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:
IT NEVER HAPPENED
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.
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.
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.
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.