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The Santa Ramona Chronicles

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Chasing Up the Truth in Southside

In the light of Ms Angelyna Bennetts article I contacted SRPD to see if they had a response and explanation for what seems to be a sustained amount of interest and harassment of a young bushiness woman from the Southside. I was interested to find out what their opinion of Ms Bennett is and if this sentiment extends to all the community in the Southside or is just isolated on Ms Bennett. I spoke to the Acting Chief and asked him the following questions;

Thank you for agreeing to talk to me Acting Chief, I understand you already put out a statement regarding your reasons for serving your search warrant the way you did on Sunday, so I am not going to dig into that too much. However I was wondering if you can tell me anything about the allegations made against your department by Ms Bennett. Specifically what seems to have been six months of abuse by your officers?

"Yes okay. Regarding the incidences that are stated to have happened in Feb, Mar, April and late May of this year. Its never my policy to withhold any information unless there is valid reason to do so, so I will not deny these incidences happened. The Officers in question were both immediately disciplined for their actions, both Officers are no longer with the department and significant steps have been made at the time with regards to our trying to reconcile the relationship with Ms Bennett and find a way forward with her, by myself in person, on a number of occasions. I personally as a Command Officer on behalf of the department assisted Ms Bennett in bringing an Internal Affairs investigation and the obtaining of a Protection order against former Sgt Ramirez. He has never denied this existed even in his recently election campaign. In regards to the incident described in early May of this year with Officers threatening Ms Bennett and her daughter at gun point, I will tell you the following. On learning about the incident while assisting the FD at a fire in Scarlet Lane, during which Ms Bennett who had no reason to be there, accosted my Officers and began shouting and screaming at them and accusing them of the things she stated in her article for that date, I took Ms Bennett to one side while the Officers continued with their duties and asked her to provide me with the camera footage of the incident she claims to have, so that I could ID the people involved and do something about it. She refused to show it to me. She refused to give me an exact date or time when it took place when I asked her. I believe I have subsequently made another request for that information in later discussions pertaining to the business with former Sgt Ramirez and she has still refused. However despite the lack of co-operation and proof on her part, I went on to check all our radio logs, rosters, incident reports and duty logs for the days prior to when she spoke to me. And and bare in mind we have ways to track our radio's and I can tell you there is no evidence whatsoever that any SRPD Officer was in the area at the time I believe this incident was meant to have taken place. If indeed any officers did the things she claims, then they did so without knowledge or sanction of the department. And as I have no way identifying them I am able to do anything about it. I also have to tell you that subsequent to this we have picked up one person and have evidence of another claiming to be SRPD Officers wearing black uniforms and with poorly made copies of our patches. We are in the process of trying obtain a statement from one them. But it is evident that there are factions out there impersonating SRPD Officers, for what reason I do not know, but both the ones we know about have been committing criminal acts. So I can only think it was to discredit us.

In regards then to the incident in which Ms Bennett was kidnapped in July, at present this is still an ongoing investigation so I am not at liberty to discuss it in any detail. What I can tell your readers is that on 07/17 I personally called Ms Bennett twice. The first time leaving a voice mail message, explaining who it was, that an Officer had attempted to call her previously, but for whatever reason was not able to get hold of her and expressing my regret at what had happened to her. She never returned my call. I tried again a few hours later. This time the phone rang for over three minutes with no answer. After having spoken to Sgt Toxx I was informed Angel Bennett did not wish to give a statement. As Ms Bennett had previously stated that SRPD where not allowed on her premises without a warrant. I did not feel that my apprentice there was going help her or my departments relationship. It is also, a sad fact that with a terribly undermanned department I do not have the time to spare chasing people who have made it clear they do not wish to co-operate and give statements. It grieves me that this is case, but it is what it is.

Which brings us to serving the warrant on Sunday. Which I believe I have already covered in my statement. I am not at liberty to discuss the details of the warrant as it is part of an on going investigation so I will not be commenting further than I already have on that."

So you agree there has been abuse against Ms Bennett by your department?

"I agree there were some incidences in Feb, Mar, April and late May, that would of been regarded as abuse by Ms Bennett yes. I agree mistakes were made. And I have confirmed the Officers involved were disciplined and have now left the department."

Ok thank you. I was wondering if you can tell me why there were explosions when you stated in your statement that your team was ordered not to use them? Also if there are plans of further action against Ms Bennett or her boyfriend?

"The explosions where nothing to do with us. Some protesters across the road seem to have tried to torch a car, for what ends I don't know, but most likely they are the source of the explosions. As to action against Ms Bennett or her boyfriend. I cannot comment on that."

Right, so what does your department plan on going, to rectify the situation with Ms Bennett and the Southside in general in the future?

"Well, the situation regarding Ms Bennett, really depends on her. She has my cell number, my door is always open and I am willing to enter into discourse with her to see if there is way to move forward. I understand she is upset and she has every right to be I suppose, but I have made every effort to try and sort things out with her, there is only so much I can do unless she is willing to make it work too. In regards to the Southside and in reference to Ms Bennett's statement about the people looking out for each other. I have this to say. First off the Southside is a large part of town, in which several of our Officers themselves live, and in which the majority of citizens are good law abiding people. There are however a small minority of people mostly concentrated in a small area who are habitually unable to live within the law, not everyone by any means, but a few, before people offload their ire on us I ask them to consider this;

We have no issue with people helping each other and looking out for each other, on the contrary the world would be a much better place if that happened more, but when doing so means breaking the laws of this state and of this country, then we have a problem. I urge the people of the Southside to come to us if they have a issue with someone and let us deal with it in a lawful manner, instead of risking winding up in more trouble themselves. I cannot guarantee every crime is going to get solved, that everyone is always going to get the justice they feel they deserve. Real life doesn't work that way. SRPD has no control over the sentences the courts imposes. Nor do we have the power to stop people re-offending. And you cannot simply have people break the law then expect us to just look the other way because they feel aggrieved at the 'system' or because of where they live, or because someone is their friend or they are having a bad day. SRPD stands ready and committed to a future in which we can all work together to stamp out crime. We have no intention of abandoning those good lawful