“Until There’s Justice”: One Year Anniversary of the Shooting Death of Gutierrez Marked by Tears and Resolve

Share:

Gutierrez-one-year-justice

This time the tears flowed freely down the face of Santos Gutierrez and who could blame him.  It has to have been an horrific year since he’s lost his son, Luis Gutierrez Navarro, so far with only suspicions, thoughts of cover up and whitewash and few explanations aside from the usual cover-your-backside report from the DA’s office.

A year ago there were two hundred people that showed up to march in solidarity, this time if it was a quarter of that, they were lucky.  But this is a process that cannot be marked by numbers alone, it has to be marked by passion, compassion, and a bit of fortitude.

The fact is that we know so much more than we did a year ago precisely because a small but determined band of people simply did not take no for an answer.  Marked in accomplishments, the Yolo County Independent Human Rights Commission would not be in existence without the efforts of a small band of people.  Our own Yolo Judicial Watch project would not either.

It has been five months since the “official” and “final” report has come out and yet there seems to be more questions than answers.  The report itself a summary of some sort leaves a whole host of open questions.  As the Vanguard reported last week, numerous witnesses have come forward so far uninterviewed by other authorities, and in the sum total, not one of them saw a knife, not one of them saw Luis Guiterrez attack deputies with a knife.  Why was he shot in the back?  Was he in retreat?  Did the deputies simply overreact?  Did they precipitate the situation?

Perhaps the most troubling question of them all was why was he targeted in the first place.  He was walking on Gum Ave eastbound from the DMV in Woodland in broad daylight, at 2 pm in the afternoon, an afternoon probably much like yesterday.  He had no discernible criminal record.  He had no known confrontations with law enforcement.  And despite efforts by authorities to claim otherwise, no one that knew him had knowledge of his gang or drug activities.

The County Counsel’s office claims that an investigation has been re-opened.  They also claim there is an active FBI investigation.  However, witnesses have said publicly that they have neither been contacted by the FBI or the DA’s office in recent weeks or months.  Meanwhile, the county refuses to turn over additional documents to the Civil Rights Commission or to make them publicly available.  Without more information, it will be difficult to continue to investigation the incident and the public may never know the truth.

For those near and dear to him, it is a puzzle that must be eating away him.  His mother has long since ceased to come to these events as they must be too draining.  You can see the wear on Santos Gutierrez face, his older daughter was there, but often as not in tears.  It is a horrible thing that this family must go through and in a semi-public way with the glare of cameras and news crews, they mourn and listen to authorities who did not know their loved one disparage his name.

Gutierrez-one-year-why

It is ironic perhaps, that April 30, the one year anniversary of the death of Luis Gutierrez comes on the eve of May 1, the day of action, and at a time when no immigrant, legal or illegal, no Mexican national, no naturalized Mexican-American, and no native born Mexican-American can feel good about the standing in their own country.

The Arizona law nominally gives local officials the power to detain those they deem under “reasonable suspicion” of being an illegal immigrant.  Latinos and other Hispanics fear that means anyone with a brown skin will be subject to racial profiling.  The ground swell of opposition has been great. 

In his comments to the crowd, Al Rojas, the at-times controversial figure who has organized hundreds to seek answers in the death of Luis Gutierrez, but also disparaged by authorities as a polarizing figure who seeks not justice but personal promotion.  What authorities and other critics miss is that while Mr. Rojas minces few words, without him, this issue would have died long ago – like countless others have.

In his remarks before a solemn and heartfelt vigil, Mr. Rojas addressed the crowd.  “Today, this day at two o’clock in the afternoon, three sheriff’s undercover, decided to do an act of what’s considered racial profiling.  A racist move which in Arizona today that the Governor this day signed.  They legalized in Arizona now, a law to legally racially profile.”

He continued, “Here in this country… because of the color of our skin… and that’s why we’re here today.  That this never ever happens again.  Not to one child, not to one grandson, or granddaughter in this community.  The gift that God gives us, the disregard of the value of life, is something that we cannot stay quiet… until there’s justice.”

Gutierrez-one-year-wps

The vigil was marked by prayer, songs, and chanting.  Following the vigil, the crowd reassembled at the Woodland Police Station, where members of the community demanded justice and hoped that the Woodland Police Department would release their report on the incident.  But despite the chanting, no one from the department ever met the crowd.  According to organizer Al Rojas, one member of the group wrote the department asking for a meeting with a representative but received no answer.

