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

Sunday, August 07, 2005

It's Raining in the Bucket

More rain drops continue to fall in the bucket....known as Rivercity, even as the annual monsoons that blow through the county have left the city bone-dry.

There has been a recent upswing in shootings involving African-Americans and Latinos in the Eastside neighborhood, the magnitude of which are as bad as those that occurred in 2002. Remember back that year, when civic leaders and community members broke bread in the vacant lot adjacent to where 13 year old Anthony Sweat, a Black teenager, had died after being shot by Latino gang members? The city broke its promise to that community, plus nearly dropped the ball earlier this year when the fate of the city's only gang intervention program, Project Bridge, was on the chopping block once again. Project Bridge, a favorite bargaining chip, or pawn of both the city council and Police Chief Russ Leach could be one of the solutions to the remerging crisis of violence involving youth in one of Riverside's most economically depressed neighborhoods. Will it be allowed to fulfill its mission, or will it be bled dry and neglected by a city council backed by developers who sees the Eastside simply as an obstacle preventing two of the city's prime locales, Downtown and the University areas, from realizing their full potential as tax revenue generators. Is it true instead that the Eastside neighborhood, populated increasingly by Latinos, less so by African-Americans, is being allowed to die on the vine economically and spiritually, so that the city's redevelopment agency(aka the City Council) can come along and pick up the property cheap, or grab it through eminient domain, citing the ongoing problems with "blight" in the neighborhood?

The police department will throw more men at the problem, and likely at some point, the METRO/SWAT team will revisit the area, but in the long term, will things change or merely set up for the next round of an ongoing situation which has stretched out over 15 years, since the "tough on gang violence" laws catalzed a metamorphis inside the street gangs which has caused them to become mirror images of the gangs operating inside the state prisons that according to the police department, are calling the shots(pun intended) in the Eastside.

Time to revisit the adage, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, certainly it is worth much more than a bad one. Not to mention the adage that all children matter in this world, not just the White middle-class ones.

Project Bridge on the crossroads

Community steps up to save Project Bridge
The CPRC just received the first excessive force case involving a stun gun in its five-year history. Members of an African-American family alleged that they were assaulted by four police officers, and that one of them, a woman was tased in the breasts twice by Officer Rod Anthony W. Fletcher. According to that woman, Fletcher had held her in a chokehold earlier, telling her he was going to put her to sleep now. Then he had told a civilian to get his taser from the squad car. That civilian ironically, was on criminal probation, while none of the members of the family were, although the fact that the young man was a son of a states corrections official no doubt more than balanced that factor out. The other officers allegedly involved to varying degrees were Sancho Lopez, Nicholas Vasquez, Robert Olsen and Sgt. Patrick M. McCarthy.

Attempts to receive copies of the officers' reports were met with a long wait in the lobby of the Orange St. Station and two different excuses as to why only an abbreviated version of ONE report would be available. One civilian employee said that only the first page of a police report was public information, while a case was "open". Her supervisors said that the officers had not completed their reports yet.

Former police officer and convicted child molester Adam Brown is back in the local news again, not too long after he plead guilty to federal charges in relation to his involvement in a child molestation and porn ring in the Midwest....

From the Los Angeles Times

D.A. Wants Ex-Officer to Face Sex Abuse Charges
From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The Riverside County district attorney will seek to extradite a former Riverside police officer sentenced Friday in Wisconsin to more than 30 years in federal prison for his involvement in a nationwide child pornography ring.

Adam James Brown, 32, pleaded guilty in March to charges of traveling across state lines with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor and producing pornography.

Investigators said Brown also molested four Riverside County boys under the age of 12 during his time as a police officer, leading to a 65-count case.


Det. Joe Miera, from the gang unit testified recently in a criminal trial involving a man charged with a possession of a gun while a felon. Apparently, this means that the pesky internal investigation that was done involving him, by the Internal Affairs Division, is a thing of the past. Let's hope if that is true, it is for the right reasons, not for the sake of expedience or the wrong reasons.

The news is not as good for the pack of patrol officers who were investigated by the same division for undisclosed violations. Apparently, when that investigation is concluded, Leach will make some sort of announcement about the situation.


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