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, October 07, 2005

Shhhh...don't look!

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Anticipating the end of its marriage to the State Attorney General's office, the police department has rearranged and reconfigured its management structure. The Field Operations Division now presides over four regions or precincts, North, Central, East and West. The long vacant Captain of Personnel position has been filled by the promotion of John Wallace. The Special Operations Division which includes Aviation, Canine and Traffic, will be overseen by newly promoted Capt. John DeLaRosa.

Hidden in the impressive chart that details the infrastructure of the new, model(tm) department, is one small detail which spells trouble. Buried at the bottom of the chain of command is the Audit and Compliance Division, formerly known as the Attorney General's Task Force. The Task Force was set up by the department in order to implement required reforms and monitor the progress of these reforms. Originally, it was headed by a lieutenant, who presided over a sergeant, a detective, an officer and an administrative assistant. Various officers have rotated on and off the Task Force during the past four and three-quarter years the department has spent under state consent decree.

Out with the old and in with the new, and the philosophy that seems to fit the mood surrounding the cutting of the department's chains with the state, is to forget the old through embracing the new. Meaning that this critical task force is part of the old, and thus has no place in the new, model(tm)agency. Consequently, there will be no lieutenant heading the new, defanged Audit and Compliance unit. Instead, it will be headed by a sergeant, who will preside over a small group of civilian employees known as criminal analysts.

Initially, the city and department had planned to phase out the Task Force completely on March 6, 2006, and this was shown by the lack of budget funding provided for this unit after that date in the city's biannual budget. Obviously that decision has been put on hold, but the weakening of this body just goes to show that the city and the department wish to exorcise their collective memories of bad behaviors including those that reflect the years of gross negligence and incompetance which led to the necessity of the consent decree in the first place.

The philosophy of defanging the Task Force and burying it in its command structure is one that goes to show that the department is operating under the flawed assumption that the reforms under the consent decree were nothing more than a checklist to be completed and chucked aside.

More officers...check.
More supervision...check
More equipment...check
More cool toys...check, check

But what Attorney General Bill Lockyer had in mind when he set his sights on the RPD, was to destroy the department's culture of racism, sexism and paranoia and rebuild it anew.

From San Diego Indymedia:

Lockyer on RPD

"I decided there were systemic problems with the Riverside Police Department," Lockyer said. "There were a lot of instances in which African-Americans were beaten, Hispanics beaten and tossed in the lake, and Gays and Lesbians harassed and beaten. I spent a year and a half negotiating with the Riverside Police Department for such basic demands as psychological evaluations for officers before they are hired, up-to-date training, community relations boards, availability and training in use of non-lethal weapons, TV cameras in the chief's office and the squad room and video and audio recording in police cars."

Here's the kicker:

The intent of these reforms, Lockyer said, was to break the macho culture of the police department and the racism and sexism that went along with it.

Why was it important to file a law suit against Riverside in Superior Court in order to ensure that it would reform its troubled agency in the wake of the shooting death of Tyisha Miller?

Lockyer found that the Riverside City Council balked at signing on to the deal. "They did some things of their own. which they'd done three times before, and each time there had been slight improvements and then things had got worse again," he recalled. Finally I went to one of the Council meetings and said, The choice is, you adopt the reforms or I will sue you and we'll see what the federal courts have to say.? They said, "Our constituents don't like outsiders coming in," and I said, "I've got news for you. All your constituents are my constituents as well."

But it remains unclear whether Lockyer's version of judicial tough love will keep the scandal-plagued department on the straight and narrow. Defanging the Task Force, is not a forward step on that road.

And there lies the danger that always cloaks this type of voluntary amnesia. As well as with the tried and true adage that if one forgets one's mistakes they are doomed to repeat them.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You really don't have anything better to do? I pray that someday, in a beautifully poetic example of justice, you, or better yet, somoene you love is the victim of a brutal violent crime. The suspect will undoubtedly be one of the worthless parolee animals that walk the "U" near where you live. One of the animals who you glorify in all of your propaganda, who are constantly "harrassed" by the horrible RPD.
How about we leave the East Side to who should really be patrolling it... Animal Control. Surely they're better suited to handle the "problems" than Police Officers.
Keep up the wonderfully cleaver and original hate-filled writing that you do so well. You're really doing a great job improving your community.

