Update: LBPD K-9 Ozzy’s Death Not a System Failure

By: 
Stephen Downing
"Concerned and outraged members of the public" demonstrated outside police headquarters on Saturday morning over Ozzy's death.

[Editor's Note: This is an updated version of the "Breaking News” online posting on Aug. 26 appearing in our Aug. 30 print edition.] 

At 9:16 a.m. on August 23 the Long Beach Police Department pronounced from its Twitter account that it was “extremely saddened to announce the death of its K-9 Ozzy.”
 
The Tweet reported that at the time of his death, Ozzy and his handler were both off-duty and that the dog was inside the officer’s department-issued K-9 vehicle.
 
The Tweet did not report the fact that the cause of death was heat-related, as had already been determined by a veterinarian.
 
Information as to Ozzy’s cause of death came when media organizations followed-up on the Tweet and learned from Chief Robert Luna’s media relations unit that the 6-year-old half Belgian Malinois and half German shepherd had been found by his handler dead in the K-9 equipped police vehicle mid-afternoon on August 14.
 
At that time Chief Luna’s spokesperson acknowledged that LBPD K-9 vehicles are outfitted with “fail-safe” equipment meant to signal an alert and stated that, “at this time we believe this alert may not have been working.”
 
Luna’s spokesperson declined to name Ozzy’s handler, but stated, “We ask that you respect the handler and his family.”
 
The Twitter account erupted with ugly memes and comment lamenting Ozzy’s death with competing expressions of outrage and sympathy toward his handler, calls for criminal prosecution, criticism of the LBPD administration and speculation as to what went wrong.
 
The Beachcomber reached out to LBPD and City Hall insiders and confirmed prior information in our possession that Ozzy is a narcotic scent dog assigned to the LBPD’s drug enforcement unit, that the K-9 vehicle used by his handler is not a marked black and white police vehicle but rather a black unmarked SUV and that his handler is Detective Christopher Thue, a LBPD drug enforcement officer.
 
The Beachcomber has published a total of six articles in the past related to LBPD enforcement activity in which Detective Thue was involved.
 
One was a two-part series published in March 2016 that reported Detective Thue’s involvement in the raid of a medical marijuana establishment where a preponderance of evidence pointed to the detective as having colluded with another drug enforcement detective to present written probable cause to a superior court judge in order to obtain a search warrant by falsely reporting the manner in which the K-9, Ozzy, was employed to confirm the scent of marijuana.
 
The second was a four-part series that began in May 2017 entitled “Destroying Lives: LB Criminal Justice System “that exposed Detective Thue’s participation in an egregious LBPD raid on a 49-year Long Beach resident and medical cannabis advocate in which Thue falsely represented himself to be an expert in the identification of marijuana oil extracted by a process known as BHO and was alleged to have falsely reported incriminating statements made by the 72-year-old medical marijuana patient.
 
Beachcomber sources – all of whom wish to remain anonymous – reported the following concerning Ozzy’s death:
  1. That the alert system on the K-9 vehicle was found by Long Beach City Fleet Services to be in working order.
  2. That the name of the alert system examined by Long Beach City Fleet services is AceWatchdog.
  3. That Detective Thue had not equipped his cell phone with the web-based app to receive voice and text alerts when the interior of the K-9 vehicle overheated.
  4. That Detective Thue downloaded the application following Ozzy’s death.
  5. That Detective Thue had worked 20 hours continuously prior to the time he parked the K-9 vehicle, leaving Ozzy inside.
  6. That Detective Thue is a principle business owner and corporate officer in three separate businesses, two of which are in the marijuana industry. 
The LBPD was asked if marijuana industry employment is considered to be a conflict of interest for department drug enforcement officers. A response is pending.
 
On Saturday, Aug. 24, the LBPD media relations unit was asked to comment upon each of the first four pieces of information via email.
 
Chief Luna’s media spokesperson wrote back the same day and stated, “As this is not breaking news, we will look into your inquiry on Monday during regular business hours.”
 
On Sunday, Aug. 25, the Beachcomber added the 5th piece of information to our request for comment and requested a reply by our noon deadline on Monday, Aug. 26 for the online publication.
 
On Monday, Aug. 26 at 10:42 a.m. Luna’s spokesperson acknowledged receipt of the 5th request for comment and wrote, “At this time, we are still gathering information as part of the review of the incident and will let you know when additional information is available.”
 
On Tuesday, August 27 the Beachcomber added the 6th item and Luna’s spokesperson later responded that, “We received your inquiries and will look into your request.”
 
On Aug. 26, the Beachcomber was able to make contact with Sheryl Buller, a representative of AceK-9, the Florida-based company that manufactures, licenses and supports the cloud-based alert systems installed in LBPD K-9 vehicles.
 
When asked about the alleged failure of the AceDogWatch system installed on Thue’s K-9 vehicle Ms. Buller said, “I can tell you that our equipment in that LBPD vehicle did not fail and that it functioned perfectly.”
 
