Our Mission To Justice for Michael Nida II

Monday, March 19, 2012

Downey Police Department's Lack of Training

I’d like to address the issue of Downey police department’s lack of training, or improper training. Having lived in Downey for decades, I’ve witnessed first hand officers respond to situations with utter disregard for its citizens rights. Unlawful detention, threats, and intimidation. These are not the tools of public servants. These are the methods of thugs using their position of authority to oppress this community.

I had the opportunity to view the video of officer gilley using excessive force against Miguel Macias. I encourage every one of you on the council to review this video, for it is undeniable evidence that your officers need better training. Mr. Macias was totally compliant to this officer’s orders, yet he is tackled from behind, thrown to the ground, and after he is handcuffed, he is aggressively choked. Is this how your officers are trained to respond to a traffic stop?

I would certainly like to think that there are just a few bad apples on the force that are ruining the rest of this department. And if that is the case, they need to be rounded up quickly and removed from our streets. You need to shed your protections and pretenses about how the police department operates.

Also, Downey police department’s unwritten policy of how officers make complaints of misconduct of their fellow officers or supervisors is totally inadequate. Reporting to your commanding officer and letting the complaint flow up the chain of command is pretty useless. What if the misconduct and corruption is coming from the top tiers? This ideology only promotes the protection of the offenders. Officers need to be able to make anonymous complaints of misconduct so they are not subject to reprisal.       

I hope you are all opening, your eyes, hearts, and minds. You have the opportunity to make some positive changes in Downey. Instead of looking at the situation through your egos, you need to create something new filtered through your own consciences. Using your available personnel and resources to establish some programs and policies that will actually benefit this community.

Your silence and inaction only demonstrates a virulence and contempt for those seeking reform. We are not seeking vengeance here, we are asking for you to recognize this problem, and work for a solution. Your citizens should not live in fear, your officers should not be afraid to speak their minds, and this council should not shirk their responsibility to ensure that Downey is a safe place for everyone to live.

 Lauren Bautistas of Nida’s Rydas