It was a silence symbolic with the silence to which officials have treated this issue from the beginning.  Leaders have avoided this group and answering the tough questions from the start.  The official report reads more like a whitewashing of events than an explanation.  If the numbers have dwindled in the last year it is not because of lack of caring or concern, but rather because of exhaustion and demoralization. 

Authorities are attempting to outwait the anger and outrage, but in their wake, groups have arisen that will change the landscape forever.  The struggle will continue and the light will shine.  As Mr. Rojas said… until there’s justice.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

Share:

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

36 thoughts on ““Until There’s Justice”: One Year Anniversary of the Shooting Death of Gutierrez Marked by Tears and Resolve”

  1. Matt Rexroad

    David:

    Once again I am confused by the actions of this group.

    What are they doing at the Woodland Police Station? The Woodland Police Department had nothing to do with this a year ago except that they were the investigating authority.

    Matt Rexroad
    662-5184

  2. E Roberts Musser

    In regard to the Arizona law it should be noted it was passed in the wake of an incident in which a farmer was shot to death on his own ranch by drug smugglers coming up from Mexico. An Arizona deputy was shot and wounded yesterday by drug smugglers coming through the drug corridor between Arizona and Mexico.

    Arizona’s new law represents a local backlash because of the failure of the federal gov’t to do something about the violence that is taking place along the border. There are too many towns across this nation defying federal law, and directing their police not to enforce federal law on immigration, which represents a draw for the criminal element to commit crime and ply their trade unhindered.

    I was told in Prince William County in MD, they passed a similar local ordinance to the one in Arizona, and crime dropped 38%.

    Juxtaposed against this backdrop we have the Guitierrez case, and a similar case in New York, both involving undercover drug gang task forces. In both situations a minority victim was involved, was doing nothing illegal, but made the mistake of putting their hands in their pocket (we are not even certain Guitierrez did that). Neither victim may have spoken good English. They were stopped by a group of undercover cops dressed in civilian clothes, who could have been seen by both victims as potential attackers. And in both cases, there is a dead victim.

    It makes civilians cringe when undercover police can stop anyone without even articulable suspicion, cause confusion in the mind of the civilian as to whether they are being stopped by police or accosted by strangers ready to do them harm, and ultimately the police can shoot and wound or kill the civilian who did nothing wrong other than making the mistake of putting a hand in a pocket.

    Those are the uncomfortable/ugly realities all the way around, like it or not…

  3. roger bockrath

    I was a little embarrassed that the demonstrators shown in Davis’s photos were almost entirely brown skinned. I would like the D.A and the Sheriff to see more white folks demonstrating along with our brown brothers and sisters. Is there some way that this blog can keep us informed of these vigils so that we can stand for truth with our brown brothers and sisters?

  4. Roger Rabbit

    If the Grand Jury were to take up the case and investigation, they can get the reports, they get sworn testimony from Witnesses and can get all investigations. This is what the Grand Jury is for to watch Government Abuse, get them involved, they have the power.

  5. Double Bogey

    What a one-sided piece of tabloid journalism…nothing about the high level of meth in his system and to print that no one who knew him had any knowledge of his gang ties…that is simply casting a blind eye to what was written in the reports that have been released. Also, if this guy had no Sureno ties why in the heck has Sureno gang grafitti been showing up at the incident site?

    You mention the “new witnesses” that the “commission” produced…Are you seriously taking “statements” read from the families investigator from the two phantom sisters as fact?

  6. David M. Greenwald

    “nothing about the high level of meth in his system”

    We’ve discussed this previously. He had done two errands that day, one was to sit down in an office with an insurance agent, who noted that he didn’t display any unusual behavior. He sat there for twenty minutes and sat still. That’s certainly not the behavior of an individual who is high on meth. Moreover he took a driver’s test and past and again, the individual who worked with him testified to nothing unusual. If that’s the case, either he wasn’t high on meth, perhaps he had simply taken some sort of decongestant, or perhaps his behavior was unaffected by it. He had no known drug history, he had been pulled over a number of times on traffic stops, and no notations for violence or controlled substances. So I question very much your conclusion.

    As for the sureno gang ties, you are making an assertion that I don’t know to be true that gang grafitti has been showing up at the incident site, but if it is true, how is that evidence that he was a sureno? So far the evidence that he was a sureno was testimony by a phantom guy who is questionable at best–a btw, just so you know, we have followed up on almost every lead that the investigator found that you have disparaged and everything has panned out. We did our own checking into Flores, the guy who claimed he was a sureno, and found the same thing as the investigator. Just so you know, we don’t just accept someone’s word for something.