When asked if she could verify if Detective Thue did or did not download or connect the AceDogWatch web-based app following Ozzy’s death she stated, “I can’t comment on the fact that the officer failed to download the app.”
 
Ms. Buller politely declined to answer any further questions and offered to have the owner of the company, John Johnston, return the call.
 
Twenty minutes later Johnston called and stated that the information provided to the Beachcomber by Ms. Buller was to be withdrawn, that the company would have no statement as to whether the system did or did not fail and that “I don’t want to get into the middle of anything here. The LBPD is best situated to answer your questions.”
 
Johnston also declined to answer questions related to the functions of the AceWatchDog web app system as reported in the user guide on the company website.
 
The Beachcomber’s review of the AceWatchDog user guide reveals that the AceWatchDog web app alert system requires the user to log in to create a new account in order to receive a dashboard link for use on any smart phone or iPad that connects to a designated phone number which calls and texts the K-9 officer when the heat alarm reaches the designated danger level.
 
The system also, “lets you know if your vehicle is located in a good or poor cellular signal area,” and “during an alarm, voice calls and texts are sent to your phone(s) and to ALL your other alarm contacts,” a reference to the fact that up to four other backup phones can receive the alerts.
 
The Beachcomber has been unable to determine if the AceWatchDog system for Detective Thue’s assigned vehicle was connected to any cell phone.
 
The Beachcomber has also been unable to determine detective Thue’s current duty status, where he was and what he was doing during the period Ozzy was confined in the K-9 vehicle or whether a decision has been made by the LBPD to pursue criminal charges for violation of Penal Code Section 597.7, the law that prohibits leaving an animal in any unattended vehicle under conditions that endanger the animal. Violations are punishable by a fine of $500 and imprisonment up to six months.
 
One insider reported that Detective Thue worked 20 continuous hours prior to leaving Ozzy in the LBPD K-9 vehicle. The Beachcomber has not yet been able to independently confirm the statement.
 
Thue’s assignment is such that his overtime hours are not reported by name on the public salary website, Transparent California, because of his specialized assignment. He is listed among those the LBPD identify as: “Name Not Provided.”
 
In 2018 the LBPD listed 72 sworn employees under the “Name Not Provided” category. Those 72 individual police officers earned a cumulative total of $6,173,984 in overtime or an average of $85,749 each, in addition to their base salary and benefits.
 
A web search reveals that Detective Thue is registered on LinkedIn as being employed since 2010 by ACE Jiu-Jitsu in Fountain Valley.
 
A public records search reveals that Thue is registered as the principle owner of Sequence Therapy, LLC, located at 1 Corporate Plaza Drive in Newport Beach. Records document that the company was established in 2016, has annual revenue of $80,192 and employs a staff of approximately 7. 
 
Sequence Therapy operates in the marijuana industry sector and lists its website to be www.advantiscorp.com.
 
The Advantis Corporation (ADVT) (U.S.:OTC) is a publicly traded Marijuana Company that reports Detective Thue as one of its four key corporate officers. 
 
Advantis Corporation lists its address in Newport Beach at 1048 Irvine Avenue, which is a UPS Store that advertises its services as “your resource for mailbox, shipping and printing services.”
 
The public records address for Sequence Therapy is a 3-office building owned and occupied by Pacific Development Group whose two lessors include a gym and a construction company. A Pacific Development employee stated that she has never heard of Sequence Therapy, LLC or Christopher Thue.
 
Sequence Therapy, LLC lists its contact phone number as (562) 484- 4618. 
 
A source inside the LBPD informed the Beachcomber that Detective Thue has used the phone number for personal and police business for the past 10 years. 
 
The source stated, “That phone number, (562) 484-4618, listed on the website, is his personal cell phone. Anyone that knows him can confirm that. It is also the number he uses for work because he refuses to carry his work cell. He has been ordered to carry it but refuses.”
 
The Beachcomber called the number on the morning of Aug. 27 and received an operator response that “this number cannot be completed as dialed.”
 
The Beachcomber was unable to determine when the number was disconnected, but did find the number listed to Chris Thue on the “findcontactnumbers.com” website.
 
It is not yet known if (562) 484-4618 is the phone used by Thue to set up the AceWatchDog web app system following the death of Ozzy.
 
One source informed the Beachcomber that since the LBPD’s Twitter announcement Detective Thue has received death threats and has been moved to a safe location and provided with 24-hour security. The LBPD has not yet confirmed that information.
 
The Beachcomber has filed a public records request with the LBPD for records that document Thue’s overtime earnings and duty assignment since 2010 in addition to all documents that identify disciplinary and integrity complaints made against the detective, as provided by Senate Bill 1421, which became effective Jan. 1, 2019.
 
The Beachcomber has also recommended to Councilperson Suzie Price, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, to agenize and recommend to the City Council that the city establish policy for the LBPD – authorized by a unanimous decision by the California Supreme Court on August 25 – to require the LBPD to alert the city prosecutor and district attorney with complete and updated lists of all errant police officers who might testify in a criminal case. 
 