Best Wishes,
Kevin, R.P.D.

Friday, October 07, 2005 4:16:00 PM  
Blogger Five Before Midnight said...

Thank you Kevin, once again, for proving Lockyer's point about police culture and why it was so critical for the state to become involved in the department in the first place. To break the racist, sexist, homophobic culture of the RPD.

People like you make proving these points much, much easier.

Fortunately, officers like yourself who must be so filled with hatred to wish tragedy on anyone else, are becoming a minority in this police agency. That is a blessing to those people in the city of Riverside who by racial identity have been placed in your "animal" group.

best regards and thanks again,

Saturday, October 08, 2005 2:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Kevin" said "You really don't have anything better to do?"

I couldn't think of anything better for a responsible citizen to do. Mary has been a resource to the comminity, telling the truths of brutality and corruption on the public payroll, which people like you want silenced.

There are good cops, and then there are people like you.

Saturday, October 08, 2005 4:40:00 PM  
Blogger Sandalou said...

Kevin is a shining example of the kind of person who should never, ever, be allowed any type of authority over anyone or anything.

Anyone who can think of a whole group of people as animals, whether it's because of their ethnicity, age, religion, or in this case street address, is closer to being an sub-human than any of those he persecutes.

Kevin, since you obviously read this blog you know that scum like yourself is starting to shrivel and disappear in the strong light of public scrutiny. You will no longer be able to hide behind what could and should be a badge of Honor to feed your parasitic ego by bullying and abusing people for the sense of power it gives you.

Now we all know what you knew all along Kevin, that you are a weak, spineless, sniveling coward.

Sunday, October 09, 2005 7:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Sanda, since its obvious by your poor grammar that reading is not your strong suit, allow me to clarify something for you. The term "animal" as I used it refers to parolees - convicted felons who our society has deemed unfit to live among normal citizens. They walk the streets because there's not enough money for them to be put up in the Hilton's that California calls prisons.
The only spineless cowards around here are the racist liberal pukes such as yourself and good ol' Mary who do nothing to try and make their community better, but have the audacity to criticize the men and women of RPD on daily basis.
Citizens, like yourself, somehow expect police to cure all the evils of a community and solve all the problems without ever using force, which is not possible. People who have never fought for their life against a 6-3, 250 pound parolee, while the rest of the community sleeps in their cozy beds, have NO right to ever question the split second decisions made by a police officer.
Someone like you has no idea what honor is. The only reason good cops continue to do their job, knowing that people like you are out to try and get them fired for doing nothing wrong, is because there ARE still decent people out there. And there are decent people on the east side. Police officers lay their lives on the line to protect the citizens of Riverside on a daily basis.
Even people like you, and the many contributors to The Black Voice, who seem to harness so much hatred toward officers like me because of the uniform I wear and the color of my skin. If my duty necessitates it, I would put myself in harms way without hesitation to protect you. That’s what the badge means to me...

Yours Truly,
Kevin, RPD

Monday, October 10, 2005 5:23:00 PM  
Blogger Five Before Midnight said...

Kevin, I would never trust my life to a person who wishes tragedy upon me and although I wish I could say I do not believe you really intend to harm me, I've had to change my habits and be more careful, especially since you made a point of including in your "prayer" where I lived. Yours is not the first note I've received hidden in anomynity and it won't be the last.

I've looked for you in quite a few faces lately, which really is not fair because the majority of the officers in the RPD are interested in preventing crime, not wishing it on their critics.

As a former victim of violent crime myself, I would never wish that on any other person or their family. To pray to God to wish that on another is just evil, twisted and against God's will. It is not a quality one would hope to see in a police officer and my friends in that profession outside of your agency were appalled when they read what you wrote. You and those who have made me their crime victims have that in common to wish another harm. If you wanted to make me fear you, you did that. Take from that what you wish.

