It only took a few weeks after ten San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies were caught on a KNBC news helicopter camera beating Francis Pusok in the desert for the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors to approve a $650,000 settlement in his favor. And during the time the board was approving the settlement, the officers involved were on paid leave without any disciplinary action being taken and the public remained unaware of who the officers were until this week because of the Peace Officers Bill of Rights.
We have witnessed how the public has reacted in the cases of Ferguson, Staten Island, Cleveland, Baltimore, Los Angeles and other cities throughout the nation with officers being placed on paid leave, not knowing the officers name, and the officers not being questioned by management.
Now there are many parts of the Peace Officers Bill of Rights that should be afforded to the people they interrogate while in their custody. If they treated suspects the way it is outlined in the Bill of Rights under section 3303 it would immediately reduce the number of officer abuse complaints.
Now I am from the private business community and if an employee is alleged to have violated a policy so severe as to warrant suspension or termination, then it is done so without pay. That employee then has a right through the grievance process to fight for any loss of pay or reinstatement. This administrative leave with pay is nothing more than a paid vacation or a way for the pressure from the community to cool off and then return the officers back to work with nothing happening to them.
Now the sheriff’s deputies in San Bernardino County did not expect to be on camera but in today’s society people and companies are filming everything, everywhere. And for the record, the officers names are: Nicholas Downey, Scott Hamilton, David Moore, Dominic Moody, William Doemner, James Evans, Michael Phelps, Raymond Perez, Tyler McGee and Charles Foster.
Now we have every local law enforcement agency and some state governments enacting body camera requirements. Some are suggesting officers wear the camera only if the officer can write up their reports using the video footage from the camera. In other words, make the report reflect the recording of what happened.
San Bernardino Sheriff John McMahon has ordered an investigation but has not taken any action against the officers at this time, while the taxpayers who are paying the bills wait patiently by to see how their elected sheriff is going to discipline the officers.
When will the public say ‘Enough is Enough’ and demand accountability and action?