That video is unbelieveably creepy. And could Mary Grady, the LAPD information officer, get any more smarmy and insincere?
Two points. For those of us who watch "Animal Precinct" and all the other HLE shows, you always see a disclaimer that everyone shown is innocent until proven guilty. Yet this show didn't say that at all, anywhere. They give Ron's full name, etc. Looks like pretty clear grounds for a lawsuit against Boks, the City, the ACTF, LAAS, City TV, et al.
Second, I've spoken to Ron, so I know he's not crazy. But they spend all this time in the video talking about how he's a hoarder, and how hoarding is a mental disease, and how people who hoard generally have OCD, etc. Their main premise is that Ron has a mental disorder (which hardly squares with the degree of premeditation and intent that would be required to commit FELONY animal cruelty, but let's leave that by the wayside for the moment).
If they believe Ron has a mental disorder, then handcuffing him at the crack of dawn, pointing a camera at him, and then asking for his consent to be photgraphed, filmed and questioned flat-out constitutes forcing him to consent under duress. Especially since there's no evidence of his having been advised that he could have an attorney which, since they admit on-camera that he has NO criminal record, isn't something that would be foremost in his mind.
On top of which, anyone who's seen "Animal Precinct" knows Ron's house could have been A LOT worse. It's not running in House Beautiful anytime soon, but then neither's mine. Not against the law to be a bad housekeeper.
Most importantly for everyone who reads this, or who knows anyone with animals: Keep copies of all your vet records off-site, or keep your vet records off-site. A warrant has to be for a specific location. If they want a copy of your vet records, make sure you get to dictate the circumstances under which they get them. If they want to make copies make sure you're there or your attorney is there to see what's copied.
Second, God love Ron. He thought if he told people what actually happened the facts would be enough. He's a nice guy, but he's dealing with extremely bad people. You see a cop, you say "Lawyer!" They ask you anything, you say "Lawyer!" They accuse you of torturing kittens on television, you say, "Lawyer!" And you do not say one other syllable.If Ron had asked for a lawyer, he probably wouldn't even need one anymore.
This morning in City Council they were patting each other on the back for raiding Mason the evil hoarder. They said it was so bad that they made a motion to keep a record of hoarders just like convicted sexual predators. City Council had no idea it was a bogus raid. They said they must help hoarders get the counseling they need. They didn't offer Mason any help or counseling or anything. We lived in a messed up city
LA To Consider Database On Animal Hoarders
POSTED: 1:21 pm PST December 14, 2007
UPDATED: 1:42 pm PST December 14, 2007
LOS ANGELES -- A database that would allow animal control officers to monitor the progress of so-called animal hoarders was proposed Friday by a city councilman, who said there is a 100 percent recidivism rate among hoarders who do not receive mental counseling.
The Hoarding Evaluation Aid Response Tracking System -- HEARTS -- would be operated by the Los Angeles Animal Services Department, said Councilman Tony Cardenas, who introduced a motion to create the database. The councilman also called for a staff psychologist to be placed in the department to help follow up on the mental care of hoarders.
"These people who hoard animals have a mental condition and they deserve, and we deserve, to get the health care they need," Cardenas said.
"If we go into a home ... and find say two dozen animals, and we rectify that situation for the moment, and if this mental health condition persists with this person, later on when we go to that home, they will have easily twice as many animals in the condition that we found them before."
Lt. Tony Lomedico with the Los Angeles Police Department's Animal Cruelty Task Force said both people and animals suffer in cases of hoarding.
"You just have to be there to understand what's in these locations," Lomedico said.
"Once you've been there, and been around the smells and the life that goes on there you never forget it. From the basement to the attic, there's filth, fecal matter, urine and trash, coupled with a smell that's horrendous and unforgettable."
Since its formation two years ago, the Animal Cruelty Task Force has investigated 400 cases of animal abuse, and has broken up 35 cockfighting and 15 dogfighting rings.
"Whether it's animal neglect like hoarding or animal cruelty like dogfighting, we are obliged to be role models to our children and teach them this is not tolerable," said Ed Boks, general manager of Animal Services. "HEARTS is another tool that allows us to go beyond protecting our animals and allows us to realize a broader mission of community ambassadors and educators."
Poster one, they were not patting themselves on the back for the Mason raid but the raid on the elderly woman. Boks got up there and said "we provide hoarders with the mental health care that they need. We treat them first and only when all else fails do we prosecute." The city never offered Mason helped even when he asked for help. Instead of help they arrested him and made him give a tour of his house while he was in handcuffs. If they think he had a mental illness, why did they allow him to let the city video team in there?
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