After months of lurking, all of these Chris Dorner posts have forced me to get involved. Any LAPD officers on reddit are probably afraid to post on here due to fear of repercussions at work. I no longer work there so I can speak the truth.

Comments: 475 • Responses: 82  • Date: 

SteveMcQueen3643 karma

What do you think of the officers that fired on those trucks? You know, the ones that didn't have Chris Dorner in them?

jd181870 karma

I don't know all the circumstances, none of us do yet. But it sure smells of panic and contagious firing. In my 7 years there I never heard of such a crappy OIS (officer involved shooting). Despite the widespread belief that "nothing will happen to them" someone is probably getting fired. It is drilled in your head i the academy "shoot at what you know, not what you think." These guys will probably burn and they probably should. Remember though in the dark, a blacked out truck driving up on you, it is easy to be unsure of the color or make of truck. That is not an excuse but an explanation for people who don't understand how you can shoot a different make and color truck.

AnshinRevolt20 karma

Wow, didn't think you would answer that one. Good on ya.

jd181843 karma

I think the more people understand about us the less of the crazy "the police are executing innocent people" posts I will see. At least I hope. I was once 19 and thought I knew everything also.

Ramv3621 karma

Me too. But now I'm 29, know better, and still think those two need to come up on charges...

jd181829 karma

Well here is the thing. Were they working within the scope of their duties and made a bad decision? Or were they purposefully acting with disregard for their jobs? It is for a jury to decide in the civil trial.

YouthInRevolt11 karma

Remember though in the dark, a blacked out truck driving up on you, it is easy to be unsure of the color or make of truck.

Which is exactly why the officers shouldn't have fired on the truck in the first place...

jd181819 karma

I agree 100%

[deleted]6 karma

The first shooting happened in broad daylight, though, and the windows weren't blacked out.

jd18182 karma

One was with Torrance PD and I don't know the specifics.

Enex2 karma

So someone is just going to lose their job for attempted murder.

Not exactly justice there.

jd18184 karma

I totally get where you are coming from but remember this. You have to prove a criminal intent. Did the officers intend to shoot a newspaper lady? Of course not. So the next question is, was he acting so outside the scope of his training that his act falls into not just civil but criminal negligence? In almost every case no. However, this shooting is really bad. There is an outside chance (we still don't know all the details) that the officer(s) could be found criminally negligent.

iamaredditer35 karma

Have you done a desk pop yet?

jd181815 karma

I don't know what that is

dpcaxx26 karma

What's your take on Chris Dorner?

Higher-Life12 karma

Also, have you read his manifesto and what are your thoughts about it?

jd1818110 karma

I actually have not read it, I should. I am annoyed that this psycho murderer is being propped up as some sort of robin hood because he said the LAPD is corrupt and that feeds right into existing feelings people have, some of which are justified. The department is 10,000 people who have their own morals, backgrounds, and ideas. A mostly hispanic department by the way. Like alot of big cities the history is alot of racism which I think was very reflective of the times. You know who loves the LAPD? The working poor people I would see everyday. The people who worked two jobs to make a life for themselves. Only to get robbed by some "tough gangster" who beats down a 65 yr old lady for the rent money in her pocket. Go talk to the people who actually work in these neighborhoods. The vast majority loved us because, unlike other big cites, we didn't just drive by and wave. We went after these guys. It is frustrating to chase some gangster down a dark alley night holding a gun in his waistband only to catch him and have some other gangster come out of his house and yell "I saw him plant the gun!". Risking not going home to see my newborn baby because I really don't want people to have to live in fear of these punks. Then I would go to West LA to work a special detail. Some white 20 something hipster would yell "Rodney King!" from across the street. Rodney King happened when I barely had pubes. But I had to carry that albatross around my neck, along with the Rampart scandal. Many young people on here like to think of themselves as champions of the little guy and civil rights. Well I put my money where my mouth is. I was risking my life to helping the working poor in the most dangerous neighborhoods.

jd181873 karma

Sorry for this rant. I am not trying to act like I am some selfless angel. Like everyone else I am self motivated. I did the job because I loved it. But I also think I am doing something to make society better. Looking at a cop, you don't know, and thinking or saying "pig" or "facist" is no different than looking at a black guy you don't know and thinking "nigger" It is the same thing. It is easy and self gratifying to fit people into categories. But real issues are much deeper and more complex. I don't need anyone telling me I am a "hero" or any other patronizing thing. All I ask for is an open mind. I might be a nice guy or an ass but give me a chance.

Dokomox-13 karma

I actually have not read it, I should.

So you decide to devote a bunch of your time answering an AMA because you've seen "all these Chris Dorner posts," yet you haven't even bothered to read the guy's manifesto? Interesting.

jd18185 karma

When you put it that way it sounds silly I know. But I worked there 7 years in many different places. When I hear about the "rampant racism" he loses all credibility to me. My gang unit was about 25 guys. About 18 of which were hispanic, 2 asian, two black and three white. My gang Sgt was black, my gang/narcotics lieutenant was black, my division had a patrol captain and a head captain, they were both black, and the person at the top of my food chain, who is the last word on discipline i might get for screwing up was the Deputy Chief of South Bureau. Guess what, he was black too.

old_nerd10 karma


jd181812 karma

working on it now give me a few minutes.

