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

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

CPRC: Douglas Steven Cloud shooting

A full audience sat and listened to Capt. Jim Cannon from the Riverside Police Department as he briefed the Community Police Review Commission on the fatal officer-involved shooting of Douglas Steven Cloud.

One row of seats in the city council chambers were occupied by Cloud's relatives including his father, grandmother and cousins. They listened to the briefing but left feeling as if they had learned very little information about how Cloud had lost his life.

Also in attendance were Sara Danville from the Riverside County District Attorney's office, Det. Ken Tutwiler who is the president of the Riverside Police Officers Association and an attorney hired by the RPOA. Lt. Darryl Hurt and Deputy Chief Dave Dominguez completed the contingent from the police department. Even the United States Department of Justice, Community Relations Division sent out a representative from its Los Angeles office.

Cannon related an updated version of the department's investigation into the Cloud shooting.

On Oct. 8 at around 4:15 p.m., a police officer was doing a cite and release near the Home Depot on Madison Avenue. A person ran up to the officer and said that he had seen Cloud steal a cleaner from the store and an employee and two other individuals had chased after him. Two individuals had tried to grab him while another tried to remove the cleaner from Cloud's vehicle. Cloud drove off, a man fell in his path and the employee tried to pull him out of the way.

Cloud drove down Indiana west bound towards Jefferson on the wrong side of the street, nearly hitting a van. His car spun out of control and hit a seven-foot palm tree and a truck on display at a dealership. An employee at the store broadcast Cloud's actions at the store as a "robbery" to a dispatcher.

Officers Brett Stennett and Nicholas Vazquez stopped at the crash scene on the way to Home Depot and exited their squad car with their guns drawn. Officer David Johansen arrived separately and also exited with his gun drawn. The officers ordered Cloud to put his hands where they could be seen but he put them down. They tried to open his door but the collision had damaged it. Stennett tried to pull Cloud out of the car but Cloud tried to grab the console, then the steering wheel. The officers became more concerned about their safety they said, after Cloud freed himself from their grasp on him. The wheels of the car were spinning and turning, after Cloud regained his position in his seat. At that point, Vazquez fired four times and Johansen fired once, because they feared for their safety if Cloud was able to steer the car in their direction.

Deputy Chief Dave Dominguez extended his sympathy to the Cloud family and said that the department would work diligently on its investigation to finish this case.

Dr. Ron A. Bailey, M.D. addressed the commission on the shooting and said it had been the first time in over a month that he had been there. In that time, came the Cloud and Joseph Darnell Hill shootings.

"Two more deaths that could have been prevented," he said.

He criticized Dominguez for offering his condolescenes.

"How many times this year have we heard this same statement?"

Dominguez and the other representatives did not take questions from commissioners or the public. For three years during briefings they had done so, but this procedure changed after the department erred in some of the information it provided in its Dec. 22, 2004 briefing on the Summer Marie Lane shooting. At its briefing on the Lane case, a representative had said that Officer Ryan Wilson had been on the ground behind Lane's car and shot at it as it headed in his direction. Both the CPRC and the RPD investigation discovered that Wilson had walked behind Lane's stationary vehicle and up to the driver's window before firing shots inside the window from between 1-3 feet away.

After that shooting, the department changed its policy on these briefings by eliminating the question and answer portion.

Commissioner Jim Ward criticized the newer procedure and said that it has rendered the process "useless".

"You give us this information and we are not able to respond," Ward said.

The Cloud shooting remains under investigation by both the CPRC and the department. The CPRC dispatched investigator Butch Warnberg to Riverside within one day of the shooting. When both investigations are completed, Warnberg will return to give a presentation on the results of his investigation and the commissioners will begin their discussions on the public report.

Commission is briefed by police on Cloud shooting

Meanwhile, across town, a candlelight vigil was held by over 40 people in memory of the Oct. 19 shooting death of Joseph Darnell Hill.

Family calls for justice at vigil

(excerpt, Press Enterprise, 10/26)

Speaking at the vigil, Braden said she knew not all police are bad, but some are.
Joe was the youngest of nine children and Braden spoke of changing his diapers and looking after him.