The California Supreme Court decision overturned a Court of Appeal ruling that barred former LBPD Chief and L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell from giving prosecutors the names of deputies whose disciplinary records included lying, taking bribes, using unreasonable force or engaging in domestic violence.
 
Insiders indicate that Ozzy will most likely be interred at the K-9 cemetery located at the LBPD police academy, where they alleged (and the Beachcomber has been unable to verify) that two other LBPD K-9s, also left to die in a hot police vehicle, are buried.
 
Also among the deceased K-9s buried at the police academy is Credo, who was killed by LBPD friendly fire in 2016.
 
At the time of this publication Chief Luna’s media representatives have yet to respond to the Beachcomber’s request for comment on the six identified issues.
 
Editor’s Note: LBPD responded to our request for comment on Wednesday with this statement: “After conducting a review of the circumstances surrounding the death of K-9 Ozzy, the Department has initiated an Internal Affairs investigation to obtain additional facts and  information pertaining to the incident.  As we continue to mourn the loss of Ozzy, we understand the emotional impact this is having on our community and our employees.  We respect everyone’s right to share their opinions, however, we will not provide further comment until the Internal Affairs investigation has concluded.”

Stephen Downing is a retired LAPD deputy chief of police and a resident of Long Beach.

Stephen.Beachcomber@gmail.com

 

[Editor's Note: Following is the original story posted on Monday, August 26, which was updated by the preceeding.]

At 9:16 a.m. on August 23 the Long Beach Police Department pronounced from its Twitter account that it was “extremely saddened to announce the death of its K-9 Ozzy.”

The Tweet reported that at the time of his death, Ozzy and his handler were both off-duty and that the dog was inside the officer’s department-issued K-9 vehicle.

The Tweet did not report the fact that the cause of death was heat-related, as had already been determined by a veterinarian.

Information as to Ozzy’s cause of death came when media organizations followed-up on the Tweet and learned from Chief Robert Luna’s media relations unit that the 6-year-old half Belgian Malinois and half German shepherd had been found by his handler dead in the K-9 equipped police vehicle mid-afternoon on August 14.

At that time Chief Luna’s spokesperson acknowledged that LBPD K-9 vehicles are outfitted with “fail-safe” equipment meant to signal an alert and stated that, “at this time we believe this alert may not have been working.”

Luna’s spokesperson declined to name Ozzy’s handler, but stated, “We ask that you respect the handler and his family.

The Twitter account erupted with ugly memes and comment lamenting Ozzy’s death with competing expressions of outrage and sympathy toward his handler, calls for criminal prosecution, criticism of the LBPD administration and speculation as to what went wrong.

The Beachcomber reached out to LBPD and City Hall insiders and confirmed prior information in our possession that Ozzy is a narcotic scent dog assigned to the LBPD’s drug enforcement unit, that the K-9 vehicle used by his handler in not a marked black and white police vehicle but rather a black unmarked SUV and that his handler is Detective Christopher Thue, a LBPD drug enforcement officer.

The Beachcomber has published a total of six articles in the past related to LBPD enforcement activity in which Detective Thue was involved.

One was a two-part series published in March 2016 that reported Detective Thue’s involvement in the raid of a medical marijuana establishment where a preponderance of evidence pointed to the detective as having colluded with another drug enforcement detective to present written probable cause to a superior court judge in order to obtain a search warrant by falsely reporting the manner in which the K-9, Ozzy, was employed to confirm the scent of marijuana.

The second was a four-part series that began in May 2017 entitled “Destroying Lives: LB Criminal Justice System” that exposed Detective Thue’s participation in an egregious LBPD raid on a 49-year Long Beach resident and medical cannabis advocate in which Thue falsely represented himself to be an expert in the identification of marijuana oil extracted by a process known as BHO and was alleged to have falsely reported incriminating statements made by the 72 -year-old medical marijuana patient.

Over the weekend of August 24-25, the Beachcomber sources – all of whom wish to remain anonymous reported the following concerning Ozzy’s death:

  1. That the alert system on the K-9 vehicle was found by Long Beach City Fleet Services to be in working order.
  2. That the name of the alert system examined by Long Beach City Fleet services is AceWatchdog.
  3. That Detective Thue had not equipped his cell phone with the web-based app to receive voice and text alerts when the interior of the K-9 vehicle overheated.
  4. That Detective Thue downloaded the application following Ozzy’s death.
  5. That Detective Thue had worked 20 hours continuously prior to the time he parked the K-9 vehicle, leaving Ozzie inside.

On Saturday, Aug. 24, the LBPD media relations unit was asked to comment upon each of the first four pieces of information via email.

Chief Luna’s media spokesperson wrote back the same day and stated, “As this is not breaking news, we will look into your inquiry on Monday during regular business hours.”

On Sunday, Aug. 25, the Beachcomber added the 5th piece of information to our request for comment and requested a reply by our noon deadline on Monday, Aug. 26.

On Monday, Aug. 26 at 10:42 a.m. Luna’s spokesperson acknowledged receipt of the 5th request for comment and wrote, “At this time, we are still gathering information as part of the review of the incident and will let you know when additional information is available.”

