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(Parsed in sequence) The purpose of this memorandum is to present my point of view, and elements of my defense which have been largely overlooked, in response to the allegations that have been brought against me by Beth Larson. As the genesis of these allegations is Beth’s memo, which by the way I was never even aware of until the first OPS Class 1 advisement was given, then it would appear that her memo must also be the starting point in response. If what Beth reported was inaccurate, out of context, or in error, then I would presume the entire OPS investigation to be riddled with those errors as well. Before doing so, there are a few points that I’d like to make first. It’s interesting to note that Beth, the alleged aggrieved party, submitted a very one-sided and highly skewed memorandum, if not entirely inaccurate and blatantly false at points, which was then routed up through WCSO chain of command, and affirmed at every stage, and on some points even embellished, without anyone ever bothering to ascertain what the “other side” might be. It’s decidedly a poor investigative technique or review of facts for one side, the same side allegedly aggrieved, to also be the arbiter of those facts or findings. How does one respect a process that has such an obvious disregard for basic investigative principles that are afforded to even the most base and immoral in society, yet can’t seem to provide those same basic principles for a fellow commissioned law enforcement officer of experience, good reputation and good regard in this community? Since when does the aggrieved party, the reporting party if you will, also get to be the arbiter of facts? I’m not asking for anything special or above normal here. All I’m asking for is the same fairness, recognition of individual rights, basic human decency if you will, that is afforded to any other member of society. That doesn’t seem like it’s asking too much to me, but I get the impression that it is. Please forgive the candor and frankness in this communication. It may not be agreeable, but it is sincere and it is my recollections to the best of my ability. It’s my way and I know no other. “On 102910 at approximately 0055 hours, I responded to assist Deputies Murphy and Linderman with a welfare check at 3007 Eberly Road.”
---It’s interesting to me that there’s no mention in any of the OPS documentation or Beth’s memo anywhere of the elderly female that I found and possibly rescued from serious harm (self initiated activity) just prior to this call coming out. The fact that Beth responded there as well, that there were no behavior or interaction issues noted, or that we had both cleared from Britton Rd. minutes prior to the Eberly Rd. call being dispatched, would seem to be relevant here. No problems were noted at that time. If there were concerns, they weren’t communicated to me or anyone else that I’m aware of.
“The call came in to dispatch as a 911 hang up initially. Dispatch called back and spoke with a male who sounded like he was in a struggle. Dispatch advised that the male was heard saying "Go on and hit me again!"
---The 911 call receiver also reported via CAD hearing a female in the background stating “Fucking liar!” while the male was stating “Go on and hit me again”. Interestingly, the 911 call receiver also thought that “several voices and swearing” could be heard in the background, which I learned from the CAD text enroute to this call. Beth only presented the information that she felt supported her claims, completely ignoring another key statement that supports my assertions and presents the more accurate and balanced view. If DiTullio’s statement to the 911 call receiver implying assault matters, then I would think Miller’s overheard statement of his deception also matters. (Note: I did tell the OPS investigator that I either didn’t hear of didn’t recall the CAD information being broadcast on high band and I don’t. I DO recall reading it though.)
“David advised that the suspect, Crystal Miller, had fled on foot immediately prior to our arrival.”
---Beth neglects to mention that DiTullio admitted to his deception that Miller fled of her own accord, and that he had actually assisted her in leaving the area prior to law enforcement contact. In other words, DiTullio, right from initial contact #1: Admitted to deceiving the 911 call receiver and #2: Admitted to assisting Miller in leaving the area before she could be contacted by law enforcement. I understood this, right from initial arrival and contact. Beth apparently did not.
“Several windows had been broken out of the small travel trailer that David said was his. He told us that he owns the travel trailer and that Crystal does not have any ownership in the trailer. There was blood on the hood of a vehicle and David said that Crystal had slit her wrists with a razor blade but that he had gotten the blade away from her. He said that after he took the blade from her, Crystal grabbed a knife and threatened to continue to cut her wrists. David said that Crystal would not let him get near her when she was armed with the knife and she eventually threw the knife at his feet. David said she then went crazy and started breaking windows in the trailer. David said that he was afraid of Crystal and that our involvement would "make things worse for him." David said that Crystal would be angry if she knew that he had called us.
