This summer, a federal jury will decide if San Diego police condone sexual and other serious misconduct by officers and if a code of silence prevents misconduct from being investigated.
A victim of ex-officer Anthony Arevalos is suing the city. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Michael Anello said lawyers for the victim, known as Jane Doe, have provided enough evidence to allow a jury to determine if Arevalos was a bad apple who acted alone or the department’s culture tolerated his behavior. Here’s why:
The department didn’t seriously discipline Arevalos despite numerous instances of sexual misconduct.
For years sexual misconduct complaints against Arevalos piled up, but he was never seriously punished. Anello listed five instances, ranging from allegations he sexually assaulted a woman with mental disabilities in the late 1990s to two departmental investigations that cleared Arevalos of sexually assaulting a DUI arrestee in 2010.
Yet Arevalos’ personnel file only contained documentation of getting caught with computer porn, Anello said.
“Based on the voluminous record of misconduct engaged in by Officer Arevalos, a reasonable jury could conclude that Arevalos acted toward Jane Doe in a manner in which he thought he was impervious to the consequences of his misconduct,” Anello wrote in his decision.
Beyond his own actions, Arevalos makes the “code of silence” case himself.
Three former SDPD officers told the court they believe there’s a code of silence within the department, Anello said. One of them was Arevalos.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
I would bet that pretty much every city-size police force everywhere has a code of silence, whether they have official policies about it or not.
City council has not done enough to protect the public from a corrupt police department either. They should have called for Lansdowne's resignation a long time ago. It seems that every government agency in San Diego is afraid to stand up against any law enforcement agency. Glad the feds are finally involved.
Mr. Lansdowne, these types of policies are necessary for a professional and honest police force. I "THINK" SDPD has them although I have never read them. Turns out SDPD doesn't have any such policy. YOU accept taxpayer money to do what? The pea and shell game continues. The only way to create justice for this unprofessional department is to fire everybody and start over.
Wondering if any San Diego city departments have any oversight regarding employee complaints.
The Friedman, Debow-Worden issue was supposedly put to bed by DA 6 months before Friedman testified at Arevalos trial. How was it that the DA who was prosecuting Arevelos didn't know anything about the eventual guilty plea of Friedman, Debow destroying evidence when in fact they did. Just hope the Justice department does what their name implies.