On Aug. 26, the Beachcomber was able to make contact with Sheryl Buller, a representative of AceK-9, the Florida-based company that manufactures, licenses and supports the cloud-based alert systems installed in LBPD K-9 vehicles.

When asked about the alleged failure of the AceDogWatch system installed on Thue’s K-9 vehicle Ms. Buller said, “I can tell you that our equipment in that LBPD vehicle did not fail and that it functioned perfectly.”

When asked if she could verify if Detective Thue did or did not download or connect the AceDogWatch web-based app following Ozzy’s death she stated, “I can’t comment on the fact that the officer failed to download the app.”

Ms. Buller politely declined to answer any further questions and offered to have the owner of the company, John Johnston, return the call.

Twenty minutes later Johnston called and stated that the information provided to the Beachcomber by Ms. Buller was to be withdrawn, that the company would have no statement as to whether the system did or did not fail and that “I don’t want to get into the middle of anything here. The LBPD is best situated to answer your questions.”

Johnston also declined to answer questions related to the functions of the AceWatchDog web app system as reported in the user guide on the company website.

The Beachcomber’s review of the user guide reveals that the AceWatchDog web app alert system requires the user to log in to create a new account in order to receive a dashboard link for use on any smartphone or iPad that connects to a designated phone number which calls and texts the K-9 officer when the heat alarm reaches the designated danger level.

The system also, “lets you know if your vehicle is located in a good or poor cellular signal area,” and “during an alarm, voice calls and texts are sent to your phone(s) and to ALL your other alarm contacts, ” a reference to the fact that up to four other backup phones can receive the alerts.

The Beachcomber has been unable to determine if the AceWatchDog system for Detective Thue’s assigned vehicle was connected to any cell phone.

The Beachcomber has also been unable to determine detective Thue’s current duty status or whether a decision has been made by the LBPD to pursue criminal charges for leaving Ozzy in the K-9 vehicle.

One insider’s report that Detective Thue worked 20 continuous hours prior to leaving Ozzy in the LBPD K-9 vehicle has not been independently confirmed.

Thue’s assignment is such that his overtime hours are not reported by name on the public salary website, Transparent California, because of his specialized assignment. He is listed among those the LBPD identify as: “Name Not Provided.”

In 2018 the LBPD listed 72 sworn employees under the “Name Not Provided” category. Those 72 individual police officers earned a cumulative total of $6,173,984 in overtime or an average of $85,749 each, in addition to their base salary and benefits.

Insiders indicate that Ozzy will most likely be interred at the K-9 cemetery located at the LBPD police academy, where they alleged (and the Beachcomber has been unable to verify) that two other LBPD K-9s, also left to die in a hot police vehicle, are buried.

Also among the deceased K-9s buried at the police academy is Credo, who was killed by LBPD friendly fire in 2016.

At the time of this publication Chief Luna’s media representatives had yet to respond to the Beachcomber’s request for comment on the five identified issues.

This story will be updated as new information becomes available.

 

Stephen Downing is a retired LAPD deputy chief of police and a resident of Long Beach.

Stephen.Beachcomber@gmail.com

 

 

Category:

Comments

This is sooo horrific, this poor police dog did not deserve this, I can't believe that the dog was killed in early August and nothing was said until late August. This department tried to cover up the fact that one of their own officers had killed a POLICE OFFICER/K9. If this was a citizen of Long Beach the PD would had put it all over the news and would have prosecuted the person regardless if it was an accident or not. The PD administration knew that this system had not failed and still they lead us to believe it had. COVER-UP 100%. The fact that they had a device to prevent this makes it even worse. Why do we still allow the corrupt Chief of Police Luna stay in power? This corruption has to stop. Call in the Feds for an investigation. RIP little doggie; you had your partner's back but he didn't have yours. This is animal abuse – hold them accountable.

From the LA Times: Long Beach police described the death as accidental. Commander Wood said "these cases are typically resolved within the department." Wow, could he be any clearer? "COVER UP" spoken from a proven liar who was fired from Garden Grove PD for lying. Now he works for LBPD. Just the type of people LUNA surrounds himself with. Where is the City Council and mayor on this one?

LBcitizen first you really should know your facts first. Commander Wood was not quoted as saying anything in the article you referenced to in the LA Times. The article does quote Kathleen Wood, staff attorney with Animal Legal Defense Fund’s criminal justice program.

I may or not be mistaken on the LA Times comment, but I know for sure he is a proven lier that was fired from Garden Grove PD that is now working for LBPD "Fact finder" do some reacher on that!! and get back to me lol or is he your buddy so you left that part of my comment out. Due to the fact that he is a confirmed lier i am probably right on the the LA times comment also.

No one knows the facts yet. That's the problem with this entire article, everything is speculation. Even the writer states that the information isn't verified.

