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

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Rolo Tomasi, Riverside Style: A Lesson in Three Acts

Rolo Tomasi, Riverside Style: A Play in Three Acts

A Lesson in Police Culture

*Cast of characters: TBA

Setting: Rivercity, 2006

Plot: This is the story about a group of police officers who decided to be themselves on a Web site and how they got away with it...and laughed about it and at their management.

To be Continued.....

***due to the difficulty of negotiating through the labyrinth that goes with the process of obtaining permission to use the names of several of the trade-marked television characters used on this site for this play, some name substitutions may have to be made.***


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like Queen Mary has hit a snag in her quest to publicly crucify white male RPD officers !

Thursday, February 16, 2006 1:07:00 AM  
Blogger Five Before Midnight said...

Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for your comments and the royalty title. However, the United States(of which Riverside is a part of) has been a democratic republic for over 200 years so I do not believe that titles of royality are given anymore.

I see that your defiance against the RPD management has not been stifled or thwarted by its efforts to dampen or hinder your mission to speak on its behalf on the issues of race and gender within and without. I was fairly sure that an internal investigation would not keep you down for long either, given your commitment and fervor to posting here. Your pals maybe, but not you.

Incidently, I have also heard from the grapevine that this blog and its investigation has become quite the butt of jokes and humor amongst some of those in the RPD. No doubt, you've heard these jokes too. And no doubt, you have laughed at them.

Contrast that to the community members who feel that it has been anything, but funny that officers are laughing or creating jokes based on race or gender at their expense. However, since you only consider those of your own kind and skin color to be human, that should not worry you much or too long.

No doubt it makes you very happy that the police culture has survived and thrived despite the efforts of not one, but two outside agencies, $22 million spent and five years of hard work by the few in this process who really wanted to change things.

So, see, you do have brethren in the department who support your efforts to educate and speak for the RPD on how to view men of color and women both inside and outside of the department. By their silence, they have given you that role.

Not one of them has criticized your actions in public including the newly elected RPOA board president when asked to, at a recent Chief's Advisory Board meeting. For obvious reasons, as we both know.

BTW, Your recent development of a messiac complex is a bit perplexing, but I do think that if you wish to place yourself in the role of Jesus on the cross then you should emulate him by living in accordance to all His teachings. Jesus loved all of His children, not just those who are White and male. Something you might want to work on while you have taken to His cross. Feel free to do so here.

Have a nice day,

Thursday, February 16, 2006 12:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ms. Shelton, would you condone a government agency's attempts at disciplining an employee who exercises their 1st Ammendment right to freedom of speech when that speech is done on their personal time and from their personal communication devices? Based on some recent news articles, I have not seen you come out against RPD's apparent attempts at violating the U.S. Constitution. As a matter of fact, it seems like you are in bed with management because of personal feelings that you might have with certain employees or because you did not like what was said. Maybe next, people like Dana will be trying to get search warrants to confiscate your computer so they can prevent people like you from saying things that they don't like. I'd be interested in your response.

Thank you

Citizen for Free Speech

Thursday, February 23, 2006 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Five Before Midnight said...

Dear "Citizen"

Are you aware that you share a posting quirk with the poster formerly known as "Starsky"?

Remember these two posts? Please read them carefully, then reread your own post, and you will discover what it was the three had in common.

Anonymous said...
Hey Mary, has the police dept ordered you to stop posting messages..WOW!!!Figured you would be the last person to stop exercising your 1st Ammendment right...
Monday, December 26, 2005 9:29:16 AM

Anonymous said...
Don't worry dear. Little busy but get ready for things to jump off 1st Ammendment style!!!!

Sunday, December 25, 2005 7:25:53 PM

That minor technicality aside, it's clear that for an ahem, "citizen" you seem to know much more about this internal investigation than I or the PE do. So perhaps, you would be in an excellent position to educate the media on the issues and logistics of this investigation, on behalf of the department. It should come second nature to you, just as "Starsky's" and "DJ's" etal efforts to educate me about the department's stance on race and gender were to them.

Have you ever heard of the term, the personal is political? It is about the interlinking of a political freedom with your personal experience exercising that particular freedom. Your political rights become more valuable to you when they are or perceived to be infringed or threatened by others. The following is an example:

Some posters here exercised a particular disdain and hostility for women who work in traditionally male-dominated fields like law enforcement which reflected a sexist attitude. A female officer might upon reading them or hearing of them be reminded again that sexism is still a problem in our society that she faces as an individual who belongs to her gender and she might see it as a larger issue in a more political context as well affecting many women.

