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Saturday, March 31, 2012

[NYPD] POLICE SAY NYPD Officer Frances Vasile used her NYPD fiancee's service weapon to take her own life - 1996


Frances Vasile
Not forgotten.
24 November 1969 - 11 January 1976

...A Bronx police officer killed herself last night with her cop fiance's gun in a City Island house the couple was fixing up to move into, police said... The gun belonged to Robert O'Keeffe, a 10-year veteran who worked with Vasile in the 48th Precinct and was engaged to her... Cops have not been able to interview the distraught O'Keeffe to determine how Vasile got his gun...

BRONX OFFICER DIES IN APPARENT SUICIDE
New York Times
Published: January 12, 1996
[Excerpts] An off-duty police officer died last night in the Bronx of a gunshot wound to the head, which the police said appeared to be suicide. The shooting occurred at 6:40 P.M. inside a private residence on City Island, said Officer John Hickey, a police spokesman... It was not clear last night whether she was alone at the time of the shooting... [Redacted], neighbors on Ditmars Street, said the woman and a man were renovating the house, but did not live there. "It's a real shock... We had so much fun together. We were together with them just last night"...

BRONX COP KILLS HERSELF
New York Daily News
January 12th 1996, 1:95AM
[Excerpts] A Bronx police officer killed herself last night with her cop fiance's gun in a City Island house the couple was fixing up to move into, police said. Frances Vasile, 26, a beat cop, was found dead at 6:45 p.m., her hand clutching the off-duty revolver as it lay on her chest. The gun belonged to Robert O'Keeffe, a 10-year veteran who worked with Vasile in the 48th Precinct and was engaged to her, police said... According to property records, the couple bought the house on Ditmars St. a little more than two months ago. "There is no indication why she did this," said Deputy Inspector James Campbell. But high-level police sources, who asked not to be identified, said Vasile was consumed with jealousy, though they could not say what prompted it. Campbell said both officers worked the 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. shift yesterday and drove home together... Police sources said there was no argument. Vasile simply sat down on the couch in the living room. "And then she says she is going to kill herself," a police source said... Cops have not been able to interview the distraught O'Keeffe to determine how Vasile got his gun. O'Keeffe was taken to Jacobi Hospital for trauma counseling.
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities said alleged suicide nypd new york state politics unsolved unresolved police department cop on cop]

[LA] Former Police Officer Pickney's upgraded murder charge means now he may get life sentence for killing Chanda

There's no justice that can bring Chanda back, but the prosecutor and Chanda's parents are doing every thing that they can to make sure Donald Pickney is held accountable for the heinous crime he's charged with committing, brutally stealing mama Chanda from life and life from Chanda.

Former Opelousas Police officer Donald Pickney has been indicted for second degree murder in his wife Chanda's death... Rapides Parish prosecutor Rocky Willson said that if Pickney is convicted on the murder charge, he faces life in prison... In a lawsuit filed by Chanda Pickney's parents after her death, court documents allege that two days before she died, Pickney "physically abused and handcuffed her, would not allow her to leave the residence, and ultimately killed her on Oct. 29, 2011." The suit also said

Chanda knew she was going to die...

FROM NOV 2011 POST: ...Both of the Pickney's were employed at the Alexandria [Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Pineville] - Donald as a full-time police officer and Chanda as a physician's assistant... Donald Pickney previously served in the Marines, in the the Louisiana National Guard and in law enforcement with the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office and the Opelousas Police Department... Donald Pickney had been dismissed from the Sheriff's Office after repeated complaints of stalking were filed against him by his first wife...

FROM FEB 2012 POST: ...The suit states [4 year old] Ethan was at the family's Timberlake subdivision home while his mother, Chanda Pickney, allegedly was held captive and killed in late October... The language in the [parent's law]suit and evidence in the criminal case being developed against Donald Pickney strongly suggest he tortured Chanda for two to three days before she died Oct. 29...

YESTERDAY: 

FORMER OFFICER INDICTED IN WIFE'S MURDER
KATC
Mar 30, 2012
[Excerpts] A former Opelousas Police officer has been indicted in his wife's murder. Donald Pickney, 44, is accused in the second degree murder of his wife, Chanda, 33... Donald Pickney previously served in the Marines, in the the Louisiana National Guard and in law enforcement with the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office and the Opelousas Police Department... [Full article here]

MAN INDICTED ON MURDER CHARGE IN WIFE'S DEATH
The Associated Press
March 30, 2012
[Excerpts] A 44-year-old Woodworth man has been indicted on a second-degree murder charge by a Rapides Parish grand jury in the October 2011 death of his wife... 44-year-old Donald Pickney, originally was charged in a bill of information with manslaughter, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 40 years. Rapides Parish prosecutor Rocky Willson said that if Pickney is convicted on the murder charge, he faces life in prison. Chanda Pickney, 33, was pronounced dead on Oct. 29 at Christus St. Frances Cabrini Hospital, where the staff suspected foul play and called Rapides Parish sheriff's investigators... A trial on the original charge of manslaughter was to begin the week of April 16... In a lawsuit filed by Chanda Pickney's parents after her death, court documents allege that two days before she died, Pickney "physically abused and handcuffed her, would not allow her to leave the residence, and ultimately killed her on Oct. 29, 2011." The suit also said Chanda knew she was going to die. In a February pretrial hearing, District Judge Thomas Yeager allowed into evidence crime-scene photos taken at the Timberlake home, including photographs of the couple's bathtub, scratches on the footboard of the couple's bed, blood spots on the bed, a handcuff pouch, bruises behind one of Chanda's ears, and injuries to her mouth and on the inside of her calves, court records show... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities murder torture louisiana state politics]

Monday, March 26, 2012

[CA] 2003: Sarah Gumbert's life taken in her San Bernardino police officer husband's murder-suicide


On August 19th 2003 veteran San Bernardino police officer Paul Gumbert fatally shot his wife Sarah before killing himself at their Highland California home. There was one short article that I could find and it gave no clue to why, or what preceded their deaths. It gave no clue to who they were as people, or what could be done to keep it from happening again to another family.
Paul and Sarah have 2 children.
Lift a prayer.
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities murder-sucide california state politics]

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

[CA] San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi shows no intention to leave his position willingly, so Mayor takes action

..."He has chosen not to resign and now I must act," [San Francisco - Mayor Ed] Lee said... He said the sheriff's actions "fell below the standard of decency and good faith" needed for public officials... 

There are no winners in domestic violence.

PREVIOUS POST: 
[CA] Sheriff Mirkarimi plea bargain lets him keep his gun. San Francisco has to decide if he can keep his job.

MAYOR SAYS HE'LL SUSPEND MIRKARIMI AS SHERIFF
San Francisco Chronicle
Rachel Gordon
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
[Excerpts] San Francisco - Mayor Ed Lee is suspending Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi from his post, the first step toward removing him from office permanently for official misconduct. "He has chosen not to resign and now I must act," Lee said in a 5 p.m. news conference today. He said the sheriff's actions "fell below the standard of decency and good faith" needed for public officials. Mirkarimi pleaded guilty last week to a misdemeanor charge of false imprisonment for an incident involving his wife on New Year's Eve. Lee named Vicki Hennessy to serve as interim sheriff... Lee told Mirkarimi Monday afternoon that he had 24 hours to resign voluntarily, but the embattled sheriff, who was elected in November and sworn in Jan. 8, refused the request and will fight the official misconduct charge. "At this time I do not plan to resign," Mirkarimi told reporters gathered outside of his office this afternoon, less than an hour before Lee's news conference. His voice fraught with emotion and his face bathed in sweat, Mirkarimi said he thought his actions did not constitute official misconduct... He said his top priority was reconciling with his wife [Eliana Lopez], who, because of a judge's order, he hasn't been allowed to see for nine weeks. He sees his son for two hours a day. "It's been cruel. It's been crushing," he said. "Neither she or I understand what has happened"... [Eliana] has disputed the prosecution's assertions that Mirkarimi grabbed her arm and inflicted a large bruise... [LINK]



FROM MONDAY:
Sheriff Mirkarimi's statement to the media after he's sentenced on a lesser plea bargained charge:


