Davis Internal Review Process Under Scrutiny in Buzayan Case

In the latest in our periodic series that examines the Buzayan lawsuit, we examine the complaint against Sgt. Gina Anderson, who is in charge of the Davis Police Department’s Internal Affairs Department (IAD).

When the Buzayans complained that Officer Ly’s conduct was unlawful, the first thing they did was to file a formal complaint with the Davis Police Department. Every complaint filed proceeds to the IAD and Sgt. Gina Anderson.

According to the complaint, the Buzayans met with Anderson on June 28, 2005 where the minor told Anderson that her mother had been the one driving on the day in question.

It was Anderson’s job to investigate the actions of Officers Hartz and Ly regarding the complaint. It is not the job of the IAD to continue a criminal investigation against the defendant. However, that is exactly what Anderson did during her IAD interview with the minor.

“But your mother has admitted to driving the car… So that would mean that if your citation was dismissed then your mother would be arrested… I just needed to let you know that if you are not the person who did it, she’s admitting to doing it, then your case will end up getting dismissed and we would end up arresting her.”

In a May interview with KGO, the Buzayans’ attorney, former San Francisco Supervisor Matt Gonzalez, says that the actions of Sgt Anderson were improper.

“They were putting a lot of pressure on her, and I don’t think that’s an appropriate way to conduct an internal investigation about whether or not a police officer has conducted himself properly.”

It is very important that the public understands that the job of the IAD, Sgt. Anderson in this case, is to ascertain whether or not the officers involved in this case–Hartz and Ly–acted properly. It is not her job to interrogate the witness. It is not her job to investigate whether the minor or her mother was the one driving. It is not her job to obtain a confession from the minor.

Anderson admits as much during the course of the interview of the minor:

“This is a side note because I’m interested in Officer Ly’s behavior, and if he violated any (phone rings), if he violated any of our department policy then I need to know that too. As far as on a personnel level we can handle that with him. Because you know we take allegations of misconduct by our police officers seriously. So that is a complete side-note. I want to get back to it and handle it, but that is an aside to what I’m talking about right now.”

In fact, she is specifically forbidden from doing so.

As the complaint filed with the Northern Division of the California Federal District Court alleges:

“Defendant Anderson also knew that it was unlawful and against Davis Police Department policy to use an investigation of a Davis citizen’s complaint as an opportunity to browbeat a minor by threatening her with her mother’s incarceration.”

As we suggested in our seven-part series on Police Oversight, IAD’s are notorious for problems in terms of their ability to investigate the wrongdoings of police officers. That is one reason why many experts have suggested removing internal investigations from the IAD and placing it in an independent body of law enforcement professionals. Moreover, this is an example of why the current Ombudsman model is problematic–complaints under this model still go to the Internal Affairs Department first. While the current model has some problems, at least now Anderson knows that Ombudsman Bob Aaronson will be looking over her shoulder, and that alone could be an improvement for this system.

Meanwhile it will be up to the court to sort out whether or not Anderson’s actions in the Buzayan case violated the minor’s civil rights.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Author

  • David Greenwald

    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.

Categories:

Civil Rights

84 comments

  1. Excellent example of the value of this blog.. We would never see these facts( exact quotes from the recorded tapes) reported in the Enterprise or written about by Dunning or Rifkin.
    Spread the word through your email lists about this valuable alternative news resource that challenges the news censorship of the Enterprise.

  2. Excellent example of the value of this blog.. We would never see these facts( exact quotes from the recorded tapes) reported in the Enterprise or written about by Dunning or Rifkin.
    Spread the word through your email lists about this valuable alternative news resource that challenges the news censorship of the Enterprise.

  3. Excellent example of the value of this blog.. We would never see these facts( exact quotes from the recorded tapes) reported in the Enterprise or written about by Dunning or Rifkin.
    Spread the word through your email lists about this valuable alternative news resource that challenges the news censorship of the Enterprise.

  4. Excellent example of the value of this blog.. We would never see these facts( exact quotes from the recorded tapes) reported in the Enterprise or written about by Dunning or Rifkin.
    Spread the word through your email lists about this valuable alternative news resource that challenges the news censorship of the Enterprise.

