The city school board has voted to fire eight part-time school police officers, including four who were moonlighting as bodyguards for rapper Snoop Dogg when an unknown gunman shot at his convoy in April.
After a four-hour closed session, the board voted 4-1 to fire reserve officers Leslie Gaulden, Randy Robinson and Kenny Archer, all of whom worked for the rapper. Officer and Snoop Dogg bodyguard Marcus Thompson, arrested on weapons charges after an incident at the BET Awards show in Hollywood, was fired last week.
Board members declined to comment on the decision, but interim school police chief Wesley Mitchell said the fired officers did not have adequate background checks. Mitchell has been pushing to step up background checks and said he is drafting a policy to limit officers’ off-duty work.
About a third of the 32 full-time and reserve Inglewood Unified School District officers have guarded Snoop Dogg, a convicted felon whose real name is Calvin Broadus. Their bodyguard jobs came under scrutiny after several were detained when police and federal agents pulled over vehicles that dropped Snoop Dogg off at the BET Awards in June. Authorities confiscated drugs and weapons from the vehicles, which included an armored van.
Joe Picou, president of an Inglewood school officers union, told the school board before its Wednesday vote that the officers should not be fired. Picou said he had hired the men in his former role as a supervisor.
“I conducted the background checks on most of them,” he said. “They are qualified.”
Six Inglewood schools officers this week filed a civil lawsuit claiming the district discriminated against them because they are black and that their former chief threatened to fire them after they complained.
“They’ve been trying to get rid of my officers long before the Snoop Dogg incidents,” said attorney Craig Byrnes, who filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court.