LeonNight9 karma

Drug war - in your opinion what should be changed? BTW thanks for everything you do. While I was a young addict/alcoholic a MPLS beat cop fomer swat befriended me for a bit and helped me a lot. He said people are always happy for the fire fighters, not always for the crime fighters.

jd181829 karma

I think in California prop 36 has been a good thing. Prop 36 gives first time drug offenders mandatory rehab instead of jail. It makes no sense to put a crackhead in jail for months at a time. At the same time we need to get addicts clean because meth, heroin, and cocaine addicts make up almost all of our property crimes. You have to support your habit right? At this point, and i am in the minority of officers on this, i think weed should just be legalized already. Unless you are a gang member I let you keep your weed on 9 out of 10 stops i do. Unless you are selling it. SSHHHHH don't tell anyone.

kitsu8 karma

In cases of an officer going "overboard", how stiff is IA in investigating, and how adequate are their punishments?

jd181811 karma

I have been gone for 6 years so I cannot say now. I can say I know about 3 guys who were fired over minor things. Lying about a minor thing will get you fired quick. At my current department it is much harder to get fired. I came on the job right after Rampart and they were super aggresive in investigating guys. They would plant drugs in your black and white to see if you would throw it away or book it as found evidence. They would flag you down undercover and say they wanted to complain on an officer to see if you would call a SGT or kiss it off.

iamaredditer8 karma

How much racial profiling actually takes place?

jd181821 karma

In the ghetto, never. I worked in an area 80% black and 20% hispanic. I still got people who said "you only pulled me over because i'm black." Now in a white neighborhood when a young black guy goes through? I am sure it happens. But it is easy to justify pulling over almost any car. I always worked (and still do) in minority communities. You just can't know what is in someone's head. I am sure it goes on everyday.

dirtymoney11 karma

what about a white guy in a black neighborhood?

jd18188 karma

They, for sure, got my attention. They often were looking to buy.

rum_rum6 karma

it is easy to justify pulling over almost any car

The takeaway here.

jd18188 karma

It is true. The california vehicle code is thousands of pages long. If i want to pull you over, I can almost always find a reason.

Peanut_Larry8 karma

Did you ever catch a fellow officer participating in activities that can be deemed "corrupted"? If so, how did you react?

jd181828 karma

I think this is where movies like Training Day feed into this myth that becomes reality because it gets so repeated. In east coast police departments "corruption" is guys on the take. It is hard to get cops, in places like Chicago, to step foot into some of these projects. LAPD has a very different culture. They want hard workers. The culture is to be a hard charger who makes a bunch of felony arrests. The problems in LAPD have been more about use of force and fudging to make more arrests. In 7 years I have never seen someone steal money...ever. There have been a handful of times you see someone going a little overboard during a use of force. That is when you be a good partner and grab the guy and pull him away. Or on rare occasion someone wants to write something in the report that isn't a total lie but isn't totally accurate. Everyone works a two man car so you always have a partner. So if your partner writes an arrest report you always have the partner review it. In that case I have simply said "I am not good to go with this." Then made them change it. I am not going to lie in court for anyone. In all those instances I was in patrol and not working gangs. In gangs we all knew each other and knew what each other was comfortable with. Much more common was disobeying dept policy. Breaking a crack pipe with dope in it instead of making an arrest, not towing a car when I am mandated to etc.

st0nedf0rever6 karma

In gang unit, you all knew each other but the funny thing is that the gangs all know you guys too..

jd181826 karma

Ya people don't understand that. We were like their homies. Some guys would not talk to you at all or if they did everything they said was a lie. Other guys were very honest. "Hey i only run if im strapped." Some guys would admit to me that they sold dope. We were assigned to specific gangs so we saw some of these guys every day. I have shown up to shootings and watched a guy I saw every day dying on the street and begging me to not let them die. It is pretty heavy stuff. Some of these guys are pure evil. But many of them are regular guys who you could talk to who happen to be products of their environment.

Ramv3613 karma

"Some guys would admit they sold dope to me."


Should that have been "Some guys would admit to me that they sold dope"?

jd181811 karma

Thanks!!! Oppss it is late for me.

jd18188 karma

To add on, these guys knew us and were trying to get information from us just like we were from them. Often our gangsters would get pulled over by a patrol cop and beg for "their gang cop" to come over so we could get them out of a ticket. If they were cool with me and had a good attitude I would often give them breaks on weed and tickets. If they were dicks they got maximum enforcement. It is like little kids, you have to be firm but fair.

Peanut_Larry6 karma

What a relief this reply is. Thank you for your perspective! However, I am watching the events of the Chris Dorner Manhunt unfold and can't help believing that something odd is afoot...

jd181821 karma

This is second hand info.....I know two former LAPD officers, one who was in the academy with Dorner, the other did probation at Harbor division with him. They both said he was a total screw up. He shot himself in the hand in the academy. Understand that you rarely get terminated over one incident. It is a build up of poor performance reviews by mutiple FTO's (Field Training Officers). The incident that got Dorner fired was just the last straw. Interesting that he doesn't tell anyone about this misconduct until he learns he is about to be fired. To me the system worked and a he was fired on probation. The question for me is how he passed his psych exam.

house_clouds7 karma

How often is the public lied to? Is there any huge media story where the public has accepted one version of the story, but the truth is far different? And since you mentioned Chris Dorner, do you feel that the police setting fire to the cabin was the best possible solution?

