Report: San Diego DA shielding violent felon from prosecution while targeting cop with ridiculous charges

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SAN DIEGO, CA – There is Defunding the Police, and then there’s outright shielding violent felons from prosecution, which in turn makes any enforcement action taken by the police null and void.

This scenario sounds far-fetched, but it is exactly what’s happening in San Diego County under the direction of San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan.  And the motive behind such shielding will turn your stomach.

Let’s first start with the San Diego District Attorney’s office mission:

“Our mission is to pursue equal and fair justice for all and to build safe neighborhoods in partnerships with the communities we serve, by ethically prosecuting criminals, protecting victims, and preventing crime.”

Now that we have the District Attorney’s mission front and center, let me introduce you to Officer Matthew Dages, of the La Mesa Police Department.

He is currently being charged by DA Summer Stephan.  Why?

Not for a viral video of his interaction and arrest of Amaurie Johnson that triggered Black Lives Matter and Defund the Police protestors to burn down parts of La Mesa, but for filing a false police report after the department investigation showed Officer Dages used proper and necessary force during the arrest.

On May 27th 2020, he was assigned to a detail at the Groosmont Trolly Station.  The location is known and documented by both the San Diego Police Department as well as the La Mesa Department as a high prone robbery location due to its influx of shoppers at the local shopping district.

While there, he observed an individual now known as Amaurie Johnson loitering in what he believed was Trolly Station (MTS) property, a violation of MYS Rules and 640(c)PC. Upon approach Mr. Johnson immediately became confrontational, continually jumping in Officer Dages’s face, and now we know through subsequent court proceedings struck Officer Degas’s hand, resulting in his arrest

The timing of the above arrest being on the heels of the inexcusable George Floyd incident, protestors took to the streets and literally burned and looted parts of the city of La Mesa.

Due to the fear of the unrest continuing, charges were dropped against Mr. Johnson, for again what is now know for an admitted assault on the officer.

After a full investigation by the La mesa Police Department, their own use of force expert cleared Officer Dages of everything the viral video shows.

But they then focused on procedural violations such as not activating his BWC (Body worn camera) in a timely manner (mind you Mr. Johnson immediately became aggressive for what was simply an Officers common right of inquiry contact), and inaccuracies in the Officers filed police report focusing on semantics of specific wording, which ultimately led to the department terminating Officer Dages due to the high profile nature of this case.

Now enter San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan, who both ran and prides herself as a “law and Order” DA. 

She has since charged Matthew with filing a false police report, a case even the most prudent jurist will tell you has little chance of obtaining a conviction.

Those in law enforcement see this case as nothing more than a politically motivated District Attorney looking to make her mark on the national stage by prosecuting a proactive police officer who was protecting the citizens of La Mesa on a proactive enforcement detail he was assigned to do by his department.

But in place of supporting his efforts and support the proactive policing model, both the department and District Attorney took the side of a criminal by failing to prosecute (more on this in a moment) and cut Officer Dages to the wayside criminally charging him with minor policy violation to appease the mob.

I’ll ask, how did this work out for the Defund the Police Crowd?

We’ve actually seen how this works out for what is now known as the “La Mesa Effect” in California.

Violent crime is skyrocketing in the San Diego area with a 129% increase in gang crimes and a 35% increase in homicides.

We see viral video after video of officers standing down and being verbally abused as they fear being the next target in District Attorney Summer Stephan’s career stepping stone.

Now that we have the Basics and fallout from the tragic, and for all accounts politically motivated prosecution of La Mesa Police Officer Matthew Dages, let’s add insult to injury.

Newly discovered information shows that San Diego Summer Stephan has been shielding a violent felon from prosecution due to needing to (coerce is probably too strong of a word, but it’s pretty damn close) support him into being a key witness in Officer Dages’s false report case.

Due to a recent preliminary hearing with Mr. Johnson being DA Stephan’s key witness, it has now become public that three months after the incident at the Groosmont Trolly station on May 27th, Amaurie Johnson was identified by officers from the San Diego Police Department for felony evasion.

This went down when officers observed a vehicle with expired tags perform an unsafe lane change, and upon an attempted stop he lead police on a high speed pursuit, where he endangered both officers and the citizens of San Diego County.

He crashed his car not once but twice, causing damage to city property, only ending when his Mercedes became disabled, again fleeing on foot with subsequent marijuana found in the vehicle issuing an arrest warrant.

