January 1: Three years after cops put Oscar Grant face-down on a BART platform and shot him in the back, people in Oakland held 2 days of protests and demonstrations against police and the jail. On New Year’s Eve over 300 people participated in a ‘noise demo’ outside the North county jail, chanting, singing, playing music, and setting off fireworks. Several hands and fists could be seen up against the windows from the prisoners inside. The next day about 500 people marched from Oscar Grant Plaza to the Fruitvale BART station where Oscar was killed by officer Johannes Mehserle.
January 6: The family and friends of James Rivera (killed by Stockton police) and Ernest Duenez (killed by Manteca police) as well as over 50 supporters and community members held a protest in front of the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office demanding that the cops who killed their loved ones be brought to Justice. At one point during the demonstration protesters blocked the entrance to the building and began chanting inside the opened front door, about a dozen SJ County Sheriffs eventually formed a lined and literally pushed the protesters back, including small children, a pregnant woman, and a priest who put himself in between the cops and the kids. A couple protesters were pushed from behind while walking down a small set of steps, one Sheriff was heard saying to protesters “why don’t you go get a job.”
January 15:Yet another scandal involving the Modesto Police Department is made public thanks to a concerned citizen who sent photos of officers p
osing with women in revealing clothing, both inside downtown night clubs and outside on their patrol cars, to the local media and city council. The citizen sent the snapshots with an angry letter stating “as a citizen of the city of Modesto, I am disgusted by the behavior of these officers and their conduct depicted in the photographs.” One of those involved in the scandal is officer Y. Oaxaca who was involved in shooting a deaf motorist with a bean-bag shotgun as well as harassing Modesto CopWatchers and falsely arresting a couple of them for loitering. Chief pig Mike Harden of course said that Internal Affairs would “investigate.”
January 20: Although the Manteca Police Department has yet to give answers as to why one of its officers (John Moody) shot and killed unarmed Ernest Duenez, they didn’t hesitate to take action when serving a restraining order on Gabriel Duenez (brother of Ernest) for supposedly harassing Moody and another officer at Great America in Santa Clara. The temporary restraining order prohibits Duenez from coming within 100 yards of both officers, their homes, and their families. Despite the intimidation the restraining order was meant to incite, the Duenez Family’s weekly protest (every Thursday evening) in front of Manteca police a few days later was over 60 strong in a show of support for Gabe and his family.
January 31: The family of Joey Pinasco, a 21-year old murdered by CHP officers near Escalon in 2008, finally were served a small amount of justice in the form of a $2 million lawsuit settlement. The decision came after 4 days of jury deliberation that determined the CHP was liable for battery and wrongful death. Joey’s aunt, Sandy Pinasco stated “These officers just plain and simply overreacted and they took the life of a very nice young man who had a lot to offer.” Joey was shot and killed by two cops after they claimed he tried to drive into them in his truck. Witnesses in the area later came forward to say his truck was stuck in a ditch and not a threat to officers when they unloaded their weapons into his vehicle. This standard excuse has been used time and time again to justify shooting civilians, such as in the case of James Rivera in Stockton.
March 15: In one of the most disturbing scandals involving the Modesto police, former officer Lee Freddie Gaines was charged with sexually assaulting a woman in a motel room while on duty, wearing his uniform, and even using his handcuffs on her. The victim stated: “I want people to know what this cop is doing. I want them to know who he is, what his face is like, that he used his badge and his uniform to sexually assault a female.” Gaines was also in the news in 2010 when it was determined that he was at fault for a major car accident with an SUV while speeding in his patrol car on Scenic Drive.
March 21: Although murder and manslaughter charges have been thrown out against former Stanislaus County Sheriff Kari Abbey she will still be going to trial for conspiracy to commit unlawful evictions, embezzlement, marijuana cultivation, and child endangerment, and now she will be joined in and out of court by her partners in crime James Abbey (father) and Bennie Taylor (husband). The elder Abbey and Taylor where arrested and charged with conspiracy, forcible entry, marijuana, and possibly child endangerment also. Taylor was also in possession of guns and bullet-proof vests that were acquired (possibly illegally) from the Hayward Police Department where he used to be a cop.