  5. “Moreover, this is an example of why the current Ombudsman model is problematic–complaints under this model still go to the Internal Affairs Department first.”

    Even though it is true that an internal investigation can be insufficient, an internal investigation is nonetheless necessary. I don’t see any reason why it matters if internal affairs does the first investigation.

    Every organization, be it Longs Drugs, UC Davis, or The San Francisco Chronicle, needs to internally review and investigate complaints.

    While an outsider has the advantages of independence and hence a lack of a conflict of interest, insiders have some advantages, too. They can often quickly tell when something seems amiss. Insofar as they want their organization to perform better, they do have an incentive to root out problems. (Of course, they ought not be the only players given the responsibility to root out trouble.)

    “Meanwhile it will be up to the court to sort out whether or not Anderson’s actions in the Buzayan case were unlawful.”

    Unlawful? Is Anderson being tried for a crime?

    And if not, is Anderson the subject of a civil lawsuit?

  6. “Moreover, this is an example of why the current Ombudsman model is problematic–complaints under this model still go to the Internal Affairs Department first.”

    Even though it is true that an internal investigation can be insufficient, an internal investigation is nonetheless necessary. I don’t see any reason why it matters if internal affairs does the first investigation.

    Every organization, be it Longs Drugs, UC Davis, or The San Francisco Chronicle, needs to internally review and investigate complaints.

    While an outsider has the advantages of independence and hence a lack of a conflict of interest, insiders have some advantages, too. They can often quickly tell when something seems amiss. Insofar as they want their organization to perform better, they do have an incentive to root out problems. (Of course, they ought not be the only players given the responsibility to root out trouble.)

    “Meanwhile it will be up to the court to sort out whether or not Anderson’s actions in the Buzayan case were unlawful.”

    Unlawful? Is Anderson being tried for a crime?

    And if not, is Anderson the subject of a civil lawsuit?

  7. “Moreover, this is an example of why the current Ombudsman model is problematic–complaints under this model still go to the Internal Affairs Department first.”

    Even though it is true that an internal investigation can be insufficient, an internal investigation is nonetheless necessary. I don’t see any reason why it matters if internal affairs does the first investigation.

    Every organization, be it Longs Drugs, UC Davis, or The San Francisco Chronicle, needs to internally review and investigate complaints.

    While an outsider has the advantages of independence and hence a lack of a conflict of interest, insiders have some advantages, too. They can often quickly tell when something seems amiss. Insofar as they want their organization to perform better, they do have an incentive to root out problems. (Of course, they ought not be the only players given the responsibility to root out trouble.)

    “Meanwhile it will be up to the court to sort out whether or not Anderson’s actions in the Buzayan case were unlawful.”

    Unlawful? Is Anderson being tried for a crime?

    And if not, is Anderson the subject of a civil lawsuit?

  8. “Moreover, this is an example of why the current Ombudsman model is problematic–complaints under this model still go to the Internal Affairs Department first.”

    Even though it is true that an internal investigation can be insufficient, an internal investigation is nonetheless necessary. I don’t see any reason why it matters if internal affairs does the first investigation.

    Every organization, be it Longs Drugs, UC Davis, or The San Francisco Chronicle, needs to internally review and investigate complaints.

    While an outsider has the advantages of independence and hence a lack of a conflict of interest, insiders have some advantages, too. They can often quickly tell when something seems amiss. Insofar as they want their organization to perform better, they do have an incentive to root out problems. (Of course, they ought not be the only players given the responsibility to root out trouble.)

    “Meanwhile it will be up to the court to sort out whether or not Anderson’s actions in the Buzayan case were unlawful.”

    Unlawful? Is Anderson being tried for a crime?

    And if not, is Anderson the subject of a civil lawsuit?

  9. Rich:

    “Even though it is true that an internal investigation can be insufficient, an internal investigation is nonetheless necessary.”

    I agree with that. The question is whether it needs to be in the form of an IAD or whether there can be an independent review board that is in place to handle internal investigations. Imagine, giving that power to the current PAC members.

    “I don’t see any reason why it matters if internal affairs does the first investigation.”