This is just becoming public because District Attorney Summer Stephan has failed to bring charges against her star witness in fear that the optics of a charged felon arriving at the Officer Dages trial in an orange correctional jumpsuit might bring to her case.

This brings us back to the District Attorneys mission:

Is this equal and fair justice?

Is shielding a violent felon building a safer neighborhood?

Is Summer Stephan ethically prosecuting criminals?

Is letting a felon who had no morals while endangering the community preventing crime?  

In the eyes of law enforcement, I think that District attorney Summer Stephan has more explaining to do than Officer Dages.

The community should be asking why DA Stephan is shielding the prosecution of a violent felon in the pursuit of a minor process charge against an Officer who was simply following department directives in a high crime proactive trolly zone?

The public also needs to challenge the media on why they continually show the viral video in efforts to stoke emotion when it has been determined that Officer Dages used necessary minimal force, and whose trial has nothing to do with what is shown in the video?

District Attorney Summer Stephan can no longer wear the cloak of law and order while behind her she shields violent criminals.

She cannot tell the community that “protecting victims and preventing crime” is her mission, while she pursues politically motivated prosecutions against good officers that has had a direct effect, “The Dages Effect”, that has encouraged Officers throughout not only San Diego County, but statewide, to be less proactive having the result of increased crime.

Many in Law Enforcement are monitoring this case as well as the re-election of District Attorney.

Law Enforcement Today will also be keeping an eye on what police unions decide to support Mrs. Stephan as she has demonstrated her failure at upholding her own offices mission statement.

Other groups who have also taken a stance along side of Officer Matthew Dages and his family is the Pipehitter Foundation, started by Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher who knows all too well about politically motivated prosecutions.

Those who wish to learn more about the Pipehitter Foundations mission and to support Officer Matthew Dages can visit pipehitterfoundation.org and ClearOfficerDages on Instagram   

Bronx Assistant District Attorney’s removes the pacifier from their mouths long enough to insert foot

Jun 27, 2020

BRONX, NY – Sometime around June 14th, a group of Bronx Assistant District Attorneys, 34 who had the courage to sign, and 22 anonymous cowards, penned a letter to their boss, the Bronx District Attorney, Darcel D. Clark, to basically point the finger at everyone but themselves in being not only complicit in police violence, but to even “perpetuate a culture of violence in law enforcement”.

The letter uses the recent incident of George Floyd in Minneapolis but begins by accusing their office and therefor their Boss D.A. Clark, of “perpetuating a culture of violence in law enforcement”, further stating they have a “deep concern regarding the role this office (the Bronx D.A.) plays”.

Now I don’t know about you, but if I accused my boss of not only being complicit in, but perpetuating a culture of criminal behavior without solid proof and evidence, I can assure you regardless of my feelings, beliefs, or motives, would be packing my things.

To touch on the Assistant District Attorneys that are now on record as signing this letter, 34 Signed and 22 anonymous, they also noted their date of hire with the most senior signer being hired in 2017 and the majority only hired in 2019.

For some background on the Assistant District Attorney (ADA) pool in New York City, they are hired by their respective borough elected District Attorneys, becoming an ADA is commonly a lawyers first job out of college after passing the Bar exam.

To say these individuals are naïve with little to no experience, and even less real world criminal justice experience would be an understatement. As we’ve all seen firsthand with academia as a whole, what’s written on a certificate or diploma often times doesn’t translate to who or what stands before you.  

That said, there are also eager good lawyers who truly want to make a difference and base their decision making and actions on facts, evidence, and experience.

 Bronx Assistant District Attorneys remove pacifier from their mouths long enough to insert foot, slander cops

 The opposite of what some listed as signatures on this letter which has been described by the President of the NYC Detectives Endowment Association, Paul DiGiacomo as “slanderous”, and reacted by more senior ADA’s stating they were “disgusted and “ashamed” by the letter.

Bronx Assistant District Attorneys remove pacifier from their mouths long enough to insert foot, slander cops

Now Bronx ADA’s are in fact trained lawyers and Officers of the Court who by that very nature should have a basic understanding of the law, due process, and accusatory instruments. We’ll return to their slanderous unsubstantiated attacks on the New York City police officer in a minute, but want to focus on how reaching and possible libelous their accusations become.

