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, December 14, 2006

Internal cares and affairs

News broke that four out of the five New York City Police Department officers who shot at a trio of unarmed Black men inside a vehicle had not completed mandatory firearm training, according to this article.

That shooting, which occurred outside of a Queens strip club on Nov. 25 killed Sean Bell, 23, on his wedding day.

The allegations were made by Marquez Claxton, who founded an organization of Black former and current police officers called 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care.

Claxton said that four out of five of the involved officers had only completed one of the two required annual "training cycles" involving the use of firearms.

(excerpt, A.P. wire story)

"When you fail to attend these training cycles, tragedies occur," Claxton said.

Trent Benefield, one of Bell's friends who was shot by the police officers said to the New York Daily News that he had not known the men firing at them were police officers.


"I opened the door and jumped out and started running," said Benefield, who had already been shot in both legs as he sat in the back of Bell's Nissan Altima in Jamaica, Queens. "I took about 25, 30 steps before I was hit again."

Needless to say, the investigation into this NYPD shooting is ongoing.

At Democracy Now, Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez discuss the video footage taken from surveillance cameras at the train station close to the shooting. That video shows a civilian and two Port Authority police officers narrowly missing getting struck by NYPD bullets.

Flying bullets at train station


Gonzalez said.

"And the video that was made available to me by a source shows there’s a Port Authority police -- two cameras. And it shows, as we saw in the video, that one elderly gentleman with his luggage was -- the bullet almost hit him in the head, because you actually see the trail of the bullet shattering the glass and right at the eye level of the man, right in front of him. And he drops his luggage and runs. And the two Port Authority police nearby scampered away. One actually has filed for a line-of-duty injury."

Gonzalez is a busy man, because while wearing his cap for the New York Daily News, he spoke with the alleged "mystery man", Sean Nelson here.


I thought they [police] were trying to kill us all," Nelson said as he recalled how bullets went "whizzing by my head" as he and several bystanders to the incident ran up Liverpool St. in an attempt to escape the gunfire.

According to his account, Nelson had been out with Bell shopping for wedding rings earlier that day, but had not attended the stag party in Queens. He did stop by later and the account of events he related was much different than that given by NYPD representatives.


"Then I see this guy running past me and across the street toward Sean's car with a gun in his hand," said Nelson. At this point, he was standing 25 feet away from Bell's car.

"The man with the gun never yelled 'police,'" Nelson said, backing up similar claims by Benefield and Guzman, both of whom were wounded in the shooting.
Nelson recalls exactly what words the man with the gun did scream out, but said he will tell that only to a grand jury.

"Sean's window was closed anyway and I'm not sure if he heard," Nelson said.

Rallies planned in protest of the Bell shooting include a silent march down 5th Avenue led by Al Sharpton on Saturday, Dec. 16 and "Black Thursday" , a rally planned near Wall Street on Thursday, Dec. 21.

Sex, lies but so far, no videotapes as yet another scandal rocks the beleagured Los Angeles Police Department, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Scandal at the LAPD. In other news, rain is wet.

Chief William J. Bratton once again appeared before the media cameras to explain that yet another high-profile internal investigation was being conducted by his department as it looked into allegations that former Deputy Chief Michael Berkow helped secure promotions and gave preferential treatment to female officers that he slept with.

Bratton refused to comment besides calling Berkow a hardworking, dedicated officer.


"It's all being handled," Bratton told The Times. "It's all being investigated."

I'm sure it's being "handled", but it remains to be seen whether it is actually being investigated.

And this is not a joke, but at the time just before he left the agency, Berkow headed the department's Internal Affairs Division. One of the individuals of the Los Angeles Police Commission agreed that's a bad state of affairs.


"The nature of the allegations would be serious for any rank, said Commission Vice President Alan Skobin, "but they are of even greater concern when it's a person in charge of internal affairs."

You think?

A Riverside Police Department officer was arrested and faces criminal charges in San Bernardino in connection with alleged workers compensation fraud.

RPD officer arrested in fraud case

Officer Laura DiGiorgio was arrested by investigators with the San Bernardino County District Attorney's office and faces up to 13 felony charges. This comes in the wake of an ongoing investigation into the Redlands Police Department and whether or not it fraudulently gave out work-related physical disability retirements to several officers who had been the subject of internal investigations and/or discipline by the department.

Still in Riverside, the Community Police Review Commission, the RPD and City Hall, set to lyrics and coming soon to a public venue as the multiple investigations of the fatal shooting of Lee Deante Brown continue.

"Oh, and while the king was looking down,The jester stole his thorny crown.

The courtroom was adjourned; No verdict was returned.

And while Lennon read a book of Marx,

The quartet practiced in the park, And we sang dirges in the dark.

The day the music died."

----American Pie by Don McLean who as far as I know never visited RiverCity.

To be continued...


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