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

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

I Believe Officer Nick Sahagun

Court sets trial date in lawsuit filed by RPD Officer Neely Nakamua...showing the city's own leadershipand legal minds haven't learned from their past mistakes. 


Controversial hosting of city council fundraiser lands police lieutenant in hot seat at City Hall! 
The three amigos plus Deputy Chief Mike Blakely appear to be simpatico with it 

Blakely (l.) allegedly just said no to IA complaint on "conflict of interest" against one of the area commanders


City Manager  Scott Barber is allegedly pissed.


I was updating blog but fell last week while walking and broke a shoulder, which needs surgery to repair it to work again and hopefully not hurt so much. Nervous about going under the knife but it has to be done.

Thanks to first responders. It was hard at first because people including drivers mostly just looked and drove by so I had to help myself. i've helped people when they've fallen or been in car accidents like i've been taught. it's hard to understand why people ignore people in distress. sometimes just to hold a hand is all you can do but I'm glad I did.
but the responders when they arrived were kind and helpful. people including patients in the waiting room were helpful in ER and during this past week when I couldn't look after myself.

Hoping the surgery's successful. thanks for your support and prayers!  I appreciate it.

Former Riverside Planning Director Ken Gutierrez appointed by 4-2 vote to fill vacancy in Ward Three. 

Runner Up Planning Commission Omar Zaki receives two votes

City Council and newly elected Mayor Rusty Bailey meet to interview Ward Three interim candidates but rumor has it that the choice had already been made behind closed doors regarding a former city employee.  

 Mayor Rusty Bailey presides over the auditions to fill the interim vacancy on the city council dais.  But was this a done deal before they walked in the room?

It's a Mad, Mad World At Lincoln Station:

Sounds Like Team Spirit?
The Police Chief and his Cabinet, but are they even playing on the same team?

And wait, aren't there four of them?
(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...)

To Be Continued....

 What do the Three things below have in Common?


The City Attorney Strikes Again! 

Has Gregory Priamos been coaching panelists on these Ethics Panels before they hear complaints against his bosses?

Jack of All Trades for the Price of One Attorney

City Attorney Greg Primaos to undergo performance review on Tuesday, Nov. 13

 Former Officer Anthony Fletcher

 Strike Two for Former RPD Officer Convicted Again at Trial

Councilman Rusty Bailey leads Ed Adkison in mayor's race

Riverside County Public Defender Gary Windom Removed from Office

PE: Article about City Attorney Gregory Priamos "apology" 


 "I wish I’d done this a long time ago. I didn’t think it would really
happen, until it happened.”

---Sahagun, who grew up in the Eastside about becoming an RPD officer at the age of 39 

“Priamos requested that during future meetings, I should stop S1 [Wright] from going too long past the three minute allotted time.”

---Officer Nick Sahagun from his police report 

UPDATE:  City Attorney Gregory Priamos issues public apology and said no one on the dais directed him to direct Sahagun but did he really mean it? 

 Once a Custodian Now a Police Officer

RPOA President Brian Smith's Letter 

Here's a Letter sent to the City Council and outgoing Mayor Ron Loveridge on this issue: 

I was going to write you all another letter about this situation but I caught the letter written by Brian Smith, RPOA president and I can say that what he wrote put you all to shame. He said it better than I could say it. I'm not surprised that Smith did that, he's an intelligent, nuts and bolts kind of guy. He gets to the point pretty quickly.

He's absolutely right. You are throwing Officer Nick Sahagun under the bus by allowing City Attorney Greg Priamos' comments go unanswered. I told you from the start that I didn't believe that the officer acted on his own volition and I did so fully knowing I was right. Even when criticized for it, I stuck to that because it’s the truth and I think on some level most or all of you know it. Even if you lack the moral courage and integrity to do something about it, at least so far but it’s not too late. One of you at least needs to step up, to man (or woman) up and do the right thing.  I think if that happens, the rest of you will have to follow to exchange one form of potential embarrassment for another.

Herd mentality and all that.

I've observed this officer along with the others over the past two years he's worked CC. He's friendly, helps people who ask questions and is very professional. He'd never done anything close to this before so it was kind of surprising to see his behavior change. Then I received information that something happened in the afternoon session where there was some change of protocol made and then I found out that Sahagun actually worked both afternoon and evening shifts which isn't the norm for officers who man these shifts.  Whatever happened with Sahagun clearly happened at some point during the afternoon session which backs up what's in his police report.

That part is crystal clear and the beauty is, you don’t have to be an Einstein or have a PhD to understand it. You just have to have common sense mixed in with a healthy dose of institutional memory.

Then before I even had to request the copy of Sahagun's report under the CPRA, the PE posted it online after it somehow slipped past the city attorney’s office that likely would have squashed it. After all what was Priamos’ first comment?  He didn’t know it was public. I believe he's speaking the truth as what Priamos told him to do. I'm glad he included it in his report. It shows that he pays attention and he's a good listener. It's too bad that the officers who are there primarily for public safety apparently have very little trust in the people on the dais to not do things like what's been done. But at least they apparently understand that the life that they are to save even at the sacrifice of their own can't even sit the attorney down and interrogate him on this "client".  The "client" and I know there is at least one or more among you who's being silent on this doesn't have the integrity to step forward and clear up this matter rather quickly so that Officer Sahagun can get out of the spotlight and go back to focusing on what he's hired to do which to protect and serve the public.