    So what evidence do you have that he’s a sureno? You claim gang graffiti showed up as his site, isn’t that area a known gang area? I have seen the bridge, the entire bridge is painted over in various places. I hardly call your conjecture conclusive.

  7. merixcoatl20

    [quote]
    Once again I am confused by the actions of this group.

    What are they doing at the Woodland Police Station? The Woodland Police Department had nothing to do with this a year ago except that they were the investigating authority.

    Matt Rexroad
    662-5184 [/quote]

    The group has asked the WPD to release the investigation. The WPD has not/(will not?) release that information to the public.

  8. biddlin

    Again thanks, David , for keeping us apprised of this continuing investigation. If the sheriff and his deputies are not guilty of something, they are going to considerable efforts to make it appear as if they are. I hope the FBI is investigating.

  9. Superfluous Man

    DB-

    “Also, if this guy had no Sureno ties why in the heck has Sureno gang grafitti been showing up at the incident site?“

    Can’t help the path in which he takes home? “been showing up” or present around the time of the shooting?

    Was he in any way involved or alleged to be involved in the Sureno or Norteno graffiti found in the area? Does walking, driving, biking, roller-skating by or through an area that has “gang graffiti” mean something?

    What other logical path could he have taken home from the DMV?

  10. Superfluous Man

    DMG-

    “So far the evidence that he was a sureno was testimony by a phantom guy who is questionable at best–a btw, just so you know, we have followed up on almost every lead that the investigator found that you have disparaged and everything has panned out.”

    He had those dot tattoos on his finges as well.

    Has anyone other than Flores accused Gutierrez of having gang tie, using drugs and being skilled with a knife? Did law enforcement just stop at Flores’ statement, no corroborating statements?

  11. jake wallace

    (http://www.sacbee.com/2010/02/17/2541874/judges-shouldnt-be-above-the-law.html)”Justice may be blind, but the commission in charge of disciplining California’s judges should have its eyes wide open when a jurist shows up on its docket more than once.”

    (http://www.mercurynews.com/taintedtrials/ci_5136869)”When California prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys engage in conduct that violates defendants’ rights, they can rest assured that they will rarely be held to account by the agency in charge of policing lawyers.”

    If Yolo had a functional grand jury there would have been no reason to file this Petition (the third level) with the state supreme court over Jerry Brown’s “wife”, deputy attorney general, Anne Baldwin Gust.

    Here we have the state’s top attorney/cop gay couple, a twist on P8, that assured no investigation over dual qui tam suits filed on behalf of state foster youth would see daylight. We have the AG using tax payer dollars not to perform their official duties and the state bar & commission on judicial performance have hammered the multitude of complaints while never investigating the well documented allegations.

    Cloaked in secrecy, confidentiality, with a lazy dimwitted press that passively reports the news.

    Too bad the Yolo Judicial Watch aren’t watching.

    JURISDICTION

    1. Under California Rules of Court (CRC), Rule 9.13(d), a petition to the Supreme Court to review “any other decision” of the State Bar Court or action of the Board of Governors of the State Bar, or of any board or committee appointed by it and authorized to make a determination under the provisions of the State Bar Act, or of the chief executive officer of the State Bar or the designee of the chief executive officer authorized to make a determination under article 10 of the State Bar Act or these rules of court, must be filed within 60 days after written notice of the action complained of is mailed to the petitioner.
    2. On or about February 23, 2010, Petitioner received the State Bar decision attached as Exhibit One.
    3. This is a verified petition.
    4. Petitioner has exhausted his administrative remedies as evidenced by Exhibit One.
    5. The State Bar decision from which relief is sought is contained in Exhibit One.