    The major problem would be contamination of the investigation. The other problem is what we have seen in this area, where subsequent reviews have simply looked over the initial investigation rather than conducting a separate an independent investigation.

    In the proper system with adequate oversight, it perhaps would not pose a problem. But the research I’ve seen casts a very poor light on IADs.

    “insiders have some advantages, too. They can often quickly tell when something seems amiss. Insofar as they want their organization to perform better, they do have an incentive to root out problems. (Of course, they ought not be the only players given the responsibility to root out trouble.)”

    And the problem with police agencies is that insiders also seem to have a social and institutional incentive to protect the department by insulating it from scrutiny. Those internal complaints have nationwide over a 90% unfounded rate. Many of these unfounded cases end up paying out sizable settlements. The discrepency in those numbers suggests a problem with the internal review process itself.

    “Unlawful? Is Anderson being tried for a crime? And if not, is Anderson the subject of a civil lawsuit?”

    She’s the subject of a civil lawsuit, but the trial will determine whether Anderson violated the rights of the minor in this case. A violation of one’s civil rights is unlawful, but you are correct that this is not a criminal trial, therefore the ruling is whether or not Anderson is civilly liable for damages.

  10. Rich:

    “Even though it is true that an internal investigation can be insufficient, an internal investigation is nonetheless necessary.”

    I agree with that. The question is whether it needs to be in the form of an IAD or whether there can be an independent review board that is in place to handle internal investigations. Imagine, giving that power to the current PAC members.

    “I don’t see any reason why it matters if internal affairs does the first investigation.”

    The major problem would be contamination of the investigation. The other problem is what we have seen in this area, where subsequent reviews have simply looked over the initial investigation rather than conducting a separate an independent investigation.

    In the proper system with adequate oversight, it perhaps would not pose a problem. But the research I’ve seen casts a very poor light on IADs.

    “insiders have some advantages, too. They can often quickly tell when something seems amiss. Insofar as they want their organization to perform better, they do have an incentive to root out problems. (Of course, they ought not be the only players given the responsibility to root out trouble.)”

    And the problem with police agencies is that insiders also seem to have a social and institutional incentive to protect the department by insulating it from scrutiny. Those internal complaints have nationwide over a 90% unfounded rate. Many of these unfounded cases end up paying out sizable settlements. The discrepency in those numbers suggests a problem with the internal review process itself.

    “Unlawful? Is Anderson being tried for a crime? And if not, is Anderson the subject of a civil lawsuit?”

    She’s the subject of a civil lawsuit, but the trial will determine whether Anderson violated the rights of the minor in this case. A violation of one’s civil rights is unlawful, but you are correct that this is not a criminal trial, therefore the ruling is whether or not Anderson is civilly liable for damages.

  11. Rich:

    “Even though it is true that an internal investigation can be insufficient, an internal investigation is nonetheless necessary.”

    I agree with that. The question is whether it needs to be in the form of an IAD or whether there can be an independent review board that is in place to handle internal investigations. Imagine, giving that power to the current PAC members.

    “I don’t see any reason why it matters if internal affairs does the first investigation.”

    The major problem would be contamination of the investigation. The other problem is what we have seen in this area, where subsequent reviews have simply looked over the initial investigation rather than conducting a separate an independent investigation.

    In the proper system with adequate oversight, it perhaps would not pose a problem. But the research I’ve seen casts a very poor light on IADs.

    “insiders have some advantages, too. They can often quickly tell when something seems amiss. Insofar as they want their organization to perform better, they do have an incentive to root out problems. (Of course, they ought not be the only players given the responsibility to root out trouble.)”

    And the problem with police agencies is that insiders also seem to have a social and institutional incentive to protect the department by insulating it from scrutiny. Those internal complaints have nationwide over a 90% unfounded rate. Many of these unfounded cases end up paying out sizable settlements. The discrepency in those numbers suggests a problem with the internal review process itself.

    “Unlawful? Is Anderson being tried for a crime? And if not, is Anderson the subject of a civil lawsuit?”