Bronx Assistant District Attorneys remove pacifier from their mouths long enough to insert foot, slander cops

As you read their letter again, accusing their boss and officer of “perpetuating a culture of violence” they return to referencing the Minneapolis George Floyd incident stating “On May 25, 2020 Minneapolis Police Murdered George Floyd”.

Now for trained attorneys to make such a statement should not only be troubling to the Minneapolis Police or Police in general, but any defendant who may be seen as guilty by association by such attorneys.

The tragic death of Mr. Floyd was not in fact caused by the 99.9% of good hard working men and women of the Minneapolis police department, and to accuse or label an entire department for the actions of a few is disgraceful.

These undersigned ADA’s also take swipes at the Minneapolis DA’s office itself, although having never in their career handled a homicide case citing a “delay in holding the Police Accountable”.

Now I know these rookie ADA’s have little experience having never tried a murder case, but here’s some free advice from an old homicide detective, the suspect was identified, he was not a flight risk, there was no danger to the public, so it was beneficial for authorities including the District Attorney’s office to ensure all the I’s were doted and T’s crossed.

Also, and I believe the bad word I’m looking for is “profiling”, but again, the “police” didn’t murder Mr. Floyd, a police officer did.

Now I’m confident that when these activist ADA’s read the above paragraph they will state that the Officer was an agent of the Police and therefore yes, the police murdered Mr. Floyd, and that’s their perspective. But if that’s the gauge we’re using than each ADA who signed this letter is a Sex Crazed, Drunken Brawler as cited by the NY Daily News in a recent article.

Or let’s talk about how these Attorneys are trained to violate a defendants 6th Amendment. Surly we should hold the entirety of the Bronx District Attorney’s office accountable for these allegation by association, right?

The most egregious statement from the 56 Assistant District Attorneys, and where their inexperience come to light is where they state:

“Nearly Every ADA represented in this letter has encountered an incident in the complaint room where an officer has used unwarranted force”  

Now this is a very specific and serious allegation.

An allegation that they now not only documented, but sent to their boss in their official capacity.

I question the very nature of these serious allegations, because as trained attorneys and officers of the court they not only an obligation but a duty to act if a crime was committed or admitted too in their presence, and if they failed to act immediately they are then complicit themselves and negligent in their official capacity as Assistant District Attorneys making themselves culpable in the very crime they allege.  

Now I’m betting since I can’t find any headlines that 56 NYPD police officers have been arrested in the Bronx for the crime of assault and/or official misconduct, then these Attorneys are grandstanding based on rhetoric rather than fact.

The thing is, they have now by their very allegations of witnessing a crime backed themselves into a corner unless they have a paper trail, including specific complaints to support such allegations. If not these Attorneys should be reviewed for ethics violations and official misconduct themselves.

In closing, I implore the NYC Police Unions to consider a slander lawsuit against these attorneys to if nothing more identify the so called anonymous ADA’s and depose all to have them support these claims on the record to then match to their documented official actions or lack thereof. I also would like to see the Minneapolis Police Union pursue civil action for calling the 99.9% of their officer’s murderers.

The Bronx DA’s Office has a rich history of working side by side with the men and woman of the NYPD. There are many great ADA’s who are disgusted and embarrassed by the actions of these 56 activist prosecutors who unlike the undersigned attorneys, I will not hold in the same category or profile.

Having worked in all 5 Boroughs, and making arrests throughout my career in all but Staten Island, the actions of these inexperienced activists who would rather destroy a system with false accusations and rhetoric than fix anything, did nothing more with their look at me grandstanding then drive a wedge between the entities that should be locked arm in arm to serve the public.

There’s plenty of work to do, but how do we get there when a party at the table want to start from a place of fiction.

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Article by Rob O’Donnell. 

Rob O'Donnell

O’Donnell began his career as a NYC Transit cop merging into the NYPD in 1995. Rob was promoted to Police Officer Special Assignment in 1997, and then to Detective in 2000 where he worked for the departments Organized Crime Control Bureau, Precinct Detective Squad, retiring out of one of the departments Homicide task forces in 2004.

During his career, Rob had been involved with both the 93 World Trade Center Bombing response/rescue, as well as response/recovery on September 11th.

After retiring due to injuries sustained in the line of duty, Rob was also involved with the identification and investigation of the Fort Dix terror plot suspects in 2007 where he now calls home in Pennsylvania. He currently sits as Director of Business and Media Relations with Brothers Before Others.

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