Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Santa Barbara District Attorney Joyce Dudley's report on the shooting death of Santa Maria Police Officer Arthur Covarrubias Raise's more Questions than it Answers

Up until last night I have not spent one minute reviewing what happen with the shooting death of Officer Covarrubias in Santa Maria by a fellow officer. But I decided to read the latest about the case and District Attorneys Joyce Dudley’s finding that the shooting was justified. I read the story and I had a couple of concerns but I was willing to let it go. Now 6 years ago I was one of the few people willing to leave a comment about my concerns, not anymore. In just the last three weeks I have seen where as many as 90 comments appear after a story challenging the D.A.’s office or a Judges Verdict.
So I finished the article I was reading and then went on to review the public comments. I swear this is the truth the second comment I read questioned madam D.A Dudley’s facts. You see in her report under “Evidence at the Scene” page 14 Dudley reports that Officer Covarrubias’s duty weapon was a Glock model 15 9mm hand gun.Well the comment I read stated that no such weapon exists and that he even went to the Glock web page and verified this fact. Well you know me always dotting my I’s and crossing my T’s when it comes to verifying facts. So. I to go to the Glock web page and found his statement was true ( How could D.A. Dudley make such a huge mistake about officer Covarrubias’s weapon? Of course now I have to read the 18 page report that the District Attorney based her decision on. Then decide for myself if it warrants more time by me, sadly it does.

So what I did after I read Dudley’s report was to find a media source that reported on the shooting from the very beginning. I reviewed one story after another keeping track of the facts, looking for changes or contradictions. Once again I am here to report I cannot accept the facts as presented by District Attorney Dudley

So after all that I have one question for Santa Barbara District Attorney Joyce Dudley. Is that really the version you want to go with in your Report on the Officer Involved Shooting? In the past I could easily produce four or five postings a week to share and now I try and find almost any excuse not to report my observations, I feel like I am beating on a dead horse. I mean how many different ways can I try and expose corruption and abuse of powers by our elected County Officials, Judges, and District Attorney, Law Enforcement not to mention the SBCERS pension.

Now I am really pushing myself to get my concerns out right away this morning for one reason only. In hopes that the public will start asking their own questions to District Attorney Dudley and anyone else they see fit. Please keep in mind that everything I am presenting here was found in one night with minimal effort by me.

So I am just going to share my observations and leave it up to you how important they are. As I read D.A. Dudley’s report certain things jumped out at me, than as I went through all the Medias stories my concerns were validated.

1-     The time of the shooting was different between the media and the D.A.’s why. The D.A. made a point of stating very clearly the shooting happen after 1:27 am and not 1:10 as reported most times by the media
2-      From the very beginning the media reported that only one shot was fired by Officer Kline hitting Officer Covarrubias in the chest and killing him. Once again I refer to page 14 that states officer Kline fired 3 shots .at officer Covarrubias all hits.
3-     What really bothers me is that time and time again the Santa Maria police also represented that only one shot to the chest was fired. PEOPLE IF YOU FOLLOW UP ON NOTHING ELSE LET IT BE THIS FACT. OFFICER KLINE FIRED 3 TIMES AT OFFICER COVARUBIAS. HITTING HIM TWICE IN THE BACK OF THE NECK AND ONCE IN THE BACK. THE SHOT TO THE BACK WAS BLOCKED BY HIS VEST. IN OTHER WORDS OFFICER COVARUBIAS WAS LAYING FACE DOWN AS HE WAS SHOT.! WHAT THE HELL REALLY HAPPEN THAT NIGHT. Are we to believe that in the heat of battle with an officer on top of Officer Covarrubias. Officer Kline was able to think on his feet, realized that officer Covarrubias was wearing a vest and placed two of his three kill shots to the back of the neck? Is it just me or does this sound a little bit like a movie mafia hit?
4-     I keep wondering how officer Kline did not shot the officer who was on top of officer Covarrubias as reported in the D.A.’s report on page 13
5-     If you review the officer’s actions immediately after the shooting you will find that no one attempted to save Officer Covarrubias, there were over 9 officers present at that time.

