Thank you colorlines. You kick ass.
In August, I completed a two-year long joint investigation for Colorlines.com and the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute that identified 16 officers still on duty who were responsible for more than half of the department’s officer-involved shooting incidents in the past decade. These repeat shooters operate behind a wall of secrecy, built over decades and sealed with a 2006 California Supreme Court decision blocking public access to personnel records.
Among the worst of them is Sgt. Patrick Gonzales. Over the course of his career, Gonzales has shot four people, three fatally, and been accused of repeated beatings and public strip searches of suspects. In the predominantly black neighborhoods he has policed for 13 years, Gonzales has long been widely known as a loose cannon. Despite Gonzales’ history of questionable uses of force and the $3.6 million paid out by Oakland to settle lawsuits involving him, he is also deployed repeatedly for crowd control. He was videotaped firing projectiles at anti-war protesters in 2003, he was at the November 2010 protest of Mehserle’s verdict and a photograph of him at the Oct. 25 Occupy Oakland raid (above) shows him wearing a gas mask and riot gear, with a tear-gas canister clutched in his hand.