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.

The Cop Death Threat: Agent Provocateur or Just Some Nutjob?

The other day some sick individual left this hideous comment attached to a blog post regarding Fullerton police officers:

Wow.

That’s messed up! Our initial analysis led us to the almost certain conclusion that this rather obvious death threat against Fullerton’s Finest was actually left by a member of Fullerton’s own police union, the FPOA, in an effort to stir up trouble for us bloggers and draw much needed sympathy for their own members. Agent provocateurs is what I believe they call police officers who pretend to join in an otherwise peaceful rally and then incite violence, usually in order to facilitate a brutal police beatdown against pesky protestors.

But, in this post 9-11 world, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Which is why we decided to notify the Fullerton Police Chief and the FBI about this potential threat to officer safety.

Thanks. You never can be too sure.

Is it illegal to call for the death of police officers? I have no idea. But it really is a horrible thing to say, and none of us bloggers here would condone any such sentiment. We should leave it up to our law enforcement specialists to look into it and decide for themselves.

We’ll let you know if we hear of an investigation.

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.

The Great Dorothy Lane Airsoft Caper of ’09

This is a recollection of the day when 11 Fullerton PD units saved us from a plastic gunfight.

We were living on the North side of Dorothy Lane at this time.  I would not have allowed this if I were home, but my son Riley and his three buddies had an Airsoft war in the front yard.  There was one kid with an automatic Airsoft rifle and the other 3 had cheesy plastic handguns with orange tips.

My very cool neighbor Paul, who was working in his front yard, told me later that he knew the cops were going to come because some of the people driving by were watching pretty intently.

Obviously, a dumb idea.  At about dusk, three or four Fullerton cops came screeching up, pulled their guns and told the boys to freeze, drop their weapons, etc…  I’m fine with all of this.  They’ve got to protect the community.  Within a minute or two there were 11 units on scene.  One of the boys’ girlfriends pulled up while it was happening and took these pictures.

At that point, my neighbor, who is about 56, very articulate and grew up in the neighborhood, told one of the cops near him that the boys were just playing airsoft and that it’s OK.

Even after the cops were informed that it was an airsoft game, they made the boys put their hands on their heads, back toward them, lie on their stomachs, handcuff them and put them in one of the cars. My neighbor began chewing this cop’s ear that he could not believe they were not putting an end to this event, now that they knew what was going on.

The 8oz clear plastic guns were lying on the ground near where they had the boys lie down.  There were real guns pointed at the four boys the whole time.  After the cops got all the kids in the car, they sent officers with shotguns down either side of my house, into the backyard and then asked for permission to search the house… which my handcuffed son gave them.

When I talked to some higher ranking guy at the station the next day, he told me that he once was on a bust in Fullerton where guys were out front with Airsoft guns while there were real bad guys with real guns, pistol whipping the homeowners inside.  He declined to get me the details of that incident.

I will say this:  Once the boys were in the back of the car and the crime scene was secured, my son told me that the police did NOT condescend to them, berate them or generally act like power hungry jackasses.  I was told that the boys having their shirts off had something to do with the reaction. It seems that speed freaks are particularly fond of going shirtless. Well, so are boys that practice for Eastside’s High school Worship Group in my garage when it’s 90 degrees outside.  Plus, it’s more fun to shoot somebody with an Airsoft gun when their shirt is off.

This happened more than a year ago and I was torn as to whether or not to allow FFFF to post the photos.  After this much time has passed, I figured it was worthwhile just to point out that Fullerton is adequately staffed to have 11 units show up to a plastic gun fight.

Mistakes Were Made: FPD Locks Up the Wrong Kid for 5 Months

Justice requires both integrity and diligence, but sometimes that’s just too much to expect. And it goes without saying that nobody deserves to be thrown in jail for a crime they did not commit.

It doesn’t always work out that way. According to a Register story pointed out by some of our favorite commenters, this kid just spent five months in jail awaiting trial after the Fullerton police set him up on charges of armed robbery, even though the victim clearly identified someone else!

Luckily for him, the botched line-up was captured on an audio recording which his attorney later reviewed, causing the DA to drop the charges.

So critical evidence, namely the victim’s actual testimony, was completely ignored by Fullerton’s finest. Laziness? Incompetence? Malice? We’ll never know. But when the justice system is subverted, everybody loses.

The sad narrative includes a priceless comment from FPD/FPOA spokesman Andrew Goodrich: “Mistakes are made sometimes.”

No need to apologize.

Whew! Responsibility averted. All in a day’s work.

It’s a good thing we don’t give criminals that kind of leeway.

