Just for those of you who mistakenly believe FFFF has only recently become interested in the doings and misdoings of our police force, here’s a post originally published October 7, 2009 – exactly two years ago, detailing the way in which the esteemed Pat McKinley molly-coddled the worst of his boys, who just happened to be President of the Fullerton Police Officer’s Association, the union that supports the councilmen cover-up artists Jones, Bankhead, and (surprise, surprise) Pat McKinley.The incidents described here took place six years ago, leading a reasonable person to infer that the culture of corruption cultivated by McKinley has deep roots, indeed.
Enjoy a blast from the past courtesy of the FFFF archives!
– Joe Sipowicz
Officer misconduct cases are usually handled behind closed doors, hidden away from the public who are ultimately the victims when cops go bad. Recently a document slipped out from underneath the curtain and gave us some insight into Chief McKinley’s department, which had a habit responding to officer misconduct by looking the other way and pressuring victims to stay silent — demonstrating brazen contempt for the rule of law.
Officers John Cross and Gregg Nowling were caught on tape in the 2005 beating of a young man who was pulled over for playing his music too loud. Fearing outrage, the department refused to release the recording to the public. Nowling resigned, but John Cross was the president of the Fullerton Police Officers Association (the union), so he decided to take his chances and ride out the punishment that was sure to be nothing more than a token admonishment from his friendly boss, Chief Patrick McKinley.
John Cross should have been fired and sued, but a deal was allegedly struck with the victim in which charges would be dropped if the young man kept quiet. This allowed the department head to give Cross a mere slap on the wrist – a two step demotion in pay for the next two years.
When nobody was paying attention, Chief McKinley eliminated John Cross’ punishment one year early:
The record shows that almost immediately, John Cross began another series of disturbing actions that ultimately forced the department to fire him. The Council found one example most frightening – Officer Cross had covered up an incident involving a drunk off-duty sheriff who was brandishing his weapon in public. He also failed to follow up on a potential suicide when it was only a few doors down from his location. At least six of these events involved Cross’ turning off his audio recorder in violation of department policy.
There are plenty of other allegations of McKinley’s department looking the other way when incidents were perpetrated by those the department favored, and this is only one of the most severe. As one of our commenters said, McKinley’s game was played at the the expense of our community’s safety, peace, and tax dollars.