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

Sunday, December 07, 2008

LAPD sergeant files $5 million claim against Riverside

The Los Angeles Police Department sergeant who was blogged about here last month has filed a $5 million claim against the city of Riverside. The Press Enterprise caught wind of it and has written an article on the situation.

Wayne Guillary filed the claim last month, before attending a meeting conducted by the FBI at the Riverside Medical Clinic as part of its involvement in a multicultural outreach effort. The incident took place on Oct. 7 in the early afternoon at his $1.3 million house in White Gate Estates.

The LAPD is conducting its own investigation of Guillary and are questioning several of his neighbors.

Guillary spoke about his experience.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

"My biggest fear is the Riverside Police Department," said Guillary, himself a sergeant with the Los Angeles Police Department, for which he has worked 27 years.

Guillary, 52, is black. He believes he is a victim of racial profiling and law enforcement bullying and has filed a damage claim against the city of Riverside for more than $5 million for violating his rights, trespassing on his property and intentionally inflicting emotional harm.

"There was such animosity, hatred and antipathy," he said in a phone interview. "It was dehumanizing."

City Attorney Gregory Priamos gave the usual line for claims in that it had no merit and would be denied by the city. The vast majority of claims that are filed against the city are denied by it. The claim for damages process is usually utilized primarily as a precursor for filing civil litigation in federal or state court as a means to prove that the filing party has exhausted all available remedies. A formality more than a hope for resolution.

Many of the lawsuits involving the police department lately including those which paid out settlements of $390,000 or $800,000 either had claims rejected by the city or would have if claims had been filed by the plaintiff attorneys. So it's hard to take the city's hard-lined response on claims that are filed against it very seriously.

This is the account that Guillary provided for the Press Enterprise.


Young said the officer ordered them to leave immediately and to resume their conversation at a park.

The officer warned them they were trespassing on private property. Guillary, who is 6 feet 2 inches tall and 200 pounds, said he walked toward the front-entrance gate, unarmed, and stayed 40 feet away while the officer backed his car into the driveway. Despite attempts to explain that he was an off-duty Los Angeles police officer and the homeowner, Guillary said, the officer pointed a Taser at him, and then a gun.

"Wayne kept saying, 'Let me show you my badge and my ID,' but the officer wouldn't let him," Young said. "I was so scared I was crying."

Guillary said he complied with the officer's orders to lie face down for more than 10 minutes on the burning asphalt in 99-degree heat, but begged to crawl onto the cooler grass. The officer threatened to shoot him if he moved, Guillary said in the claim.

With car lights flashing and sirens blaring, eight or nine additional officers, none of them black, arrived at Guillary's home, he said. Guillary said he was handcuffed, searched and humiliated, adding that the arresting officer commanded him to sit in a flowerbed rather than on the concrete wall.

They released him without apologies after verifying his identity.

"Not one Riverside police officer, supervisor or agent made an attempt to offer an explanation to my wife, family and me as to the reason for the unlawful detention and arrest," Guillary said in the claim. "They just departed."

The article has already elicited some comment from its readers.


Why should he get $5 million for being detained and told to lie on the ground? If the cops did act the way he describes they did not practice good customer service skills that is for sure. But because they were rude the taxpayers of Riverside should have to pay $5 million. I don't think so!!!

This along with previous stories about Riveside's police department and city management point at deep problems that should concern the citizens of Riverside. Is the City and its police department accountable at all for its actions?

according to the police this man gave them trouble?
"His supervisor shared snippets with him about his resisting an officer, balling his fist and assuming a fighting stance -- all false, Guillary said."

Only they know what really went down?

Yes but why did he stop in the first place? Nothing was illegal about what those two people were doing.

Rate My Cop has this profile on Guillary including comments by people who visited it. His profile had over 30,000 hits, five pages of comments and his average rating is five stars, the site's highest. There are other sites praising him for his conduct at a demonstration that took place in his area last March. This brief video was taken of him at the Scientology demonstration. It obviously had a big impression on activists who watched it or attended the demonstration. Does it define an officer's career? No, only video of misconduct has a tendency to be longer lasting in people's minds and officers (like elected officials) often behave differently when they know they're being filmed. But, this kind of praise is somewhat unusual.

