Ted Rall LAPD-LA Times Scandal: A Discrepancy in The Cops’ Story

Ted Rall LAPD LaTimes scandal
Written by Ted Rall

The LAPD cop who accused Ted Rall of lying says he never handcuffed Rall or anyone ever. Yet here he is in the LA Times just handcuffing away. Ted Rall LAPD-LA Times scandal update, commentary.

UPDATE: July 31, 2015 8:06 a.m. ET: Cleaned Up LAPD Tape of Ted Rall Stop Released: Suggests Cops Lied, Listen Here [EXCLUSIVE]

aNewDomain — On Monday, the Los Angeles Times fired me as its political cartoonist and blogger. I’d been there six years.

Editorial Page Editor Nick Goldberg, who relied on an internal investigation by Times reporter Paul Pringle, told me the reasons for my firing were “discrepancies” between my May 2015 LA Times column about my experience with an LAPD cop on a 2001 jaywalking stop and LAPD’s account of it. The Times told me that the LAPD said I was lying.

Its best evidence: A static-filled, hard to hear police tape.

And The Times chose to believe the cops. Despite the LAPD’s terrible and long record of cover-ups and horrific felonies.

One of the biggest deciding factors, Goldberg told me, was a discrepancy between me and the LAPD over whether the officer who stopped me had really handcuffed me. I’d written that police officer who stopped me had done just that. 

But Pringle told me — much to my surprise — that the officer claims to never have used handcuffs. Ever.

The tape is filled with static for much of the old, analog recording. It neither supports or disproves the officer’s claim. But Goldberg believed the LAPD over me. He never even ran a search for the officer’s name in the Times own archives. Or if he did, he ignored what he found.

Because The LA Times has captured this police officer having handcuffed other suspects in traffic violations before …

The officer has never used handcuffs? Really? Then what’s this?

It’s here in this May 2015 news report in, of all places, The Los Angeles Times.

This police officer, the same officer who’d accused me of jaywalking in West Hollywood in 2001, is depicted by Times reporters as joking around while mocking a suspect for “aggressive driving.” While the suspect who was to receive the ticket for the misdemeanor traffic violation stood there — in handcuffs.

Here’s an excerpt from the news piece the LA Times ran in May.

The sporty little car with the red paint and racing stickers was caught.

Parked beside a Granada Hills road and its handcuffed driver, the Toyota Supra sat with its big modified exhaust hanging just above the ground, like a dog with its tail between its legs.

‘Remember me?’ Officer Will Durr said to the driver — an embarrassed college student he’d pulled over days before in the same illegally modified car.

Durr grinned as he stood beneath the car’s popped hood, ogling the turbo-charged engine, shining his flashlight over the modified air intake that allowed the vehicle to breathe in more power-giving air.”

LAPD Ted RallNow this is the police officer I remember. This is the police officer I can kind of sort of hear on the mostly static audiotape provided by the cops to argue that he was nice and polite. I think he sounds smarmy, sarcastic, grinning. Having fun at the expense of the citizens he apprehends.

The kind of officer who puts the people he accuses of petty traffic violations in cuffs — while he writes them a ticket.

I remember that guy.

Aggressive driving vs. jaywalking

Aggressive driving” is just a traffic offense in LA.

Crazy as it seems to people from other cities, in Los Angeles, jaywalking is more serious than that. It’s an infraction, and an expensive one.

So I have this question for Mssrs. Goldberg and Pringle:

Is it really so incredible that an officer who would handcuff someone for a traffic offense would also handcuff someone for the legally more serious charge of jaywalking, a full-fledged misdemeanor? Care to admit that you were wrong when you accused me of lying — and that it was really the LAPD, with its long record of cover-ups and horrific felonies, that lied about me?”

Wait, I know: Maybe the officer makes his partner do all the handcuffing in all their many successful and storied anti-aggressive driving adventures!

Despite repeated attempts, the Los Angeles Times‘ Goldberg and Pringle have not returned calls to comment.

For aNewDomain, I’m Ted Rall.

Image of LAPD Officer Will Durr at a minor traffic infraction in Los Angeles, in which the suspect was handcuffed: LATimes.com, All Rights Reserved

Update: July 31, 2015 8:06 a.m. ET —  Cleaned Up LAPD Tape of Ted Rall Stop Released: Proves Cops Lied [EXCLUSIVE]

31 Comments

  • Weirdly, when you click the link, you get a story about illegal drag racing, not “aggressive driving.” I also don’t seen anything about him beating the kid up or throwing his license in the sewer?

    What a horrible guy, talking to people and writing them tickets. Brutal.

    • Claims he never cuffed anyone ever.

      Shown to have cuffed someone for a traffic violation.

      You babble about how he didn’t do something else.

      • No, not shown. In fact as presented it appears the other officer already on scene did the cuffing. Which is why he and his bike are clipped out of the photo. Ted’s so desperate to convince us, he resorts to even more craven dishonesty.

          • The article makes it clear this is a task force, not a lone traffic officer. You’re trying to tie yourself up in knots like a four year old caught in the cookie jar tries to blame the dog.

            You’re not vindicating yourself, just demonstrating quite well that not only were they right to fire you, they were fools to have hired you in the first place.

          • Really? Where does he claim this? Also, where does this article specify Durr cuffed the suspect?

          • Say Ted, you never did produce any evidence Officer Durr made that “never handcuffed” claim. What gives?

          • Nice try Ted, but nobody said that.

            Of course, you’ve yet to provide a shred of evidence Officer Durr ever claimed he never uses cuffs, either. We appear to have a case of Ted Rall trying to vindicate Rall’s faulty memory by… relying on hearsay from Rall’s faulty memory.

      • Clearly- but Ted’s disingenuous post omits that. It’s hardly the same as a sudden lane change.

      • It is an extremely dangerous pursuit which often leaves participants and bystanders dead. Yet here you are, trying to pass it off as a minor infraction that is less serious than mere jaywalking.

        You really are a piece of work, Ted.

        • Words have meaning, Mr. Guy. It is a fact that drag-racing, or aggressive driving, or whatever you want to call it, is, in LA, a less serious offense legally than jaywalking. Which, I agree, is ridiculous. But that doesn’t make it less true.

          • Yet you implied it was a lesser crime, and deliberately omitted that the crime in question was street racing. Weirdly, lots of LA street racers go to jail. (almost fifty arrests in one bust this year alone)

            Not yet heard of anyone who went to jail for simply jaywalking.

  • Also, I especially like how Ted very carefully cropped the other officer and the two motorcycles out of the picture. Such honesty.

  • The “proof” seems to be based upon the journalist’s description: “Parked beside a Granada Hills road and its handcuffed driver….” A picture might have been better.

      • I can’t say.
        But I know from experience that what reporters write isn’t always accurate. They have a tendency to embellish for the sake of a “good story.”

          • I’m at a loss to see where two reporters are involved; but I’m merely saying that a newspaper article about an incident doesn’t prove a thing, since it is a third-party statement rather than eye-witness.

            However, I have re-evaluated my initial judgment in consideration of your having posted the enhanced versions of the audiotape. I believe I heard a male voice at (about) 3:00 on the longer version: “Take those things off.” (And I believe that is what the female keeps yelling, as well.)

            And when at 4:58 Durr says, “Here, I’ll take that until we’re done.’ I am inclined to believe it was at that point that he removed the handcuffs in order to free up your hand for the signature.

            So — consider me in your camp in spite of the hard time I’ve been giving you.

            :)

  • So….Officer Durr didn’t tell you he has never handcuffed anyone, it was Paul Pringle? The reporter?