Category Archives: HMB Deputy City Manager Matthew Chidester

Half Moon Bay asks A.G. to Conduct an Independent Criminal Investigation.

By Michael G. Stogner

That in it’s self is Historical for any City in San Mateo County, to Question Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos, and District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe’s Version of events in the Shooting Death a Homicide of Sandra L. Harmon on May 5, 2020 at 845 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, California.

September 28, 2020 Letter to The Honorable Xavier Becerra and Supervising Deputy Attorney General Joyce Blair.

I’m just going to talk about Bullet Point 1 and 4

#1 The first deputy turned off his body camera in violation of San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office policy.

The City was asked to Identify the Deputy so the public would know who the City was talking about. They chose not to.

Just because somebody says something is true, doesn’t mean that it is.

Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos and District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe have told the world that Sheriff Deputy Dominguez turned off his Body Worn Camera BWC. To this day that is all that it is. The WORD of the Sheriff and District Attorney. There is NO EVIDENCE provided (AXON LOG RECORDS) to prove that statement to be TRUE. As a matter of Fact, the San Mateo County Counsel has done everything possible to make sure the AXON LOG RECORDS do not get released to the PUBLIC. Just ask John Ullom.

#4 Although the Deputies have said that they fired at Ms. Harmon form some distance away from her, certain pistol shell casing were found very near Ms. Harmon’s body. In addition there were inconsistencies in the location of casings recovered at the scene.

You wouldn’t know from reading Bullet point #4 that the subject was Tampering with Evidence at a Crime Scene. Specifically the moving of and placing 3 Pistol Shell Casings from one location to another.

This Tampering with Evidence at a Crime scene is kind of a Big Deal.

The 3 Pistol Shell Casings caused 2 Bullet Holes that was never mentioned in the Official reports. This alone changes the ENTIRE OFFICIAL REPORT.

HMB SPECIAL MEETING September 15, 2020 27:30 mark

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Vote Joaquin Jiménez for Half Moon Bay City Council.

By Michael G. Stogner

The residents of Half Moon Bay are very lucky that Joaquin Jimenez has offered his services to them by placing his name on the ballot. Joauqin Jimenez is Half Moon Bay and is San Mateo County.

One reason is 3 out of 5 HMB Councilmembers endorse him.

  • ​Robert Brownstone, current Vice-Mayor, HMB City Council
  • Deborah Penrose, current HMB City Councilmember
  • Harvey Rarback, current HMB City Councilmember

Joaquin Jimenez Website

The other reason why you should vote for Joaquin Jimenez, these four don’t want him to win.

  • Jackie Speier, Congresswoman representing California’s 14th District
  • Jerry Hill, California State Senator, 13th District
  • Kevin Mullin, Speaker Pro Tempore, California Assembly District 22
  • Don Horsley, San Mateo County Board of Supervisors representing HMB

I think it is fair to say that everyone who lives in Half Moon Bay knows of the Yanira Serrano Garcia Homicide and the Sandra L. Harmon Homicide both by San Mateo County Sheriff Deputies. Your City Council Voted unanimously 5-0 to ask the State of California Attorney General for an Independent Criminal Investigation of the Shooting death of Sandra L. Harmon, The Sheriff’s Office, and the District Attorney’s Office Investigation. That is Historical for San Mateo County, normally the elected officials support what ever the Sheriff or District Attorney say to the public.

Google: Jackie Speier, Jery Hill, Kevin Mullin, Don Horsley, See what their public comments have been on the Request for Independent Criminal Investigation by the City of Half Moon Bay.

The City of Half Moon Bay had a Special Meeting on September 23, 2020 to finalized the letter to the Attorney General’s Office, The meeting was 1 hour 5 minutes long.

HMB Special Meeting September 23, 2020

To this day October 1, 2020 the Letter has not been finalized, sent or made Public.

I can assure you if Joaquin Jimenez was on the Half Moon Bay City Council that Letter would have been completed, sent, and made public on September 24, 2020.

Half Moon Bay Residents have a chance to have a Great Voice for All Residents. VOTE Joaquin Jimenez for HMB City Council 2020

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One reason for the A.G. Request is D.A. Steve Wagstaffe.

The City of Half Moon Bay has finally provided the public with the Video of the September 15, 2020 Special Meeting Sandra L. Harmon Homicide. Thats 14 days.

