According to the Orange County Register, “the Peace Officers’ Bill of Rights, introduced in 1976, was intended to protect cops from overzealous investigations. Since its passage into California law, it has protected officers from much more.” A 2009 Orange County Register investigation found that the law has often been a safety net for bad cops.
The Register asked a number of cities for information about the “total number of internal affairs investigations conducted against sworn officers that were conducted internally versus externally.” Several cities complied and provided that information to the Register, including La Habra, Seal Beach, Tustin, Huntington Beach, Placentia, Los Alamitos, Irvine, Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, Cypress, Costa Mesa, Brea and Anaheim.
What about the City of Santa Ana? Unfortunately Santa Ana took the position that all such investigations are secret.
Mind you that cops are paid with our taxes! This position is outrageous. I doubt however that any of our Council Members will take up this cause. They are all too afraid of the Santa Ana police union.
Why does this matter?
The Register also reported this past week that “A Santa Ana police detective named Mitchell Graves had a sexual relationship with the fiancee of a gang member he was investigating in an attempted murder, and then lied to cover it up, prosecutors concluded.
Graves’ alleged misconduct resulted in a plea deal with a gang member who should have ended up in jail for life. That defendant, Michael Anthony Granados, will now get out of jail in 19 years.
The Graves investigation went public because the repercussions were too big to cover up. What else our bad cops in our city getting away with? Thanks to a gutless City Council, we may never know.
FYI, don’t expect mayoral candidate David Benavides to touch this issue. He has been hanging out with the head of the local police union.
One thought on “Santa Ana keeps all investigations of alleged bad cops secret”
The officer in the video is the same one that shot the Woman in the high speed chase with the baby in the back seat.