    She’s the subject of a civil lawsuit, but the trial will determine whether Anderson violated the rights of the minor in this case. A violation of one’s civil rights is unlawful, but you are correct that this is not a criminal trial, therefore the ruling is whether or not Anderson is civilly liable for damages.

  12. Rich:

    “Even though it is true that an internal investigation can be insufficient, an internal investigation is nonetheless necessary.”

    I agree with that. The question is whether it needs to be in the form of an IAD or whether there can be an independent review board that is in place to handle internal investigations. Imagine, giving that power to the current PAC members.

    “I don’t see any reason why it matters if internal affairs does the first investigation.”

    The major problem would be contamination of the investigation. The other problem is what we have seen in this area, where subsequent reviews have simply looked over the initial investigation rather than conducting a separate an independent investigation.

    In the proper system with adequate oversight, it perhaps would not pose a problem. But the research I’ve seen casts a very poor light on IADs.

    “insiders have some advantages, too. They can often quickly tell when something seems amiss. Insofar as they want their organization to perform better, they do have an incentive to root out problems. (Of course, they ought not be the only players given the responsibility to root out trouble.)”

    And the problem with police agencies is that insiders also seem to have a social and institutional incentive to protect the department by insulating it from scrutiny. Those internal complaints have nationwide over a 90% unfounded rate. Many of these unfounded cases end up paying out sizable settlements. The discrepency in those numbers suggests a problem with the internal review process itself.

    “Unlawful? Is Anderson being tried for a crime? And if not, is Anderson the subject of a civil lawsuit?”

    She’s the subject of a civil lawsuit, but the trial will determine whether Anderson violated the rights of the minor in this case. A violation of one’s civil rights is unlawful, but you are correct that this is not a criminal trial, therefore the ruling is whether or not Anderson is civilly liable for damages.

  13. I do not know if the police broke the law or not.
    I can say that an individual outside of the Police Department can be charged with a misdemeanor if they lie in an investigation leading to an arrest. I do not know if the law applies to police officers or not, but it should. I can also say for certain that DPD have fabricated evidence/not told the truth/distorted stories in prior cases so I would not be surprised if they did the same thing in this case.
    Furthermore, I will add that if a group of individuals conspire to lie in an investigation leading to an arrest then they can be charged with a conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor and the charge is a felony. If everyone else is held to this standard then the standard should also apply to police officers as well.
    A problem with the DPD (and other police depts) is that police officers (at least some) think they are somehow above the law. Also thay act as fraternal organizations and support each other regardless of the situation.SAH

  14. I do not know if the police broke the law or not.
    I can say that an individual outside of the Police Department can be charged with a misdemeanor if they lie in an investigation leading to an arrest. I do not know if the law applies to police officers or not, but it should. I can also say for certain that DPD have fabricated evidence/not told the truth/distorted stories in prior cases so I would not be surprised if they did the same thing in this case.
    Furthermore, I will add that if a group of individuals conspire to lie in an investigation leading to an arrest then they can be charged with a conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor and the charge is a felony. If everyone else is held to this standard then the standard should also apply to police officers as well.
    A problem with the DPD (and other police depts) is that police officers (at least some) think they are somehow above the law. Also thay act as fraternal organizations and support each other regardless of the situation.SAH

  15. I do not know if the police broke the law or not.
    I can say that an individual outside of the Police Department can be charged with a misdemeanor if they lie in an investigation leading to an arrest. I do not know if the law applies to police officers or not, but it should. I can also say for certain that DPD have fabricated evidence/not told the truth/distorted stories in prior cases so I would not be surprised if they did the same thing in this case.
    Furthermore, I will add that if a group of individuals conspire to lie in an investigation leading to an arrest then they can be charged with a conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor and the charge is a felony. If everyone else is held to this standard then the standard should also apply to police officers as well.
    A problem with the DPD (and other police depts) is that police officers (at least some) think they are somehow above the law. Also thay act as fraternal organizations and support each other regardless of the situation.SAH

