Sacramento PD: How NOT to Run A Police Department

This article is cross posted here and at Full30.

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Sac PD Management Cements Their Role As A Horrible Example of How To Run a Police Department

The Sacramento Police Department has been in the national news the last couple days.  In less than five (5) days, the management at the Sacramento Police Department has demonstrated, to anyone watching, a perfect example of how NOT to run a police department.  And from what I am hearing through the grapevine, last night their upper management doubled down on that.

Monday 4-11-17
But first, some history for those living under a rock.  On Monday at about 5:30 PM, a Sac PD officer stopped a pedestrian for jaywalking.  While several people have argued the basis for the stop, there are many codes, both state and local city ordinances, that can be used to justify the stop.  During the encounter, the suspect refused to comply, stepped into the street, shed his jacket and, quite clearly (via the officer’s dash cam video) challenged the officer to a fight.  The officer took the suspect down to the ground where the two exchanged a few blows, and the suspect was taken into custody.

Present during the fight, but not for the initial contact, was a friend of the suspect who filmed the encounter and then posted the video to Facebook.  Local news station Fox40 ran with the cell phone video like it was gospel, and began generating and stoking mass public outrage.

Tuesday 4-12-17
In world record time, by about noon the next morning, Sacramento PD had thrown the officer involved to the wolves.  Not only did they publicly state that he demonstrated “unacceptable conduct,” but they also stated that they had placed the officer on administrative leave, started an internal investigation, and were considering filing criminal charges against the officer.  WOW!!!  That was really quick, his actions must have been so ridiculously over the line that it required such a swift, firm stance, right?  Yeah, not so much.

Sac PD also released dash cam video from several cars on the scene, including the primary officer’s car.

Fox40 also interviewed the suspect in this case.  The suspect made numerous, blatant lies in his statement, and despite the fact that those lies were plain as day to anyone who watched the dash cam video, Fox40 decided to air the lies as if they were truth.

Wednesday 4-13-17
By Wednesday, this incident had hit the national stage and the officer’s actions were being called into question by just about everyone, except for those of us who looked at ALL of the evidence, including the suspect’s actions and words.  Wednesday, I filmed a video in which I analyzed the situation and compared the information that was available.  In my opinion, the officer did nothing wrong, and the actions by the management were absolutely disgraceful!

(Some mild cursing contained in this video)

Shortly after filming that video, two more bits of information regarding the suspect came to light.  The information that came out helps explain his noncompliance and his hostility toward the officer.  First, he had an active warrant for his arrest from another jurisdiction.  This might explain why he refused to comply; he didn’t want to go to jail.  Second, he has a history of fighting with the cops, and had previously been arrested in Fresno, CA for the same thing.

Now, some folks in the comments of my video analyzing this incident pointed out to me that from the video, it appeared that the suspect did not actually jaywalk, and folks said that the suspect used an “unmarked crosswalk.”  I’ll be completely honest here; I do not know diddly about jaywalking laws.  I never worked traffic and I do not recall ever in my career stopping someone for jaywalking.  Since I was not fully informed on the laws, I dug into them, and boy there are quite a few.  (You can see the list of applicable CA laws here: http://www.legal-news-california.tozerlaw.com/jaywalking_laws_california.html)

For those unable or unwilling to watch my video, the following are a few points that I raised in my video.

While, at least from what we can see in the video, it does appear that the suspect crossed the street using an “unmarked crosswalk” as defined by CA law, he did not appear to allow traffic sufficient time to stop and just stepped out into the roadway, a violation of VC  21950(b).  Additionally, a cop from the Sacramento area sent me a message informing me about a couple of applicable Sacrament City Codes, namely SCC 10.20.20 and SCC 10.20.50.  Those can be found here, and they address standing in the roadway interfering with traffic and crossing the street within 300 feet of a marked crosswalk, both of which could be applied to this situation.  Now, you can argue against the need for jaywalking laws all day long, but the fact is they exist, and the suspect was in violation of those laws.  The probable cause for the stop on the suspect is legit.  He had a valid reason to stop him.

Next issue is the use of force, and whether or not it was justified.  First of all, the suspect did not have the right to ignore the officer.  We know, based on the fact that the suspect raised his hands, that he could hear the officer’s commands, and we can see based on his actions that he was refusing to comply.  The officer continues to follow the suspect giving him verbal commands to comply.  Eventually, the suspect stops, takes off his jacket, and challenges the officer to fight.  Thus far, the suspect has committed two crimes (PC 148 and PC 415), in addition to the “jaywalking. “  The officer grabs the suspect by the shoulder (NOT the neck) and takes him to the ground where punches are exchanged, the cop wins the fight, and the suspect is arrested without any major injuries.

