Candidate’s Shooting Details Stonewalled

By: 
Stephen Downing

On Sept. 29, during a candidate endorsement Zoom meeting with the Long Beach Young Democrats Club, Vice President Lukas Walczak asked Council District 2 candidate Cindy Allen to explain the circumstances surrounding the officer involved shooting (OIS) in which she was involved while serving as a Long Beach police officer in 1994.

Allen replied “In 1994, I was dispatched to a call on PCH at the State Motel to help a Hispanic woman who was being threatened by a white man with a gun.

“He did not listen and he was not obeying any commands. The dispatcher and all the witnesses heard the shot and saw him with a gun. Unfortunately, I had an officer involved shooting.

“They (the bullet hits) were not life threatening and he did try to sue the city; nothing came of it. It was thrown out of court.

“And one of the things that I asked when these allegations have come up … is absolutely full transparency and accountability. And I asked … the Police Department to release this as soon as possible, because this is not true. This was a white man with a gun threatening a woman.

“And I will always … protect and serve, like I’ve always done honorably.”

The reason Walzak asked Allen to make the statement is because of the controversy surrounding a Long Beach 4th District Blog post known as “The Front Lawn”  published two days earlier.

The blog article titled “LBPD Officer Cindy Allen’s Shooting of an Unarmed Man is relevant to the 2020 Council Race ” used facts to support the opinion piece, which were taken from a May 6, 1994 article in the Long Beach Press-Telegram headlined, “Officers Shoot Man Near Motel.”

The article identified the suspect as an Arizona man who was shot and wounded by four-year veteran LBPD Officers Cindy Allen and David Williams “Who thought he was reaching for a gun in the parking lot of a westside motel.”

The 1994 article reported when the officers arrived – based on a dispatch call that a woman was being held hostage and shots had been fired – the suspect was found alone in his truck, ordered out of the truck by the officers and when he complied, “That’s when Tremain (the suspect) reached behind his back and was shot.”

 “Officers later recovered two loaded handguns and a loaded shotgun from the truck, but no weapon was found on Tremain” according to the 1994 story, which also reported the LBPD expected to file charges the following week.

Our Investigation

A Beachcomber investigation revealed that several elements of Cindy Allen’s Sept. 29 statement made to the LB Young Democrats Club as well as the initial May 1994 information provided to the press by the LBPD are false.

Court records dispute that a Hispanic woman was being threatened, no witness saw the white man with the gun when the shot was fired and the civil case was settled after three years of litigation, not “thrown out of court,” as Allen stated in the candidate forum.

The “Arizona man” described by police to the Press-Telegram by the LBPD in 1994 lived in Cerritos and had been employed at the Long Beach port as a longshoreman for 27 years. Tremain was in possession of an honorary police badge issued to him by the Long Beach Police Officer’s Association (which was allegedly instrumental in the shooting) and court records dispute that he reached behind his back when shot.

Criminal charges were never filed.

Records Provide Story

The Beachcomber was unable to obtain the LBPD OIS investigation or the district attorney’s investigation and findings surrounding the shooting; the first of which was improperly denied (more on that later) and the second reported as most likely destroyed.

A statement of material facts located within the 150-page file of court documents involving the civil suit brought against Cindy Allen, her partner and the City of Long Beach by Tremain provides the most objective and complete outline of facts surrounding the shooting available to the Beachcomber during its investigation.

The statement identified Krone Tremain (the suspect) as a 27-year veteran Long Beach Port longshoreman returning home to Cerritos from a union meeting at 1 a.m., “When he stopped to pick up a woman who was flagging down his vehicle.”

Tremain drove her to the State Motel, according to the court document, and walked the woman to her door when “a second person entered Tremain’s truck and began vandalizing it.”

Tremain confronted that person, an altercation ensued and a black male joined in the assault.

During the altercation, “The female assailant removed a gun that had been stored in the back of Tremain’s truck and pointed it at Tremain. During the struggle to obtain control of the weapon, one round was discharged

The shot was heard over the telephone by the dispatcher who was on the line with a witness in the motel. The 911 operator “then relayed the information to the responding units.”

No one was injured by that discharge.

When Officers Williams and Allen arrived, Tremain was alone, sitting in his truck.

According to the report the officers “Took up a defensive position of cover about 60 feet away from the truck, behind the building and ordered him out of the vehicle.”

The attorney wrote: “The officers did not use a bullhorn or any other method of amplification and Tremain denies hearing any verbal commands from the officers up to this point. When Tremain did exit the vehicle, he wandered around the vehicle as if looking for something on the ground.

“Tremain did, in fact, pick up an object from the ground and when the officers ordered him to drop it, he immediately complied within seconds of that moment and less than a minute from exiting the truck, Officers Williams and Allen fired six rounds of nine millimeter ammunition from their service weapons, hitting and critically wounding Tremain in the knee and shoulder,” according to the court document.

The attorney wrote that, “The officers contend that it appeared to them that plaintiff was reaching for a weapon, but wrote that he in fact was attempting to identify himself as a long-standing (supporting) member of the Long Beach Police Officers Association (LBPOA) by displaying the honorary badge bestowed upon him by the POA.”

