Gibson’s arrest handled properly, Office of Independent Review says

first_imgGennaco also said that, although he’d never handled DUI cases while a federal prosecutor, he would not characterize Gibson’s arrest as being “without incident.” Gibson initially issued a statement Saturday apologizing for his “despicable comments,” and followed that up with another statement today in which he apologized to “everyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words” he used when he was arrested. “Hatred of any kind goes against my faith,” he said in a statement released through publicist Alan Nierob. “I’m not just asking for forgiveness,” Gibson said. “I would like to take it one step further, and meet with leaders in the Jewish community, with whom I can have a one-on-one discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing.” Gibson said he’s “in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from during that drunken display” and hopes members of the Jewish community, “whom I have personally offended,” will help him in his recovery efforts. “There is no excuse, nor should there be any tolerance, for anyone who thinks or expresses any kind of anti-Semitic remark,” Gibson said. “But please know from my heart that I am not an anti-Semite. I am not a bigot. Hatred of any kind goes against my faith.” Some leaders of the Jewish community believe that Gibson’s attempt to reach out to them is premature. Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center/Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, said it was too soon for Gibson to meet with the Jewish community, and called anti-Semitism an illness on a par with drug and alcohol addiction. “This is a matter that has to be treated in the same way as his alcohol abuse,” Hier said. “Treatment is not immediate, the results are not immediate. Anti-semitisim wasn’t born in a day and it can’t be cured in a day.” To have a one-day event so quickly after making anti-Semitic statements “would make him look ridiculous and make us look ridiculous,” Hier said. “He needs to embark on a serious introspection on how to end that feeling about Jews. He’s an intelligent man – there are places to visit, books to read – where it’s not a planned event by his publicist.” “He will know and we will know when he is serious about his rehabilitation. If he is serious and really does that, he will not find the Jewish community wanting.” Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said he welcomed a dialogue – after the actor/director completes rehab. “We are glad that Mel Gibson has finally owned up to the fact that he made anti-Semitic remarks, and his apology sounds sincere. We welcome his efforts to repair the damage he has caused,” Foxman said in a statement. “Once he completes his rehabilitation for alcohol abuse, we will be ready and willing to help him with his second rehabilitation to combat this disease of prejudice.” “I welcome his words. And I hope and pray that they are sincere and heartfelt,” but Gibson needs to show “tangible actions” of repentance, said Rabbi Mark S. Diamond of the 280-member Board of Rabbis of Southern California. “I don’t want to minimize for a moment the hurt and anger, the anguish, his words have created in our community,” he said. Gibson acknowledged “there will be many in that community who will want nothing to do with me, and that would be understandable. But I pray that that door is not forever closed.” The sheriff’s deputy who arrested Gibson said Monday he feels badly that the star’s reputation has been damaged but he hopes Gibson will think twice before drinking and driving again. “I don’t take pride in hurting Mr. Gibson,” Deputy James Mee told The Associated Press during an interview outside his home. Mee, who is Jewish, said he didn’t take Gibson’s remarks seriously. “That stuff is booze talking,” the deputy said. However, Gibson’s latest statement said he must take responsibility for making anti-Semitic remarks because as a public person, “when I say something, either articulated and thought out, or blurted out in a moment of insanity, my words carry weight in the public arena.” Gibson noted that his apology and efforts to repair relations with the Jewish community “is not about a film.” ABC announced late Monday that it had scrapped plans for Gibson to produce a miniseries on the Holocaust. “This is about real life and recognizing the consequences hurtful words can have,” Gibson said. To some people, however, it is about movies. “I don’t think I want to see any more Mel Gibson movies,” Barbara Walters said Monday on the ABC talk show “The View.” ABC is owned by Disney, which was in the early stages of planning the marketing for Gibson’s next film “Apocalypto.” This is not the first time Gibson has faced accusations of anti-Semitism. Gibson produced, directed and financed the 2004 blockbuster “The Passion of the Christ,” which some Jewish leaders said cast Jews as the killers of Jesus. Days before “Passion” was released, Gibson’s father, Hutton Gibson, was quoted as saying the Holocaust was mostly “fiction.” Gibson won a best-director Oscar for 1995’s “Braveheart” and starred in the “Lethal Weapon” and “Mad Max” films, among others. In recent years, he has turned his attention to producing films and TV shows through his Icon Productions. The hundreds of millions of dollars he made from “The Passion” has given the star the ability to finance his own films, giving him a measure of independence from the major studios. His last major starring role was in the 2002 film “Signs.” He played a supporting part in the 2003 film, “The Singing Detective,” which he also produced.285Love live music?Sign up for Festival Pass, a newsletter on Southern California’s festival culture. Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.“Whether the department was considering how this report might get out into the media and was, maybe, perhaps, looking to shield some of that report from the public realm. Gennaco’s comments came amid a growing outcry that the Academy Award-winning actor and director had received preferential treatment following his arrest on Pacific Coast Highway, where he was clocked driving 87 mph in a 45 mph zone. The arrest report said an open bottle of tequila was in the car. Sheriff’s officials initially said Gibson’s arrest was “without incident.” But portions of the arrest record – posted on the celebrity Web site – detailed Gibson’s tirade, making the comment that “the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” The report also said that Gibson tried to run from the scene after the arresting deputy, James Mee, offered to take him into custody without handcuffs. Gennaco said that while the Sheriff’s Department “prefers” that suspects be handcuffed, deputies have discretion in deciding whether to use restraints. Actor Mel Gibson’s DUI arrest was handled in accordinance with Sheriff’s Department policy, the head of the civilian oversight panel said today, while he vowed to investigate whether the subsequent report was “modified” to protect the actor’s professional reputation. Michael Gennaco, a former federal prosecutor who heads the Office of Independent Review, said his preliminary inquiry determined that Gibson’s arrest about 2:30 a.m. Friday was within policy and that the appropriate information had been turned over to the District Attorney’s Office for review. But he said he was still trying to determine why the report contained a “face sheet” giving the basics of the arrest, with details of Gibson’s anti-Semitic tirade contained in a supplement. “Why was the report was formatted so there was a prelimiary and supplemental report: It has to do with the issue that still remains out there,” Gennaco said during a morning press conference. last_img

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