That is not correct, the author cites sources, some of which include the public record. Further, much of the nformation presented can be verified by a Google search, or checking the appropriate website, e.g., a "Business Search" on the California Secretary of State website regarding the corporate filings of Advantis Corporation.
Obviously, something is rotten in Long Beach. A Google search also yields disturbing information describing shocking events in the recent past which involve other LBPD officers. A similar incident occurred with another LBPD officer in 2016. That incident involved the death of the three year old daughter of an officer, which resulted from the child being left alone in the back seat of a squad car for three hours on a hot day. Like Ozzy, the child's death was heat-related, and the responsible officer was off duty. At this point any citizen of Long Beach who isn't demanding answers must be in a coma.

The infant Death you are referring to happened in Long Beach Mississippi in 2016.
https://www.ibtimes.com/police-officers-child-dies-hot-car-death-mississ...

And no one seems to be asking the question, where was this cop and what was he doing while his dog was being cooked to death?

I was wondering the very same thing Diana. I am outraged by this negligent behavior!

Not to diminish the "Black Lives Matter" movement created by the actions of nationwide police departments, maybe this is the start of K9LM. "K-9 Lives Matter."

Thank you, Beachcomber, for investigating and questioning city incidents such as this, along with questioning policy. This incident should be treated the same way they treat the public when it comes to any human, animal, or any sentient being that can't communicate they are endangered. The repercussions should also meet the law of negligence, on the part of the officer, that the city places upon the public. The law pertains to everyone, whether we are working or not.

Looking back, Long Beach police have a long history of their K-9s dying from their handler's negligence, something a normal citizen would be arrested for. Seven LBPD K-9s have died from unnatural causes since 2001. The cause of death for several more are listed as "unknown." What does Long Beach Police think about that?

"These K-9s are not just dogs. These are police officers. This dog was injured in the performance of his duty and that's going to weigh heavily on the Long Beach police family," LBPD Deputy Chief Richard Conant said. This comment was made following the 2016 friendly fire shooting of K-9 Credo by a unidentified fellow Long Beach police officer. Yet, what Deputy Chief Conant failed to mention was officer Mike Parcells, K-9 Credo's handler, failed to outfit Credo in the body armor he had been issued to protect Credo from such circumstances. Soon afterwards, office Parcells was issued another K-9. Apparently the Long Beach Police "family" didn't find it negligent for officer Parcells to fail to outfit Credo in his issued body armor.

Especially enlightening is the case of LBPD K-9 Drago, who, like Ozzy, died of heat exhaustion in 2005 when his handler, Officer Ernie Wolosewicz, left him unattended in his car. The investigation concluded the air-conditioning unit failed in the police cruiser he was waiting in. Not only was Officer Wolosewicz NOT charged with animal cruelty, he was soon after promoted to Sergeant, was provided two new dogs and now supervises the department’s K9 unit. Go figure.

When LBPD Deputy Chief Richard Conant spoke in 2016 of the "Long Beach police family," it almost appears as if he was imitating Marlon Brando in the God Father, speaking about his Mafia family where negligence and heartless animal cruelty cover-ups are a way of business for the "family." It's too bad Ozzy probably won't be the last to die from police negligence.

The LBPD has negligently allow other well trained and valuable dogs die this way. There is no excuse at all for this!!

How is this even news?
Stephen makes his living off of writing articles on information that hasn't even been verified??
Great article Stephen.......It appears from the comments above you were able to reach a bunch of idiots that seem to pass judgement off Thue and what the LBPD is doing to handle this situation. Further Stephen, anywhere in your article, have you mentioned any of the 20 plus years Thue has put into keeping the streets of Long Beach safe??
You are absolutely quick to jump the gun and tear a man apart without hesitation before fact finding everything!
Shame on all of you! If this happened to you, or your family member, would you want your loved one to be hung as he is right now??
Wouldn't you think perhaps Thue is punishing himself enough for losing his PARTNER????
It is so sad that there are people like you. Move on to something else.

He left his dog/partner/officer/K9 to die in a hot car! what else do you need to know or verify? I hope he is "Punishing himself" the only Idiot is you for not seeing the obvious you are probably one of the people involved in his Marijuana Business, another dirty cop or a cop groupie, how is it possible that this dirty, irresponsible cop killer has a drug selling business and be a police officer!!! Hello, still against federal Law. Stephen was able to find this out but his department did not!! Now we know why thue is irresponsible and incompetent because the people that led him are too, Fire the all the LBPD administration, bunch of corrupt wana be cops. We need a Federal inquiry on a corrupt drug unit and department. Where is the MAYOR and CITY on this!!!!

I bet stephen you're making your own comments.

Stephen.....did you pay your family to comment for you??? You can't even get your own groupies. Yes. I am a groupie I suppose. I'm part of the same groupie clan your ass is in when you need to call the same police that I do when the situation calls for it. The police are ok when you need help aren't they, but forbid any officer make a wrong move. They are all human beings after all. Regardless of what you think, they all run off the same juices you and I do and they can only handle so much. Jeez., until you know better......leave the poor guy alone.

