Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada didn’t have all of the information when he briefed City Council members in February about a Ku Klux Klan rally that exploded into violence, according to an internal human resources investigation conducted by the city.
A complaint was filed against Quezada by resident Duane Roberts, who alleged the chief lied to City Council members when he told them last year the KKK rally, where three people were stabbed and 13 arrested, began two hours earlier than officers expected.
Internal emails and police reports about the incident obtained by Roberts and from the city through public records requests, contradicted the chief, suggesting police officers had information the rally would begin at noon, not 1:30 p.m. as Quezada said.
Quezada “did not provide false or misleading information,” but rather he “was not aware of all the communications regarding the time sequence of the KKK event and therefore did not disclose those communications” to council members, according to a letter to Roberts from Acting Human Resources Director Jason Motsick.
City spokesman Mike Lyster said the investigation is complete and the City Council has been informed of its findings.
“…Chief Quezada briefed the City Council and Public Safety Board with the information he had at the time and that there were no policy or procedure violations,” said Lyster.
The investigation was sparked by a Dec. 15 meeting of the city’s Public Safety Board, where the board’s members voted to request the city’s police auditor, the Office of Independent Review (OIR), look into Roberts’ complaint.
Although the Public Safety Board doesn’t have the authority to order such an investigation, City Manager Paul Emery initiated, at the recommendation of the OIR, an internal human resources investigation into Roberts’ complaint.
Roberts points to his complaint as an example of why the City Council, which is currently contemplating changes to the Public Safety Board, should consider expanding its focus to a more investigative body with subpoena powers.
Regardless of whether Quezada intentionally lied or didn’t have all the information, he still got key facts wrong, Roberts said.
“Quezada owes the [City] Council, Public Safety Board and public an apology for not providing them accurate information,” Roberts said. “This was a critical incident where two people almost got killed. One would think the police chief would have done his homework or taken steps to ensure the information he provided these bodies was accurate.”
Contact Thy Vo at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @thyanhvo.
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