Cop In Mel Gibson Arrest Claims Harassment

Actor-director Mel Gibson is seen in a booking photo, July 28, 2006 and Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy James Mee, 2006/7/31. AP Photo

The sheriff's deputy who arrested Mel Gibson for drunken driving six months ago says his superiors have harassed him ever since a report detailing the star's anti-Semitic tirade was leaked to the media.

Deputy James Mee was transferred to another assignment and interrogated by sheriff's officials about the arrest for several hours, his attorney told the Los Angeles Times Wednesday. Following his transfer, investigators seized a computer and phone records during a search of his home.

Mee arrested Gibson July 29 in Malibu for driving under the influence of alcohol. An arrest report signed by Mee and posted on the celebrity news Web site TMZ said Gibson was belligerent and quoted him as saying, "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world."

The actor-director later apologized to the Jewish community and pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of drunken driving.

"His life and career would be a lot different had he not made that arrest," his attorney, Richard Shinee, said in a Times story on its Web site.

Sheriff's officials rejected the accusations.

"I disagree with the assessment that personnel in the department or at the station have been relating to him or supervising him in an unfair manner," said Neal Tyler, a division chief who oversees the sheriff's station where Gibson was booked.

Tyler denied Mee was being singled out and said he did not know of any problems with Mee's treatment. He declined to discuss Mee's specific complaints because of confidentiality rules.

After Gibson's much-publicized arrest, investigations were opened into whether Gibson received preferential treatment, and into who leaked Mee's report to TMZ.

Shinee said a few days after Gibson's arrest, investigators asked Mee why he included Gibson's inflammatory comments in his report. Mee was also told to list the exact details of how he wrote and handled the report, as well as any people he was in contact with at the time he wrote the report.

"Clearly, the focus of the investigation was the leak and not whether there were any communications between department brass concerning suppression of the report," Shinee told the Los Angeles Times. "My client has denied he gave the report to anyone."
  • Sean Alfano

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