 I believe that the city council should have put a greater priority on scheduling a closed session with your city attorney than the election night celebration or defeat parties. I guess election party night clearly matters more. In fact, it would have shown tremendous leadership from Mr. Bailey to choose to settle this issue and perhaps be late to his own election party because a great wrong has been done here. And the tragedy of it is that except for Councilman Davis, none of you seem to really get it. You say, "resisting arrest can't end well" even though the report doesn't really mention resisting (nor did the initial oral version of it) and there's been no PC 148(a)(1) charges recommended by the RPD. You say you stand by Sahagun (in the same breath as you said you couldn’t stop him once he started) but through your actions you’ve shown the opposite. Smith mentions in his letter that he doesn’t believe he’ll get a response from you based on your past history. Unfortunately he’s probably right.

But this is still all better than avoiding dealing with the pressing issue of your city attorney making comments that indicate that the officer lied on his report.  He then cited “attorney/client” privilege likely to protect one or more of you from accountability for it which instead you view as embarrassment. Your comfort level has trumped the integrity of a police officer that perhaps you know nothing about.  Maybe if you did, it might at least give you food for thought.

Here's a little bio information on Officer Sahagun. He has been a police officer with the RPD since 2007. He was born and raised in the Eastside in our own city, the ward that Melendrez represents. He worked at a Sizzler's restaurant in our city for a period of time and started working for the RPD as a custodian in 1990.  He saw what officers did and wanted to become one himself so in his late 30s, he enrolled and pulled himself through the part-time peace officer's academy at Ben Clark Training Academy.  He was hired by the RPD at the age of 39 after graduating from the Academy with top honors. Second highest in his class in physical skills and at the top academically which I imagine is quite a bit better than Adams did in his own training.

 He has worked in patrol in the NPC West which I believe falls within the wards of Hart and Adams.

His comments on becoming an officer were the following:

“I wish I’d done this a long time ago. I didn’t think it would really
happen, until it happened.”

So this is an officer who wanted to serve the public and reached that point later than most of them to get where he wanted to be. This is an officer, whose primary responsibility is public safety, meaning that if someone tries to harm anyone in the chambers then he’s to stop them even if it costs him his life. This is also an individual who wasn’t even worth holding a closed session today to get to the bottom as to why your city attorney ordered him to discriminate against a particular speaker (mentioning her by name) which is a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Likely trumped by a greater desire to hit the party circuit.

Something that Officer Sahagun and all of you took oaths to uphold and protect when you raised your right hand to be sworn into your respective positions. Then one or more of you hid behind the city attorney and ordered Sahagun to go against his own sworn oath because one or more of you couldn’t uphold your own promises that you made when you raised those hands before the city clerk.

This is also the guy you threw under the bus and before you all protest, I think it’d be more prudent at this point to undo the damage which has been done. This “client” needs to just stand up publicly and admit what he or they did. That’s what being an elected leader is all about yet it seems to be the lesson you have the most difficult time grasping.  Everything that happened in 2010 obviously didn’t teach you anything.  But then let’s see, city council is totally silent, city attorney cites “attorney/client” privilege to investigators and a police lieutenant gets thrown under the bus. We all know that if Lt. Leon Phillips hadn’t spent his time in the “penalty box” at Orange Street Station preparing a defense he would ultimately win, he’d be in a lot worse shape today than the police chief who broke the law, the assistant chief who covered it up and those in City Hall who were probably more involved in what was going on with mishandling of the police department by City Hall (in violation of the city charter) than they ever let on.

There’s not much more to say except the city council and mayor has once again deeply embarrassed our city putting it on the international map because coverage of this incident reached Europe over the weekend.  I wish one or more of you would do the right thing but that requires stepping out of your comfort zone and frankly which among you has the courage and moral integrity to do so?  I’d truly have to see it to believe it because I and other people are tired of just hearing about it.

Until then, stop saying how much you stand behind an officer who’s integrity was challenged by one of your own employees who’s currently protected by your mostly blanket silence.  Mr. Adams, when you shake the hands of officers like Sahagun and thank them, are those just words or are you going to back that up with action? Why don’t you lead the movement to get to the bottom of this matter?

Mayor Loveridge, I’d like to commend you on your legacy as mayor. This is a hell of a way to end it isn’t it? Yes, you’ve done some good things, the Mayor’s Use of Force Panel was your most important act but when I think of you, I think of something former CBS reporter Mike Wallace once said during the scandal rocking 60 Minutes when it refused to air a controversial interview with a Big Tobacco whistle blower.

“But history only remembers most what you did last.”

Something to think about when you consider what your last action as the city’s mayor is going to be. It’d be a great legacy if you could be the leader in getting the city council or yourself to come clean about why you’re hiding the city attorney who hid behind a police officer who found himself an unwitting participant in your latest embarrassing scandal. Whether or not he’ll be a casualty of it is entirely up to all of you.

Remember actions speak louder than words. 

Best regards,


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