  16. I do not know if the police broke the law or not.
    I can say that an individual outside of the Police Department can be charged with a misdemeanor if they lie in an investigation leading to an arrest. I do not know if the law applies to police officers or not, but it should. I can also say for certain that DPD have fabricated evidence/not told the truth/distorted stories in prior cases so I would not be surprised if they did the same thing in this case.
    Furthermore, I will add that if a group of individuals conspire to lie in an investigation leading to an arrest then they can be charged with a conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor and the charge is a felony. If everyone else is held to this standard then the standard should also apply to police officers as well.
    A problem with the DPD (and other police depts) is that police officers (at least some) think they are somehow above the law. Also thay act as fraternal organizations and support each other regardless of the situation.SAH

  17. “The major problem would be contamination of the investigation. The other problem is what we have seen in this area, where subsequent reviews have simply looked over the initial investigation rather than conducting a separate an independent investigation.”

    At some point, you have to be pragmatic. It just makes practical sense to have an internal inquiry right away in most cases.

    For example, say Citizen Q files a complaint alleging that Officer P spit in her face, fondled her chest, and called Q a derogatory racial slur. Q alleges that this incident took place on December 3 at 4 pm.

    If Q’s allegations were true, this would be considered a serious case of misconduct, enough to permanently remove Officer P from his job.

    If Internal Affairs were assigned to investigate this claim, it could immediately determine whether Officer P was even on duty when this alleged event took place, and if P was on duty, where he was at that time and what other officers, if any, were with him.

    All of that could be done in 5 minutes or less.

    In this case, it turns out that Officer P was attending a racial sensitivity seminar in Florida at the time of the alleged incident and Citizen P was arrested for filing a false claim.

    However, had Internal Affairs been forced to wait to investigate the matter after an outside body did its own investigation, the matter might linger for weeks or even months, and all that while, the DPD might have a “problem” cop roaming the streets causing trouble.

    My point is this: for the sake of efficiency, you have to allow the internal investigation to go first.

    I don’t buy the idea that an internal investigation will corrupt a later outside investigation, unless the outside investigator is biased in favor of the cops.

  18. “The major problem would be contamination of the investigation. The other problem is what we have seen in this area, where subsequent reviews have simply looked over the initial investigation rather than conducting a separate an independent investigation.”

    At some point, you have to be pragmatic. It just makes practical sense to have an internal inquiry right away in most cases.

    For example, say Citizen Q files a complaint alleging that Officer P spit in her face, fondled her chest, and called Q a derogatory racial slur. Q alleges that this incident took place on December 3 at 4 pm.

    If Q’s allegations were true, this would be considered a serious case of misconduct, enough to permanently remove Officer P from his job.

    If Internal Affairs were assigned to investigate this claim, it could immediately determine whether Officer P was even on duty when this alleged event took place, and if P was on duty, where he was at that time and what other officers, if any, were with him.

    All of that could be done in 5 minutes or less.

    In this case, it turns out that Officer P was attending a racial sensitivity seminar in Florida at the time of the alleged incident and Citizen P was arrested for filing a false claim.

    However, had Internal Affairs been forced to wait to investigate the matter after an outside body did its own investigation, the matter might linger for weeks or even months, and all that while, the DPD might have a “problem” cop roaming the streets causing trouble.

    My point is this: for the sake of efficiency, you have to allow the internal investigation to go first.

    I don’t buy the idea that an internal investigation will corrupt a later outside investigation, unless the outside investigator is biased in favor of the cops.

  19. “The major problem would be contamination of the investigation. The other problem is what we have seen in this area, where subsequent reviews have simply looked over the initial investigation rather than conducting a separate an independent investigation.”

    At some point, you have to be pragmatic. It just makes practical sense to have an internal inquiry right away in most cases.

    For example, say Citizen Q files a complaint alleging that Officer P spit in her face, fondled her chest, and called Q a derogatory racial slur. Q alleges that this incident took place on December 3 at 4 pm.

    If Q’s allegations were true, this would be considered a serious case of misconduct, enough to permanently remove Officer P from his job.

    If Internal Affairs were assigned to investigate this claim, it could immediately determine whether Officer P was even on duty when this alleged event took place, and if P was on duty, where he was at that time and what other officers, if any, were with him.

    All of that could be done in 5 minutes or less.

    In this case, it turns out that Officer P was attending a racial sensitivity seminar in Florida at the time of the alleged incident and Citizen P was arrested for filing a false claim.

