Whitney, according to the report, he said he found out about the secret practice last year and reported it to authorities. The news site reports that at least 14 of 51 current and former Vallejo officers involved in the shooting, since 2000, had their badges turned down a colleague shortly after a fatal shooting, citing sources familiar with the practice.
At least one officer by name to open the report Vallejo refused to participate in this practice. “My badge has never been bent,” said he to the newspaper. “It’s a lie.”
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the chief of police of Vallejo Shawny Williams said the new information prompted the investigation and that it will help him “to understand the culture of the Department in a big way and to take corrective action.”
“If there is credible evidence found, I will continue the investigation internal investigation,” Williams said in a statement.
Whitney, a 19-year veteran of the Department, learned about the secret ritual in February 2019 following the shooting of a local rapper at a drive-through fast food restaurant, according to his lawyer, Alison berry Wilkinson.
“Be proud of what (the shooting) is absolutely reprehensible, in my opinion,” Wilkinson told CNN. “It’s unethical and not consistent with the code of ethics for police officers. And, of course, that was what he felt must be stopped.”
Citing confidentiality, said Wilkinson she could not release more details. But she said that Whitney raised his concern about then-police chief Andrew Bidou, who instructed him to resolve the issue at a meeting of officers.
“During this meeting, captain Whitney wanted all the leaders to see the shape of their subordinates and collect badges,” said Wilkinson.
She confirmed other details of the opening of the story of Vallejo, including 10 suspicious icons was eventually put in a cardboard box and brought to the chief’s office.
“When the chief saw how many there were that needed repair, he was concerned that it would raise suspicion with the city’s Department of Finance, and so he ordered the icons returning officers indicating that the officers to fix them,” Wilkinson said her client told her.
Bidou has not responded to CNN requests for comment.
In August 2019, Whitney was fired from his job after investigation into allegations he improperly handled the information, according to the public report Vallejo. Wilkinson said the official reason was related to Whitney deletion of personal information from his office phone.
But, according to the lawsuit Wilkinson against the city, it was retaliation against Whitney “to Express their professional opinions on various matters of discipline.”
The lawsuit, which seeks wages and attorney fees, not to mention the icon of bending, Wilkinson says is all in the wrongful termination suit plans Whitney file.
Whitney, like ally in the MAYOR of Vallejo Bob Sampayan. In the recommendation letter attached to statement of claim, Sampayan says: “Frankly, I believe that, as John spoke about the negative culture in the police of Vallejo, his reputation was tarnished by the fact that I don’t want any ‘dirty Laundry live’.”
Sampayan was not available for comment on Thursday, and the city has provided a statement which said assistant city Manager Anne Cardwell, she spoke with the city Manager Greg Nyhoff, who said to her, “the mayor told me last year about these worrying messages from the practice, which had taken place in previous years in the police Department. I immediately consulted with a former police chief Bidou about these claims, and the chief Bidou told me that the claim ‘icon bending’ was previously investigated and complaint not justified. The city receives any complaint or reliable information regarding serious potential breach. Currently, chief Williams after past allegations taking all the investigative steps he will take appropriate and necessary actions based on the information provided.”
Attorney General calls for review of the Department
The police Department Vallejo is no stranger to controversy.
California attorney General Javier Becerra announced last month that his Department will review policies and practices of the Department amid a series of assassinations of army officers.
Overview Becerra appears to have been proposed in part 2 of the June shooting death of 22-year-old Sean Monterrosa in Vallejo. Police shot and killed a Latino in a Pharmacy Parking lot after they arrived to investigate reports of looting after protests.
The officer who fired mistook the hammer for the gun in Monterossa’s sweatshirt pocket, police said in a press release. Moreover, investigators looking into the case, found that key evidence — a bullet-riddled windshield in a police car the officer shot in … was destroyed.
The speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi called on the FBI to investigate the murder.
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