A post mortem on the AJ Redkey arrest . . .

. . . and how our FPD and our police chief Dan Hughes handled it

By Barry Levinson
| The police are paid well to serve and protect. An innocent man, Kelly Thomas, was brutally beaten to death by 6 officers, 3 of them still employed by the FPD and one recently given an award as 2013 Supervisor of the Year. All decisions made by Chief Hughes.

In my humble opinion these are not the actions of a chief looking to heal the city but are similar to a sports fan who now wants to have bragging rights for his police department. He selects the most controversial employee in his department and recognizes him above all other police officers. Again, this is not the action of a sensitive leader concerned about bringing the people of his city closer together.

It was widely reported that the 10 arrested protesters were threatened with severe physical violence by one or more Fullerton police officers while being transported from the scene on January 18, 2014. Why has not the chief reviewed their DAR’s and determined the validity of those claims? He was totally silent at the June 3, 2014 council meeting when asked about this. Instead he said a team reviewed a video of the entire protest, which resulted in a non-violent misdemeanor charge of failure to disperse against AJ Redkey.

Dan Hughes took much time and taxpayer money after the fact to arrest AJ Redkey. Apparently, based on his silence, he apparently has not lifted a finger to investigate the very serious alleged physical threats made by one or more of his officers.

I can think of many words to describe this apparent lack of action, but it certainly is not good and fair police work. Double standards will always create huge animosity among the public. Justice must be even handed. Apparently, based on the chief’s lack of action, he has not followed that simple rule. This is very disturbing to me and it should be to you, the public at large.

The bottom line concerning the arrest of AJ Redkey is very simple. You have actions by our police that up until now have absolutely no good explanations. We gave our Police Chief, Dan Hughes, center stage at our last council meeting. Yet after his words, we still have many more unanswered than answered questions.

You have 2 supervisors and 4 other police officers and 3 police vehicles going to make this non-violent misdemeanor arrest 40-50 miles from Fullerton. Any one with any common sense asks: Why 6 officers, including 2 supervisors? Now we learn that the most common method, easiest method and probably the cheapest method would be to call the Pasadena Police Department and arrange for that department to make the arrest on our behalf.

Police Chief Hughes did not explain why that was not done. He did not explain why he sent 6 officers including 2 supervisors. We currently have so many unanswered questions and a police chief who insists everything was done by the book (just like Training Officer Rubio and Sgt. Craig testified in the KT murder trial), you begin to question both the messenger and the commander, which in both cases is Police Chief Hughes.

Some of us, including me, believe the only way that these actions seem to make any sense is in the context of some political payback by at least a few of our FPD employees. Punishing those who most wanted Ramos and Cincinelli to be found guilty of abusing and then killing Kelly Thomas. This scenario will live on until we get some credible answers from our police chief that directly repudiates that idea.

Each person only has so much credibility. Once you have destroyed that credibility it is very difficult if not impossible to earn it back. That is the position I believe Police Chief Hughes finds himself in right now.

Redemption is possible, but first you have to admit your sins.

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