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Officers Bent Badges To Mark Each Fatal Police Killing

Officers in Vallejo, California, bent badges to mark each fatal police killing, ex-captain says
Some officers involved in fatal shootings reportedly marked those incidents with backyard barbecues and were initiated into a "secretive clique."
 
July 31, 2020, 2:35 PM CDT / Updated July 31, 2020, 5:25 PM CDT
By Erik Ortiz

 

In Vallejo, California, a former police captain is alleging a secretive ritual that has triggered an independent investigation into the city's embattled police force: he says some officers involved in fatal shootings since 2000 bent the tips of their star-shaped badges to mark each time they killed someone in the line of duty.

Former Vallejo police Capt. John Whitney, a 19-year department veteran and former SWAT commander who was fired from his job last August, first described the alleged tradition in an interview published this week by Open Vallejo.

 

According to the unaffiliated news outlet, officers involved in fatal shootings marked those incidents with backyard barbecues and were initiated into a "secretive clique" that included curving one of the tips of their seven-point sterling silver badge. The outlet said it spoke with more than 20 current and former government officials and reviewed records and hundreds of photographs taken before and after fatal shootings. Two officers named in the report denied having bent badges, with one telling Open Vallejo it was a "lie."

 

Vallejo, a Bay Area community of 122,000 people, has been in the spotlight for its high number of fatal police shootings in recent years — 18 since 2010 — compared with other California cities. Last month, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the Department of Justice will undertake an "expansive review" of the Vallejo Police Department after lawsuits claiming excessive force and residents' demands for an outside investigation into officers' actions.

 

Police Chief Shawny Williams, who became the first African American to head the department in November after the retirement of previous chief, Andrew Bidou, said Friday that he is calling for an outside investigation to begin as early as next week and could take several months. He said the formal investigation follows his initial inquiry into the allegations.

 

"We've received statements from two different sources within the Vallejo Police Department that badge bending has occurred," Williams said in a statement. "As a result of these very troubling and disturbing allegations, I've asked for an independent outside investigation to be completed by a third party."  He did not immediately say who would conduct the investigation.

 

According to Open Vallejo, of the 51 current and former Vallejo officers who have been involved in fatal shootings since 2000, at least 14 had their badges bent by a colleague afterward as part of an "exclusive custom" that even some officers involved in the fatal shootings were never told existed.

 

MORE At Link:

 

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/officers-vallejo-california-bent-badges-mark-each-fatal-police-...


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
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Problem isn't bent badges - it's bent cops.

 

You do not "notch your gun" if you're not proud of what you are recording, and being proud to have had to shoot a fellow American is NOT what we want nor need from our Police.

 

We have let Republicans cut taxes and eliminate so many social services and then given responsibility for the outcome to the Police that we've influenced who whats to become a cop in a VERY dangerous way.

 

Cops now have to deal with all those folks who used to be confined in mental institutions by refusing to properly support the mental institutions. We refused to provide adequate support for our school age kids, and then to deal with the violence they brought to school by using the money we once spent on Nurses and Councilors to put cops in the schools.

 

Rich people may pay more dollars than the bottom 90%, but the significant thing is paying their taxes has ZERO impact on their life-styles. Time to equalize the sacrifice each of us makes to live in a civilization and the first step is to repeal the Reagan Taxscam and use the huge increase in revenue to restore all those services we now expect Police to deal with. To do that, we must eliminate Republicans from public office by voting them OUT!

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In Vallejo, California, a former police captain is alleging 

 

 

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@KidBoy2 wrote:

In Vallejo, California, a former police captain is alleging 

 

 


So when proof is shown, you'll admit you were wrong, right? Shouldn't be hard for any decent person to do.


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
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@ChasKy53 wrote:

@KidBoy2 wrote:

In Vallejo, California, a former police captain is alleging 

 

 


So when proof is shown, you'll admit you were wrong, right? Shouldn't be hard for any decent person to do.


Sure - just like in other cases

Remember this one - back in the news again -

 

NYT 07/30/2020 - No Charges for Ferguson Officer Who Killed Michael Brown, New Prosecutor Says 

The St. Louis County prosecutor had reopened an investigation into Darren Wilson, who was previously cleared by a grand jury after fatally shooting Mr. Brown in 2014.

 

Six years after a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, a Black teenager, in Ferguson, Mo., another investigation into the killing has come to the same conclusion as the first: The officer should not be charged.