Thanks for doing an AMA!

jd181825 karma

This is my best guess so far on the cabin thing. There are two types of tear gas cold gas and hot gas (burners). Hot gas has a small flame and often causes fires. When there is time cold gas is almost always used first. Cold gas is much less effective. If Dorner was in that cabin and shooting full auto rifle rounds, and there is no hostage inside, I would use hot gas right away to fill that cabin with as much gas as fast as possible. When people talk about (burners) that is hot gas not some kindof purposeful fire starter. As for why no fire fighters? How do you get them close? You can use some indirect spray from far away but even with the house burning you can't get close. There is no way that guy was going to give up. He was firing rifle rounds at officers at every opportunity. I want to know what else can be done without placing any more officers in danger.

jd181826 karma

As a side note, there is a law about fleeing felons in california. If you have a dangerous felon, who is a continual immediate threat to the public and is running from you, you can shoot him in the back. For instance a Columbine type deal where he is running towards a school. You can shoot that person in the back. If I had seen dorner in a car, and he got out and ran away with a gun, in a populated area, i would feel fine shooting him in the back.

tmagnus5 karma

Garner v Tennessee! Thanks for doing this AMA from a fellow LEO.

jd18185 karma

ahhhh bonus points to you for the tennessee vs garner reference!

joncurtis7 karma

What is the craziest thing you have encountered in the field?

jd181815 karma

Working gangs we are a super tight group. We know each other's voices on the air and what we normally sound like. So I'm cruising with my partner and I hear one of my guys yell out "Officer needs help, shots fired" on the radio. I know him and he never yells like that. One guy's partner was sick that night so instead of two guys they were three deep in a dual purpose "unmarked" crown vic. I drive there like a madman and they had gotten into a gun battle in a supermarket parking lot. Hot brass everywhere and I can still see the smoke. They then chased this guy into a cul de sac and he went up a grassy embankment that is pitch black. The perimeter was getting set up wayyyy to slow and we formed a team and decided to hunt the shooter down and we couldn't wait. This is in the days before lights on your pistol. I am tracking through this thick brush and can barely see in front of me trying to hold my flashlight and pistol. I was convinced I was going to end up finding this guy and getting into a shooting from one foot away from each other. I had my pistol cocked back in single action. There were two guys. One guy got found hiding in the brush by my other partners. I find the empty casings on the ground that were still warm. He had just reloaded his revolver. The guy ended up busting the sloppy perimeter and he was but that was one of the scariest moments. Oh, and also I almost killed a guy with a cordless drill in his hand in an abandoned house when I had a week on the job. That would have been bad.

themismatch5 karma

What's the story of the cordless drill?

jd181826 karma

So my first week we get a call of a burglar inside a house. It is a huge old vicotrian house. This is before we had lights on our guns. It is like 4 in the afternoon so it is not quite dark yet. I leave my flashlight in the car because I am new and it didn't occur to me it is darker in houses. So we are searching this house that is dark with no lights on inside. I hear noises from an upstairs room. Being new, my adrenaline is pumping and we are working our way to the noise with our guns drawn. This guy comes down the hallway but I only see his outline. I yell out "Police hands up!" just like the academy. His hand starts to lift out of his waistand with a pistol in it. I start pulling back slowly on the trigger, my sights just below his hands so I can see them. I'm thinking "holy shit, this is it." I can see my hammer coming back slowly out of the corner of my eye. He steps out of the shadows and it is a cordless drill. He is a plumber who came to finish up some work. The neighbor didn't recognize him and called the homeowner. The homeowner was out of town but called us and said no one was supposed to be in his house. I would have been roasted and fired for sure. That guy had no idea....

kafkaveli6 karma

Was the LAPD involved in covering up Biggie's death? Who shot him?

jd181830 karma

There is a book called labyrinth by randall sullivan who was one of the investigators on the case. Mack and another LAPD officer (who were crooks and best friends with Rafael Perez) were probably involved. Mack was probably the shooter. They worked for Death Row records off duty. I think Bernard Parks (who was in charge of IA at the time) covered up the investigation because he knew he was next in line to be chief and didn't want any scandal that would ruin that. Get the book it explains a lot. One of the main causes, I believe, of Rampart was affirmative action hiring that brought Perez and Mack into the department despite their backgrounds.

jd181822 karma

Just to add. Bernard Parks had many close family members who were various blood gang members ( I arrested one). Most of those associated with death row (including Mack) were bloods. I also suspect that an investigation into Ofcr Mack at the time might have led to some of Parks family.

jd181812 karma

One more thing to add to this. Part of this investiation showed Mack, Perez, and durden as gangster cops basically. Bernard Parks squashed the entire investigation. If they had been investigated and fired the entire rampart scandal would have been much smaller and dealt with much sooner. Instead, due to Parks, it wasn't until Perez was caught stealing dope from the property room that he was investigated. He was given immunity with IA hoping he would roll on his buddies Durden and Mack (who also commited a bank robbery by the way). Instead he basically said everyone in rampart and rampart crash was dirty. A massive investigation was launched. In the end the vast majority of these guys were found totally innocent of any wrong doing. They were just people who Perez did not like. He never rolled on his gangster buddies.

iateone6 karma

How can we make this more well known and get Parks out of his job in the LA city council?

jd181811 karma

He is worthless. He moved through the ranks by being a chief's driver. He knows about as much about police work as my cat. If you hear his public speaking you would rather smash your balls with a hammer, at least you would feel something. In my opinion, he got his council spot because the black community is terrified that the hispanics are taking over. They are desperate for any black leader to represent them.

missamberj6 karma

First of all, if you are legit -- props to you for being a Redditor and willing to answer questions like this. From a perspective of someone who has written about families affected by OIS, I have two questions:

  1. In your gang unit, was it a common occurence that the deceased after an OIS was not in fact armed -- but considered a threat otherwise? In the area I live, an individual has to be known as dangerous and not necessarily be armed for an OIS to be justified by the DA. This is something that is happening here more than before and I have reason to believe (from second hand info) that it is rookie officers trying to prove themselves out on the field. What do you make of this?

