Saturday, September 01, 2007

Paul Gallegos' Asset Forfeiture Team will be armed with AR-15s and hollow point bullets

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He's an elected official. He's untouchable. No one can stop him.

DA Gallegos can get his guns

Humboldt County Administrative Officer Loretta Nickolaus confirmed Friday that District Attorney Paul Gallegos had satisfied her office’s requirements in his bid to arm his investigators with semiautomatic rifles.

“Technically, I guess he’s OK with the use-of-force policy,” Nickolaus said by phone late Friday. “Financially, he has the money from the asset forfeiture account. So it’s really a judgment call for him whether or not he wants to do this.”

But Nickolaus stopped short of endorsing the plan.

“I still have my concerns over the potential for conflict of interest and liability exposure for the county, and I’m still not convinced that with this direction (investigators) will be able to maintain their independent perspective if one of their own is involved in a critical incident,” she said.

“But he can do what he wants. He knows how I feel about it, and he has completed the things I’ve asked him to complete.”

The controversy over the guns request began mid-May, after The Eureka Reporter learned that Gallegos’ seemingly routine allocation request for $58,462 in asset forfeiture funds was intended to outfit his eight investigators with AR-15 assault rifles, body armor, tactical vests, 5,000 rounds of hollow-point ammunition and matching parkas, polo shirts and pants.

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors approved the request March 6, but purchases were stopped midstream by Nickolaus in May over liability, scope of work and conflict-of-interest concerns.

Nickolaus said Friday she asked the DA to add a rifles section to his revised use-of-force policy and to provide assurances that investigators would receive appropriate training and would qualify before using the rifles.

She was still troubled, though, by the possibility of a conflict of interest, particularly when the District Attorney’s Office is called on to investigate incidents in which it has been involved.

“Having DA investigators on the front line would seem to present a serious conflict for the DA in conducting an unbiased and independent investigation of the facts,” Nickolaus said.

“It is still my opinion, and maybe it’s his opinion, too, that the DA’s investigative and prosecutorial authority is at its best when it is independent of other law enforcement agencies.”

Attempts to contact Gallegos after normal business hours Friday were unsuccessful.

In his initial request for funds, Gallegos said the expenses represented permissible uses of asset forfeiture trust funds, and if the request was not approved, his investigators would “continue to face compromising health and safety risks when responding to criminal matters due to lack of proper equipment and communication mediums.”

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TS - DA force policy cleared by county administrator

You know. It really isn't funny.

More discussion on Eric's blog
but the defenders are on the Times Standard's comments trying to justify this. "oh it is so inportant for the DA's investigators to have guns so that they will be s-a-a-a-f-e.." Insanity.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

what happens if a DA investigator shoots somebody? Will the Blue Lake Police be called in to investigate?

Anonymous said...

Is this a sign of the end times? Is Paul Gallegos one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse? Rose, we need you prophetic wisdom!

Rose said...

Heh. I do find it funny that so many of his supporters decry the police and their carrying and using weapons. Yet here you have Gallegos with his "Investigators" who couldn't find an alleged victim in a child abuse case, being given gifts of semi-automatic rifles, which even the real cops don't use.

Even more amusing is the puported purpose of these weapons. Asset Forfeiture. A topic that brightened Gallegos' countenance during the election. He likes Asset Forfeiture.

And who does Asset Forfeiture target? Why, the very people who gave him barrels of cash.

This is an abomination, on almost the same scale as his proposed "Trust Fund."

Anonymous said...

Rose, the rounds in your photo are .38 or .357 revolver rounds, quite different than .223 (AR-15 rounds). And I seriously doubt if the DA's office bought "hollow point" .223 rounds (makes no sense).

It is funny that the asset forfeiture money comes from the druggies, mostly the pot growers, and many of them supported and still support Gag's.