 

See what I mean - it seem until some people get the answer that they think is right - they just keep going and going and then add that to the numerous people on social media who keep repeating the UNtruth fo guilt.

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@GailL1 wrote:


Sure - just like in other cases

Remember this one - back in the news again -

 

Nice distraction Gail, but what about the topic? And I didn't direct my question to you, it was to KidBoy2.


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@ChasKy53 wrote:

@GailL1 wrote:


Sure - just like in other cases

Remember this one - back in the news again -

 

Nice distraction Gail, but what about the topic? And I didn't direct my question to you, it was to KidBoy2.


Anybody is free to add to the conversation here -

And I had already brought it up to you in a previous post in this thread -

Right here:

Screenshot_2020-08-02 Re Officers Bent Badges To Mark Each Fatal Police Killing.png

 

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@GailL1 wrote:

@ChasKy53 wrote:

@GailL1 wrote:


Sure - just like in other cases

Remember this one - back in the news again -

 

Nice distraction Gail, but what about the topic? And I didn't direct my question to you, it was to KidBoy2.


Anybody is free to add to the conversation here -

 

 

 


You seem to have missed this:  

 

Police Chief Shawny Williams, who became the first African American to head the department in November after the retirement of previous chief, Andrew Bidou, said Friday that he is calling for an outside investigation to begin as early as next week and could take several months. He said the formal investigation follows his initial inquiry into the allegations.

 

"We've received statements from two different sources within the Vallejo Police Department that badge bending has occurred," Williams said in a statement. "As a result of these very troubling and disturbing allegations, I've asked for an independent outside investigation to be completed by a third party."  He did not immediately say who would conduct the investigation.

 

Seems to me that as a black man he chooses not head this investigation himself only to have accusations of being biased. There is more than one source within the department. Of course this has been happening and efforts have been made to keep it secret. Looks like it's coming out into the open and the new Chief is taking the right steps.

 

Funny that no one on the right has said that if this has been happening it is wrong. Very telling actually.

 


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Lawsuits, whistle blower,  expansive reviews and investigations - let us know when the outcome is available and any reform that may come as a result.

Until then, have they ordered the police to stand down from confrontations / arrest / use of gun - ?

Have they assigned their army of social workers and or psychologist to answer some calls that may possibly have to do with mental illness / some domestic abuse / wellness checks?

Have there been any "sick outs" ?

 

I am very interested in outcomes of these investigations - when there is an outcome of whatever the truth might be - will we or can we accept it?  Seems we do not accept many of the Grand Jury outcomes in many of these cases - if it comes back as justified, it still remains in the minds of many as unjustified.

 

Is there a process that can be trusted??

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@GailL1 wrote:

Lawsuits, whistle blower,  expansive reviews and investigations - let us know when the outcome is available and any reform that may come as a result.

Until then, have they ordered the police to stand down from confrontations / arrest / use of gun - ?

Have they assigned their army of social workers and or psychologist to answer some calls that may possibly have to do with mental illness / some domestic abuse / wellness checks?

Have there been any "sick outs" ?

 

I am very interested in outcomes of these investigations - when there is an outcome of whatever the truth might be - will we or can we accept it?  Seems we do not accept many of the Grand Jury outcomes in many of these cases - if it comes back as justified, it still remains in the minds of many as unjustified.

 

Is there a process that can be trusted??


Nothing you have stated discredits this article nor debunks anything in it. You failed to address the bending of badges as a ceremonial symbol of police killings. Why is that? What about this retired captain? Is he a "cop hater"? Does he have to have a negative agenda to tell the truth? What do you think of the badge bending? I think it's disgusting.


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@ChasKy53 wrote:

Nothing you have stated discredits this article nor debunks anything in it. You failed to address the bending of badges as a ceremonial symbol of police killings. Why is that? What about this retired captain? Is he a "cop hater"? Does he have to have a negative agenda to tell the truth? What do you think of the badge bending? I think it's disgusting.

My post wasn't to discredit the article - it is an allegation that has to be investigated.  Retired Captain?  I thought the article said "fired".  I have no idea of the truth or fallacy in this situation - that's why they are investigating, a 3rd party investigation.

 

I only ask if the outcome does not substantiate the allegation - will that be accepted?  It seems that many times we don't even trust the results of investigations and Grand Jury ruling.