  2. You speak about 19 year olds on blogs writing about trigger happy cops. In my experience, more often than not, it's the families of the deceased who are the ones expressing their opinions and organizing protests. How would the dept view the family members of those who died as a result of an OIS?

I thank you for your time.

jd18189 karma

Well obviously because of our different jobs we see the world from very different places. An OIS is traumatic experience and also results in the instant civil lawsuit which is not fun. If a rookie officers is more likely to shoot it is not to prove himself but because it takes years to get good at this job. Where to stand, how to talk to people, how to read their body language. It is easier for a new guy to mis identify something. Your first part is an odd justification. It is a totality of the circumstances that I believe our DA's look at. If you shoot someone who is "going for what looks like a gun" and it is not, you better have some good reasons why you thought he did. His criminal history is part of it but that alone is not enough.

missamberj2 karma

Thank you for your response. Nice to get a perspective from someone who's been inside a gang unit. You're absolutely right, the totality of the situation is what's looked at. However, the "main" justification ends up being the individual's criminal history, their gang tattoos, shaved head, etc. I once saw in a report that an officer said the individual "looked like he could be a felon" because of his tattoos (it was a white guy that was shot, btw). There were other factors of course, but the officer shot the guy in front of his own house where he was allegedly stealing mail. The guy was unarmed and survived but was arrested, DA justified it, case closed...this is just becoming something that's happened more than an OIS occuring during a dangerous foot and/or car pursuit or in the middle of an armed robbery, etc.

No doubt an OIS is traumatic, but many are left to wonder why there are officers in a certain gang unit who have been involved in more than one shooting with unarmed suspects in a short period of time (we're talking within two to three year span) Some are saying corruption, others are saying incompetency, and a few in LE are saying it's a increasingly dangerous field they are working with so things like this are bound to happen. Whatever the case may be, the trend should be alarming to both LEO's and civilians.

jd18185 karma

I haven't seen those problems personally but I would agree that more than one OIS with no armed suspect would raise questions.

ZackyBeatz6 karma

I seem to hear more stories about Police officers shooting first and asking questions later, do you recognize that kind of behavior from officers, who I understand have families that they do wanna go home to. second question is How do you balance between the horrible things you see at your workplace and then going back to your family living your everyday life does it affect you ?.

jd181828 karma

SOOOOOOOO the opposite. I worked in one of the most violent housing projects in the US. I chased gang members with guns weekly. Despite this I never shot anyone. I drew my pistol pretty much every day. I had a ton of close calls. If I ended up in one shooting, in all that time, I would have been branded "trigger happy" by some 19 yr old on a blog somewhere. Think of this, every night there are LAPD officers chasing gangsters with guns, getting in pursuits, dealing with people naked and high on PCP. How many shootings happen? Considering it all it is pretty freaking rare. The gangsters knew the unwritten rules on what to do when running with a gun. We would tell the young ones all the time. So they knew the consequences if they screwed up.

gobills1312 karma

The gangsters knew the unwritten rules on what to do when running with a gun.

care to elaborate on this?

jd18187 karma

I better not as the rules still stand and I don't want something I write in here to end up in a courtroom.

jd181819 karma

I'm sorry, for the second part. It was hard. I still have not told my wife many of the things that I saw or that happened. The place I work now has an only slightly higher than average crime rate and for me it feels like I am in Beverly Hills it is so chill. The gangsters here are a joke compared to where I come from. So, much like deputies who work in jail, it makes you hard. I was a nice guy with the normal people but I could become an asshole in a second if need be. You have to be that way to survive or you will get your ass handed to you. I wouldn't have been able to work in the ghetto forever. I would have eventually gotten out of gangs and out of south central. It makes you kind of a bitter person.

Trollin_on_dubz6 karma

Who's the baddest gang in LA?

jd181811 karma

There are a bunch. I don't want to name one and give them credit on here. 18th St is by far the biggest hispanic gang and Rollin 60's are the biggest black gang.

iamaredditer5 karma

What pistol do you use as your duty weapon? What do you use as a backup?

jd181811 karma

I was issued a beretta 92FS in the academy. After about a year you could buy your own .45. So I bought a smith and wesson 4566TSW. Then when Bratton came on we could carry glocks. So I bought a glock 21. I carried the glock the longest. I loved going to a single action type press. You can find your reset much faster with that glock and you get that first shot off quicker. I was an above average shot. I had a sharpshooter medal.

jd181813 karma

Oh and I had a little smith 38 special 5 shot for a backup. I bought it and then the airweights were approved like 6 months later which pissed me off. I also considered my knife a backup. I knew a guy who had a suspect wrestling to get his gun. Pulled out his spyderco and slashed the suspect's throat.

gsxr4 karma

What was your car rifle/shotgun?

jd18182 karma

I carried a dept issued remington 870 12 gauge. My new dept i carry a 870 with a 14” barrell, collapsable stock, and surefire forend light. I also carry a colt m4 commando with 10” barrell, surefire light and red dot sight. I use p mags for the rifle.

gsxr2 karma

They make you buy the m4? Local PD got a grant to give all the cars one.

jd18183 karma

Our dept bought it with asset forfeiture money

mosin914 karma

I lived in Southern California for two years, and then moved back to Washington State. In Washington State, it is easy for a person with no criminal record to get a concealed pistol license, plus we have legal unlicensed open carry for those so inclined.

