Jewish officer who arrested a drunk Gibson sues department over harassment

LOS ANGELES (JTA) –The Jewish sheriff’s deputy who arrested actor Mel Gibson for drunken driving is suing his department for harassment since the July 2006 incident.

Because he reported the requests of superiors to remove Gibson’s anti-Semitic tirade from the initial arrest report, the the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has continuously passed him over for deserved promotions and retaliated in other ways, James Mee charged in his suit, the Los Angeles Times reported Sept. 8.

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 website.

Mee was suspected of leaking the report, “because he is Jewish,” Trock allegedly said; the deputy has consistently denied the charge. A department spokesman denied Mee’s allegations of retaliation and ethnic discrimination.

After his 2006 arrest, Gibson apologized to the Jewish community for his anti-Semitic outburst.

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