Things That Matter

Ring Camera Captures The Moment A Sacramento Police Officer Detained Two Men In Their Own Neighborhood

It seems there was some confusion when it came to two neighbors in Sacramento, California being detained over the weekend by a deputy officer. It all started when Ed Dowdy locked his keys and cell phone in his car. He would then contact his neighbor, Omar, to use his phone so he could call for a locksmith. While the two waited outside for the locksmith, security video surveillance shows the two chatting it up outside their gated community homes. 

That’s when a deputy officer showed to their property and things got interesting. The officer originally showed up to the home after an alarm was set off by Omar’s daughter earlier that morning. Upon showing up at the scene the first thing that the officer asked the men a question that surprised them. 

“‘Any of you guys on probation or parole?’” Dowdy told FOX40 when recalling the event. 

Both men didn’t know how to respond to the officer’s question and were caught off guard by the assumption of being criminals. Omar says the officer’s question was out of line and felt they were being marginalized. Dowdy is black and Omar is Latino.  

Two men were detained by the deputy officer after having trouble identifying them. According to the officer, that was enough probable reason to detain them despite the men living in the neighborhood.

“We were just having a conversation right here,” Omar told FOX40. “That kind of surprised me. It kind of shocked us like, why would he even ask that? Like do we look like criminals or something? And to me, I feel like he made up in his mind who we were at that moment.”

According to the DailyMail, Dowdy is an Army veteran and Omar is the owner of a local cleaning business in the Sacramento area.  When Omar attempted to go into his house and retrieve his driver’s license, the officer wouldn’t let him retrieve it. 

“I told him, ‘I’ve got my ID in the house. My wife and kids are inside. Do you want me to go get it? I can go get it,’” Omar told FOX40. “He said, ‘No, I’ll write it down.’ And I even spelled out my name, my last name, gave him my date of birth. He went to go check.”

When the officer came back to the two men he told them that he couldn’t find Omar in his computer system. That was enough to convince the officer to detain them both. 

Luckily for the men, there was Ring video security footage rolling the entire time. 

Credit: KTXL

“You’re out here, outside of a home where an alarm went off, right? You guys are just standing out here and your name isn’t very good,” the deputy officer was heard saying in the security camera footage. “Well, I have reasonable suspicion to believe that a crime is being committed, right? So, I can detain people.”

“We asked for the supervisor,” Omar recalled. “He’s like, ‘I don’t got to call him. I’m not going to waste his time.'”

Dowdy says that the officer acted “belligerent” and searched him “without my consent.” He was detained as well just for being right there at the scene. 

“And he said, ‘No, you don’t go nowhere either because I got to detain you.’ I said, ‘For what? For having a conversation out here?’” Dowdy said. “I don’t feel like we should be yelled at or put in handcuffs or frisked or searched.”

Omar’s wife eventually came out of the house and showed the officer her husband’s ID. They were both released after a fellow sergeant showed up to check on the false alarm call.

Credit: KTXL

Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Tess Deterding reviewed the security surveillance video and released the following statement:

“From a general review of the video, it does not appear there is any violation of policy or law. However, the video is insufficient in terms of drawing a conclusion. If these individuals feel the situation was not handled appropriately by Sheriff’s Office personnel, we encourage them to contact us so we may gather more information.”

Both of the two neighbors told FOX40 that they felt mistreated by the incident and cooperated with the officer’s requests. “There are so many different ways it could’ve been handled,” Omar said. 

It’s unknown at this time if the two men will indeed follow up on the incident. 

READ: Some Middle School Girls Staged a Protest With Tampon-Shaped Cookies After Their Principal Said They’d “abuse the privilege” of Period Products

Latino Police Officer In New Jersey Is Setting Up Drive-By Birthdays And The Children Are Loving Them

Culture

Latino Police Officer In New Jersey Is Setting Up Drive-By Birthdays And The Children Are Loving Them

Fair Lawn Police Department / Facebook

The various lockdown orders across the country are forcing children to stay home during their birthdays. This also means that people aren’t able to come over the celebrate with them. One police officer in New Jersey is making what could be a sad time for the kids a time to remember.

Police officer Luis Vasquez is giving children in Fair Lawn, New Jersey a birthday to remember while in quarantine.

The Fair Lawn Police Department is joining other departments in performing birthday drive-bys. If you have a child ages 10 or younger, celebrating a birthday during this self-quarantine, please reach out to P.O. Luis Vasquez at lvasquez@fairlawnpd.com We will make every effort to set up a social distancing celebratory drive-by with lights and sirens! Hopefully, this will help make your child's day a little brighter like Javen in this video 💙 Happy Birthday Javen 🎈===========#flpd #ourcommunity

Posted by Fair Lawn Police Department on Monday, April 6, 2020

How awesome is that? It is clear that the children are really enjoying the special show of love and celebration for their birthdays. They might not be able to jump in a bouncy castle with their friends but they can still feel special with first responders giving them a special show.

The gesture is warming hearts all over in the comments section.