California of course is not so liberal on it's gun laws. In two years in San Diego County, and I found myself in three positions just going to work or traveling about on normal business where I could have legally drawn or displayed a firearm. In two cases I barely got out of the situation by virtue of being able to run faster. In the third, I drew a legal folding knife which convinced the criminal to go someplace else.

Here in Washington, I carry a small pistol nearly daily, and in the last seven years only even thought about reaching for once it because of an off leash pitbull charging up on me.

So, as a cop and a California cop at that, what is your feeling on law abiding citizens carrying concealed pistols? It is obvious to me that you guys cannot be everywhere, and not everyone can run away from criminals, or physically confront them with a knife or pepper spray in their hands. Would you like to see more law abiding citizens in the large Californian cities armed?

jd18186 karma

I think it is a great idea and a great deterrent. It will never happen in California. I love being able to carry off duty and know I can protect my kids when we are out and about.

sexenheimer4 karma

What do you think was worse for the reputation of the LAPD - the Rampart scandal or the Rampart AMA?

jd18186 karma

I didn't see the Rampart AMA. Stand by for a long post. Here are the REAL problems with the LAPD. Awful awful leadership. The department is run by risk managers not leaders. These guys promote by working inside (desk) jobs their whole career. The way to promote is to stay out of patrol and certainly out of gangs. That is how you build up complaints that can derail your career. So, for the most part, the people at the top have no clue about police work. There is a terrible disconnect between the captains and above and the real street cops. There is no trust there. Now remember this is 6 yr old information so maybe some things have changed. The complaint system is such that anything is a complaint. So IA cannot investigate them all. So regular patrol Sgts have to do most of the investigations. Well they are backlogged also. They have one year to start an investigation on a complaint. So around 11 months later you get interviewed on something you have no memory of. Then, because of the time delay, and the fact that these patrol Sgts aren't really trained for this, you have wildly different discipline for the same violations. So the Sgts spend all day in the station catching up on use of force reports and complaints. So who is watching what is going on in the street?? Now if you are captain or above you are largely immune from this because you are in the inner circle. I knew a captain who went to lunch and left her unmarked car unlocked. Someone stole her badge, vest, and gun. When an officer does that it is a sustained neglect of duty complaint with at least a week suspension. Instead she was promoted a month later. Meanwhile i rubbed paint off part of my car because i didn't get my back wheel in properly in a department car wash. Sustained neglect of duty complaint that sits in my package for life.

jd18186 karma

Now the worst officers aren't out bashing heads every day and getting on IA's radar screen. It is scared and lazy officers. Guys who don't want to do anything and avoid work at all costs. These are the guys who write cheezy tickets to show productivity. They will not stop real crooks and gangsters because that means uses of force and complaints. So for the sgt, who is never in the field, he looks like a model cop. No use of forces, no complaints, he writes lots of tickets. The rest of us see right through him. When you tell your command staff you are told basically to mind your own business. It is the scared and lazy guys who outright lie about an arrest report because they are incompetent. It is these guys who panic and do stuff like light up a truck with two newspaper delivery women. But these people are not being dealt with. That is the problem with the department.

I8A4rE4 karma

Why don't you work there now? What is the most organized gang you have seen?

jd181815 karma

I am from another area of southern california. I had my first kid and my wife and I worked full time with opposite direction commutes. We had no family around. I worked crazy hours. I might go in to work my PM shift (3 pm to 1:45 am) and be told that night that we were doing a search warrant in the morning and be back at 0600 hrs. That much notice. Or i might have court the next morning and drive 2 hrs in LA traffic after working all night. Anyway I could see where things were headed and I didn't want to be another cop who was divorced 3 times. So i moved closer to my parents for family reasons. I now commute 15 minutes to work (with a take home police car) and am a K9 handler, which i love! So it worked out.

gtwy3 karma

How realistic was the depiction of the department & the situation in LA as it was shown in End of Watch? Are the cartels really moving into the area? Thanks in advance for what you're doing here.

jd18189 karma

I haven't seen the movie yet but I hear the way officers are portrayed is very real. I can't speak to the cartels but the big thing is that while it was once "white flight" there it is now "black flight". Blacks are moving out to riverside, palmdale, ontario, and the hispanics are taking over. This new power struggle among the gangs is what is leading the black/ hispanic violence that started at the CYA (california youth authority) and is now spilled into the state prison system.

TwistedLuck3 karma

What was the most stressful event in your career as a Gang Officer you care to share?

jd18185 karma

I don't know about stressful but I once drove into a parking lot of a public park. There is only one way to drive in. We get flagged down by a lady who was robbed in her car and OC sprayed by the suspects who took her wallet. She points out 3 of our gangsters who are walking away and now about 100 feet away. They see us and run. My partner and I are good runners and we take off after them. We couldnt run back to the car to give chase because we would have had to detour around this huge park. I retraced our steps later. We went in foot pursuit for over half a mile. Every unit was on a call that day and so it is taking forever to get backup. We reach the end of the park and are now running on a street again. Some day laborer mexican guy in his little truck pulls up next to me as I'm running. He tells me to get in the truck. I figure, "what the hell". So i jump in and he gives me a ride about 100 feet up the road. I jump out and tackle one of the suspects, who is in shock, seeing me jump out of the landscaping truck. Dude in the truck rode off before i could get his name. Never got mentioned in my report. My partner got a second guy. Never found out who the third guy was.