Guillary was also named as a potential class member in this lawsuit filed in 2000 by members of the LAPD's sworn divisions against the city and LAPD management for violations of the state's Fair Employement and Housing laws. That's not an action that's going to make him very popular with an agency like the LAPD which has a history of punishing whistleblowers on racism and sexism. And often, the residents of the city end up footing the bill as they did in these cases.

The summary of the 2000 lawsuit was the following.

(excerpt, lawsuit)

1. This lawsuit is about officers who tried to do the right
thing, by reporting misconduct and/or illegal activitiese who then
suffered for making these reports of wrong doing. The Department
enforced a "Code of Silence" by harassing and retaliating against those
officers who reported misconduct, so that officers knew they had to
keep their mouth shut if someone in management (Administration) did
something wrong.

2. The policy and procedure of the IiAFD in preventing officers .':.
from reporting misconduct, was a direct and legal cause of corruption
scandals within the department, such as the Rampart Corruption scandal.

A subcommittee of the Los Angeles City Council receives advice from the city attorney to settle Guillary's lawsuit in 1999. In 2002, the city settled a bunch of similar lawsuits filed around that time. It should be used to settling these kinds of lawsuits by now in 2008.

This case is at its beginning and it will be interesting to see how it proceeds and what happens next.

This week, the Riverside City Council is meeting again on Tuesday, Dec. 9 at City Hall, for both afternoon and evening sessions. Attendance for now is free and anyone can show up and watch their city government in action or express an opinion on an issue.

The ordinance to charge businesses for police services if they call them too often comes up for a final vote. That's one way to get them to stop calling the police for help if that's the city's intention or to spend more money to get the money they would be charging than they probably will ever see from these businesses.

The Frank Schiavone vs Paul Davis debate is starting here even though no one has officially declared in the Ward Four city council race yet through filling out and filing those papers through the city clerk's office which happens early next year. This could make for an interesting election run next year especially if other candidates come out of the woodwork and file their papers to run as well. Another reminder that Election 2009 and all its excitement is almost upon us.

Heating up is the ongoing feud between Riverside County District Attorney Rod Pacheco and the Riverside County Public Defender Gary Windom on who's to blame for the gridlock that's impacted the Riverside County Superior Court's ability to do business.

Pacheco struck the first blow, flowing in letter form.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

In a letter dated Oct. 22, Pacheco had asked Windom to look into accusations that Windom's attorneys worked to keep pending cases out of trial court until the constitutional speedy trial clock runs out so they could be dismissed.

As of Nov. 18, there have been 134 misdemeanor and 60 felony case dismissals for lack of a judge to hear them. The first cases were dismissed in January 2007. Almost all felony cases are immediately refiled. Misdemeanor cases cannot be refiled unless the dismissal is successfully appealed.

Using earlier figures in his October letter, Pacheco noted that Windom's office handled the majority of the dismissed cases, 127 of 159.

According to figures from fiscal 2006-07, the public defender's office handled 64 percent of felony and misdemeanor cases filed in the county.

"Creating a crisis through gamesmanship that results in a dismissal of any criminal case could and should lead to discipline by the State Bar," Pacheco wrote. "I hope we have not come to these dire straits. I hope you can convince me otherwise."

He added that "I am regularly informed that members of your staff have stopped negotiations on misdemeanor cases in order to 'roll the dice' for dismissal."

Gary Windom responded to those accusations and made a few of his own.


Windom responded he could find no wrongdoing by his staff in the cases cited by Pacheco, but said, "My review of these matters reveals a disturbing pattern of questionable conduct" by prosecutors.

Pacheco's lawyers say they are ready for trial when they are not, just to keep a case headed for dismissal on the docket, Windom claimed. When trial begins, they are unable to produce witnesses. That results in either dismissals at trial or unreasonable delays, Windom said.