---Beth neglected to mention that DiTullio himself was unsure of whether or not any trailer glass was broken. Also, DiTullio reported to the 911 call receiver that “truck windows” had been broken and that the female was “now breaking windows in the
truck”, but the only damaged truck windows we found was a cracked windshield. On the passenger side as I recall and DiTullio himself stated it had been caused previously and had nothing to do with Miller. DiTullio also was unsure of which trailer window had been broken because in his own words, several of the broken segments had been broken previously by himself and others. DiTullio himself even pointed out a previously broken pane of glass on the very same window that Miller allegedly broke, that had been previously repaired with duct tape. DiTullio remained very unconcerned about the small broken piece of glass. Also, DiTullio himself had what appeared to be a fresh injury to his hand that had been bleeding. Beth seemed to overlook this injury. I did not. I recognized that DiTullio’s own injury could have been the source of some of the blood that we found in various places, including the blood on the hood of the car and on some of the truck windows. The injury also had the appearance of possibly being a defensive wound and could have been an indication that Miller actually had attempted a felony assault against DiTullio. It could also have been an injury as a result of Miller attempting to defend herself from DiTullio. DiTullio didn’t satisfactorily explain the injury to his hand and it remains undetermined even now to the best of my knowledge. In addition, could these circumstances not also be the actions of the abused? Vis a’ vis, the real victim? Could this not also support the assertion that Miller was a good candidate for an involuntary CDMHP evaluation? As opposed to the primary aggressor in a physical domestic altercation? My conversation with Miller at the jail would appear to justify the assertion that she was in fact the actual “victim” of verbal and emotional abuse throughout the day, which led to her reactions to DiTullio then, and her later statements to me that “I snapped” and that she “went off on him.” In Crystal’s own words, she got very angry with David because of his treatment of her and she cut herself because “I couldn’t take it anymore”. It appears to me in hindsight that we actually arrested the secondary aggressor, if she was an aggressor at all. I don’t take issue with that part per se. Probable cause is probable cause and the parties needed to be separated, but had the issue not been rushed along by Beth and had an actual investigation been allowed to take place, this error would likely not have occurred and could likely have resulted in a complete disclosure by Miller. (Ref: My report)
“I asked David how badly Crystal was hurt and he said that he didn't know. I told Deputy Murphy that I was going to request that Deputy Nyhus respond to the scene to attempt to locate Crystal. Deputy Murphy inquired, "For a verbal?"
---The call initially came out as a “welfare check” and there had not been a clear report of an assault. DiTullio’s statement to 911 call receivers “Go ahead and hit me again” implies he’d been struck by someone, not that he’d actually been assaulted by Miller. The call receiver hearing “several voices” in the background at the very least allowed for the possibility of more than two participants. My recollection is that there had been no verbal allegation of an assault by David at this point in time either. DiTullio’s “she slapped me” statement didn’t come until later when he was pressed during my questioning. It appeared likely to me that we had a good candidate for an involuntary CDMHP evaluation if Miller was located. So my comment, if it was verbalized at all, was made along those lines. Beth also neglects to mention that I agreed with her that Miller’s injuries alone required that we make an effort to locate her. Beth also neglected to mention that I even stated to her “We need to find Crystal” and that “We can’t just leave without attempting to find her”, or my verbal speculation of Crystal’s wellbeing.
“I then told him that there was PC for Malicious Mischief 3rd DV for the broken windows and that we would track her and arrest her for that PC. Deputy Murphy then told me that "We can't book people for Mal Misch 3'd." I asked him who said we couldn't and he said Dave McEachran. I asked him to explain and he told me that per McEachran's legal update, we are unable to book individuals for Malicious Mischief 3'd Degree DV and that we can only send such cases to the Prosecutor's Office for review.”
---I never said that we “can’t book” for MalMisch 3rd. Again, this was more of a question on my part because I was unsure about this in regards to previous guidance that I maintain we did receive. I simply wanted to make sure I understood what Beth was saying and I typically do that by asking questions. I asked the question in good faith, with no malice or ill will, because my recollection was that we had received legal guidance along these lines at some point in the past. I don’t expect perfection from anyone and allowed for the possibility that perhaps Beth simply didn’t know about it or that my recollection was in error. It wasn’t meant derogatorily and it was asked inquiringly. The question was whether or not cases should be referred, based on previous legal guidance. I didn’t say or even imply that “We can’t…” book someone for a crime. I simply sought to understand why we would if we had been given prosecutor guidance that we shouldn’t. I didn’t recall at the scene where the guidance came from, but obviously if it comes from the Whatcom County Prosecutor, it’s ultimately coming from Dave McEachran. Beth’s assertion that I said “We can’t…” book anyone for a clear misdemeanor crime, or that I didn’t understand what a crime is, is ludicrous and insulting frankly. Also, what if we had found Miller immediately and she disclosed that it was actually DiTullio that had assaulted her before she “went off”? Would that still have been “disobeying an order” if I had arrested DiTullio instead and didn’t follow precisely with what Beth alleges she “ordered”? By Beth’s reasoning, it would appear so, in spite of any new facts or new information.