MobiusTrobius6 karma

That man was Mexican Batman, and that's all you need to know.

jd18183 karma

He was sitting in his truck so I may not have seen his cape. You could be right.

Drummer24273 karma

As a cop do you feel you are to enforce law whether you see it fit and fair or as a public service working for the people? I think this is a very common argument among the public.

jd181834 karma

I believe in using discretion. If I pull you over for a red light and you are an honest hard working person. I am probably not going to give you a ticket and hit your pocket for $300. I don't care if you smoke weed, just don't be dumb about it. I treat people with respect until you show me you don't deserve it. It is a strange job and it can change you. When I was a brand new cop at age 23 I had 50 year olds coming up to me and asking me for help in their life, relationship, drug addiction. What the fu*k do I know?! So everyone defers to you and it is easy to start talking down to people without realizing it. You have to constantly check yourself. Most cops are super hardcore fox news republicans. I have become more liberal after 13 years on the job. I used to be semi conservative. I see so much poverty and pain in peoples lives as a cop. Death and addiction. If you aren't hurting anyone I don't care what you do. I really see myself as helping the community as naive as that sounds. Also remember, you probably have a few coworkers at work you hate. So do I. It only takes one cop being an asshole to 10 people he pulls over a day to ruin it for the rest of us.

TwistedLuck2 karma

Letter of the Law vs the Spirit of the Law

essentially, yes?

jd18183 karma

exactly, there are some instances where i have no wiggle room. But common sense (which isn't common) is critical when I am making decisions affecting someone's pocket book (ticket) or their freedom (jail.

moneyball322 karma

How accurate are movie depictions of police work and which cop movie is your favorite? Was there one in particular that got you into that field of work?

jd18188 karma

I used to watch LAPD life on the beat in college and that probably steered me towards LAPD over DEA. Although I no longer work there the experiences I had I would never change. I worked with some AWESOME street cops, and alot of piss poor leadership. I have yet to see it but my other LAPD buddies say End of Watch captures the joking around and general personalities pretty accurate. Most other movies are about 2% reality.

hunterwiand2 karma

May seem like a strange question that gets asked a lot, but, how bad is South Central? I know it sounds dumb, but I'd like to know, for example, how it compares to a city like to Detroit (where I was born and now live outside of.) Also, what is the average life expectancy of a man living in South Central? Is the saying "if you live to 25 you've beat the odds" really true?

jd18185 karma

Now it is much better. When i was there in the mid to early 2000's it was as bad as bad can get. For instance my division had a population of about 160,000 people. We averaged about 55-65 homicides a year. And we were only third in homicides! It was a big deal when Oakland, with a population of about 400,000 or 500,000 i think, had 100 homicides. So when you just look at south central I am sure there are places just as bad (newark) but nowhere worse. It isn't the poorest neighborhoods but the sheer number of gang members is mind boggling.

jd18185 karma

Now it is much better. When i was there in the mid to early 2000's it was as bad as bad can get. For instance my division had a population of about 160,000 people. We averaged about 55-65 homicides a year. And we were only third in homicides! It was a big deal when Oakland, with a population of about 400,000 or 500,000 i think, had 100 homicides. So when you just look at south central I am sure there are places just as bad (newark) but nowhere worse. It isn't the poorest neighborhoods but the sheer number of gang members is mind boggling.

imanayer2 karma

You see a lot of sadness and violence, but what's your funniest or happiest story?

jd18187 karma

Tons of them. Guys who call 911 from a payphone who tell me someone sold them bunk (fake rock) and they want their money back. I pulled over a very famous celebrity when I was new. He was falling down drunk. But I had only done one DUI FST (Field sobriety test). I knew he would get the best lawyer in town and kill me in court. So i let him go into this model chick's condo they had pulled up to.

jd181813 karma

We once found a giant stuffed dog plush toy. The thing was like 5 feet tall, like the ones you win at a carnival, sitting in the street. It is like 3 am so we are bored. We take it to a call that another unit is on. We tie it to the rear bumper with crime scene tape and hide it behind a bench about 20 feet behind the car. We wait down the street and watch the guys come back to their blk/wht. They drive off dragging this giant smiling puppy 20 feet behind it with yellow tape. We were laughing our ass off along with the transient across the street. My best ones I can't tell on here.

suffererhifi2 karma

LAPD is probably one of the most hated police departments in the entire country, and aside from the opinions of the "fuck the police circle jerk crowd" who will get down on basically any PD, it seems that you guys have really earned the honor of being hated. what does the average LAPD officer think about this? and also, im sure you experiences are different than mine, but you guys weren't loved by law abiding working poor. not by a long shot. i hate asking for proof, but... uhhh... proof?

jd18184 karma

Well all I can do is go off the people i deal with every day. I have no reason to cover up for anyone on here. I worked in some of the worst housing projects anywhere and my opinion is based around the real people I met. It was hard carrying around the baggage of the department. Hearing "Rodney King" yelled out all the time. That had nothing to do with me. If you don't believe me, if you live in LA, go on a ride along in one of the south central divisions. See what the real interactions are like with real people. Never just take another person's word for it (including my own). Investigate for yourself.

Stevekovach2 karma

What are your thoughts on responsible drug use?

jd18183 karma

If someone is in their house, doing what they want, and no one knows?? Go for it.

