Kristen Bell has been dragged by left-leaning critics after appearing in photos chumming it up with deputies of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
A post shared on the LASD’s social media pages on Sunday shows the singer and television actor in two photos: one in which she is seen smiling with an arm around two deputies and another in which she is with a deputy taking a selfie and giving a thumbs up.
The post was met with a barrage of comments expressing disappointment in Bell – a staunch supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement and racial equality – and accusing her of going against her convictions by posing with police.
One accused her of ‘learning nothing’ from her acclaimed NBC television show The Good Place, which explores what makes a truly virtuous person and centers on the idea that all people are capable of seeking redemption.
The LASD captioned the post: ‘Today, we had the absolute pleasure of meeting @KristenBell, who was hands down, the kindest human ever. There truly never is a dull moment at Lancaster!’
Kristen Bell appeared in photos on Sunday chumming it up with deputies of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department outside Lancaster Station in California
A post shared on the LASD’s social media pages on Sunday shows Bell with a deputy taking a selfie and giving a thumbs up
Bell is wearing a seafoam green knit hat, ripped jeans and a graphic T-shirt promoting Australian racecar driver Daniel Ricciardo.
One Twitter user with the handle ROBIN PETERING PHD, simply wrote, ‘This sucks,’ user Antidepressants Enthusiast replied, ‘Oof that’s not cute,’ and one user named trash wrote, ‘she’s also a landlord she knows what side they’re on.’
Mattie Washburn dug at the police in general and wrote, ‘Yeah, I suppose you probably don’t come across many kind people when your coworkers are all cops.’
Another reply, user name paid actor says abolish BPD/KCSO, accused Bell of not aligning with the values of her own acclaimed television show The Good Place and wrote, ‘Ted Danson endorsing Bloomberg and now u do this ……..y’all really learned nothing from this show.’
Comments on the LASD Instagram page, however, are mostly positive, with one user named kanalalynn writing, ‘Kindness and a down to earth person’ with a heart and celebratory emojis, and another user named nicky_knuckles_75 writing, ‘That’s outstanding. I heard she was an absolute genuine lady.’
Another comment, by user just.rich6, reads, ‘Not sure what’s happening here with the controversy, but she’s supporting the community. Whoever is offended by this needs a new hobby.
And another, by user steveknight5007, reads, ‘Kudos to her and the deputies! Thank you for being there and doing a tough job especially during these times.’
In the past, Bell has vocally supported the Black Lives Matter movement and has shared posts on social media celebrating Juneteenth with the caption, ‘Nobody is free until everybody is free.’
She and her husband, actor Dax Shepard, publicly have spoken about raising their children Delta, 6, and Lincoln, 8, to be anti-racist. Bell also co-authored a children’s book last year called The World Needs More Purple People, which soared to the New York Times Best Seller List.
The book is about ’embracing what makes YOU special while finding common ground with those around you’ and ‘looking to reach beyond the political divide of red and blue,’ a description reads. She is set to release a sequel called The World Needs More Purple Schools on June 21, 2022.
In addition to the comments on Twitter criticizing Bell, several told her to Google ‘LASD gangs’ and many made sardonic comments asking if they tried to recruit her, including, ‘Did you make Kristen an honorary member of the Rattlesnakes deputy gang?’
There have been several reports about alleged groups within the law enforcement agency who have their own matching tattoos, gang names – like the Rattlesnakes – and commit various illegal activities while on duty.
Journalist non-profit Knock LA reported that gangs were first documented – starting with the Little Devils – at the Chicano Moratorium, a Vietnam War protest in 1970 that led to the killing of four protesters by police.
In the past, Bell has vocally supported the Black Lives Matter movement and has described raising her children to be anti-racist
Among the deaths was Ruben Salazar, a journalist and law enforcement critic who told his friends before his death that he feared he was being followed and targeted by police, Knock LA reported.
The LASD has been accused during the past three decades for allowing gangs to flourish within the department without taking disciplinary action against them.
Earlier this month, a Superior Court judge threw out a lawsuit filed by Deputy Austreberto Gonzalez, who claimed retaliation by members of a deputies gang after he anonymously reported an alleged assault by a gang member on another deputy, the LA Times reported.
The retaliation included being forced to respond to an excessive amount of calls for service and being pushed out of his field training officer position, Gonzalez’s lawsuit claimed.
‘[Gonzalez] has no direct evidence of a causal link between any theoretical protected activity and his alleged loss of a trainee,” Judge William Fahey wrote in an 11-page ruling, in which the judge concluded Gonzalez had not been subjected “to an adverse employment action.” He also said Gonzalez had given contradicting statements about a transfer to another assignment.
Fahey barred Gonzalez from introducing any evidence regarding the alleged deputy gang, known as the Executioners, his attorney Alan Romero told the LA Times. “We are highly confident that the Court of Appeals will reverse and allow discovery into the deputy gang that Gonzalez blew the whistle on,” Romero added.
A September poll conducted by the Santa Monica-based think tank the RAND Corporation, revealed that 16% of 1,608 sheriffs surveyed claimed that they had been asked to join a subgroup or gang as recently as 2019 – when the poll was first launched.
However, the LASD refutes that any gangs are active in the department and county Sheriff Alex Villaneuva slammed the poll, which was commissioned by LA County and offers 37 recommendations to the sheriff’s department.
Villaneuva said 30 of the recommendations already were implemented and the remaining seven are being considered, according to ABC 7.
‘If a subgroup of any set of employees engages in misconduct, that is when I, as an employer, can intervene,’ he added. ‘They’re claiming that we can just ban groups outright. Well, that is not constitutionally permissible.’
Sherriff Alex Villaneuva said the department has taken a number of steps to root out gang-like activity within their ranks
Nevertheless, the Los Angeles Police Commission recently drafted a policy aiming to formally ban law enforcement gangs. The state Legislature introduced a similar bill last February that will take effect on January 1.
Approved by Governor Gavin Newsom in September, the bill defines such gangs as ‘a group of peace officers within a law enforcement agency who may identify themselves by a name and may be associated with an identifying symbol, including, but not limited to, matching tattoos, and who engage in a pattern of on-duty behavior that intentionally violates the law or fundamental principles of professional policing.’
It specifically namedrops the LASD and says, ‘Law enforcement gangs have been recognized by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department as damaging to the trust and reputation of law enforcement throughout California.’
The LASD also gained national attention in August after a viral video shot by another student appears to show a 16-year-old girl being body slammed into the ground at Lancaster High School by school security and an LA County sheriff’s deputy.
At the time, the LASD said that it was investigating the incident and the officers responded to threats the student was making, according to NBC Los Angeles. The LASD didn’t clarify what those threats were and if they warranted immediate use of force.