Fresno, California (TFC) – Residents in central California are outraged by the lack of investigation into other officers of the Fresno PD after the recent arrest of Second Deputy Police Chief Keith Foster. Foster’s alleged involvement in a conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, heroin, and marijuana received national attention last month. Of course the local authorities, as well as the mayor and mainstream media, are all trying to put the prettiest lipstick they can on this situation, but they are failing. It’s clear that the residents want answers. They want accountability.
Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin had very little to say about the FBI’s report: “This is an isolated incident and one that could not have been foreseen.” No, really, thanks for the 12 sentences on your stature, and 2 on the issue at hand. Way to govern, Ashley!
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer:
“Fresno Deputy Chief Keith Foster’s office was only a few feet from mine. I think that if anyone would have known, or suspected [Foster] of anything of a criminal nature, it would have been me.”
Dyer is sidestepping every question from reporters about the integrity of the department. This is not being looked upon as some ‘isolated’ incident. The people are clearly asking for a complete investigation of this Dept. Yes Dyer, you should feel responsible for this. Every officer on the streets of Fresno seems to hold these amazing powers of drug detection over the citizens they extort, obviously that wasn’t one of Dyer’s strengths. Also, Mr. Dyer, I detected a suspicious stammer in your words and would like to hear a detailed list of the ‘equipment’ that was needed from Foster after his… resignation? Weird how the second in command resigns over allegations, when due process is one of the first things being stressed here. What, Foster cannot be associated with any of the other officers still getting away with drug distribution?
Adding fuel to the fire, was this colorful quote from City Manager Bruce Rudd:
“I’m asked whether or not this incident has shaken my confidence in Chief Dyer, let me reiterate, the answer is no. I believe we are blessed to have Chief Dyer as our chief, as well as the other men and women of the Fresno Police Department.”
He had nothing to add except to glorify Dyer. Then, later recanted some of his statements. Serving no end except to keep people from outrage at their peace officers. Not one statement was given by any of them on Foster’s alleged involvement with his co-conspirators. Sitting alongside Foster in federal court are Rafael Guzman, Randy Flowers, Jennifer Donabedian, Iran Dennis Foster, and Sarah Ybarra. Iran Foster is Keith Foster’s nephew, and a cohabitant with Donabedian. Flowers is also alleged to be related to Keith Foster. These are interesting connections. Even more interesting is the suspicious lack of attention being paid to those facts.
On March 30th the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA) and Fresno People’s Media held a peaceful protest calling for a complete investigation of the entire FPD and demanding justice for Lt. Jose Moralez. Moralez was allegedly a victim of a murder/suicide cover up. The details provided were vague. The case from 2006 was dismissed. But the family remains adamant that Moralez was not suicidal, and that his murder was covered up by the FPD.
Starting with that information, let’s paint a news timeline on the FPD over the last few years.
- July, 2006 – A 7 year police veteran was placed on paid vacation, after drug paraphaneilia was found in his Fresno home.
- April, 2008 – Fresno Police Chief Dyer comes under fire after his nephew is arrested on possession with the intent to sell methamphetamine.
- January, 2009 – Two Fresno narcotics officers are arrested with paid vacation for their involvement in an auto theft operation.
- October, 2009 – Two Fresno officers are caught on camera beating a homeless lady.
- June, 2010 – A FPD officer is arrested in a prostitution sting in the south valley.
- October, 2010 – Fresno PD officers are indicted on federal civil rights violations, and obstruction of justice after they beat a Fresno man in their custody.
- August, 2012 – Fresno Police officer William Wyatt arrested for rape.
- January, 2014 – Fresno Police Officer Alfred Campos was investigated after bringing a stolen Chevy pickup to the premier Chevy dealership in Fresno. His home was raided for drugs.
- February, 2015 – Former Detective Derik Kumagai pleads guilty to accepting a $20,000 bribe from suspected drug traffickers. Also involving eleven other members of the FPD.
- March, 2015 – Second Deputy Police Chief Keith Foster arrested for drug distribution.
Staggering amounts of information on police misconduct can be found easily via a google search for any given year. Car thefts, drugs, civil rights violations – year after year, time after time, these things get two days of attention, a few statements and are quickly swept into the file cabinet. Always it’s, “Well, this is shocking.”
As residents we are fully aware of how shocking the headlines are where our police force is concerned. What we want now is a complete and unbiased investigation into your shocking department.
Call these city officials, and demand an unbiased investigation:
Ashley Swearengin, Mayor
2600 Fresno Street Room 2075
Fresno, CA 93721
Bruce Rudd, City Manager
2600 Fresno Street Room 2064
Fresno, CA 93721