Anaheim Hands Review of Off-Duty LAPD Officer to District Attorney

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The Anaheim Police Department has handed off a review of an altercation between an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer and a group of Anaheim teens to the Orange County District Attorney’s office, which will determine whether or not to file charges against either party.

The investigation is into a February incident, which was captured on cell phone video and shows 13-year-old Christian Dorscht, struggling to escape the grip of Kevin Ferguson, who was holding onto the boy’s arm and hoodie. When one teen tries to pull Dorscht free, another teen shoves Ferguson over a hedge. During the ensuing struggle, Ferguson pulls a gun from his waistband and a shot is heard.

Ferguson was not arrested, although Dorscht and a 15-year-old boy who intervened were both arrested.

Outrage over a number of issues including the arrest of the teens but not Ferguson and the way Anaheim police handled the incident sparked protests by more than 200 people and resulted in the arrest of 23.

Shortly after the incident, Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada said the department would conduct an investigation and present its findings to the District Attorney within two weeks. It has been nearly four months.

According to the Anaheim Police Department press release, more than 90 interviews have been completed during that time and the investigative case file is more than 400 pages long.

Ferguson is on leave pending an internal investigation into the incident by LAPD.

Contact Thy Vo at tvo@voiceofoc.org or follow her on Twitter @thyanhvo. 

 

  • JMM

    I wonder why Quezada was so incapable of accurately estimating how long the investigation would take. And didn’t the mayor also promise a concluded investigation within two weeks? Yet, in the ensuing 3 1/2 months, neither issued any public statements to explain, apologize, or reassure. Typically, people who act that way at work are fired.

    It’s also still a huge unaddressed question how the police could immediately arrest two boys but it takes more than 4 months to even start deciding whether or not to arrest the guy with the gun. Where’s their explanation for that discrepancy? That would be a relevant topic for an OC article. Especially since an immediate arrest might’ve saved taxpayers thousands of dollars, not to mention the boost to public safety.

    I come away from this with very little understanding of Anaheim police policies and procedures. If they have nothing to hide, they should reach out to the community they were hired to serve to let us know what prompted them to arrest the victims in this case while not even checking the gunman’s blood alcohol level. If they are proud of their work, they should have no problem explaining their decisions.

    If the DA refuses to even go forward with a case in which a man violently abducts and then pulls a gun on a kid walking home from school, they will send a clear message to the public that they support a thug police force who recklessly flout the law. Hopefully, the people of Anaheim have made it clear enough that this attitude has got to stop.

  • Hal Jordan

    Kids need to understand there are consequences to their actions. Youth is no excuse for stupidity. If the kid had stayed off of private property and been taught respect at home none of this would have happened.

    • LFOldTimer

      I’ve never met a kid who didn’t do one stupid thing or another growing up. It’s part of the learning process. Walking on somebody’s grass is not a capital crime and shouldn’t result in a hog getting pulled and capped by a grown adult as in this case.

      The cop (a grown adult who should know better) used extremely poor judgment. An ordinary citizen would have been hooked up on the spot and transported to county lockup for discharging a firearm with a group of kids present in such a reckless manner.

      This situation should’ve been handled in a completely different way, especially by a cop who’s supposed to demonstrate sound judgment when conflicts arise.

      Put the onus of the blame where it belongs.

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  • LFOldTimer

    Total overreaction by the cop that should result in a prosecution – since any citizen who pulled that same stunt would have been arrested at the scene and arraigned.

    The smart thing to do would’ve been to take a cell phone photo of the kid and turn the photo over the APD and the school district.

    It’s disputed what the kid said to the cop. The cop said “I’m going to shoot you” and the kid said “I’m going to sue you”. Kids say and do dumb things all the time. It’s part of growing up. But grabbing a kid when he hasn’t vandalized property or violently attacked someone isn’t very smart.

    And then to pop off a cap or two with his hog with a group of kids feet away wasn’t very bright either.

    If this one get whitewashed by the auth-or-i-tays people need to organize and protest bigtime.

    • JMM

      Excellent comment. I’d like to add that the boy can clearly be heard in the video saying, “I said I’d *sue* you, not shoot you.” So even if a drunken rage-filled Ferguson imagined the boy said “shoot,” that misunderstanding was immediately corrected. In short, there’s zero excuse for Ferguson’s behavior. The Anaheim police officers who responded should be ashamed of how they gave him a free pass to do whatever he wanted with his gun. Those officers sacrificed public safety in favor of a good ole boy system for a thug cop who doesn’t even work in their own city. They should be suspended and investigated as well.