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

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Did Preece sell out a fellow cop?

After reading depositions given by three of the officers involved in the killing of Tyisha Miller, in relation to a federal law suit, I saw the following chain of events coming, so when I found this excerpt on Bill Barnett, taken from the site of the publishing company that printed Sgt. Preece's memoirs:

Preece's memoirs

Bill Burnett, who chaired the Riverside County Civil Grand Jury when it investigated the RPD, made the following comments online about Sgt. Gregory Preece(ret.) and the actions he took upon arriving onscene right before Tyisha Miller's death, at the hands of four officers.:

"When the Sergeant arrived, he saw another SWAT trained Corporal on scene and believed that HE would have stopped any poorly planned tactical maneuver, before it was put into place. He didn't and he was not punished by the police chief."

Bill Burnett(Chair and co-author with Gregory Preece, "Justice for None"

Preece's latest fall guy for his own misconduct at the scene of the Miller shooting, is Corporal Ray Soto, a 20-year veteran currently assigned to the Canine unit.

So, we have a sergeant who is the assigned supervisor for all these cops, showing up at a scene where something is going down, and he yields his command to a corporal?! No offense to Soto who did have 18 years on the force at that point including SWAT experience and training, but he is not the one in charge. The sergeant is in charge! RPD policy states that the sergeant is in charge, not the officer with the most years of experience! Not the canine officer, whether or not he has been trained in SWAT tactics! Soto arrived not too soon before Preece did, and probably did not have time to take control of the situation.

Blame Soto for his own actions including his decision to entertain the troops at the GIB with "banned in the U.S.A." shooting videos from his own personal collection only if what the officers said in their depositions were true about the tapes in question being his personal property.

After all, what better way for officers to bond after a shooting than to sit together and watch police officers shoot people, usually people of color, on the tube. If you couldn't cheer or hi-five at the scene of an actual shooting, why not do so viscerally at a video-taped one? It was a way for the Tyisha Miller killers to feel like part of the club. Any doubts they had that what they had done was murder, would be washed away clean by the baptism of officers sitting together and watching shooting videos. Others would reminisce about their own shootings, if they were lucky enough to belong to that esteemed club.

But Soto was not the designated supervisor onscene that night. He was a good soldier. He did not mention anything about the behavior of Preece and the other officers after the shooting, for whatever reason. He praised Preece greatly, in the index of Preece's memoirs. I wonder if after realizing that Preece built him up as the fall guy, Soto felt like taking that all back.

Preece was the sergeant onscene, and he failed to supervise properly. In fact, he led the officers in racist behavior after the shooting. And when he covered up the beating and near drowning of Jose Martinez , was Soto standing around for him to blame for that? Of course not. Blame the supervisors who wrote their misgivings about Preece's ability to supervise on his annual evaluations but still dispatched him out in the field as...a supervisor.

Sorry Bill, but Chief Carroll fired Preece because of violation of several RPD policies including the failure to adequately supervise the other four officers. Soto played no role in that process because he was not the onscene supervisor, nor is there any evidence presented by anyone that he participated in making racist comments during or after the shooting, ergo the lack of disciplinary action taken against him.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And Hudson, Aceves, Yo! Why aren't you reporting these racist remarks? Why the silence? Did you join a law enforcement agency just to become one of the boys?"

"Yo" Mary, I did not report this because the so call remarks were never said. The conversation you so wrongfully refer to had to do with my return from Afghanistan where I served my country after we were attacked by terrorist. The word "Muslims" was never used & the whole conversation was a positive one which was twisted around to look negative. And if this lie had occurred, why would you call it a racist remark?? Since when is Muslim a race (DUH!!!)???? Muslim is a religion, not a race. There are White, Asia, Black, Hispanic Muslims, etc (go back to school & learn the difference between religion & race). But that's okay. I served over 24 years in the military so idiots like you could have your freedom of speech. So enjoy & keep writing mis-information on this site. ACEVES

Thursday, November 03, 2005 10:08:00 PM  
Blogger Five Before Midnight said...

Dear Richard Aceves:

Thank you for your comments, and for having the guts to use your real name.

Your comments on Muslims being a religious category rather than a racial category is duly noted. The racial or ethnic makeup of Muslims is very diversified as is the religion itself, and depends on the geographic region or country, i.e. the majority of Muslims in the United States are Black.

Hmmm...You said you did not make the comments, the truth perhaps or a logical defensive response. Another party alleged that you did in a law suit, which was part of the public record and in depositions related to the case.

I'm not sure though how a comment like throwing a bomb on all the Muslims to blow them up can be construed in, or be a part of any "positive" conversation or where a comment like that could have come from. It must have been an ahem, interesting conversation.

And after reading comments about turning the Eastside over to Animal Control, take the pick out of your hair and the crack out of your ass, and racist and sexist stereotypes expressed by officers, under the cloak of anonymity on this blog(i.e. Aunt Jemima???!), nothing would surprise me about what goes on at your water cooler. Nor would it surprise me that this could be construed as an officer protecting another officer who may have said something offensive, as part of the "Blue Wall".

have a nice day,

Thursday, December 01, 2005 10:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Mary, I would have figured by not hiding my name, you would have given more weight to my statement of the comments were NEVER said.

("I'm not sure though how a comment like throwing a bomb on all the Muslims to blow them up can be construed in, or be a part of any "positive" conversation or where a comment like that could have come from. It must have been an ahem, interesting conversation.")

Again we spoke about my experiences there (Afghanistan, not the East side)& made comments of fighting a war without the need to send troops over. But that would not win a law suit would

All I ask of you Mary is to think for a second, who is more likely to lie? A person that has 1.6 million riding on a suit or someone minding his own business, happy to be back home. (As you often put it, Hmmmm). The only blue wall here Mary is me between crooks & the citizens of Riverside.

Good luck with your web site. This is my last attempt to set the record straight. Aceves

Friday, December 02, 2005 2:25:00 PM  
Blogger Five Before Midnight said...

Dear Richard,

Thank you for your comments. If you are reading this, it means that you are still lurking on this site and have been checking back for a response to your December 2005 post. I'm sorry it has taken so long.

I have taken your 2005 comments under careful consideration and realize that you have represented yourself as espousing tolerance towards different races and religions of which you seem quite knowledgeable about. If this is indeed the case, then that is a worthy exercise and goal indeed.

On this vein, I am indeed hopeful that you have had similar conversations with some of the individuals who have been posting here, if they indeed are colleagues of yours. After all, from what you have said, you were trying to do the right thing in your interaction with Officer David Martin. If that is true, then you must have tried to do like with your colleagues if they are indeed here. In fact, I would expect that you would have taken this process a step further and reported your concerns on the comments here to your department's leadership last autumn in the spirit of racial tolerance. I do not think your conscience would have allowed you to do otherwise in this situation, if what you wrote in your comments is indeed the truth.

Have a nice day,

Wednesday, July 05, 2006 7:05:00 PM  

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