This is a list of victims of Sheriff Laurie Smith’s incompetency in investigations and our Board of Supervisors willful disregard in addressing the issues at the Sheriff’s Office as they are able.
The following people suffered, failed to receive justice, and in some cases died because of our Sheriff’s failures. The incidents span her career as an administrator and if the indictments of the Flynn’s on 44 counts of violence against children tells us anything, she is not done with her neglect.
These people’s lives matter and we should not let them be overlooked. These individuals together show us a bigger problem in our Sheriff’s Office that must be addressed sooner or later. Just because they are not abused or did not die in confinement in close time proximity doesn’t mean their lives don’t count towards the pain and suffering caused by Laurie Smith’s willful disregard for public safety.
There are so many, but these but are a few of the more prominent incidents, listed in no specific order, that tell the story of the legacy of Sheriff Laurie Smith.
#Adelita — a young woman found murdered on Mt. Hamilton. A case that quietly disappeared from sight after a CSI deputy threw away bags evidence. Deputies spent three days searching the dump in the hopes of recovering the evidence, but failed. Hopes of solving the murder of Adelita were lost and the case quietly moved to the side. This person has since been promoted to the top echelons of the office, disrupting still more cases as he moved up the ladder. Adelita, all you can find left of her is an old chat log with a now defunct link to an NBC11 story from 2004.
#DeAnza Victim — The young victim of a gang rape by members of the DeAnza baseball team never saw justice because detectives aren’t called until the next day, because a captain doesn’t want the overtime to come out of his budget. Some evidence is gone, suspects dispersed, and too many gaps in evidence exist to convict according to inside sources. The captain was allowed to quietly retire shortly after with his pension intact while others that fought the decision were harassed and forced out.
#Joshua — a young boy whose abuse by his deputy father was founded by investigators in child protective services, but the sheriff’s office failed to follow through ultimately leading to his suicide by hanging. The events were willfully overlooked by then Assistant Sheriff Laurie Smith, who sat on the investigation for 18 months before taking any action, and even then she manipulated events resulting in no action being taken. She has over the past years, been cruelly alternating between trying to make this case disappear or use it for her own purposes in the years since. To this date, there has been no justice for a little boy that deserved the sheriff’s office to put him first.
#Martha — an immigrant mother who was stabbed to death just a room away from her 3 children by a man was was released on minimal bail after holding one of her children at knife point and threatening to kill him. Her murderer was here illegally, but our Sheriff and our Board of Supervisors to this day, would rather let a violent criminal walk our streets and kill than call ICE for even the most violent offender. Later when a woman was shot in SF by an illegal immigrant, David Cortese spun nauseating self-serving lies about policy and practice along with claims ICE never showed up — our Sheriff went into hiding and refused to make a statement. I wonder, did Martha ever even get a call to warn her that her soon to be murderer was being released?
#Sierra — Kidnapped and believed to have been murdered, her body still hasn’t been found and her alleged killer has yet to go to trial after more than 2 years in county jail, some insiders say because the Sheriff’s Office isn’t providing the evidence to the district attorney so the case can progress. Klaas Foundation speculates the sheriff’s poor effort at team work and her attempts to hide an investigation so disorganized that it may partly be at fault for Sierra never being found. There are still questions if there will be any justice for Sierra.
#Audrie — Victim of a sexual assault and later bullied, with images of her assault passed around. She ultimately committed suicide. At least one former (?) member of the SAB, a CCW holder & political supporter, and other close friends of the sheriff were alleged to be involved as parents and lawyers on both the victims and suspects sides of the case. Insiders tell me that the captain of the division attempted to minimize and close the case by issuing citations; the same captain later admitted to Rolling Stone he further delayed the investigation to let students mourn without interference by deputies. Evidence was lost due to repeated delays and the sheriff went on the news 7 months later begging for people to come forward with evidence. Her attackers served less than a month each, one served weekends because a captain attempted to avoid an investigation and then delayed collection of evidence.
#Flynn Boys — When the well-off couple living in the county were accused of sexually assaulting their adopted child, patrol deputies determined there was enough evidence for an investigation, forwarding the case to detectives. Somewhere between there and now the case was dropped through the cracks for some reason. Fast forward several years later the reporting juvenile has grown up and moved out, but there is a second young man in the house. The two adoptive parents are arrested and charged with 44 counts involving his assault. The second juvenile could have been protected from continuing abuse had the first case been followed through on.
We can not forget others that have been lost to the sheriff’s incompetence that has led our jails to a collapse in just a few short years. There are two names we know well from recent stories in the media, yet still no one seriously addresses what is happening in our jails and the collapse of the structure that is intended to keep all safe.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve gotten to know many of these names and the stories behind their cases better than anyone would ever want to. I’ve gotten to experience the anger and frustration of deputies who see the failures that led to these stories and many others that I’ve addressed in the blog… the outrage that revived Audrie’s case, the sadness and helplessness over Joshua’s belated case, the frustration over Sierra’s case, the overall destruction of moral from seeing the people who led case after case into failure and held so much disrespect among the staff were often promoted and rewarded.
It bothers me that I have no doubt that there will be more tragic stories to add to these before the end of the sheriff’s reign. Let these people remind us how important it is to not lose sight of the scope and reach of Laurie Smith’s negligence and disregard. We need change at the Sheriff’s Office and let the above people help to understand why. It’s not about unions, it’s not about good or bad cops, it’s not about gender, it’s not about liking or disliking the sheriff. It’s about rebuilding the office and endowing it with competent and concerned leadership that will make it’s best effort to ensure incidents like these, that don’t have to happen, don’t happen any more. If we are to get rid of the “bad cops” the public needs to start with the ones at the top.