“I explained to him that it is not a mandatory arrest per RCW and that it is an exception to RCW 10.31.100 and that we are able to make a custodial arrest. Deputy Murphy continued to debate the situation with me. I ultimately told Deputy Murphy that we can and will be arresting Crystal for the MM 3rd DV if we are able to locate her.”
---Considering that I’ve had the RCW 10.31.100 Misdemeanor Presence exceptions memorized since my academy training days in 2001, this is just a ridiculous statement for Beth to make. Really, it’s the clearest indication that Beth simply did not understand what I was asking her and she jumped to incorrect conclusions as a result, perhaps out of her own hyper-sensitivities.
“I explained that based on the entire set of circumstances, it was necessary for us to locate and arrest Crystal if at all possible.”
---There was never any disagreement or lack of understanding on my part that Crystal should be found, if possible, or that she would be arrested if the probable cause didn’t evaporate or change on the basis of new information or for other reasons.
“Deputy Murphy and I then spoke further with David and developed additional PC to arrest Crystal for Assault 4th DV.”
---DiTullio was not willing to report an assault as best evidenced by the fact that he had not already done so when asked, and in fact had already told me at least once that he had NOT been assaulted. It wasn’t until Beth inserted herself into the interviewing process that DiTullio even alleged that he’d been assaulted by stating he’d been “slapped”. Standing there observing Beth, it was as if the comment had been dragged out of him against his will and that he didn’t really mean it. It’s my understanding then, as now, that DiTullio misunderstood Beth’s comments and said that he’d been “slapped” because he misinterpreted or was confused by Beth’s approach. I also think that’s the reason he didn’t want to provide any sort of written statement about being “slapped”, because it didn’t happen that way and he was led to misspeak it at that time because he thought Beth (ranking) expected it and that he would face charges himself if he didn’t say it.
“I told Deputy Murphy that if located, we would book Crystal for both charges.”
---This was not stated that way at all. What I recall is Beth making the statement that we “could” book Crystal for those charges, if PC remained, not that we “would”. The point is that it was stated as a possible option, not as a directive that needed to be followed. I don’t disobey orders, period, so I find the mere allegation that I would, demeaning and insulting frankly.
“While Deputy Nyhus was attempting to locate Crystal, I was standing by while Deputy Murphy interviewed David further. At one point in the conversation, Deputy Murphy began gathering information regarding Crystal's physical description. Upon hearing that Crystal was 5 foot and approximately 100 pounds, Deputy Murphy began challenging David as to how he could possibly be afraid of a 100 pound woman. Approximately 5
times, Deputy Murphy made statements such as, "You. A grown man. You are afraid of a 100 pound female?" David answered in the affirmative each time Deputy Murphy challenged him as to how he could possibly be afraid of Crystal. David became increasingly defensive with each of Deputy Murphy's inquires. David repeatedly defended himself and reiterated his fear of Crystal by saying such statements as, "She might only be 100 pounds but she is a firecracker when she gets like this. You would be afraid of her too if she had a knife in her hand." I intervened into the conversation to stop Deputy Murphy's inappropriate questioning and also to assure David that we have no question about whether or not he is a legitimate domestic violence victim. I told David that men can be victims of domestic violence and that we certainly were not suggesting otherwise. Deputy Murphy then made the comment that men can be victims but it is rare.”
---This is just not an accurate account of what occurred, or what I said. As I’ve previously described at length, I was aware that DiTullio had already been deceptive to 911 call receivers, myself and other deputies, including Beth. As DiTullio had already clearly shown the intent to deceive us and for reasons already stated above, I chose to take a more “streetwise” approach with him, for investigative reasons, out of sheer concern for the credibility issues he’d already demonstrated. I’m certain I asked him something along these lines once, possibly twice for clarification, but it was not “5 times” as alleged by Beth. I think it’s also worth noting that DiTullio had already told us that Miller had possessed a knife in her hand and I felt it relevant to determining his true level of fear, if it was there at all, to evaluate probable cause for other possible criminal charges. Beth did not seem to recognize that DiTullio’s previous deceptions and lack of credibility were in fact legitimate aspects of investigative inquiry. There were in fact questions about what he’d reported to 911 call receivers and myself, and the legitimacy of his subsequent statements. Based on training and experience, it is widely known and understood that in male vs. female domestic violence situations, it is most often the male who is the actual perpetrator, the primary aggressor, and it often the male that will attempt to conceal his true involvement by intimidating and/or threatening the female victim. Many domestic violence advocates estimate that up to 90% of male vs. female domestic violence is perpetrated by the male half. It is also noteworthy that Miller’s whereabouts at that time were still not known and there was speculation that she could have been secreted deep into a nearby wooded area. I’d also point out and maintain that Miller’s safety was not assured at this point in time. I recognized that it was possible that she could have also been the victim of a serious assault by DiTullio.
