San Diego officer claims mistreatment by deputies
The incident involved a 28-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department, an undercover detective, who says he was badly treated by half a dozen Sheriff’s deputies. He’s an undercover police officer who comes from a family of cops; five of his six brothers wear a uniform and badge. But according to Israel Hernandez, there was no feeling of fraternity among Sheriff’s deputies last August. In an Oceanside intersection, Hernandez says his wife got treated rudely after being pulled over for a speeding ticket by a Sheriff’s deputy.
“I told my wife ‘stop crying and just sign the ticket’ and then I hung up the phone.”
Hernandez, who doesn’t want his face to be shown on camera, says he became more concerned when his daughter called.
“And she’s crying. And I ask her ‘what’s going on mi hija?’ And she says ‘the deputy’s being rude to mommy.'”
Worried about his wife, Hernandez drove up to the intersection where he didn’t find his wife, but he did find a Sheriff’s deputy and asked him what had happened.
“I told him ‘listen, someone pulled over my wife, they were really rude to her and I don’t even know where she’s at.’ At that point, he told me and motioned to me ‘move on.’ I told him ‘yeah, you have a nice day.'”
Hernandez says he clearly identified himself as an officer and showed his I.D. But as he was driving away, the deputy came up on his motorcycle and ordered them to pull over.
“He’s all ‘are you armed?’ And I said ‘yes, I am.’ He approaches me, grabs me, told me ‘turn around, now put your hands behind your back’ and the other deputy comes in and they both handcuff me. I’m handcuffed.”
After winding up in handcuffs, Hernandez says he was ordered to sit on the curb. He asked to speak to a supervisor, but instead of a supervisor, other deputies showed up.
“Another deputy showed up, stood back next to me and basically said (an expletive in Spanish).”
Hernandez says the deputies searched his unmarked police car, and then to his shock, the deputies made him take a breathalyzer test.
“When do you stop a cop on-duty, handcuff him, have him sit there for 45 minutes? And then, you decide to say ‘oh, I smell alcohol.’ And then they blow 0.00. I blew 0.00, and they tell me it was my cologne?”
45 minutes later, Hernandez was allowed to go; no charges were filed. But this San Diego police detective says he was angry – angry enough to write a letter of complaint. A response from the Sheriff’s Department came a few days later.
“It said from the Lieutenant: we spoke to the officers involved and, after speaking to them, we do not have a complaint and will not initiate an investigation. I’ve worked with a lot of deputies throughout my career. There’s awesome deputies. I’m sure 99% of them are great. And, maybe, this is an aberration of these guys, but if it isn’t and they’re doing this to other people, I want people to know so they say ‘hey, we heard about this.'”
Thursday, the Sheriff’s Department said it needed more time to look into the details of this complaint. When asked about relations between the officers and deputies of the two agencies, the chief spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Department said that they have an excellent great working relationship and they have the utmost respect for the men and women of the San Diego Police Department.