I say a prayer for cops when I go to bed, to stay safe, even those who have harassed me, because even though they have caused me to fear them, they do have people who love and depend on them. It is not easy, but I do that. Even the ones like yourself who wish me or I guess my family as well dead, or harmed. I will pray for your safety and unlike your words, that is not an empty promise.

Your experiences are duly noted. As is your apparent need to backtack and rationalize the remark you made when you thought that the Eastside needed to be handed off to Animal Control. You see, if you truly believed that the majority of the Eastside was decent, you would have said, bring in Animal control to deal with the smaller percentage of its population who are parolees, yet you failed to make that distinction. You said instead that the entire neighborhood should have been handed off to Animal Control. I'm sure your lieutenant who knows the neighborhood like the back of his hand would never make such a callous and racist comment about the Eastside. He's worked so hard and long to get people to trust the police department and its officers for years and it's been difficult. He's become a hero to them, and people like me. Officers with your attitudes on race don't make that job easier.

Do you know what the acronym, CYA mean, Kevin? I think you do. But you can't retract what's in your heart.

Since you have shared your battle stories, I'll share with you some of my experiences which have happened to me when I should have been sleeping safe in my bed, since you have this picture that apparently I've been tucked up like Rapunzel in a tower somewhere. There is not room enough for all of them, but here's a few.

My mom was nearly killed by a mugger when I was little, b/c she didn't want to give up her wedding ring. The only thing that saved her was my dad looked out the window and saw it. She'd be dead otherwise. The mugger has never been caught. Was he a parolee? Maybe. If they tried to find him, they'd know for sure. But to find, you at least have to look.

My brother's friend was killed by a security guard, not a parolee, but a working professional who tried to rape her in a locked up building he was guarding. She didn't go with the program, and he shot her twice in the chest. He's on death row, the only criminal connected with a crime involving me or my family to ever have been caught let alone prosecuted. No prior criminal record. Maybe they shook down a few parolees before they found him. But they did their job there.

I have had a guy grab me and put a gun to my head for 20 minutes. RPD's response? They lost the report. This was in 1990. To this day, when it is cold and/or humid, I can't move my neck without pain in my neck and shoulders, from being held in a chokehold while being dragged on a steep hillside. Do you know what it is to beg for your life, Kevin? I do. Do you know what it is like for time to stand still, the world around you just feet away is living normally, while you are counting down the last seconds of what you believe is your life. I actually sat and watched a groundsman blowing leaves only 100 yards away. Close, but yet so far has a different meaning in situations like this one.

I lived, because I made a good sales pitch that day, or maybe the same God you prayed to, to cause harm, saw fit to spare me. And because the report was lost, when it went from RCC(which was an assault of a different sort) to the RPD I'm sure that guy went and hurt someone else. I did what any good crime victim does, reported it. I'm not the one who failed here. That's when I began to realize that justice is reserved just for a lucky few, in the right race, status, neighborhood, class or set of circumstances. That lesson's been reinforced since. That is one of the reasons I became involved in the efforts to reform the RPD, because they do attach qualifiers to victims, just as surely as they attach stereotypes to racial groups, with the exception being Whites. I learned that what I had experienced was just another symptom in the dysfunction that defined the RPD.

I did go to the student senate later and made damn sure that they put that crime in the official stats where it belonged, because as I'm sure you know, crime statistical reports are only as honest as the administrators who preside over collegiate police departments wish them to be.

I had a guy with a knife break into my home at 11pm three weeks later and I fought with him to keep him from entering, in my underwear, until he ran off. RPD response, well 12 hours. Try wrestling with a man over 6'0 tall and 200# in a tee-shirt and underpants, on an unusually cold summer night. No batons. No training. No guns. Tasers. CO. Flashlights. No backup. Just you and a stranger battling over what belongs to you.

The police dropped by the next day, while I was at work and according to my landlord, left after a couple of minutes. I waited for police who never arrived, sitting with my door locked, my furniture stacked against it, and me against my furniture, for assistance that never arrived. Not exactly cosy in my bed.