He also said Pacheco contributed to the problem in other ways.

"The backlog and dismissals are primarily created because of the charging and settlement policies you created," Windom wrote. "Your failure to make reasonable charging decisions and your refusal to engage in realistic settlement discussions are primary causes of the current dismissals."

And so they went back and forth, tit for tat.

There will be no referee from any higher court this time as the state appellate court announced in the article that it has ended its involvement in the criminal court mess and has moved on to trying to fix the civil court mess (which stemmed from the criminal court mess).

One possible strategy, is to give the two department heads boxing gloves they can settle it that way.

Los Angeles Police Department Chief William Bratton speaks about how he still has so much to prove as the chief of one of the country's largest law enforcement agencies. Into his second term as chief, he wants to improve how his officers relate to city residents, a problem that came with the department he inherited that's been under federal consent decree since 2001 with no end in sight. It's scheduled to come up for review again in June 2009 to see if the LAPD has implemented its reforms and kept them going over a two-year period including its Early Warning System it was required to put in place.

(excerpt, Los Angeles Times)

The mess attracted Bratton.

"It was another laboratory," he said. "Once again, I had an opportunity to take a major police department that was in crisis and show that police count, that cops matter. If we could get it done here, with a much smaller police force, it would reinforce the importance not just of how many [cops] you have, but how you use them."

Bratton promised to deliver on three things when he was hired and has largely done so: Crime rates have fallen steadily every year since he took over, with violent crimes down nearly 50%; the department's anti-terrorism bureau has become a formidable intelligence-gathering force; and nearly all of the major reforms required by the Justice Department have been pushed into place.

He has also forged a solid relationship with the police union and is praised by leaders of other law enforcement agencies for pulling the LAPD out of its bunker mentality and encouraging collaboration.

As important,Bratton has cultivated a close, mutually beneficial relationship with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The mayor has left Bratton largely alone to run his department and took a considerable political risk in raising voters' garbage collection fees to hire 1,000 new cops. In return, Bratton has given the mayor impressive crime numbers to tout during an otherwise uneven first term.

It is telling that Villaraigosa, a self-professed progressive with a civil rights background, has made the law-and-order issue of hiring more police a priority. To the mayor -- and to other liberal-leaning politicians -- Bratton is an appealing hybrid: a police chief who has figured out a way to deliver on crime while also working to rehabilitate the department in the public's eye.

A criminal grand jury indicted three New York City Police Department officers on criminal charges stemming from a man, Michael Mineo who was allegedly sodomized in a subway station. The exact charges faced by the officers aren't known at this time because the indictments won' t be officially unsealed until Tuesday.

(excerpt, New York Times)

One of the officers, Richard Kern, 25, faces an assault charge, the most serious of the charges in the indictment, which is expected to be unsealed on Tuesday. The charges stem from accusations by the man, Michael Mineo, that one of the officers jabbed a piece of police equipment — later identified in testimony as a baton — into his buttocks, causing internal injuries.

The other two officers are facing lesser charges. It was unclear which of the other four officers involved would be indicted or what the charges would be, said the people briefed on the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it. “Kern’s charge is more serious than the others,” said one of those people.

Mineo and a lawyer for Kern responded to the news of the indictments.

(excerpt, New York Daily News)

Kern's lawyer, John Patten, said he would not comment because he had no official notification of an indictment against his client.

"I don't know anything," he said. "I've heard no official word of anything, so I'm not going to comment."

Charges presented before the grand jury included assault and aggravated sexual assault, but the exact nature of the jury's decision is unknown.

The indictment will be unsealed on Tuesday.

Mineo and his attorneys celebrated the indictment, but called for charges against the others as well.

"It's the first step toward seeing that justice is done," Mineo said through his lawyer, Stephen Jackson. "I think the other officers present are equally responsible. They aided and abutted the officer and attempted to cover it up afterward."

"We're pleased that justice appears to be taking it's course," said Kevin Mosley, who is also representing Mineo. "If that's the only one we'd still be pleased but not happy because the others were acting in concert, acting as a team."