If the people you think so highly of had nothing to hide they would have put out a press release with basic information out, such as "where was the officer when the dog was killed and just say if the system was working or not. Even tho the system has nothing to do with why the dog was left unattended. if these people put out this information then they would be no need for this article or any of these comments but no your "Boys" and the city elected officials are silent with nothing to say..The dog was killed many days before they were called for a response by the press. Why are they not this silent when a citizen commits the same "mistake" or crime. Now there is more information about this irresponsible officer that needs to be look at. No one here has said anything about the good officers (if any in LbPD) only the one that killed a poor dogie. Your just a bootlicker that probably works for these criminals or one of Christopher (Dog Killer) Thue's family member. All I see are facts in this article.. Good job Steve, keep it up

Interesting you Left out the "Detective" avoided patrol for almost all of the last 20 years, is a major suck up to management, and according to this article appears to be involved dealing marijuana. Last I checked dealing marijuana is still a Federal offense. Instead of making excuses for bad actors you should applaud this reporter for exposing how crooked LBPD management is, things will never change for the better otherwise.

BAhahahahaha your information is so skewed. How are you even comfortable with yourself making claims you are not even 100% sure of all the details? Its so silly. It literally makes you look like you have no brain for yourself. Make an educated opinion on the situation and perhaps your points may be valid. Until then, you are all reading UNVERIFIED news.
This is literally what humanity has come to today. Bravo fellow citizens.

Then please fill in the pieces - Lets start with how many years Chris answered call for service? You claim there was not the traditional LBPD "know and blow" for the Narco job? then please fill us all in regarding his vast investigative background ? If the information in this article is wrong regarding the Marijuana collective then say so... You act like you know the facts so lets hear them...or are you making claims you are not 100% sure of?

It's news because it was real negligence. A living sentient being, that he was supposed to take care of, died a horrible death because of his negligence. If it was one of us citizens we'd go to jail. Maybe you don't care about the suffering of these dogs but many do. Oh and it's happened twice before, not to mention "Credo" who died because officer didn't give him a vest. Seriously, they need to value their dogs more and those who do not, no dog for you!

For the record, I am the one who posts your responses to our website, regardless of how bizarre they might be. Time permitting, I’ll edit them for errors, grammar, spelling, etc. Rarely will they be deleted, but some outrageous crap just deserves that action. Anything appearing on this site first requires my approval, so there's no need to keep posting your item; just be patient and it will be addressed when I'm again using the computer.

For the record, Stephen Downing is a highly qualified, retired LAPD deputy chief and Long Beach resident, who addresses subjects with honesty, integrity and concern for the lack of professionalism among a few LBPD rotten apples and other City Hall incompetents. He is not paid, has written dozens of stories during the past five years or so for the Beachcomber and nothing that he has written has proven to be erroneous or subjected this newspaper to litigation. His sources are real, plentiful and protected from retribution, because concerned citizens want the trash gone. His quotes are real because he takes the time to personally interview those sources.

We are a forum for discussing issues of local interest. We appreciate all feedback, positive and negative, and strive to make everyone's views known without making disparaging remarks against those with whom we disagree. 

We seek to print only the truth and – unlike the many nameless individuals who post their opinions here – our names appear on everything we publish. We prefer to post comments from Facebook and Nextdoor, because those people have the intestinal fortitude to express an opinion without being anonymous. Anyone requesting anonymity – while having their opinion published – will be accorded that option (e.g. "Name Withheld by Request") by calling me at (562) 597-8000 or emailing publisher@beachcomber.news.

Thank you for reading the Beachcomber.

Jay Beeler

Their names and faces are spilled across all of the Long Beach media whenever a citizen breaks the law, which occurs immediately after LBPD holds a press conference announcing they’ve caught the vile lawbreaker. Just the opposite happens when a LBPD officer breaks the law. When this happens, LBPD issues a press release or holds a news conference indicating the crime by its police officer is under investigation and no further information will be released because it is under investigation. The problem being the investigation of the police officer will never be completed or it will be completed years from now when most people have forgotten and don’t question the investigation outcome that finds no fault with the offending officer. This is standard operating procedure for LBPD and it has been successful for them in preventing their officers from being charged with crimes. And the LBPD just did it again with their announcement that no further information would be released because the negligent killing of K-9 Ozzy by his police handler is now under investigation. Keep in mind there had been no investigation announced for several weeks until faced from public outcry resulting from the Beachcomber’s investigation.

LBPD and its supporters anonymously tell everyone questioning the officer’s crime to delay judgment until the results of the investigation is complete; fully knowing it will be years at the earliest before that information is revealed to the public, usually when it comes out under subpoena at the civil trial.

