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Arresting Cop in Gibson Case Attacked By Sheriff

12/5/2006 12:15 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

The Deputy who arrested Mel Gibson for D.U.I. is under attack -- by his own department.
James Mee and Mel Gibson
L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy James Mee "was forced into an Internal Affairs investigation within 72 hours of the arrest of Mr. Gibson," according to a letter sent to the Sheriff's Department by Deputy Mee's lawyer and obtained by TMZ. In the letter, dated October 17, attorney Richard Shinee says that the interrogation lasted five hours and Mee "was compelled to give a statement regarding all aspects of the transaction between himself and Mr. Gibson, including questions with regard to the alleged leak of information to the press."

TMZ broke the story on July 28, the day of the arrest, that Gibson went on an anti-Semitic tirade. Sheriff's officials told TMZ and other media that the arrest had occurred "without incident," that is, until TMZ published four pages from the original arrest report which included a blow-by-blow account of Gibson's conduct. We also first reported that Deputy Mee was ordered by his superiors to sanitize the report, removing the four pages of incendiary information.

According to Shinee's letter, after Mee's interview, the deputy was immediately made the subject of a criminal investigation. As we have already reported, the Sheriff's Department searched Mee's residence to determine if there was evidence that he was the TMZ leak.

In his letter, Shinee says Deputy Mee "told the investigators that he was ordered to change his report, and further, that he did so against his will." Shinee also says, contrary to Sheriff Lee Baca's claim that he did not ask to have the initial arrest report sanitized, Mee's statements to Internal Affairs and his immediate supervisors "wholly contradict these assertions."

Shinee claims there's a conflict of interest with the Department investigating his client, claiming it "creates far too great of a temptation to discredit Deputy Mee by manipulation of the evidence." Shinee adds, "To date, my investigation reveals that that has already been set in motion."

Shinee is incredulous that the Department has put a review of its own conduct in the investigation on hold, pending the criminal investigation into the leak. Shinee writes, "This, on its face, is ridiculous and further underscores our concerns that Deputy Mee will be scapegoated."

TMZ has also obtained a letter from Shinee to the State Attorney General, dated November 13, asking him to take over the Sheriff's investigation "to ensure that the investigation is conducted lawfully and objectively." We're told the Attorney General has rejected Shinee's request.

Finally, TMZ has learned that Mee has been taken off patrol duty in Malibu and reassigned. We're also told that the Sheriff's Dept. has recently targeted Mee in a separate investigation, allegedly for getting into an argument with a superior. TMZ contacted Shinee, who claims the new investigation "is nothing more than ongoing harassment."

Sheriff's spokesperson Steve Whitmore told TMZ "The Sheriff's Department has handled scores of investigations in an unbiased, fair manner. This investigation is no different." Whitmore adds his Department is conducting "a thorough and robust investigation" and it will "continue to move forward in a professional, measured manner, regardless of the publicity surrounding it."

48 COMMENTS

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16.

Taylor    

I admit I was interested in reading this story. WHEN IT HAPPENED! but the police report should have never been leaked. Period. Whomever leaked it should be reprimanded, not defended by an attorney and the press. Why is it that when someone does something wrong, no matter how small, there is always a long line of people standing around ready to pat him/her on the back? Mel Gibson was WRONG to say the things he did. But the person who leaked this story to the press is wrong too. And I'm begining to believe it must have been this guy or else why would TMZ be all over it and have 'aquired' so many letters etc.

2793 days ago
17.

Glee (I'm baaaaack)    

hey sugar tits i mean danielle why should we listen to anything you have to say . your glands are interfering with your brain LOL!

2793 days ago
18.

Glee (I'm baaaaack)    

Amy, Kristi, Karla I guess you didn't get the memo - no sugar tits allowed!

2793 days ago
19.

DR    

Police reports are a matter of public record, so no law was broken by leaking them to the press. The fact that they were different than the "official" record is what should be scaring everyone.

2793 days ago
20.

spud    

WAY TO GO TMZ AND HARVEY...................this is bullsh*t when the sherriff BIG HEAD BACCA..sucks up to celebrities, happens everyday in this town.... hope this deputy sues the department and does not let the celebrity suck ups get away with this sh*t

2793 days ago
21.

