CRASH officers were required to get to know gang members--their names, habits, friends--to keep on top of gang activity. The units were successful, city-wide, in reducing gang related crime. But some critics, especially after Rafael Perez's allegations surfaced, believed that CRASH administered rough street justice--harassing and abusing suspects and falsifying reports.Our Eyes have maintained for some time that APD's Special Investigations Unit (SID) - the unit where David Young was playing detective and fondling hookers - was out of control and bore a striking resemblance to the Rampart CRASH unit at LAPD.
According to Our Eyes, last week Nick Riccardi from the Los Angeles Times was poking around APD. Apparently, he met with Chief Schultz and others involved and is preparing a three part series for the LA Times. Word is, Riccardi found numerous similarities between the Rampart scandal and the SID debacle.
Should the Times run with the story they'll bring national attention to APD and the mayor who is directly responsible for their actions (or lack thereof). The worst thing for the Almighty Alcalde would be for the story to break before the October election. Should Marty manage to keep his police department out of the headlines until after the election and should voters choose to send him back to his perch on the 11th floor, he'll be in a far better position to defend himself and he'll be in direct control of at least one investigatory agency.
The Rampart story and subsequent investigation by the Feds was triggered by a story in the LA Times. Since it seems as if the FBI is already looking into the allegations and cover-up over at SID, a national story would serve to put pressure on a Justice Department still smarting from the very public political payback of dropping the indictments against Governor Richardson and his shakedown artists.
The Eyes have it that Chief Schultz believes that he has cut a deal to keep Riccardi's series out of the Times until after the election. However, their information is that the story will run before the election as early as this week.
If you think about it, there's no reason for the LA Times to throw a bone to the Chief and his boss The Almighty Alcalde. They're a national paper that doesn't have the cozy relationship that Marty enjoys with The Journal. They don't depend on Marty for access so there's very little that The Almighty Alcalde can do to hurt them. And sitting on this kind of story increases the chances that some other paper will pick it up and beat them to their own story.
Worse for Mayor Marty and his Minions, they won't be able to count on the cover so freely given to Richardson because besides being drummed out of not one but two elections by his own party last year, The Almighty Alcalde backed the wrong horse in the last election. Should allegations become indictments, you can bet that these indictments will go forward regardless of whether or not Marty is still mayor.
----- Update -----
Is our Eye red!!! We sat on the story about the story longer than the LA Times sat on the story itself! You can read Nick Riccardi's story here.
Our understanding is that there are two remaining parts... we shall see. By the way Sergeant, uh... Chief Schultz, it's not October.
For those of you who might have information for the LA Times' intrepid reporter, you can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.