“Crystal was ultimately located and taken into custody by Deputy Nyhus. Deputy Murphy responded to the scene and took custody of her. Deputy Murphy then began the booking process but was relieved by Deputy Gates when he became too ill to complete the fit-for-jail process.”
---Fit for jail exams can often be quite lengthy and I considered this before even making the phone call to Beth. As it was getting late in the shift, I didn’t think it was wise at the time to risk being stuck at the hospital with a prisoner if my illness increased to the point where I would need to find a latrine to vomit. That just seemed like a prudent step to take, from my point of view.
Deputy Murphy completed the citation and PC statement before securing at 0500 hours. At approximately 0515 hours, I arrived at the station to review reports and found the Citation and PC statement in the basket. I immediately noticed that only the charge of Assault 4th DV had been written on the ticket. In reading the PC statement, Deputy Murphy indicated, "The Malicious Mischief charge will be referred to the Whatcom County Prosecutor for review for technical reasons." I did not work with Deputy Murphy again until 11-05-10 and that was my earliest opportunity to discuss the issues with him.”
---I contend that if the timelines are accurate, I was actually still available by phone when Beth found what she believed to be a disobeyed “order”. If the concerns were genuine, she could have called me on my cell phone about it. Also, as it was my weekend and I was scheduled for training in Lacey, WA, I found it noteworthy that Beth didn’t see the issue as important enough to contact me phone, email, or voicemail at any point over the following 4 days.
“On 11-05-10 at approximately 2030 hours, I met with Deputy Murphy at the Laurel Fire Hall to discuss the incident. I began by asking him to explain what the "technical reasons" were that he referred to in his PC statement when he referred the Malicious Mischief 3rd degree as opposed to booking her as I had instructed.”
---I explained to Beth that primarily due to illness, I had not had opportunity to go back and attempt to determine ownership of the trailer. I told her that would have been my intent had the illness not been a factor. Again, her claim that it was “instructed” is not accurate. Speculating openly, discussing possible options, especially if it’s in a rhetorical manner, implies that it’s not an “order” and that it’s my decision to make. Beth’s tone and mannerisms also indicated to me that it was not an “instruction” and that my discretion would suffice.
“Deputy Murphy explained that he had no proof as to actual ownership of the trailer. I reminded him that David had told us it was his trailer and explained his space rent situation. Deputy Murphy said that he had no way to prove that David was the actual legal owner of the trailer and therefore was technically unable to arrest Crystal for damaging the property. I explained that proof of ownership is not required for probable cause and that it was reasonable and believable that the trailer belonged to David as he was reporting. Deputy Murphy said that he does more thorough investigations than that and would have liked David to prove that he actually owned the trailer.”
---I maintain that ownership is in fact a key issue in determining probable cause for custodial arrests involving property crimes, specifically crimes involving transportable vehicles. Beth states that I needed DiTullio to “prove” that he owns the trailer. That is not accurate. I told Beth that I typically “seek proof of ownership in some form”, as in an investigative step, and cited examples such as a bill of sale, a title, a license plate or
VIN to obtain registered and legal owner’s information, the name of who it was purchased from etc. I told Beth that’s what I look for, as in my own personal investigative steps, and didn’t state or imply that DiTullio needed to “prove” anything to me at all. Any person can say that something belongs to them and as I indicated to Beth in this discussion, that isn’t adequate for charging, vis a vis probable cause. ie; If a person in possession of a vehicle that has been reported stolen or taken without permission, is the vehicle their investment or responsibility? Is it not illegally possessed? The person in possession may not be charged criminally, but they certainly don’t have a vested ownership interest in the vehicle for the purpose of determining probable cause and/or charging for custodial arrest of property crimes. The point is that I was thinking along the lines of crime elements, criminal procedure and the rules of Corpus Delecti, etc. Beth seemed to be focused solely on total intellectual and professional submission and blind obedience to her will. I maintain that referring the Malicious Mischief Third Degree/DV charge “for technical reasons” was nothing more than an investigative step, a discretionary decision made under abnormal conditions for purely informational investigative reasons. I was not attempting to be disobedient, nor did I at any point have any intent to disobey “an order”. Had an order been given, I would certainly have followed it in these circumstances. Miller was in fact being booked for Assault Fourth Degree/DV, so booking her was obviously not an issue. Had an order actually been given for the Malicious Mischief charge, it would have been a simple addition of completing one more charge entry on the citation, a few more extra handwritten words, and in that situation I would have made arrangements with someone else to return to the scene to determine trailer ownership. As it appeared to have been my decision to make, I made an investigative decision and elected to make the referral instead with the intent to follow up at a later time if needed by the assigned prosecutor. Additionally, I’m aware that trailers are typically titled separately than real property as they are moveable and towable at will. It didn’t appear to me that DiTullio’s trailer, if it is in fact his, was permanently mounted. This means there is a separate vehicle titling and registration issue, regardless of where it may be parked. If the unit becomes “affixed”, otherwise known as “title removed”, then it becomes part of the real property where the unit is permanently mounted. To the best of my recollection DiTullio stated that the trailer was recently towed to that location “temporarily”. Beth didn’t appear to understand this aspect and I simply tried to explain it to her.
