By Doug Porter
Higher ups in the San Diego Police Department may have been more concerned about negative publicity than getting at the facts about accusations alleging sexual misconduct as far back as 1997 by former police officer Anthony Arevalos from according to federal court transcripts obtained by 10News.
A confidential meeting between former chief William Lansdowne and Executive Chief David Ramirez, according to attorney Joe Dicks in publicly released transcripts of oral arguments that reference still-sealed depositions, was held “to try and figure out not if it really happened, not if there are any witnesses left, only to take documentation that is going to come around and bite them in the bottom.”
I looked around the local media this morning. Aside from a mention the VOSD Morning Report, the local media seems to treating this as a non-story. Here’s an excerpt, not for the faint of heart, from the 10 News story:
Lawyers for Arevalos’ 13th victim, who is only known as Jane Doe, address a 1997 incident where Arevalos detained a mentally unstable woman and took pictures as she preformed sex acts on herself with his police baton.
Arevalos’ former partner alerted police supervisors of the incident. However, court records show it was never reported to internal affairs. Arevalos would go on to assault 13 women while on duty until his conviction in 2011.
“This all could have been stopped years ago,” Arevalos’ former partner Francisco Torres said under oath in 2012. “He has his Polaroid out and when I got there the female was in the backseat again naked with her handcuffs in front of her and she had the baton.”
This information is being revealed thanks to the perseverance of victim Jane Doe, who has refused to settle out of court with the City of San Diego. City Attorney Jan Goldsmith has waged a media campaign seeking to deflect her demands for a court-empowered monitor of SDPD practices, trying to paint the victim as a gold digger.
Via a March 28th City of San Diego press release:
“The upcoming trial is about what injuries Jane Doe suffered and how much she should be awarded,” said City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, who pointed out that the City settled with the other 12 victims because the City understands its legal responsibility. “She says she fears being outside because of the incident, for example, and should be awarded damages for that. We want the jury to see all the evidence and set a reasonable amount for whatever injuries they find she, in fact, suffered. That’s what the case is about.”
On March 27th Judge Michael Anello dismissed claims by the victim against individual officers, identified as William Landsdowne, David Bejarano, Rudy Tai, Danny Hollister, Kevin Friedman, Victoria Binkerd, Robert Kanaski, Max Verduzco and Jorge Guevara, basing his decision on the body of law that protects government employees from liability for many types of misconduct.
“Jane Doe” is seeking a court-empowered monitor to examine SDPD practices. The City has has made a big deal about inviting in the Justice Department’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) to conduct an “audit” of the Department. COPS’ investigative powers are limited to voluntary cooperation. Its findings are merely recommendations, which other police departments, like the Las Vegas PD, have elected to give mere lip service to implementing.
An investigation by COPS into the Albuquerque, NM PD, which included horrific instances of use of excessive force (like a man who doused himself in gasoline being tased by the cops and catching fire), includes 44 recommendations. But those changes can’t be implemented without going through a lengthy and non-binding negotiation process.
The Real Reason for Issa’s IRS Inquisition
Today’s UT-San Diego (and no doubt many other papers around the country) includes an Associated Press story saying that Congressman Darrell Issa’s House Oversight Committee voted along party lines on Thursday hold a former IRS official in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions.
Their chances of actually getting a conviction against Lois Lerner, who previously headed the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status, are slim and none, according to Congressional Research Service data cited by Rep. Elijah Cummings. The Maryland Democrat who is the ranking member of Oversight released a report on Wednesday saying, according to Politicio, “Issa is pulling from the playbook of the late Sen. Joe McCarthy, who waged an infamous witch hunt against alleged communists in the 1950s.”
The non-profit news organization ProPublica has reviewed documents released by the committee about the inner workings of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations division. They give an insight into how that office approached applications of social welfare nonprofits, also known as dark money groups because they spend money on elections without reporting their donors.
And guess what their number one takeaway was? From ProPublica:
The IRS planned to deny the application of Crossroads GPS.
