The Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy who arrested Mel Gibson for drunken driving and endured an anti-Semitic rant by the actor/filmmaker says he was disappointed that his employer was not more appreciative of his actions and that he was told to give the star a chance to apologize.
During the July 2006 DUI arrest in Malibu that received international attention, Gibson said, among other things, that Jews were responsible for all the wars in the world, Deputy James Mee. Gibson, now 55, later issued an apology, admitting to making "despicable" remarks and attributing his behavior to alcoholism.
Mee is Jewish. He sued the county in September 2007, alleging he has been subject to repeated disciplinary action and overlooked for six to seven other positions, including that of motorcycle deputy, ever since he complained to his bosses that Gibson received preferential treatment. Mee maintains his bosses directed him to remove parts of his report shortly after Gibson was arrested, "effectively participating in covering up the anti-Semitic posture of Mr. Gibson."
Lawyers for the county have filed a motion to dismiss the case and a hearing is scheduled Jan. 12. But on Thursday, Mee's attorneys filed court papers opposing the dismissal motion and included a sworn statement by the deputy.
"When I wrote a detailed report quoting Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic statements, I thought my supervisors would act immediately to stem any associations with Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic views," Mee states. "I thought that the statements were very important to show Gibson's level of toxicity during his prosecution."
But Mee said he received a different reaction from the department.
"To my disappointment, instead of thanking me for uncovering religious discrimination by Gibson I received an order ... to rewrite the report by taking the anti-Semitic statements out and hiding it from the public in a separate supplemental report," Mee says.
The deputy also maintains he was asked by a Sheriff's Department official to "meet with Mel Gibson and to give him an opportunity to apologize for his anti-Semitic statements. This request is highly unusual in that normally DUI arrestees are not given an opportunity to apologize."
Mee says he received a backlash from his superiors for taking his stand in the Gibson case.
"I was put on desk duty to be further punished, humiliated and retaliated all because of the Gibson arrest and the attempted coverup of the anti-Semitic slurs made by Mr. Gibson," Mee says.
—City News Service