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

Monday, April 20, 2009

Why blog in Riverside?

I've gotten some emails and calls about the goings on at Craigslist involving the latest round of harassment online against me for blogging in general, but especially for postings done in the past several weeks. Some of them expressed their concern about what was going on and their continued support of my blogging in general and during Election 2009 in particular. Some people have asked why those who are harassing me are blaming me for their own behavior and the only response that can be given is that these are common personality traits found in many online cyber harassers and stalkers, according to behavioral experts who have studied the phenomenon.

I'm not the only person to be treated like that. Others included on some "filthy five" list which consists mainly of women who speak out at city council meetings on various issues, have been harassed online as well including Mary Humboldt. At least, we're all in good company. And unlike the harassers, none of us hide underneath rocks. But then there's no reason for any of us on this "list" to do that and every reason for those who write comments like that to do so. Unfortunately when you put yourself out there, that puts you at higher risk in this city (and no doubt others) of being harassed. And people blame you for that as well, including those who harass.

Their latest tactic is trying to taunt me by saying that if what they're doing is cyber harassing and stalking, then why isn't the police department and FBI involved in investigating it? Clearly, they are under the assumption that because they haven't heard anything that this hasn't been the case. Actually my visit to the FBI office will be facilitated somewhat by the fact that an investigation into similar conduct online on my site was the subject of an investigation by both the police department and then the FBI several years ago, according to the department. These investigations were initiated after a particular vicious round of cyber stalking that started as the police department's internal affairs division completed its investigation into some comments that were posted on my blog in late 2005 that were suspected of being done by police officers in the city's department.

Others emails have provided tips about the identities of some of the individuals who might be responsible. It's reassuring that there are quite a few people who do see this behavior for what it is, harassment and retaliation by one corner of the larger story of Election 2009.

It's been a rough experience blogging about the latest city elections and all you have to do is read the postings on Inland Empire Craigslist, a site that was intended to provide information about issues and meetings in this city but has been used by anonymous individuals to harass, intimidate and retaliate against people who are deemed too critical of the city government in general and one councilman in particular. It's clear that the message I'm supposed to get through them if you can find it amidst the hatred and sickness expressed in some of these postings is that I'm to stop blogging about the election or I'm only allowed to blog about certain candidates or else. As you can see if you've been following the trail of garbage on that site, the behavior has escalated since a controversial vote was taken on the future of the investigative protocol involving the CPRC about a week ago. A small pack of anonymous rock dwellers apparently have their knickers in a knot and it's hard to figure out why. They can't understand that not everyone believes, thinks or wants the same things they do and their failure to cope with that probably goes a long way towards fueling their hostility clearly seen in their comments.

What's interesting too is that in the midst of some of these harassing posts, you see the terms, "we" and "us" and it's probably the truth that there's no such thing as either and it's simply an effort to prevent the person harassed or anyone reading these comments from seeing that it's really about "I" and "me". Because it's hard to believe that these individuals would attract allies and even as they bond online over their activities, it's highly unlikely they know or even associate with each other offline.

The harassment began not long after I began posting on the Ward Four city council election in Riverside. It was a creepy posting not about politics, not about any city issues but about of all things, my breasts. Because often that's how cyber harassers target females who are online. It's kind of like when women walk down city streets and passerby yell gender slurs at them from the anonymity of passing cars. Unless someone knows some reason why bras and breasts should be associated with Election 2009 in Riverside.

So this was the first comment of the election season.

(excerpt, Craigslist)

Whats the matter. Mary can dish it out but she cant take an itty bitty (oh there i go again) criticism? Lets see how strong she really is and lets see howlong this one stays up. Really liked the suggestion that cup sizes be added to the save riverside poll.

When it comes to one of our favorite shriekers, FBM, we already know that she doesn't waste the time or effort trying to restrain those little lumps. Yup, they're out there for anyone to see if they have keen eyesight cuz their so small. But theyve been more noticeable on recent cold days. Just a bit too nippie, huh, Mary? Yuck i think Ive made myself want to barf.

You can read about the harassment of police reform bloggers here where it was posted in the Web site of the Chicago Sun-Times, including a link to the posting that I wrote regarding this particular posting.

