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, November 03, 2006

Around town and back again

Apparently, the Press Enterprise's online poll here is still ongoing as to whether or not the two officers who shot and killed Douglas Steven Cloud on Oct. 8 used excessive force.

Currently, the comments are about split even between those criticizing the officers who shot Cloud and those who chastise other invididuals for rushing to judgment without the facts before they tell them not to second guess the officers' actions in terms of eliminating yet another "robber", "scum bag", or "mad dog" off the streets.


"Dirty cops." I think someone has seen too many episodes of CSI. Cops are human and even though we may like to neatly categorize them as clean or dirty, they have emotions and are fallible like the rest of us. It is interesting to me that everyone is so eager and willing to take sides without having witnessed the incident. I think that we owe the benefit of the doubt to our police officers who risk their lives for us before we give it automatically to the robber of Home Depot.

Well, you are right, criminals and murderers are not supposed be victims, and cops are not supposed to be criminals. Unfortunately, there are cops who violate the law. They usually get away with it and are seldom held to answer. This just happens to be one of those times when the public has noticed. I just had an encounter with an RPD officer who looked me in the eye and lied outright for about 15 minutes. When I finally figured it out, after the harm was done, I was flabergasted, even though I have known about dirty cops for years.

One individual appeared to believe that police officers should circumvent the criminal justice system by shooting any person who had allegedly committed a crime as a form of euthanasia.

I do not think that anyone running from police should be allowed to live in our society. They are dangerous and obviously not law-abiding. Instead of placing them in jail, providing shelter and legal defense, clothing them and hiring more deputies to watch them...shooting them while fleeing with stolen goods is fine with me. I happen to play by the rules, I am responsible, I carry my own weight, I like police, I help my fellow man, I love my country, I love having a job and paying my bills...If everyone felt this way we would have a great society. All too often we mollycoddle children instead of teaching them right from wrong and punishing them when they break rules and laws. I could point fingers at the causes but really it's the whole concept of " it takes a village to raise a child"....It takes a RESPONSIBLE mother and father, who obey rules, carry their own weight, work and pay their bills, love their country and help their fellow man. Unfortunately there isn't much of a safety net to ensure children don't turn to crime. Many families have numerous relatives in prisons and jails... bad parenting is the problem. Sometimes shooting them dead on the side of the road is the only solution that is available to one of our fine officers who are trying their best to be responsible, carry their own weight, pay their bills and help their fellow man by protecting us and helping enforce our laws.

One individual offers a legal perspective, to the situation. Unlike most of the others, he appears undecided about everything, except that only officers can criticize or judge the actions of other officers.

I would like to respond to all the legal pundits who think that they know what they are talking about. In the case of Mr. cloud, it is not prudent (nor, is it fair) to excoriate either Mr. Cloud or the officers involved until all the facts are known. That's what a court of law is for. Secondly, police officers are not held to a "Reasonable Person" standard. They are held to a objectively "Reasonable Officer" standard. There is codified law regarding this matter (Graham vs Conner). In Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989), the Court held that allegations of excessive force by police officers during a stop or arrest must be judged under a Fourth Amendment standard and that the reasonableness inquiry in an excessive force case is an objective one: the question is whether the officers actions are objectively reasonable in light of the facts and circumstances confronting them, without regard to their underlying intent or motivation. It's important to take into consideration the mindset of the officers at the time of the incident. Only a person of like training and experience can tell you what they would have done in the same case. For the average lay person to say, "They should have...." is irrelevant. Bottom line... This case will be decided by a court of law and should not be tried in an on-line forum by inexperienced or misinformed readers.

The Cloud shooting is still under investigation by the Riverside Police Department and the CPRC. It is not clear whether or not this case will ultimately be decided by a court of law because as of yet, only a claim of damages has been filed against the city by members of the Cloud family.

An unidentified individual had this to say about an organization he called the RPC, without explaining what it is or what it does. If you are going to promise to expose the behavior of an entity, it would help your cause greatly if you could correctly identify it first.

RPC needs to have a closer eye. Their director SUCKS!! I can't believe how much they get away with... the city is going to end up going against them. I'd rather have real cops patrolling our streets, like from corona. it bugs me, our cops never practice protocall... (however it's spelled)... trust i have stories, if you care for me to share i will... what happened with the Home Depot has been exposed, but there are sooo many things RPC has done that has not been shared with the public.. TONS!!!

Tons? Promises, promises. However, it is difficult to determine from his or her comments what this individual is criticizing, the "RPC", or the not so "real cops" who apparently are not off working in Corona and not practicing protocol, the definition of which he or she leaves ambiguous.

The CPRC with its hardworking executive director Pedro Payne will be briefed on two fatal officer-involved shootings next week involving Black men who allegedly grabbed an officer's taser before being shot.

The police department will be returning to the CPRC next week to conduct one of its brief briefings on the Oct. 19 shooting of Joseph Darnell Hill by Officer Jeffrey Adcox. After the briefing, the department representatives will likely depart without taking questions from the commissioners. Apparently, they haven't taken the advice that retired detective Granville Kelley gave in his recent letter published in the Press Enterprise to cancel any future briefings with the CPRC but they haven't taken Commissioner Jim Ward's advice either to expand them to include a question and answer session.

After the department's representatives leave, the commission will move on to its briefing by its investigator, Butch Warnberg, on his investigation into the fatal shooting of Lee Deante Brown last April. This report will be preliminary because the CPRC's investigation into this shooting remain ongoing, unlike that of the police department which apparently finished its own investigation last month. After reading Warnberg's reports on his investigations into the Todd Argow and Terry Rabb officer-involved deaths, it is not surprising that he apparently believes it would be premature to provide any definitive analysis of the Brown shooting.

Most likely, the CPRC is still investigating the Brown shooting because there are more questions than answers so far about what happened on April 3, 2006 at a motel on the corner of University Avenue and Ottawa at least as far as it is concerned. Further forensic tests are being conducted on Officer Terry Ellefson's taser to try and determine who was holding it when the fatal shots were fired.


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