Your post on your feelings about exercising your first amendment rights reflects that you are undergoing a similar psychological process, commonly referred to as a "click" moment.

As you know, I value the first amendment very, very much, whether it is free speech, expression or press. That is why I did not stop writing articles on the police department even when faced by intimidation or harassment from certain onduty officers who have "personal feelings" about me or disagree with what I write or speak on. Some people who read the comments in the blog said to me, that they had no idea what I had faced from some of the police officers in the past few years if the postings were any indication.

I'm sure as a free speech proponant yourself that you can understand the importance of not bowing into intimidation and harassment expressed by others.

These officers apparently do not share your own passionate appreciation for free speech if it involves the expression of anything that they disagree with or if it is from someone they have "personal feelings" about. Maybe some of them are looking at the other side of the issue now and are just as passionate as you are.

In principle, I agree with Google's requirement of a subpoena before releasing information under their administration. As you have mentioned, there needs to be protections in place to protect people's first amendment rights, even and sometimes especially when used to express odious opinions.

On a personal level, it's more difficult to feel this way. I can count the times I've been in the Eastside area on one hand since October because I had an unidentified person make thinly veiled threats against my safety there. Also, if officers are working in neighborhoods and viewing people there as animals, the residents in those neighborhoods have the right to know who they are, for their own safety and well-being. In addition, the officers who have not engaged in this behavior who work in the Eastside and in this city have the right to be cleared of any suspicion that comes simply because they work for the same police department and/or in the Eastside. It is really very unfortunate that those who did make the comments did not even come forward with their real identities if only to spare their innocent, hardworking colleagues from being suspected of this conduct.

These issues aside, you can not cure a problem by eliminating its symptoms. Whether or not the comments made by officers here reflect deeper issues with racism, sexism and homophobia in the department is the real question that must be asked, examined and answered by the department. Issues of racism, sexism and homophobia in the department are the problems that need to be solved. The fact that this issue has erupted while the department was nearing the end of the stipulated agreement is troubling and leaves questions about what will happen after March 6, a date I'm sure some of the officers who have commented on this site have had penciled in their calendars for five years as the day to reverse time.

One way to measure these things is to determine how other officers in this department view those who have engaged in racist, sexist and homophobic banter here. Do they view their actions and their representation of the department with anger and displeasure, or do they support them, tacitly or otherwise because they share similar beliefs? If officers see racism and sexism in the workplace, are they thinking about the right thing to do, or their pensions and is this an agency where officers can safely report these behaviors without suffering consequences from other officers or supervisors? Will their union leadership be their advocate or their adversary in this process? There's certainly been a lot of silence from the labor union's leadership on this issue. I wonder why that is.

The answers to these questions are ultimately even much more important than determining the identities of any officers who posted racist, sexist and homophobic comments here.

As for being in bed with the management, LOL. I guess resentment towards management is another thing both you and "Starsky" have in common.

Have a nice day,

Friday, February 24, 2006 2:36:00 PM  
Blogger Sandalou said...

Where does the First Amendment protect the right to use a position of public trust to threaten and abuse other citizens? Regardless of the fact that these cartoon cops are offended by the fact that those citizens are female, of color, poor, homosexual, transgendered or happen to be wearing a shirt that one of the pathetic jackasses doesn't like?

Saturday, February 25, 2006 4:30:00 AM  
Anonymous CSU student said...

Five before midnight

I didn't know how else to tell you (and this has nothing to do with the current post), but I wanted to tell you that I found your story interesting. Through Lexis-Nexis I found an article about you and have used it as an example of what not to do in a Master's Criminology class. I guess I wanted you to know that we college students couldn't believe the examples of what was posted. It did, however, make a great conversational topic in our administrative course. For someone looking to become law enforcement, it's sad that a few bad cops still exist and ruin what is designed to be a noble profession. I wish you the best of luck.

Monday, February 27, 2006 4:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Wednesday, March 01, 2006 3:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Riverside, CA -- At 9:50 a.m. this morning, March 2, 2006, the Honorable Sharon Watters, Presiding Judge of the Riverside County Superior Court, dissolved the Stipulated Judgment between the Attorney General for the State of California and the City of Riverside Police Department.

Present for the proceedings were Riverside Police Chief Russ Leach, City Attorney Greg Priamos, Senior Assistant Attorney General Louis Verdugo and the Attorney General’s consultant, Joseph Brann

Thursday, March 02, 2006 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger Five Before Midnight said...

Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for including me on your notification list for this milestone event. You were more thoughtful than the management that I am supposed to be in bed with.

I guess it's time for some officers to throw a long anticipated celebratory party. Few believed that they could successfully wait out the state for five years. That is a pretty impressive feat of endurance that many out there did not believe they were capable of.

Any game of tug of war is won by the team that digs its feet the deepest in the ground then waits until the other side has tired before making its move. Unfortunately, neither the state nor the department's management know how to win tug of war.

Congratulations to these officers on their feat. It looks like they have their department back.

Have a nice day though this closing is probably superfluous. :-)

By the way, there's only one "t" in Sharon Waters' name. You should really work on those double consonants. ;-)

Thursday, March 02, 2006 3:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mary, while I am celebrating the end of the stipulated judgment, I will pour out some of my 40 oz. for you and sandalou!

Take Care,

Ofc. B. Fife

Thursday, March 02, 2006 5:35:00 PM  
Blogger Five Before Midnight said...

Dear Mr. Fife:

No champaign? I thought you were celebrating not drowning your sorrows.

Have a nice party. After all, you've waited five years for this day. It's not like management is watching over your shoulder anymore or you would not be here. They can go back to what they were previously doing as well whatever that was. You had them fooled and many other people as well, but I guess the truth be told. Persistance wins out.

Who knows? In a couple of months, maybe you'll have your roll call room back.

Have a nice day,

Thursday, March 02, 2006 6:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Next time your driving through the French countryside grab me a brochure from "Champagne" or as you put it.."Champaign"...I must have missed that exit sign...Is that where that disgraced French Olympic figure skating judge resides..

so much for that witty comeback about double consonants...

Thursday, March 02, 2006 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger Five Before Midnight said...

Dear Mr. Fife:

Touche and a bit touchy aren't you? I thought you would be in a much better mood by now. After all, the yolk has been lifted off of your shoulders.

As for witty comebacks, you give me far too much credit. I was making an observation not a criticism and your own witty response just confirmed my thoughts. Thanks.

Don't feel so bad. Of all the spelling errors, this one is among the easiest to fix. Pass that along to Starsky when you see him. That shouldn't take long.

And so it begins. The end of one stage and the beginning of the next. I give the upper management a week before they figure out who's boss, maybe two. Your continued presense to show them that here is proof positive that they have lost ground already.

Have a nice day,

Friday, March 03, 2006 8:52:00 AM  
Blogger Five Before Midnight said...

Dear CSU Student:

I agree with you that it is very sad to see the behavior on this site but please do not let it discourage you from entering into law enforcement. It can be a rewarding experience if you work hard and choose your agency wisely.

These are likely just a few officers who have been allowed to behave badly for quite some time. It's very likely that no one has ever told them it was wrong and unacceptable behavior on their part. Perhaps they received positive reinforcement or benign neglect instead for bad behavior. Maybe supervisors turned a blind eye and chiefs promoted them.

There was no Early Warning System in the past to flag them as problems and monitor their behavior. Consequently, it might be too late to correct their behavior at this point.

The complaint system was almost nonexistent until recently. Any complaints against them filed prior to 2001 could have been tossed in the trash or not received. If any allegations of misconduct against them were sustained, perhaps they were not disciplined but given a pat on the head instead by their supervisors and told, well done.

Perhaps they listened for years to racist and sexist jokes told in the roll call room. Maybe they miss that environment and are trying to recreate it elsewhere including here.

Learning how not to behave is in a sense as critical as learning how to behave. These posters provide the standard of behavior that no good officer would wish to emulate. Other less vocal officers probably wish they would just lateral out and go away.

Years of lax standards maintained by those higher up in the chain of command is what produces this type of childish behavior and what ultimately leads to its public display. In a sense, the department is reaping what it has sown for many years.

What's interesting is that there are still officers who believe that it was the stipulated judgement that hurt the department's image. No. It was the behavior that preceded it and made it a necessary action in the first place. When they make that connection, maybe then it can actually be believed that this department has changed.

Good Luck,

Friday, March 03, 2006 10:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mary now that the consent decree has ended, you are free to move on with/and get a life. Unless of course you chose to continue to attack the white male authority figure. (COPS). Your angry passion toward the afformentioned seems to reveal an underlying desire to attain the love, affection and respect that you most likely did not receive from your (white male) father figure as a little girl. May I suggest that you read Dr. Laura Schlessinger's " Bad Childhood-Good Life ", to help you with any resentfull feelings that you may hold toward your white male authority figure father. Lots of Luck :)
sincerely Dr. Lawman

Sunday, March 05, 2006 7:02:00 PM  
Blogger Five Before Midnight said...