This site is where the postings have been made, all anonymous. While there's a lot of useful information and even political discussions including of local issues on this site, this is also where one of the uglier forms of political campaigning is being launched during Election 2009. When confronted on their behavior, these anonymous commenters rant and whine about not giving Davis supporters equal time with the criticism which would make sense except for one thing. They attack you and then they expect you to take their side. They make up crazy allegations about other political candidates and then expect you to provide their own allegations for them. They claim to be doing it in support of the current incumbents up for election, most particularly one because it's their way of expressing support and telling them what a great that they're doing.

For most of us, a simple call or email of thanks is enough to tell elected officials they are doing well. For these folks, cyberharassment has become their expression of apparently thanking their elected officials. But it makes you think that if these people were really all that happy and if the city were really in such great shape as they claim, then why do they engage in such hateful behavior and then spin it as if they're fighting hate? One commenter who's written some pretty disgusting stuff is currently declaring the Craigslist site as his own personal pissing ground, much as he tried to turn my blog into a litter box (and that's a good analogy for him as it turned out) several years ago. So it's not just about supporting political officials or even police officers, it's about control and power, most likely being exerted by people who feel little of both in their own lives.

There are no wave of comments on the site that are castigating Schiavone or his supporters while stumping Davis. There's a shameful comment made about an individual who calls himself the Riverside Press Club which slandered him by linking him to a Wikipedia page. Actually it was providing him with resources to address the situation in a post at Craigslist which appears to have catalyzed some of the more prolific and virulent anonymous commenters on April 19.

There are no comments written by Davis supporters coming up with "filthy five" lists of women they hate or Davis supporters posting the neighborhoods where they think the people they hate live. There doesn't appear to be any Davis supporters who are trying to taunt the person who they are harassing into contacting the federal and local authorities on them like this guy who harassed both CPRC commissioner Chani Beeman and me. Even lamenting in a post at one point that he was unable to find the name of Beeman's son who was a Riverside Police Department officer. Did this individual intend to harass this gentleman given that he was harassing Beeman online? This person who claims that I attack police officers?


Yeah FBM, why are you not honestly responding to the previous post about the FBI, the law and cyber-harassing ?
To be someone who claims to know so much about cyber-harassing, why hasn't the FBI investigated your accusations about being cyber-harassed and cyber-stalked online and off ? Perhaps the FBI told you to go fly a kite. Perhaps the FBI told you that to do so they must also investigate your cyber-harassing and cyber-stalking local politicians, police, and private-citizens that you disagree with and that disagree with you ?
May I suggest that before you falsly accuse someone of cyber-harassing and cyber-stalking, that you investigate the true definitions.
Gosh, and I thought that you were informed about that of which you speak of.
I guess you are human afterall.

This individual was the one who posted what neighborhood he thought I lived in on Craigslist. Was that posting meant to be informative about the election in this city or foster discussion about issues and politics in Riverside? Was it meant to scare me from blogging? Was it meant to try to incite even more hateful individuals to track me down and harass or try to harm me offline? This person tried to justify these actions by claiming that it was I who did the harassing and stalking because I have a blog about this city. He used the rationale when harassing me on my blog several years ago.

In contrast before I was the focus of the harassment by these unnamed individuals, Davis experienced similar treatment very likely from the same individuals. These individuals also originally posted rather detailed and explicit information about such things as the RPOA's political endorsement process for the Ward Four candidates (although not all of it turned out to be accurate) and other aspects of the Schiavone campaign. They could spend their time and energy writing positive reasons to support their candidate based on accomplishments and goals but instead focus primarily on writing nasty material against those they deem too critical of him. Why don't they flatter their candidate by filling Craigslist with something besides bitterness, fear and hate? They choose not to to do so. They make their choices to harass and intimidate people instead. And they do a good job at that. There are people who read Craigslist who are afraid to speak out at city council meeting because they're concerned they'll wind up as fodder for a "filthy five" list or worse. The climate of fear and intimidation which these nameless harassers wish to spread for those who don't support their view of the city has exacted its toll.

You don't see people engaging in this harassment and stumping for Andrew Melendrez, Nancy Hart, Bill Scherer, Anne Alfaro, Ruben Rasso, Paul Davis or Ahmad Smith. Maybe the supporters of these candidates are too busy campaigning in more productive ways and frankly, less creepy ways.

Hart and Melendrez are mentioned but never independent of Schiavone's name.

