Another Day, Another San Diego Police Sex Scandal

by on February 21, 2014 · 3 comments

in Civil Rights, San Diego, Women's Rights

San diego police carsBy Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Police Chief Bill Lansdowne called a press conference [Wednesday] evening to announce yet another reported incident of sexual misconduct involving a SDPD officer.

One of the women contacting the SDPD following allegations against officer Christopher Hays, provided information leading to yet another officer, who is now under investigation for allegedly touching and exposing himself to a female arrestee.

The chief told the assembled press that the officer has been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues. “We are doing everything we should be doing in this case,” Lansdowne said, and repeated an earlier plea for any other potential victims or witnesses to come forward to report wrongdoing

Voice of San Diego reported yesterday that Lansdowne’s promise to bring in an independent auditor bypassed the city’s own office in charge of such things.

That was news to San Diego Independent Auditor Eduardo Luna, the guy typically in charge of these sorts of things. He hadn’t heard of Lansdowne’s request until it hit the paper.

“As the city’s independent auditor, I welcome having a role in it if that’s what the City Council and the mayor desires,” Luna said.

The terms of the outside SDPD review will determine the worthiness of the entire exercise. Control over an audit’s scope, findings and follow-through matters significantly to its credibility and capacity to usher in change. Luna’s involvement could be one way to ensure its independence.

It’s become apparent auditor independence and mandatory requirements for procedural and structural changes are the two things Lansdowne and his enablers at city hall want to avoid. City Attorney Jan Goldsmith is fighting a furious legal battle against demands by an earlier sexual assault victim that an outside monitor be brought in to oversee practices in the SDPD.

Liam Dillon’s story at VOSD says the SDPD chief’s idea for bringing in an outside auditor is based on a similar move made by Philadelphia following a spike in police-involved shootings.

Via Philly.com, whose reporting prompted Philadelphia’s Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey to ask the U.S. Department of Justice to review his department’s use of force policy:

By inviting the DOJ to work with the department, instead of waiting for the feds to take action, Ramsey headed off what could have been forced changes and years of oversight. And by taking the first step, the department is also likely to avoid court involvement and potential embarrassment.

misogynyThere’s one huge difference between the situations in Philadelphia and San Diego. The audit of Ramsey’s department was triggered by a short term (2012) series of incidents. Chief Lansdowne’s problems go back over a decade, according to allegations made in several cases regarding sexual misconduct.

What we are talking about here is a culture of misogyny, that has impacted everything from on-the-job harassment (in the sex crimes unit!) to a police officer feeling free to share cell phone photos of his “conquests” with his co-workers.

Mayor elect Kevin Faulconer issued a nice generic statement following last evening’s press conference:

“Ensuring confidence and trust in the San Diego Police Department is my top priority. San Diegans will see that this is the immediate focus of my administration when I take office.”

It’s time to bring in an outside set of eyes. Will any local politician be willing to stand up for justice here?

 

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar John Kitchin February 21, 2014 at 4:49 pm

We need, as suggested by many such as Ray Lutz on Facebook, a Citizen Review Board that has investigators, prosecutors, and independence. I once worked for Internal Affairs, and, well, cops rape people and get 20 days in jail. I provided links in the San Diego Homeless News, but all this stuff gets blocked by the National Security Administration. So, to see some of my links on police misconduct, you need to contact Facebook friends in OTHER COUNTRIES and have them click on various links and email you. Freedom of the Press? Sure, but not in the USA.

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avatar daniel beeman February 22, 2014 at 12:38 am

John, of Slomo fame, thanks first for trying to set us on a right course, rather than a monied objective in everything! Second keep up the good work!
I wrote Nathan Fletcher to come back to San Diego to help work for justice and trust in our SD PD. But I doubt he is really about people, and much more about self grandizment (sp) , power and money.
This week Lori Zapf sent SD police to my apt. She didn’t like my leaving bible versus on her council office answering machine. But she never told me that, even though I’ve seen her four times in the last 2 months at city hall public meetings, including one that was questioning police action here in SD. I was on the Brown skinned peoples side, and the “white” city officials didn’t like that. Ms. Zapf had no concern about what the brown skinned people were suggesting was police abuse.
As soon as I asked the un-uniformed officers what the law was that they thought I was breaking was, and could they write it down so I could check the law they said they wouldn’t write it down. When I asked again, they said I could write it down, so not seeing pen & paper, but seeing my camera I picked that up, as they had walked out the apartment door, I brought the camera over to video the legal statute they were going to say, but they quickly walked down the stairs near my apartment, not answering questions, and taking of the lanyard ID’s.
I never got the code/legal statutes they thought I was violating, the stopped speaking was I brought out the camera. Protect & to Serve? does that mean to CYA and serve you own pleasure and pocketbooks?? Sure does seem like that with Mayoral campaign finance scandal, sexual assaults and SDPD action in minority areas of San Diego.
We as constituents and citizens of San Diego deserve better! Abuse by those called to protect and serve our community is NO LONGER TOLERABLE! Way too many police officers getting off the hook for shooting and killing people, way too many pull overs because of your skin color, or poor neighborhood. Just looking to find a law/statute violation. Rather than to protect & serve. This is what leads to distrust, lack of desire to help, and the fear of being harassed so as not to participate to help the law enforcement system.

Sincerely yours,
daniel beeman ~ human
aka Walk with Him (facbook)

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avatar Old Hermit Dave February 22, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Crazy Cops are far more dangerous for the American Citizens than any Muslim Terror Dude.

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