Officer Under Fire
Robinson asks chief to discuss PROBE of detective during next Public Safety Committee meeting
By André Coleman 07/17/2014
The head of the Pasadena City Council’s Public Safety Committee (PSC) said she will ask Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez to appear before the committee later this month to discuss an ongoing investigation into statements made by a detective during a trial in which a man accused of murder was acquitted.
Sanchez told the Pasadena Weekly last week that he would investigate statements made by Detective William Broghamer. During testimony in the case of Rashad McCoy, who was accused of killing 23-year-old Joseph Jones, Broghamer was forced to admit under oath that after questioning a suspect in an unrelated case he accidentally left his tape recorder on and told a colleague to “just pin it on anyone, that’s how we roll.”
Broghamer also allegedly told a suspect during interrogation for another unrelated case that he would “lie to fry his ass.” That statement was not allowed into evidence in the McCoy prosecution.
“I have requested the chief give the PSC an update on the ongoing investigation into the reported remarks emanating from the McCoy trial,” said Councilwoman Jacque Robinson, chair of the Public Safety Committee, which is scheduled to meet again on July 28.
Over the past several years, a number of local residents have been calling for independent civilian oversight of the department.
McCoy was arrested for murdering Joseph Jones in Northwest Pasadena during a failed robbery. Police claimed that McCoy approached Jones and his two friends — José Magana and Juan Mendoza — and ordered them to empty their pockets.
Jones ran inside the apartment where he was staying with family members and returned with his brothers and chased the robber for several blocks. The robber later shot Jones in the chest as he approached a yard where he was hiding.
But on the witness stand, Magana and Mendoza both admitted that they could not identify McCoy as the man who shot Jones. The boys also testified that they felt pressured by Broghamer and Detective Cuong Pham to identify McCoy as a suspect.
The detectives showed the boys a six-year old photo of McCoy in a baseball hat and white T-shirt, which matched the clothes the shooter was wearing on the night of the incident.
Jessie Jones — Joseph’s younger brother — testified that he originally told the police that the shooter was tall and skinny. Jones is short and stocky.
In 2012, Broghamer, Detective Keith Gomez and Officer Kevin Okamoto were cleared in eight separate investigations surrounding allegations that they beat up suspects, threatened witnesses and hid evidence. Earlier that year, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge declared a mistrial in a murder trial after admonishing Broghamer and Okamoto for hiding exculpatory evidence that would have helped defendants Jerrell Sanford and Michael Grigsby in a 2007 homicide.
“I am glad they are looking into this,” said McCoy’s mother Keppie Moore. “I hope they see what has been going on.”