“I then told Deputy Murphy that the next day, after the call, Deputy Nyhus told me that when he arrived on scene, Deputy Linderman approached him and cautioned him not to approach us since we were "arguing." I told Deputy Murphy that it should never be anyone's perception that we are arguing at a scene.”
---This wasn’t spoken to me so I can’t comment on it from a personal point of view. However, I didn’t perceive that there was any “arguing” and I’m not really sure what
Linderman meant by his statement. It may have even been said in jest or as an exaggeration. Beth also neglected to mention that I agreed with her that undermining anyone, supervisor OR subordinate, is something that shouldn’t happen.
“I told Deputy Murphy that I need him to take direction from me when necessary. I told Deputy Murphy that I needed him to trust me and trust my decision making. He told me that trust goes both ways and that I had just needed to trust him on the issue of not being able to book for Malicious Mischief 3rd DV. I told him that once I had instructed him to book on the MM3rd DV, I expected it to happen.”
---This is such a skewed rendering of what I recall of this conversation. It’s a conflation of some correct parts and a pure fabrication of other bits added together to illustrate points that were not being made at all, at least not by me. I told Beth that I do trust her and that I have trusted her in the past, but that the Eberly Rd. issue wasn’t about trust at all and I reiterated points previously made in regards to my practice of investigative steps, establishing ownership, etc. Beth asserts that I simply didn’t trust her judgement and that I refused to follow her directive as a result. Beth neglects to say here that I told her that I do trust her and that I was confident that she “has my back” and that she should also feel confident that I “have her back” when we’re out on calls together. I tried, apparently unsuccessfully, to show her that the issue wasn’t about “trust” at all and that to say so really indicated to me that really didn’t understand. I also attempted to get her to trust me that I wasn’t in the mindset to be disobedient and that she evidently had not clearly communicated herself about what she expected the end result to be, or I would certainly have done so.
“Deputy Murphy then shook his head in the negative and said, "I don't see it that way." I asked Deputy Murphy to explain. He said, "What you are asking me to do is just remove my brain and not have any independent thinking. I will not do something that I know otherwise about." I told him that if he believes I am about to make a mistake, I want and encourage him to bring any additional information to my attention. I told him that, if after considering his input, I make a decision contrary to his opinion that I need him to follow my direction. Deputy Murphy said, "That's not going to happen."
---This is a complete mischaracterization of the context and meaning of what I had hoped to communicate to Beth. Had I realized this was going to result in such a backhanded conflation and mischaracterization of my words to her, I would’ve taken notes or asked for a witness for future reference, but I certainly was not communicating to her what she is alleging here. I was simply trying to get Beth to understand the twoway road aspect of interpersonal human interactions and that she needn’t feel intimidated by older men or experienced deputies like myself who she could count on to help her in the day to day duties.
“He went on to say that he doesn't care who it is, whatever rank, if he doesn't believe something to be the right decision, he will not do it. He then said that he doesn't have to follow any order that is a violation of law or policy. I told him that I would never ask him to violate law or policy. I told him that if I give him direction, and it turns out to be wrong, then the repercussions are on me. He then said, "It won't be your butt on the hot seat in court trying to defend yourself."
