Transcripts don’t lie. L.A. County Sheriff Villanueva does

Transcripts don’t lie. But Alex Villanueva thinks they do.

The embattled Los Angeles County sheriff wasted much of his first term denying things audio, video and print reporters have quoted him as saying.

He has claimed these comments were misconstrued, taken out of context, misunderstood or, as he emphasizes most of the time, big fat lies. Even after reporters released his unredacted, unedited words, Villanueva isn’t moving from his I’m sorry party.

He makes Donald Trump look as honest as George Washington next to a cherry tree.

View pretrial testimony for the lawsuit Vanessa Bryant filed against LA County after sheriff’s deputies showed grisly photos of the helicopter crash that killed her husband, Kobe Bryant. her daughter Gianna; and seven more.

Villanueva was asked under oath by Bryant’s attorneys what he thought of my colleague Alene Tchekmedyian, who is in charge of the sheriff’s department and helped uncover the story about the crash photos.

“Deeply dishonest,” the sheriff testified, adding that he “wouldn’t describe anything she quotes me as at all accurate.”

But instead of citing examples, Villanueva berated that Tchekmedyian “was trying to engage me in conversation [on] several times, and I purposely have… nothing to share with her.

Um OK.

It’s obvious why Villanueva keeps denying his own words. He’s always trying to save his political ass. He does it with stunts like a morning raid on the home of his frequent critic Sheila Kuehl, LA Borough Superintendent, for alleged political corruption. He will do it by wearing cowboy hats.

But most of all, his eternal Hail Mary accuses others of lying about him.

It would be amusing if it weren’t so insulting to our democracy.

Consider a debate hosted by KBLA-AM 1580 on Monday between Villanueva and his opponent in the November election, retired Long Beach Police Commissioner Robert Luna.

After Villanueva boasted about all the black division chiefs and sergeants on his team and called Luna a racist for not having the same track record, debate co-moderator Dominque DiPrima asked about a March column from me. She focused on two Villanueva claims. One was his theory that the need for blacks “continues to diminish generation after generation” so that the community is now its own worst enemy.

He claimed that the number of blacks killed by police was far fewer than those killed by other blacks.

“For every ‘say her name,'” Villanueva told me at the time, “you have to give a thousand names of people who were killed. Blacks kill blacks. And is anybody out there on the street singing, “Say her name”? Nobody will do it.”

DiPrima also criticized Villanueva, who called the increase in hate crimes against Asians a black problem.

“Look at the one who attacks victims. The overwhelming majority are black. It’s a rule in the media that it can’t be mentioned,” he said in his interview with me.

All this anti-Black dog whistling, provoked by my simple question of why the Black community seems to organize more effectively against law enforcement killings than Latinos. Since then he’s been trying to run away from what he said – by attacking me.

A man in a cowboy hat outdoors.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva in Venice in 2021.

(Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)

He left Fox 11 shortly after my column was published to whine that I couldn’t find “anything positive to say” about him, while double-wording some of his comments.

Notes from an April meeting between Villanueva and the Black Peace Officers Assn. According to The Times, Los Angeles County revealed board members pressed him about his thoughts on black people.

He replied that “his statements were taken out of context because the author of the article had an ‘agenda,'” the notes read.

In front of a packed crowd at the KBLA debate, which was livestreamed on Facebook, Villanueva knew he needed to win over more black voters. A poll released last month and co-sponsored by UC Berkeley and the Los Angeles Times showed registered black voters were the least supportive of any racial group — just 17%, compared to 21% of Asian voters and a whopping 34% of Latinos .

“When I read this [Villanueva’s comments in the Times] and just from other spontaneous comments I’ve heard from you,” DiPrima said to the murmur of approval from the audience, “it sounds like there’s a problem in your perception of African Americans as a community. And I want you to address that. If this is incorrect, please help me understand why.”

This was a chance for Villanueva to apologize for his past stupidity. nope

“Well, one of them is that you quote the LA Times,” Villanueva replied while flashing his usual grin. “You are not exactly a paragon of virtue and accuracy.”

DiPrima pointed out that The Times is “a fact-based newspaper,” before KBLA owner and moderator Tavis Smiley interjected.

“Did you do [those statements] to the LA Times – yes or no?” he asked.

“The part about the Asians and the Africans… no, I didn’t do that quote,” the sheriff replied.

“The LA Times misquoted you,” Smiley observed.

“Yeah, definitely,” Villanueva shot back.

Alex: As we say in Mexico, no, te hagas. Give me a break.

A man raises his left arm in front of a large monitor with words on the screen.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva at the Hall of Justice in February.

(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

As we chatted this spring, we recorded each other on our own devices. I still have the audio file – you must have deleted yours.

I didn’t misquote you. I didn’t misinterpret you. I didn’t miss anything you said. But just to verify my own reporting, I listened to our conversation again.

And as I did, I remembered some other comments you made about the black community and crime that didn’t make it into my column.

When I dismissed your claim that there was as much interracial violence among blacks as there was among Latinos, you pointed out that blacks are more murderous, period.

“Latinos as murder suspects in county jail? They’re about 56, I think, almost 60%,” Villanueva said. “And they make up 50% of the community.”

They then said that Black people make up 31% of prison murder suspects and also 31% of all prison inmates.

“But in the county population it’s only 4%,” they continued. “So you’re seeing the percent difference here?” (According to the U.S. Census, LA County is actually 9% Black.)

They also said that “the greatest need that young black children face today comes from other young black children.” They claimed the “classroom disruption” they claim to be causing is “the biggest problem”.

“It demoralizes the workforce… They have substandard tuition,” you said.

“So destroying the quality of education,” they concluded, “is to some extent self-inflicted.”

You weren’t done yet.

“Black-on-black violence, brown-on-brown violence — it’s just not on the same level between the two. I think that’s the difference between the two communities and their protests against police violence, you said.

“And for a lot of Latinos, they’re going to be like, ‘Well, they [Black people] brought it upon themselves. They’re more inclined,'” they continued. “I think — if you do the polls, you’d be more likely to say whoever suffered a bad fate at the hands of law enforcement, they inflicted it on themselves by what they did… Compared to if you a According to polls of blacks, they would be more inclined to blame the government for “all the legacies of past horrific conditions.”

“And it’s annoying,” they concluded, “because in reality, poverty is the single main driver driving it all. Because that applies to whites, blacks, Latinos, Asians [in] the bottom rung economically…are those who have the greatest confrontations with law enforcement. And just by the sheer poverty and concentration of individuals in some county zip codes compared to other zip codes…that’s really sociology.”

In March, you ended your six-minute, error-ridden non-sequitur with a chuckle.

At the KBLA forum this week, you laughed again at LA’s black community.

Transcripts don’t lie.

Alex Villanueva: You do. A lot of. Transcripts don’t lie. L.A. County Sheriff Villanueva does

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