TwistedLuck2 karma

How long did you work for the LAPD and how long did it take for you get work up being a Gang Officer? Did you like your work with Gangs more than the normal beat?

jd18182 karma

I was there seven years. You do one year on probation in patrol. In the academy they pulled me aside and wanted me to work In a high School as a narc. I looked about 17 when i was 23. I refused to do it. So after probation i moved to south central, did a year more in Patrol, then worked a special problems unit for 9 months. Then gangs the rest of my time.

iamaredditer2 karma

What do you think of citizens being able to have a conceal handgun license?

jd18188 karma

I think it is a great idea after maybe a rigorous training program. The open carry people are just a huge annoyance for us and although I understand what they are trying to do it has resulted in more restrictive gun laws in california

justaregulargirl3 karma

i thought you couldn't open carry anymore in CA?

jd18182 karma

pretty much, thanks to the open carry people, you cannot. New laws have been formed.

rewrewsuh1 karma

so how far from the truth is this stereotype of lapd beating people? how do you react when you notice a ford crown vic behind you, and i man outside of work. so is the la swat as elite as the movie made them out to be?

jd181811 karma

I also get slightly nervous when a cop is behind me. But I have never had a ticket. It is a perk of the job. 15 years ago if you were drunk the cop would call you a cab. Today you will get arrested for DUI. I will say this, I have worked around FBI's LA swat team, LAPD, LASO, a bunch of other near where i work now. LAPD SWAT is by far the best. They pick the best of the best in the dept. They are all incredible shooters. The biggest thing is there is no macho tough guy attitudes. They are the most humble people ever. They don't let cocky people into that unit. They are incredibly hard on themselves and very self critical. That is what makes them so good. When someone or some swat team acts like they are bad ass you know they are not. Good people don't need to brag about it. When you are cocky you aren't seeing your mistakes.

jd18186 karma

I would say cops in the ghetto are more likely to kick your ass regardless of agency. You have to be hard to work in a hard place. I have never seen someone punched in the face just for mouthing off. But if you take a swing at a fellow gang officer you better run faster than me.

BAdoubleL1 karma

How do you feel about the use of voice stress analysis and polygraph as an investigative tool?

jd18183 karma

It is somewhat effective but mostly a boogeyman tool. It is to get you to stress out and change your story around. There is a reason you cannot use them in court.

aero19921 karma


jd18187 karma

always had crown vic's in LA. Working gangs we drove hybrids (marked black and white but lights on the dash and no cage inside) We also drove dual purpose cars (unmarked crown vic) they both gave you a few extra seconds to sneak up. Most police departments are moving to the new ford explorer based SUV now that crown vics are done. i drove a test model from michigan. Believe it or not the v6 SUV is faster and corners better than the crown vic. It also gets better gas milage.

[deleted]1 karma


jd18185 karma

Metro gets unmarked take homes. A very few specialized detectives. This is so they can respond from home. I am currently a K9 handler and all K9's are take home. Your dog lives with you and you cant transport a dog trained to bite people in a vehicle without the proper certified cage. I also get called out from home for K9 stuff.

and1813771 karma

Damn, I'd be dissapointed if I didn't get a charger.

jd18183 karma

You know the charger is super fast but they are chrysler quality. They break down like crazy. The trunk is way to small as well.

FireRetardant1 karma

Why did you leave the LAPD?

jd18185 karma

I think I answered this earlier but I left for family reasons. The LA traffic was driving me nuts. I had a wife who worked full time and commuting the opposite way. The hours working gangs was crazy. We would do search warrants the next morning with only 3 hours notice. When i had a baby it was no good. Things were heading downhill in my marriage and i didnt not want to be divorced like so many other guys. I moved back to where i grew up to be close to my parents. I now commute 15 minutes to work.

nhannah1 karma

I listen to Adam Carolla's podcast a lot and he is always bitching about the LAPD handing out chicken-shit tickets. Specifically parking, J-walking, and speeding tickets. But he points out that LA has the highest hit and run % in the country by a long-shot and claims this is due to all the illegals driving without insurance that the LAPD doesn't pull over in their junkers because they know they won't every pay the tickets. He also claims the illegals who sell flowers on the road and liter everywhere don't catch any slack either. My question is two fold than. One- Is this true? Two- If so why is it that it is more important to raise funds from people already paying taxes than to keep streets clean and safe. I find the second bit to happen all over the country (police more interested in traffic tickets than crime despite cars being able to travel safely above 100mph nowadays) but is it more prevalent in LA, and regardless why is it acceptable? Adam also tells a story of a drunk driver plowing into his house and the LAPD never showing up because that was low priority, but he said tickets are handed out all the time for BS?

jd18187 karma

Why would I not write a ticket to an illegal because he won't pay it? I don't get any of that money so I don't care. The parking meter maids (LA DOT) are total nazi's. I used to work in Wilshire, where it is impossible to park, and they had no sympathy. Remember they for sure DO have quotas for parking tickets. I like Adam Corolla but how things are enforced can be arbitrary. I may have someone run a red light right in front of me. But I cant pull them over because I am going to a domestic violence call. Everyone is sitting at the intersection looking at me like, why don't you do something! The cops who write the most tickets are cops who aren't good at arresting people. They are the nerds of the department. They can't make good arrests so they write a bunch of tickets to show productivity. This is a generalization but mostly true.

