A Question of Judgement
Earlier this year, Los Alamitos mayor Dean Grose was caught forwarding a similar kind of email showing a picture of the White House with a field of watermelons in the front yard. The public criticism of this behavior quickly cost Mayor Grose his job.
What if it were a Los Angeles official that sent this using their City email? It clearly isn't appropriate and it shows a serious lack of judgement and sensitivity to some of the biggest problems facing Los Angeles today - gang activity, street violence, race issues, LAUSD and the quality of public education in Los Angeles, and so on.
The fact of the matter is that this email was sent by the Office of Public Safety's top officer - Chief of Police Gary Newton - using his City email to others in the department. Newton is the same chief who was found guilty along with the City of racial discrimination and illegal hiring practices a few months ago in a lawsuit that will cost LA taxpayers $1.4 million. One of the people Newton illegally hired over other qualified individuals to manage OPS's patrol officers was previously convicted of beating a minority in handcuffs and fired by the City of Huntington Beach's police department.
LAPD only just had a major federal Consent Decree lifted for the kinds of activities Newton and his hand-picked leadership team have been found guilty of engaging in. In a city where politics and policing is practically defined by the many hot-button issues related to Newton's activities, it leaves one to seriously question why Chief Newton is still in the job and who is keeping him there.
Requests to the City Attorney's office for comment on this issue have gone unanswered.