By Carlos Avalos
What started out as an undergraduate paper at my alma mater Cal State San Bernardino has turned into an obsession and quest for the truth. I still remember my professor, Dr Al Mariam, one of the brightest individuals I have ever had the opportunity to meet, tell me, “You should get this published or start your own blog.” What Dr. Mariam was referring to was a paper I prepared on the Fontana Police department. The class was Judicial Process and little did I know at the time this paper would transcend the classroom and lead me into me talking about issues that have and continue to impact the people who live in the city where I was raised, and put a spotlight on the corruption, racism, nepotism, and unethical behavior of a police department that has been in place and intact for more than five decades. At the end of 2014 I dug up my ten page paper and decided to adhere to the opinion of my old professor Dr. Mariam.
It is well known in academia that it is relatively hard to get one’s work published in a scholarly forum or write a book. I set about fluffing my resumé and taking a crack at trying to add more to my undergraduate paper to see if I could get it published. I had no idea where to start. So I decided that I would write about the Fontana P.D and the Fontana city government, beginning with the Fontana P.D. So I started by requesting the names of all of the police chiefs in Fontana’s history.
I started with Henry Youngue. I decided to go online, type in the names of the chiefs and see what popped up. Not real scientific, but I had to start somewhere.
The information I have gathered was astounding. I have came across everything from billboards in Fontana being used to recruit Ku Klux Klan members, killing after killing at the hands of the Fontana P.D being labeled as within policy, blatant racism, and a host of other things. On October 22, 2015, my first letter to the editor at the Fontana Herald News was published. It was entitled Fontana Is Still Affected By Racism. I put this out because I felt compelled to. I knew it was the right thing to do, and although I knew I was not reinventing the wheel, I felt like I was heading down uncharted territory. In this article I touched on Fontana’s KKK history and issues that I had received from my social media acquaintances about people’s opinions and or problems with the department. The people responded with accounts of sobriety and insurance check points that are suspected of targeting minorities through racial profiling, corruption, abuse of power, and a history of racism in police department and local city government.
On March 18, 2016, I wrote my second letter to the editor. It was entitled Police Force Should Resemble Community. In this article I wrote about the ethnic racial disparity in law enforcement. I looked at the city of Colton, Rialto, San Bernardino, Pomona, and Fontana. I took into account the total number of these cities’ minority populations and compared them to the number of minorities working on each specific city’s police force. The cities mentioned do not have police forces that resemble the communities they serve. Even cities with a smaller minority population and sworn police force have more African American officers than Fontana and, with the exception of Colton, more Hispanic officers. The end result of my findings was that Fontana had fewer minorities by percentage working on its police force than any other city mentioned, despite the fact it boasts a larger minority population overall.
Before I put out this second article I came in contact with current and retired people in law enforcement, specifically the San Bernardino County Sheriff and the Fontana P.D.
I told them that I was researching and planning on publishing something hopefully about Fontana and its police department, and they responded that they could help me. I told them cops do not tell on cops, and inquired as to what was really going on. They said we are on the same mission that you’re on. “What is that?” I asked. As one put it, “To reveal the true nature of the Fontana Police Department.” At this very moment I was reminded of that scene in the Matrix where Morpheus asked the Keanu Reeves character Neyo, “Do you want to know the truth?” Morpheus gave Neyo the option to take the blue pill and the story ends and he believes whatever he wanted to believe, or if he takes the red pill he stays in never land and he gets shown how deep the rabbit hole goes. Without hesitation I took the red pill.
My third letter to the editor came out on April 28 2016; it was entitled Back at The Lion’s Den, 13 years Later. This article was a little more personal because it had to do with my own personal encounter with the Fontana P.D. In 2003 I was a senior at Henry J. Kaiser High School. That same year a South Fontana native named Jose Galvez was murdered at an ATM on Cherry Avenue and Live Oak. For weeks after the murder of this man there were no suspects or leads in finding the person or persons responsible for this murder. About one month after the killing of Jose Galvez, I had a knock on my door. The Fontana P.D wanted to question me about something at the station. They did not give me a reason or say I was under arrest, but they did want to speak to me. Being young and naïve, I accompanied and accommodated them when I shouldn’t have. During the interface it became apparent to me that the investigators were trying to frame me for the murder of Jose Galvez. They told me they had my finger prints at the scene of the crime. I was interrogated and bullied for hours and eventually let go because one of my friends corroborated my story and timeline.
There was a four month gap between my previous article and my next one which was published by the San Bernardino County Sentinel on August 22, 2016. The reason for this was because the two outlets I was using to publish my work stopped accommodating me. Inland Empire Politics, I.E Politics is an online type newspaper/blog that was run and created by a woman named Sharon Gilbert. I had contacted her and told her that I had valuable information I was receiving about the Fontana P.D, and that I wanted to publish the information on her website. She told me sure thing, and for a series of two months I published one article on her website. Gilbert had built a reputation with her website that she was not a person afraid to tell it how it is and put people on blast for their unethical behavior.