---These comments are astonishingly inaccurate and wildly out of context. I had attempted to get Beth to see my point of view. Since she did ask for my thoughts and for me to “explain”, I did. I thought that contrasting the discussion with an extreme example might get her to see what I hoped she would understand. Not only did she not understand my point, she jumped to wild conclusions about what I was communicating to her, giving me the impression that apparently she is intent on hanging an unfounded charge on me regardless of any relevant facts or circumstances. Beth neglected to state that I also said, “in contrast” several times and “as a matter of practical procedure in what we do” and “in a theoretical sense” and “hypothetically speaking”, etc. I wanted Beth to understand that she was simply wrong about liability for unlawful actions taken in the line of duty, whether they be orders or not, “if things went wrong”. I wanted Beth to acknowledge that an unlawful order, or an order unlawfully given, would offer no civil or criminal protections to anyone. I also told Beth that such a scenario would also certainly result in a denial of qualified immunity “if things went wrong” because we’re supposed to know better and we’re supposed to know to disregard that which is illegal or against policy. I recall trying to use some military examples here too, for contrast, that even in the US Armed Forces, where the “following orders” defense carries more weight than in law enforcement; members are still expected to disregard unlawful direction and can still face a UCMJ Courts Martial even if “orders” had been given. I was illustrating the point that there are lawful boundaries even in the US Armed Forces.
Deputy Murphy said that he is solely responsible for his decisions and won't take direction from me or anyone else if he believes otherwise.
---This was not stated and the point being made was in the context of a “hypothetical unlawful order” that we discussed. This is speculation on my part, but Beth must be asserting that unlawful orders are to be followed anyway.
Deputy Murphy repeated to me 3 times that he had been doing this job for 10 years and knows how to investigate cases. I told him that I was in no way minimizing his ability as a deputy but reiterated that I only gave him direction in this case when he identified the situation to me as a "Verbal."
---I never “identified” the situation as a “verbal” to her or anyone else, as in “This is clearly a verbal domestic.” I may have spoken the word “verbal” early on, I don’t recall, but if I did it was in the context of whether or not we would have PC for an arrest, as in openly speculating. When probable cause does not exist for a domestic crime, it’s common field vernacular to refer to it as “a verbal”. Saying the word “verbal” also
certainly does not imply that an investigation suddenly comes to a screeching halt as new information can and does change the outcome.
He then told me, "No disrespect intended but you are a new Sergeant." I told him that this had nothing to do with being a new Sergeant. He said, "Oh, you don't think there is any learning curve when becoming a new Sergeant?" I told him that this situation is about knowledge of the law and applying it and that I am not new to that.
---Beth completely misunderstood what I was communicating to her. I was just trying to get her to ease up and relax a bit. I wanted her to understand that I wasn’t judging her, questioning her, measuring her, or anything else demeaning or minimizing. I wanted Beth to understand that she wasn’t expected, at least not by me anyway, to be figuratively 100% all-knowing, 100% all-capable and 100% all-powerful or infallible as a new sergeant. It takes time to learn new supervisory or leadership roles and there’s room for growth and learning at every level. My saying “new sergeant” is an acknowledgement that there’s an adjustment period.
Deputy Murphy insisted that he has additional information that I must not be aware of or have forgotten. I then asked Deputy Murphy if part of the reason he did not book for the Malicious Mischief3rd DV was because he did not accept or trust what I had instructed him to do. He then said that it did play a role in his decision to only book on the Assault charge.
---Again, a complete mischaracterization. As I told Beth, the reason I didn’t add the additional charge was because it had not been communicated to me that it was an expectation and there were additional investigative steps that I typically follow before establishing a chargeable PC. In lieu of that guidance, I made an investigative decision to make the MalMisch/DV charge a referral. Beth neglected to state otherwise, again, that I also told her that had the guidance been given, I would certainly have followed it. There was no reason not to.
I then discussed the repeated questioning of David about his level of fear of Crystal. I told him that he was challenging David and he was becoming defensive. I told him that it was inappropriate to question a domestic violence victim in that manner and that I felt uncomfortable enough with his demeanor that I felt it was necessary that I step in. I told him that I felt that he emasculated David by inferring that he was weak by being fearful of a small female. Deputy Murphy said that what he did was "Classic Reid Technique" and that David was lying and he was trying to get to the bottom of it. I told him that David was forced to defend his status as a victim and that crossed the line on his (Murphy's) part. Deputy Murphy said, "People get defensive when they are lying and I don't mind offending a guy like that." I asked him to explain and Deputy Murphy said that David had a criminal history and is a "crack head." He said that he did not know what David was lying about and that he was trying to flush it out when I interrupted. He said that he had caught David in several lies and felt that David was likely the aggressor in the case. I told him that in spite of David substance abuse problems and criminal history, he was a domestic violence victim that night and he needed to be treated as such.