An example of this is LBPD’s murder of Douglas Zerby in 2010. LBPD announced at its press conference their officers fired on Zerby to protect themselves, claiming he was holding a hose nozzle that resembled a gun. The incident remained under investigation for years to muffle public outcry and no charges were made. The community eventually forgot as per LBPD strategy. However, information subpoenaed from the investigation for the 2013 civil trial found LBPD lied about many things to protect their officers, including Zerby was NOT holding the hose nozzle when killed and the police had modified the hose nozzle to more resemble a gun before providing a photo to media. The jury awarded $6.5 million, finding the Long Beach Police Department to be responsible for Zerby's death, acting with malice and recklessness. It was years later and most had forgotten the travesty. Wikipedia documents much of this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Douglas_Zerby

Another example. In 2009, a LBPD officer shot Ernest Rodriguez three times in front of Legends bar in Belmont Shore. LBPD held a press conference and announced Rodriquez was charged with assaulting an officer who was simply protecting himself. The investigation did not complete before the civil trial in 2011, but the charges against Rodriquez had quietly been dropped. The jury again found LBPD lied to protect Officer Jonathan Steinhauser, who was never charged and has since been promoted twice despite multiple misconduct lawsuits filed against him since the shooting. The jury found, "at no point did Steinhauer warn Rodriguez of his intent to shoot" and "his use of deadly force was unreasonable" before awarding Rodriquez $260,000.

And then there is the single mother of three young children who was mowed down by a LBPD patrol car on Ocean Blvd at 4:00 am while walking to her car to go to work. Initially police spokespeople told media; the woman lept in front of the police car to commit suicide, she was a heavy drug user, she was NOT in a cross walk, and the patrol car was driving at normal speed. Subpoenaed records from the still on-going investigation four years later indicated the LBPD had again lied to protect their officer. Forensic data from the patrol car computer indicated the car was traveling at a “high rate of speed without its sirens or flashers on.” The woman HAD been in the cross walk when struck, her body having been thrown several hundred feet. It was a foggy morning and the officer was responding to a call. The woman’s past drug history had been made up by police. The three young children were awarded $multi-millions. The officer reported to his shift the next day despite the on-going investigation.

You decide for yourself whether you can trust LBPD to properly investigate its own officers of wrongdoing.

What a crock! What an absolute travesty of anything humanly decent.

You die with a water nozzle in your hand and they lie about the "gun."

You die because it's "misty" and a cop-in-a-hurry plows you under, then avoids responsibility by smearing you as a dope fiend.

You die....you die....and you keep on dying until someone has the stones to stand up to this.

We need a better way....

It was established in civil court that Zerby did NOT have the hose nozzle in his hand when police murdered him. That was a fabricated story Chief McDonnell, LBPD and the district attorney told the media to protect their fellow officers from being charged with a crime.

The officers admitted at Zerby's civil trial to lying about the hose nozzle being the cause of the shooting. Years later and faced with this new evidence, the district attorney refused to prosecute any of the officers who murdered Zerby and lied about it. Like I said, it was years later and there was little public outcry. This is LBPD's strategy. They rely on people forgetting.

I predict a similar outcome for the investigation of K-9 Ozzy's death.

All things set aside, what is the purpose of actually listing Det. Thue’s cell phone number? Why not write xxx-xxx-xxxx? Why do you feel the need to list it? You are focused on trying to get people to harass the man instead of being a journalist. His dog died, he feels like shit about it. Everyone and their mom know. Which makes him feel even worse. He can’t escape it. And here you are, listing his fucking cell phone number, trying to get more people to ruin his damn day about it. What a great guy you are. Nice job.

i agree. the poor guy. no one knows the actual situation. people are so quick to want to hang for a dog, what happened to humanity. thue has been in the dept for 20+ years, no one has mentioned that. nothing actually has been mentioned about the things thue has done for public safety. the only thing i can see is the reporter trying to deface a man and rip his life apart. human beings make mistakes, even these kinds. it doesn't mean that thue's character is crap. shit, we don't know what he was going through - at all. why don't we all wait for the facts to come out before we pass judgement.

Maybe you missed the part of the story that said,"The Beachcomber called the number on the morning of Aug. 27 and received an operator response that “this number cannot be completed as dialed. The Beachcomber was unable to determine when the number was DISCONNECTED, but did find the number listed to Chris Thue on the “findcontactnumbers.com” website."

Thue killed K-9 ozzy in one of the most tortuous ways possible and is going to walk away from it without even a slap on the hand. If I had done this, LBPD would throw me in jail. So, personally, I'm not too broken up if his day is ruined. I'm sure its not as bad as Ozzy's day.

I agree 100% with you Mike, haven forbid we give Chirs (dog Killer) Thue a hard time about killing an innocent dog/K9/police officer/ partner. Back in 2016 when they killed the other K9 Commander Conant went on TV and stated to all, That a Police K9 is a police officer and more, his part of the POLICE FAMILY but now no TV appearance for Conant Now OZZY is just a regular dog with no rights and not part of the POICE FAMILY..NO comments from Chief LUNA, MAYOR OR CITY office. Pathetic

The Beachcomber is full of shit. The number is not disconnected. There is no operator response with your quote.

Thue did not kill Ozzy. There was no intent. Ozzy died, yes. But Det. Thue did not have Ozzy in his vehicle with the intention of leaving him there to die. People are ridiculous.

