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Judge Refuses to Order Files on Officers in Protest Given to Rubin's Defense

February 02, 1989|SANTIAGO O'DONNELL | Times staff writer

A judge Monday refused to order the Glendale police to give the defense personnel files of every officer assigned to a demonstration in 1987 that led to charges against Jewish activist Irv Rubin and three other men.

The judge, however, granted a request for personnel files of the arresting officers and police witnesses against the four and said he might hand over any police intelligence reports about the defendants' role in the demonstration. He is to rule on intelligence documents individually.

Rubin and three other men are charged with misdemeanor obstruction of police work and other offenses. The charges stemmed from their roles in a disturbance during a November, 1987, appearance by white supremacist J. B. Stoner at the Glendale Holiday Inn.

Attorneys for the four sought the records and files of every police officer present at the demonstration, about 170 officers, to support their contention that their clients were singled out for arrest and prosecution because of police bias.

Superior Court Judge Joseph R. Kalin said the request was too broad. He ordered instead the release of personnel files of policemen who participated in arrests and of those who either "filed written reports, or when interviewed made statements" about the demonstration.

Assistant City Atty. Ronald R. Braden, representing the Glendale Police Department, argued that turning over the files would violate the officers' right to privacy and jeopardize police intelligence operations.

Only in Chambers

Kalin ruled that the information gathered by intelligence officers monitoring the demonstrations could be revealed only in chambers, to protect the agents' identities and the security of intelligence procedures.

The prosecution has until March 13 to make the information available to the defense. On that date Kalin will set a trial date.

Attorney Tom Stanley asked for the confidential information, arguing that it would help the defense prove that some police officers at the demonstration have records of racial discrimination.

The defense contention is largely based on testimony from a 1986 federal court trial, in which a judge ruled that a Latino police officer was denied promotion because the Glendale Police Department discriminated against members of minority groups.

"How can discriminatory behavior take place in the police squadron and not go out on the street?" defendant John M. Lee asked Kalin during the hearing. "People reflect their biases overtly and covertly every day, wherever they are."

On Monday, Kalin determined that the defense failed to prove that the police department's discriminatory hiring practices led to discriminatory enforcement.

Prosecutor Satisfied

"We all have biases, but that doesn't mean that we can't do our job," Kalin said.

Prosecutor Rich Stone said he was satisfied with the judge's decision.

The defendants are Rubin, head of the Jewish Defense League; Lee, a Los Angeles deputy public defender; Roger Marheine, a Pasadena City College instructor, and Jose Hernandez of Los Angeles.

Rubin and Marheine are charged with unlawful assembly, failure to disperse, rioting and obstructing or delaying an officer in the performance of his duty. Marheine is also charged with two counts of battery.

Lee is charged with failure to disperse, unlawful assembly, and obstruction or delaying an officer in the performance of his duty. Hernandez is charged with rioting and one count of battery.

Kalin, a Superior Court judge hearing the case on special assignment as a Municipal Court judge, is the fourth judge in Glendale to preside over the criminal cases, which were filed in March. Two judges stepped down, citing conflicts, and a third was removed at the request of the defense.

Stanley said he will confer with his clients before deciding whether to appeal Kalin's decision or move forward with the trial proceedings.

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