In New York City, a police officer there has been charged in relation to a road rage incident that took place while he was offduty.

(excerpt, New York Times)

On the afternoon of Nov. 17, a civilian, Geoffrey Hollinden, 41, was crossing Queens Boulevard near 109th Street in Forest Hills when he was nearly hit by a car, the authorities say. Enraged, Mr. Hollinden pounded on the car, a 2006 Infiniti, as it passed.

Suddenly the car pulled over, and out sprang a large and irate man — identified by the authorities as Jamel Dennis, 32, an off-duty Brooklyn narcotics officer. Officer Dennis, who is 6-foot-6, grabbed Mr. Hollinden, the authorities say, dragged him to the boulevard’s service road, lifted him to shoulder height and slammed him to the ground, knocking him unconscious.

Mr. Hollinden was hospitalized for three days.

“As a motorist — and more so, as a police officer — the defendant should have known better than to allegedly take matters into his own hands and elevate a minor traffic dispute into a felonious assault,” the Queens district attorney, Richard A. Brown, said in a statement on Tuesday.

In Maryland, state police officers spied on activist groups and false labeled over 50 activists as terrorists.

(excerpt, Los Angeles Times)

Maryland officials now concede that, based on information gathered by "Lucy" and others, state police wrongly listed at least 53 Americans as terrorists in a criminal intelligence database -- and shared some information about them with half a dozen state and federal agencies, including the National Security Agency.

Among those labeled as terrorists: two Catholic nuns, a former Democratic congressional candidate, a lifelong pacifist and a registered lobbyist. One suspect's file warned that she was "involved in puppet making and allows anarchists to utilize her property for meetings."

"There wasn't a scintilla of illegal activity" going on, said David Rocah, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed a lawsuit and in July obtained the first surveillance files. State police have released other heavily redacted documents.

Investigators, the files show, targeted groups that advocated against abortion, global warming, nuclear arms, military recruiting in high schools and biodefense research, among other issues.

"It was unconscionable conduct," said Democratic state Sen. Brian Frosh, who is backing legislation to ban similar spying in Maryland unless the police superintendent can document a "reasonable, articulable suspicion" of criminal activity.

A Niagara Falls Police Department officer is being accused of drug trafficking and forcing women to have sex with him.

(excerpt, Buffalo News)

Officers from his own department, working with federal agents, arrested Officer Ryan G. Warme, 27, on multiple felony charges, U.S. Attorney Terrance P. Flynn said.

"These are very disturbing charges, involving the misuse of an officer's police powers," he said. "It started with an internal investigation by the Niagara Falls police, with federal agents joining the investigation. These are federal charges."

Warme is accused of trafficking in cocaine, sometimes while on duty and in uniform. He is also accused of wielding a weapon -- his police sidearm -- during the commission of drug crimes and is charged with forcing two women to have sex with him.

Investigators learned that at one point, Warme was purchasing cocaine from drug dealers in Niagara Falls "two to five times a week," Flynn said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony M. Bruce accused Warme of holding his hand on his police firearm while forcing one of the women to commit sodomy on him. Authorities said Warme forced the woman to commit the sex act after he was called to her apartment last year to investigate an allegation that a former boyfriend abused her.

The woman who made the allegation knew Warme and had a previous relationship with him, authorities alleged.

A second woman alleged that Warme raped her last year.

Riots erupted in Greece after the fatal shooting of a teenager by police officers.

(Yahoo News)

Rioting in several cities, including Hania in Crete and cities in northern Greece, began within hours of the death Saturday night of a 15-year-old shot by police in Exarchia. The downtown Athens district of bars, music clubs and restaurants is seen as the anarchists' home base.

Soon stores, banks and cars were ablaze.

The rioting was some of the most severe Greece has seen in years. The last time a teenager was killed in a police shooting — during a demonstration in 1985 — it sparked weeks of rioting. In 1999, a visit to Greece by then U.S. President Bill Clinton sparked violent demonstrations in Athens that left stores smashed and burned.