Credit: Fair Lawn Police Department / Facebook

It truly does look so incredibly special. All of that special attention coming from the heroes children look up to is amazing.

Some people familiar with the police department are sending P.O. Vasquez some special love.

Credit: Fair Lawn Police Department / Facebook

It is very sweet to know that one man in the department is making sure that children have memorable birthdays right now. It is clear that P.O. Vasquez is really looking after his community during some of the craziest times.

People are touched by how generous the police department is with their time in making everyone’s birthday better.

Credit: Fair Lawn Police Department / Facebook

This is a very generous and kind gesture to give to the community. There is no doubt a lot of people who are scared of everything happening in the world right now and having some special attention on your birthday must feel nice.

Happy birthday to every person spending their special day in quarantine. We love you.

READ: A Woman Threw A Lowrider-Themed Party For Her Son’s First Birthday And It’s Just Too Much For Our Hearts

Here’s What Is Going On With The LAPD Officer Who Filed A False Police Report

Things That Matter

Here’s What Is Going On With The LAPD Officer Who Filed A False Police Report

NYT / Twitter

At the beginning of 2019, Empire actor Jussie Smollett famously reported that he had been the victim of a hate crime. About three weeks later, Smollett was charged with disorderly conduct and filing a false police report—it had been discovered that the attack was staged, and that Smollett himself had planned the whole thing. Although the charges against Smollett were dropped, he was all over headlines last year, earning a national reputation as a liar and ultimately being fired from his role on Empire.

In August of 2019, a similar situation arose within the Los Angeles Police Department, when a sheriff’s deputy falsely claimed that he was shot by a sniper outside the Lancaster police station. After days of searching for the alleged gunman, it became clear that Angel Reinosa had fabricated his story. He had not been shot, after all—instead, he had used a knife to create fake bullet wounds in his uniform, asserting that his bulletproof vest had saved his life.

“There were many things that didn’t add up,” said Sheriff’s Capt. Kent Wegener. No bullets had been recovered from the scene, and they had no leads on a suspect—they searched a nearby apartment building, assuming that the shooter was inside, but of course they found nothing.

But this didn’t exactly surprise investigators and colleagues, who were suspicious of Reinosa’s story from the very beginning. A number of sheriff’s officials told the LA Times that “his radio call about the incident was too calm even for a veteran, a hole in his shirt too big for the minor wound he claimed to have suffered.”

The LA Times also reported that by the end of the day that Reinosa made the report, the search for the suspected gunman had been halted. Homicide detectives, assisted by forensic experts, instead turned their attention to Reinosa. And by 9:30 PM, Reinosa’s involvement in the case was considered highly suspect. Not long after, he admitted to the police that he had fabricated the incident, though he didn’t reveal his motives for doing so.

In the case of Jussie Smollett, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a press conference that the motive for feigning the hate crime was fiscal in nature. He claimed that “Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career, because he was dissatisfied with his salary.” Folks have speculated that Reinosa’s situation was rather similar—it had to do with a certain dissatisfaction at work.

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said that sheriff’s officials had divulged details about Reinosa’s difficulties with his first year in the field. Typically, the first year constitutes a probationary training period that all deputies must complete before becoming deputies, and Reinosa was struggling to keep up.

“He was not advancing through the training program at an adequate pace,” Parris said. “There had been a lot of attention on him.”

And just a few days ago, Reinosa was taken into police custody when he was served an arrest warrant during a traffic stop. He was arrested for insurance fraud and for filing a false police report, and he was transferred to Los Angeles County Jail. His bail was set at $40,000, and unlike Smollett, Reinosa was not able to immediately settle his case with a payment.

Authorities say that the charges of insurance fraud are related to the workers comp claims Reinosa made after the incident. If he is convicted of these charges, he could face up to five and a half years in county jail.

As soon as authorities discovered that the shooting had been a hoax, they called an 11 PM press conference to address the situation. In an interview, Sheriff Alex Villanueva confirmed the desire to ensure that Reinosa’s actions were met with what they deemed the appropriate legal response.

“We are all appalled and disappointed. We took the deputy at his word at first,” Villanueva said. “We intend to hold the individual responsible for breaking the law and most importantly for betraying the community.”

Similar sentiments were expressed by authorities in Smollett’s case, as well as Smollett’s fellow Empire cast members. Lee Daniels, the creator of Empire, referred to the “pain and anger and sadness and frustration” that he and his cast endured, adding that he and his team “really [didn’t] know how to deal with it.”

He also said that Empire “was made to bring America together” and to “talk about the atrocities that are happening right now in the streets”—a message that was in direct contrast with Smollett’s actions.

The Lancaster sheriff’s website expressed a similar sense of disappointment, yet also emphasized the importance of community in situations like these:

“We are saddened by the outcome of the investigation, but are so grateful to our community for their cooperation on Wednesday and your ongoing support everyday. The actions of one individual are not indicative of who Lancaster Sheriff’s Station Deputies are.”