Apologies were a part of the plea agreement 


CONTRITION ACCOMPLISHED? 
SAN FRANCISCO SHERIFF MIRKARIMI: 'NOT THE PERSON I THOUGHT I WAS'
Mercury News
Julia Prodis Sulek
03/19/2012
[Excerpts] ...Moments after San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi was sentenced on a domestic violence charge Monday, he apologized to his family and community, saying he was "ashamed and deeply sorry" for his behavior... But the sheriff's contrition before a phalanx of reporters in the hallway outside the San Francisco courtroom was "too little, too late" for domestic violence victims' advocates. They renewed their call for his ouster. "That trust is broken, and I don't think a few comments today, as happy as I am to hear them, are enough to show any real remorse," said Beverly Upton, executive director of the San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium. Perhaps the most important person Mirkarimi needed to convince, aside from his wife and 2-year-old son, is San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who has the power to start a process involving the Board of Supervisors that could lead to Mirkarimi's removal from office... On Monday, Mirkarimi said he has been in counseling since the confrontation for "arrogance and anger issues." He also apologized to the domestic violence support community, saying he regrets ever saying that his fight with his wife was "a private family matter." "I will work so much harder to regain the trust I have lost," he said. In the days following that comment, a victims advocacy group raised $4,000 to pay for a downtown billboard that stated: "Domestic Violence is NEVER a private matter." "It shouldn't take a billboard campaign" for the sheriff to recognize the error of his ways, Upton said... Mirkarimi must still abide by the "stay-away" order that bans him from seeing his wife or carrying a gun and imposes limitations on visits with his son. Gascon said it's possible Mirkarimi won't be able to carry a gun until his three years probation is up, but that too will be up for a court to decide. A judge will determine when Mirkarimi has made enough progress in counseling to warrant the reunion with his wife. Lopez has said she loves her husband and wants their marriage to continue. "I know how deeply I have let the people down and am eternally and deeply sorry," Mirkarimi told reporters. "I am not the person I thought I was." [Full article here]



UPDATE:

MIRKARIMI'S WIFE, SON CAN TRAVEL TO VENEZUELA
San Francisco Chronicle
Rachel Gordon
Saturday, March 24, 2012
[Excerpts] Suspended San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, has agreed to forgo visits with his son so his wife [Eliana Lopez] can take their child [] to Venezuela for a month to help care for her ailing father. Mirkarimi, with his wife's consent, petitioned the San Francisco Superior Court for a modified visitation schedule. Judge Ronald Albers signed the order Friday... Lopez's father recently suffered a recurrence of cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy in Venezuela, according to her attorneys... Mirkarimi "will endeavor to complete as many counseling sessions as possible... "It is the mutual intention of (the couple) to begin marital counseling as soon as they are able" once Lopez returns to San Francisco, the couple told the court in Friday's filing. According to court documents, Lopez's desire to visit her family in Venezuela after Mirkarimi was sworn in as sheriff Jan. 8 sparked the New Year's Eve argument that led to his arrest. He didn't want her to take Theo away... [Full article here]

ROSS MIRKARIMI'S WIFE ALLOWED TO TRAVEL WITH SON TO VENEZUELA FOR FIVE WEEKS
San Francisco Examiner, Bay City News
03/23/12
[Excerpt] ...On Wednesday, Mayor Ed Lee suspended Mirkarimi without pay on official misconduct charges, which will be considered by the city's Ethics Commission at a upcoming hearing. The commission will then make a non-binding recommendation to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, which would need nine of the 11 supervisors to approve the charges for Mirkarimi to be removed from office. Before being suspended, Mirkarimi said, "I do not believe that the conduct that I have taken responsibility for constitutes official misconduct" and said he looks forward to arguing his case with the Ethics Commission and Board of Supervisors. [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety brass top cop scandal strategy california state politics]

[CA] Concord Police Officer Patel carged with domestic Corporal Injury and False Imprisoment

CONCORD COP CHARGED WITH DOMESTIC ABUSE
San Francisco Chronicle
Henry K. Lee
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
[Excerpts] A Concord police officer has been charged with domestic abuse and false imprisonment... Officer Ameet Patel was arrested by San Ramon police Feb. 16. Contra Costa County prosecutors charged him with corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant and false imprisonment, both felonies... [LINK]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety california state politics wife]

[AZ] Police heard ex-deputy Anton wanted to kill ex-wife and others, so protected them

...Deputies said [former Coconino County Sheriff's Deputy Mark] Anton had made death threats against family members, a former spouse, and her former boyfriend. The events continued into Saturday with death threats made against responding law enforcement officers... A report said that officers called to warn several unidentified subjects that Anton might be on his way to kill them and sent officers to protect the home... The Sheriff's office has declined to say whether Anton quit or was fired last year when he left Metro, a multi-agency anti-narcotics task force...

I'm opting to not post his mug shot.

FORMER DEPUTY PLEADS INNOCENT
azdailysun.com,
Eric Betz
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
[Excerpts] A former Coconino County Sheriff's Office deputy pleaded innocent Monday to 12 criminal charges stemming from a weekendlong pursuit and standoff in February that left officers racing to protect the man's ex-wife and her former boyfriend - a current deputy. The charges against Mark Anton, 38, of Timberline, include two counts of possession of methamphetamine paraphernalia, eight counts of aggravated harassment for domestic violence and two counts of making threats... in violation of a restraining order... Eventually, officers were dispatched to his ex-wife's house for protection. Police received a report that Anton said he was going to kill someone and then commit "suicide by cop."... Police reports said a search of Anton's house turned up 20 guns, meth paraphernalia and a bullet with the ex-wife's boyfriend's name on it... Anton was being held in protective custody because of the suicidal comments and potential threats to his safety... [Full article here]

EARLIER

FORMER DEPUTY SHERIFF ARRESTED IN FLAGSTAFF STANDOFF
KPHO
By Phil Benson
Posted: Feb 26, 2012
FLAGSTAFF, AZ (CBS5) -[Excerpts] A former deputy sheriff for the Coconino County Sheriff's Office surrendered peacefully Sunday morning following a standoff in Flagstaff. Mark Anton, 38, of Flagstaff was booked on pending charges that include threatening and intimidating. Sheriff's deputies, with help from the Flagstaff Police Department and the Arizona Department of Public Safety, responded to Anton's home... Deputies said Anton had made death threats against family members, a former spouse, and her former boyfriend. The events continued into Saturday with death threats made against responding law enforcement officers... Anton also indicated he wanted to die at the hands of law enforcement officers, sheriff's investigators said... [Full article here]

STANDOFF CHARGES MOUNT
azdailysun.com
Eric Betz
Friday, March 2, 2012
[Excerpts] A search of the home of a 38-year-old Timberline man who was arrested following a lengthy standoff with police this weekend revealed about 20 guns, methamphetamine paraphernalia and a bullet standing upright on his mantel with a name handwritten on it. New charges have now been added against Mark Anton, a former Coconino County Sheriff's Office deputy and a current EMT with Guardian Medical Transport, including six counts of aggravated harassment per domestic violence, two counts of felony possession of drug paraphernalia, and two misdemeanor counts of threatening and intimidating... The Sheriff's office has declined to say whether Anton quit or was fired last year when he left Metro, a multi-agency anti-narcotics task force. According to police and Sheriff's office reports made available Thursday, Anton was allegedly upset that he wasn't allowed to see his son often enough and in recent weeks had taken to sending his ex-wife text messages in violation of a restraining order... An anonymous person reported that Anton had called them crying and said he was going to kill someone and then kill himself. "When asked how, he stated that while en route to kill (redacted), he was going to do whatever he could to get the attention of law enforcement and once a traffic stop was initiated, he was going to exit his car with multiple weapons and begin shooting," a police report said. Anton was described as being bipolar and off his medication. A report said that officers called to warn several unidentified subjects that Anton might be on his way to kill them and sent officers to protect the home. "Having personal knowledge of Mark's feelings towards (redacted), I took these statements very seriously and knew Mark had the means to commit these acts," the report said... Anton texted several officers outside his home to say that he was prepared to protect his property and that he "better not know the first person in the stack," adding he would shoot whoever came through the door... He eventually surrendered... A search of Anton's home revealed a loaded Colt AR-15 assault rifle next to his bed as well as a loaded handgun. Each had a round in the chamber. A loaded revolver was also found in the bathroom... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal suicidal homicidal arizona state politics professionalism]

Monday, March 19, 2012

[LA] The Louisiana State Attorney General's Office is interested in any information on ex-Delcambre Police Lt./ ex- Jeanerette Police Officer Earnest Billiot.