TBH    

I guess Mel was right...he is going to destroy the Cop...now that's Ironic.

2793 days ago
22.

Caroline    

Please, anyone who feels sorry for Mel Gibson is a closeted bigot. Or maybe not even a closeted one, since you're basically defending him.
Build a boat and go live far off the coast with Gibson if you still love him so much, and take Michael Richards with you.

2793 days ago
23.

db    

Guess Mel wasn't kidding when he said he "owns" Malibu.

2793 days ago
24.

Paul    

The real truth here is that Mel Gibson’s uncalled for anti-Semitic rant was protected First Amendment speech and simply not relevant to the DUI arrest. Writing a four page paraphrased transcript of the tirade was apparently colored by Mee’s own anger and clearly violated proper police reporting procedures.

James Mee is the logical suspect for breaking the law by providing the documents to TMZ.com. I do agree with the assessment of Mee’s lawyer that the subsequent internal investigation of Mee was in fact a Criminal investigation and as such Mee should have been informed of his Miranda rights before the questioning.

I don’t see any conflict of interest here by Sheriff Baca because there is no allegation that Baca or his department interfered any way with the prosecution of Mel Gibson. The failure of the Sheriff’s spokesman to reveal Gibson’s non-relevant and protected but nasty speech was in no way improper.

As for Deputy James Mee putting Gibson’s rant into a police report was both wrong and below the standards of all police agencies in America. Mee’s handing his earlier rejected report to TMZ.com violates the California’s Penal Code and appears to be retaliation for Gibson’s hateful but protected speech insulting Jews. Mee was dead wrong here and put himself in this position. James Mee will need a new job soon and I hope Harvey Levin will help keep food on Mee's table.

2793 days ago
25.

Taylor    

Bravo Paul. Unfortunately some of the posters here don't care about the facts. They are only interested in skimming over an article and then making hate filled posts about it.

2793 days ago
26.

beware of big dark HERPE caves    

Do u think they will do this for Lane Garrison Too? A cover-up?

2793 days ago
27.

DR    

Paul and Leann
Mel is free to say whatever he wants, but Mel was arrested when he made the comments. Mee is therefore REQUIRED to document what he says for the DA. "you have the right to remain quiet, anything you say, may be held against you" sound familar? No hate here Leann, just someone who read the article and is still sickened by the coverup, and by what Mel said.

2793 days ago
28.

snyggast    

EVERYONE wants to BE FAMOUS. It's the superstar syndrome. Even the president of Venezuela has it and so does Mee.

2793 days ago
29.

DR    

Again here are the facts:
Deputy Mee audiotaped the entire exchange between himself and Gibson, from the time of the traffic stop to the time Gibson was put in the patrol car, and that the tape fully corroborates the written report.


Once inside the car, a source directly connected with the case says Gibson began banging himself against the seat. The report says Gibson told the deputy, "You mother f****r. I'm going to f*** you." The report also says "Gibson almost continually [sic] threatened me saying he 'owns Malibu' and will spend all of his money to 'get even' with me."

The report says Gibson then launched into a barrage of anti-Semitic statements: "F*****g Jews... The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." Gibson then asked the deputy, "Are you a Jew?"

The deputy became alarmed as Gibson's tirade escalated, and called ahead for a sergeant to meet them when they arrived at the station. When they arrived, a sergeant began videotaping Gibson, who noticed the camera and then said, "What the f*** do you think you're doing?"

A law enforcement source says Gibson then noticed another female sergeant and yelled, "What do you think you're looking at, sugar tits?"

If Mee was the source, why does TMZ name him once and then refer to the "source"

2793 days ago
30.

K_R_H    

Very, Very interesting that the sheriff would come back and do this.

Is he in AA, just like Mel Gibson is? I was raised in a family with Alcoholism and they LOVE to hide and decieve other people, to protect themselves-God forbid they lose their bottle security. Or in Mels case, all of his Millions of dollars he needs to fulfill his false sense of security.

My absolute gut instinct would be to trust the intial arresting officer, since I was a police officer also and have seen much covered up before like this. Unfortunately, this intial officer will probably end up taking the bum rap for the "bum alcoholic."

2793 days ago
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