Institutionalized Oppression

Breaking the cycle of abuse in any situation is difficult.  All you have to do is look at any family that is dealing with a domestic violence situation to understand the depth these types of problems.  The first step in changing dysfunctionality is recognizing the problem — in this case Institutionalized Oppression:

“Institutional Oppression is the systematic mistreatment of people within a social
identity group, supported and enforced by the society and its institutions, solely based on
the person’s membership in the social identity group…

Institutional Oppression creates a system of invisible barriers limiting people based on their
membership in unfavored social identity groups. The barriers are only invisible to those
“seemingly” unaffected by it.

The practice of institutionalized oppression is based on the belief in inherent superiority or
inferiority. Institutionalized oppression is a matter of result regardless of intent.”

There is also Interpersonal Oppression at play here:

The idea that one group is better than another and has the right to control the other,
which gets structured into institutions, gives permission and reinforcement for individual
members of the dominant group to personally disrespect or mistreat individuals in the
oppressed group…Most people in the dominant group are not consciously oppressive. They have
internalized the negative messages about other groups, and consider their attitudes towards
the other group quite normal.

The sheriff’s office has been subject to Institutionalize Oppression for years.  This dysfunction is openly embraced on the fourth floor and has been for years as evidenced by these pictures.

zink1a zink2

What you’re seeing here are pictures snapped of then Commander Lindley Zink’s office, circa 2006 provided to me by a deputy who was shell shocked to see these dolls openly displayed.  If you do a search on these “dolls” openly exhibited in the office of the 3rd in command at that time, you will find these are called “Time Out Dolls” or “Punishment Dolls.”  This is an office that the Sheriff walked by every day, likely also entered it nearly every day.

Clearly people on the 4th floor as far back as 7 years ago thought the psychology of openly threatening those of lower ranks was a valid and acceptable tool in eliciting cooperation in their actions and demands.  This is a continuing trend and often falls down the ranks from Captains to Lieutenants, to Lieutenants down to Sergeants…. if you just do what you’re told, if you just keep quiet, if you just do this little thing, the rewards will be great — promotions, choice assignments, a blind eye turned to your own increasing indiscretions and more.

The lack of respect for Lieutenants and above has grown as the realization has spread, the only way to be promoted above Sergeant is to have proven you will sell your soul and that you will do everything in your power to protect those who bought it from you.  The most recent result of that disrespect is an increasing number of qualified deputies and sergeants who refuse to even consider the idea of promoting further with this office, unwilling to drown their ethics in a shallow tub by putting their foot on the neck of their subordinates as required.  So now the office not only is suffering from the dysfunction of institutionalized oppression, but from “brain drain” as well.

The cycle of abuse in this office can be broken.  It can be broken by electing a new sheriff who recognizes the problem and is offended by it rather than a part of it.  You can support Kevin Jensen in the election and you can espouse the positive changes that he promotes in his own work.  You can break the cycle by refusing to be a part of it — do not participate in creating an inferior class within the office.  Do not participate in the denigration we saw in a letter written by a Captain, do not participate in extortion tactics as seen by the Sheriff directed at a retiree, do not stand silently as the “chosen” act out inappropriately, do not let inappropriate use of taxpayer funded equipment go unnoted and unrecorded.   I will be posting an example of what I am talking about here in the very near future for any of those who may not understand what I’m referring too.

This is your office, your work place.  You spend a significant part of your life here and while you may not have a lot of control over what others do, you certainly have control over your contribution to what that office is to those around you.  Are you a part of the problem?  Are you allowing the problem to continue through complicity?  Or are you an active part of trying to make your office the kind of place that others will flock to as the best agency to work for in the area?

Support Kevin Jensen, educate yourself about your DSA nominees and vote, walk into the office every day with the intent to lift others up rather than knock them down.  Have the audacity to resolve problems rather than slink away from them or use them to contribute to the institutionalize oppression.  If you’ve been part of the system, walk away from it now, it’s never to late to change your behavior and begin to earn respect for being fair and honest rather than demand it through fear and oppression.


10 thoughts on “Institutionalized Oppression

  1. It seems the bravery exhibited each and every day on the streets and jails is muted when walking into the administration office due to an undercurrent (as Casey says) of institutional and interpersonal oppression. The frequency of and depth of dirt in the stories surrounding the Sheriff’s administration even if only remotely true should cause all to want change. Now is the time to make change, support Kevin Jensen.


  2. My memory is a little hazy but I remember when a Westside Deputy pulled Zink’s daughter over and she handed him dads business card. The Deputy stopped her because her car was missing the front plate. She then proceeded to call dad up and when the Deputy returned to the car she told the Deputy that her dad wants to talk to him. Zink questioned the Deputy on why he had stopped his daughter. The Deputy told him why and then asked him why he did not have a front plate on his car. I do not remember if a citation was issued. Immediately after that Zink called the West Side Captain who in turn called the Sargent who in turn called the Deputy and asked him to come back to the office. I was not privy to what was said after that but I think Zink was IA’d.


