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After complaints about the revelation that a report reviewing a police excessive force incident was purposely withheld, the city of Fresno announced that report will be made public next week.

John Gliatta

During a January 2019 police raid at a Fresno apartment complex, police body camera video appeared to show an officer continually punch then 17-year old London Wallace. That footage was released, and the officer revealed to be Christopher Martinez, after Wallace filed a suit later that year.

Video of the incident can be found at this link.

Fresno’s independent police auditor, John Gliatta, told a subcommittee of the Commission on Police Reform during a Sept. 16 Zoom meeting that he finished his report in May. But, he didn’t include it in his July quarterly report.

I internally decided not to put it out because I knew the city, the community had some very fragile emotions going on. And I didn’t think it would help matters by putting this up because I contradict what the PD came up with,” Gliatta told the group.

Instead of waiting for the October quarterly report, the city says Gliatta’s findings will be released next week.

“In order to address public comments over the issue of transparency, I have consulted with our Independent Reviewer and he has agreed to publish a special supplement to the 2020 2nd Quarter Office of Independent Review report outlining his review of the London Wallace incident,” City Manager Wilma Quan said in a news release. “We both felt this was the best course of action to provide clarity and to satisfy concerns from not only the public but from our elected officials.”

Council, Public Sounded Off on Gliatta

Gliatta’s decision raised the ire of commission members. The city council and members of the public sounded off on Gliatta’s decision at Thursday’s council meeting.

“I think he probably made a mistake in not releasing something that should have been released,” Councilman Garry Bredefeld said. He also called Glaitta “a man of integrity.”

Some members of the public, including Gloria Hernandez who is on the reform commission, called for Gliatta to resign.

No council member went that far, but Esmeralda Soria, Miguel Arias and Mike Karbassi also commented, wanting more transparency.

Report Release Next Week

Quan, in her statement, explained it will take a few days for the report’s public release. 

“As with all OIR reports, documents cannot be released without a review by our legal counsel to ensure that both the rights of the complaining party and the officers involved are protected.  This due diligence is necessary to protect the City of Fresno from further liability and with this process in mind, the report will be released no later than the end of next week.  This is a unique situation and future releases will conform to the normal quarterly OIR report schedule,” Quan said.

During Gliatta’s appearance with the reform subcommittees last week, he also said that the police finished their internal investigation around the same time he finished his.

The police internal report has not been made public. Gliatta did not reveal what discrepancies he had with the police report.

Warren Paboojian, attorney for London Wallace, says he has not received a copy of the report either.

Wallace’s case is ongoing at the federal courthouse. The case is still in the discovery stage.

2 Responses

  1. Eugene Alvarez

    Being a retired law enforcement investigator with the State of California there was no reason for the officer to hit the teen in the face. Being an experienced internal affairs investigatior I saw no threat from the teen nor resistance as he needed direction. The resistance came after the teen was hit in the face. The teen did commit a crime per the California Penal Code for the arrest. Not taking the direction of police was not present nor the teens intent not to take direct was apparent as the teen was heading toward the wall as ordered. The teen was looking for a place to sit or stand against the wall which was crowded with others. The police was at fault for the lack of crowd control as there was the lack of coordination of the police as all of the police officers wanted to be in the “Mix.” The area was too small, which in my opinion was caused by the police. This caused an officers safety issue (the searching officers had their backs to the others directed against the wall). The teens arrest was a false arrest. Police departments used this resisting arrest or failure to listen to the direction of an official all of the time to cover themselves from liabilty. An officer must take into account the subjects intent, demeanor, attitude, and cognitive ability (drunk, high, stupid or developmental disability). In my opinion the officer was the aggressor and you can see that in his demeanor and facial expressions. The youth was confused as where to go or place himself as directed. There was tension between the police and residents beforehand. The video shows the police were highly stressed, and anxious. Anxieties are high with young police officers. I am taking courses at Fresno State and one class was ethics. I have written a paper on my experience as to why police officers are abusing subjects. In my paper I explain that a yearly psychological testing with a psychologist should be policy with officers who meet the criteria. However, I wrote that the problem lies not only with the police adminstration who do not want to conduct “Psychologicals” during an officer’s tenor but the city does not want to pay for expensive psychologicals. The police union has a lot of deterrence in this matter as well. Officers can be deemed “Unfit for duty.”
    Reasonable force comes into play in this situation with the teen. An officer by the use of verbal commands and control holds that are taught yearly and could have been used in this situation. The California Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training has never approved using a fist to a subject’s face. The only exception fighting for your life. This was not the situation. I wish I could testify for the teen in court as I see that the chosen Fresno PD auditor will be bias and exonerate the officer (as usual).

    Reply
    • Max Conrad

      Yeah, we always hear this from “former” & “retired” law enforcement goons. While on the job you corrupt filth close your eyes and goose step to the Blue Wall of Silence drum. Cops tell lies as easily and often as normal humans breathe. Fraud and corruption are as common to the police as obesity and overtime fraud. You’d be better off trusting your children in a locked room with a starving alligator before trusting the police. Citizen rights and the law mean less to the cops than an empty donut box.

      Reply

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