Pasadena Star News – by Lauren Gold
PASADENA>> Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said he has launched an investigation into allegations of misconduct against detective William Broghamer.
In an audio recording played for a Pasadena jury last week in the murder trial of Rashad McCoy, Broghamer was heard telling a colleague he would “pin it on anybody, that’s how we roll.”
Sanchez said he has an “obligation” to look into the statement and whether there were any policy violations or misconduct involved.
“I think the defense attorney raised a concern of some level of conduct that I’m looking into now,” Sanchez said, “as I do with all matters of allegations of misconduct.”
The interview tape was played during the two-week murder trial against McCoy, who was acquitted by a jury Monday of fatally shooting 23-year-old Joseph Jones following an attempted robbery and foot chase in September 2012.
Broghamer testified in court that the exchange, which followed a 2011 interview with a witness in a separate case, was a joke.
Sanchez said Broghamer was transferred out of homicide shortly after a series of complaints were filed regarding his conduct in late 2012. On June 30, Broghamer was assigned to patrol and community service, Sanchez said.
Pasadena NAACP President Gary Moody applauded the chief’s decision and “transparency” in looking into Broghamer’s comment. He said he thought the comment was inappropriate and hoped the chief’s investigation would be thorough and not merely cosmetic.
“One of the issues we’ve had in regards to our Pasadena police officers is the culture of confrontation that they have and the heavy-handedness and the tactics that they use in regard to interrogation. Unfortunately, it’s usually on the head of our young African American males,” Moody said. “His comment seems to be consistent with his behavior. I’ve heard the name Broghamer throughout the years.”
Keppie Moore, McCoy’s mother, said after Monday’s verdict that she planned to sue the police department for wrongfully imprisoning her son and, specifically, for Broghamer’s comment on the interview tape. “We are suing them big time, if nothing else for that comment,” Moore said. “That was horrible.”
However, Jones’ father David Jones defended Broghamer, classifying the comment as nothing more than an inappropriate joke at the wrong time.
“It was a mistake,” Jones said after the trial.
Broghamer, along with his colleagues in the homicide department Kevin Okamoto and Keith Gomez, faced several allegations in 2012 of misconduct, including complaints that the officers had beaten suspects, threatened witnesses and hidden evidence. Six of the eight complaints were deemed unfounded by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department internal affairs investigation.
A private audit by Veritas Assurance Group commissioned by Sanchez in February 2012 is set to be released in the coming months. A draft of the report showed that “the officers did great work” but did note some operational changes that should be made, Sanchez said.
“We’ve already started to take corrective steps on some of the systems issues that the Veritas audit pointed out,” Sanchez said, declining to elaborate.
Reach the author at email@example.com or follow Lauren on Twitter: @laurenkgold