Sgt. Don Jackson Bio page

Don Jackson Editorials About Policing and Law Enforcement Career Highlights

Los Angeles Times Editorials 

An editorial about the use of deadly force by police officers  

An editorial about how police officers respond to domestic violence reports in minority neighborhoods. 

An editorial about the 1991 Los Angeles riots 

New York Times editorial 

New York Times editorial about my arrest in Long Beach California, 1989 (partial) 

Partial List of Commendations and Important Professional Highlights 

In 1980, I was a deputy working in the Ventura county jail. An older woman visiting the jail appeared distraught. Her son was being housed as a prisoner and she was terrified. I did what I could to console her. Later she wrote a very kind letter to the Sheriff about our interaction 

In 1983, a young woman was sexually assaulted by 5 suspects in a park. I was the first unit on scene. I did what I could to get good information and I comforted the victim. I was so angry by what they had done to her that I decided to spend my entire shift looking for the suspects no matter how many days it took. I was fortunate. I located the suspects vehicles within a few hours of the assault. I confronted one of the suspects at his home and obtained the names of the others involved. My investigation led to the arrest of all but one of the suspects. It is something I am very proud of. 

In 1985, I responded to a call of a man with a gun. Little did I know; the suspect had murdered 3 people and was about to murder two more. When I arrived at the location the suspect was in the room with his girlfriends infant child aiming a 22 caliber rifle at both of them. He had murdered his 2 roommates hours earlier and intended to kill his girlfriend and the infant. I chased him across the city and towards the Los Angeles airport at high speed. He lost control of his car and 120th and La Cienega Boulevard. As his vehicle came to a stop he shot himself in the head with a rifle. 

In 1985, I was an undercover detective on the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Dept. Red Team. The Red Team was an elite multijurisdictional undercover surveillance unit specializing in serious crimes. The team was made up of the best detectives across the LA County South Bay area. Our job was to follow dangerous criminal suspects without detection.  

I received a commendation for playing a key role in arresting a gang of armed bank robbers. The bank robbers had a sophisticated detection system to pick up surveillance. They would drive multiple vehicles in different directions through malls and parking lots to shake and expose police surveillance. In one incident, they lost the entire team through their tactics. But they did not lose me. I stayed with them until we got on the Ventura Freeway “Highway 101”. I requested a helicopter to watch them from the air, finally allowing me to back off.  

They were on their way to a bank robbery in 2 stolen vehicles. We arrested them during a crime in progress at a Bank of America in Woodland Hills, California. I was parked in the parking lot as the bank robbers unloaded shotguns and entered the bank. As the bank robbers went in the bank we disabled their cars. We arrested them without incident when they attempted to flee.  

Our team was made up of some of the best cops in the country who rarely used force and focused all their attention on apprehending bad guys. We did not have a single excessive force complaint and our conviction rate was 100 percent. If we arrested you, you were guilty of the crime.  

It was my honor to work on this unit. 




Over 25 years serving as a law enforcement expert witness pertaining to police officer standards & training practices with expertise in officer misconduct allegation review & analysis, both criminal/noncriminal investigations, sophisticated electronic surveillance, advanced interview & interrogation strategies, search & seizure, evidence collection/preservation, crisis intervention, research and related investigative journalism. As a decorated retired police detective, and founder of, I have an unwavering commitment to reinforcing police integrity and accountability.

Recognized for conducting groundbreaking hidden camera investigations nationwide of U.S. Police Departments for major news stations and television networks (ABC 20/20, Dateline NBC, CNN, CBS National News, and more than 40 local television news affiliates, my work has been recognized with (4) Emmy Awards and (4) Edward R. Murrow Awards for excellence in investigative journalism.

My consulting endeavors have also encompassed conducting officer training - including designing seminars police chiefs/executives, on behalf of varied entities which include the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), the US Attorney's office in Florida, numerous law enforcement agencies and other public and private sector organizations invested in police operations and officer conduct best practices. I am qualified in both state and federal courts as a police misconduct expert witness.

I have testified or served as a consultant on hundreds of criminal and/or civil cases involving police misconduct along with penning written editorials for both the New York Times and Los Angeles Times on this specific subject matter. My expert testimony about officer conduct allegations and analysis has resulted in clients recovering damages in the millions in respective court cases. I have also intervened on behalf of law enforcement when false misconduct accusations were levied.

I have testified before the California State Assembly and the United States Congress on police practices. My investigative work in the field of law enforcement has resulted in changes in California law with regards to false police reports. Because of my investigation efforts, California law changed/increased the penalty for filing false police reports from a misdemeanor to a felony. I have spent 30 years working to improve policing-recognizing that a fair, thorough, and transparent complaint process is critical for both citizens and officers alike.

My investigations of police misconduct cover the following domains:

Racial profiling/Discriminatory traffic stop

Sexual assault by police officers

Harassment/Verbal abuse/Racial slurs

Evidence collection and preservation, and Police Report Writing

Use of excessive force

Wrongful death

Misuse of police dog, stun gun, Taser





Oversee all operations and services for the leading private police misconduct investigative/consulting firm.

Core Services

Free Complaint Service

Memberships Services (access to hotline, additional consultation, reports, and online resources)

Investigation Services (Preliminary or Major Investigations)

Expert Reports case review, analysis and expert opinion about police practices and procedures based on experience & recognized police practices and standards.




Hawthorne Police Department; Hawthorne, CA

Rank at Retirement: Sergeant/Detective/Field Supervisor

Performed undercover investigations and all standard duties of a law enforcement officer – i.e. engaged in the traffic stops of motorists, investigations, arrests, handcuffing, transporting and processing of individuals. Advanced certificate in Peace Officer Standards and Training and qualified instructor in Police Control Restraint Techniques. Initially launched career with the Ventura County Sheriff Department as a Deputy Sheriff. I enthusiastically served near a decade in law enforcement and security, following the respected footstep of my father a former officer with more than 30 years of dedicated service.


Adjunct Professor Penn State, State College PA, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL, and Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Teaching the following subjects:

Criminal Law & Fundamentals of Criminal Justice (Police Practices and Procedures)

I have also previously lectured about the Criminal Investigation, Police Complaint Management, Fundamentals of Law Enforcement & Personal Security.


Many police agencies have made policy changes as a direct result of my hidden camera investigations with national and local media. Our videotapes and portions of our training materials have been utilized to educate both officers and citizens alike. I have personally conducted training sessions and been a guest lecturer for an array of law enforcement organizations and educational institutions.

Partial List:

Harvard Law School

Police Executive Research Forum

U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney General Office

Los Angeles County Sheriff

Broward County Sheriff

Florida Highway Patrol


MA Masters Degree, Criminal Justice Penn State University

BA Bachelors Degree, Criminal Justice California Lutheran University



CBS Steve Kroft interview Sgt. Don Jackson "W. 57th St."