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

Friday, September 02, 2005

Roger Sutton's day in court stymied again

Today, Commissioner Joan Burgess of the Riverside County Superior Court postponed the set trial date of Roger Sutton v the City of Riverside in deference to several other cases on her civil calendar. The case that was first filed five years ago last month, is once again tabled.

Burgess opened the door to settlement talks, mentioning that some times even the cases where both parties appear the furthest apart in terms of reaching a consensus often settle. The firm shakes of the heads of the attorneys for Officer Roger Sutton, and the city, shut that door quickly. There will be no last-minute meetings held in chambers, it appears in this case. So, Burgess finally scheduled about a dozen motion in limines filed by the city to be heard at 1:30pm on Sept. 6. Both sides agreed to that date, but the actual trial date remains once again, up in the air.

The city of Riverside filed the dozen motions to trim down what it views as the excess material in the Sutton case. What the city objects to as it has in every racial discrimination, harassment and retaliation case filed by a Black city employee, is the evidence these employees use to prove their cases. As far as the city is concerned, at every incident of racism it stares at, it exclaims "Out, Out Damn Spot"!

If all the evidence is allowable at trial, both sides said the case will take between three to six weeks, and over 50 witnesses including past and present members of the RPD brass will testify.

With all the delays, from attorneys donating their kidneys, to the periodic freezing of civil calendars to accomodate Riverside County's criminal trial schedule, the question has been asked, Will this case ever be presented in a courtroom? Will the racial environment of the Riverside Police Department which had brought federal and state scrutiny to investigate its workings, ever be put on trial?


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