Los Angeles, California- Mel Gibson is only the beginning of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy James Mee’s case against the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, but without his hateful, anti-Semitic rant, it is contended, Mee’s career would have gone a lot more smoothly.
It all started in the summer of 2006, when Gibson was pulled over and arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated in Malibu. Mee was one of the arresting officers, and after Gibson threatened Mee several times, he asked the policeman, “are you a Jew?” and stated that Jews were responsible for “all the wars in the world.” The statements were a traffic treasure trove for then-fledgling gossip site TMZ, and Gibson quickly apologized. (A subsequent lengthy investigation cleared Mee of allegations of leaking arrest information to TMZ, which the officer said prevented him from ascending ranks.)
Since that incident, Gibson has been a pariah in Hollywood- it wasn’t the sole nail in the coffin of the Aussie’s career, but the hateful tirade was indelibly etched in the minds of filmgoers and studios. But the news story did not only affect Gibson, if Mee’s case is accurate- and a Los Angeles judge, while expressing some doubt Mee can successfully pursue the claim, believes there is enough evidence for the case to be heard by a jury.
Mee alleges he was chided for including the statements in the incident report, then ostracized at his job and even prevented from obtaining a promotion. Although Mee is still employed, he no longer works the beat seeking out drunk drivers in Malibu. Mee’s attorney Yael Trock commented on the judge’s decision, reminding press:
“Mel Gibson is not the issue here. The issue is that the department mistreated Deputy Mee, who dared to arrest Mel Gibson and treated him like any other person.”
A trial in Mee’s case is set for February 14th.