LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy is under investigation after a video posted to YouTube showed him apparently ignoring a radio call to go to a shooting while talking instead to his now ex-girlfriend.
Deputy Jeremy Fennell was placed on administrative leave in January in connection with the video, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to KTLA on Thursday.
The video, published to YouTube Feb. 23 by an account dubbed “Compassionate Cop,” appears to show the deputy on a video call. He is sitting in his patrol vehicle, laughing, when a female dispatcher’s voice comes over the police radio.
“She can go f--- herself, OK?” the deputy says.
The dispatcher’s voice refers to a 417, a radio code for a person with a gun.
“I want you, you, you, you,” the deputy says, pointing at the camera. “Somebody’s getting shot right now. … I know I gotta go, but I’m not gonna go because you mad, so I’m not gonna go.
“Someone’s getting shot. Oh well,” he continues with a shrug. “Oh well. Because I want to make things right with me and you.”
He continues, air-kissing at the camera, and saying the kisses can be returned "in person" at 11 o'clock.
The woman who posted the video, Priscilla Anderson, said she is Fennell's ex-girlfriend. She told KTLA he recorded more than 100 such videos in an attempt to get her attention.
She also alleges he physically abused her, and that he took out his anger against her on everyday people, pulling them over and giving them tickets.
"I was struck in the neck; I was choked," Anderson said. "I was threatened. I had a gun pulled to my head."
Anderson said she called the sheriff's Lakewood Station, where Fennell was posted, to try to get help. No one responded, according to Anderson, so she went to court to seek a restraining order, and then posted the videos online.
Fennell is indeed the subject of a restraining order issued Feb. 23, the same day the main video was published, local criminal justice blog Witness L.A. reported.
Fennell was arrested Jan. 25, the date on which he was placed on leave, by the sheriff's Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau, according to county jail records. He's 26, the records show.
Fennell bailed out of custody a little over three hours after his arrest, putting up $50,000 bail.
Anderson's attorney is calling for an investigation into who knew what at the Lakewood Station. Anderson is being represented by Ben Meiselas with the office of famed L.A. defense attorney Mark Geragos.
"You have a deputy here who's clearly gone rogue," Meiselas said. "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."
Sheriff Jim McDonnell issued a short statement: “We are very concerned about what is depicted in the video. The department is currently investigating the matter.”
A second video published by the "Compassionate Cop" account shows the same deputy threatening the person he's calling.
"I'm going to come down there and get you. I'm going to make you call me," the deputy says. "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 driver for recently convicted ex-Sheriff Lee Baca, Witness L.A. reported.