CALL TO ACTION!!!!!!!
BRING IN CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE TO INVESTIGATE THE CASE OF MITRICE RICHARDSON
If you believe it’s time for an outside law enforcement agency to step in and handle the case of Mitrice Richardson, please cut and paste the letter below and email it to California Attorney General Kamala Harris at the following two addresses:
Type the words: “Mitrice Richardson – New Investigation” in the subject line.
If you’re so inclined, please carbon-copy the following officials:
• Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Assitant to Sheriff Baca Julie Montgomery: email@example.com
• Sheriff’s Communications Director Steve Whitmore: SRWhitmo@lasd.org
• L.A. OIR Chief Attorney Michael Gennaco: firstname.lastname@example.org
• L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky: email@example.com and
• California State Senator Sharon Runner: firstname.lastname@example.org
COPY THE LETTER BELOW AND EMAIL IT TO THE PEOPLE ABOVE
Dear Attorney General Harris:
I respectfully request that the California Attorney General’s office begin an independent investigation into the case of Mitrice Richardson.
Ms. Richardson was a 24-year-old African American college graduate who was taken into custody by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies for possession of small amount of marijuana and failing to pay a restaurant bill in Malibu in September 2009. After her release from a remote LASD substation (Malibu/Lost Hills), Richardson went missing for 11 months — until her naked, semi-decomposed remains were found in a rugged canyon just eight miles from the station and, according to the coroner’s office, moved in breach of protocol. The coroner never saw the remains as they were found. Because the scene was compromised and no evidence was collected even by LASD, Richardson’s cause of death is undetermined. The body was recently exhumed for reexamination, but the results have not been shared with the decedent’s family or the public.
A recent article in the September issue of Los Angeles magazine (“What Happened to Mitrice Richardson?”), chronicles the LASD missteps that led to Richardson’s demise, and the department’s many discrepancies—and in some cases, outright lies—in explaining those events.
The article, which has garnered a great deal of media attention, also points out the how the department’s watchdog agency, the Office of Independent Review, failed to adequately investigate LASD’s handling of the Richardson case.
L.A. County’s Board of Supervisors has agreed to pay Richardson’s parents $900,000 for a wrongful death suit filed against them. But several questions remain unanswered. For example:
• Why did the sheriff’s station free Richardson despite several accounts of the young woman displaying the sort of odd behavior that would normally warrant psychological evaluation?
• Why did the station—the same one that gave Mel Gibson a ride to his car after he was freed on drunk driving charges—turn Richardson loose even though her car had been impounded and she had no money or means of transportation?
• Why did the station captain keep the jail-cell video of Richardson in his desk drawer for nearly four months while denying its existence?
• Did the deputy seen leaving the station behind Mitrice (captured on video) see or speak to Richardson?
• Why were Richardson’s remains both nude and partially mummified?
• How did Richardson, a young woman from the city, end up in an exceedingly rugged canyon with no roads or trails nearby?
• Why did sheriff’s personnel remove her remains from the scene rather than follow protocol and wait for the coroner’s office to investigate?
• Why has some potential evidence still not been collected from the canyon where Richardson’s remains were found?
• Why hasn’t the case been deemed a homicide?
• Why, in an October 2010 meeting, did Lt. Michael Rosson and Captain David Smith tell Sheriff Baca that Richardson’s remains were moved because they were completely intact, when in fact one leg was several feet from the body, the head and body were not connected?
•Why hasn’t LASD posted a reward on LACountymurders.com for information in the case, as Sheriff Lee Baca promised to do on December 29, 2010?
In summary, I believe that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and its watchdog, the Office of Independent Review, have failed to properly investigate and monitor the Mitrice Richardson case, and, given their mistakes and discrepancies, can no longer be trusted to do so.
I respectfully ask that the California Attorney General’s office take over this case so that questions can be answered and justice can be served.
Your Name and Hometown here
- What happened to Mitrice Richardson? (boingboing.net)
- Sheriff’s Department May Settle With Mitrice Richardson’s Family For $900K (laist.com)