Sacramento Sheriff Deputy Abuses, Arrests Man for Being Drunk ‘In Public’ in Homeowner’s Own Garage – Receives Slap on Wrist after Recommended Firing

The Vanguard Sacramento Bureau Chief

SACRAMENTO, CA – Records reveal the Sacramento Sheriff’s Office only gave a gentle slap on the wrist to a Sacramento sheriff’s deputy who abused, and then arrested a man for being drunk in public even though the man arrested was on his own property.

A direct supervisor recommended firing but the deputy escaped that on appeal.

The deputy and a partner, in February 2020, went to a home because of a report of a family disturbance, according to a newly released 588-page disciplinary document, as noted in a Sacramento Bee story last month. 

Records, reported The Bee, indicated deputies responded to the Antelope home, and put a man in the back of a deputy vehicle while a woman in the home left.

The video in the county report showed a man entering his own garage, yelling at deputies and eventually being arrested by Deputy Brannon Polete arresting him for being drunk in public, according to a letter from Chet Madison, then a chief deputy.  

The Bee story said the homeowner “filed a complaint about the incident with the Sheriff’s Office and provided his security camera footage. Asked in an interview with investigators why Polete arrested the man while he was in his own garage, he said he believed case law showed the garage door opening was a ‘public place.’”

“He is now proving to me that he cannot maintain himself at home and that his level of intoxication was to a degree that he needed to go to jail,” Polete told investigators in 2020. But The Bee noted footage showing the man did not try to leave the garage, Madison wrote in the April 20, 2020, letter.

On the recording, Polete can be heard saying phrases such as “Say you’re f——sorry,” “You are sorry motherf—–” and “You’re a drunk little f—,” Madison said, according to The Bee.

“Sgt. Polete’s comments are outright wrong, disparaging, unprofessional, and humiliating,” wrote Madison, now Sacramento State University police chief.  Madison added, “It’s unimaginable any member of our organization would make a person who is being detained say “I’m sorry,” let alone a Sheriff’s sergeant who is a first line supervisor.”

Polete applied, after handcuffing the man, “pressure to the area of left ear,” the letter stated, which in Madison’s view “served absolutely no purpose and hovers near criminal behavior,” Madison wrote.

Polete appealed Madison’s recommended termination, and then-Undersheriff Erik Maness said he didn’t believe Polete’s action deserved being fired and demoted him to jail duty after declaring the deputy “out of line.” The deputy was also given an unpaid 160-hour suspension. Then-Sheriff Scott Jones approved that discipline.

“Polete advised he would be turning 50 in July and would like to be marketable after retirement,” Maness wrote in a memo on May 8, 2020, according to The Bee story. “He asked again for forgiveness and requested a second chance to retire in good standing with the Sheriff’s Office.”

The SSO would not say if Polete is still a sheriff’s deputy, said The Bee.


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