HMB City Special Meeting September 15, 2020

You only need to watch 2 minutes of the Video from 50:00 – 52:00 mark. This is SMC District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe responding to Six public comments starting at the 27:30 mark.

Here is a Fact 14 Shell Casings were recovered from the crime scene. The 3 Shell casings caused 2 bullet holes in a building that changes the entire story Sheriff Bolanos and Steve Wagstaffe promoted.

Steve Wagstaffe says:

“Shell casings get kicked around all the time.” He never addresses the two bullet holes discussed in the Eblovi Public comments at 27:30 mark.

“We did find 11 casings, they mention 3 others.” “In there 11 shots had been fired, we found 11 casings and that was exactly what was expended from the handguns, I think that confirms where we were.

“Shot in the back mantra.” “I don’t believe that to be the case.”

Sandra L. Harmon had three fatal shots to the back according to the Coroners Report.

Welcome to San Mateo County

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SMC Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos Does release BWC Video and Audio under 24 Hours.

By Michael G. Stogner

Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos

Just Not to the Public.

I have been recommending for years that Law Enforcement provide the Unedited Body Worn Camera, and MAV Dash Camera Video and Audio within the first 24 Hours. It turns out Sheriff Bolanos does release it, the question is to whom?

Update: 8:44 AM That person has been identified as Jamie Draper of the District Attorney’s Office.

In the Sandra L. Harmon Homicide May 5, 2020 in Half Moon Bay California, San Mateo County Sheriff Sgt. Jon Sebring authorized Someone to access the Evidence.com a data site owned by AXON Inc. The same company that manufactures the devices Law Enforcement uses, Tasers, BWC, MAV Video and Remote Microphone etc.

How do I know this?

Involved Deputy John Baba – BWC Analysis 

On May 6, 2020 I received an Email via Evidence.com sent by San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Jon Sebring granting me access to the uploaded Body Worn Camera (BWC) and Mobile Audio Video (MAV) footage from the Officer Involved Critical Incident (OICI) on May 5, 2020 in the City of Half Moon Bay. 

I located the file for the BWC footage for Involved Deputy John Baba, which I downloaded from Evidence.com. From prior experience and in speaking with Sergeant Sebring, I know that the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office currently utilizes the Axon 2 Body Worn Camera (BWC) which records video at 29.98 fps. I uploaded this video file into a video processing software known as VideoMach version 5.15.1 where I was able to mark the “in” and “out” points of the portion of the video which specifically covered the entirety of the incident and was able to remove the non- pertinent portions without altering the original video. I then added overlays which included a timer in the upper left of the video frame, the title “Deputy John Baba – BWC” at the top center of the video frame and absolute frame numbers (AFNs) in the upper right corner of the video frame. Each of these overlays were placed in positions to not interfere with the activity occurring in each video frame. I then finalized the video and saved this new version under the file name “Baba BWC with AFN and timecode”. I also utilized VideoMach to decompile the finished video into 17,619 individual frames to be utilized in this report. 

So there are a couple of Questions here, Who’s is the Author of this report? I have asked San Mateo County District Attorney Senior Inspector Rick Decker that exact question yesterday, He is getting back to me.

The second Question is Why is the Sheriff’s Office providing this data in less than 24 hours to somebody who has the Authority to Edit and add CAPTIONS to promote a False Story.

The third Question, Since the District Attorney’s Office was Investigating this Homicide case, shouldn’t they have controlled the Data?

Since the City of Half Moon Bay Special Meeting September 15, 2020, after hearing the Eblovi Presentation by 3 speakers at the 27:30 mark, every person attending that meeting especially the City Managers, City Attorney, the Five Councilmembers, and SMC District Attorney all knew the evidence provided showed 3 shell casings were deliberately moved, That’s Evidence Tampering, 2 bullet strikes in a location that only the Eblovi Investigators even bothered to look.

Sheriff Deputy Dominguez fired First was the conclusion of the Eblovi Investigation. Everyone in that meeting knew it at that moment. I was shocked I had been working on the Sandra L. Harmon case since May 5, 2020 I never saw those 3 shell casings before even though they were right there. I have gone back and reviewed several videos and photos provided by the Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office, and I can confirm the 3 shells can be seen behind Sandra L. Harmon as she is being fired at while she was Unarmed which means they were Fired First just like the Eblovi Investion reported.

That means the entire story provided to the public is False.

