Gibson Backlash: Mel's Arresting Officer Under Fire?
LOS ANGELES (December 28, 2006) — 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 a celebrity news Web site.
Deputy James Mee was transferred to another assignment, interrogated for several hours, and investigators seized a computer and phone records during a search of his home, his attorney told the Los Angeles Times for its Thursday editions.
“His life and career would be a lot different had he not made that arrest,” attorney Richard Shinee said.
Neal Tyler, a division chief who oversees the sheriff’s office where Gibson was booked, denied that Mee was singled out and said he didn’t know of any problems with Mee’s treatment.
He declined to discuss Mee’s specific complaints because of confidentiality rules, but he said, “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.”
Mee arrested Gibson July 29 in Malibu on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. An arrest report signed by Mee and posted on the celebrity news Web sites 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.
After Gibson’s much-publicized arrest, investigations were opened into whether Gibson received preferential treatment, and into who leaked Mee’s report online.
“My client has denied he gave the report to anyone,” Shinee said.
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