"I felt like I lost a baby," Braden said.

The crowd stood at the spot where Joseph was pulled over, the intersection of Babb and Crest avenues, shielding candles from the breeze.

Ron Hill, the oldest sibling, said he didn't hate the police. He said that officers don't know who they are pulling over and have to think the worst.

Hill also said that police get six months of training and then they carry a gun.
Leslie's husband, Kenneth Braden, said the police feel they are above the law.

"I believe they pulled (Joseph) over for the way he looked," Kenneth Braden said. "They can pull you over, stop you, without shooting you."

Joseph Hill, 34 was the second brother in a family of nine to be shot to death by law enforcement officers. On April 14, 1992 Charles "Chuck" Hill was shot to death by Riverside County Sheriff Department deputies. The family filed a law suit against that department, but the case was dismissed by the judge on a motion of summary judgment in 1998, according to court records.

Joseph Hill was shot by Officer Jeffrey Adcox after he allegedly became belligerent during a traffic stop, attacked Adcox and Officer Giovanni Ili and grabbed Ili's taser, according to several department press releases. The police department stated through an Oct. 23 press release that Adcox shot Brown because he feared for the safety of Ili after Hill allegedly pointed the taser at him.

It was the second fatal shooting that occurred after an officer allegedly lost his taser this year. Earlier this year, Officer Terry Ellefson shot and killed Lee Deante Brown after Brown had allegedly grabbed his taser and advanced towards him with it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Love It!!!!Mary, what are the odds that 2 "Brothas" would be shot by police under similar circumstances within a 15 year period? I can only imagine the amount of victims these two left in their in their wake over the years. I'd bet there's not enough Bath and Body candles to hold the amount of candle light vigils it would take to cover all of the people these two victimized over the years. But their "sista" can feel comfort in knowing that they are now in the hands of "Allah."

P.S. I like your new addition-the whole comment moderation thing. Nice touch for a self-proclaimed journalist/editor/advocate for free speech.

"We're a movin on up, to the East Side, to a deluxe apartment in the sky"---George Jefferson


One of Riverside's Finest

Thursday, October 26, 2006 10:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know how the Darnell Hill shooting could have been prevented. His family could have turned him in after he committed that robbery of a local Riverside eatery several months ago. Oh, how come the family, who posted Stop Police Brutality signs during his vigil did not post "Stop Armed Robbery" banners? I wonder if Deputy Chief Dominguez extended his sympathies to the famalies of the officers who have been put in the unfortunate position of having to take another human life and of almost being seriuosly injured or killed themselves? I bet he hasn't. But can't say I'm surprised. Anyways, bye!

President of the Inland Empire Chapter of Accountability of Police Accountability Activists. I wanted to use "President of the League of Hot Female Cops" but I was afraid you might edit my comment.

Friday, October 27, 2006 4:35:00 PM  
Blogger Five Before Midnight said...


As I'm sure some of you are aware Blogger and Blogspot have been experiencing many technical problems lately due to serious issues with their computer network hardware. There have been daily scheduled outages for both Blogger and Blogspot(where the blog is actually hosted) and many unscheduled ones.

Also, Blogger has informed its bloggers that there will be a mandatory move to Beta Blogger within a few weeks. As a result, this site will be down temporarily and/or be unable to be updated or have comments approved for an unspecified amount of time, possibly up to a week or two.

A portion of this blog is being hosted at the following site.

Posts will be published at both sites until up to the upgrade.

Stay tuned for future announcements on this issue.

Scheduled outage: Today at 12-2 pm, approximately give or take an hour or two on either end.

This will be posted as an entry as soon as blogger is back up and running.

Saturday, October 28, 2006 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Five Before Midnight said...


Blogger is working on the problem this morning.

Comment counts on the front page may be incorrect. If you submitted a comment in the past 24 hours, it has been approved. Just click the link, even if it says "0" and it's there.

If you don't see a post on the main page, click "October 2006" on the left sidebar under archive. It's on the bottom of that list and you should see any missing posts.

Sunday, October 29, 2006 9:30:00 AM  

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