The video from NBC is out and of course Undersheriff Hirokawa has said that his version is “fact” based and accurate. That he doesn’t understand why 3 people who were in the field that night (he was not) disagree with him.
See NBC Video Here: Sheriff’s Deputies Call Metcalf Response a Debacle
Hirokawa pointed NBC to 3 emails by the supervisors that were “involved” in the event and their statements supporting his letter to Zoe Lofgren.
Rick Sung – “I do not have anything to add nor do I see any issues with what was written.”
Thea Lera – “the details outlined in your letter appear to be a true account.”
Dan Woods – “The response is accurate based on my recollections.”
I was told that Rick Sung was the captain at HQ by those I talked to when I first brought this story to you. If you recall, in the timeline provided to me, Sung isn’t even mentioned in the official records until 8:25 in the AM when he requests a briefing of the situation. It’s also my understanding from talking to people who were involved with the event that Sung was one of the off-site supervisors repeatedly trying to shut this down as “vandalism” and ordering people to cut paper and continue patrol duties — in other words, move on, there is nothing to see here. It’s my understanding that he is the captain directly responsible for the refusal of the resources that were being requested. Of course he did not “see any issues with what was written.” Much of it was written to protect his actions in specific.
Thea Lera also arrived late — 8:26 AM according to the record. What can someone tell you about the appropriate response to an event they weren’t present for? Well, they can tell what “…APPEAR[S] to be a true account.”
I can find no record of Dan Woods being a direct part of the decisions made that night that would indicate his opinion on actions and decisions carry significant weight. My understanding is that he was tangentially involved. This could be incorrect, but his name was never directly mentioned as a decision maker in the accounts I collected.
It’s interesting the Lieutenant who was the Incident Commander, Dahlia Rodriquez, the person promoted to captain after the event for the “great job” she did, is not even mentioned. She would have been the first in line, before Sung, for field personnel to reach out too in the early hours. Yet the record indicates she’s not labeled as incident commander for 5 hours into the event. She would have been the first in line, before Sung, for field personnel to reach out too during the off hours. What was her response? Was the field staff able to reach her? What was her direction when or if they did? Clearly this event contributed to her qualifying for a promotion to captain, but her input as to the events isn’t even mentioned, never mind offered? For that matter there are hours in the official record with no mention of contact with administrators ranking from Lieutenant on up, certainly no mentioned Incident Commander until “after coffee” hours (the sergeant was the unofficial IC on scene, he was not allowed to make resource decisions). The failure to have an IC alone seems to indicate this wasn’t being taken seriously. If the response was “appropriate” and all these decisions made that are claimed in Hirokawa’s letter, where is the evidence of the claimed actions other than his, and the others involved, say so that it happened that way?
These facts, such as they are, do not line up with the story Undersheriff Hirokawa is trying to tell the public. The people whom he chose to use as his “back up”, Sung and Lera, their actions, and the official record in regards to their actions are part of the reason there are questions. Are we expected to blindly believe people who appear to be part fo the problems that manifested that night?
I guess so.
Keep your eyes open, folks. I am currently organizing some paperwork that was sent to me this morning on another story involving sexual assault in the jails — yes, yet again, this subject has popped up.