The long and suspicious relationship between the Church of Scientology and the LAPD continues unabated. Captain Cory Palka of the LAPD’s Hollywood Division allowed the Church of Scientology to install an informational kiosk in his station house. Palka has long been known to critics as an ardent supporter of the Church of Scientology.
An alert local citizen happened to drop by the Hollywood Division and spotted this egregious violation of Church & State. The violation was reported to American Atheists. Geoffrey Blackwell, an attorney for American Atheists, immediately sent a letter to Steve Soboroff, President of the Los Angeles Police Commission demanding the kiosk be removed.
Mr. Soboroff was not pleased with this situation and the kiosk was summarily removed. American Atheists commended the LAPD for its swift action. We do as well. Further, we trust that an investigation and formal disciplinary action will be take against Captain Palka and whomever else on his staff permitted the Scientology kiosk to be installed.
The Scientology kiosk in the Hollywood Division was not trivial. The kiosk was powered by electricity, required formal installation, and took up floor space. Los Angeles taxpayers paid for all of this, and, the kiosk violated LAPD rules, Constitutional principles, and a wide body of established case law. Moreover, this kiosk raises troubling questions about the LAPD’s decades-long relationship with the Church of Scientology that many of us consider highly inappropriate.
Captain Palka’s incredibly poor judgment in the matter of the Scientology kiosk is a genuine reason for concern: If Palka will violate LAPD rules and clear Constitutional principles in such a brazen matter for Scientology, then what else will he do for Scientology? And more importantly, what has he done for Scientology in the past?
There clearly needs to be an investigation of Scientology’s undue influence within the LAPD. This Scientology Kiosk Affair evokes images of the seedy fake medal that retired Colombian National Police General Mena awarded David Miscavige in Barbados:
Here is the letter sent to Steve Soboroff, President of the Los Angeles Police Commission, by American Atheists’ attorney Geoffrey Blackwell. Note: Hover your cursor over the mouse to invoke the page up/page down controls at the bottom of the page frame.