Thue is being attacked and ridiculed as if he meant for this to happen. He would obviously go back and change this if he could. There was no intent here, it was error. Whether something in the vehicle, Thue, or both. An error. Period . Thue has done numerous positive things for the city of Long Beach and Orange County as a Police Officer. Why don’t we focus on 20+ years of positivity, instead of one afternoon?

Bottom line is, the author doesn’t need to list Thues actual phone number, disconnected or not. This is bad journalism. You don’t see established writers doing this in the LA times. This guy has an out for Chris or LBPD. Maybe both. Idk. Never heard of her. I just know they want to invade privacy and publish unproven information. The author also bashes marijuana businesses but is the head of one. Who would have thought.

"Intent" is not required to prove Thue killed Ozzy. The Merriam-Webster definition of "kill" is to "cause the death of a person, animal or other living thing." All elements of "kill" were met when Thue placed Ozzy in a hot car which caused his death.

"Intent" is a different matter and is usually required to show murder, which technically can only occur to another human, not a dog. For example, LBPD killed K-9 Ozzy. LBPD murdered Douglas Zerby.

Thue"s killing of Ozzy was GROSS NEGLIGENCE, which is defined as the, "conscious disregard of the need to use reasonable care." It doesn't matter whether he wants to go back and change things. I'm sure Epstein, Manafort and Weinstein all did good things at one time and now want to go back and change things.

One thing I don't see addressed anywhere. Why do you even *need* an alert system? I can think of no day this month when a dog should be left in the car!

It blows my mind that you idiots think this poor man intentionally tried to kill his dog. Don't you all have anything better to do than to try to hang a man off a story you don't have all the facts to? Did the dog die, yes...but no one knows the circumstances behind what happened. Thue is a human being. Geez, humans make mistakes. Big, small, sometimes horrific....sometimes, not intentional, no matter how horrific. Petitioning to get him fired? When did humanity become like THIS? When did a dog's life, become more important than a human? Again.....the circumstances behind what happened has not been detailed to you. Just speculation on this Beachcombers Reporter Stephen Downing is saying. EVEN Stephen in his own report states that nothing he is writing has been verified.
HAS ANYONE LOOKED UP STEPHEN DOWNING???? HAS anyone seen just how many attacks on the LBPD he has since his reporting has started with the Beachcomber? Does anyone question why he hates the police department that protects the city he resides in and writes for? Wouldn't you think this man would be for his city? Does he have beef with LBPD from when he was at LAPD? No one wants to know why Stephen is so out to get Thue? There must be more to it than Stephen trying to be a good reporter........because anyone can write articles about speculations all day long.

Why don't you write or call the LBPD and ask them to give you information about the incident? why because they will not give you any? Steven tried and he didn't get a respond or why doesn't the corrupt LBPD say this story is wrong. Why because this story is based on facts. The facts are that this so called officer that you are trying to cover for was using his position as a Drug officer to get involved in the Drug business and in doing so killed his poor Dog/K9/partner and now you are just like the PD administration "Whats the big deal its just a dog" NO its not just a dog its a living creature. Why are you not upset at the PD for not giving you the information you want. Wait they will come out with some BS years from now.

Why does Stephen Downing hate the LBPD??
Has anyone ever looked up how many HATE articles he's written about them?
Is there a personal vendetta that he is utilizing his power of public articles to tear them apart one by one? Google how many articles the guy has written that are HATE vs. HAPPY with the LBPD. Personally, as a local resident, I am aware if all the POSITIVE that comes out of them too.

Maybe Steven will stop writing as you put it "hate articles" if the LBPD would stop doing corrupt, irresponsible, incompetent things. These corrupt officers are a reflection of its leadership, they following the example of the people in charge of them. Why, because they know the PD leadership will cover for them. Why don't you hold your beloved LBPD officer accountable and hate on them, not the man that just writes what these idiot officers do. LOL

Before you all go judging and hanging Thue's character.... Take a look at your own.
You are all savages, no better than that throw stones at a human in public until they die from the wounds. JUST BECAUSE YOU WERE TOLD TO.

Grab the facts before you follow Satanic beasts like Downing.
All that man wants to do is ruin lives for the benefit of his own.
BRAVO DOWNING.
Dude you are the man.

IN AN ARTICLE STEPHEN DOWNING WRITES ABOUT ANOTHER LBPD,

Stephen claims his own wife was scared and wouldn't leave the house alone because of threats-

STEPHEN DOESN'T SEEM TO CARE ABOUT THUE OR THUES FAMILY'S SAFETY WHEN HE PUBLISHES THUE'S NUMBER now does he.

Steven Downing is hating on Detective Thues speculated involvement in the cannibis industry, meanwhile the guy is the chairman of a company himself . Hmmmmm.. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cannabis-sativa-names-former-la...

September 1st was national K9 day.. How does LBPD feel about that..according to some of the people making excuses for them " Whats the big deal, they are just dogs" so sad no justice for OZZY

Have you heard anything about Ozzy and what the DA and or investigation has said? Here we are in November 5 months later

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