Cops Offer $10,000 Reward for Capture of Sign Thief

Well, not our cops. But up in San Jose they take political sign theft seriously. That’s why the police and fire unions have offered up ten grand for information leading to the capture and prosecution of some local sign stealers. You can read all about it on CNBC. Those guys up in San Jose sure do value free speech.

But back to Fullerton and the case(s) of the missing Bad Chi and No McKinley signs…

They have sentimental value.

Our friends at the Fullerton PD have been provided with plenty of clear photographic evidence of criminal activity, free of charge. We even did all of the legwork for them: following the getaway van back to headquarters, ID’ing one of the suspects, and making contact with all of the eye-witnesses. As far as I can tell, all that’s left is a little bit of paper work and a call to the District Attorney’s office to make sure that the perps aren’t already on parole.

So three weeks have gone by and the election is now behind us. And what do we have to show for our crime-fighting efforts?

An “out of office” email from the detective working on our case.

Ouch, that hurts! Oh well, take your time officer. Any job worth doing is worth doing right.

Another DUI Checkpoint

Tomorrow night hundreds of law-abiding citizens will be stopped and questioned at a Fullerton DUI/license checkpoint while a few dozen officers stand around drinking coffee and earning overtime pay.

Unlike the previous checkpoint in May, the location of this one is being kept secret. If you want to know where the checkpoint will be, try hanging out at the local bars, where word of the location will spread immediately.

We’ve talked about how these checkpoints are extremely ineffective, nabbing only a couple of drunks while deploying a huge amount of police resources at our expense.

The police department has struggled to explain the lack of significant arrests, and has resorted to justifying the checkpoints as mere “safety education.” Our highly trained and well-compensated police officers have been reduced to handing out M.A.D.D. flyers in the middle of the street, one car at a time. That’s a task that could easily be done for free by M.A.D.D. volunteers in the bar parking lots. Of course, that approach wouldn’t be very lucrative for the police department.

These checkpoints are ineffective, invasive and expensive. It’s time to replace them with regular DUI patrols.

Fullerton’s $100,000 Pension Club Welcomes 15 New Members

It’s been almost a year since we published the original list of retired Fullerton public employees earning over $100,000 per year in pensions.

Since then we have learned that our state’s unfunded pension liability has grown to over $500 billion dollars. Our Friends over at California Pension Reform have updated their list of CalPERS pensions, bringing on fifteen new “hundred grand” members from Fullerton this year. That’s an increase of 40% in a single year.

So let’s see who is getting the most from largess from taxpayers. New members are in bold:

Name Annual Pension Position
JAMES “JIM” REED $166,781.88 Fire
GEOFFREY SPALDING $149,852.88 Police
GREGORY MAYES $148,889.40 Police
MICHAEL MAYNARD $140,317.20 Police
DANIEL CHIDESTER $139,416.72 Fire
FRANK PAUL DUDLEY $133,821.00 Development Services Director
ALLEN BURKS $133,782.36 Police
DOUGLAS CAVE $130,761.36 Police
GLENN STEINBRINK $127,533.00 Administrative Director
ANTONIO HERNANDEZ $127,402.20 Police
H SUSAN HUNT $126,970.80 Director of Park and Recreation
STEVEN MATSON $126,430.68 Police
RONNY ROWELL $125,168.40 Police
TERRY STRINGHAM $123,482.28 Fire
GEORGE NEWMAN $121,410.60
RICHARD RILEY $121,113.36
MARK FLANNERY $120,934.68 Director of Personnel
DAVID STANKO $120,279.84 Police
ROBERT HODSON $119,956.08 Director of Engineering
ROBERT “BOB” RICHARDSON $119,720.88 Police
PATRICK MCKINLEY $118,446.48 Chief of Police
DANIEL BECERRA $116,917.20 Police
NEAL BALDWIN $116,740.68 Police
PHILIP GOEHRING $115,076.04 Police
BRAD HOCKERSMITH $115,053.84 Fire
JEFFREY ROOP $113,618.88 Police
KURT BERTUZZI $109,255.08 Fire
LINDA KING $108,168.84 Police
DONALD “DON” PEARCE $107,972.76 Police
CAROLYN JOHNSON $107,179.80 Library Director
TIMOTHY JANOVICK $106,330.44
PAUL TURNEY $105,747.12
RONALD “RON” GILLETT $105,499.56 Police
ARTHUR WIECHMANN $104,153.76 Police
JONATHON “JON” MCAULAY $102,034.80 Fire
RICHARD HUTCHINSON $101,822.16
JOHN PIERSON $101,524.92
HUGH BERRY $100,488.84 Assistant City Manager
WILLIAM KENDRICK $100,194.48 Police

Remember… public employee pensions are negotiated between the unions and our city council. It’s time to figure out who has been representing the taxpayers and who has been sticking up for the unions.