Things started to fall apart Oct. 6, 2010.
San Diego police officer Robert Acosta stepped into a Riverside County courtroom that day to face felony charges along with his wife, for trashing their foreclosed home.
The charges against Acosta began a seven-month stretch that saw 11 SDPD officers arrested or otherwise accused of serious misconduct. Ultimately, ongoing misconduct issues have led to the sudden retirement of the city’s longtime police chief, millions of dollars in legal settlements and continued calls for outside oversight of the department.
This guide will catch you up on what’s happened and what’s coming next.
The ‘Teflon’ Cop
Anthony Arevalos stands out. He was convicted in 2011 of soliciting sexual bribes from five women while on duty and related charges. The city has settled multiple civil lawsuits involving his conduct for $2.3 million. A lawsuit from Arevalos’ final victim, a 32-year-old woman known in court papers as Jane Doe, is still being hashed out in court.
Doe’s lawyers allege that SDPD’s problems go far beyond a rogue cop, and instead point to a department culture of covering up serious misconduct.
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Some wholesale firing needs to happen at SDPD to clean it up. The Chief needs to get solid cops in her office at pdblue mentions, follow up on information given to her and inform bad cops its time to leave. Back when Burgreen used to talk about "no free coffee from 7-11" things seemed quieter, but he got disciplined for taking a cop - licensed boat captain - on vacation with him to drive a boat around...while on the clock. A note in file for the Chief from the Mayor..? He should've been fired for theft.
It took years and somebody reporting burglaries by Dowden to the DA instead of the department for that idiot to get fired. Dowden and another Sgt stole money from Eastern Div's coffee fund to have lunch - swept under the carpet.
Internal Affairs Sgt Clear "forgot" to report his gun stolen but did so when asked about it. Too stupid to realize there was a reason PSU was asking. He got robbed while playing with a prostitute and his gun was stolen.
What about the Sgt who pulled his shoplifting conviction from his file and was promoted to Lt?
At least they fired the cop who was running numbers while on duty, the cop who was selling underwear worn by him on a website, the cop who had his trainee write a burglary on the ex of a woman he was dating then threw him in jail on it.
It's a tough job and I praise those who do it every day but it's truly scary what the place has become. Clean house, Chief.
With all this rain, I've noticed an increase of rogue weeds popping-up in my backyard.
I hope this doesn't apply to SDPD.
In the mid 60ies when the Chief of Police retired he drove away from the police station in a car paid for by Yellow Cab Co which led to the indictment of The mayor, 5 city council men, 2 from the Board of Supervisors and 1 state assemblyman. The Department was filled with corruption and had been since the 30ies. The Vice, Intelligence, Pawn Shop unites to name a few. Deputy Chiefs' got free vacations. Over 100 officers were interviewed and officers took the 5th in the Grand Jury..
I would encourage Chief Zimmerman to meet with senior officers, detectives and sergeants. We are on the ground everyday and see first hand where the problems are. Having dedicated most of my adult life to this department I am ashamed of what we have become but hopeful for what we can be.
Amen pdblue... I am living proof of what happens to an officer when the "code of silence" is violated. Even though senior officers came forward to validate concerns, it was covered up all the way to a Deputy Chief. Some of those same criminals within the department have been allowed to promote thru the ranks. This story will soon be told and the public will know what the leadership at SDPD is all about. Be safe...