    PETITION
    6. The grounds for seeking relief are that the State Bar has ignored its legal duty to conduct a fair, impartial, and complete review of my complaint.
    7. On or about December 15, 2009, I filed the complaint attached as Exhibit Two, alleging that California Deputy Attorney General Anne Baldwin Gust, SBN 111596, knowingly failed to intervene in two qui tam cases because of improper motives. This allegation was based on Petitioner’s belief, because California Deputy Attorney General Niklas Akers, SBN 211222, informed Petitioner that he [Akers] was not allowed to investigate or act on Petitioner’s complaint because he had been “ordered to sit on his hands.” Petitioner is not sure exactly what Akers meant, but Akers said that he had been “ordered to sit on his hands” possible because a Deputy Attorney General in the Criminal Division, Peter Smith, a former Calaveras County District Attorney, had interceded.
    8. On or about February 23, 2010, the State Bar of California’s Office of Chief Trial Counsel, Audit and Review, denied Petitioner’s complaint [see Enclosed Exhibit One].
    9. Notwithstanding the State Bar’s apparent distaste for extensive evidence submitted to support the merits of Petitioner’s underlying complaint, it does not appear that any investigation was conducted of Petitioner’s complaint: alleged misconduct by attorneys in the office of the California Attorney General’s office.
    10. Because there is no indication that Petitioner’s complaint was even perused, Petitioner seeks the following relief: an order directing the Office of Chief Trial Counsel to conduct a thorough and complete investigation in accordance with standard rules.

    VERIFICATION
    I am the Petitioner in this matter. I have written and read this Petition and know the contents thereof. The same is true of my own knowledge, except as to those matters which are therein stated on information and belief, and, as to those matters, I believe it to be true. I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.

    Signed this day of April 22, 2010, at, Stockton, California.

    Jake Wallace

  12. David M. Greenwald

    Superfluous:

    I have questions about those. First, none of the family ever remembers seeing them before. Second, they are described in the autopsy as “faint” suggesting that they may have been old The assumption with tattoos as evidence of gang ties is that once a member, always a member. Third, even if he had the tattoos does that mean he was in the gang?

    No one other than Flores is reported to have placed him as a gang member.

    They use a pretty weak three point gang validation measure to claim his gang affiliation. I still think the strongest contrary evidence is his lack of criminal record.

  13. Double Bogey

    You state that none of his family rembers seeing the gang tattoos on his hands and then state that the coroners report describes them as being faint so they must have been old…which is it?

    Also, it is impossible for any thing to come up as meth in your system other than meth…there are “false positives” recorded on presumptive tests…but that is not what was conducted here…these are lab reports that show that he had a hign level of meth in his system.

    Also, you talk about Flores…but you leave out the validated sureno gang member that Navarro was in the car with during a stop by WPD months before the shooting…again raising the question about the tattoos…It would seem reasonable that if a guy is riding in a car with a validated member of a gang and is sporting the tattoos of that same gang he was affiliated in some way.

    If you truly wanted to put forth a fair and unbiased story on this matter why haven’t you gone to his former employers and talk to them…or to his friends and friends of friends…by sticking to his family and those that are working for the families interests in the civil matter you are only reporting one side of this issue.

    I am simply floored that you can actually “DOUBT” the validity of tattoos…what do you think, the deputies or the coroner whipped out a tattoo gun?

  14. Superfluous Man

    DMG-

    As do I, but to my mind, the tattoos are the closest things released to the public that would suggest he was at some time associated with gangs. It’s strange that no one else seems to solidify the implied notion that Gutierrez was a gang member or in any way involved in gang activity.

    Did the DA’s Office independently interview any of the witnesses mentioned in the report? Was anyone else who has associated with Gutierrez contacted regarding his temper, drug usage, knife skills, gang activity and so forth?

    If there were people stating the very opposite of what was claimed by Flores, wouldn’t it have been more accurate to also tell that side of the story in the report, as opposed to leaving the implied in the report unattested by anyone?

    I understand the criterion and I too believe it’s pretty weak. A individual only needs to meet two of the criterion, or in some cases one, in order to be validated as a gang member in the CALGANG database. At no point in the report is it plainly stated that Gutierrez was determined to be a gang member. However, it is certainly implied and what most people have taken away from the DA’s report.

  15. Superfluous Man

    DB-

    Does being in a vehicle or in the presence of a gang member lend itself to the determination that an individual is a gang member? Is this the only known account of his “association” with a gang or gang member in his 26 years of life, besides the parolees statement? That’s not very substantial.

    Can’t a person have friends and family that are validated or considered gang members? Do you know the circumstances which led to Gutierrezs’ being in the vehicle? Can’t he just have been getting a ride home?

    Does Gutierrezs’being in that vehicle count as one of the subjective CALGANG criterion, much like strolling in a neighborhood or down a street with gang graffiti does?

    Would it matter when he got those tattoos?

  16. David M. Greenwald

    Bogey:

    “which is it?”

