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Another citizen settled with San Mateo for false arrest and police officer falsifying police report

Original post made by Lurker, another community, on Jan 28, 2011

I posted the link to Steve White's case in one of the threads about Jon Buckheit's case, but I think it deserves own thread.

I recalled reading about a similar experience a citizen named Steve White had with the San Mateo DA and sheriff's office on a Topix forum.

Here's what White wrote:
"..let me tell you a few things about San Mateo County.

First, a deputy there filed a false report, a report falsely accusing me of a crime, when he arrested me at the Scott Peterson trial.

I was holding up a sign advertising my web page, and the web page is critical of law enforcement,(in another local county, Alameda) and Deputy Mark Dowdy, who was in charge of courthouse security at the time, arrested me at the request of Peter Shaplen, the guy who was the head of media for the event.

My arrest was completley illegal, becuase there was no rule against signs at the trial, only signs referring to Peterson. But my sign had nothing to do with that.

So, knowing he had no basis for arresting me, Dowdy lied, claiming I was trying to start a fight with the TV cameramen who were present. To do that, he had to flat out lie about what I said and did.

After my charges were dropped, because the TV guys who are about a thousand times smarter than Dowdy, would not back him up,(they did not want to perjure themselves, knowing there were dozens of cameras which could show the truth) I sued San Mateo County.

After using every excuse possible to keep Dowdy from giving a video deposition,(for example, that he might go undercover as a narcotics officer some time in the future, and if I showed the video on the WEB, that would put his life in danger. This was from a guy who repeatedly stuck his face in front of the camera at the Peterson trial, which was one of the biggest media events in all human history, in terms of number of people seeing video from it particularly) the County finally paid me $5,000 for false arrest.

The other deputies, some of them anyway, knew Dowdy had lied in his arrest report, and so they did their best to keep me from getting a copy of the report, even though the state law says I was entitled to it. Finally, some naive person in the office, who did not know any better, got me a copy of the report. I hope they did not get in any trouble for it.

So, that's my experience of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Department.

1. Deputy arrests me illegally.
2. Deputy lies in report to support illegal arrest.
3. Fellow deputies lie to me to prevent me getting copy of police report. Violation of state law.
4. Deputy uses phony excuses to avoid giving deposition.
5. County pays me $5,000 of your tax dollars to settle lawsuit.

Wake up, San Mateo County.

But I guess if having your Sheriff arrested in a brothel founded on white slavery is not enough to wake some people up, nothing will."

Comments (12)

Posted by Thelma
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jan 28, 2011 at 11:29 am

Is this guy Steve White the person who the "whitewash" is named after?

Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Jan 28, 2011 at 11:58 am

Here's the link where Steve White posted his comments three years ago about his false arrest, falsified police report etc:

Web Link

Posted by John P Johns
a resident of another community
on Jan 28, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Dear Lurker

Thank you for bringing this toI our attention and in a separate link.

I had a similar experience to that of Mr. White that I would like to share with the readers of this forum.

On the morning of August 29, 2007 I returned to Town Hall to return town property after being suspended on allegations by the chief of police that I had created a "hostile work environment".

I had a few months earlier complained about the Chief of Police having attended a conference in Boston MA at a cost to the taxpayers of about $3,000. Because the Chief did not get the necessary approval from the City Council in advance, his trip to Boston constituted an illegal use of public funds.

About 20 minutes before my arrival at Town Hall I called Ms. Wende Protzman. I left a voice mail message for her indicating that I would be arriving in Town Hall shortly to return a laptop computer that was still in my possession. I had kept this computer for two days so that I could review the contents of the computer and remove any information that was unrelated to Town business.

Upon my arrival I was accosted by Robert Brennan, escorted to my vehicle, ordered to get in my vehicle, start the vehicle, turn off the ignition and then hand over my driver's license.

The incident I describe is breifly referred to in the following Almanac News article:

Web Link

Mr. Brian Kelly, an auditor with Caporicci & Larson was a witness to these events as was ex Police Officer Clark Yee.

At a later point in time I obtained a copy of Police Report number 07-484. This report included accusations of trespassing and intimidation fo a witness. This report also was written in a way to omit any reference to the Chief's illegal detention of me and to create the false impression that my detention was justified by probable cause.

I have submitted a criminal complaint and a citizen's complaint to Chief Guerra in regards to the apparent falsification of Police Report 07-484. Guerra has yet to acknowledge my complaint.

It is a sad but true fact of life in San Mateo County that police reports are being falsified so that corrupt cops can get away with civil rights violations committed under the color of authority.

This is a federal crime.

Posted by scout
a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Jan 29, 2011 at 9:58 am

This police officer must immediately resign or fired if he refuses. Taxpayers must not have liar police running their own show.

Posted by Scout
a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Jan 29, 2011 at 10:00 am

This police officer must resign, taxpayers must not be held hostage to police of stupid judgment.

Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jan 29, 2011 at 10:05 am

Let's not do the same thing we are accusing the police of doing. Perhaps some "due process" would be appropriate.

Let's hope the Atherton Town Council will perform a truly independent investigation and let's wait to see the results of the civil litigation. Because these lawsuits are 100% avoidable, if they produce truly expensive verdicts, the citizenry will hold every elected official accountable for their ineptitude.

Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 29, 2011 at 10:11 am

The Catch 22 in this situation is that any investigation by the Town or its agent will fall under the Peace Officers' Bill of Rights and, sadly, that law prohibits releasing anything other the the final conclusion. I doubt that such limited lease of information would settle the concerns of many Atherton residents.

Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 29, 2011 at 1:28 pm


if a criminal investigation is undertaken it doesn't fall under the POBR. The problem is if the DA's office does the investigation it won't be independent. Now, if the AG's office did it, that would be a better thing.

Posted by Confused
a resident of another community
on Dec 15, 2013 at 9:52 pm

I don't understand how to file a complaint against a group of SMPD officers; who falsified police reports in order to justify a gross overuse of violent force, actually forcing me to be in jail for "assault and battery" even though I never made any moves, and they attacked me.

I cannot find the forms available online anywhere

Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 16, 2013 at 8:09 am


you won't find anything on line. You will need to call the San Mateo County Sheriff's office internal affairs office. They call it their Bureau of Professional Standards

(650) 363-4395

Good luck. You'll need it.

Posted by Ree Chard
a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Dec 16, 2013 at 11:45 am

Hey, I know, here's a great idea!

Let's let these guys have license plate readers and drones, without any clear authority, rules and procedures for privacy, management and duration of the data colleccted; then let them continue their abuse of the system!


What could possibly go wrong?

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle

on Jun 5, 2017 at 10:28 am

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