"...The Attorney General's Office is prosecuting this case. If you have any information about this case or any other allegations of abuse involving Ernest Billiot please contact me via email at derbesm@ag.state.la.us or Investigator Andrew Bergeron at 225-326-6100..."

Matthew B. Derbes
Assistant Attorney General
Louisiana Dept. of Justice ~ Criminal Division
Post Office Box 94005
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
225-326-6200

Earlier post on Billiot:
[LA] Police Lt. Billiot wasn't supposed to have a gun, was fired, got new cop job, now fired again after new charges. 
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety child abuse louisiana state politics professionalism]

[CA] THE JOKE IS ON LADY JUSTICE: Felonies REVERSED for former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen

[Former Blue Lake Police Chief David] Gundersen faced more than two dozen criminal counts - a jury convicted him of 14 charges. Of those, only a misdemeanor conviction of violating a court order stands today... Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges... eight felonies, including spousal rape, witness tampering, possession of a machine gun and a silencer. He was also charged with three misdemeanors, including violation of a court order, possession of a controlled substance and unauthorized disclosure of information... On Thursday, March 15, a state appeals court overturned the two [remaining] felony convictions. Gundersen had contended that Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Marilyn Miles failed to adequately instruct the jury...


[Gundersen is also the former chief of Trinidad Police Department and also worked for the Adelanto Police Department]

PREVIOUS POSTS:
  • February 17, 2008 - CA] Chief Gunderson 12-count cop-on-cop spousal rape charges - ...Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen's ex-wife - a legal office assistant in the Sheriff's office - claimed in 1999 court records that Gundersen drugged her for unwanted sex. Now he faces 12 counts of raping his CURRENT wife - a Blue Lake Police sergeant... He also faces charges on 3 acts committed while in custody. One is threatening the witness, his wife - caught on a phone call - and planning places to hide...
  • June 4, 2008 - [CA] Update on Chief Gunderson's wife-rape charges & guns, guns, guns - ...His attorney, Russell Clanton, contends that seeds of trouble were planted by the chief's former wife, now a Humboldt County sheriff's office dispatcher...
  • August 14, 2008 - [CA] Cop dv victims in even more danger (and even more likely then to recant) - ...experts say it's not uncommon for victims to change their mind on pressing charges, or reinterpreting what they've said... They may have hope that the person they love will change... But the No. 1 reason, Lemon said, is the fear of retaliation... Those women are in more danger because the police will usually protect their own”...
  • August 17, 2008 - [CA] Trial: Chief Gundersen's wife now says it was all lies - The trial for Blue Lake Police Chief Gundersen picks up again on August 25th. Here are excerpts from recent news, including a list that I extracted from the articles, given as the reasons why the Chief's wife Darcie now says she lied...
  • August 27, 2008 - [CA] She was afraid she'd die if she didn't lie says ex-attorney for Chief Gundersen's wife - David Gundersen's wife feared the former Blue Lake Police Chief would kill her if she testified... ”she was petrified,” Griego continued, adding that he probably spoke to her about 100 times over two months. “She was shaking and in tears most of the time I talked to her”...
  • October 28, 2008 - [CA] Ex-Chief Gundersen already in and back out of jail - for violating another court order... He also faces charges on 3 acts [allegedly] committed while in custody. One is threatening the witness, his wife - caught on a phone call - and planning places to hide. Gundersen is being kept in jail for safety of the victim... The chief's attorney, Arcata attorney Russell Clanton: "Frankly I think the position is that the state has put their nose into the bedroom of Chief Gundersen and his current wife"...

RECENT NEWS:

GUNDERSEN'S FELONIES REVERSED; appeals court finds court improperly instructed 2008 jury
The Times-Standard
Thadeus Greenson
03/18/2012 02:39:44 AM PDT
 A California appellate court has reversed a pair of 2008 felony firearms convictions against David Gundersen, leaving the possibility that the former Blue Lake Police chief will face another trial... On Sept. 24, 2008 - after a two-month trial in which Gundersen faced more than two dozen criminal counts - a jury convicted him of 14 charges. Of those, only a misdemeanor conviction of violating a court order stands today... Ultimately, in the 2008 trial, Gundersen faced two-dozen charges of spousal rape with the use of an intoxicant, charges of illegally possessing a submachine gun and a pistol with a silencer, and violating a court order... Gundersen was sentenced to four years probation and time served. On Thursday, the appeals court ruled that Watson erred in not fully instructing the jury that exceptions apply to the firearms offenses that allow law enforcement officers to possess the weapons within the scope of their duties. Watson didn't, the appellate ruling stated, explicitly tell the jury it was the prosecution's burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Gundersen's case did not fit those exceptions... [Full article here]

EX-BLPD CHIEF GUNDERSEN CLEARED OF ALL FELONIES
The Arcata Eye
Kevin L. Hoover
Friday, March 16, 2012
[Excerpts] Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. Gundersen was originally charged with eight felonies, including spousal rape, witness tampering, possession of a machine gun and a silencer. He was also charged with three misdemeanors, including violation of a court order, possession of a controlled substance and unauthorized disclosure of information. The rape charge and two of the misdemeanors were dismissed. After a jury trial in September, 2008, Gundersen was found guilty of the submachine gun and silencer possession felonies, plus a misdemeanor charge of violating a court order. He was also found guilty of 11 misdemeanor charges of battery over surreptitious photographs taken of his ex-wife and BLPD colleague, Darcy Seal, when she was asleep. But those charges were later tossed out due to the statute of limitations. The single misdemeanor charge of violating a court order was not appealed, and still stands. Gundersen was sentenced to two concurrent two-year terms, which were suspended. He was placed on four years probation and sentenced to 354 days in county jail but got credit for time served, which accounted for all but a few days of the sentence. He appealed the two weapons charges in December, 2008. On Thursday, March 15, a state appeals court overturned the two felony convictions. Gundersen had contended that Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Marilyn Miles failed to adequately instruct the jury about exemptions in state law that allow regular, salaried, full-time police officers to possess machine guns and silencers. He claimed that his possession the Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun and silencer were within the scope of his duties... The Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office could re-file the charges... [Full article here]

NO FELONIES. 





FROM OLDER NEWS,  RECALLING THE ORDEAL OF   JANE DOE 1 AND 2


JANE DOE 1, 
Blue Lake police sergeant Darcie Seal, then-wife of Gundersen, who asked later in case that her name be used publicly
  • Apr 24 2008 - ..."Jane Doe 1" finished testimony today, clarifying why she didn’t report the alleged non-consensual sex by Gundersen... Doe 1 made it clear that it was never her intention to press charges on Gundersen. She also said she "felt coerced" by the several people at Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office to make statements she would otherwise not have made during a seven-hour interview. Doe 1 had fears about coming forward about alleged non-consensual sex that occurred while she and Gundersen dealt with marital problems, starting in late 2005... Doe 1 testified that she feared for her safety when talking with HCSO, but her fears "became worse because of what was said to me during the interview." At one point, Doe 1 recalled being told that Gundersen would take her "fishing." Doe 1 said she interpreted it as "he was going to take me fishing and hurt me." During the second interview with investigators from the district attorney’s office, Doe 1 testified that they claimed she committed felonies that she hadn’t. She said she feared prosecution and going to prison. "You’d like to avoid going to prison wouldn’t you?" Gundersen’s attorney Russell Clanton said. "Of course," she said...
  • May 6, 2008  - ...At the city council meeting, City Attorney Richard Platz also announced the resignation of the police department's remaining supervisor, Sgt. Darcie Seals. Seals had a claim against the city, which was settled by the city's insurance company. The settlement cost the city $5,000, who said he could not reveal any details about the claim because it is a personnel matter...
  • Aug 14 2008 - During a tense day of testimony Thursday at David Gundersen’s trial, wife Darcie Seal recanted almost all of her previous statements she made that referred to wrongdoing by her husband... [District Attorney Paul] Gallegos asked Seal if she thought investigators would take her allegations as a joke, as she testified that she tried to tell everyone she was being sarcastic... "What part of the joke made you cry?" 
WHILE RECANTING, REASONS DARCIE GAVE COURT FOR LYING:
  • As a "cure” to get him out of the house.
  • To get him out of her life. She says she "didn't think it was at all serious."
  • She had emotional stress from raising four kids & being a cop.
  • She had mental stress from marital problems.
  • Rape claim was just her being sarcastic.
  • She was set up to lie by her husband's ex-wife as a part of a plot.
  • Had no idea she was being recorded
  • Investigators convinced her it was rape
  • She was just "pissed off and talking... I say things I don't mean."