    As I said, on the one hand, people near the family including the family told me one thing, the coroner’s report says that he had faint dots on his hand and someone concluded from that he was a gang member. I don’t know which it is since I have not examined the body myself. I know at one point the family said if they ever got it far enough they would attempt to show forensically that it was a post mortem tattoo.

    “it is impossible for any thing to come up as meth in your system other than meth”

    That’s not what I was told by several people who ought to know. They also told me that it is difficult to tell how far the drug had been processed and whether it was meth as opposed to something like psuedofed or other such commonly used components.

    “but you leave out the validated sureno gang member that Navarro was in the car with during a stop by WPD months before the shooting”

    I’ve been in a car with validated gang members before, what’s your point?

    “I am simply floored that you can actually “DOUBT” the validity of tattoos…what do you think, the deputies or the coroner whipped out a tattoo gun? “

    As Superfluous says after your post, the tattoos are the closest thing released to the public that suggests that he was at some time associated with gangs, but you’re going to take that as proof that he was a gang member and he was at the time of his death?

    I have serious doubts because of his lack of criminal record and the lack of anyone, as Superfluous suggests who has come forward to even lend credence with the notion that Gutierrez was a gang member.

    Superfluous:

    “Did the DA’s Office independently interview any of the witnesses mentioned in the report? Was anyone else who has associated with Gutierrez contacted regarding his temper, drug usage, knife skills, gang activity and so forth? “

    I don’t know the answer to either of these questions. I take that back, the investigator asked a number of people both in front of the panel and elsewhere about the latter and none of them said anything about drug usage, knife skills, or gang activity.

    The best evidence is still 15 encounters with the police prior to the fateful one, none of them had any hint of hostility or confrontation with the police and none of them mentioned even the possibility of him being on a controlled substance, and you would think that’s what the police would be looking for.

    “If there were people stating the very opposite of what was claimed by Flores, wouldn’t it have been more accurate to also tell that side of the story in the report, as opposed to leaving the implied in the report unattested by anyone? “

    Not sure what you’re getting at here, are you referring to the DA or to the Civil Rights Panel.

    “I understand the criterion and I too believe it’s pretty weak. A individual only needs to meet two of the criterion, or in some cases one, in order to be validated as a gang member in the CALGANG database. “

    Most jurisdictions use three as their criteria at least in this county, but interestingly enough, as weak as the case is against Gutierrez being in a gang, they have three measures that would be used.

  17. David M. Greenwald

    Superfluous:

    This is the gang criteria that Chief Black sent me, his wording:

    • Admits gang membership.

    • Correspondence identifies as gang member. (Writes and/or receives correspondence about gang activities.)

    • Named by another known/validated gang member as member of gang.

    • Has gang logo tattoo(s).

    • Wears gang clothing/colors.

    • Associates on a regular basis with known gang members.

    • Is in a photograph indicating gang affiliation.

    • Contacted in the field for gang activity.

    • Displaying gang signs.

    • Displays gang graffiti on personal belongings.

    • Involved in gang-related (PC §186.22) crimes.

    One of the interesting things that Santos Gutierrez said at the Panel in February was that they recovered a red and blue headscarf and used that to bolster their case he was a gang member. He then pulled out the multicolor packet of headscarfs that he had purchases at Wal Mart and said they pulled the red and the blue out and left the rest. As farm workers, they use them to white the sweat from their faces so they don’t get dirt all over in the heat.

  18. Matt Rexroad

    David:

    Well — consider me still puzzled by this behavior. The picture in front of the Woodland Police Department looks like it was taken at night. In addition to being dark in the background the light for the sign are on.

    I would think that if someone wanted to protest in a way that would make a difference you would at least do it at a time when the people they are protesting are open.

    Did anyone from the Woodland Police Department even know they were there?

    Matt Rexroad
    662-5184

  19. Superfluous Man

    David-

    I was referring to the DA report. They were obviously looking into his background with a focus on his affiliation with gangs. They put that statement in by Flores, but was there literally no one that spoke with law enforcement who said he was not at all involved with gangs and not a knife master?

    I guess what I’m getting at is…was there information available to law enforcement or the DA’s Office that contradicted Flores’ statement or just flatly disproves/weakens the suspicion/claims that Gutirrez was a gang member? If this information was available to the DA’s Office, was it just left out of the DA report?

