Sheriff’s Department ends probe into deputy ignoring shooting call, but lawman remains under separate investigation

A video posted to YouTube showed Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy Fennell saying he would ignore a radio call about a shooting.
A video posted to YouTube showed Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Fennell saying he would ignore a radio call about a shooting.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has completed an internal investigation into a deputy who was seen in a video declaring his intention to ignore a call about a shooting, but it has not determined if he will be punished for the incident, an official said.

The deputy, Jeremy Joseph Fennell, remains on paid leave pending a separate probe into allegations that he was violent with an ex-girlfiend.

Fennell, 27, was sitting in his patrol car in uniform when he recorded a video message to his ex-girlfriend, telling her he wanted her attention so badly that he would not respond to an incoming radio call about a possible gunshot victim.

After the woman published the video on YouTube last February, the department said an internal investigation into the incident was underway. The review was completed on Jan. 10, but a decision about whether to discipline Fennell has not been made, said agency spokeswoman Nicole Nishida.


Sheriff Jim McDonnell has previously said the deputy’s actions were disturbing and at odds with department values.

Internal investigators are also still looking into whether Fennell violated a department policy against domestic violence, Nishida said. Fennell’s ex-girlfriend, Priscilla Anderson, alleges that on Jan. 25, 2017, the deputy held her up against a wall by her neck and pointed his service weapon at her head.

He was arrested that day on suspicion of corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant. A prosecutor wrote in a memorandum three months later that marks were found on the woman’s neck and wrist, but concluded that criminal charges should not be filed against Fennell, citing contradictory witness statements and evidence pointing to possible mutual combat or self-defense.

Efforts to reach Fennell or an attorney representing him were unsuccessful.


In a lawsuit filed this month against the deputy and L.A. County, Anderson alleges Fennell tried to intimidate her and dissuade her from reporting him to authorities by mentioning his father, Cmdr. Joseph Fennell, who holds a high-ranking position in the Sheriff’s Department.

“Do you know who I am? Do you know who my father is?” Anderson quotes Jeremy Fennell as saying to her. “You already tried calling the police. I am the police, there is nothing you can do.”

Joseph Fennell said he could not comment on the case because he has no knowledge of what happened between Anderson and his son.

Nishida said the deputy’s alleged comment about his father is being addressed in the internal investigation.


Twitter: @mayalau