The Eblovi Presentation at 27:30 Mark

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HMB Letter to A. G. for Sandra L. Harmon case.

September 23, 2020

Via E-mail Delivery

The Honorable Xavier Becerra Attorney General of California Office of the Attorney General 1300 I Street

Sacramento, California 95814-2912
c/o Supervising Deputy Attorney General Joyce Blair (Joyce.Blair@doj.ca.gov)

Re: Request to Conduct Review/Independent Investigation of Officer-involved Shooting of Sandra Harmon

Dear Mr. Becerra:

The City of Half Moon Bay is requesting that your office review and as appropriate conduct an independent criminal investigation into the shooting death of 56-year- old Sandra Harmon. Ms. Harmon was shot and killed on May 5, 2020, by deputies of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office in downtown Half Moon Bay. The San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office investigated the incident and issued a corresponding report, which concludedthat the deputies’ actions were lawful.

District Attorney Wagstaffe kindly presented the results of his investigation at the September 15, 2020 City Council meeting. At that meeting, members of the community expressed concerns about the testimony given by the deputies and the report’s conclusion that the deputies’ use of deadly force was warranted. Accordingly, the City Council voted unanimously on September 15, 2020 to seek review and as appropriate a full investigation of the incident by your office. This letter is being transmitted along with public comment received at the September 15, 2020 City Council meeting and September 23, 2020 Public Safety Subcommittee meeting.

On the evening of the shooting, the two deputies involved responded to a 911 call regarding a woman, later identified as Ms. Harmon, walking through downtown Half Moon Bay carrying a shotgun and a bottle of alcohol. After interviewing the witness who made the 911 call, one deputy tracked Ms. Harmon to a parked RV in a nearby parking lot. According to the District Attorney’s report, Ms. Harmon initially exited the RV unarmed, but moments later reentered and reemerged with the shotgun. The deputy took cover behind his vehicle, at which point Ms. Harmon allegedly fired her shotgun in his direction. Over the course of the next minute, the deputy fired 11 rounds at Ms. Harmon, in two separate “volleys.” In the meantime, the second deputy arrived on the scene, responding to the first deputy’s call for assistance. The second deputy fired 3 additional rounds at Ms. Harmon, concurrent with the first deputy’s second “volley.” Although the second deputy on the scene and the paramedics attempted to resuscitate her, Ms. Harmon was pronounced dead on the way to the hospital.

Body camera data of the entire incident, including the initial confrontation of Ms. Harmon, is not available. Without footage from his camera, community members have noted challenges with corroborating the deputy’s version of the incident. Public comments to Council also asked why the two deputies could not subdue Ms. Harmon without resorting to deadly force. See Enclosures.

These open questions make it difficult for the Half Moon Bay community to heal from this tragic event. And as you might imagine, these concerns are especially relevant and pressing in light of the current nation-wide public demand for police accountability and scrutiny of the use of excessive force. The City thus seeks review by your office to ensure that all facts are considered.

This letter was reviewed and approved on September 23, 2020 by the City Council Public Safety Subcommittee. If you have any questions, please to do not hesitate to contact Bob Nisbet, City Manager (bnisbet@hmbcity.com) or Catherine Engberg, City Attorney (cengberg@hmbcity.com) for additional information.

Sincerely,

Bob Nisbet, City Manager Catherine C. Engberg, City Attorney Enclosures:
Public comment

  • September 15, 2020 Special Meeting of the Half Moon Bay City Council
  • September 23, 2020 Public Safety City Council Subcommittee Meeting

City of Half Moon Bay City Hall 501 Main St.
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

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Thank You San Mateo Daily Journal. Sandra L. Harmon Homicide.

By, Michael G. Stogner

Just because Somebody says something is true does not mean that it is.

The same is true for Captions on a Video released 40 days later.

At -9:06 you will see Deputy Dominguez Body Worn Camera working perfectly well great Resolution and Audio.

-5:11 Caption says “Deputy Dominguez Attempted contact at the Motorhome for potential witnesses.” Why is he looking for more witnesses? It goes on to say, “But instead encountered Ms. Harmon.”

-4:59 Caption: With the fast moving situation with incoming fire, Deputy Dominguez did not activate his Body Worn Camera.

The caption wording “With Incoming Fire.” Implys as fact that Sandra Harmon fired first.

“After Discharging his Service Weapon Ms. Harmon dropped the Shotgun.” That would be before Deputy Baba gets out of his car.

So Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos his Public Information Officer and several others were involved in producing this Video in the San Mateo Daily Journal Article. Here it is.

SMDJ Article

The San Mateo Daily Journal did not include the City of Half Moon Bay Special Meeting held on September 15, 2020 by ZOOM.

In this video you will see the the first 3 public speakers presenting the Oblovi Investigation at the 27:15 mark clearly providing evidence that came from the SMC Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office, it shows Tampering with Evidence 3 shell casings. a Bullet found in the side of a building, They say Sheriff Deputy Dominguez fired three shots at Sandra Harmon FIRST.

District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe does not address the Tampering with Evidence issue, the bullet found that none of the SMC Crime Scene staff found. or that Deputy Dominguez fired First. He simple deflected and said shell casing get moved around kicked etc all the time.

The San Mateo Daily Journal did not mention that fact. I am thankful the SMDJ has finally produced a story where the public can make comments on they used to have a Community Forum for the residents to communicate with each other.

The AXON Log Records have all the data the public needs, you don’t need to rely on Sheriff Bolanos to say something on a video. To this day and for the last 5 months we only have Words and Captions that Sheriff Deputy turned off his Body Worn Camera. The AXON Log Records have been requested multiple times by HMB Resident John Ullom, and myself. The San Mateo County Counsel and the D.A.’s is refusing to provide them even though Steve Wagstaffe told the Council he has No Objection. The FIVE HMB City Council Members should have the City Attorney make the request of Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos personally. Forget the SMC Counsel. This investigation is a closed matter as far as the District Attorney Office is concerned.

Video September 15, 2020 HMB Special Meeting

Please remember, Words and Captions are not Evidence,

AXON Log Records lets get them, for the family of Sandra Harmon and all of San Mateo Residents.

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San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. “We Just Don’t Know”

By Michael G. Stogner

September 15, 2020 City of Half Moon Bay 6 PM Special Meeting by ZOOM.

District Attorney said “We Just don’t Know.”

That was his answer to Who fired first. You would expect he of all people would know EXACTLY who fired first. Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos and PIO Rosemerry Blankswade and many others have all said Sandra L. Harmon fired her Shotgun at Deputy Dominguez first.

Just because somebody says something is true doesn’t mean that it is.

The Same is true for CAPTIONS, below photo is a perfect example. “Harmon appeared to hold her arms up.” The fact is the photo shows she is Unarmed and her hands a clearly above her Head. It goes on {appeared to extend both middle fingers at involved Deputy Baba. There is ZERO mention of the Five Shots being fired at her at this very moment.

A good question for the City Managers and Council to ask Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos, PIO Rosemerry Blankswade, and Captain Saul Lopez is What are the names of every person involved in the Wordcrafting of the Captions in this video.

The footage from deputy Dominguez’s body camera, which was turned off in what was reportedly a moment of oversight. What does that even mean?

The AXON INC. Log records will tell the Public if and when Deputy Dominguez actually turned off his Body Worn Camera. At this moment we only have Words and Captions by Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos, his PIO, Steve Wagstaffe etc. No Evidence

This is from the HMBR article September 16, 2020 by Vanessa Ochavillo. “There were three volleys of shots fired, Wagstaffe explained. And while he was fairly confident about the course of events on the second and third volleys, the first remains a mystery. The footage from deputy Dominguez’s body camera, which was turned off in what was reportedly a moment of oversight, could have helped answer the question of who fired first.”

“We just don’t know,” he said.

If you don’t know who fired first, and you don’t know if Sandra L. Harmon fired any shot or shots at all, this has gone from a Shootout to possibly an Execution. Not one Shotgun Pellet recovered for the Crime Scene.The Family and Residents of San Mateo County deserve to know the truth.

That is exactly why the Attorney General of the State of California must Investigate this Homicide.

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City Managers, What duty do they have to provide accurate information to the Public?

By Michael G. Stogner

Ms. Harmon fired the shotgun multiple times at the deputy,

Yesterday while reading the Background I noticed the words Multiple Times were used and I sent an e-mail to the HMB City Leaders and Managers advising them that I had not seen those two words ever used to describe the Sandra L. Harmon Homicide. I recommended they verify the source of Multiple Times and correct ASAP so as to Not Mislead the Public with inaccurate information.