    If you’ve got an in custody parolee claiming one thing and half dozen credible people who knew Gutierrez claiming the opposite, only mentioning the story that helps their case(Flores’ statement) isn’t exactly forthright and would mislead the public into thinking X, Y, Z. Think about it, what did the majority of the public(seems like a majority anyway) take away from that report: gang member, meth and tried to kill a cop. Introducing statements or investigative findings that oppose this trifecta may humanize Gutierrez.

  20. Superfluous Man

    David-

    “Most jurisdictions use three as their criteria at least in this county, but interestingly enough, as weak as the case is against Gutierrez being in a gang, they have three measures that would be used.”

    The DA’s office didn’t confirm Gutierrezs’ gang membership in the DA report or at any other time did they? I know the WPD affadavit, written by their gang unit Sgt, stated that he believed Gutierrez was a Sureno gang member, but it wasn’t really clear to me what he was basing his belief on.

    What three criteria would Gutierrez meet? Tattoo, in the vehicle with a gang member and the bandanas?

  21. Superfluous Man

    Thanks for that information David. Did they whittle the CALGANG criterion down a little? It’s still amazing how incredibly vague this is though. It quite frankly reads, to me, as “if law enforcement wants to fit someone as a gang member, it can be very easily done.”

    Do you personally know how independent the DA’s investigation was? Did the commission fail to ask the witnesses which agencies had contacted and/or interviewed them.

  22. Double Bogey

    I know at one point the family said if they ever got it far enough they would attempt to show forensically that it was a post mortem tattoo.

    This is the craziest thing I have ever read…These deputies, with their more than two decades of service to this community without ever firing their guns in the line of duty were carrying a knife, syringe of meth and a tattoo gun so they could kill Navarro?? That is simply not only reasonable it is laughable.

    As far as the false positive on meth, I am not sure who you are asking but I use pre-employment testing as well as random testing in my business and while a “false positive for meth and/or amphetemines in the on site presumptive test does occur…Once the sample is sent to the lab the only thing that will come back as positive for meth is meth.

    Being in the car with a validated gang member months before the shooting alone is not the issue…the issue is the tattoos and the affiliation…The contact in the car happened months before the incident…it would of had to have been pretty lucky for the deputies to “plant” the sureno tattoo on Navarro seeing as the gang member he was with months before was a sureno.

    As far as the lack of people “coming forward” with knowledge of Navarro’s gang affilations and drug use…Looking at this from as a businessman it does not surprise me at all. The WPD, the DA and the DOJ were investigating the shooting to see if the officers reacted properly to the threat Navarro presented and if they were justified in the use of deadly force…It is my belief that when the family files it’s civil suit against the county and the Sheriff’s Department is when the attorney’s for the County and S/O will use what they ahve discovered about Navarro…There is no reason for them to bring that information out at this time.

  23. David M. Greenwald

    Matt: I don’t necessarily disagree with you that the timing for such an action wasn’t the best, but it was what it was.

    Superfluous: I’m looking into the last question, the county is a bit slow these days getting back with PRA’s.

    “Did the commission fail to ask the witnesses which agencies had contacted and/or interviewed them. “

    I believe the commission did ask that question. And most of the time, they told. For instance, Vienna Navarro was interviewed by WPD.

    Bogey:

    In response to the tattoo thing, it’s at least a falsifiable claim. Given that it was faint, maybe the family just didn’t notice it. Just because the officers hadn’t been involved in the shooting previously, doesn’t mean that mistakes didn’t occur in this one. These guys had somewhat of a reputation for roughing people up. The Ochoa incident is one. But I’m looking into a couple of others presently.

    On the false positive, I spoke to a former police officer, a former prosecutor, and a former investigator and they all told me the same thing. I just did a quick google search and it looks like there are enough things that can cause a false positive to not rule it out automatically.

    There is also the question of when he took it and whether he was likely to become erratic based on the time and dosage of his taking it.

    I’m curious to know if anyone else uses those kinds of tattoos because I saw tattooed dots on someone the other weeks who clearly wasn’t a gang member.

    “The contact in the car happened months before the incident…it would of had to have been pretty lucky for the deputies to “plant” the sureno tattoo on Navarro seeing as the gang member he was with months before was a sureno. “

    I think you’re grasping a bit there.

  24. David M. Greenwald

    “The WPD, the DA and the DOJ were investigating the shooting to see if the officers reacted properly to the threat Navarro presented and if they were justified in the use of deadly force…”

    Which begs the question as to why they needed to assert immediately he was a gang member. After all, being a gang member doesn’t justify killing him unless they had a reason to kill him.

