When good cops become victims of police abuse
I first came across the above video of Los Angeles Police Sergeant Wayne K. Guillary last year and meant to post it, but like many things I come across the internet, it ended up getting neglected because of other more pressing issues I write about.
Besides, I asked myself, is it really that newsworthy to see a video of a cop simply doing his job?
I have to admit, it was very refreshing to see Guillary not only speaking respectfully to a group of protesters, but genuinely showing concern for their safety.
LAPD Sergeant Wayne K. Guillary, Photo by Paul Alvarez/The Press-Enterprise
Then a few weeks ago, Guillary was brought to my attention again, but this time because he had become the victim of police abuse after he was threatened with a Taser and forced to the ground at gunpoint in front of his own home by Riverside police. He has sued.
And again, it was one of those things that I wanted to write about, and again it was one of those things that got neglected because of other stories that were more timely.
LAPD Sergeant Randolph Franklin, Photo by Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times
But now another story of another LAPD segeant who also ended up a victim of police abuse has emerged.
Randolph Franklin was also one of the good guys. A cop who did not believe in the Blue Code of Silence.
But in 2006, his home was raided by LAPD’s SWAT unit. He and his two children were forced out of the house at gunpoint while cops ransacked his house for six hours. They later claimed it was an honest mistake.
Franklin claimed it was an act of retaliation and sued.
According to the Los Angeles Times:
By his own account, Franklin has reported several partners for perceived abuses, even telling a suspect once that his partner had unlawfully arrested him. In 2000, after being promoted to sergeant, Franklin was assigned to the department’s Pacific Division on the Westside, where he solidified his reputation as a strict, by-the-book supervisor and a rabble-rouser who didn’t shy away from criticizing other cops. More than once, he says, he raised eyebrows when he ordered officers to release suspects taken into custody under dubious circumstances.
Guillary is also not afraid to criticize the brass. In 2002, he published an article criticizing a past LAPD chief of racism and mentioning his own experiences with racism from superior officers. The article was published by the Oscar Joel Bryant Foundation, an organization of black LAPD officers (it is a PDF so you need to scroll down a bit to see it).
I can personally tell you that I encountered racism in 1998, while assigned as the OIC of the former EODD, Recruitment Section. I challenged the injustice and the system to its core. I reported to my superiors, both command and staff officers, the egregious employee misconduct that was occurring within the Recruitment Section. I also provided them with a document that contained an offensive remark about African Americans officers and applicants seeking employment with the LAPD, which stated that there were “TOO MANY NIGGERS” being hired. I was later retaliated against and humiliated.
At 50, Franklin is only two years younger than Guillary. And like Guillary he is black. And like Guillary, he has also dedicated half his life to the badge.
But unlike Guillary, he chose to make his home in a crime-ridden neighborhood in South Los Angeles instead of buying a million dollar home in a posh neighborhood in Riverside.
LAPD tried to justify their raid on Franklin by his choice of residence, saying he shouldn’t expect any less when chosing to live amidst drug dealers and gang bangers.
Guillary believes he was racially profiled because he was black in an upscale neighborhood, alleging that cops accused him of trespassing on his own property.
A jury already unanimously decided that LAPD “deliberately falsified” information on the warrant affidavit on Franklin. But because a judge ordered them to think of the officers involved as individuals rather than as the LAPD, he was not awarded damages. He is appealing.
Guillary’s case has yet to go to court.
Then there is the case of Phoenix police officer Dave Barnes who was once a top homicide top detective until he spoke out against the brass. He was demoted and his home was raided. He will most likely sue.
While Barnes is not black, his career also parallels those of Franklin and Guillary because he took his job so seriously that he was not afraid to break the Blue Code of Bullshit. He believed in standards.
But now he has become another disillusioned cop.
This is how Franklin describes that feeling:
“I used to be proud of my job,” he says. “Now, it’s just something I muddle through each day — just something I do to support my family. . . . This whole dream is dead.”