West Hollywood’s Sheriff uses a heavy hand

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April 24, 2014

By Howie Simon, West Hollywood, California

Thank you for taking the time to read my opinion. I have been reading WeHo News for the last 10 years or so and always enjoy the articles and news of our city.

sheriffsign450However I have to rant on the West Hollywood Sheriff’s department.

Two years ago I was in my apartment and it was March 2012, 3 am and I heard these loud ‘clapping sounds’ like plywood or boards being clapped to cement or a building – there were 7 or 8 of these – I realized later it was gunshot sounds and it seemed to be coming from a distance down the street.

I opened my window and peaked out and could not see nothing – I noticed my normally nosy neighbor I call Gladys Kravitz across the street outside looking in the same direction down the street.

Well 15 minutes later I hear a knock at my door – and I ask who is it?

A shooting by a deputy in 2010 at a liquor store clerk the deputy mistook for an armed robber brought heavy scrutiny to the department.

A shooting by a deputy in 2010 at a liquor store clerk the deputy mistook for an armed robber brought heavy scrutiny to the department.

The response was “West Hollywood Sheriff’s Dept.” – I looked into peep hole and saw at least one person – when I opened the door – to my shock were at least 7-8 deputies with guns pointing straight to me and asking me to step outside – as I stepped outside they asked me to  take a seat on my patio and began to ask me questions about shooting – the other remaining deputies entered my apartment without my consent.

They left without further incident.

Mr. Simon claims that LASD uses a heavy hand during use force incidents.

Mr. Simon claims that LASD uses a heavy hand during use force incidents.

The following day I was quite upset that they had done this and called a lawyer friend of mine and got his opinion – he said my rights were clearly violated and that they entered unlawfully and without probable cause.

I called later to speak to the captain (Brian) I think his name is and his cocky attitude was infuriated that I contacted a lawyer – then he told me that I HAD INDEED gave them permission to enter – which at that moment all my respect for WHSD was lost as I knew he was lying – but then he said I should be thankful because they were protecting me.

Then he had the gall to say why didn’t I ask these questions when they came to my door and my reply was I was not going to resist or raise questions with seven guns pointed at me!

This is wrong! And several months prior was the October, 2010 incident where a deputy began firing shots at a liquor store clerk he thought was an armed robber but fortunately hit only two windows in a closed Indian restaurant across the street.

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I have several other horrible experiences with WHSD that I can ramble on. Have I had good experiences? Yes – of course. But they are above reproach and should be held to the highest of accountability and training – and this is NOT happening.

Anyway – that is my 2 cents. I have lived in West Hollywood for the last 20 years and love it consider it to be safe. But I have noticed changes in the last five years  in my neighborhood, petty crime going up, etc.

If we do anything now it will only get worse – but the bottom line is keeping a communication line going on with West Hollywood Sheriff’s Dept. and the community – on an ongoing basis.

Thank you for your time.

Kindest Regards

By Howie Simon, West Hollywood, California

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