    • Family Ties

      One of Eye’s tipsters, who goes by the creative moniker “a concerned employee,” advises us that the county jail’s Capt. Lindley Zink has been using his law enforcement clout to ensure that his daughter gets kid-glove treatment when the red light shines in her rearview mirror. … The letter details a routine traffic stop for Capt. Zink’s daughter last May. “Zink’s daughter quickly identified herself and handed over Daddy’s business card to the deputy. … While he was writing the citation, Precious called Daddy … He in turn called the west side duty sergeant, who went immediately to the daughter’s location and told the deputy not to write the ticket.” The anonymous tattletale also divulged that the incident spurred an investigation by the sheriff’s internal affairs department. It’s hard to fault the young Zinkster. (If Eye had a relative working in law enforcement, the stack of parking tickets in Eye’s glove compartment would no doubt magically evaporate.) When informed about the contents of the letter, Zink disputed the facts but took a pass on setting the record straight. “The information you have is inaccurate. I have no further comment.” Not to be deterred, Eye rang up the sheriff’s office and asked a representative to run the anonymous narrative by the internal affairs department. There was indeed an internal affairs investigation about the Zink family matter, the source reported; however, the investigation was resolved and the sheriff’s office wouldn’t comment further or confirm any details because it was considered a “personnel issue.” Our source noted, though, that the traffic ticket was dropped. Eye dutifully rang up the good Capt. Zink again, who clarified, “I didn’t tell you that there wasn’t [an internal investigation].”

      Nothing ever goes away on the internet. This is from the days before the Sheriff had the juice to buy and sell various media representatives to keep stories like this off the grid.


      • Waaaiiiit a minute….. You mean the illustrious admin (who by the way should be held to THE highest standard) can not only interfere with a Deputy during a traffic stop, get their daughter out of traffic ticket, then contact the Deputies supervisor and further humiliate and punish the Deputy solely to show whose in charge and NOTHING happens?? Why I seem to remember a recent incident involving a sergeant who went to his sons court appearance and might have spoken to the officer who gave the ticket(this was all after the fact, and after the court appearance). I believe that sergeant was fired, then brought back instead with a 30 day suspension and a demotion. It must be that “times have changed”, what with Neusel in charge…….oh wait, maybe not. Aren’t there multiple instances where Captains have broken the law(numerous ones), sexually harassed their subordinates, lied on the stand, interfered with felony investigations, been stopped for multiple dui’s and violated countless general orders? Some of these are still here, and others were allowed to retire with no penalties or disparagement to their names. Keep in mind this doesn’t even address the multitude of violations committed by various Lt’s, Assistant Sheriff’s, the Under Sheriff or the supreme leader….Laurie Smith (we still remember your own personal trips to….where was it….Lake Tahoe to “support” your own daughter during her obvious false arrest by the police. Maybe that’s where Zink and the others got their ideas from and all your other command staff.

        So for all you new Deputies (less than 5 years) out there who refuse to get involved because, “the sheriff hasn’t done anything to me” and you think by hiding out and putting your head in the sand will keep you safe. Just trust me when I say I remember when retired Assistant Sheriff Rode (he himself was found guilty of lying on the witness stand during a criminal trial but not only stayed with the dept. but rose through the ranks to retire in the #3 position instead of being fired) was quoted as saying, “we only care about the Deputies with less than 5 years on. After that, we got em.” For all you new people…..the clock is ticking…tic…toc…tic…toc


        • Careful there BP. From what I was told, that demotion was a SECRET and none of us are smart enough to know what she’s doing to these people.

          From smear campaigns to isolate deputies as outsiders to “secret” demotions for minor infractions, like I said in an earlier blog post — it’s like Mean Girl’s: The Grown-up Years. She knows exactly what she’s doing and she knows exactly what kind of culture of fear she’s trying to develop with these actions.


        • I remember midnight Deputies making a traffic stop on her daughter and her boyfriend in a 10851. That was hushed up pretty quickly.


          • For anyone reading this who may not be familiar with “cop talk,” 10851 is the CA Vehicle Code for a stolen vehicle.


        • The double standard that BP alludes to is utterly true and well entrenched in SCCSO lore. Serious punishments for relatively minor infractions for some, whereas those who are “connected” commit far more egregious acts without consequence and somehow continue their ascent up command chain. An older example than Zink’s and Rode’s but illustrates the point of how someone (Beck and Hall) who commits perjury reaches the upper echelons of the organization:


      • Don’t forget about Ted Atlas and Julie Wilbanks had to go through with the whole Scooby episode, now that was oppressive.


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