JANE DOE 2, 
woman Gundersen said he'd train into police work, started a relationship and moved in with. According to Jane 2 she didn't know his divorce was not finalized and did not know until records were produced at trial, that she was never actually employed by the police department - though she participated in police actions.
  • Apr 22 2008 - The first person to testify in the hearing was "Jane Doe No. 2," who alleges that Gundersen raped her after forcing her into their bedroom in March 1999... She said Gundersen offered her an undercover job with the Trinidad Police Department, where he was chief at the time... "He offered to train me"... she testified that at some point she and Gundersen started dating and eventually moved in together. In March 1999, she testified, Gundersen forced her to have sex after an argument... Jane Doe No. 2 said that three children were in the house that night – her child and two of Gundersen’s children... Jane Doe No. 2 testified, Gundersen grabbed her, forced her into the bedroom, tore up her clothes and raped her. She said she reported the incident to the Eureka Police Department because she feared the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would do nothing ... As far as she knew, she said, nothing happened regarding her report...
  • Apr 22 2008 - ...At first, testimony revolved around Doe 2’s employment at two local police departments... Doe 2 testified that she worked at both the Trinidad and Blue Lake Police Departments. While working with TPD, she testified that she joined in several operations with other agencies. One assignment she described involved TPD, BLPD and the Arcata Police Department... According to public record requests made by The Eureka Reporter, the real name of Doe 2 does not show up in both TPD and BLPD employment records... 
  • Apr 24 2008 - ...Lt. Len Johnson talked with Doe 2, according to court documents. When interviewed by Hislop, Johnson vaguely recalled the encounter, but couldn’t remember specifics...


WORTH REPEATING:

EPD reportedly didn't follow up on 1999 rape report
The Times-Standard
John Driscoll and Thadeus Greenson
04/22/2008
Jane Doe 2 testified Monday at Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen's preliminary hearing that she reported to the Eureka Police Department in 1999 that Gundersen raped her, but the department never followed up on the claims.

Under the questioning of District Attorney Paul Gallegos, Doe testified that Gundersen forcibly raped her in March 1999 while they were living together with plans of marrying. Doe said she reported the rape to both a local advocacy group and EPD.

Doe testified that she contacted EPD because she knew Gundersen's then wife worked at the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, which would have had jurisdiction over the alleged McKinleyville rape, and she consequently feared the department would not follow up on her report.

A Computer Aided Dispatch call record contained in Gundersen's court file, indicates that Doe called EPD at about 2:30 p.m. on March 26, 1999. Len Johnson, now a lieutenant with the department, spent about 45 minutes with Doe, according to the record, but did not file a report.

In testimony Monday, Doe said Johnson told her he would follow up on the matter.

”He said at the very least his chief would talk to then-Chief Gundersen, and they would investigate it,” Doe testified, adding that she never heard back from EPD on the matter.

A District Attorney's Office Investigation Report in Gundersen's file indicates that Chief Investigator Mike Hislop contacted Johnson and asked him about Doe's call.
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”He reviewed the (Computer Aided Dispatch) report and could not recall any specifics or what (Doe) had contacted him about,” the report states.

Johnson declined to comment for this story, saying the subject is part of an ongoing case in which he expects to be subpoenaed to testify.






police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal firearms exemption repeat hx recant recanting teflon california state politics]

Saturday, March 17, 2012

[LA] Officer Harrell arrested on a domestic abuse complaint

OFFICER BOOKED IN BATTERY ON WIFE
wbrz.com
Posted: Mar 16, 2012
[Excerpts] East Feliciana Parish sheriff's deputies have arrested a Clinton police officer on a domestic abuse complaint... Ronnie Harrell was booked with domestic abuse battery and released on bail... Harrell's wife accused him of striking her during an argument... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety louisiana state politics]

Thursday, March 15, 2012

[CA] Sheriff Mirkarimi plea bargain lets him keep his gun. San Francisco has to decide if he can keep his job.

Photo Credit: Joseph Schell/Special to the SF Examiner


...Monday, [San Francisco Sheriff Ross] Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to false imprisonment. The more serious domestic violence charges of battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness were dropped... Public Defender Jeff Adachi summed up the deal as: "The district attorney gave in by not insisting that the sheriff plea to a domestic violence charge. At the same time, the district attorney got the sheriff to agree to one year of domestic violence counseling"... If convicted of domestic violence battery, the sheriff would not be able to carry a gun at all...  "It's difficult for me to understand how he's going to be able to do his job as sheriff. He's incarcerating people who are in jail for the same crime that he pled guilty to"... 

It is up to Mayor Lee whether to bring misconduct charges against the sheriff, which would then proceed to the Board of Supervisors - the board Mirkarimi was a member of for years before becoming sheriff - for a vote on whether to bump him out of his job. But San Francisco is refreshingly a city of lifted voices, and come July there is also the option of recall. In the end, the people of San Francisco will make the decision if the politically confused system of it's city's leadership does not. "If this, then that" seems to be what the leaders and board are wrestling with in advance, like a game of chess. In the simplest terms the question appears to me to be whether a man who avoided facing the real charges, and pleading down to a yet serious (domestic) charge, should be head of the city's law enforcement. In that I see no "maybe."

THE DANGLING DISCOMFORT: IGNORING ELIANA 
Eliana Lopez wants her life back, her husband as sheriff, and to have her family together again. All of us who believe that the sheriff of San Francisco should not be someone who abuses his wife find ourselves having to ignore every word Eliana wants us all to hear. I stand with those who believe that the sheriff's actions and initial denials make him unsuitable for the position while at the same time feeling the wrenched heart of a woman who wants to be able to choose her own risks in hopes of her family's healing.

To Eliana, I am sorry for the way this has disempowered  you. Sometimes in the battle between accountability and what the victim wants, one is accomplished at the cost of the other. I hope that you understand that what is happening is not aimed at any of you. It's not intended to save you when you are saying that you do not need to be saved. It's about who should fill the position, effectively. It's about the city and the profession.

..."This is unbelievable,” she said. “As I said before, I don’t have any complaint against my husband. We are together and we are fighting. We are going to fight this. This is my family. My husband and my son. This is unbelievable. This is completely wrong"... 

Prayers are lifted for you individually, and for your family.

ROSS MIRKARIMI SHOULD TELL S.F. WHAT HAPPENED
San Francisco Chronicle
Debra J. Saunders
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
[Excerpts] Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi agreed to a plea bargain on a misdemeanor domestic violence and two related charges... The district attorney dropped the three original charges; Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to misdemeanor false imprisonment... Mirkarimi should tell San Francisco voters what happened. Public Defender Jeff Adachi summed up the deal as: "The district attorney gave in by not insisting that the sheriff plea to a domestic violence charge. At the same time, the district attorney got the sheriff to agree to one year of domestic violence counseling." (Hence the sheriff should be able to carry a gun.) Is it a good deal for the city? I don't think voters will know until Mirkarimi levels with the public. Defense attorney Lidia Stiglich tells me he will do so after Monday's sentencing... Optimists might call the outcome a win-win situation. Mirkarimi agrees to counseling without being weighed down with the professional baggage of a domestic violence conviction. I'm not so sure. Pre-trial testimony got pretty ugly. An ex-girlfriend accused the sheriff of grabbing and bruising her arm four years ago - which allowed experts to label Mirkarimi as a repeat offender... Now that Mirkarimi has pleaded guilty, after saying he wasn't, there's still no context to the story. It's time the sheriff shared what happened with the people of San Francisco...

