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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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31.

K_R_H    

Will Sheriff Baca have a starring role in mel's next movie? Or be paid as a technical consultant? Only time will tell.

2828 days ago
32.

South Florida    

#22 {Paul]

I could not have stated it any better.

2828 days ago
33.

Leonard    

Time will be the ultimate judge in how the [world] will react to this moronic Anti-Semite at the box office. Let's just see how well his new release "Apocalypto" ends up earning in terms of actual numbers. Considering that the motion picture industry was created by, and is significantly contolled by us Jews, his Anti-Semitic remarks made to [a Jewish] Sheriff's deputy nonetheless, pretty much sealed his future fate in Hollywood, regardless of Gibson's so-called reference to as being an industry powerhouse and his estimated net worth of $900M. I guess Mel didn't figure that Jews might actually choose law enforcement as a vocation, albeit it does represent an unusual anomaly. Deputy Mee took the proper action by exposing this bigoted fraud and Jew-hater, at the expense of potential retribution from his own department, which has only proven to be evident by their current conduct. For that alone, Mee deserves to be commended!

2828 days ago
34.

JJ    

TWO WRONGS DON'T MAKE A RIGHT..IF THE DEPUTY "LEAKED" THE REPORT THEN HE'S WRONG...WHAT MR. GIBSON SAID WAS WRONG TOO BUT HE DIDN'T TAKE AN OATH TO UPHOLD JUSTICE...THAT'S WHY WE HAVE COPS AND WE HAVE TO HAVE COPS WE CAN TRUST.....

2828 days ago
35.

Leonard    

Paul, Post #22: I completely disagree with your analogy, I am quite sure that Deputy Mee will be able to parlay this "unfortunate" incident in connection with Gibson's Ant-Semitic tirade to his own financial advantage, reagardless of what action the Sheriff's Dept. decides to impose against him. Racial slurs/epithets are indeed protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution, unless they are accompanied by a "true threat" to injure the person of another and transmitted interstate (by wire, telephone, internet or through the U.S. Mail), then that becomes a potential federal felony. Major celebritiies like Gibson, however, are held to a much higher standard by the public at large and [they] have an obligation in the interest of preserving their [own] career by isolating whatever their personal views or bigotry, which we all are entitled to harbor, by not espousing it in a public forum such as this (i.e. his DUI arrest). Gibson clearly blew it by attacking the very people who made him rich + famous in the first place by revealing his true inner beliefs (alcohol be damned) proving himself to nothing more than a common Jew-hater in an industry run by Jews. His own father is an admitted Holocaust denier for Christ's sake! Question to Mel, where were all of your "Jewish" handlers (yes, Mel actually has Jewish lawyers, agents and even a former Israeli Secret Service company providing his security detail!). Next time Mel, get a f**king driver for Christ's sake and keep your Anti-Semitic comments to yourself...

2828 days ago
36.

Addy    

This shows that one can never trust the jews..... backstabbers

2828 days ago
37.

Shag    

People should realize that cops are human, and just as capable of errors just like the rest of us. There are liars, thieves, murderers, rapist, drug atticts, alchoholics, adulterers, etc., amongst their ranks.
They are capable of the same socially maladjusted issues as the general populace.

2828 days ago
38.

shauna    

The fact that this officer was asked to change his report is deplorable and must be brought to light. This was probably leaked to begin with because of the "influence" that the higher ups would have later on. While most of us know that local politicians are corrupt, it's a shame that the Sheriff's department would work to protect Gibson's antisemitic comments from being made public. While this is an issue about DUI, there is no reason for a cover-up. He's a drunk who could have killed somebody--so while he is sitting in his malibu mansion, the officer who was doing his job is being investigated--only in Hollywood!

2828 days ago
39.

Copper    

Althought I don't agree with what Deputy Mee did, I do remember this. Gibson threatened to "ruin him" - ie: flush Mee's career down the toilet with his connections in the Sheriff's Dept. What I think Mee was doing was running "offense" before Gibson ran "defense". It was a misguided attempt to protect himself I believe.

2828 days ago
40.

Hello Kitty    

He brought this on by leaking the report to TMZ in the first place.

2828 days ago
41.

SP    

I think if the Deputy took money for the story he should be fired! Because it would not be a case of wanting the truth known, but to make a buck and that is wrong in his business.

2827 days ago
42.

Sandi    

Actually, Paul, you're wrong. Police officers are taught to include such outbursts in incident reports because it is a record of what transpired. I cover cops for a large daily newspaper on the East Coast, and if a subject went on a profanity-laced tirade that includes racial slurs, they put it in there.

That's not only to accurately reflect what went down, but it's also for court proceedings later. How can a cop testify to someone's behavior if his report didn't include such pertinent information and was instead sanitized to say, "Oh, I put him in the back of the car and he loudly objected."

Who cares who leaked the report. Police reports are PUBLIC RECORD and the fact that this officer was ordered to "sanitize" it smacks of corruption and the sheriff's office pandering to the rich.

Someone else said it before me, but what if the police changed a police report involving YOU to make themselves look better or, say you were the victim, to make the subject look better. It's not right, and I see no difference between this officer leaking the report (if he's even the one who did it, cause trust me, there are plenty of people who would have had access to his original report) and whistleblowers calling out their superiors for corruption.

2827 days ago
43.

Trong Nguyen Duc    

govietnamtours.com: Vietnam tour operator hotel booking visa arrangement

2817 days ago
44.

Nina Guerini    

The Sheriff's dept. is the most unethical government agency I know of. I personally have been victimized by their unscrupulous behavior and coverups.
I only wish you people would help those of us that are NOT famous. It turned my life upside down, made me physically ill and no one would help me right a wrong that was done as a direct result of lying sheriffs. A convicted felon shot a person at my home and no one cared! Help the little people too. You are the media, we are no one and are abused at a much higher level, "because we can, we do it everyday, the law allows it" Sheriffs investigator!

2805 days ago
45.

Laura    

Unbelievable that in this day and age, a sheriff has to worry what he writes in the report because the person is a celebrity.

This should be investigated. The sheriff only wrote what happened. Should he have lied to protect the idiot?

2805 days ago
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