A new public list shows 20 California police officers who may be stripped of their ability to carry a law enforcement badge in the state.
The decertification list was published as part of a 2021 law, authored by state Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena). The legislation seeks to prevent cops from moving to other agencies after getting fired or resigning during misconduct investigations.
Northern California officers working for San Francisco, Stockton, Rohnert Park, Redwood City and Sonoma County appear on the list.
California’s law-enforcement accreditation body—the Commission of Peace Officer Standards and Training, or POST—will decide whether to strip their badges after an investigation and hearing. Other punishments could also be applied to the officers after the hearing.
Many officers listed are temporarily suspended as investigators decide their fate.
Two San Francisco cops were arrested and temporarily suspended in 2022 after they were accused of destroying evidence, including credit cards, IDs and suspected methamphetamine found in a Marriott hotel guest’s luggage. Officers Kevin Lyons and Kevin Sien flushed drugs down a toilet and shredded credit cards and IDs after allegedly telling hotel staff it would take too long to catalog the evidence, according to federal court filings.
Both officers have been reassigned to no-public-contact positions within the department. Sien’s attorney did not wish to comment. Lyons attorney was contacted for comment but did not respond.
“The actions of these SFPD members violate the law and regrettably fall far short of our department’s shared values,” San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said in an April 2022 press release.
Former Redwood City cop Shawn Patrick Nimau pleaded guilty to federal child pornography possession charges in 2022 after an arrest in 2020. Nimau’s criminal attorney Paul DeMeester told KTVU on Monday that Nimau's decertification is from his client's conviction, but otherwise he was a "great cop." Nimau was victimized as a child, which led him to child pornography on his personal time, DeMeester said.
In Rohnert Park, near Santa Rosa, Officer Joseph Huffaker was charged with extortion and temporarily suspended after he was accused of illegally seizing cannabis from drivers during traffic stops and falsifying records to cover up his actions.
Another former officer in Rohnert Park, Brendon “Jacy” Tatum, was convicted of three federal charges for being the ringleader in the traffic stops where cannabis was taken and has been deemed ineligible to serve.
Correctional Deputy Adam Marlowe of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office was temporarily suspended on Feb. 15, but details as to why have not been released.
“The investigation regarding Correctional Deputy Marlowe is not complete. When it is complete and if it falls under the requirements of SB 1421, then we will release the records,” Rob Dillion, the public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office said.
Stockton police officer Nicholas Bloed was arrested in November last year for multiple sexual assault charges, including oral copulation by force, sodomy and assault. He was temporarily suspended Feb. 15.
Further afield, east of Modesto, Nicholas Stewart of the Oakdale Police Department was suspended on Jan. 31 for “egregious or repeated acts that violate the law.” Stewart had been arrested earlier in January for domestic violence allegations.
“The list of officers facing decertification includes very serious offenses like sexual assault, stealing drugs and destroying evidence," said Sen. Bradford, who authored the law. “Too many times, we’ve seen officers involved in serious misconduct who get shuffled from department to department. These bad officers continue to do harm to the public and give every good officer a bad name."
Joe Burn can be reached at [email protected]