Friday, May 11, 2012

LA Times proves Trutanich lied about being shot at by gangmembers

The Los Angeles Times today broke the story that Carmen Trutanich has been dreading for about two weeks since he was interviewed by reporter Jack Leonard specifically about the centerpiece of his not-so 'True Stories' campaign video - his claim that in the 1980's, during his short career as a deputy district attorney, he was shot at by gangmembers in Green Meadows Park.

Trutanich has told the story of how, while working on the death penalty murder case of Barry Glenn Williams, he was interviewing a reluctant witness to the murder in Green Meadow Park in South Los Angeles, when he was surrounded by gangmembers who started firing at him (miraculously, they missed).

As luck would have it, a District Attorney Investigator called Jim Bell just happened to be nearby in his 'police car' when Bell heard a radio message indicating 'shots fired!' and 'possible DA.' Bell says 'I knew it was Carmen Trutanich' and he drove his 'police car' into the park, found Trutanich surrounded by gangmembers and returned fire, thereby saving the life of Trutanich and enabling Trutanich to successfully convict Williams of a drive-by murder.

Coincidentally, Bell now works for Trutanich as a City Attorney investigator, although we are sure that he was not on the City's dime when he filmed his portion of the 'True Stories' video. 

It's a great story. One that projects Trutanich as the hard-charging prosecutor who will do what it takes to stand up to gangmembers, even if it means risking his life. Only there's one small problem, as the LA Times revealed:


There is not a shred of evidence to support Trutanich's tall tale of heroism under fire, and thanks to the hard work of Jack Leonard at the LA Times, such evidence as does exist, tells a very different story.
  • There are no LAPD reports of the 'shots fired' incident. 
  • No recording of the alleged 'radio call' that Bell claims to have heard. 
  • No documentation of an 'officer involved shooting' that would have been required, if it occurred.
  •  The original LA Times report of the Barry Glen Williams murder trial contains no mention of any incident where Trutanich was shot at, even though he was interviewed and other intimidation efforts attributed to Williams' gangmembers were reported. 
The evidence that does exist tells a very different story.

In 2008 Trutanich was deposed about the Barry Glenn Williams case. Under oath, Trutanich told a very different story:

Q. Well, based on your statements, it seemed like there was something particular that happened to you at Green Meadows Park.

A. Right.

Q. Do you recall that specifically?

A. Yes. Yes.

Q. What happened?

A. We were out there taking pictures, Jim and I. And I didn't see much because, you know, next thing I knew - - Jim was the one that was doing - - I was looking at the crime scene. Next thing I knew, Jim was telling me somebody had a gun, and I think they pulled me down.

So, based on Trutanich's testimony:
  • Trutanich wasn't interviewing a witness, he was 'taking pictures.' 
  • Trutanich was not 'shot at,' he was 'pulled down.' 
  • Jim Bell didn't hear a 'shots fired!' radio call indicating 'possible DA' while nearby in his 'police car.'
  • Bell didn't drive his 'police car' into the midst of gangmembers in the park and 'return fire.'
  • Trutanich wasn't 'surrounded by gangmembers,' he was 'surrounded' by Jim Bell. 
Incredibly, Trutanich explains the discrepancy in the stories by saying that he had to be more careful with what he said in 2008 because he was 'under oath.' Apparently, he feels free to lie when not under oath.

Even more incredibly, Trutanich told the Times that he has a better recollection of events today, than he had in 2008, about an incident that seemingly never took place thirty years ago. Trutanich told the Times that 'Although he wasn't surrounded by gang members, he said he did see a gun emerge from the window of a passing car while he was alone in the park and heard shots as he hid. "I have the distinct recollection of it being a long gun," he said.'

In making that statement, Trutanich is committing the classic mistake of a politician cornered in a lie. Instead of fessing up, he tries to justify the lie. He describes what he saw as 'a long gun.' He should know better. As anyone who knows anything about firearms, and Trutanich, a long time representative of the National Rifle Association, knows about firearms, a 'long gun' means a rifle.

So despite his sworn testimony, Trutanich would now have us believe that the non-surrounding gangmember(s) had a rifle hanging out of the window of a car. Does he really think we are that stupid? His story makes no sense because it is utterly false. He was grasping at straws to try to dig himself out of hole, and he just made it deeper.

The not-so 'True Stories' video is not the first time Trutanich has told this tale. In his 2009 campaign for City Attorney, Trutanich told the tale in even more dramatic fashion:

'During the trial and investigation, Trutanich endured death threats towards his family and narrowly escaped a shootout where members of the "Bloods" gang tried to kill him before the trial' Trutanich said in a 2009 campaign mailer.

There is something fundamentally wrong about the way Trutanich seems to feel so at ease lying unless he is under oath. In lying about being shot at, Trutanich not only threatens the credibility of the City Attorney's Office and the District Attorney's Office, but he also insults the the brave men and women in law enforcement who risk their lives every day and some of whom really are shot at.

Not so long ago, a liar in LAPD brought down the CRASH unit when he lied about being shot at by a gangmember. His lies led to the Rampart Scandal and the dismissal of hundreds of cases. Trutanich seems to be playing the same game, and is just as much a threat to the City Attorney's Office and the District Attorney's Office. He should withdrawn his lie-ridden DA campaign and resign as City Attorney. Los Angeles cannot afford to have a liar leading law enforcement.



Anonymous said...

Baca will pull his endorsement next week, right after Lacey gets the Times endorsement. It's over for Nuch.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Hillary Clinton lie about being shot at in Bosnia? That Raskov guy who works for Trutanich used to work for Clinton. Connect the dots dummies. The Clinton lie worked because there wasn't enough time to fact check it. Election is 3 weeks away. Trutanich will be the DA before this story gets wider coverage. It's not over.

Anonymous said...

Shaq will win this outright for Trutanich and his voice will be heard all over the phones. Baca will never pull his endorsement. The times won't endorse a Loser; therefore, they won't be endorsing Lacey.

Anonymous said...

1:29 pm... yes Clinton LIED about getting shot at in Bosnia and then she LOST the Democratic nomination to one of the least-experienced candidates in presidential history. Wanna bet that after the LA Times revealed Trutanich's LIES about getting shot at by gang members, Trutanich is also going to LOSE this election? At this point, he will be lucky if he can even buy a place in the runoff. It's looking more and more like a Jackson-Lacey runoff every day.

Dragnet, I've been reading your blog for awhile, and this is one of the best piecess you've ever written. Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

1:34 pm, let me think about the number of people who vote for a political candidate based solely on the recommendation of an overweight has-been basketball player who hasn't even lived in LA for nearly a decade... that would be ZERO.

Anonymous said...

2:55PM Trutanich will scrape through to the runoff. It would have been a cake walk but for the Times exposing all the lies and deception that is the Trutanich brand.

But after the runoff Trutanich will lose to whoever is against him. I don't care whether it is Lacey, Jackson or even Meyers, any one of them is better than Trutanich as DA.

Anonymous said...

It is pretty clear that Jim Bell is lying through his teeth to help the guy who pays his city salary. The Times should do a little digging and find out why. There is quite a story there.