A Staggering List of Crimes

root - Posted on 31 December 1969

The Indigent Litigant explores a Solution to the Office of Citizens Complaints (OCC) Investigative Failures.

by John X, Indigent Litigant - Poor News Network

You are at work, nice job, had it for years and you worked very hard to get where you are at. Problem is for years you have watched your colleagues systematically abuse their power, become enraged and violent within the workplace community, violates "those" peoples civil rights and when you complained to management you became the enemy.
Not only is your job threatened, but also your very life. This is a job where the company can make good on this threat.

Department of Human Services employee? no, a police officer. This is my argument for a better means of investigating criminal complaints involving peace officers. Sergeant Robert Cole is an Ex- East Palo Alto polices supervisor who has spent the past 16 years fighting "the blue wall of silence" that plagues the law enforcement community.

Almost immediately from the day Sgt. Cole was hired he witnessed other officers deliver savage beatings upon citizens, then lie about it in their reports. He found that the police department internal-affairs process and the people that ran it corrupt and dirty beyond description. It was a young police officers nightmare with no place to go for guidance.
The police sub-culture, hateful and retaliatory fellow cops kept him in the silent mode in order to maintain the blue wall of silence.

The list of crimes committed by these officers was staggering. However, on one evening Sgt. Cole witnessed the police chief savagely beat a handcuffed suspect inside the small holding room of the police station, He reported the felony beating to his superior a police Sergeant. He and his partner were told to "keep their mouths shut". He then went to another command staff person and advised them what had occurred, and it was reported to the San Mateo County District Attorney's office. The case was investigated and the Chief was arrested on felony assault charges, but walked due to a hung jury. Although the Chief did not assume his prior role he was given a position of command after the trial was over.

There is more to this story, but I wish to include some other elements. I had the opportunity to speak with Ismial Turrick -Executive Director of Police watch.
He had mentioned to me that he spoke to the Commission on Peace Officers Standard and Training which oversees law enforcement personnel, training and the like. What Mr. Turrick suggested to or actually proposed is an oversight committee/investigating body through the State Attorney Generals office. The problem is the State Attorney does not investigate city or municipalities-even reporting actual events without a pattern the State Attorney does not investigate. So there is no oversight for law enforcement misconduct that is by any degree enforceful, meaning the power of a govermental office behind it.

Now, each city police force does not operate regarding police misconduct the same.
We have the Office of Citizens Complaints; other departments still have " internal"
Means of investigation only.

As I have written before, in order to avoid confusion with the various departments
The state of California developed guidelines and procedures in the penal code to direct officers in how to handle specific situations in the field. From that each department developed "orders" from those laws or codes.

So in theory, as well as practice any officer who is found in violation of a police general order is also in violation of a criminal penal law. As an investigator looking to alleged allegations of misconduct I should have this knowledge at hand, and when I filed my report I would not only sight the General Order infraction, But the penal code violations as well. An excellent example of this is would be where a citizen requests a police officer arrest a person for a crime. San Francisco Police have repeatedly stated that their department investigates "felony's only". Now I will include this for my readers, it clearly states in section number 7 of investigative report writing for Peace Officers Standards and Training that peace officers are to " investigate all crimes brought to their attention". What this means is if you walk into the police station to report a crime misdemeanor or felony the police are to investigate that crime and report their findings to the District Attorney.

To tie this together let me use exactly that example. You advise a police officer to arrest a person for trespassing, the police officer refuses to make the arrest the result should be this, the police officer violated General Order 5.04 (c) " requesting an arrest/intent
He also violated California penal code 853.6-(a) -Notice to appear. Because the only way a person can be released without a notice to appear being issued is if there is no accusatory pleading issued. A citizens arrest report form is an accusatory pleading. I would also charge this officer with penal code 153 (compounding or concealing a crime). Because the actions of the officer impeded in the ability to prosecute this case.

The police are not to attempt to interpret if a crime has or has not occurred. This is only in the instance when a civilian does not step forward for the purposes of prosecution or if it is a case initiated by the police and the police have made the determination " in-house" not to seek prosecution since the crime was only a misdemeanor.

It has been this reporters experience that the scenario listed above is never followed by the O.C.C and because of that a lot of cases for the city are not properly investigated and many police officers that should be in jail will never see the inside of one.

If all cases involving police misconduct were handled at the state level involving state penal law as the rules were written the problems San Francisco and other city's are facing would have never existed.

Through legislation we as a community can create an oversight agency whose sole purpose is to investigate all reports of criminal violations of Law Enforcement.
I encourage my readers to lobby for such an agency. Until there is a truly independent agency investigating these complaint of misconduct/criminal activity the blue wall of silence will never come down.


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