SAN JOSE, Calif. - San Jose police have released the names of four officers who have been disciplined or terminated in the last several years for violating policy and in one case, who was also charged with rape.
The letters of reprimand obtained through a Public Records Act Request under a police transparency law, called SB 1421. For the past 40 years, the names of these officers have been kept secret. But under the "Right to Know" law, documents, video and audio now must be released as they pertain to officers in California who have been found lying or having sexual relations on the job, or who have been involved in serious uses of force.
The list released on Nov. 22 include:
- Officer Geoff Graves was fired in September 2015 after superiors said that he sexually assaulted a woman at a hotel after he was sent to help her during a family disturbance call. The District Attorney actually charged Graves with a rape stemming from the encounter on Oct. 13, 2013. In 2016 and 2018, two juries both deadlocked on his guilt, the Mercury News. Graves had insisted the sex was consensual during trial.
- In 2017, Brent Osborn was suspended without pay for 20 hours and given additional training in felony car stops because he initiated a high risk, felony enforcement stop on Dec. 1, 2015 by positioning his police vehicle "head-on" with an occupied suspect stolen vehicle. He also exited his police vehicle and positioned himself in the direct path of the stolen vehicle, a Chevrolet Suburban. Superiors found that he fired five rounds into the side door of the stolen car, striking the 21-year-old suspect, identified as Matthew Papaz. Papaz had crashed his Chevy into several other cars and then drove to a Toys R Us, where he ran inside the store. Paz suffered a graze wound on his upper body, according to police and witnesses, and was treated and released at the hospital before being booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, felony hit and run, and auto theft. Osborn's discipline was related to misconduct, failure to observe rules, misuse of city property and in violation of the duty manual section, "shooting at moving vehicles."
- Officer Matthew DeLorenzo violated San Jose police policy called "risk to third parties" when he entered a home in July 2017 to serve a search warrant and a police dog bit a 2-year-old girl in the house, a city internal memo written June 2018 states. The girl needed six stitches for the bite. DeLorenzo received a letter of reprimand for failure to follow rules.
- Officer Ian Hawkley admitted that his conduct was cause for discipline and he received a suspension of 60 hours of pay for shooting at a moving vehicle on June 17, 2018. He also had to undergo "force options" and pursuit training as part of a settlement he worked out. Originally, his lieutenant and police chief wanted to fire him after they say he was involved in an "unauthorized vehicle pursuit" and did not notify communications of the chase, he used improper tactics and discharged his gun at a moving vehicle and failed to activate his body worn camera. In an unrelated case, Hawkley was named in a federal suit along with his partner, also in 2018, after plaintiff Cosme Grijalva accused both of them of an unconstitutional arrest and use of excessive force stemming from a December 2016 encounter. Grijalva said that both submitted false police reports claiming that he had violated a parking code and they had the right to search his car. A jury awarded Grijalva $59,000 in that case, the Mercury News reported.
In a statement, Paul Kelly, president of the San Jose Police Officer's Association, said: "Police officers are no different than nurses, teachers or journalists, they make mistakes, and when those mistakes warrant, some lose their jobs. For the overwhelming majority of others, they are provided retraining after completing the discipline process. This is what is supposed to happen and demonstrates that the process is working as intended and officers are being held accountable.”
Until the release of these officer records, San Jose police had released just one case - the shooting death of Jennifer Vasquez on Christmas Day 2018 - since the new law took place on Jan. 1. The department told the Mercury News it would likely take five years, until Oct. 1, 2023, to complete its 73 cases it has compiled under SB 1421.
UPDATE: On Dec. 2, San Jose police confirmed that all the officers, except for Graves, are currently employed by the department.