DuffmanOhhYeah1 karma


jd18185 karma

Do we take cell phone pics of stuff? Hell yes. You just be careful who you show that stuff to. I don't believe Dorner for a second. He was failing probation before the incident that got him fired. It was just the last straw. Then he waits to make the accusation against his FTO (which is a violation to NOT report misconduct) until after he learns he is about to get terminated. Lastly 3 independent witnesses refute him.

powdertoastman4201 karma

Why haven't the police gone after gangs like they did with the mob? I don't understand why law enforcement don't use the rico predicates to go after organized crime.

jd18184 karma

They do. I was involved in two federal task forces against my gang where large groups of the leadership were sent to do federal time. These are great not because the FBI knows anything about gangs, but because they have tons of money to do things we could not afford like wiretaps. The gang injunctions and federal task force operations in the mid 2000's had a major impact on the much lower homicide and violent crime rates you see today.

jd18182 karma

Remember though that after 9/11 alot of federal resources were diverted to anti terrorism stuff and that reduced some of the federal help we would get.

hotmetalslugs1 karma

What was the policy with patrol cars and how many officers are riding in it? (One officer alone being able to make more careful judgement calls vs. the perceived safety of riding with a partner)

jd18185 karma

In LAPD everything is a two man car. Even the academy training is based on a two man concept. Most PD's have single person cars with two man cars in dangerous neighboroods. If LAPD had single person cars I think you would have 3-5 cops getting killed a year.

iateone1 karma

What do you think about the large amount of high ranking(and low ranking) LAPD officers who live in Orange County or Riverside or San Bernardino? Does it contribute to an Us-vs-them attitude amongst officers? Do you think it is important for officers to live with those that they serve?

jd18185 karma

Well it is difficult. I lived in Long Beach. But who would be crazy enough to put your kid in LAUSD schools? In LA (and I am not talking about the valley) there are two types of neighborhoods. High crime and crappy schools, or crazy expensive. However I don't think living in a neighborhood you work has any affect on your work ethic. I worked hard for the people in south central and whether I lived there or not did not matter.

Greyvzoann1 karma

Is it illegal to carry around a bat in my car?

jd18182 karma

Every state has different laws. In california you ok just never say the bat, stick, knife, is for protection. It ie for baseball.

dangleslow1 karma

Is LA crime really as bad as they make it look in T.V and movies? I'm from massachusetts so i have no idea what it's like on the west coast haha.

jd18183 karma

LA is a big city and south central LA is no joke. Although the last few years the homicides have been cut in half. Some of this is due to the federal task forces/ gang injunctions. But while police chiefs love to take credit when crime is down often it is demographics that play the biggest role. How many young men (16-25) do you have and as that rises and falls so does your crime rate. There is a joke that police know about as much about what causes real crime as a fisherman knows about the bottom of the ocean.

bluehat91 karma

Since you have said you are now a k9 handler, can we know a bit about that? Does the dog only signal when there are drugs? Do you ever "use" the k9 as PC even when the k9 didn't really signal?

jd18183 karma

My dog is a patrol dog (find and bite bad guys) and is cross trained for drugs. I often do use the dog to get PC (probable cause) to get into your backpack/ car etc. I don't fake an alert but it is really easy to do as dogs are masters of reading body language. If I alone am doing drug training with my dog I can even, without realizing it, be signaling different around the area I hid the training drugs. The dog picks up on this and gives a false alert. So this is why it is CRITICAL to have an outside evaluator involved in my training. He hides the drugs and I don't know where they are. This is to prevent false alerts. K9 training is all about documentation. I could see a small PD starting a K9 program and the handler is training on his own. This could lead to false alerts by the dog.

guyfrancois1 karma

I am looking into becoming a police officer in the next couple years. How do you recommend i do this? And what is the craziest bust/arrest you've ever made?

jd18184 karma

Do a ton of ride alongs with a bunch of agencies. Then turn in a ton of applications. Don't get your heart set on one place because the background checks are very subjective and what one place may disqualify you on another won't care about.

LambeautheDog1 karma

How did you get interested in K9 handling? WhAts your best story since becoming a handler?

jd18185 karma

I love dogs and it has been the best job I have ever had. I cannot tell you how many times I show up to stuff where a guy has his fists up and wanting to fight the other cops. I show up and get this 90 pound timberwolf looking dog out and the guy just gives up. I probably shouldn't tell any K9 stories as I still work here doing it.

fvckmike1 karma

Were you ever involved in the c.r.a.s.h unit? During my brief period of being your typical troubled urban middle schooler, i used to get roughed up and stopped on almost on a daily basis.

jd18184 karma

I worked gangs when they stopped calling it crash. they called it GET

Offtheheazy0 karma

Does your username have anything t do with jd2020?

And what are your thoughts on gun control laws? Should high capacity magazines be banned? Should some assault rifles be banned? Stricter and better enforced background checks?

jd18186 karma

No it is not. I think the assault weapons ban and mag ban will do nothing for crime. I have yet to stop a gangster who had an ak47 that was registered to him. I do believe all guns should be registered and a complete background check performed. The NRA is crazy to oppose this stuff.

Comfortably-Dumb0 karma

What's your take an high capacity magazines and/or drums and the availability of them along with AR-15 type semi-automatic rifles?

jd181813 karma

In south central most of what I got off the street were cheap little .25 autos and various 9mm's. Gang members get most of their guns through residential burglaries. To all gun owners, please, please, buy a gun safe!!! I think it will have NO affect on crime to change the laws on magazine capacity etc. An AR-15 is no deadlier than any hunting rifle. The real problem is our revolving door mental health system that gives us no real power over these ill people who we contact all the time.