A job as a DA investigator in most counties is kind of like being retired on active duty. They hang out, serve subpeoana's, call witnesses (on a good day). They aren't going to be responding to a crime in progress where they may have to fight off one or more thugs or criminals. It is a concern to some, I guess, if four or five DA's investigators go out with AR-15's what are they going to do? contact a witness? Fetch lunch for an attorney? And if they shoot somebody are they going to investigate themselves, even be part of the team that investigates the police shootings.

Does anyone know the last time a Humboldt DA's investigator arrested anyone? With the possible exception of maybe being in a court room and the bad guy is already in custody or when they are tagging along with real cops like EPD or Sheriff deputies???

Inquiring minds want to know.

Rose said...

How's the new photo? Extreme Shock makes rifle ammunition in most tactical and hunting calibers. Also available is the only sub-sonic .223 munitions that will reliably cycle the action of both suppressed and non-suppressed M-4, M-16 and AR -15 variants. Made of the same revolutionary fragmentable Tungsten-Nytrilium Composite that Extreme Shock is famous for, these rounds offer stopping superiority as well as the reduced ricochet advantages. Short Range Tactical Fragmentable? or HighVelocity Fragmentable?

Rose said...

The Covert round is designed for minimum audio signature, one shot solutions and will not cycle the action, causing the corresponding noise. The High Velocity round carries the full lethality of the Controlled Fragmentation characteristics of the NyTrilium composite

Rose said...

You really have to read these comments from the Times Standard's site. They are unbelievable. Most hysterical are Noel Adamson's comments.
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If Gallegos wants guns, I trust him.
Anonymous | 09.01.07 - 7:45 am
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It is to the benefit of Humboldt County to have a team of seasoned investigators who are PROPERLY EQUIPPED working in Humboldt County. The DA's office currently employs some of the most veteran police officers in Humboldt County, and their policies have been long out of date. Congrats to Hislop for bringing the office into the 21st Century as a leader in local law enforcement.
BC | 09.01.07 - 7:48 am
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Loretta Nickolaus is driving me crazy. As quoted in the Eureka Reporter (TS's article is lame), "Having DA investigators on the front line would seem to present a serious conflict for the DA in conducting an unbiased and independent investigation of the facts."

What does she think investigators do? Pick a side and then build their case around it? Bullcrap! That's applying Civil Court System thinking to Criminal court. How many crime reports get made to your local police department, who then conduct an investigation to determine THE FACTS. They don't pick a side and then build a case around it. That's insane. Every investigator knows that everything they do will end up in front of an UNBIASED jury. Why would they distort facts (outside of corruption) when those facts can be easily tested by others (the defense)?

For every crime report that gets submitted to the DA for prosecution (or review for potential prosecution if the facts are shaky enough) there are 20 that DON'T GO ANYWHERE because the UNBIASED investigation by the Police determined that the incident did not warrant prosecution!

Once they have conducted an unbiased investigation and determined that probable cause existed to believe that a crime occurred, they submit their case to the DA for prosecution. So maybe in the overarching view of prosecution and the defense, then they could be labeled as biased. That's because they had enough facts to TAKE A SIDE. But that is way down the line in the course of a criminal investigation/prosecution. Remember, folks, the DA's office are PROSECUTERS. They are not the judge and jury. To assert that the DA's office should be "unbiased" and "independant" during a criminal investigation effectively NEUTERS the People of the State of California in defending themselves against criminals.

Intelligent, thought out responses requested. Nutcases, and wussy anons: please read the previous sentence.
Jim | 09.01.07 - 7:50 am
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BUT EXTRA AMMO. YOUR GONNA NEED IT WITH ALL THE NUTCASE AROUND
Anonymous | 09.01.07 - 8:32 am
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I hope a local businss the contract, ever heard of a drug bust where guns were not present?. Better have it and not need than need it and not have it... thanks but antiques are best left hanging on the wall or at car shows, enjoy labor day It's 2007
conquistador | 09.01.07 - 9:19 am
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"ever heard of a drug bust where guns were not present?"