    “It is my belief that when the family files it’s civil suit against the county and the Sheriff’s Department is when the attorney’s for the County and S/O will use what they ahve discovered about Navarro…There is no reason for them to bring that information out at this time.”

    I have a real problem with that view, I think the public has the right to know what their government is doing irrespective of whether or not there is a lawsuit. If they are justified in killing him, show us. Otherwise, I believe they have shown themselves to be evasive which leads me to believe they have something to hide.

  25. Superfluous Man

    David-

    Which question are you referring to exactly? So the DA’s Office didn’t once independently interview Vienna? I only ask because Reisig said his office independently interviewed witnesses and I if they actually did. You’d think Vienna would be an important witness to contact, if they really were independtly looking into this incident.

  26. Superfluous Man

    DB-

    I too find it difficult to accept the story that the meth in his system was a result of the officers injecting it into him and the tattoos on his hands were done postmortem. However, the reality remains clear: the report is pretty bad and shows levels of ineptitude, which leaves many wondering what other details are out there, what else they didn’t get straight and was not included in the official report.

    His gang affiliation was obviously a major point of interest in the investigations. Right after his death they deemed him a gang member. Law enforcement went to his residence with the purpose of searching and seizing items that were associated with criminal street gangs. They were willing to add the parolee’s statement in the report, which conveniently paints Gutierrez in a poor light. I wonder if there was evidence or statements from others that completely counters Flores’ statement and the suspicion surrounding Gutierrezs’ gang ties. Any reason why they didn’t mention the search of his house turned up no evidence suggesting he was a gang member?

    The take away point is, Flores’ statement is used by many as evidence that Gutierrez was a gang member, was a drug user and was some sort of knife master. It’s used, it would seem, to corroborate law enforcement’s take on the incident. Flores’ statement would carry much less water if there were credible statements that convey quite the opposite, but were not released to the public. It’s not a matter of witnesses coming forward really. The reality is one only finds that which one seeks and David asks a good question, why rush in determining or labeling him a gang member? It appears as though a concerted effort was made from the outset to do this. Why would law enforcement need to search his residence to look for evidence linking Gutierrez to gangs, at which point he was dead? Just makes it easier to write this whole thing off? Makes law enforcement look better maybe? Bare in mind, the DA’s Office never claims Gutierrez was a gang member.

    The tattoos, as described in the report, aren’t normal Sureno gang tattoos. There are known gang tattoos associated with certain gangs and as far as I can tell, the dot tattoos on his hands are not one of them. Of course this doesn’t mean his tattoos didn’t have some gang meaning.

  27. Double Bogey

    “I have a real problem with that view, I think the public has the right to know what their government is doing irrespective of whether or not there is a lawsuit. If they are justified in killing him, show us. Otherwise, I believe they have shown themselves to be evasive which leads me to believe they have something to hide.”

    Let’s say that the WPD and the DA do have evidence of Navarro’s involvement in a gang and they presented it all now prior to any civil suit…I think two things would happen, first the tax payers of this county would rightfully be upset for the county not protecting the general fund by protecting this information until it was needed…Secondly, and more importantly…There would be a huge outcrying from the public that the DA and the WPD were “dragging the dead man’s name through the mud”…as a matter of fact it is my opinion that this website would in fact be leading that cry!

  28. Double Bogey

    “The tattoos, as described in the report, aren’t normal Sureno gang tattoos. There are known gang tattoos associated with certain gangs and as far as I can tell, the dot tattoos on his hands are not one of them. Of course this doesn’t mean his tattoos didn’t have some gang meaning.”

    Your comment that the dot tattoos are not consistent with Sureno tattoos is incorrect. I have posted actual photographs from gang identifcation websites that show these same tattoos on incarcerated gang members…the nortenos also use this dot method of tattooing…nortenos=1 dot on the index knuckle of the right hand…4 dot on the knuckles of the left hand…Sureno=1 dot on the index finger of the right hand and 3 dots on the left hand…this is so that the bearer of these tattoos can make fists and extended them out to a person(s) and immediatley show the gang that they are claiming. 14 is the number associated with nortenos and 13 is the number associated with surenos. I will try and find the links that I found in the past and post them here for you.