I released an article on I.E politics that was entitled “The Fox Is Now Guarding The Hen House.” This article was about Robert Ramsey getting a promotion to become Fontana’s chief of police after former chief of police Rodney Jones was forced to resign. This article specifically talked about the off duty behavior of Robert Ramsey. Pictures surfaced of him providing alcohol to women who could have been minors, but Chief Ramsey did not care to find out or even ask the young woman their age, according to sources.
After this article I emailed a submission for another article and she did not respond to me. I went online to the I.E politics website and my article had been taking down and I no longer had access to it or was able to publish like I had previously. I continued emailing her and got no response. Since Gilbert was still allowing other work to be published, in my mind, the only logical explanation is that the Fontana P.D compromised her by threatening her. To this day I no longer speak to her nor have I witten anything for her website.
On August 22, 2016 the San Bernardino County Sentinel published an article by me entitled 14 Years Later, Questions Remain Over Spate of FPD In-Custody Deaths.
This article was about three deaths in the matter of six months in 2002. Ismael Banda, David Michael Tyler, and Fermin Rincon were the names of the three men who died. My sources strongly conveyed to me that the deaths of these three men were due to unjustifiable use of force; all police reports were withheld from the public’s view, and this incident was not investigated by an outside agency. What is odd about the three deaths of these men was that the same three officers were involved in all three deaths; which were Obie Rodriguez, who retired prematurely; William Green, and Robert Ramsey, who was not directly involved in the deaths but did play an advisory or supervisorial role.
On September 4, 2016 the Sentinel released an article of mine that was entitled Two Fontana Cops Allege FPD Is Riddled With Racism. This article was about a current lawsuit that is making its way through the San Bernardino Courts. Case number CIVDS1610471 is David J. Moore v Fontana. This particular suit brought forth by two Fontana P.D officers alleges racism, corruption, unfair hiring practices, retaliatory practices by an employer, along with many other disturbing events.
Supposedly there is evidence that shows a Martin Luther King Doll was tied with a noose around its neck and hung from a rafter in the Fontana P.D. This lawsuit makes mention of an African American man who was murdered at a Kentucky Fried Chicken on Sierra Avenue in Fontana. There is supposedly a picture of this man with a partially eaten chicken leg was strategically placed in his hand after he was dead, put there as a joke to make it look like the man was killed but still managed to hold onto a piece of chicken. This picture was supposedly taken by law enforcement and was circulated around the department for years.
The Sentinel reached out to David Moore and Andre Anderson, in effort to obtain proof regarding the allegations of their lawsuit, but they refused to produce tangible evidence to support the serious allegations of the lawsuit. Is there any proof that this crime was more than an isolated incident or set of incidents? What would happen if the murder victim family learns that a relative’s corpse was desecrated and the crime scene was contaminated by a racist crime? Has the crime of tampering with a corpse ever been properly investigated?
My next article came out on September 17, 2016 and it was titled “Culture Clash Sent Former FPD Officer of the Year Packing.” This article was about a Mexican American Iraq war Veteran who was a Fontana P.D officer; who experienced racism at the department and gave an account of the nepotism that characterizes the department.
On November 19th 2016 I wrote an article called “FPD Nepotism: One Third Of Officers Related By Marriage, Blood, or Sex.” This article touched on the fact that the Fontana P.D is filled with nepotism, back scratching, and sexual relationships that police departments are not expected to engage in.
All of these articles that I have written are facts that can be confirmed by police officers. These police officers want the truth to be revealed about a corrupt police department and are prepared to engage in the uphill battle to fight against an entity that has never been held accountable for its members’ violation of the law.
This behavior that has taken place in the Fontana P.D takes place every day all over the United States in police agencies. What I have uncovered and am still in the process of uncovering is only the tip of the iceberg.
I encourage anybody listening who wants to know more information about what is going on at the Fontana P.D to please contact the San Bernardino County Sentinel. I also encourage news and media outlets to contact the Sentinel.
I especially hope and encourage people in Fontana, San Bernardino County, and anyone interested to follow the civil lawsuit against the city of Fontana, David J. Moore v. Fontana, which starts on January 9 in San Bernardino Superior Court. Will Fontana settle the case quickly and make it go away like it has in many other cases? Will the two plaintiffs if they are paid money to keep quiet, take it and run, and forget about the slogan that runs across the Fontana P.D police vehicles – Service With Integrity? Only time will tell. One way or the other the truth will eventually set you free, and the darkness will always come to light.
According to the Sentinel’s sources the Fontana P.D has engaged in activity that includes but is not limited to murder, falsifying documents, engaging in and promoting racism, unfair hiring practices, retaliatory practices against employees, physical abuse of citizens, racial profiling, falsely accusing citizens of murder, providing alcohol to minors, excessive force, tampering with dead bodies. tampering with evidence, promoting a racist work environment and falsifying evidence.
By Carlos Avalos