MIRKARIMI’S PLEA HURTS CREDIBILITY OF HIS OFFICE
missionlocal.org
By: Sandy Lopez & Jamie Goldberg
March 13, 2012 – 11:40 am
[Excerpts] Mission residents have little sympathy for San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, whose domestic violence case ended Monday with an agreement in which the sheriff pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of false imprisonment. In exchange, San Francisco prosecutors dropped a domestic violence charge and two other misdemeanor counts that were filed in January. The charges stemmed from a New Year’s Eve dispute between Mirkarimi and his wife, Eliana Lopez. Lopez declined to cooperate with prosecutors... “This case represents everything that is wrong with the criminal justice system,” said Page Thady, a 30-year-old Mission District resident. “We are creating a culture of victim-blaming.” Although Lopez declined to press charges, Ivory Madison, a neighbor, videotaped Lopez after the alleged abuse occurred... “This reinforces that it’s OK for men in power to abuse women,” said Tara Dorabji as she sat in Mission Creek Café. “His wife’s silence speaks really loudly to so many women who live in fear... It seems like there is a lot of threatening on his behalf because he has such power. A better investigation needs to be held.” The guilty plea does not disqualify Mirkarimi from retaining his job... “I think that’s pretty hypocritical for him to act like some kind of role model,” said Vanessa Bachik... “If he stays on as sheriff, how is anybody going to trust him?”... Mission residents said they could no longer trust the sherriff. Mirkarimi has lost his credibility, said Noe Bonilla... “I’m not a judge and I don’t completely understand how this system works, but I don’t trust him anymore... I think he needs to be held accountable. If he refuses to step down, then the mayor should take action”...


MIRKARIMI PLEA BARGAIN OK WITH VICTIMS' ADVOCATES
San Francisco Chronicle
Rachel Gordon
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
[Excerpts] Advocates for domestic violence victims, who worked hard to shape public opinion surrounding the Ross Mirkarimi saga and keep it in the spotlight, were satisfied with the outcome of his criminal case... "The justice system did its job," said Kathy Black, executive director of La Casa de las Madres, which aids abuse victims... "In the best-case scenario, I think (Mirkarimi) should step down," Black said. "It's difficult for me to understand how he's going to be able to do his job as sheriff. He's incarcerating people who are in jail for the same crime that he pled guilty to"... Michael Hennessey, who retired in January as San Francisco sheriff after 32 years in office and endorsed Mirkarimi to succeed him, doesn't think a forced ouster is warranted. "My opinion is that he should remain in the job and be given a chance to show what he can do with the office. I think he's being punished accordingly by the justice system... During my time as sheriff, I hired many people with criminal records who have done outstanding jobs for the department," Hennessey said... But not everyone thinks that should be the deciding factor. "The main function of the Sheriff's Department is to oversee the jails, and here's someone who pled to false imprisonment," said Minouche Kandel, an attorney with Bay Area Legal Aid who specializes in domestic violence issues... Even if Mirkarimi didn't admit he committed domestic violence, the false imprisonment charge is related, she said. "It was an improper use of power and control. I think it's a black eye on the city if he remains in office"...



OUSTING SHERIFF MIRKARIMI WOULD BE HARD FOR MAYOR LEE
By: Dan Schreiber
SF Examiner Staff Writer
03/13/12 7:15 PM
[Excerpts] ...Under the City Charter’s “official misconduct” clause, the mayor may seek the ouster of officials who display “conduct that falls below the standard of decency, good faith and right action impliedly required of all public officers.” But the question of removal will likely hinge on whether Mirkarimi’s crime was related to his job... Under the charter, a mayor may suspend an official but for the removal to be binding it must be upheld by nine of 11 members of the Board of Supervisors - THE PANEL MIRKARIMI SERVED ON FOR EIGHT YEARS BEFORE BEING ELECTED SHERIFF. A case from 1976 set the basic precedent for Mirkarimi’s situation, according to City Attorney’s Office spokesman Jack Song. In that year, Mayor George Moscone suspended labor leader Joe Mazzola from The City’s Airport Commission, and his removal was later upheld by 10 of 11 supervisors. But Mazzola won reinstatement from the Court of Appeals, which ruled that his suspension had nothing to do with his official duties... Lee told The San Francisco Chronicle on Monday that his “gut feeling” was that the new charge pointed to a clear job conflict for Mirkarimi, whereas the previous three charges didn’t necessarily constitute “official misconduct.” But the mayor backed off those comments Tuesday, and said he was reacting to the case’s “new twist.” Now, Lee says he’s seeking more detail from prosecutors about the nature of the false imprisonment, which he said could pose a conflict, considering the sheriff’s primary role is overseeing inmates in local jails...


MIRKARIMI PLEADS GUILTY TO FALSE IMPRISONMENT
ABCLocal.go.com
by Carolyn Tyler and Vic Lee
Monday, March 12, 201
[Excerpts] In a surprise move, San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi announced a plea deal that erases a domestic violence charge and allows him to return to his duties as sheriff. Monday's development came on the day jurors would have been selected to hear the case. Instead, the sheriff pleaded guilty to false imprisonment... Monday, Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to false imprisonment. The more serious domestic violence charges of battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness were dropped. He will get three years probation, 100 hours of community service, and 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling and parenting classes... Since Mirkarimi was convicted of the lesser charge, he will not have to turn over his gun. But the previous court order banning him from staying with his wife but allowing supervised visits with his young son remains in place. Mirkarimi says he will try to get the order lifted after he is sentenced. Still at question is what the plea deal means for Mirkarimi's future. Monday afternoon, Mayor Ed Lee indicated he is troubled by the surprising guilty plea to a charge of false imprisonment. The city was expecting a trial on the domestic abuse charges, now the mayor says he is reviewing his options but isn't likely to make a decision on whether to try to force the sheriff from office until after Mirkarimi's sentencing next week. Lee has the option of suspending Mirkarimi as the first step toward trying to kick him out of office. The city charter allows removal for official misconduct, described as any wrongful behavior by a public officer in relation to the duties of his or her office or conduct that falls below the standard of decency. Mirkarimi says he plans to move forward... The head of the Deputy Sheriff's Association sent ABC7 statement late Monday afternoon, saying the rank and file stands behind their chief law enforcement officer and will continue to follow Mirkarimi's lead.


WHY MIRKARIMI PLED GUILTY
San Franciso Bay Guardian
Tim Redmond
03.12.2012
[Excerpts] Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi didn’t want to cop a plea... It may seem an odd plea for a sheriff, but it was a way to get rid of the more serious charges. A domestic violence conviction would seriously interfere with Mirkarimi’s job - among other things, nobody with a DV rap can possess a gun - not that the sheriff of San Francisco needs to carry a gun, but in the law-enforcement world, domestic violence is (properly) taken very seriously... Can the progressive community accept and once again support a sheriff who has all of this baggage? Is there anything Mirkarimi can do to convince his allies and the voters that either (a) the charges were overblown or (b) he’s learned from this, is going into counseling, is a changed person, and can seek political redemption?...


...Mirkarimi denied to reporters that he had ever physically or verbally abused his wife, calling the New Year’s Eve incident “a private manner, a family matter"... 

..."It most certainly is not [a private matter]," wrote San Francisco Examiner columnist Melissa Griffin. "And shame on Mirkarimi for saying so... Public safety officials, whose salaries are paid with our taxes, have even less of a right to claim privacy when their neighbors call the cops"... 


...The billboard is also a way to confront the "deafening silence" from City Hall in response to that archaic way of thinking, said Kathy Black, director of La Casa de las Madres... "When those comments were made, I feel like the city and city officials should have stepped right up and said, 'No, that's not correct. It's a crime'..."