Shots fired at my apartment complex in 1996, leaving a family of four with bullet wounds, b/c a drug dealer shot into the wrong doorway. RPD response? After waiting for an officer response, I ran out to find the source of the shooting, not knowing if the shooter was around. No cops. I ran after a cop car cruising into a neighborhood apartment complex. He finally agreed after I told him to just stay there and do whatever and I'd check into it. We went back into the complex and he found the family who were victims of the shooting. They were Black, poor and two were children. I believe former officer David Hackman would call them, NHIs? To others like yourselves, "animals" appears to be the term of choice, being in the custody of course, animal control.

And many of these people of color, who you've labeled enmasse "animals" have had experiences far worse than mine. Any wonder they don't trust a police force who refers to them in such a matter?

Shots fired at my building b/c I reported drug dealers. The cops showed up three weeks later, and stuck their card in the door, so that everyone would know who reported them. Fortunately, I was out of town and got the information second hand. They did return, two of them, and investigated the situation for several minutes before leaving.

Shots fired, well because it's the weekend and there's always shots fired... when people drink and have guns in their hands. Ever spent a new years eve under your table?

Kevin, do you know what it's like to be afraid to leave your own house? I do. How much time have you done, lying on the floor of your household while the shots are going off? One minute, cozy in your bed, the next wrapping a blanket around someone who's just had the front end of their car shot off? Since cops don't live in the neighborhoods they police, or even in neighborhoods which are majority minority.

Most of my neighbors lived in fear too. But see they don't count because they are not people, according to you. Skin color defining humanity and all that.

Reporting drug dealers that the department pre-1998 did not even want to hear about. I received a nice letter from Deputy Chief Barnes about how concerned he was, but not much action. Ditto councilman Ameal Moore. Though that changed when the city and university wanted to gentrify the area for predominantly White and Asian or Asian-American university students in need of housing. Those victims, or potential victims matter, you see.

Jump forward to 1998, when a man tried to break into my apartment window at 2am in the morning, and I saw him when I returned from the bathroom. I walked right up to the window and stared at him, less than an inch between myself and someone who if I were a lighter sleeper could have done me harm. Fortunately, after a stare off, he ran off. Since my neighbor across the way had called the police on this guy a few days earlier and was told they could not come out. I knew calling them would be a waste of time. As was talking about a man who was trying to break into people's apartments, and who was later apprehended by UCRPD and was surprise, surprise, a registered sex offender since 1991.

Previously, I tried to report a man who was exposing himself(high risk behavior which most trained police officers know could escalate to violent crime down the road) and was told by the officer that men are deviant creatures and I should know that, and it's a free country. That was 1998.

The last attempted mugging I ever experienced was in 1998. That guy tried to pin me against the fence at the UCR research center on Canyoncrest. I moved the other way. When he showed me the gun in his waistband, I did not wait to see him pull it. I reported that to UCRPD and while I was doing it, two more reports came in of similar incidents.

In 2005 when I and eight other people intervened in the attempted robbery and beating of a man in the downtown area, held the man in custody(not knowing he was armed with a knife) and waited, waited for the police to arrive. Thirty minutes, an officer did, asked for witnesses but would not take statements. Later, it turned out he lied on his report and said there weren't any witnesses, though he noted that he was aware the man was on felony probation at the time. The department thinks he checked that off, in error. He did not.

So in that case, what did calling the police accomplish? Nothing. The guy got off scot free despite a history of felony convictions, probation violations, restraining orders, well you know the list, because the officer did not want to interview or take contact information for nine witnessses.

And according to a security guard downtown, he's robbed other people on a regular basis. Is he a parolee? I don't know, but that does not make him any less of a violent criminal, does it? The victim's family has to do the work the cops are paid to do.

The other witnesses were very disappointed that they could not give their accounts, but I just told them they got the wrong officer that day. The conscientous officers who work the area, probably were busy on other calls.

The crime victim was poor, disabled and ignored. If it had been someone of higher status, the assailant would be in jail, not out, awaiting a prop. 36 hearing on Oct. 24. If your division in investigations never received it, it's because the case was sent to impound, which apparently is a new slush pile for crimes victims who do not matter. Too bad, because there are actually detectives in Investigations who believe that every crime victim matters.

