The head of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s civilian oversight office said he has concerns about what motivated officials to try to conceal Mel Gibson’s anti-Jewish statements and belligerent behavior from the public and is troubled by the department’s initial description of the arrest as uneventful. Mike Gennaco, who heads the Office of Independent Review, said an initial review of the case found that no laws had been broken and that the arrest had been handled within departmental policy, reports the Los Angeles Times. Still at issue is whether Gibson was given special treatment by sheriff’s officials because of his celebrity status.
Sheriff’s officials acknowledged that a deputy drove Gibson 10 miles from the Malibu-Lost Hills station to a tow yard to retrieve his Lexus LS sedan after he was released on bail. Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said the ride in a marked patrol car was not unusual. But one department source said it was a courtesy rarely extended to other suspects at the station. After the arrest, reporters were not initially informed of Gibson’s profane outbursts, attempt to escape custody and repeated threats to the arresting deputy. Instead, Whitmore described the arrest as “without incident.” Gennaco confirmed that the part of the arrest report detailing Gibson’s “increasingly belligerent” behavior had been removed from the original report and purposely placed in a supplemental document by station-level supervisors.