OPINION: SF NEEDS POLICE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE POLICY
San Franciso Bay Guardian
Tim Redmond
03.14.2012 - 2:00 pm
[Excerpts] Everything I've written on the Mirkarimi case has attracted sizable volumes of comments... Some advocates for victims of domestic violence are satisfied with the outcome of the case, and some are not. Former Sheriff Mike Hennessey told the Chron that Mirkarimi should stay in office... If Mirkarimi remains in office, he won't be the only public official in the law-enforcement business who was charged with domestic violence and pled to a lesser offense but kept his job.... The chair of San Francisco NOW [Mona Lisa Wallace] thinks none of that is OK -- she thinks the city needs to adopt a zero-tolerance policy for law-enforcement officers who are convicted of a broadly defined set of domestic violence offenses (and Sheriff Mirkarimi, she argues, would fall under those guidelines). I'm posting the opinion piece she sent me below to keep the discussion going... "When the new sheriff in town, Ross Mirkarimi, pled guilty Monday to misdemeanor false imprisonment (in exchange for prosecutors dropping three other charges), it begged a bigger question: Should Mirkarimi keep his office?... San Francisco NOW believes we need to hold ourselves to the highest standards in preventing domestic violence, which affects one in four women in their lifetimes... Actions have consequences... Mirkarimi committed what the model policy defines as domestic violence, so he should lose his job and his pension. That’s what zero tolerance means. It should not matter that he has friends in high places. It should not matter that he needs the sheriff’s salary and pension. People who uphold the law against domestic violence need to be beyond reproach. Mirkarimi is not. SFNOW is disturbed by the national resurgence of a “war on women” apparent in the current presidential primary elections and congressional hearings working to roll back women’s rights through legislation. We have joined “Unite Against the War on Women,” a movement now 20,000 strong who will march on every state capitol on April 28th to say enough is enough. Join us at: uniteCalifornia@gmail.com We sincerely hope that San Francisco rises to take a strong position opposing the war on women. The city’s sheriff’s and police departments should immediately adopt the model policy on domestic violence by police officers, and quickly apply the zero tolerance standards to our top law enforcement officers.


GOOD ROSS, BAD ROSS: How did Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi—feminist pinup, legislative superstar, hero of San Francisco’s political left—fall so far so fast? Lauren Smiley unravels the story behind the story.
SanFrancisco Magazine
Lauren Smiley
March 13, 2012
[Excerpts] Ross Mirkarimi stood outside the courtroom in the Hall of Justice on the morning of March 12, surrounded by reporters, as he had been almost constantly over the previous two months... “This plea allows us to move forward... I intend to return to the business of running one of the finest sheriff’s departments in this nation, of mending my family and raising my son, Theo, in a safe and happy home.” Never mind that the deal meant pleading guilty to one count of misdemeanor false imprisonment, an ironic charge for a sheriff to live down. Mirkarimi would be able to keep his gun and the job he was elected to in November, assuming Mayor Ed Lee and Mirkarimi’s former colleagues on the board didn’t try to push him out... The truth was, Mirkarimi had been bullying people behind the scenes for years before he quarreled with his wife this past New Year’s Eve. The difference this time was that he left a bruise... From the outside, the relationship seemed happy. López called Mirkarimi her “copilot” on her Spanish-language mommy blog, Maminatural, and posted photos of him assisting in Theo’s home birth. “I worship the ground that [Theo] and his mother walk on,” Mirkarimi writes... López is diminutive in stature, but she has a big personality. “I am not the little poor ignorant immigrant,” she lectured the judge who approved the restraining order against her husband... Mirkarimi had booked a family trip to Monterey for a couple of nights before his swearing in. But before they could enjoy their long-overdue vacation, everything fell apart. While the family was driving to lunch on New Year’s Eve, López told him that she was thinking of visiting Venezuela after the inauguration, apparently with Theo in tow... If we are to believe the story relayed by Ivory Madison from López to the police, Mirkarimi lost it, spewing expletives and accusing his wife of trying to take Theo away from him, then turned the car around. Back at the house on Webster Street, the fight allegedly turned physical. Mirkarimi was “pushing, pulling, and grabbing,” according to Madison’s statements to police. López ran out of the house, threatening to call the cops. Faced with such an embarrassing spectacle, the yelling wife and crying kid, Mirkarimi caved, pleading for López to come back inside. But the next day, while Mirkarimi was in the shower, she walked over to Madison’s house and agreed to make a tape in case there should someday be a custody battle... Though no one in city hall had seen Mirkarimi get violent before, no one seemed surprised by his outburst. So why didn’t word of his temper become public sooner? “He’s the guy who wanted to change the world,” says one former supporter, adding that Mirkarimi may have been a jerk, but “he’s our jerk.” There’s also the political code of silence: Aides don’t want to be known as someone who will betray their boss. Along with the schadenfreude and genuine sadness for Mirkarimi’s family (and whispers about whether his bitter history with law enforcement had come back to haunt him), some feel vindication—even relief. “It’s going to force him into therapy,” says an ex-supporter, “something he refused to do”... Beyond the court’s sanctions are the ones Mirkarimi will surely impose on himself. In his email, he finally started to admit his flaws. “At times I know that my insistence rubbed people the wrong way. I get it now,” he wrote... "I will spend the rest of my life trying to become a better man, husband and father"...


FROM EARLIER

Huffington Post
First Posted: 1/12/12 
[Excerpts] A coalition of anti-domestic violence advocates gathered on the steps of City Hall Thursday to demand the resignation of newly sworn-in San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. The San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium's demonstration came in the wake of troubling allegations that Mirkarimi, a longtime city supervisor, bruised his wife during an altercation on New Year's Eve... "We cannot have elected officials who are under investigation," Sharon Johnson, former executive director of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, told CBS News. "These are very serious allegations"... Curiously, [Mirkarimi's wife, Eliana] Lopez previously drew flack for claiming the allegations against her husband were "taken out of context" and that she had no complaints against him. She has refused to cooperate with the investigation... The Domestic Violence Consortium joins a growing group of individuals and organizations who believe the new sheriff should step aside. Katherine Feinstein, the San Francisco judge slated to administer Mirkarimi's swearing in ceremony this past weekend, even declined to do so after the accusations surfaced. For his part, Mirkarimi has dismissed the allegations, denying the abuse and calling his behavior "a private matter... "It most certainly is not [a private matter]," wrote San Francisco Examiner columnist Melissa Griffin. "And shame on Mirkarimi for saying so... Public safety officials, whose salaries are paid with our taxes, have even less of a right to claim privacy when their neighbors call the cops"... District Attorney George Gascon said he is still debating whether he will formally file charges... 

By: Ari Burack 
SF Examiner Staff Writer
01/13/12 7:03 PM
[Excerpts] The San Francisco District Attorney claims the New Year's Eve domestic violence incident at Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi's house was not an isolated incident. “We have information that there might have been other incidents,” District Attorney George Gascón said during a press conference Friday afternoon announcing the three misdemeanor charges in connection with the New Year's Eve disturbance involving his wife, Eliana Lopez... Mirkarimi left City Hall on Friday afternoon to be booked into a jail facility he oversees as sheriff. He vowed to fight the charges of domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness. Bail was set at $35,000... An emergency protective order was issued requiring Mirkarimi to stay away from his wife and son... Lopez, as she has before, defended her husband Friday as they left City Hall holding hands. "This is unbelievable,” she said. “As I said before, I don’t have any complaint against my husband. We are together and we are fighting. We are going to fight this. This is my family. My husband and my son. This is unbelievable. This is completely wrong"... Lopez has retained her own attorney,... Following his public inauguration as sheriff last Sunday, Mirkarimi denied to reporters that he had ever physically or verbally abused his wife, calling the New Year’s Eve incident “a private manner, a family matter... I trust in the system, and we have to let the system sort this out,” Mirkarimi said at the time. But he also intimated that “there are forces at work that want to stop me from becoming sheriff.” Lopez told reporters that day that the incident was “completely taken out of context”... 

Letters to the editor
San Francisco Chronicle
Friday, January 13, 2012
[Excerpt] The attorney for Ross Mirkarimi is quoted as saying that Mirkarimi's spouse "never wanted to go to the police" and that "the neighbor stepping in and reporting it was out of line." ("Cloud hangs over Mirkarimi," Jan. 7) This rationale is shocking and mind-boggling. Since when are allegations of domestic abuse something to be kept within the family and not reported to authorities?... 

