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, November 22, 2006

What's past is prologue part 2

The Riverside City Council will be quite busy during its closed session in its city council meeting on Nov. 28. Five actions involving ongoing or pending civil litigation will be discussed behind closed doors including at least four that are directly related to fatal shootings or other incustody deaths involving Riverside Police Department officers. There has been five incustody deaths from Oct. 2005 to November 2006 including two last month.

Terry Rabb:

The Estate of Terry Rabb, et al., v the City of Riverside (Claim No. : o6-03-13)

Terra Rabb, el al., v the City of Riverside, et al.; (RCSC Case No. RIC459245)

Summer Marie Lane:

Michael Bradford Lane, et al., v the City of Riverside, et al.; (USDC Case No. CVO6-03358 ER(AJWx)

Lee Deante Brown:

Makayla Brown v the City of Riverside (Claim No. : 06/07/17)

At least one claim against the city was also filed by the father of Douglas Steven Cloud and has already been discussed in closed session several weeks ago. It is not clear whether or not there will be claims filed in relation to the fatal officer-involved shooting of Joseph Darnell Hill.

Winners this week: Two RPD canines, Aldo and VonFips and their officers, David Taylor and Mike Mears in a competition in Las Vegas, Nevada, winning second place over all and placing in several other categories.

Canines win in Las Vegas, officers tag along

I was watching a demonstration of the canine unit last July during a career fair at Bordwell Park in the Eastside. Officer Ray Soto was out with his latest dog, Xian, trying to get him to "guard and bark" an officer in a padded suit. Unfortunately, Xian kept leaping on the officer and biting him instead, until he performed the task. The audience applauded Xian just as enthusiastically either way, though it's doubtful that City Attorney Gregory Priamos would have felt the same way had he been in attendance.

Speaking of dogs biting police officers, if you watched any part of the civil trial involving Officer Roger Sutton's racial discrimination, harassment and retaliation law suit, you would have heard testimony from police officers about getting bit by their own dogs, often numerous times in different situations.

David Reaver, the so-called "dog whisperer" who purchases, trains and evaluates canines for various local law enforcement agencies including the Riverside Police Department gets sued a lot. His latest case involves a dog that bit another officer.

Canine handler sued at least a dozen times by same attorney


Sgt. Bruce Leamer, 48, alleges that he was attacked and bitten on the hand and leg by Ygor, a Belgian Malinois, in June 2005, while assisting another officer on a burglary call.
Ygor, who was wearing an electric collar, ignored the electric shocks and the dog's handler had to pull the canine off Leamer, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit refers to the dog as "an uncontrollable deadly and dangerous weapon." It alleges that, as the animal's trainer, Reaver should have known that the dog posed a risk of serious injury.

Reaver's apparently won all of these cases including two that went to trial. He testified for the winning side in the Sutton case as well, beating out the city's own expert canine handler, Brad Smith. Both did have good stage presence.

But has there ever been a case where an officer bit his own dog? Perhaps. And if so, would the Internal Affairs and risk management launch an investigation of that incident?

The U.S. Department of Justice dropped in on the Riverside Police Department's canine unit several years ago. Among the reforms it imposed on that division was for it to rewrite its policy particularly the section involving the deployment of canines.

Losers this week: The Eastside community. Using derogatory language against this community in any medium can reap career accolades in this post-consent decree department as long as no one is watching. Some times, the days of comments like "the animals are coming by the busload" don't seem so far away, including this week.

In other places:

UCLA is the only campus in the University of California system which tases noncombative students, according to an article published today in the Mercury News. The interest in this issue has risen after the Nov. 14 tasing of UCLA senior Mostafa Tabatabainejad, 23 by Officer Terrence Duren.

Taser used limited at most UC campuses


Police at six of the 10 UC campuses carry Taser guns. Most are restricted to only using the guns against violent suspects, according to interviews with top UC law enforcement officials.
UCLA's police rules, however, allow officers to use Tasers on passive resisters as "a pain compliance technique," Assistant Chief Jeff Young said last week.

Police departments at UC Merced, UC Irvine, UC San Diego and UC Riverside also equip their officers with tasers, but their rules are different.

"It can only be used when it appears reasonable under the circumstances to restrain or arrest a violent or threatening suspect," said UC Riverside Police Chief Michael Lane


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