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


My Photo
Location: RiverCity, Inland Empire

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Sutton files: the RPD post-911

The RPD since 9-11

With all the scapegoating and hatred vented towards Muslims and Arab-Americans after the 9-11 attacks, one would hope that the LE forces would not add to the hysteria around them. That hope was squandered on a select group of RPD officers, who couldn't put their racism aside while offering their 2-cents on the issues:

Let's start with Officer Deborah Foy probably one of the most emotionally questionable officers out on the streets today, based on the behavior she exhibited when she had a meltdown at a public event held on June 30, 1999. Foy rose into prominance that infamous day, when she tailed and attacked a man who was circulating fliers critical of the police department. She just grabbed them right out of his hand, and when he protested, poked her finger in his chest and said "I will do what I wish." A chief from another agency had to intervene, and when he saw Foy and six other officers including Jon Start standing around the man, he whipped out his cell phone to call former Chief Jerry Carroll to tell him, an officer had lost control. Carroll sent then-Lt. Jim Cannon out to handle it.

A complaint was filed, which was investigated by then-Det. Skip Showwalter and then- Sgt. Meredith Meredyth.

After an arduous I.A. investigation, one allegation was sustained, the other not sustained and she received no discipline, according to her words in a Dec. 27, 1999 Press Enterprise article. Interestingly enough, when I went to the station for my interview on the IA investigation in connection with Foy, I encountered a woman who was there to file a complaint against Foy, for stalking her, she said. She was sued as well, by the man who filed the complaint and when his lawyer, Mark Blankenship, talked to Chief Leach, and he said that Leach admitted to him that he thought Foy was a "horrible officer."

Not horrible enough to be kicked off the force, or persuaded to take an early retirement from the job.

Still, Foy was Public Safety officer of the month of May in 1999. By that time, she had at least five personnel complaints filed against her, according to individuals who came forward after her exploits at Wednesday Night hit the pages of the Press Enterprise. So someone's pulling for her despite her vices.

Foy apparently doesn't like Muslims or Arabs/Arab-Americans very much.

Here are her alleged words, according to a deposition given by Roger Sutton as part of his law suit, Roger Sutton v the City of Riverside scheduled to begin trial at a courtroom near you.

"What are you going to do if a towel head sits next to you" --Officer Debora Foy to her daughter as related to officer Derwin Hudson. (source: Sutton vs the City of Riverside(RIC346348) deposition of Roger Sutton, 11/1/02)vol: 2, pages 252-56)

"Those people need to just go back home"--Officer Debora Foy"
"This is their home"----Roger Sutton
"No it's not. They need to go back to their own fucking country." --Foy(source: Sutton vs the City of Riverside(RIC346348) deposition of Roger Sutton, 11/1/02)vol: 2, pages 252-56)

The irony of Foy's comments is that they were made in the breakroom, which is adjacent to the roll call room, recently wired for video feed to the Chief's office and I.A. Why is it wired? Because Atty General Bill Lockyer ordered the department to do so b/c of the proliferation of racial and sexual comments in the roll calls, not just by rank and file officers but especially by the sergeants who, you know, are supposed to serve as role models for the officers.

Another officer with strong biases against Arab-Americans and/or Muslims according to Sutton's deposition,is Offr. David Martin, an 11 year veteran from the Long Beach Police Department(the bastion of tolerance for people of color---NOT!) who had also served in the military overseas as a reserve.

"20 million Muslims aren't worth one American." --Officer David Martin to Officer Richard Aceves(source: Sutton vs the City of Riverside(RIC346348) deposition of Roger Sutton, 11/1/02)vol: 2, pages 252-56)

in other words, Muslims=NHI...Paging Offr. David Hackman, from Orange County....

"We need to drop a bomb and blow up all the Muslims"--Martin to Richard Aceves(source: (source: Sutton vs the City of Riverside(RIC346348) deposition of Roger Sutton, 11/1/02)vol: 2, pages 252-56)

Why is it when cops threaten people, it's a joke? Anyone else does it, it's a violation of PC 422?

Why is it during a time period when Riverside Muslim Centers were threatened with violence, is an officer allowed to run around advocating violence against Muslims?

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? Tittering quietly at the racist and sexist jokes, knowing the price the department and the community paid for the same behavior after the killing of Tyisha Miller?

Another enlightning comment on people of color came courtesy of Officer Chris Lanzillo, as he drove his squad car down University Ave on March 19, 2003. Lanzillo, who is fond of heckling at protesters and trying to provoke confrontations with them, pulled his car up to a group of protesters from RCC, and made the following comment, using his fingers to demonstrate bombs falling.

"It's too late to protest. The bombs have already started to fall, ha ha" --

Then, after he was done harassing peaceful demontrators and instructing the probational officer under his supervision, Lanzillo drove off quickly. He is never one to stick around when he harasses people, a tactic he no doubt passes down to the officers he trained. Several demonstrators later said that he had made it a routine to stop his vehicle at University and Main sts. every Wednesday night to provoke them. In fact, one of the concerns expressed by the demonstrators to a member of Chief Leach's advisory committee addressed Lanzillo's antagonistic behavior and his tendacy to act out like a teenage boy. By this time, I had received another reminder of what they meant.

Some people obviously never grow up, and when they are assigned power and equipped with weapons, it's no joke. And if they are acting out just to get attention, that changes little in that equation.

But still, their jokes are not to be messed with by outsiders.

Don't take our jokes away from us! We do love our humor! We think it's funny when people of color die, or get killed!

Wonder what their attitude would be if officers told jokes about 'white' bullets...'Beverly Hills' death wails, Fourth of July celebrations spent throwing whites into lakes, or hanging up fliers which state, be the first honkey on the block to own........never mind that would never happen.

Were any of these comments ever investigated? Of course not. Sure, perfunctory investigations(wink,wink) were done by I.A if even that. Of course, nothing is ever meted out...well a promotion or two maybe. I.A. has only two purposes:

1) protect crooked cops
2) punish cops who whistleblow on 1.

That's it.

Sgt. Bruce Blomdahl did not find the last comment made by Lanzillo offensive or prejudicial at all. Of course, he was too busy waving the pom-poms during the investigation to actually do any actual...investigating.

Alas, such is the life of a field sergeant assigned to investigate one of his brothers. Tough indeed.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older