What's interesting is that these postings at Craigslist appear to be some form of litmus test in terms of how Schiavone supporters are feeling about his reelection prospects. On the night, Schiavone successfully led the charge to push the Hudson protocol involving the CPRC's investigative protocol, there was very little activity, but soon after when the fallout started, the comments returned in terms of quantity and virulent content.

It's difficult to understand why these self-proclaimed Schiavone supporters don't realize that this election is his to lose. Incumbents carry a tremendous advantage into any election process and the rules that govern the current election structure were drafted by the governmental body in which he's a member. But the message that these writings on Craigslist are sending are those filled with doubt and fear, and it's not entirely clear what either is based on.

And this behavior casts the candidates it's intended to cheerlead before by the whole "birds of a feather" argument. And it's likely that none of the elected officials know this is going on, let alone in their names.

This post was written on Craiglist at about 1:07 a.m. on April 20 and occurred in the midst of a typically long circle jerk by various anonymous individuals who are unhappy with this blog. This post appeared with several posts essentially daring me to report them to "the authorities" and saying that state and federal laws protected their right to harass. The particular commenter that this commenter is exchanging dialogue with was involved in prior harassing posts involving my blog in 2006. Both individuals and possibly several others have made it clear that they are writing their comments in response to posts on this site they view as being critical of Schiavone and his political campaign.

(excerpt, InlandEmpire Craigslist)

You're welcome. I might agree with you.

But you know you are going to get a smart ass comment to your comments. It usually will reiterate the victimization of saps who chose to not wear undergarments and orgasms and don't shower and such. She likes those analogies and defends those people (since she is one of them) to no end.

I don't know where you get the weak father figure and not popular with boys in school - but it's good foddar!

As to where she's from - my best guess is Colorado, St. Scholastica Academy in Canon City, CO to be exact. ( or was it says our journalist for Black Voice is from there - and that's our Mary).

As far as how she makes a living. . . . who knows. I'm guessing it's selling her crap to newspapers, particularly the Black Voice.

Why did she leave? Only Mary knows.

Her obsessions with cops and everyone else - use your imagination!

This post was interesting in itself for different reasons because of an incident that might be related which took place on April 9 on one of the sites that is mentioned in this posting.

A San Jacinto councilman was under investigation.

A lawyer is suing some Georgia state troopers for excessive force.


According to witnesses who spoke to the Daily Report at the time, Spruell was among several attorneys waiting outside the administrative courtroom in the Peachtree Street building housing OSAH on Feb. 13, 2007, when State Patrol Cpl. George R. Harper approached and told them to either put away their phones or leave the court offices.

Attorney David M. Zagoria said Spruell continued to talk on his phone, but walked out past a security checkpoint to "a little alcove where the stairs are."

Harper again told Spruell to leave the suite or hang up and, according to a State Patrol spokesman at the time, Spruell "became uncooperative" and cursed the officer. Harper, who was working off-duty at the court, attempted to arrest him. Trooper Stacey A. Forrest, who was attending court to testify in an unrelated case, pitched in to subdue Spruell, wrestling the then-68-year-old lawyer to the ground.

In the process, said Zagoria, Spruell was pushed into a wall, "and his head just made this sickening crunch."

The troopers, said attorney Gregory A. Willis, who was also on hand, "slammed Billy's head into the wall, into this black metal frame. I saw hair and blood there afterward."

Four Memphis Police Department officers were indicted after being caught in a prostitution sting.

(excerpt, Commercial Appeal)

The indictments stemmed from an OCU investigation of prostitution and drug sales. Some of the information that led to the indictments came from the prostitute/victims, according to grand jury indictments.

Police Director Larry Godwin in announcing the indictments said that corrupt officers “are no different from any other thugs,” and vowed to continue to root out crooked cops.

“We will rid our department of thugs who want to wear the blue,” he said.

Godwin said three of the four officers were hired during the mid- and late 1990s, when the department was granting waivers to some recruits with arrest records in an attempt to increase the complement of police by several hundred.

Godwin said he has discontinued the practice of granting waivers, with rare exceptions.

“I am cautious about who I give waivers to,” he said.

Godwin said the investigation continues, and that he may refer the case to the U.S. Attorney’s office for possible federal prosecution.

“These are very serious, violent charges against individuals sworn to protect the public and uphold the law. It is both disappointing and disturbing when any police officer abuses his power in this manner,” said Dist. Atty. Gen. Bill Gibbons in a statement.