I didn't do a parolee count, but I've learned through research, experience and discussions with other police officers that violent criminals come from different backgrounds.

For example, if you are a woman, are you more likely to be victimized by a parolee you don't know, or a man you do know?

If you don't know the answer to this, the FBI UCR comes out annually and provides this information.

My experiences are part and parcel with living in a dangerous neighborhood. I'm no stranger to crime and violence as a victim. I've had more harassment and guns pulled on me simply for wanting to enter and exit my apartment complex than most cops will ever see. Response times for shootings including a driveby that occurred on the other side of my apartment building in 1995 or 6, was slow, if they came at all. Police officers were inpersonal, and almost resentful to have to deal with crimes where I lived.

Most of those gang members were rounded up with gentrification(city leaders putting pressure on department leaders) and put away. Of course, if you just do enforcement and do not attack the root causes or ahem, "problems" as you called them, then they come out bigger and badder, and decide that it's not turf they are going to kill over, but race. That's what 2002 and 2005 have been about.

It did not take a rocket scientist to figure out that the department was not functioning in an effective or healthy way, before the city entered into the stipulated agreement in 2001. I think it became clear to everyone on Dec. 28, 1998.

Along with crimes, I had seen my share of police misconduct, excessive force and even unfortunately on one occasion, an officer engaging in sexual conduct with a prostitute in the downtown area, in broad daylight in the autumn of 1991. Hopefully that appalling conduct has stopped.

Seven years ago, Kevin, I was not that much different than you. I feared every Black man because I had been attacked or mugged by five or so. But even though that fear is very real for those persons who harm you, it's not fair at all for those in the same racial group. So I worked hard and got over it, because it's the just thing to do. All racial groups have their good and bad elements. The difference is, Kevin, that Whites are always judged as individuals and so is their behavior. People who are Black and Hispanic, however, are judged in groups. What one person does wrong, everyone is guilty or will be guilty of.

I am sure there are members in your own racial group who commit horrendous crimes, yet you would never say that Animal Control should be in charge of policing them. That's reserved for people of color, and it's hardly the first time an RPD officer has referred to those people as "animals". It's just disappointing and heart breaking in a sense, that the idea that people of color are inhuman is still expressed so openly. That just shows that the department needs more work, and perhaps more time under the spotlight of an outside agency.

I learned that an ineffective, poorly managed and supervised agency with zero accountability and steeped with racism and sexism could never be effective at fighting crime, including crimes that happen to people like me. A police agency which as Bill Lockyer said, has "dysfunctional" relationships with the communities it serves can never be truly effective at combatting crime. A department which turns a blind eye to its "bad apples" and/or engages in active defense of them, simply because it is accepted practice, can never be truly effective at combatting crime.

The stipulated agreement was the best thing that ever happened to both the agency and the community. More officers, better training, better equipment. Hopefully, some day, we'll see new and better attitudes.

Well reliving all this history has been um, not fun. Take care, Kevin, and I'll keep including you in my prayers with other officers, even while I'll be looking over my shoulder.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005 1:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the prayers. You continue to read only what you want to read, and take from my comments only that which perpetuates your prejudices and preconceived opinions about the RPD and its Police Officers.

First of all, your identity has never been a may think we're incompetent, but we've known about his site (and who runs it) long before you ever saw a posted comment. I guess some people were just afraid to speak up because of the climate of RPD. You see Mary, you and Riverside citizens are free to voice your opinion and criticize anything and anyone you want. But we don't have the same rights as citizens. People in our department who voice there opinions, or speak out against incompetent administration suffer professionally...You want to talk about oppression?

You'd be hard pressed to find anyone in the community who is more upset with the way things are run at RPD than the officers themselves. But you don’t blame the problems on upper management, or the city council, who are responsible for the way a department is run. You blame the individual officers. With your "knowledge" of the department I'd expect you would realize that a patrol officer on the streets has far less power than YOU do at changing the way the department functions.

