Five before Midnight

This site is dedicated to the continuous oversight of the Riverside(CA)Police Department, which was formerly overseen by the state attorney general. This blog will hopefully play that role being free of City Hall's micromanagement.
"The horror of that moment," the King went on, "I shall never, never forget." "You will though," the Queen said, "if you don't make a memorandum of it." --Lewis Carroll


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Location: RiverCity, Inland Empire

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Conduct Unbecoming of an Officer and other policy nonsense

While perusing the case file online in the case, The People of the State of California v the City of Riverside, I came upon a copy of Policy 2.23, which addresses the Rules of Conduct. Reading through the list of behaviors that police officers employed by the city of Riverside are NOT allowed to do, I had myself a good chuckle.

Not that I really think that this issue is funny, but that I realize that just because it is not funny, does not mean it is not treated like a joke.

Policy 2.23 states that commission of the following behaviors can result in suspension, demotion or (gasp, but it'll never happen in this life time) termination:

1) The commission of a felony or misdemeanor under any local, state or federal law

Let's see, where to start, because the list is growing....

Victor Williams, 1995, charged with three misdemeanors in connection with a domestic violence incident involving his then-wife, discipline, unknown, but he has been promoted twice since. Assigned to Internal Affairs...and no this is NOT a joke.

Aaron Leigh Perkins charged with three misdemeanors stemming from a "road rage, turned street-justice" incident involving a motorist in 2003. Plead guilty to two, and was slapped with probation and anger management courses. Discipline, unknown. Assigned to grave yard shift as a patrol officer

Melissa Leigh Wagner-Brazil charged with DUI and Hit and Run(misdemeanors)stemming from an injury accident she caused while her blood alcohol exceeded 0.20. Plead guilty to one misdemeanor, received probation and drunk driving counseling. Discipline, unknown. The only employee threatened with termination was the one who leaked information about her arrest to local media. He was ultimately transferred OUT of the police department.

2. Reporting on Duty with intoxicating liquor on breath or drinking any type of intoxicating liquor while on duty

I assume this is different than cops who drink liquor while on the job(i.e. Vice unit) Unknown, as it is assumed that Brazil, etal who drink after completion of their shifts commence their binge drinking on their own time and this assumption was backed up by a source, at least in regards to Brazil and other graveyard officers she drank with off-duty up to the point she entered rehab in December 2004.

3. Consuming any alcoholic beverage on or adjacent to the police department property

See above

4. Reporting for duty or being on duty following the use of a "controlled substance" or any drug(whether legally prescribed or otherwise) where such use may impair the employee's ability to perform assigned duties

Barring former officer and Miller killer Wayne Stewart's consumption of some form of ephidrine, whether cold medication or otherwise, according to his urine test, it is not known how many if any officers show up under the influence of a controlled substance during a work shift. There have been unofficial reports of officers not looking right, having blood-shot eyes, dilated pupils, agitaged by witnesses in their presense, during the graveyard shifts of 2003. Efforts to substantiate these reports were fruitless. Drug testing is performed once every six months and is not random. Only one officer has flunked a "random" drug test in three years and was sent to rehab.

5. Refusal, failure or delay in performing and/or carrying out proper orders, work assignments, or instructions of supervisors without reasonable and bonafide excuse.

Unknown, at the present time. However, several officers including Bill Rhetts(ret.) did say they reduced their work output and duties performed during 1999, in protest of the firing of four officers who shot and killed Tyisha Miller. Michael Watts(ret.) did write in a Press Enterprise Op-Ed that officers had told them they were reluctant to perform traffic stops on minority motorists or perform some of their duties because of the existance of the CPRC. Statistics of the traffic stops done during the past two years do not support this assertion.

6. Disobedience or insubordination to constituted authorities, in the course of conducting lawful department business

Not much information regarding this provision.

7. Criminal, dishonest, infamous, or notoriously disgraceful conduct unbecoming an officer/employee, which might be detrimental to the serviceon or off duty

Criminal, see above. Dishonest? How about an officer who tells a joke about the death of members of a non-white ethnic group overseas to peace activists, but then tells other people that during that interaction, he behaved politely and professionally?


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