Botched Raid Now Under Internal Investigation

A few months ago we told you about a narcotics raid executed on the wrong home, resulting in a pastor and his family being held at gunpoint by the Fullerton police.

Today we bring you an important update from the family: Robyn Nordell says that their persistence has finally led to a formal internal investigation of the Fullerton Police Department.

Brother, I've got some questions.

That’s good news I suppose…if we forget for a moment that the cops get to investigate themselves. And it did take about six months of rigorous prodding and a public spectacle from the courageous victims just to get this far. Furthermore, the public has no idea what an internal investigation actually entails, or how well it will be executed. Nor is it likely that the public will ever be privy to the outcome. And finally, the whole process is guaranteed to be about as transparent as a brick wall.

But let’s look at the bright side: some cop somewhere is finally tasked with figuring out how it all went wrong, and why. If that’s the best Fullerton can hope for, I guess we’ll take it.

Meanwhile, we’ll do our best to find out what constitutes an internal investigation.

Crime and Cover Up: The Pastor Raid Debacle Gets Ugly

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.

We have the right to remain silent

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.

Thou Shalt Not Breech and Clear

Witness below the testimony of Pastor Chuck, in which he chronicles the night that the Fullerton police entered his family’s home and held them at gunpoint in a narcotics raid executed on the wrong house:

Next, enlighten yourself with the unhallowed details here.

Remember, if it could happen to one of the Lord’s anointed, it could happen to you too.

Oops. Fullerton PD Botches Narc Raid, Church Lady Not Amused

Every once in a while you read a story about some innocent citizen whose privacy and safety are wrongfully violated by a police raid executed on the wrong home. Picture the frightening scene of a modernized para-military police force busting their way into your home with guns drawn, putting your innocent family members in immediate danger. Of course it’s almost always perpetrated under the guise of the interminable War on Drugs.

Well, this time it happened right here in Fullerton, and to the last person whom you would expect.

An actual dramatization

Notable conservative Christian activist and self-described “family values” advocate Robyn Nordell says that her family was mistakenly treated to an armed raid by Fullerton narcotics agents back on October 20th, 2010. According to statements filed by the Nordells at city hall, police quietly came onto her property one evening through her back gate and then entered her home with guns drawn through an unlocked back door. Once inside, police held the Nordell family at gunpoint while they checked her house, presumably for drugs and parolees.

Oops. It turns out they were actually looking for the neighbor who lived next door.

The Nordells helpfully provided photos showing the obvious differences between the two properties, including a deteriorating address marker on the back gate:

Well, that’s not very good. If you’re going to storm someone’s house using lethal force, you better make sure the address is right.

Robyn and her husband Chuck have demanded an investigation by the city council into this incident. While the police have been apologetic, actual follow-up and resolution seems to be lacking. It took several months and some persistence just for the victims to get a copy of the police report.

Corrective action? Unlikely. And if the cops do manage to change something, will they ever admit it to the public? Keeping incidents quiet is always best for them, but never good for the rest us.

Maybe it’s time for some citizen oversight.