"Seven years ago, Kevin, I was not that much different than you. I feared every Black man because I had been attacked or mugged by five or so."
- Sorry to disappoint you. I'm not scared of people because of their skin color. An I do consider white parolees "animals" in our society also. I also think rapists and child molesters should get the death penalty. Is that racist also?

You said : "The difference is Kevin, that Whites are always judged as individuals and so is their behavior. "

Up until the point you made this comment, I believed that you were a very racist and confused individual, but I gave you credit for being well educated and somewhat intelligent. I was wrong.

"Whites are always judged individually." ????

And I guess Police Officers are all judged individually too, right? Sure they are. Have I ever been pre-judged because of the actions of another Police Officer? Hmm, let me think…that’s a tough one.

If you weren't doing your best to increase the malice and hatred towards police officers from the community, you simply wouldn't have anything to do.

I never made any reference with the term "animal" to any race. I was talking about criminals. And for you to associate that term with a racial group is just plain offensive. Shame on you. Maybe it's you who needs a consent decree.

You seem to be an "expert" in how to conduct criminal investigations, and you obviously have an interest in Law Enforcement. I really think you should apply. From your story, it sounds like you can handle your own. With your "credentials," you'd make Sergeant in two years.

Till Next Time,
Kevin, RPD

Tuesday, October 11, 2005 5:54:00 PM  
Blogger Five Before Midnight said...

When it comes to reading what you want to see, you are doing the same thing, Kevin.

Confused? No. Do I have opinions different than your own? Yes.

Racist? No. There is no such thing as racism against Whites, especially within a police department. Racism is the belief in the superiority of one's race combined with the power either economically, governmentally, politically, or socially enforce that belief system. Can there be prejudice against Whites? Most definitely. Racism? No, unless you live in a country like Zimbabwe.

I thought that racism would have been explained to you as part of departmental diversity training but I guess not, because you believe that Whites are the most oppressed race?

Most LE agencies are still predominantly White and male in this country.

Your agency, for example, is still predominantly White, more so than the population of Riverside itself, which is increasingly less White. It is 9% female in sworn positions. Racial and/or gender groups in those percentages especially concentrated in the lower ranks of the chain of command structure can not possibly be exerting any power against White men in the department and the racial and gender makeup of the department is actually changing much slower than the city around it.

As for names...well, I guess they work for you.

Have I called you any names, Kevin? No. I criticized your comments, just like I criticized individual officers' actions. Actions which in some cases have hurt the reputation of this department. Yet officers like yourself continue to turn a blind eye and defend them, out of fear, comradry or other reasons. That's your perogative, but it does not go unnoticed by others. Silence speaks volumes every time you turn a blind eye to misconduct among your own. Because you all do band together when someone does wrong, it's often hard for community members during those times to remember you are individuals.

But having talked to officers who reported misconduct in the RPD, RSD, Pomona PD and LAPD, there is a reason to fear reporting misconduct among other officers.

Officers who stand alone and report misconduct despite shunning, ostracism, harassment, from management and/or rank and file, now that's oppression. No names need to be mentioned here as to whom these people were. FTMP, they're gone. Some at tax payer expense.

Then there's having to go shopping for a police chief every few years, in this city. A lot of criticism of the city council for doing that. But then they were siding with the unions in the case of Richardson, Fortier and Carroll.

Actually I do hold upper management and my city council member accountable for what has happened in the department. They are a pain in the butt to deal with, and no, the department does not have good managers in place nor will it in the near future. It promotes people who are insulated in administrative assignments within the department, rather than people who go out and interact with the residents of this city. The department's next police chief, FTMP, city residents would not know him on the street.

As far as the city council, I do not belong to a labor organization that spent tens of thousands of dollars of money collected in dues to support four current council members, who now constitute a majority of the current city council. Your union did, and its members campaigned on behalf of the current council members. Your union endorsed candidates for years who made it on the city council. That is its choice and the choice of its members but four of the current individuals and the current mayor have your union's stamp of approval and thus yours. Their campaigns were paid for by the money taken from your pay check. So your union got what it wanted.