Photo taken from related article at BlueLivesMatter.com
Photo taken from related article at BlueLivesMatter.com

I spoke to a number of people who work for the Sacramento Police Department, and the scuttlebutt around their department is that a HUGE number of people just consciously made the decision to seek employment with other agencies, even senior employees.  I’ve written in the past about the problems Sacramento PD has been facing with both hiring and retaining current employees, but this situation, and the way the department is handling it, just greatly exacerbated that problem.

Thursday Night, 4-13-17
This morning, I again spoke to a few people I know who work for Sacramento PD, because I was trying to verify a rumor I had heard.  They had not heard the rumor I asked about, but they did have something new to tell me.  Apparently, Sac PD upper management, as in Deputy Chiefs and others, showed up at roll calls at the various stations to speak to the working cops.  Apparently, from what I am told, the chiefs and other management were very aloof about the whole situation, saying that they stood by how they handled it, and that is just the way it is, and the way it will be.

Needless to say, that crappy “tough shit” attitude displayed by their bosses was not well received by the men and women who should be able to count on management to have their backs.  Instead, management told them to expect to be thrown under the bus.  The way Sac PD management has handled this not only has assured their personnel problems are going to get vastly worse, but they have also demonstrated to ALL of the cops who work there that proactive police work will only get you in trouble.  Expect proactive cop work to cease, and expect the safety of city residents to be vastly lessened.  Odd, you’d think the idiots in charge over there might have heard of that whole “Ferguson Effect,” but apparently not.

I find it EXTREMELY ironic that a department that is constantly telling their officers to be kinder and gentler to the criminals they contact, those very managers cannot even reciprocate that same sentiment toward the people who are supposedly on the same team as them.  Sacramento PD management has just driven that final nail in the coffin.  If you happen to work in the backgrounds department of any neighboring agencies, I would expect to see a huge influx of lateral applicants as everyone bails from Sac PD’s rapidly sinking ship.

DA Says Cops Were Justified – Mayor is a Bloviating Ass!

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Several months ago, on July 11, 2016, the Sacramento Police Department was called to a neighborhood by multiple 911 callers regarding a crazy guy running around threatening people with a weapon.  Some callers said he had a knife, and at least one thought he had a gun.  Officers arrived and engaged the man, who continued acting crazy, brandished a knife at the officers and threatened them.  This went on for a while, during which the subject charged at officers and innocent bystanders several times.  The subject would not cooperate, would not drop the knife, would not stop running around, thereby not only putting the officers in danger, but also the general, unsuspecting public in the area.  Officers eventually stopped the threat by shooting the man.  The entire incident was captured on video from multiple sources.  The man was a transient with a long history of mental issues and drug abuse.

Family members, who had ignored their mentally ill homeless family member for years, suddenly came out of the woodwork demanding to know why the cops shot their much beloved (albeit totally ignored) family member.  As one has come to expect, they immediately sought the assistance of an attorney rather than wait for the investigation to be completed, or for the district attorney to render a decision on whether or not charges would be filed.

Family members and their dutiful attorney demanded the video be released.  The video showed exactly what the cops said it would show, but the family and liberal politicians had a conniption when they listened to the in-car video of the officers who ended up shooting the suspect.  As the officers were nearing the scene, one of them said they should hit the suspect with their car.

OH MY GOD!!!!  What did they just say?  Hold the phone, stop the presses, yell and scream like a lunatic while waving your arms in the air…  Hit him with a car?????

Yes, hit him with the freaking car!

Lethal force is lethal force.  If lethal force is justified, it matters not whether it with a gun, a knife or the front bumper of a patrol car.  In fact, as an EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operations Course) instructor, our California POST provided driver training simulator includes a scenario where the student is encouraged to use their vehicle to stop an armed, fleeing felon who is shooting at them.  Yes, we actually train the academy recruits and anyone who takes the simulator class to run over an armed subject with their patrol car.  And that simulator scenario is a California POST approved scenario.

Now here we are, nearly seven months later, the investigation is completed and today, the District Attorney’s office released their decision: lethal force was legally justified and the cops will face no criminal charges.  In fact, they DA released their entire report, including a very long statement of all of the facts.  You can read the whole thing here, but the following excerpt sums it up nicely.

There is no doubt that Officers Tennis and Lozoya were dealing with a very dangerous individual who posed an immediate threat to the officers and the public. Joseph Mann was acting aggressively while under the influence of methamphetamine. He exhibited a deadly weapon in a rude and angry manner at multiple civilians and appeared to them to also be carrying a firearm. He slashed his knife in the direction of officers and threatened to use it to cause them bodily harm. He ran aggressively at an officer holding his knife in a threatening manner. He repeatedly refused commands to stop and disarm himself. While attempting to escape from pursuing officers, he ran directly in front of multiple businesses into which he could have easily entered and harmed others. When he finally stopped, he was holding his knife in a menacing manner and turned directly towards officers who were in close proximity trying to disarm and arrest him. Considering the totality of these circumstances, and the rapid decision the officers were forced to make because of the immediate danger to themselves and the public that Mann presented, Officers Tennis and Lozoya acted lawfully in using deadly force.