    However, had Internal Affairs been forced to wait to investigate the matter after an outside body did its own investigation, the matter might linger for weeks or even months, and all that while, the DPD might have a “problem” cop roaming the streets causing trouble.

    My point is this: for the sake of efficiency, you have to allow the internal investigation to go first.

    I don’t buy the idea that an internal investigation will corrupt a later outside investigation, unless the outside investigator is biased in favor of the cops.

  20. “The major problem would be contamination of the investigation. The other problem is what we have seen in this area, where subsequent reviews have simply looked over the initial investigation rather than conducting a separate an independent investigation.”

    At some point, you have to be pragmatic. It just makes practical sense to have an internal inquiry right away in most cases.

    For example, say Citizen Q files a complaint alleging that Officer P spit in her face, fondled her chest, and called Q a derogatory racial slur. Q alleges that this incident took place on December 3 at 4 pm.

    If Q’s allegations were true, this would be considered a serious case of misconduct, enough to permanently remove Officer P from his job.

    If Internal Affairs were assigned to investigate this claim, it could immediately determine whether Officer P was even on duty when this alleged event took place, and if P was on duty, where he was at that time and what other officers, if any, were with him.

    All of that could be done in 5 minutes or less.

    In this case, it turns out that Officer P was attending a racial sensitivity seminar in Florida at the time of the alleged incident and Citizen P was arrested for filing a false claim.

    However, had Internal Affairs been forced to wait to investigate the matter after an outside body did its own investigation, the matter might linger for weeks or even months, and all that while, the DPD might have a “problem” cop roaming the streets causing trouble.

    My point is this: for the sake of efficiency, you have to allow the internal investigation to go first.

    I don’t buy the idea that an internal investigation will corrupt a later outside investigation, unless the outside investigator is biased in favor of the cops.

  21. Rich:

    There are some alternative Models that may be better.

    This is my analysis from September:

    Alternative Models

    The San Jose model has an auditor who sits in on all investigations and monitors the IAD’s performance.

    Also the Boise model allows for the IAD, the Ombudsman, or another external agency to do the primary investigation. These happen in the same period of time as an IAD investigation.

    And then Burris’ suggestion is simply to replace the IAD with an independent review board like we have with the PAC, again they would conduct the interviews and investigation in the same time period as an IAD.

    But there is a lot of concern that the IAD is too protective of police officers and have a tendency to color and taint future investigations.

  22. Rich:

    There are some alternative Models that may be better.

    This is my analysis from September:

    Alternative Models

    The San Jose model has an auditor who sits in on all investigations and monitors the IAD’s performance.

    Also the Boise model allows for the IAD, the Ombudsman, or another external agency to do the primary investigation. These happen in the same period of time as an IAD investigation.

    And then Burris’ suggestion is simply to replace the IAD with an independent review board like we have with the PAC, again they would conduct the interviews and investigation in the same time period as an IAD.

    But there is a lot of concern that the IAD is too protective of police officers and have a tendency to color and taint future investigations.

  23. Rich:

    There are some alternative Models that may be better.

    This is my analysis from September:

    Alternative Models

    The San Jose model has an auditor who sits in on all investigations and monitors the IAD’s performance.

    Also the Boise model allows for the IAD, the Ombudsman, or another external agency to do the primary investigation. These happen in the same period of time as an IAD investigation.

    And then Burris’ suggestion is simply to replace the IAD with an independent review board like we have with the PAC, again they would conduct the interviews and investigation in the same time period as an IAD.

    But there is a lot of concern that the IAD is too protective of police officers and have a tendency to color and taint future investigations.

  24. Rich:

    There are some alternative Models that may be better.

    This is my analysis from September:

    Alternative Models

    The San Jose model has an auditor who sits in on all investigations and monitors the IAD’s performance.

    Also the Boise model allows for the IAD, the Ombudsman, or another external agency to do the primary investigation. These happen in the same period of time as an IAD investigation.

    And then Burris’ suggestion is simply to replace the IAD with an independent review board like we have with the PAC, again they would conduct the interviews and investigation in the same time period as an IAD.