San Bernardino Police Department picks its new police chief. He replaces outgoing Michael Billdt who left after several "no confidence" votes from the police association.

Former Bellflower Police Chief Keith Kilmer is a leader who will work well with other players in the city. So says Mayor Pat Morris.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

Mayor Pat Morris praised Chief Keith Kilmer as a collaborative leader well suited to San Bernardino's Operation Phoenix, which seeks to reduce crime by teaming community-based policing with social services.

"Integrity and accountability are his bywords," Morris said.

Kilmer, Bellflower's police chief since June 2006, spent the bulk of his career in the Long Beach Police Department. According to a city news release announcing Kilmer's selection, 48 people initially applied for the job. A selection committee winnowed that list down to two finalists, mayoral Chief of Staff Jim Morris said.

Kilmer said San Bernardino reminds him of Long Beach in its demographic diversity. The city's aging downtown also reminded him of the Long Beach he knew early in his career, Kilmer said.

"I saw that city turn around," he said. "Here, too, I'm looking forward to actually being part of that process."

But San Bernardino isn't reconsidering its cuts involving the fire department.

Orange County's paying out $4 million to settle lawsuits alleging beatings of inmates inside its jails.

Thirteen isn't the lucky number for the Chicago Police Department. That's how many of its officers were arrested on drunk driving charges last year.

(excerpt, Chicago Tribune)

Police Supt. Jody Weis, who took office last year after officers had been arrested in two high-profile bar beatings, created a new bureau to evaluate officer conduct and training, pushed for more department-wide messages warning of excessive drinking and approved advanced training for department peer counselors to deal with alcohol abuse issues.

After Friday's crash involving detective Joseph Frugoli, Weis changed departmental policy to require that any officer who suspects another officer of being intoxicated to notify the on-duty watch commander, who must then go to the scene. Internal affairs will also be immediately notified.

"It is our hope that tragic incidents such as the one that occurred on April 10 will be eliminated through continued training, education, treatment, accountability and discipline for those members who violate the well-established rule against becoming intoxicated and getting behind the wheel," Weis said in an e-mail in response to questions.

Frugoli had been involved in two previous crashes in the last four years, but he was never administered a sobriety test after officers on the scene determined he did not appear to be intoxicated.

A job opening in Fresno, not surprising as this city adopted a new form of civilian oversight and review.

The following was posted on


Employer: City of Fresno
Location: Fresno, California 93721 United States
Last Updated: 04/17/2009
Job Type: Employee
Job Status: Full Time

Please see Job Details for Apply instructions.

Job Description

The Independent Reviewer must be a highly skilled individual who has the ability to maintain constructive working relationships with other City departments and divisions, citizens, and governmental officials at all levels. The incumbent conducts audits of use of force investigations, including officer-involved shootings, investigations of in-custody deaths, and complaints involving racial, ethnic, or religious bias. Serves as a liaison and works in partnership with the community, meeting with community leaders, public officials, and professional organizations gathering input, feedback, and responding to sensitive and complex community and organizational inquiries and complaints.


Any combination of related experience and education as approved by the City Manager may be considered qualifying. Must be experienced in and knowledgeable of police procedures, legal research, and analyzing criminal, constitutional, labor, and civil rights law. A law degree from an accredited college or university is desirable.

In addition to these essential requirements, the City has identified the following required knowledge, skills and abilities:

Knowledge of theory, principle and practice of auditing law enforcement organizations, including the methods and procedures used to examine, verify and analyze operation records, statements, and reports.

Knowledge Police Department operations, practices and procedures, personnel issues, penal codes, relevant case law and court decisions, and the procedural
protections provided to officers pursuant to the Peace Officer’s Bill of Rights.

Exercise sound independent judgment and initiative in the development of new methods, procedures, and in the solution of difficult departmental problems; demonstrate impartiality in the analysis of audits and the development of conclusions and adhere to a code of ethics, such as that prescribed by the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement.

Filing Deadline- May 29th 5:00pm

Submit resume, cover letter, and current salary to:

Fresno Personnel Services Department
2600 Fresno Street, First Floor
Fresno, CA 93721-3614
Fax: (559) 498-4775 jobs

Contact Information

Contact: Megan Dowdy
Phone: 559/621-6990
Fax: 559/498-4775
Address: 2600 Fresno St. #1030 Fresno, California 93721
United States

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