  29. David M. Greenwald

    By that logic, the DA can’t prosecute the officers because it would set them up for liability? Or in the Galvan case, where the West Sac Police beat this guy within inches of his life, they are prosecuting the case because the city of West Sac faces a lawsuit. There is a problem when these decisions appear to me to be intermingled. If the truth is out there, I don’t see the justification in withholding it because the county faces liability if the officers did wrong. If the officers did wrong, the public deserves to know about it.

  30. Superfluous Man

    I didn’t phrase that right. I did my own online search for those type of tattoos and not one site I looked at mentioned or showed photos of dotted gang tattoos similar to Gutierrezs’. I didn’t mean to state matter-of-factly that his tattoos are not considered gang tattoos.

    If you can find the link that discusses this and post it on here, I would appreciate it

  31. Superfluous Man

    David-

    I’m just curious what witnesses the DA’s office investigated “independently” during their “parallel” investigation, as DA Reisig characterized it. Them not interviewing Vienna is interesting, if that really didn’t happen. I wonder how much BS we have got from the DA’s office.

    On a separate, but related note, is anyone else slightly bothered by the DA report’s conflicting reports oas they relate to the nature of Gutierrezs’ gunshot wounds?

    At one point the report reads “Gutierrez died from a single gunshot wound to the neck/lower-head.” Then later in the report this is said, “The single entrance gunshot wound was located at the right rear shoulder with the single exit gunshot wound at the left cheek/jaw of the face.”

    What happened? Are the people tasked with investigating this incident and writing the report really this inept? The nature of his wounds is pretty important.

  32. Primoris

    Double Bogey wrote; [quote] What a one-sided piece of tabloid journalism…[/quote]

    Correct analysis, Double Bogey.

    Objectivity? Oh yes, that is right spousal privilege.

    The writer inflames his side by creating a narrative wherein a question is posited, using terms like “targeting.”

    He goes on, “It has to have been a horrific year….” Notice no quote from the mama or papa?

    “…so far with only suspicions, thoughts of cover up and whitewash and few explanations aside from the usual cover-your-backside report…” A mind reader to boot! Greenwald knows every thought of the decedent’s parent such that he can single out “only” — Wow what talent!

    Once again, no quote, from anyone directly involved, to substantiate.

    He mentions new witnesses, but no mention of how many (if any at all) called, walked into the YCSO WPD or YCDA’s officers to offer their fresh accounts (to include, but not limited to a written detailed account) of that which they “witnessed” at or near the time of the incident (a vital component in these matters), to be incorporated or appended into the “official” on-going reports, at the time. Oh I guess it doesn’t matter in these types of cases?

    [quote] And despite efforts by authorities to claim otherwise, no one that knew him had knowledge of his gang or drug activities.
    [/quote]

    No one? Is that a fact or is that a position that must be taken by David Greenwald’s limited knowledge? Since when does anyone know everything?

    In the same way you wrote above (re: the investigation): “Without more information, it will be difficult to continue to…” one may imprudently try to apply the same reasoning re: discerning gang status.

    However, there’s one itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeney exception: that official records denote a statement from a veteran WPD officer with gang training that reviewed the circumstances of the case, using his training, experience, and conversations with other law enforcement officers to believe that Navarro was a member (WPD Warrant Affidavit).

    The most recent available information tells us that the role and responsibility for determining such matters falls squarely on the shoulders of gang officers, NOT bloggers, friends, family members, self-appointed commission members, forum posters, DMV employees, sellers of insurance, “people who knew him,” or private investigators who last name starts with the letter “R.”

    Oh, that’s right; a law enforcement officer who works for a non-(directly) involved agency just can’t be objective (unless s/he works in Davis). I almost forgot…

    Next we find a sneaky attempt to play the race card by way of an introduction of another topic immigration – what?

    [quote]It is ironic perhaps, that April 30, the one year anniversary of the death of Luis Gutierrez comes on the eve of May 1, the day of action, and at a time when no immigrant, legal or illegal, no Mexican national, no naturalized Mexican-American, and no native born Mexican-American can feel good about the standing in their own country.[/quote]

    “The day…when no immigrant…”

    INCLUDING “…illegal can feel good about their standing in their own country….”

    David Greenwald seems to be stating that Illegals should be able to break the close of the US borders illegally and “feel good” about “their own country.”

    Do you truly mean to say that MS 13 members from Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico should feel good, on May 1, 2010, about the USA as THEIR country? Or do you mean that the above should feel good about their home country enumerated previously (as examples)?

    I’ll have to continue at a later time…

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for