I don't fully understand the DA investigator's job but would imagine that they become involved after the drug bust has taken place. That's not to say I have a problem with them being armed especially if they are "well seasoned". I have witnessed lots of pot busts where people were not armed.

You enjoy your weekend too conquistador
Noel Adamson | 09.01.07 - 9:28 am
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I don't fully understand the DA investigator's job, then why not find out before you open your stupid yap and stick your foot into something you know nothing about
Anonymous | 09.01.07 - 10:25 am
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I believe that as sworn law enforcement officers, they have to respond to any call for help (clarification requested) cant stop by the office... Most pot farmers are just trying to make ends meet and get that new couch for the coming holidays... But 5000 plants and only one Mexican national arrested, if you don't produce the jeje (boss) gets angry, gets between a rock and a hard place... Watching from the trees?
conquistador | 09.01.07 - 10:26 am
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And what are your qualifications for being a cowardly and hate filled troll Anonymous at 10:25 am?

I can appreciate the need for them to be armed when investigating a scene after a bust, conquistador, just wasn't sure if they ever have a roll in the initial raids.
Noel Adamson | 09.01.07 - 10:36 am
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so why dont you find out , you big DUMMY, they do THEY make arrests, dont just sit on there asses and complain like you do
Anonymous | 09.01.07 - 10:40 am
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I wonder if one of the DA's boys shoots someone if they will be called heroes or not by Noel. The DA seems to be able to do no wrong.
Captain Tripps | 09.01.07 - 10:40 am
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The DA and his supporters do not exhibit the insanity and hatred that many in law enforcement and their supporters do. I would like to think I make my opinions concerning shootings by the DA's investigators on a case by case basis as I do other law enforcement killings.
Noel Adamson | 09.01.07 - 10:53 am
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Noel, please call this number, (707) 268-2990
Captain Tripps | 09.01.07 - 11:13 am
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I too was born a big dummy, and can only learn from those who teach... law enforcement train in aikido a very dificult discipline used to immobilize an aggressor, it takes years to reach the rank of 1st. Dan (instrustor). This is nonpercussive form of martial art, meaning open hand combat. It works on a common drunk brother-in-law or shop lifter/ect. but those meth using octgon fighters with 2 strikes well somebodies going go get hurt real bad... "some run in" Thank You.
conquistador | 09.01.07 - 1:24 pm
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A few years ago when Gallegos was running a certain group called him nothing but a drug loving hippie embracer (because of his prop215 stance) and even lately his 'soft on crime, our DA does nothing' chant I read all the time.

Now he is getting weapons for the DA office and the people who were on his side a few years ago are against, and those against are now for.

You people flip flop too much, it appears to me that only if a current action meets your criteria of personal likes do you show any support.
Anonymous | 09.01.07 - 4:02 pm
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deleted
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I have supported Gallegos as "the lesser evil" from the beginning and hope he is arming his investigators in preparation for investigation of police corruption and actual criminals in Humboldt County as he was elected to do.

Personally, I don't have a big problem with people who do change their minds about elected officials in response to their actions though I agree that many people seem fickle and prone to change their views for superficial reasons. But then most of us get our information in slanted sound bytes so really have little more to base our decisions on.
Noel Adamson | 09.01.07 - 8:41 pm
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Anonymous said...

Does Noel Adamson still do the Police Review blog?

He got so upset with anyone that had a different opinion than his he would delete their comments. He would claim to do it because there was profanity in the posts. After it was pointed out several times that there was no profanity just a different view on issues he changed his blog to not accept annonymous bloggers. He really is out there.

Anonymous said...

Noel does not control the police review blog, and his comments above hardly seemed to be hysterical when compared to the 'kill them all' crowd advocating the summary execution of drug users.

Anonymous said...

Jim,we didn't trust your boy at EPD. We don't trust him with the DA or with assult weapons. (outside of corruption) your words Jim.