Dear Dr. Lawman:

LOL. This is a very interesting post. It's nice that you have adopted psychology as a hobby and have clearly found it to be a rewarding pursuit. If you are considering changing careers, you could certainly do worse than become a psychologist.

In the spirit of your comments, here is a similar analogy involving the individuals who have spent five years consumed with rage and hatred as a result of the constraints imposed on them when they were essentially removed from the custody of their father figure(The Police Chief, who is White and male as has been every chief in this department) and became wards of the State(Temporary Parental Guardian, Bill Lockyer up in Sacramento, who made periodic inhome visits during the period). It became clear that this drastic step was necessary, given how many father figures(chiefs) this group of children(officers) had gone through in recent years combined with the poor supervision these children(officers) were receiving even when engaging in bad behavior.

These children(officers) stewed and they fretted under the rigid toolage, but still the world moved on without them. The reality of being left further and further behind led to further alienation and yes, more temper tantrums. What became most galling to them was that their younger brothers and especially their sisters(newer officers) and even a portion of their older siblings refused to emulate their behavior or follow in their footsteps, which caused them to spiral down further into the state of an identity crisis. This crisis of course led to further "acting out" by these children(officers) which further perpetuated the crisis and so forth.

When it comes to rebelling against father figures, law enforcement officers are not immune. Many police officers view the chief of their department as a father figure, according to experts in the field of police psychology. This father(chief) presides over them in the work place and keeps an eye on their behavior. He rewards them with promotions when they are good and doing what he requires of them and disciplines them just like a parent does a child when they are bad. There are a variety of forms of discipline available for the father(chief) to exercise with his children(problem officers).

These include demotions and suspensions which are comparable to weeks spent either without receiving an allowance or having it considerably reduced. There are suspensions which are also comparable to "time outs" received by children when they have been naughty. If the offense is minor, the father(chief) may scold his children(officers) or he might recommend further training, if certain professional and social skills need improvement like a good parent would with a child.

Termination is the ultimate legal severing of the parent/child relationship between the chief and the police officer when the situation between them can not be remedied by lessor discipline or the discipline given has not corrected the bad behavior exhibited by the officer. It is often a difficult and painful decision for both sides.

Just like children, officers bristle when they are disciplined. Even though it is meant to help them along the path of becoming better behaved and skilled officers, they still don't like it and it is only when they gain maturity in their development as officers that they realize the importance of what is learned. The immature officer never understands this tenet and continues to rant about what he perceives as unfair treatment.

These officers will continuously complain and also point fingers at him(Black male officers) and her(all female officers) and say that they get preferential treatment at their expense. This behavior is similar to what commonly occurs with siblings when one of them argues that the other is the parent's "favorite".

Sometimes when children(officers) are angry and petulant and prone to tantrums, they lash out in various directions when they are no longer able to elicit attention from their parents.(chief and assorted management). That is usually when members of the public find out that there are problems with the "family".

That has apparently been true with several police officers in recent months. These officers continued to lash out even when their behavior had caused embarassment to all the other children(officers) who had been behaving properly and doing what their father(chief) expects of them. And yes, a small part of their psyches greatly wish that their father(chief) would approve and accept them even as they rebel against his authority but if the chief is a good parent then that of course is unlikely to happen.

It is clear from this analogy that the individuals who still engage in this lashing out while their collective fathers have been watching them are engaging in the ultimate challenge to the White male authority figure in their professional lives. With each visit here, they are thumbing their noses at their collective parents(supervisors including the chief) and daring them to do something while they escalate their negative actions. It is the psychological behavior known as projection and transference that causes them to label another individual with behavior that they themselves have expressed continuously over a period of time. It is another attempt in a series of attempts to avoid looking deeper at their own behavor issues.

There are quite a few analogies out there. This is one. Is it true? Only time and further observation can tell. The resurgence of visits here seems to suggest that certain individuals have already taken advantage of the loosened restraints to further challenge the authority of their collective father figures. This tends to support the above analogy.

I'm curious, were you hired before the department mandated psychological evaluations or after?

Have a nice day,

P.S. Neither "aforementioned" and "resentful" have paired double consonants.

Monday, March 06, 2006 10:17:00 AM  

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