Mar. 30, 2011– MPD arrests one of their own officers, Anthony Trock, for
seizing illegal drugs (including cocaine, meth, and marijuana) and failing to submit the narcotics into evidence. Trock has been with the department for four years, working as a patrol officer. Although the officer Trock has been stripped of his law enforcement powers, he is still on PAID administrative leave. The Stanislaus County district attorney’s office will conduct the criminal prosecution.
April 26, 2011 – Modesto Police Chief Mike Harden announces that the process for police accreditation cost the tax-payers of Modesto $94,000 including $5,000 to enroll in CALEA (Commission for Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, which is nothing more than an organization of police and former police) and a full time employee at an approximate cost of $89,000. At a time when budget cuts threaten to shut down everything from hospitals to day care centers – do we really think this is the best use of our money?
May 3, 2011 – Stanislaus County Sheriff Kari Abbey was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. Abbey is charged with the murder of Rita Elias, a mother and resident of West-Side Modesto. Elias was murdered by Abbey in September of 2010 during an argument in which Abbey attempted to evict Elias from her property. Abbey’s parents are landlords and according to documents released from the investigation, Kari along with other law enforcement officers have helped illegally evict people. Abbey is also charged with conducting this “family business” all while on the clock as a Sheriff. In court documents, the Stanislaus County district attorney’s office said Abbey abused tenants at her rental properties, used fellow deputies to serve eviction papers while they were on duty and conducted her business on county time. In addition, a March 30 search of the home and outbuildings she shared with her husband and father yielded a sophisticated marijuana growing system, several weapons, counterfeit bills, steroids and items from the Hayward Police Department. Abbey’s husband, Bennie Taylor, worked for the Hayward police until last year. Investigators said Abbey and Taylor trespassed on properties they owned and managed, harassing and intimidating tenants, assaulting at least one of them. One tenant called police after Taylor hit him, the affidavit said. Witnesses said the Modesto police officer who responded to the call seemed familiar with Abbey, hugging her and shaking Taylor’s hand.
May 24, 2011 – Modesto Police shoot and kill Jeremy Atkinson after responding to an armed robbery at a store on Coffee Rd. During a chase of Atkinson, police claimed that he reached into his waistband and they fired in self-defense, as it turned out he was unarmed. Again, like a mantra, we hear the police repeating the same line over and over again. A suspect “reaches for their waist-band” and the officers “fearing for their lives” shoot them in self-defense. Only later it turns out that the suspect is armed with only a spatula – or no weapon at all.
June 1, 2011 – About 15 people demonstrated inside and outside of the Stanislaus County court-house while Kari Abbey faced a judge, charged with the murder of Rita Elias as well as numerous other charges.
June 3, 2011 – The 5-month long “independent investigation” of the Modesto Police Department ended with a $75,000 bill while completely exonerating the cops. The investigation was launched to look into charges of police brutality that steamed from a series of leaked emails by both former and anonymous police officers claiming that the beating of suspects was common and that higher-up police, including Chief Harden, knew about the violations. The investigative report, issued by a Palo Alto based lawyer, which cost tax-payers $75,000 (on top of the nearly $100,000 for police accreditation), concludes that there is not a problem with rampant police brutality or corruption. The report issued by Robert Aaronson (who gets paid by the cops to do these investigations and as long as the results are good the cops, he’ll keep getting paid) claims that the series of emails issues about ongoing brutality are unfounded, based largely on interviews with police officers. He also cites the shooting death of Francisco Moran, claiming that officers shot Moran in order to protect “his family members and themselves,” only later discovering that the weapon he had was in fact a spatula.
June 8, 2011– Ernest Duenez Jr. was unarmed and fatally shot multiple times in the body and face by a Manteca Police Officer. According to several
witnesses, Ernest posed no threat to the officer as he exited the back of the truck with his hands up. His leg became entangled in the seatbelt and as he fell to the ground he was shot by the officer without hesitation. Manteca PD has released different accounts of the incident, including that Ernest had a gun, then a knife, then an unidentified weapon) all which have proven to be untrue. The officer was allowed to return to work 2 weeks after the shooting even though the investigation is still ongoing. They have also refused to release the video recorded on the police car dash-camera.
June 12, 2001 – Hundreds marched through the streets of Oakland to protest the release of former BART officer Johannes Mehserle from jail after only serving 72 days behind bars for the murder of unarmed Oscar Grant as he lay face down on a BART platform in Oakland in January of 2009. Michael Vick spent more time in a cell for killing a dog.
June 21, 2011 – Stanislaus County CHP officers gunned down and killed another unarmed mentally disturbed man, Eric Vigen, with semiautomatic rifles, shooting him 55 times (that’s right, 55), several miles south of Modesto on Crows Landing and West Main. The officers involved were Sgt. Ian Troxell, a 12-year CHP veteran, Jonathan Box, and Adam Percey. The shooting happened within minutes of officers arriving. According to Vigen’s family, Eric had bipolar disorder and was in a manic state before the shooting. Thinking that law enforcement could help her son as they had done in the past, Eric’s mother called police and told them that he needed help. Eric’s family was given the murderous details of his untimely death when Sheriffs gave the family their report. A CHP officer also killed 19 year old Ricky Miranda in January.
Get involved in the fight for Justice for the victims of police abuse and murder. Contact Modesto Copwatch at (209) 730-6744 or firstname.lastname@example.org