The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s civilian oversight office will investigate whether authorities gave Mel Gibson preferential treatment when he was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and tried to cover up offensive comments and behavior by one of Hollywood’s most powerful figures, reports the Los Angeles Times. A celebrity news website, TMZ.com, published portions of the arresting deputy’s handwritten report, saying the star was abusive, shouted anti-Jewish slurs, attempted to escape from custody, and boasted that he “owned Malibu.” “All that stuff about favorable treatment is something that needs to be looked at,” said Mike Gennaco of the Office of Independent Review.
Gennaco said his investigation will be wide-reaching, looking at Gibson’s ties to the department. Gibson has participated in a charity of Sheriff Lee Baca. Baca defended the way his department handled the case and said the actor’s behavior after his arrest is not relevant to the criminal charges. “There is no cover-up,” he said. “Our job is not to [focus] on what he said. It’s to establish his blood-alcohol level when he was driving and proceed with the case. Trying someone on rumor and innuendo is no way to run an investigation, at least one with integrity.” Gibson said: “I acted like a person completely out of control when I was arrested and said things that I do not believe to be true and which are despicable. I am deeply ashamed of everything I said.”