Deputy in Mel Gibson arrest sues LA Sheriff
James Mee, the Jewish sheriff’s deputy who arrested actor Mel Gibson on a drunken-driving charge, is suing the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for harassment since the July 2006 incident.
Because he reported requests from superiors to remove Gibson’s anti-Semitic tirade from the initial arrest report, the department has continuously passed him over for deserved promotions and retaliated in other ways, Mee charged in his suit, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
When Gibson was stopped on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu on suspicion of driving under the influence, he asked Mee “Are you a Jew?” and then ranted that “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”
Mee, 55, included Gibson’s remarks in his initial report, to illustrate how drunk the actor was, but said that superiors told him to put the Gibson slurs in a separate report, not available to the public.
Yael Trock, Mee’s attorney, charged that the request by Mee’s superiors stemmed from Gibson’s celebrity status and friendship with Sheriff Lee Baca.
Mee, who still works as a sheriff’s deputy, agreed to the separate report, but its content was made public immediately by a Hollywood web site.
Mee was suspected of leaking the report, “because he is Jewish,” Trock said, and the deputy has consistently denied the charge.
A department spokesman denied Mee’s allegations of retaliation and ethnic discrimination.
After his 2006 arrest, Gibson repeatedly apologized to the Jewish community for his anti-Semitic outburst.