Following his arrest for domestic violence, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lakewood station is taking a closer look into the claims of violence and abuse one officer's ex-girlfriend alleges. Deputy Jeremy Fennell, 26, was arrested in February and released on $50,000 bail for abusing his girlfriend, who says the department didn't believe her when she first came to them with his alleged crimes. It was only after the department became aware of several videos Fennell made, which demonstrated he was guilty of "dereliction of duty," did they start to put two and two together and launch an investigation.
Fennell's pregnant ex-girlfriend, Priscilla Anderson, uploaded many of the more than 100 videos to YouTube. The most disturbing of which may be one in which Fennell received a call to respond to a shooting.
In the video, a police dispatcher can be heard announcing a "417," meaning there's a person with a gun. Fennel then records himself telling his ex-girlfriend about the call that he's supposed to respond to by saying, "She can go f__k herself, Okay?" Appearing to ignore the calls for help, and preferring to flirt with his girlfriend, the rookie cop said, "I want you, you, you, you." Again ignoring his duty to protect the public, the young patrolman told his then girlfriend, "Somebody gittin shot right now." Fennell never responded to the call, through the duration of the video.
He listens silently for a few more seconds. “Look...I gotta go, but I’m not gonna go…because…you mad," apparently referencing a riff he's had with his girlfriend. Police are trained to run to danger, but Fennel, apparently, stayed put. The young cop sarcastically stated, “Somebody’s gettin’shot....Oh we-e-ll!...Oh, we-e-ll!" Preferring to patch his relationship supposedly, instead of doing his job, he said, "I wanna make things right with me and you." He blew some kisses at his girlfriend and told her she could get some in person around 11pm later that evening.
But things would never be right between Fennell, his girlfriend, or his time on the force, again. After the police department watched the videos, their investigation was launched. Fennell was arrested on January 25, and placed on administrative duty the same day. After presumably posting $50,000 bail, he was released. The following month, Anderson asked for and was granted a three-year restraining order against her ex-boyfriend.
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Anderson says Fennell repeatedly abused her. "When I tried to leave...he would not allow me to leave. He did several things to me, like struck me on the neck, choking me out by the neck, destroying things in the house," she said. In an interview with KTLA News, Anderson said, "I was struck in the neck; I was choked." Going further she said, "I was threatened [and] I had a gun pulled to my head."
Ben Meiselas, Anderson's attorney, is calling for the police department to be investigated after not previously believing her testimony about her ex-boyfriend's abusive actions. "You have a deputy here who's clearly gone rogue...If we as a community lose the trust in our police department to protect victims of abuse when police are the perpetrators of that abuse, we lose confidence in the whole system," Meiselas said.
Sheriff Jim McDonnell stated, "We are very concerned about what is depicted in the video. The department is currently investigating the matter.” But it isn't just one video which contains such damning information. There's over 100. And in another video, Fennell can reportedly be seen and heard threatening another individual. He can be heard saying, "I'm going to come down there and get you. I'm going to make you call me. You see these lights, you know what I'm wearing? I can make you call me."
Fennell is the son of sheriff's Cmdr. Joseph Fennell, who was a personal driver for recently convicted ex-Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca. As The Free Thought Project recently reported, Baca was convicted of three felonies for his role in obstructing an FBI investigation into allegations of police brutality in the Men's Central Jail in Los Angeles. Baca was convicted of "obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruct justice and giving false statements".
KTLA News spoke with a retired police officer who had a chance to view the videos. He said, "What I just saw on this YouTube video is arrogant and shameful...If the incident occurred anywhere near his assigned area of responsibility and he truly delayed his response, it is a prima facia case of dereliction of duty.”