When Your Leaders Mislead You

Video from Dan Noyes FB page, raw footage interview with Prison Rights Attorney Ernie Galvin:


News report by ABC7, Dan Noyes on the sheriff’s training and policy issues involving the use of the FN 303:


The death of Walter Roches is a tragedy. Any death is, someone has lost someone they loved. But Mr. Roches’ death may have been unnecessary, we have yet to find out. The sheriff managed to release the autopsy report for Micheal Tyree in a matter of a few days, the conclusion deputies were involved pushed the situation into a hyper speed reaction that shocked most law enforcement who are familiar with how investigations run and how rare they conclude in a matter of days as this one did.

But now we’re seeing a different situation. A situation where the sheriff and her administration may have direct culpability due to poor policy and lack of training. Suddenly we won’t have a cause or manner of death for up to 8 weeks. I won’t go into the conflict of interest of the Sheriff having administrative control over the Medical Examiner’s office and being the deciding entity on information released from both the ME’s office and the Sheriff’s office, but I will say: Isn’t that a little too convenient?

Last night Dan Noyes finally put the sheriff’s feet to the fire and asked the question publicly — how were the deputies trained on the FN 303? The sheriff appears to be avoiding him in regards to an interview. We all remember how she blew the last unscripted interview with a reporter so badly that she hasn’t done one since on the advice of her “journalist” buddy, Scott Herhold. All of us here behind this blog wish Mr. Noyes the best of luck and hope he is successful in getting an elected official to do another part of her job — talk to the media.

But after the ABC7 report last night, someone called me with a point I had missed. In another interview, the undersheriff stated that the deputies acted within policy. John Hirokawa stated, “Under department protocol, such projectiles are supposed to be aimed at the torso,” according to KRON4.

In light of the ABC7 report, where they point out other agencies have policies that specifically state an officer should never shoot at the torso, and has the potential to kill if they did so, I would say we’re accurate in our concerns about the sheriff’s policies.

Let’s say that Mr. Roches had an unknown medical condition that at that moment on Monday determined the end of his life. Completely unrelated to events days earlier during the extraction. It doesn’t change bad policy, it doesn’t change lack of training nor incorrect training.

The sheriff knows this and as fast as she pushed the case involving Tyree, she is working just as hard to slow down this story. This is all in the hopes that when the coroner’s report showing “no foul play” does finally come out, you’ve all lost interest.

But we don’t have to tie the death to the policy and training at all to discuss it. It’s been shown now that policy was poor in comparison to recommended use of the FN 303. The question of training remains to a point, but even if there was training, the deputy was trained on an incorrect policy.

This is exactly what we’ve been saying here for years. In both enforcement and Corrections, policy is vague, outdated, or non-existent in critical areas that can have dangerous repercussions.

It is going to take years to recover from this sheriff and her administrative personnel. All areas of her agency need a top to bottom examination of what policy exists, what is needed, what needs updating, etc. All that, then add dealing with some of the incompetent bobbleheads she’s promoted based on their willingness to do as told regardless of propriety, makes cleaning up this place in the manner it should happen a herculean task.

Which leads us to a burgeoning problem — no one wants the job. We’ve been concerned about the decreasing number of qualified candidates for deputies, but we’ve reached a point where no one wants to take the job of sheriff in the next election according to noises I’m hearing.

Without the understanding of the Board of Supervisors as to just how bad the situation is, dealing with the upper rank positions filled almost completely based on willingness to perform tricks rather than do their job, dealing with the reality that it will take money the public and the supervisors don’t want to spend to bring this office back to a professional minimum — no one wants to take on what they’re increasingly seeing as a guaranteed failure. People are so enamored of the current sheriff, that they feel when the dirt is swept out of the corners after the past decade, the blame will be placed on them for what needs to be done to fix it.

This begs the question — should the sheriff do the right thing and step down, or at the very least not run again, what kind of candidates are we going to be left with? One of her shills willing to step up and continue her legacy? Some one with more talk than sense who talks their way in but can’t fix things?

We’re now in an even worse mess than before. In less than 2 years from the last election for sheriff, we are watching everything fall down around our ears, two people are dead, deputies being walked off the job, there are “100 open complaints” against deputies in corrections that the sheriff is flaunting about as if it some how vindicates her in her deliberate indifference.

Deputies spoke out last election because they knew things were going down hill fast. I don’t think anyone that I talked to or worked with over the course of those 18 or so months imagined we would be this far down in such a short time.


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  1. Pingback: Do I Look That Naive? | Casey Thomas' World

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