When someone calls 9-1-1 for assistance, there is an expectation public safety / police will respond and provide the intervention and application of resources needed, to effectively resolve the situation, in a fair impartial way -one designed to protect the community, at large, and the victim, in particular. The sad little secret, amongst line law enforcement officers, in San Mateo County, is that the rhetoric by law enforcement executives and the district attorney does not match reality. For all the lofty rhetoric, police executives and the district attorney show preference to people that matter -law enforcement officers and politically connected individuals.
Just such an incident / case recently occurred, on the morning of April 22, 2018. On that occasion, Redwood City Police officers were summoned to a residence on Sanchez Street, in Redwood City, on the report of a domestic violence disturbance in which a victim had been assaulted (pushed) by her spouse, resulting in injury (bruising), her cell phone taken (preventing her from summoning assistance), and her fleeing the dwelling, in search of help. Further, the victim had told authorities there were unsecured firearms in the residence and as well as a three year old child.
Two officers and a supervisor (sergeant) had responded to this call and given the suspect in the matter, a San Mateo County Sheriff’s Lieutenant, Lieutenant Kristina Bell, a pass -neither questioning her; following the Redwood City’s polices and procedures for handling incidents of domestic violence; following the County’s domestic violence investigation protocol of which Redwood City PD is a signatory; seeking an emergency protective order; seizing the firearms present, within the residence; and or attempting the interview and recording of all parties involved.
Such conduct by the responding officers and their supervisor flies in the face of Redwood City PD’ s professed position of aggressively addressing all domestic violence incidents as well as the district attorney’s published position, on the subject.
Was this incident and the manner in which it was addressed / resolved an anomaly, an aberration not condoned by officials? Sadly no. It follows a familiar pattern, in San Mateo County, amongst law enforcement executives and the district attorney, in giving persons that matter a pass -Sheriff’s Sgt Jason Peardon breaking into the Belmont residence of his in-laws, assaulting his estranged wife and her male companion, and Belmont PD documenting the matter as an information report versus domestic violence, etc..
The intervention expected and demanded by the community did not occur. Instead, a domestic violence suspect was left at large with ready access to firearms and a victim and child left in harms way.
Welcome to San Mateo County
Redwood City Residents should be asking the Mayor and City Council to meet with the Police Chief and find out how did this Protocol Violation happen under his watch. When was CPS first notified?
Citizen Oversight Committee of Redwood City Police Department, San Mateo County Sheriff Office and District Attorney’s Office is a must have, to solve this illegal behavior.
By Michael G. Stogner