Got to go, it's been nice...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005 6:36:00 PM  
Blogger RPD said...'s Mary is it.....ahhh but what is the last name....

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 1:51:00 PM  
Blogger RPD said...

ahh Mary Shelton...

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 2:44:00 PM  
Blogger Five Before Midnight said...

Dear RPD:

You didn't know? I am a bit surprised. I guess you're not friends with "Kevin" because he told me that the whole department knew who was on this site.


Well, I'm out of the closet so to speak and you're still inside.

Maybe cops really are the most oppressed people.

Take care, even though you are probably among the toughest to pray for in the department.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 3:40:00 PM  
Blogger Five Before Midnight said...

Actually "Kevin", even if I were an officer and trained, given that maybe <6% of all sergeants are female, It'd have to be a lot more than two years. It would be the most difficult job in my opinion, but also one of the most important. But you should know that yourself.

My "credentials" were meant to keep me alive and safer, from people who had wished me harm. That's all. You belittle my experiences yet you wish me to take yours seriously? I do.

And I haven't gone "where I live" on your turf since you posted, so you know.

Fear has never helped me, except to be cautious. In fact one assailant became angry when I expressed fear so I had to change tactics and not act afraid.

As far as increasing animosity and hate btwn community members and police, this department did that itself for decades, long before I became involved. Read the comment by Lockyer on this post, again...

People in the communities formulate their own opinions about your agency, and each time you have officers who engage in racist behavior, such as racist jokes, or label them as animals, they know about it, and they watch, to see how other officers respond to it. Do officers say publicly that this is inappropriate behavior? No, they either deny it or they fight to protect these officers, or they get haircuts enmasse and embrace the skinhead persona. Don't blame people for paying attention to that behavior. It's out there for all to see.

Some of us are puzzled as to why jokes about people based on racial, ethnic group, gender or religion are so hilarious anyway. What's so funny about doing this? I wish one officer would answer that question.

Here's one joke as an example:

What is the difference btwn a Jewish person and a pizza?

A pizza doesn't scream when you put in the oven.
Explain the humor of this joke, please. It's totally lost on me, obviously.

People know about racism in the department throughout its history. That is no secret. It certainly was no secret to the US or State DOJ offices, who investigated the agency.

Even if they trust the police enough to go to them, they know that they're despised, the butt of racial jokes that until recently were even inside the roll call room by sergeants. They don't need to be told by people like me. I learned from people like them. A lot.

The sad thing is that these community members could be your best allies to fighting crime in their neighborhoods. And there are some police officers who work hard to build partnerships with them, like officers(mostly newer) do in other neighborhoods.

YOu have your work cut out for you, and a lot of that burden has fallen on newer officers, much newer than yourself, to do that work, after inheriting a long history which is not theirs in the first place and may or may not even be taught to them. But I've talked to some newer ones and they're trying. Every once in a while, one of them will say the racism within is something they don't like.

The thing is that you have a decision to make as a person about racism against people of color. YOu can hold onto it defensively or you can work through it yourself and change it. But it's very difficult to do that, and it takes time. Five years is not nearly enough time even when you want to change.

as for criminals...

Plenty of child molesters and rapists elsewhere in this city, and at least two who were inside your department. Not just the Eastside. But then there's no suggestion to turn Animal Control over the whole city. It's always been the Eastside, when what that neighborhood needs is a lot of committed people, community members, officers, city employees from different agencies and private organizations and churches to work together.

Recently, that's been more apparent than any other time in history, and that's been a welcome thing.

Sunday, October 16, 2005 12:54:00 PM  
Anonymous RPD's Finest said...

Hey Mary, what's the status on the investigation into Roger Sutton's attempt at robbing a bank? I'll be looking forward to the update. Also, you should do a retrospective on some of the past RPD officers who have been fired for committing illegal acts...You know, like those magazines that do articles titled, "Where are they now?" How about you start with the two black officers who threw the Hispanic guy in the lake... or the black female officer who stole money from a bank robbery...Now, I'm not suggesting that these officers were bad because they are black (I mean African American); however, it seems that most of your postings that cover past and present investigations into wrongdoing by officers seem to focus on white male policeman in the RPD. Why is that Mary? I mean, "Five Before Midnight." Oh, and Mary, I agree with Kevin when he suggests that you apply to be an officer with the police department. After all, you do seem to know so much about the place, and what better way to get the change your looking for than to make the change yourself! Strap on that Sally Brown and lets see what your made of Five Before Midnight.