The Shotgun could fire only 1 shot at a time. That would be some accomplishment for her to fire multiple times. What time did she fire the Shotgun? That has never been answered.

I hope they will be able to add these other facts at the beginning of the meeting to balance this presentation.

They also chose to leave out a few Important Facts like the San Mateo County Coroners Report Dated June 12, 2020. She was shot 8 times.

Manner of Death to be Homicide.

Sandra L. Harmon was Fatally Shot Three Times in the BACK.

Sandra L. Harmon was Shot at 5 times while she was Unarmed with her hand up.

Those Facts are not mentioned by the Sheriff”Office, The District Attorney’s Office, The City of Half Moon Bay, or local Newspapers.

ZOOM MEETING 6PM Tomorrow night.

BUSINESS OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF HALF MOON BAY AGENDA REPORT

For meeting of: September 15, 2020

TO: Honorable Mayor and City Council
VIA: Bob Nisbet, City Manager
From: Matthew Chidester, Deputy City Manager

TITLE: DISCUSSION WITH THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY REGARDING THE MAY 5, 2020 OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING IN HALF MOON BAY

______________________________________________________________________________

RECOMMENDATION:

Receive a report and discuss the investigation of the District Attorney of the May 5, 2020 shooting of Sandra Harmon in Half Moon Bay by Sheriff’s Deputies.

STRATEGIC ELEMENT:

This discussion supports the Healthy Communities and Public Safety and Inclusive Governanceelements of the Strategic Plan.

BACKGROUND:

Since 2011, the City of Half Moon Bay has contracted with the San Mateo County sheriff’sOffice for law enforcement services. On the evening of May 5, 2020, Sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call regarding a woman, later identified as Sandra Harmon, who was walking through downtown Half Moon Bay carrying a shotgun and alcohol, and claiming thatthere was going to be a “race war”. According to reports, after interviewing a witness on Main Street, a deputy tracked the lead to a parking lot on the corner of Main Street and Monte Vista Lane, where he was able to make contact with Ms. Harmon. Following a brief verbal exchange, Ms. Harmon fired the shotgun multiple times at the deputy, who returned gunfire. A second deputy arrived on the scene shortly thereafter, and after verbal commands were ignored, Ms. Harmon again reached for her shotgun, which was at that point laying on the ground. Both deputies opened fire and Ms. Harmon was hit several times and died shortly thereafter.

The current practice in San Mateo County is that anytime a member of the public is injured bylaw enforcement, the District Attorney’s office immediately takes over investigation. Althoughsome details of the incident were initially shared with the public, including body-camera footage, the DA maintains confidentiality of most of the investigation materials until completion, and if charges are pressed, through the trail, in order to maintain the integrity of the investigation and prosecution, if necessary.

On August 28, 2020, the District Attorney, Stephen Wagstaffe, issued a letter to the Sheriff detailing the process and findings of the investigation of the shooting of Sandra Harmon (attached to this Staff Report). In the letter, Mr. Wagstaffe concludes that the deputy’s use of

deadly force in this incident was lawful, and that the District Attorney’s office will take nofurther action. On August 28, the DA’s office also provided a press release to the same effect and made the investigation materials available to interested parties.

DISCUSSION:

Several members of the community have expressed concerns about the details and conclusionof the District Attorney’s investigation. The District Attorney has offered to participate in adiscussion with the City Council on the investigation, and answer questions from the Council and general public. On September 15, 2020, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe will participate in the regular meeting of the Half Moon Bay City Council for this purpose.

Due to recent events in the nation as well as the Coastside community, the City is taking severalsteps to better understand the relationship between the Sheriff’s Office and the community,the policies and practices that the Sheriff currently has in place, and the contract between the City and County. A public Safety City Council subcommittee has been convened which is working with staff to develop a white paper study to explore several areas of law enforcement in Half Moon Bay, and staff are also facilitating community discussions on law enforcement on the Coastside. The purpose of this work is to develop recommendations and potential changesto the City’s contract with the County, which expires on June 30, 2022, aimed towardsimproving relations between law enforcement and the community, as well as hopefully preventing the types of tragedies experienced across the country and in recent years, within our own community. The discussion with the District Attorney will help provide additional information and clarity in these efforts.

ATTACHMENTS:

Letter dated August 28, 2020 from the District Attorney to Sheriff Carlos Bolanos regarding the Officer Involved Shooting on May 5, 2020.

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