Perez told LAPD brass that Hoopes had witnessed the on-duty drinking. His account originally was backed up by another officer, Camerino Messina. But, testifying last week, Messina recanted, saying he’d mixed up one party with another. Hoopes admitted he’d been at the party, but said he arrived after the drinking.
The case was further undermined by the absence of Lujan, who has himself been named in three separate internal disciplinary cases. According to department officials, Lujan was ordered to appear at the hearing but did not respond. Observed Captain Ron Seban, chair of the Board of Rights, “The case was compromised from the beginning.”
This was the third LAPD internal-discipline case thrown out after Perez’s testimony was contradicted by documents and witnesses. Attorney Isaacson also represents Officer Paul Harper, who faces criminal charges based on Perez’s accusation that Harper conspired to fabricate a felony arrest. “This certainly doesn’t do anything to bolster [Perez’s] credibility,” Isaacson said.
“So, what are you here for?” the security guard at the Japanese American National Museum asked. “I’m here for the looksism seminar,” OffBeat replied. “Come again?” said the second guard. “You know, looksism, when you judge someone on their appearance,” OffBeat chirped. “Heavy,” said the second guard, oblivious to the double meaning. “Anyway,” he turned to his colleague, “I am going outism and will be back around 9:30ism.”
So the skepticism flew fast and furious at the National Conference for Community and Justice’s lecture on “Looksism: The Last Diversity Frontier” last Wednesday. OffBeat arrived thinking the evening would be dedicated to trading sob stories about large posteriors or flabby bellies. But listening to speaker Juliet Funt, 33, daughter of Candid Camera legend Allen and current “inner-image consultant,” we quickly realized we might be at the birth of a movement to reverse eons of appearance-based discrimination. Needless to say, OffBeat kept her stomach troubles to herself.
As a former 205-pounder, Funt, now a solidly built but by no means fat woman, said she had lived the reality of “aesthetic intolerance.”
“We are told that if we are fat, we are not precious, worthy and lovable,” said Funt. “It is a tragic misunderstanding. There is no such thing as thin enough. Whenever you get where you’re going, she [your inner self] moves the finish line.”
Funt said the dangerous repercussions of looksism have made her a “plain supremacist.” Some statistics: 80 percent of fourth-graders are dieting, male liposuction has risen 200 percent, and inverse anorexia (when musclebound guys think they are scrawny) is skyrocketing. Not to mention the loss of bowel control by consumers of the fat substitute Olestra, she said.
But can we really stamp out the chorus of voices that say you can’t be too lipoed/collagen-lipped/surgeon-sculpted? “Choose to control what is inside your head,” Funt insisted. “Let kids know that what they hear is someone else’s opinion. What makes you precious is on the inside of you.” OffBeat agreed, then headed to the refreshment table and polished off three chocolate-chip cookies. —Christine Pelisek