FFFF has been trying to obtain the police report filed after several Fullerton police officers conducted a narcotics raid on the wrong house and held an innocent pastor and his family at gunpoint last year (read the story here).
Since the family presented a copy of the police report to the council at a public meeting, that document is now undeniably a public record. But the cops and the city administrators love to keep secrets when they blow it, and thus have deployed one ornery city attorney to block out any sunshine on this case. God forbid the public learns about the mistakes it’s own cops are making.
But here’s where it gets weird. In this email below, the city attorney justifies keeping the report secret by admitting that crimes were committed when the cops entered the wrong house with guns drawn!
After reviewing the police records in a light most favorable to the Nordells if the entry made by the officers were unlawful they may have been victims of several crimes, namely assault, trespass and a civil rights violation. If the officers did enter with guns drawn, they more than likely experienced the fear that goes accompanied with such entry. While, we are not acknowledging any of those unlawful acts occurred it does establish that they are victims of a crime. As victims of a crime they were the only party entitled to obtain the police report under Gov Code 6254 (f).
Kathya M. Oliva
Jones & Mayer
Let’s go over that again. Did our city just deny a public records request by confirming that its officers committed assault, trespass and civil rights violations? Pretty much. Admitting guilt to cover your tracks is a novel approach to criminal defense.
FFFF’s response? If there was a crime committed against the family, the incident should have been referred to the DA for prosecution. Was it? If not, covering up the report because there “may have” been a crime doesn’t hold legal water.
Our question was met with a friendly invitation to sue the city in Superior Court…which is actually a great idea. I can’t think of a better way to bring more attention to this issue.