---As I’ve previously described at length, I was aware that DiTullio had already been deceptive to 911 call receivers, myself and other deputies, including Beth. As DiTullio had already clearly shown the intent to deceive us and for reasons already stated above, I chose to take a more “streetwise” approach with him for investigative reasons out of sheer concern for the credibility issues he’d already demonstrated, what I knew of his lengthy criminal history, which included a significant domestic violence history, officer safety concerns and the safety and welfare of Miller. I did refer to DiTullio as a “crackhead”, deputy to deputy, but what Beth neglected to include was that she agreed with me and even called them both “turds” herself. Beth did not seem to recognize that DiTullio’s previous deceptions and lack of credibility were in fact legitimate aspects of investigative inquiry. There were in fact questions about what he’d reported to 911 call receivers and myself, bringing into serious question the legitimacy of his subsequent statements. Based on training and experience, it is widely known and understood that in male vs. female domestic violence situations, it is most often the male who is the actual perpetrator, the primary aggressor, and it often the male that will attempt to conceal his true involvement by intimidating and/or threatening the female victim. It is also noteworthy that Miller’s whereabouts at that time were still not known and there was speculation that she had been secreted deep into a nearby wooded area.
“Deputy Murphy then said, "Well then the next time I need to question someone, I will send you to my car for paperwork or something so you won't over hear me." Deputy Murphy clearly indicated that he was not accepting my guidance on this issue and would assign me menial tasks in the future in order to continue in such conduct.”
--- This is just such a wild and insulting accusation. I have no idea where she got this from or where to begin with it. My best guess is that she misunderstood my comments about being out of earshot.
“I directed Deputy Murphy to provide me with the documentation that he referred to regarding our inability to book individuals for Malicious Mischief 3rd DV. I told him that I wanted to have the referenced email that night (11-05-10). At approximately 0322 hours on 11-06-10 I received a CAD message from Deputy Murphy that read, "I'm not finding it right now. I'll have to search more later and get back to you with it." I responded back and told him to find it for me as soon as possible.”
---The issue was never about “booking for Malicious Mischief 3rd DV”. I’m at a loss at how ridiculous this claim is. So, what, I managed to get through 10 years of law enforcement experience and training without recognizing MalMisch as a bookable crime? There are clear differences between the words “could”, “should” and “would”. I never stated or implied that we could not book suspects for MalMisch/DV and as previously described I did openly speculate about whether or not we had received guidance about domestic violence cases involving MalMisch/DV, as in whether or not we should and what the prosecutor requested.
Beth neglected to mention that I told her at the scene that I would look for the email and that I would send it to her when I found it. I did look for it and didn’t find it and I did follow-up with Beth later to advise her that I had not found the email in question, but that I was still looking for it. In hindsight and after conversation with other deputies it was likely something that was mentioned in a shift briefing.
Deputy Murphy submitted the case report for this incident on 11-06-10. I sent the report back to him for correction in the press release box and the original is still in his mailbox as of 11-07-10. I discussed this situation with Lt. Hester on 11-05-10 after my meeting with Deputy Murphy. I had not discussed these issues with any staff member prior to Lt. Hester and only discussed it since I am clearly unable to resolve the issues or reach any understanding with Deputy Murphy at my level.
---The “press box” claim is patently false. Beth contacted me and requested that I modify my police report narrative of the Eberly Rd. domestic disturbance, specifically the mention of being ill, feeling nauseous and feeling the need to vomit. Beth specifically requested that I remove the section of the report referencing the illness in its entirety. I explained to Beth that it seemed to be a relevant detail that should be documented. Beth told me that she had never seen comments like that in a police report. I told her that I couldn’t recall ever having to document anything like that, but that it was key in the prisoner chain-of-custody aspect and it explains why I relinquished custody of Miller, to Gates. As Deputy Gates’ name would appear on booking and hospital records, along with the issue of prisoner transport chain-of-custody, this seemed to me to be a sufficiently significant detail that should be documented for recall in the future. As prisoner chainof-custody is relevant to the event, I decided that the illness issue needed to be documented as relevant to the arrest. I considered what Beth requested, but decided to leave the report unmodified. Beth verbally expressed her displeasure with my decision and intent to leave the report unmodified. There was no discussion about the information in the “press release box” at all and I changed nothing in it. The entire discussion was about my documenting the illness aspect for prisoner chain-of-custody.
“I am concerned with Deputy Murphy's adamant statements about refusal to take direction from me or anyone else, regardless of rank. I am not confident that he will follow through with direction from me in the future unless/until these issues are addressed.”