The two officers involved in Saturday's shooting have been arrested and charged, one with premeditated manslaughter and the illegal use of a weapon, and the other as an accomplice. They are to appear before a court Wednesday. They and the Exarchia precinct police chief have been suspended.

Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, whose offer to resign was rejected Sunday, has promised a thorough investigation.

"It is inconceivable for there not to be punishment when a person loses their life, particularly when it is a child," he said. "The taking of life is something that is not excusable in a democracy."

Someone once sneered in my face and told me that I was making enemies at City Hall and that I had a "nasty personality". To each his own.

If you blog in this town about what' s going on, you're going to make some enemies and I suppose I have. But I've met a lot of interesting people as well and that's why blogging is proving to be a rewarding experience. There's a lot of good people in this city who are very concerned about what's been going on inside its boundaries. Many issues have arisen and many questions are often asked. The answers to some of them seem more scarce these days.

But to have someone thank you or even hug you in a church, a community center, a store or other location because of something you said or wrote that resonated with them, that's special. That helps make even experiencing the negative side of blogging worthwhile.

Here are some examples of "nasty personalities" that I have encountered because I blog to help create some healthy perspective on this issue of who has some issues.

Mary, Mary with shorter (yet still greasy) hair -e.

Why do you hate people so?

Do you truly despise others?

Or, perhaps just your mother?

Or, maybe...just yourself.

---Email (under a Yahoo account using my name) received July 2007 from I.P. Address: (City of Riverside). Within one week, this unknown individual sent an email of apology.

Dear Mary,

I have seen you on your daily strolls around the east side, about five times or so the last couple of weeks. Each time I see you, you are wearing the same purple sweatshirt and blue jeans. Then I think to myself, I wonder if she wears the same pair of skid marked granny panties everyday..... Then following that thought, I throw up a little bit in my mouth.

Instead of spending so much time trying to find negative things about cops, why don't you try taking a shower and changing your clothes at least once a day!

B. Fife

----April 2006

Oh Mary, don't worry where we're from. It doesn't concern you who we are. Do you really think that we'll identify ourselves or our departments on this circus act. You know how Internal Affairs are these days. Your website has a lot of readers these days. People find it quite comical when alleged "Cops" poke fun at a local writer. The only thing that does matter is that your name is Mary Shelton, and you live in the Eastside. Good day.

---November 2007

Dearest Mary, to the contrary.
Men love women and women love men. This leaves the question? What do we call a freak like Mary? Again, I believe that to be Mary has had such negative contact with men from her past including her father. It is obvious that Mary has issues with men. Seems that Mary is jealous of the fact that women are attracted to men and men are attracted to real women which discludes you Mary. Sorry Mary, you've gotta take that up with the creator. Natural selection.

----May 2006

Mary said,

"You are like a boil that festers and spews pus"

Flashback Mary? reminds you of your birth, when you had to fight through that mess when you exited your mother's filthy uterus.

P.S. i support anything that ecourages YOUNG women to take off their clothes. This excludes you, Mary. Old wrinkled, cast-offs like you, please keep your clothing on.

P.S II For the benefit of men everywhere, we pray that your county employed gynocologist has already sewed it shut.

-----July 2006

Mary Shelton: You're still the same bitter cunt that I knew back when. Some things never change...

---via email from the blogger site in March 2008. This visitor used proxy ISPs from different European countries and from an adult internet services site called ""

I think and some of the other 200 or so messages I've received from 2005 to just several weeks ago are much better examples of what truly is nasty. And is it just me or does anyone notice the use of gender slurs and general misogyny in some of these comments? What kind of people write this stuff? That's a question I've never had answered. If there are indeed people who know any of these comments or emails, I'm certainly not in that loop. For that to happen, the laws would have to change.

But I receive many more positive comments about my blog which provides perspective on the hateful rhetoric but it doesn't make it less disturbing reading vile writings by individuals who don't like the site.

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