San Francisco Examiner
By: Joshua Sabatini 
01/14/12 5:43 PM
[Excerpts] ...Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has promised to arrive at work Tuesday, despite a possible criminal court arraignment for three misdemeanor charges connected to an alleged domestic violence incident at his home on New Year’s Eve... On Thursday, anti-domestic violence advocates stood on the steps of City Hall demanding he step down. It was the beginning of what could become a public campaign to force Mirkarimi to step aside... Another possibility is a recall effort initiated through a signature-gathering campaign... Mayor Ed Lee also has the power to suspend the sheriff under the City Charter for “official misconduct”... David Latterman, a political analyst at the Leo McCarthy Center at the University of San Francisco, said, “There are three options and two are not good” for Mirkarimi — fighting the charges and being found guilty or pleading a no- contest — and he would “muddle along under a cloud of suspicion... The only way Mirkarimi finishes his term out is innocence”... 

ABCNews, Associated Press
By Terry Collins 
January 14, 2012 
[Excerpts] San Francisco's new sheriff is vowing to fight domestic violence and other misdemeanor charges... Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi faces one count each of domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said Friday... Gascon said the basis for the child endangerment charge was that the couple's son saw the alleged incident occur. Gascon declined to explain the allegation that Mirkarimi influenced a witness. "While I do not relish having to bring charges against a San Francisco elected official, I have taken an oath to uphold the laws of the state of California," Gascon said. "Whether this was the elected sheriff or any other San Francisco resident, this type of behavior is inexcusable, criminal and will be prosecuted"... His wife spoke briefly but with emotion. "This is unbelievable," she said. "I don't have any complaint against my husband. This is unbelievable"... Days after the alleged dispute, Mirkarimi was sworn in as San Francisco sheriff, but a judge had declined to perform the ceremony to avoid a potential conflict if Mirkarimi were charged. Mirkarimi appeared at the ceremony with his wife and son. Asked about the incident, he called it a "private matter, a family matter." But the case prompted newspaper commentary and protests by anti-domestic violence groups. A coalition of them on Thursday urged Mirkarimi to take a leave from his post until the case is resolved... 

San Francisco Chronicle
Rachel Gordon,John Coté, Chronicle Staff Writers
Saturday, January 14, 2012
[Excerpts] ...District Attorney George Gascón on Friday charged [San Francisco Sheriff Ross] Mirkarimi with domestic violence battery of his wife, child endangerment and dissuading a witness in connection with an incident that prosecutors believe happened on New Year's Eve... Prosecutors also obtained an emergency restraining order that prevents Mirkarimi from seeing his wife and young son or returning to their Western Addition home. But before the stay-away order went into effect, Mirkarimi's wife, Eliana Lopez, stood by her husband's side and proclaimed his innocence. "I don't have any complaint against my husband. We are together and we are fighting. We are going to fight this. This is my family, my husband and my son. This is unbelievable and this is completely wrong," she said... The neighbor said she had a video and cell phone photo of the bruising and text messages from Lopez about the episode. Police, armed with a search warrant, seized the photo, video and texts as evidence... 

San Francisco Chronicle
David R. Baker, Chronicle Staff Writer
Sunday, January 15, 2012
[Excerpts] Former San Francisco officials have some advice for City Hall regarding Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi: Hands off... "We want to make sure that there is an unbiased, fair judicial process - not a political process," said former Mayor Art Agnos, who conducted Mirkarimi's swearing-in ceremony last Sunday. "I think everybody needs to step back from all the attention this is getting and let the judicial system do its job. Let the D.A. make his case, and let Mr. Mirkarimi and his wife make their case." Former Supervisor Aaron Peskin agreed. The board should not take any action regarding Mirkarimi before the criminal case has run its course, he said. "It would be entirely premature," Peskin said. "It would not only be political, but it could interfere with the criminal justice process".. Prosecutors obtained an emergency restraining order that keeps Mirkarimi from seeing his wife or young son. That tends to be standard procedure in misdemeanor domestic violence cases, said Minouche Kandel, staff attorney with Bay Area Legal Aid. But prosecutors don't always seek stay-away orders in cases such as this, in which the alleged victim insists no violence has occurred. "It's very complicated, because you want to respect the wishes of the victim," Kandel said. "It's difficult to know, when the victim says she still wants to live with someone, whether there's intimidation going on." 

SF Examiner
01/17/12 3:49 PM
[Excerpts] ...The New Year’s Eve incident was reported to police by a female neighbor of Mirkarimi, Ivory Madison, who said [Eliana] Lopez spoke to her about it the following day... Madison came forward to police three days later, saying Lopez had told her she had been a victim of domestic violence but had been “hesitant to report the incident to the police due to Mr. Mirkarimi’s position in San Francisco government” Lopez had a bruise on her upper right arm from where Mirkarimi had grabbed her, Madison told police... District Attorney George Gascón has indicated this may not be an isolated incident. “We have information that there might have been other incidents,” Gascón said Friday.... 

KGO
Carolyn Tyler 
Monday, January 23, 2012
[Excerpts] San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi is scheduled to go on trial for domestic violence on Feb. 24. Now there could be an unexpected witness: a former girlfriend who is willing to testify to abuse she says she suffered at his hands... A former girlfriend, whom ABC7 is choosing not to identify, filed a police report Sunday and told ABC7 she "wanted to show this is part of a pattern" of behavior by Mirkarimi. She says they dated from 2007- 2008 and said in one incident, "He pushed me up against a wall, grabbing my arm and yelling. He caused a bruise that he apologized for"... Mirkarimi heads back to court on Thursday to try to get the order to stay away from his family lifted. Last week a judge issued a restraining order to keep him away from his wife and 2-year-old son until the trial is over. 

San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer
Rachel Gordon,
Monday, January 23, 2012
[Excerpts] One of San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi's chief responsibilities is to hold his subordinates accountable for misconduct. But facing three criminal charges involving domestic violence, his effectiveness in that role has been called into question by criminal justice experts... "If he is currently under investigation, he should step aside on disciplinary actions while there's a cloud over him," said law enforcement accountability expert Sam Walker, professor emeritus of criminal justice at the University of Nebraska... Between now and the trial, added Paul Fitzgerald, president of the National Sheriffs' Association, it will be hard for Mirkarimi as the Sheriff's Department's chief disciplinarian to sow an environment of accountability, even if he is innocent until proved guilty. "With that kind of taint hanging over him, it's going to be difficult," Fitzgerald said... Mirkarimi, a former member of the Board of Supervisors who did not receive the backing of the San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs' Association or the city's police union in his campaign, said his independence from those special interests would serve the department and public well in assuring a fair approach in handling misconduct cases... What constitutes misconduct is laid out in the department's set of employee rules and regulations... On Friday, Mayor Ed Lee, who has the authority to suspend him, questioned whether the sheriff could proficiently perform his job given the seriousness of the charges he faces... The Sheriff's Department, with about 850 sworn personnel and another 100 or so civilian employees, runs the jails, provides protection at City Hall and local courts, carries out court-ordered evictions and assists in some Police Department actions... 

SF Weekly
By Joe Eskenazi 
Wed., Jan. 25 2012 at 1:15 PM
[Excerpts] Until this point, this paper - and, we assume, others - did not publish stories about Ross Mirkarimi's well-known temper and lengthy history of loudly berating City Hall staffers. To do so while the sheriff is facing domestic violence charges could be construed as prejudicial; a propensity to yell at less powerful colleagues does not make one a batterer. But when Mirkarimi's own lawyer refers to him as "a bit of a tyrant" - an interesting legal maneuver, to say the least - it necessitates an explanation... Former colleagues told SF Weekly that they could hear Mirkarimi through the thin walls, berating staffers either on the phone or in person. This was regular behavior. For years. Mirkarimi's former colleagues on the board declined to be named in this story... When Mirkarimi berated his staff, it appeared he didn't care who knew about it... Mirkarimi's former colleagues described him as "a screamer"... Mirkarimi picked up a reputation for "berating people who were weak" - and doing so behind closed doors... 