Crossroads GPS spent more than $90 million from unknown donors to elect conservatives in the 2010 and 2012 elections, far more than any other dark money group. By the beginning of 2013, the IRS was planning to deny the group’s application, the documents show.
The potential denial wasn’t about the group’s flavor of advocacy. It was about their flaunting of the law. I doubt Issa will be putting that in any of his press releases.
Seaworld Loses OSHA Appeal
From ohsonline.com, h/t Lorena Gonzalez:
OSHA has won the appellate case involving its enforcement case against SeaWorld of Florida LLC following the death of killer whale trainer Dawn Brancheau on Feb. 24, 2010. A 2-1 decision issued April 11 by a panel of three judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit found that SeaWorld “recognized its precautions were inadequate to prevent serious bodily harm or even death to its trainers and that the residual hazard was preventable.”
“The remedy imposed for SeaWorld’s violations does not change the essential nature of its business,” the majority opinion written by Judge Judith W. Rogers states. “There will still be human interactions and performances with killer whales; the remedy will simply require that they continue with increased safety measures.”
Senate CIA Report Findings Leaked: Your Tax Dollars at Work
I’m including this item simply because I have serious doubts that it will be reported locally, not because I’m surprised at any of the conclusions.
The McClatchy News Service Washington Bureau has obtained a copy of the findings of the “maybe we’ll declassify it next month” (which they’ve been saying for five years now) report of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Here’s what the government has been fighting to keep secret:
- The CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques did not effectively assist the agency in acquiring intelligence or in gaining cooperation from detainees.
- The CIA repeatedly provided inaccurate information to the Department of Justice, impeding a proper legal analysis of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.
- The CIA subjected detainees to interrogation techniques that had not been approved by the Department of Justice or had not been authorized by CIA Headquarters.
- The CIA did not conduct a comprehensive or accurate accounting of the number of individuals it detained and held individuals who did not meet the legal standard for detention.
- The CIA’s claims about the number of detainees held and subjected to its enhanced interrogation techniques were inaccurate.
- The CIA inaccurately characterized the effectiveness of the enhanced interrogation techniques to justify their use.
- The CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques was brutal and far worse than the agency communicated to policymakers.
- The conditions of confinement for CIA detainees were brutal and far worse than the agency communicated to policymakers.
- The CIA impeded effective White House oversight and decision-‐making.
- The CIA has actively avoided or impeded congressional oversight of the program.
- The CIA impeded oversight by the CIA’s Office of Inspector General.
- Numerous internal critiques and objections concerning the CIA’s management and use of the Detention and Interrogation were ignored.
- The CIA manipulated the media by coordinating the release of classified information, which inaccurately portrayed the effectiveness of the agency’s enhanced interrogation techniques.
- The CIA was unprepared as it began operating its Detention and Interrogation Program more than six months after being granted detention authorities.
- The way in which the CIA operated and managed the program complicated, and in some cases hindered the national security missions of other Executive Branch agencies. Management of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program was deeply flawed throughout its duration, particularly so in 2002 and 2003.
- Two contract psychologists devised the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques and were central figures in the program’s operation. By 2005, the CIA had overwhelmingly outsourced operations related to the program.
- The effectiveness of the enhanced interrogation techniques was not sufficiently evaluated by the CIA.
- CIA personnel who were responsible for serious violations, inappropriate behavior, or management failures in the program’s operation were seldom reprimanded or held accountable by the agency.
- The CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program ended by 2006 due to legal and oversight concerns, unauthorized press disclosures and reduced cooperation from other nations.
- The CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program damaged the United States’ global reputation, and came with heavy costs, both monetary and non-‐monetary.
I just thought you’d like to know.
On This Day: 1945 – During World War II, American soldiers liberated the Nazi concentration camp of Buchenwald in Germany. 1947 – Jackie Robinson became the first black player in major-league history. He played in an exhibition game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. 1956 – James Brown debuts on the R&B charts with “Please, Please, Please.”
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