Monday, October 17, 2005 1:00:00 AM  
Blogger Five Before Midnight said...

Dear Closeted Cop:

Thank you for your response.

Sorry I don't think I'd make it through probation b/c I've seen what happens to probationary officers who report misconduct, particularly that in connection with racism. They get ostracized and retired, their careers over. And when they complain to Internal Affairs, they are under investigation by that division. Even when they leave and seek employment elsewhere, there are officers trying to thwart that, as happened with former officer Rene Rodriguez when he applied for a job at UCR.

I'm also not really into the "code of silence" thing, if I see misconduct and I'm not into racist or sexist humor at all. So I probably would not pass on those grounds.

I also could not relate to union leadership which is all male and mostly White, as well as working under management that a lot of the officers seem to dislike but are afraid to talk about.

Thanks for the suggestion though.

(and what former Officer Christine Keers have to go through as a female wonder there's been no net increase of female officers in five years, according to EEO reports.)

As for the focus on White officers and their crimes, well maybe that's because 75% of your agency's officers are White and have committed most of the misconduct and/or illegal acts. Thanks for bringing the race issue to my attention. I actually was not paying close attention to it, but I see that you did, which is not surprising given the role that race plays in the RPD, even nearly five years after the stipulated judgement began.

Though I did write about the Black officer who was diverted for DV about 10 years ago, even though you did not mention him in your list of Black officers.

Re: Bank robbery? Is that a crime that the department is currently investigating or is that like former Sgt. Keers' criminal charges in 1996? With this agency's history(including trying to initiate a criminal investigation against Rodriguez when he complained)it's hard to be sure. That's unfortunate, but it's hardly the public's fault.

If Sutton's charged with bank robbery, I'm sure we'll all read about it in the newspaper. Until then, the department's official response will be,
Don't you know what confidential means?

But if he's guilty, then he should be convicted and sentenced accordingly, as any law enforcement officer(in similar circumstances) should be regardless of race. And I'm sure he would be.

Your point about no discussion of the Lake Incident however, is duly taken. It is indeed vexing that all three(or four?) of the officers were not prosecuted on felony 149 charges and 245, convicted and sentenced to prison. But I'm not the DA who decided to wrist slap two of them on misdemeanor charges and allow the other to get off scott free.

(and oddly enough, former officer Jason McQueen seems to be a name omitted from the history of this travesty by RPD employees like he wasn't even there. Others however haven't forgotten.)

Of course, it will have to be a full discussion, and will include the fact that a White officer(see above) who participated fully in the beating of Jose Martinez was NEITHER prosecuted NOR fired for his conduct in relation to that incident. Nor was the White sergeant who failed to report the incident(that he heard from the victim) to his supervisor, as noted on his evaluation which was discussed in the arbitrator's decision on his employment status. Failure to report an incident involving excessive force to a supervisor twice within one evaluatory period. And he was still a sergeant!

(Still, this was the agency that when it hired Graham, wasn't looking for an officer but a football player for its intramural related in the PE article which included comments by Graham. hopefully that's not still going on.)

Wasn't there an entire training session on how NOT to handle a citizen complaint investigation, under the stipulated agreement which was in relation to the Lake Incident?

The city's attorney tried to use the Lake Incident to counter the plaintiff's statistical information in Sutton's trial, but failed to tell the entire story. The Black officers were prosecuted and fired. The White officer was allowed to resign and not prosecuted.

And if there had been responsible handling of the situation regarding the sergeant's failure to appropriately report an incident which resulted in the prosecution of two of the officers involved, then maybe a future tragedy resulting in part from another failure on his part to properly supervise could have been averted.

Take care,

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 1:21:00 PM  

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