KGO-TV/DT
Carolyn Tyler, Leslie Brinkley
Thursday, January 26, 2012
[Excerpts] When San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi walks into court Thursday, attorney Bob Waggener will not be by his side. Waggener tells ABC7 he is no longer on the case. Instead, Lydia Stiglich will now represent the Mirkarimi. Stiglich has had other high profile defendants... Mirkarimi, who's been a vocal gun control advocate, was forced to surrender three handguns he owns according to court documents - a SIG SAUER, a Beretta and a Smith & Wesson. If convicted of domestic violence battery, the sheriff would not be able to carry a gun at all. 

sfgate.com 
Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross
Monday, January 30, 2012
[Excerpts] Here comes the sheriff: San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi hitched a ride with an on-duty sheriff's deputy to his court appearance Thursday... Mirkarimi was allowed to come into the building through a back door, and waited in a back room until being called. No fewer than seven deputies stood inside the courtroom for Mirkarimi's appearance in the misdemeanor case - more than were on hand at the nearby trial for triple-murder defendant Edwin Ramos... 

sfgate.com
Rachel Gordon
Jan 30 at 5:34 pm
[Excerpts] Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, who has been charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, kept his wife [Eliana Lopez] “isolated” in their home for 18 hours to prevent her from talking to police after he allegedly abused her physically, the prosecution asserts in a new motion filed today with the court... Lopez has not cooperated with authorities, and has made repeated public statements that her husband did not abuse her... The prosecution then sets out its theory: The couple and their son remained at home, and not until Mirkarimi got into the shower 18 hours later did she have an opportunity to get away and went next door to speak to Madison. Until that time, the motion states, “He kept her silent, kept her from telling anyone, and kept her behind closed doors.” Stiglich, Mirkarimi’s attorney, called the theory “just absurd.”


San Francisco Chronicle
Heather Knight
Sunday, February 12, 2012
[Excerpts] The new billboard that will be seen starting Wednesday near the Hall of Justice reading "Domestic Violence is NEVER a private matter" is an obvious dig at Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. Last month Mirkarimi said that the domestic violence he allegedly committed against his wife is "a private matter, a family matter." But the billboard is also a way to confront the "deafening silence" from City Hall in response to that archaic way of thinking, said Kathy Black, director of La Casa de las Madres, a domestic violence shelter that is fundraising for the billboard. "When those comments were made, I feel like the city and city officials should have stepped right up and said, 'No, that's not correct. It's a crime,' " she said. "If the last message people hear is the sheriff saying it's a private matter, why report it? How can you encourage safety for women and children who are victims of domestic violence if they don't understand it's a crime?" Black said the sheriff's case "could have been a big teaching moment." Instead? Crickets... Emberly Cross, coordinating attorney for the Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic, which helps domestic violence victims obtain restraining orders against their abusers, said she has been disappointed by City Hall's collective shrug about the cavalier attitude Mirkarimi has displayed since the allegations surfaced. "I am shocked that somebody can make a comment that domestic violence is a private, family matter and not have there be an uproar from all of our elected politicians," she said. "This is 2012, not 1972." City officials say they're keeping mum because of advice from the city attorney's office... Beverly Upton, president of the San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium, said there's a difference between commenting on a legal case and speaking out against the notion that domestic violence is a private matter. Upton led a group of advocates who asked Lee to use his "moral authority" to usher Mirkarimi out of office. "He asked the sheriff to consider stepping down and again, all he has to do is say no and everybody goes away," she said. "Well, we're not going away"... 

sfweekly.com
By Erin Browner 
Fri., Feb. 17 2012 
[Excerpts] Activists use a billboard to correct Mirkarimi's point of view on domestic violence You might notice a new billboard on the corner of Harrison and 10th streets during your commute today - you may even recognize a face on it. A local domestic violence group unveiled its new Ross Mirkarimi-inspired billboard Thursday afternoon, which references Sheriff Mirkarimi's disturbing quote in response to his own domestic violence allegations. The billboard says: "Domestic Violence is NEVER private matter," and is there to remind commuters passing by Harrison Street that there is help for victims of domestic violence. More than 50 people attended the unveiling of the new billboard - which cost $4,000, paid for by community donations - some chanting "si se puede" ("yes we can"). Members of La Casa De Las Madres and others in the community published their photos on the billboard... Activists are gladly using Mirkarimi's infamous quote when he claimed claims he physically abused his wife, Eliana Lopez, was a "private matter, a family matter" to make their case that "domestic violence is a community and health matter"... 
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Monday, March 12, 2012

[WA] 7 year old daughter of police officer accidentally shot and killed by her brother



7-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER OF MARYSVILLE POLICE OFFICER DIES AFTER SHOOTING: The young daughter of a Marysville police officer died Sunday after her sibling shot her a day earlier with a gun found inside the parents' van.
Seattle Times
Sunday, March 11, 2012
[Excerpts] A Marysville police officer's 7-year-old daughter, who was wounded Saturday afternoon when her sibling fired a gun that was inside their parents' van, died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle early Sunday... "At this time we are all extremely concerned for the well-being of one of our department family members," Marysville Police Chief Rick Smith said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family." The shooting happened inside the vehicle near Stanwood City Hall, in the 10200 block of Highway 532. The children's parents were nearby when the gun went off... The [Snohomish County] Sheriff's Office, which is investigating the shooting at the request of Stanwood police, said Sunday morning that its investigation is continuing and that no further information would be released until early this week... [Full article here]

POLICE OFFICER'S DAUGHTER DIES OF INJURIES FROM ACCIDENTAL SHOOTING
KOMO
Mar 11, 2012
[Excerpts] The 7-year-old daughter of a Marysville police officer has died after she was shot accidentally by her brother in the officer's van on Saturday, officials said. Police said the two children were alone together in the officer's parked van when the boy found a loaded gun that had been left in the glove compartment... The injured girl was rushed to Providence Hospital in Everett, as medics administered CPR. She later was taken to Harboview Medical Center in Seattle, where she died early Sunday morning, said Lt. Brent Speyer of the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office... It was not known whether the gun was the officer's duty weapon or a personal firearm. The age of the boy who pulled the trigger was not released. Detectives from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit are handling the investigation. [Full article here]

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

[IN] The ex-police officer husband of Jail Commannder Christine Britton plea bargains on her suicide

Christine Britton
Harrison County Jail Commander

HARRISON POLICE OFFICER ENTERS PLEA IN WIFE'S FATAL SHOOTING: John Britton would admit to recklessness in wife's suicide
Louisville Courier-Journal
Mar. 10, 2012
[Excerpts] Three days before facing trial in the suicide of his wife, former Harrison County police officer John Britton entered a guilty plea to felony criminal recklessness. The plea agreement, if approved, means Britton could receive a sentence of six months to three years in prison. Britton had been accused of assisting in [Harrison County Jail Commander] Christine Britton’s suicide because he allegedly gave her the gun after she threatened to kill herself... John Britton is relieved he may finally get the matter behind him, [his attorney, Stan] Faith said... John Britton was indicted by a grand jury in October 2010 and charged with Class C assisting a suicide in the March 2009... Although Indiana State Police investigators concluded that Christine Britton pulled the trigger, her relatives pressed for answers about the circumstances surrounding the death. According to court records, John Britton told detectives that he and his wife were arguing and, after she threatened to kill herself, he placed his 40-caliber handgun on their bed and told her to go ahead and shoot herself. He told investigators he never expected she would do it. But after he left the room, he heard the fatal shot. Crime scene investigators reported finding no high-velocity blood spatter on his clothing that would have placed him at close range when the shot was fired... [Full article here]

PREVIOUS POSTS:

Sep 2, 2009
[IN] The at-home shooting death of Harrison County Jail Cmdr. Christine Britton to be reviewed by the Grand Jury http://behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/2009/09/in-at-home-shooting-death-of-harrison.html

Sep 19, 2009
[IN] Pending - Wrongful Death Lawsuit In Behalf of the Estate of Harrison County Jail Commander Christine Britton http://behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/2009/09/in-pending-wrongful-death-lawsuit-in.html

Sep 26, 2009
[IN] Sheriff's Officer John Britton put on leave after family of Jail Commander Christine Britton file wrongful death lawsuit http://behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/2009/09/in-sheriffs-officer-john-britton-put-on.html

Oct 30, 2010
[IN] Believing Harrison County Sheriff's Deputy John Britton when he tells 911: "My wife shot herself..." http://behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/2010/10/in-believing-deputy-britton-when-he.html
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