---Again, wild unsubstantiated mischaracterization. I have no problems with taking direction or “following orders”, but they DO need to be communicated as such. If it’s
not clearly communicated as such, my default is to make decisions in the absence of guidance.
I also feel that Deputy Murphy would benefit from sensitivity training in the area of domestic violence.
---During our roadside conversation, I made the statement that of all people, (she) Beth should know that if anyone is likely to “get all sappy about DV victim’s” it’s me. Beth did not disagree.
Relevant RCW references: RCW Title 46 Motor Vehicles 46.04.380. Owner
"Owner" means a person who has a lawful right of possession of a vehicle by reason of obtaining it by purchase, exchange, gift, lease, inheritance or legal action whether or not the vehicle is subject to a security interest and means registered owner where the reference to owner may be construed as either to registered or legal owner.
RCW 9A.48.090 Malicious mischief in the third degree.
(1) A person is guilty of malicious mischief in the third degree if he or she: (a) Knowingly and maliciously causes physical damage to the property of another, under circumstances not amounting to malicious mischief in the first or second degree; or (b) Writes, paints, or draws any inscription, figure, or mark of any type on any public or private building or other structure or any real or personal property owned by any other person unless the person has obtained the express permission of the owner or operator of the property, under circumstances not amounting to malicious mischief in the first or second degree. (2) Malicious mischief in the third degree is a gross misdemeanor.
RCW 9A.48.010 Definitions
(1) For the purpose of this chapter, unless the context indicates otherwise: (a) "Building" has the definition in RCW 9A.04.110(5), and where a building consists of two or more units separately secured or occupied, each unit shall not be treated as a separate building; (c) "Property of another" means property in which the actor possesses anything less than exclusive ownership.
RCW 10.58.060 Ownership — Proof of.
In the prosecution of any offense committed upon, or in relation to, or in any way affecting any real estate, or any offense committed in stealing, embezzling, destroying, injuring, or fraudulently receiving or concealing any money, goods, or other personal estate, it shall be sufficient, and shall not be deemed a variance, if it be proved on trial that at the time when such offense was committed, either the actual or constructive possession, or the general or special property in the whole, or any part of such real or personal estate, was in the person or community alleged in the indictment or other accusation to be the owner thereof.
RCW 48.30.220 Destruction, injury, secretion, etc., of property.
Any person, who, with intent to defraud or prejudice the insurer thereof, burns or in any manner injures, destroys, secretes, abandons, or disposes of any property which is insured at the time against loss or damage by fire, theft, embezzlement, or any other casualty, whether the same be the property of or in the possession of such person or any other person, under circumstances not making the offense arson in the first degree, is guilty of a class C felony.
RCW Title 46 Motor Vehicles 46.04.460. Registered owner
"Registered owner" means the person whose lawful right of possession of a vehicle has most recently been recorded with the department. Other factors to consider and/or explore further: In private conversations with several co-workers, I’ve learned that there may have been derogatory CAD text messages sent by Beth to other deputies on duty during the shift 10-28-10 from sometime after call to Eberly Rd. sometime in the early morning hours of 10-29-10. In conversation with BPD Craig Ambrose I’ve learned that someone from WCSO attempted to obtain the CAD messages from that night, but that they are autodeleted at 30 days elapsed due to aged systems and data storage issues. There are numerous examples contrary to Beth’s claims in this memo that firmly establish me as a good employee. In private conversations I’ve also learned that Beth may have been making derogatory statements to co-workers about me as a result of her perceptions of me and the call on Eberly Rd. indicating that Beth doesn’t seem to understand the difference between base popularity and leadership, or the need to refrain from the former in order to build the latter.
In conclusion, I hadn’t been aware of any ill will or animosity from Beth towards me in regards to my previous interactions with her. I was of the opinion that things were fine between us and I was truly blindsided by these allegations. However, it has become very clear to me after reading and responding to her skewed allegations, in several instances outright falsehoods, that there must be some resentment or ill will on her part towards me. It is also very clear to me that Beth doesn’t understand very rudimentary leadership tenets and has some potentially serious compromises in the area of professional ethics. I had some concerns about her judgment from previous instances, which I choose not to elaborate on in this memo, but nothing I thought that would present a problem in professional interactions between Beth and I in day to day duties. I’m of the opinion and formally advancing the idea that Beth could greatly benefit from basic professional development and leadership training. I think Beth could also greatly benefit from training in the area of human interactions and cultural diversity, specifically in the areas of supervisor-subordinate relationships and male interactions. Respectfully submitted,
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