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@GailL1 wrote:

@ChasKy53 wrote:

Nothing you have stated discredits this article nor debunks anything in it. You failed to address the bending of badges as a ceremonial symbol of police killings. Why is that? What about this retired captain? Is he a "cop hater"? Does he have to have a negative agenda to tell the truth? What do you think of the badge bending? I think it's disgusting.

My post wasn't to discredit the article - it is an allegation that has to be investigated.  Retired Captain?  I thought the article said "fired".  I have no idea of the truth or fallacy in this situation - that's why they are investigating, a 3rd party investigation.

 

I only ask if the outcome does not substantiate the allegation - will that be accepted?  It seems that many times we don't even trust the results of investigations and Grand Jury ruling.


The man has 19 years and his retirement is intact. It has also been uncovered that he was fired because of his outspoken statements and criticisms about the police department. "The code" don'tcha know !


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"Systemic"?  Sounds like it is...


"FAKE 45 #illegitimate" read a sign at the Woman's March in DC, 1/27/2017
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@Centristsin2010 wrote:

"Systemic"?  Sounds like it is...


Of course it is Centrists !   I wonder what tRump supporters have to say about this?  Their record on calling anyone that criticizes the violent actions and murders by police "cop haters"  leads me to believe they will call this retired Police Captain a "Cop Hater" ! (either that or deep silence)

 

Bravo to this retired Captain for blowing the whistle on this !


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@ChasKy53 wrote:

@Centristsin2010 wrote:

"Systemic"?  Sounds like it is...


Of course it is Centrists !   I wonder what tRump supporters have to say about this?  Their record on calling anyone that criticizes the violent actions and murders by police "cop haters"  leads me to believe they will call this retired Police Captain a "Cop Hater" ! (either that or deep silence)

 

Bravo to this retired Captain for blowing the whistle on this !

 

Bend this....

 

Vallejo police killing lawsuit settles for $5.7 million, attorney says

 

Ronell Foster was killed in 2018 by Vallejo Ofc. Ryan McMahon, as the two struggled in an alleyway after McMahon attempted to pull Foster over for not having a light on his bicycle

 

VALLEJO — The city has agreed to pay $5.7 million to the family of Ronell Foster who was shot and killed by a Vallejo policeman who originally pulled him over for a minor traffic infraction, according to two attorneys familiar with the case.

 

Foster was killed by Vallejo Ofc. Ryan McMahon, as the two struggled in an alleyway after McMahon attempted to pull Foster over for not having a light on his bicycle in February 2018. Almost exactly one year later, McMahon was one of the six officers to shoot and kill Willie McCoy, and was eventually recommended for termination for his role in the shooting.

 

John Burris, one of the civil rights attorneys who sued McMahon and Vallejo on behalf of Foster’s family, said the situation was “essentially created by McMahon.”

 

“No amount of money is enough for a life that was taken and the manner in which it was taken. This was a very horrible offense,” Burris said, adding, “McMahon undoubtedly felt there were no ramifications for this kind of aggressiveness and lawlessness.”

 

A spokeswoman for the Vallejo police department did not immediately return requests for comment.

The settlement — even for Vallejo, a city that has churned out millions in recent years to settle lawsuits involving allegations of police misconduct — is on the high end for suits involving a police killing. The family of Oscar Grant, for instance, settled a federal suit with BART police for $2.8 million, roughly half of what Foster’s family is receiving, in a case where the officer who killed Grant was convicted of manslaughter.

McMahon was one of the officers named by the news site Open Vallejo as being part of a “secretive clique” of Vallejo cops who would bend tips of their badges as mementos after killing someone in the line of duty. The city has opened an investigation to the claims, according to police Chief Shawny Williams. The Open Vallejo story also says that former police Cpt. John Whitney, now an El Cerrito police employee, was fired after he raised the issue at a staff meeting.

 

“This settlement is very large by national standards, but leaves open the question of how VPD leadership could have allowed the bent badges culture to flourish and ultimately lead to Ronell Foster’s death,” said Michael Haddad, one of the attorneys representing Foster’s family. “Compensation for Ronell’s children is good, but we need prosecutions.”

 

Williams recommended McMahon be fired for discharging his gun once during the McCoy shooting, writing in recently-released records that McMahon’s partner was in the line of fire. Five other Vallejo officers who shot McCoy dozens of times within a few seconds were cleared by an internal probe of the shooting, public records show.

 

Vallejo police killing lawsuit settles for $5.7 million, attorney says 


 


"FAKE 45 #illegitimate" read a sign at the Woman's March in DC, 1/27/2017
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