Case of the demoted detective?

A story making the rounds in Long Beach: Todd Johnson, the lead homicide detective on my sister’s case, has been removed from the LBPD homicide detail due to a recent instance of misconduct — something involving an attorney representing Johnson’s son. If true, this adds credence to what I’ve been saying for years: Todd Johnson is a corrupt cop (who helped my sister’s husband get away with murder.)

LBPD Det. Todd Johnson with Arkansas Razorbacks punter Blake Johnson
LBPD’s Todd Johnson with Arkansas Razorbacks punter Blake Johnson.

I spent two days last week playing e-mail ping-pong with a LBPD spokesperson, seeking comment on Johnson’s removal from the homicide detail. The LBPD refused to comment, but admitted that Johnson is no longer assigned to a homicide investigation that he was working on earlier this year. Johnson is still assigned to the Investigations Bureau, according to a department spokesperson. (Click on the name of the LBPD spokesperson to open a pdf of the email thread: Arantxa Chavarria and Nancy Pratt.)

2015 public intoxication arrest (source)

I asked whether Johnson is currently assigned to investigate domestic violence cases. This is part of the story I’ve heard, but the LBPD would neither confirm nor deny it.

I’m astonished that Johnson continues to be employed by the LBPD in any role, considering that a judge (in yet another case) called his behavior “appalling and unethical and inappropriate.” Suddenly, it appears that the LBPD and the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office have acknowledged that Johnson is too dirty to serve as a homicide detective in Long Beach. Even so, it’s disturbing that Johnson’s supervisors seem to think he’s fit to handle domestic violence cases.

Detective Johnson with punter Blake Johnson.
Detective Johnson with punter Blake Johnson.

My sister’s case involved extreme domestic violence — a woman murdered in her own home by her husband. Signs of tension and conflict can be seen in surveillance video taken inside their home. Johnson saw it and wrongly concluded that the video showed no issues.

One of my sister’s neighbors told the police she worried that my sister had been a victim of domestic violence. A police officer included this red flag in her report:

“She asked me if Dana was ok. She had seen the police cars and was worried there could have been domestic violence. She said [Dana’s husband] is, “Armed.” She clarified and said she knows [he] has guns in his house because he has told her he has them. He told her he has cameras on his home so if it is ever burglarized there will be evidence he acted in self defense. She kept asking me, “Is she ok?”

Neighbor Statements/Officer Icorn
Arkansas Razorbacks punter Blake Johnson gestures with his middle finger in a game vs. Missouri Tigers.

The statement appears on page five. Johnson read it, and ignored it.

I told the police that my sister’s husband was abusive (police report pdf), but Johnson dismissed my statements, too. Johnson’s erroneous conclusions, smug dismissiveness, and face-saving coverups helped my sister’s husband get away with murder.

To me, Johnson’s reassignment to domestic violence cases shows profound contempt for the people of Long Beach. It shows that the LBPD protects their rotten apples at the public’s expense.

UPDATE 1: LBPD confirmed Johnson’s demotion, as reported on April 18, 2019 by the Long Beach Post: “Johnson has been transferred out of the homicide unit, according to the department, which declined to provide further details.”

UPDATE 2: LBPD confirmed that as of October 3, 2019, Todd Johnson is no longer employed by the Long Beach police.

UPDATE 3: After LBPD allowed him to retire in 2019, Johnson collected a pension of $86,662.20 in 2020, according to Transparent California. In 2021, Johnson worked as an investigator for the Kyle Rittenhouse defense team. See