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Fresno Police Department

On this week’s Valley Edition: We talk with the Fresno Police Department about the mass shooting last Sunday that left four dead and six wounded at a party in Southeast Fresno. We also visit a Hmong mini-mall and bring you a postcard of remembrances from people who knew the victims.

And we talk to kids about a father who was apprehended by Immigrant and Customs Enforcement while driving his two teenagers to school. He was then sent to a detention facility.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

  One more candidate has thrown his name into Fresno’s Mayoral Race: The Rev. Floyd Harris Jr. announced his run Monday night during a protest against Fresno police shootings. The Fresno civil rights leader says his decision was influenced by the recently released video footage from 2017 that shows a Fresno police officer shooting 16-year-old Isiah Murietta-Golding in the back of the head. That video is now the focus of a civil rights lawsuit. “We need leadership with backbone that cares about people first and has compassion,” Harris said.

Stuart Chandler

Two videos that surfaced this week of a Fresno police officer shooting a 16-year-old boy in the back of the head have caused local and national outrage. 

 

“We have to reform our policing system to end the ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ mentality that ends far too many black & brown lives,” presidential candidate Julián Castro tweeted Thursday evening. “The fact that these officers weren’t held accountable is shameful—and more evidence that the system is broken.”

 

Stuart Chandler

A recently surfaced video of an unarmed 16-year-old boy who was shot in the back of the head while running away from Fresno police is the focus of a wrongful death lawsuit.

 

The federal civil rights lawsuit was filed last March against the City of Fresno, former Police Chief Jerry Dyer, and Ray Villalvazo, the officer who shot the teen. Attorney Stuart Chandler is representing the teen’s father, Anthony Golding.

 

Fox26

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer stepped back into uniform Friday to announce a breakthrough in a 20-year-old murder investigation. At a press conference, Dyer announced that Visalia resident Nickey Stane is the primary suspect in the 1996 rape and murder of 22-year-old Debbie Dorian.

“We anticipate the arrest of Stane for that murder and rape in the very, very near future once some additional investigative work is comepleted by detectives,” said Dyer.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

After months of community meetings and a nationwide search, city officials said today that the next man to lead Fresno's police department already works there. Protesters outside the press conference said the city’s efforts to include citizen input seem disingenuous.

Inside the City Hall Annex, Jerry Dyer’s successor as police chief was announced as Deputy Chief Andy Hall. He’s a veteran officer with more than 40 years in the department.

Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer announced his run for mayor Wednesday as protestors rallied outside his press conference at the Manchester Center.

 

About a dozen protesters chanted “Dyer is a liar” and booed him as he spoke about combatting homelessness, bringing more high-paying jobs to Fresno, and uniting the city.  

 

Monica Velez

Aaron Foster stands outside Wayne's Liquor store on East California Avenue. There’s a park across the street buzzing with people, a taqueria around the corner, and a library a few blocks away.

 

“This is the heart of Southwest Fresno,” he says. “There’s rival gang members that come by but they know this is a safe zone.”

 

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

These days, Crystal Giles negotiates dinner options for her two kids alone. There’s Talon, her four-year-old son, and Riley, her eight-year-old daughter.

 

Giles moves a plate of burritos out of the microwave for Talon, and eventually settles on pizza rolls for Riley.

 

“That is way too many pizza rolls, little girl,” Giles tells her as Riley pours them out of a bag from the freezer.

Riley responds, “That’s how much daddy would eat.”

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A few weeks ago, the Fresno Police Department put out its end-of-year data on crimes in the city over the last year, and many instances of crime went down from 2017 to 2018.

For example, homicides were down 43 percent, there were about a third fewer shootings, and violent crimes like rape and robbery were also down compared to 2017. So, if the Fresno Police Department has done such an effective job reducing crime, why was there such a big fight over Measure P?

Monica Velez

While the governor’s race heats up one top candidate made another visit to the San Joaquin Valley, where he met with locals and received endorsements from law enforcement officials.  

Fresno Police Department

The Fresno Police have determined that the fatal shooting of an unarmed 19-year-old Clovis man in June was justified. However police Chief Jerry Dyer says the shooting of Dylan Noble still raises

Noble was shot four times in a convenience store parking lot earlier this year after refusing to follow dozens of police commands to show his hands.

During a press conference Friday, Dyer told reporters that the department has determined that because Noble would not show his hands, officers were justified to use deadly force.

Jeffrey Hess

October is domestic violence awareness month, a time police and advocates have set aside to highlight how common intimate partner violence is and encourage people to seek help. It’s acutely problematic in Fresno County, where authorities receive a shockingly high number of calls reporting domestic violence. That left our news team wondering: Why?

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Oliver Baines has a unique perspective on the issue of Black Lives Matter and law enforcement. Currently the only African-American on the Fresno City Council, Baines also served around 12 years as an officer with the Fresno Police Department.  Speaking on Valley Public Radio’s Valley Edition Tuesday, Baines recalled his own experiences with racially biased policing, while pleading for calm and understanding in the wake of recent shootings and protests.  Baines said the often heated rhetoric from people on both sides of the issue serves to distract from the goal of racial reconciliation.

Fresno Police Department

Fresno Police have arrested the organizer of a Black Lives Matter protest that shut down a major street in Fresno and Clovis on Saturday. Authorities say 20 year-old Clovis resident Justice Medina was cited for blocking streets without a permit. Police say Medina directed several hundred marchers to block traffic on Shaw Avenue. The protest began at Blackstone and Shaw in Fresno and continued east into Clovis. 

Kerry Klein/KVPR

Fresno police say they have made an arrest in the case of a hit and run that seriously injured a prominent local doctor. It appears a police lapel video camera helped solve the case.

Dr. William Dominic was hit and badly injured while riding his bike back home from his job at Community Regional Medical Center in February.

The case went cold until a tip came in this week pointing toward 22-year old Brianna Sandoval, who had previously been stopped by a traffic cop for an unrelated reason in April.

Fresno leaders have officially announced the location and boundaries of a new central policing substation for the central part of town.

Stretching from Golden State Boulevard to First Street and Ashlan to Belmont, the new  Central Policing District will be headquartered at the Manchester Mall and will house 90-to-100 officers.

The district is being re-opened after recession-era budget cuts forced its closure.

Residents have been clamoring for a new substation, saying they have experienced an increase in crime.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A Fresno police sergeant has filed a lawsuit against the city, saying he was the subject of discrimination because he is Hispanic. In court documents, Sergeant Paul Cervantes claims that he has been demoted, targeted for workplace harassment, investigation and criminal prosecution because of his race. 

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The Fresno Police Department is rolling back a controversial threat prediction program after public backlash. The department is no longer using a portion of a program called ‘Beware’ which issue color-coded threat assessments when responding to calls.

The Department came under fire after reports surfaced of them using a function in ‘Beware’ to scan the internet for information about a person and issue a green, yellow, or red warning label. It even labeled a city council member as yellow for unclear reasons.

Fresno Police Department

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