CONCLUSION
Officers Tennis and Lozoya were justified in shooting Mann to defend themselves and each other, to protect the public from imminent harm, and to prevent the escape of a suspected felon who posed a significant threat of death or serious bodily injury to others. Their conduct under these circumstances was lawful. Accordingly, we will take no further action in this matter.

If you have a different opinion, I highly encourage you to read the entire report, and then put yourself in those officer’s shoes.

After the DA’s office released their report, ultra liberal democrat Darrell Steinberg, the recently elected mayor of Sacramento, the city where this shooting occurred, released a statement that just proves what a bloviating jackass he is.  Notice how he starts by saying how much he appreciates and respects the cops, BUT then goes on at length to say how he disagrees with them and how they are bad.

“I have enormous respect for the men and women of the Sacramento Police Department. But  what unfolded with Joseph Mann is extremely tragic, unacceptable, and we are  reminded of that again today with the District Attorney’s decision.

As Mayor, I  am committed to ensuring we leave no stone unturned as we look back on what  happened. It is why I will be laser focused on the results of the ongoing  internal investigation. If the internal investigation concludes officers were  following policy, then it is past time for us to change those policies. There  must be accountability.

What else  can we do to take responsibility – to show a demonstrable difference – to  reconcile outdated policies and practices with where the true heart and culture  of our police department and City stands with our community?

This is one  of my top priorities and why City Council voted unanimously to pay for 40 hours  of comprehensive crisis intervention training for our entire police department  during our third meeting.

It is our  responsibility and moral imperative to have the best trained, equipped and  supported community police to protect all of our citizens and community at  large. We should accept nothing less and I will work to ensure we are a city  that supports the men and women in uniform so they can support all of us.”

Have you ever heard the phrase, “everything before the BUT is bullshit?”   This is a quick read and it explains why Steinberg’s public statement shows he has ZERO respect for his own police force, or for the legal decisions rendered by the District Attorney’s office, but would you expect anything different from a democrat politician, especially one in California?

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Politicians Endanger All City Residents to Appease Black Lives Matter

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** BREAKING NEWS **

Politicians are complete and utter morons!

 
Well, most of them anyway.

Okay, so it wasn’t really all that earth shattering, but please let me explain my comment.

The politicians who make up the City Council for the city of Sacramento, bowing to public pressure (which is primarily coming from Black Lives Matter who are upset over the shooting of an armed, crazy black man), just established a laundry list of new requirements for the Sacramento Police Department, some of which are absurd.

Beyond that, they established a civilian review board which CANNOT contain anyone with current or former law enforcement job experience. Yes, you heard that right, they want a review board that does not have the slightest clue about the job. They specifically, intentionally mandated a complete and total lack of expertise.

Yes, I’m serious.  Watch the video.

Just think logically about that for a moment.  Can you name another single profession that has a review board made up completely of people without any experience or expertise on the subject?  Do you want a medical review board made up of burger flippers, mechanics and plumbers? How about a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that consists of people who know nothing about planes or flying? A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) consisting of people who have never been in a car? How about a Supreme Court made up of people who have never been in a court room, know nothing about the law, and have never read the constitution?

Well folks, that is EXACTLY what the Sacramento City Council just did to their police department!

Thank GOD I do not work for that agency!  Thank God I do not live or work in that city.
(Please note, that is not remotely a knock on the men and women of the Sacramento PD, but rather is directed at the people making these insane policies.)

While I do not work there, I know a couple of people who do.  The Sacramento Police Department is currently having some problems with both hiring and retention.  All agencies are having hiring problems so that is not specific to them (yet) but on the retention issue, many problems are indeed specific to them.  They are currently the lowest paid comparably sized agency in the area, their management has been in and out of turmoil (from a working cop perspective) for a while and does not have a strong history of standing behind their people, they have been losing a significant number of people to other agencies for a couple years now and currently have a large number of people with open applications at other agencies, patrol staffing is short all the time and because of that, they are requiring officers not assigned to patrol to work patrol on a semi-regular basis to make up for staffing problems, and officers from all assignments are being forced to work mandatory overtime to staff events at the new downtown arena.  Sacramento PD is already deep in internal problems, and now add this crap on top?  Good luck with those staffing issues…

It won’t be long  before these chickens come home to roost.  I fear that in their desire to appease a small vocal minority (Black Lives Matter), the Sacramento City Council has just dealt all of their citizens a very hard blow in terms of public safety.  Good luck with that!