 31-year-old Gaines on March 18, 1997.

In part of the audio, which was recorded by an officer attending the training, Lyga recalls a conversation he had with famed civil rights and wrongful death attorney Carl Douglas.

Lyga says, “The last thing I want to say is that Carl Douglas hit me up and said, ‘did you intend to shoot him’?”

With his colleagues laughing in the background, Lyga says he responded to Douglas by saying, “I hit him, didn’t I?”

He says that Douglas asked if it was an accident to which Lyga replied  “No it wasn’t an accident.”

Lyga then says Douglas asked if he had any regrets.

“I said yeah,” according to Lyga.  “No, I regret that he was alone in his truck at the time.”

Lyga then goes on to say to his colleagues, “Figure that one out. Hear that?  Alone in the truck at the time.  I could have killed a whole truckload of them…and would have been happily doing it–doing so.”

The audio, according to sources, is approximately four months old and includes other equally disturbing comments by Lyga all with snickers and laughs from his colleagues in the audience the entire time.

Highlights also include Lyga saying how 77th Division Captain I Lillian L. Carranza couldn’t find her ass with both her hands because someone else’s hands were always on it and because she’s been “tossed around” a couple of times. Lyga also referred to civil rights attorney Johnnie Cochran as a “crooked-lipped motherfucker” and attorney Carl Douglas as [Johnnie Cochran's] “little Ewok assistant.”  Lyga also asserts that then City Attorney James Hahn only settled the case because he was running for mayor and more.

Complete Audio of Lyga’s Speech

Anyway, according to reports, investigator’s said that incident began on March 18,1997 with a simple stare between Lyga and Gaines when both were stopped at a traffic signal on Cahuenga Boulevard. It quickly escalated into a verbal confrontation. Lyga allegedly pulled away and informed his colleagues by radio that he was having trouble. Sources said Lyga told other officers that he was being pursued by an irate motorist. A couple of blocks to the south, Gaines pulled up next to Lyga.

A source close to the investigation told the Los Angeles Times at the time that the detective said he heard Gaines shout words that he took to mean he could be shot.

Lyga says he glanced over and saw a gun pointed at him, the source said. “Fearing that he was about to be shot, Lyga drew his duty weapon and fired two rounds in the direction of the suspect,” according to a statement released at the time by the LAPD.

Lyga, 40, had just finished an undercover drug operation and was dressed in grubby clothes to look like a dealer. Police said Lyga had no idea that Gaines was a police officer when he shot him. Gaines apparently was also unaware that Lyga was an officer, the LAPD said.

That account has been disputed by former LAPD officer Brian Bentley who was Gaines’ former partner. In March 2003, Bentley wrote an article for StreetGangs.com in which he claimed the LAPD deliberately covered up the true circumstances of Kevin Gaines’s death.  Bentley alleged that Detective Lyga had a history of being over-aggressive with African-American suspects, and hailed from the same West Los Angeles police station that produced Mark Fuhrman—a station that Bentley believes to be racist.

Bentley claims that Lyga was overheard bragging in the lobby of this police station that Internal Affairs had told him they would do everything possible to defame Officer Gaines to clear Lyga of wrongdoing. Bentley also noted that Lyga’s claims that Gaines pointed a gun at him with his right hand at his face are false because Gaines was left-handed.

Bentley, an African American, published a “tell-all” book entitled “Honor Without Integrity in 2004”, which details how he engaged in much of the same behavior both on and off-duty as the convicted Rampart cops during his own tenure with the LAPD.

The Gaines family hired Johnnie Cochran to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles for $25,000,000. After the city exonerated Officer Lyga, they settled for $250,000.

It was also alleged that Gaines had ties to Death Row Recordsthe Bloods, and dated Suge Knight’s ex-wife. An investigation into Gaines’ behavior provided the first clues to the widespread police corruption that morphed into the Rampart Scandal.

But that’s neither here nor there.  The issue is not about whether or not Gaines’ was dirty. The issue is that in 2014, seventeen years after his killing, under the leadership of a man who is seeking re-appointment as Los Angeles’ top cop, a white detective can get in front of a room of his colleagues and brag about killing a Black police officer with regrets of not being able to kill more—seemingly without any repercussions.  That’s the issue.

So how much has really changed inside of the LAPD?

LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck commented on the NBC 4 news Wednesday night that he wasn’t sure how big a deal the murders of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman were to the Department today.  Beck, said that many of today’s officers weren’t working for the Department 20 years ago.

I beg to differ.  Lyga is proof that the LAPD still employs, harbors, and aids and abets many of the same racist officers it had 20 years ago.  They’ve just moved up in the ranks and aren’t necessarily today’s beat cops, but they’re still there and as Lyga proves, just as racist and sexist as ever.

Jasmyne A. Cannick (official headshot)Selected as one of ESSENCE Magazine’s 25 Women Shaping the World and one the Most Influential African-Americans in Los Angeles Under 40, on radio, television, and in print, Jasmyne Cannick is a politics, race, and pop culture social commentator who has cultivated a national following. She can be reached at www.jasmyneonline.com and on Twitter @Jasmyne.