Charges against San Bernardino police officer’s accuser dropped

FONTANA – Criminal charges against a man who accused an embattled San Bernardino Police Department sergeant of illegally detaining and searching him were dismissed Friday.Gregory Parker has spent nearly three years questioning the circumstances of his Sept. 18, 2007, arrest and fighting the two counts of possessing marijuana and receiving stolen property he was later charged with.

During a scheduled court hearing in Fontana Superior Court on Friday, supervising deputy district attorney Richard Alan Young said all charges were being dropped due to “insufficiency of evidence and in the interest of justice.”

He declined to provide specifics about why the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office was no longer interested in pursuing charges.

Parker’s defense attorney, Gary Wenkle Smith, said his client was “elated” and lauded the system for making justice its priority.

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iePolitics Commentary: Sheriff Hoops, Part 2

Sheriff Rod Hoops let’s continue from my last posting.

I do not want our readers to think that misconduct such as the credentials falsification issue with Sheriff’s Captain Bart Gray is nothing but an aberration.

It is actually the opposite. In other words it happens quite frequently.

Not only are special accommodations made for ranking employees when caught committing crimes, so are their family members. More often than not.

And to be fair to you, I acknowledge that this pattern and practice is nothing you designed or created. You are simply picking up where others have left off, and carrying on the culture and traditions of the department.

Maybe people will realize this is why some are appointed Sheriff within the ranks versus the County seeking outside applicants.

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Wife of beaten suspect struggling with unanswered questions

SAN BERNARDINO – A San Bernardino barber shop owner who was the subject of a videotaped beating by police was held nearly two days without being booked into jail or charged, and denied a phone call, an attorney for his family said Wednesday.

CBS-KCAL video: Caught on tape: Officer Beats Suspect With Baton

It was only after the Mayor‘s office intervened on the family’s behalf Wednesday afternoon that Darren Johnson, 43, was allowed to call his wife and tell her what had happened.

Johnson reportedly told his wife in a call from Loma Linda University Medical Center that he suffered a compound fracture to his hand, and has stitches to both legs and his head, among other injuries.

An iPhone video of his arrest taken by an eyewitness shows an officer repeatedly striking him with a baton while another officer holds him on the ground in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven at the corner of Highland and Mountain View avenues.

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San Bernardino council votes to send ultimatum to church after receiving sex offender memo

SAN BERNARDINO – The San Bernardino City Council voted late Monday night to send an ultimatum to a local church that hosts an Operation Phoenix youth center after council members received a leaked memo reporting that a registered sex offender had performed work on the premises.The council voted 5-0, following the recommendation of Councilwoman Wendy McCammack, to inform the leadership of First Church of the Nazarene that City Hall will stop paying rent to lease space at the church’s campus unless the congregation agrees to never allow any registered sex offenders to set foot on the facility.

Council members Esther Estrada, Tobin Brinker, Fred Shorett and Chas Kelley voted in favor of McCammack’s plan. Council members Dennis Baxter and Rikke Van Johnson were reportedly ill and not present at the meeting.

Representatives from First Church of the Nazarene were not present at the meeting to respond.

The unknown party who made a confidential memo into a public concern did so as little more than a month remains before the Nov. 3 city elections.

The sex offender issue arose Monday after an unknown party delivered a confidential memo to each council member’s place on the dais. The document was set out before the start of Monday’s council meeting.

The document, written by Police Chief Keith Kilmer, reported that a registered sex offender had performed work at the church, which is home to three children’s facilities, including city’s first Operation Phoenix recreational center.

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Investigation into “on ice” allegations against San Bernardino police sergeant reopened

SAN BERNARDINO – Police Chief Keith Kilmer has hired an outside investigator to review an Internal Affairs probe into a sergeant accused of keeping people “on ice,” according to multiple sources close to the investigation.The decision reportedly came after Deputy Public Defender Sam Knudsen sent a letter to the new chief urging him to reopen the case because “some witnesses may have actually been steered away from giving/reporting information related to possible misconduct.”

The three-paragraph letter is dated July 15.

Accusations surfaced a year ago that Sgt. Brad Lawrence was illegally detaining suspects without probable cause, a practice commonly known as putting them “on ice.”

Knudsen declined to elaborate on his letter, saying it stood on its own.

Lawrence could not be reached for comment.

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View San Bernardino Police Chief-designate Keith Kilmer’s resume

Here’s a copy of City Hall’s press release on incoming San Bernardino Police Chief Keith Kilmer’s appointment. The announcement includes a copy of Kilmer’s resume and his employment offer.

SB Now readers may remember that current Police Chief Michael Billdt’s resume was not made public until September of last year. The release confirmed that Billdt rose to the rank of chief without earning a four-year degree from an accredited college or university, but did receive one from a now-defunct school in Orange County called August Vollmer University.

Kilmer Resume