City Attorney Statement

The statement of material facts filed by the city attorney with the court differs in tone, presents immaterial facts designed to define the character of the woman and the motel as a “problem location.”

The only substantive difference between the two opposing statements of fact are that Tremain is described by the city attorney as having been intoxicated at the time, that a subsequent GSR test performed on his hands “Came back positive, an indication that his hands were in close proximity to a firearm when it was discharged and that when Tremain finally exited his vehicle he refused to follow the officer’s commands that he get down on the ground, reached into the small of his back, at which point he was shot.”

Records Request

In early September the Beachcomber filed a Public Records Act (PRA) request with the district attorney’s office to obtain their investigation and findings into the officer involved shooting (OIS). 
That office reported that there was no investigative records found (acknowledged as most likely destroyed) and that criminal charges were never filed against Tremain.

The Beachcomber made a Pubic Records Request (PRA) to the LBPD for the investigative files regarding the Shooting of Tremain on Sept. 3.

On Sept. 15 the LBPD refused to produce the legally mandated production of documents stating, “We have received a high volume of requests under SB1421 encompassing decade’s worth of records. In response we are producing responsive records in a chronological order beginning with our most current qualifying incidents. You will be notified when the records you have requested are released.”

Knowing that this response from the LBPD meant it could be years before the investigative records of the shooting incident would be released to the public; the Beachcomber made a second demand for the documents, objected to the arbitrary “chronological order” protocol.

The LBPD did not respond.

Settlement Costs Inquiry

On Sept. 4 the Beachcomber submitted a public records request to the city attorney requesting settlement costs surrounding the civil lawsuit based upon court records that documented the case as having been settled on Jan. 7, 1999 in Dept. H of the Superior Court, “Joseph E. Di Loreto, presiding – Jury Trial – Case Deemed Settled.”

On Sept. 29 the city attorney responded: “The City of Long Beach does not have responsive records. The documents you requested cannot be produced, because the records no longer exist.”

City Cover-Up

On Oct. 2, five hours after the content of this article was published online, Kevin Lee, the city manager’s chief information officer, blind copied an email to this reporter stating, “You are receiving this email as you have requested information about this matter.”

The email continued, “This information will be provided to all who request it. You can attribute this statement to the City of Long Beach. No further information on this matter is expected to be available until the release of the PRA, which is already in process.”

Attached to the email was an unsigned “Statement from the City” that summarized the facts of the officer involved shooting (OIS) essentially consistent with the “Plaintiff’s Material Facts” related above with the exception that, “Officers were advised by the dispatcher “That the suspect (Krone Tremain) was a male white with a gun wearing only blue jeans and no shirt.”

The unsigned city statement then reported information from a settlement agreement stating, “The parties agreed that city would not seek the repayment of costs incurred by the city defending this action from the plaintiff. A request for dismissal was entered by court clerk on 1-22-99.”

The unsigned statement did not address how the city suddenly came into possession of the 1999 settlement documents, when just two days earlier City Attorney Charles Parkin’s office had responded to the Beachcombers PRA request for the same documents stating, “The documents you requested cannot be produced, because the records no longer exist.”

The city statement also did not address the $20,000 in medical costs to Tremain referenced in court records, or the cost of litigation to the city – as requested by the Beachcomber.

Beachcomber Response

Upon receipt of the statement from the city the Beachcomber replied to the city manager’s office:

“We find it odd and confusing that you now have the settlement information after having officially responded to our PRA that the records no longer exist. Please provide an explanation.”

The email response was copied to City Attorney Charles Parkin and Mayor Robert Garcia.

No explanation was received from the city.

The Beachcomber subsequently filed a PRA requesting the names and email addresses of all persons who were blind copied on Kevin Lee’s email to which the “Statement from the City” was attached.

A response has yet to be received.

Cindy Allen Questioned

Because of public interest in the recent unrest across the nation over the use of force and officer involved shootings, the Beachcomber posed four questions via email to Council District 2 candidate Cindy Allen relative to her experience and thoughts surrounding her personal involvement in the police shooting of an unarmed man and the perspective that she would bring to the City Council – as a policy maker on these issues – if elected.

(1) Is there anything about your involvement in the shooting of Mr. Tremain that would cause you to influence change to LBPD Use of Force Policy, review processes or adjudication procedures for officer involved shootings, especially in light of current day protests surrounding police behavior?

(2) Do you believe that police training subsequent to the LBPD’s adoption of the automatic sidearm as opposed to the revolver influenced the excessive number of shots fired at Mr. Tremain, absent a-fire-once-stop-and-evaluate training process?

(3) Based upon the 60-foot distance and the cover you had prior to the shooting, do you think that the need to shoot could have been delayed by the application of alternative tactics?

(4) Would you as a candidate for a council seat be willing to use your influence with your supporters and City Hall endorsers to call for release of the LBPD investigative report so that a more complete appreciation and evaluation of the OIS investigation can be made by those who intend to support your candidacy?

Ms. Allen did not respond.

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

stephen.beachcomber@gmail.com

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Comments

She has not even won yet and already the corrupt political wheels are turning with the help of LBPD and the city Attorney. what would when she in office.

It's Long Beach. It's a done deal.

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