I could easily give you 20 more contradictions but do I really have to, the man was shot face down 3 times. But wait there is more did you know that former officers disclosed some details to the Associated Press only on condition of anonymity? The officers, who hade more than six decades of experience between them, independently described what, happened that night. Police at the scene told the retired officers that Covarrubias fired four times, but not at anything or anyone. Here is the link where I found that statement.

So right off the bat the statement made by former officers contradicts page 14 of D.A. Dudley’s report where she states that Officer Covarrubias’s Glcok 15(no such weapon exist)had only fired one round. Then if you look at page 13 on her report officer Guerra also heard 4 shots before the 3 tangled officers fell to the ground, big problems here.Like I just said I could break down why District Attorney Dudley’s report and justification on the shooting should be thrown out. But the only thing that really matters is what you think.

If you find any value with my concerns here please share it with as many people as possible.

Larry Mendoza

Web sites that I reviewed while making this posting.
The report can be viewed at,
Officer Covarrubias

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Once Santa Maria police discovered one of their own was possibly having sex with a 17-year-old girl they set up a ruse to get him to cop to the crime.
As officers attempted to affect the arrest, the officer struggled with the arresting officers, drew his weapon, and fired. In response, one officer on scene fired at the suspect officer hitting him once.

When they made the decision to arrest the officer, additional supervisors were brought in to help with the arrest.  At the time, the suspect resisted arrest, fought with officers, pulled his gun and fired. Another officer at the scene was forced to fire his weapon.

Around 1:10 a.m., officers attempted to arrest him while he was on duty when gunfire was exchanged.
"This is a very tragic and unfortunate situation that unfolded very rapidly and the results are something we are going to have to deal with," said Chief Dan Macagni of the Santa Maria Police Department.
Santa Maria Police said the officer pulled out a gun and shot at them when they tried to arrest him.
One officer responded by shooting him once.
Macagni also would not say how the dead officer found out he was being investigated for having what's been described as an explicit sexual relationship with a 17 year old girl. 
Macagni says the allegations against the officer, if proven true, would have sent him to prison. 
"There is some witness intimidation involved", Macagni says, "the information that we had in hand demanded that we not let him leave that scene, get in a car, drive somewhere, it would put the public at risk, if he did, we just did not know what was going to happen, we did not expect him to react the way that he did." 
Macagni says the officer who fired the fatal shot is at least an eight year veteran of the department and is now on paid administrative leave. 
The Santa Maria Police Department had been conducting an internal criminal Investigation against one of their own members of the department, a police officer, for allegations of sexual misconduct against a minor. That investigation became apparent to the officer being investigated while he was on-duty and it was necessary to make an arrest of the officer. As officers attempted to affect the arrest, the officer struggled with the arresting officers, drew his weapon, and fired. In response, one officer on scene fired at the suspect officer hitting him once.

The shootout happened around 1:19 a.m. near McElhaney and Broadway when Santa Maria Police officers attempted to arrest Covarrubias while he was on duty when gunfire was exchanged.
Santa Maria Police said Covarrubias pulled out a gun and shot at them when they tried to arrest him.
Kline responded by shooting Covarrubias once in the chest.
"I learned that he wasn't shot in the chest, they said he was shot in the neck", Covarrubias Sr. says, "I also learned that nobody gave him any first aid until the paramedics showed up, but it that was the case, what was going on out there, what was really going on out there?" 

It also seeks psychological damages including loss of reputation since Jane Doe was the only female Police Explorer Scout at the time which Goldberg says subjected her to ridicule, contempt and hatred forcing her to leave school.  

According to the DA's report, there was a struggle between two sergeants and Covarrubias who was resisting arrest and had also fired several rounds from his gun. 
The DA's report quotes Sgt. Chris Nartatez, who happened to be Covarrubias's cousin, shouting for help from other officers on the scene. 
"They were attempting to get his gun away from him", says Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley, "there was what Officer Kline described as a "fight for life", there were people yelling "gun, gun, he has a gun", Officer Covarrubias wouldn't let go of his gun and everyone feared that he was going to fire off yet another shot and then Officer Kline shot Officer Covarrubias.
Kline, who happened to be Covarrubias's best friend on the police force, fired three rounds at Covarrubias, according to the DA's report, two of the bullets hitting Covarrubias in the neck which proved to be deadly. 

S.B.C.C.C. The place where COMMON SENSE never goes out of style!

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