    But there is a lot of concern that the IAD is too protective of police officers and have a tendency to color and taint future investigations.

  25. I’m really interested in hearing the outcome of the civil trial. Handling juvenile cases is really difficult. With teenagers, the part of the brain that deals with logic and consequence is still in development, while the area dealing with emotion is in a full roar. The Police Officer could have been trying to lay out all consequences for Halema to test her resolve on what she said happened. An adult would just dismiss the argument and not react emotionally. Not so with a child. Remember, we are dealing with human interaction which is almost never smooth. The court should decide whether civil rights were violated.

  26. I’m really interested in hearing the outcome of the civil trial. Handling juvenile cases is really difficult. With teenagers, the part of the brain that deals with logic and consequence is still in development, while the area dealing with emotion is in a full roar. The Police Officer could have been trying to lay out all consequences for Halema to test her resolve on what she said happened. An adult would just dismiss the argument and not react emotionally. Not so with a child. Remember, we are dealing with human interaction which is almost never smooth. The court should decide whether civil rights were violated.

  27. I’m really interested in hearing the outcome of the civil trial. Handling juvenile cases is really difficult. With teenagers, the part of the brain that deals with logic and consequence is still in development, while the area dealing with emotion is in a full roar. The Police Officer could have been trying to lay out all consequences for Halema to test her resolve on what she said happened. An adult would just dismiss the argument and not react emotionally. Not so with a child. Remember, we are dealing with human interaction which is almost never smooth. The court should decide whether civil rights were violated.

  28. I’m really interested in hearing the outcome of the civil trial. Handling juvenile cases is really difficult. With teenagers, the part of the brain that deals with logic and consequence is still in development, while the area dealing with emotion is in a full roar. The Police Officer could have been trying to lay out all consequences for Halema to test her resolve on what she said happened. An adult would just dismiss the argument and not react emotionally. Not so with a child. Remember, we are dealing with human interaction which is almost never smooth. The court should decide whether civil rights were violated.

  29. It’s a shame that the criminal trial was abrogated. I understand that the judge had good legal reasons for making the decision that he did, and that is his job, so (I assume) he did the right thing.

    However, had the legal case proceded, some of the important factual questions in this case — such as who was really driving the Buzayan’s SUV — would have been answered.

    I could be wrong about this, but my understanding is that the two witnesses (who said that they saw the SUV bump the other woman’s car) said that the passenger of the SUV was wearing a ħijāb (حجاب) and the driver was not. To me, that is the crucial question. Because if the driver was wearing a ħijāb, then the Buzayans clearly lied to the police and the mother ought to have been prosecuted for doing so.

    What is not credible at all is what the Buzayans said to Officer Peng — that Halema, who apparently never wears a ħijāb to school or when she is with her girlfriends, was wearing her ħijāb that day in the car and her mother was not.

    When Officer Peng met them at their house a few hours later, the mother had her headscarf on and Halema’s head was uncovered. If the witnesses did in fact say that the driver did not have on a headscarf, but the passenger did, then that is terribly damning evidence against the Buzayans.

  30. It’s a shame that the criminal trial was abrogated. I understand that the judge had good legal reasons for making the decision that he did, and that is his job, so (I assume) he did the right thing.

    However, had the legal case proceded, some of the important factual questions in this case — such as who was really driving the Buzayan’s SUV — would have been answered.

    I could be wrong about this, but my understanding is that the two witnesses (who said that they saw the SUV bump the other woman’s car) said that the passenger of the SUV was wearing a ħijāb (حجاب) and the driver was not. To me, that is the crucial question. Because if the driver was wearing a ħijāb, then the Buzayans clearly lied to the police and the mother ought to have been prosecuted for doing so.

    What is not credible at all is what the Buzayans said to Officer Peng — that Halema, who apparently never wears a ħijāb to school or when she is with her girlfriends, was wearing her ħijāb that day in the car and her mother was not.

    When Officer Peng met them at their house a few hours later, the mother had her headscarf on and Halema’s head was uncovered. If the witnesses did in fact say that the driver did not have on a headscarf, but the passenger did, then that is terribly damning evidence against the Buzayans.