Anaheim Police Chief Accuses Longtime Watchdog Duane Roberts of "Bullshit Lies" in Public Meltdown

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Duane Roberts
The issue of assessing models for a potential police oversight commission was on the agenda during last night's meeting of the Anaheim city council. An impromptu encounter between former council candidate Duane Roberts and Anaheim Police Chief John Welter in the chamber lobby was not.

It was there that the chief confronted the longtime activist, angrily saying, "Do I get a chance to refute all the bullshit lies you say at council? No."

The head of the Anaheim Police Department was apparently none too pleased with what Roberts had to say earlier during public comments. His three minutes at the podium wasn't something he originally planned on, but drew ire nonetheless.

As Welter sat in a reserved seat during the council meeting, the activist jotted down notes on a piece of paper a few rows back. When the line of speakers thinned out, Roberts took to the podium. Referencing an Al Jazeera Fault Lines documentary entitled Anaheim: A Tale of Two Cities, the resident took issue with statements made by Welter in the episode. The interviewer had brought up the issue of the militarized police presence in response to protests on July 29. The chief replied that he was "shocked" and unaware when he read the newspaper the next day and saw a photo of an armored vehicle driving down Anna Drive with SWAT members hanging from the side. It was something he alluded to in a New Year's Day interview in the Orange County Register as well.

Roberts wanted to seek differentiation between whether Welter was claiming to be not in the know about that particular deployment, for which a lieutenant was said to have been disciplined, or the overall militarization itself. On the day of the massive protests, the activist was busy taking photographs at different sites, including the main staging ground at Glover Stadium. He said during public comments that he saw a man on a motorcycle drive by there who resembled Chief Welter but wasn't able to snap a picture.

Roberts did take a great number of other photographs showing that anyone near Glover Stadium could sense the heightened militarization of the multi-agency operation.

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Duane Roberts
Photo taken by Roberts along the back alley of Glover Stadium on July 29

"To me it would seem reasonable that Welter would be out to review the operation that was taking place on July 29 given how massive it was," Roberts tells the Weekly. "That's why when I saw the motorcyclist, I didn't think anything of it."He chose his words with caution saying that the man in plain clothes looked like it could be the chief but may not have been. Roberts was measured in tone and certainly was not the first person to have taken issue with Welter's interview snippet on Al Jazeera during a council meeting.

(The documentary narrator also noted at another point that the Anaheim Police Department apparently informed his crew that it doesn't allow for media to accompany police patrols--somebody tell the Reggie's David Whiting!)

All the more taken back Roberts was when he left after the council voted to develop a proposal for civilian oversight of police only to run into the chief in the lobby. "I'm a little surprised that he got so angry," Roberts says. "I didn't expect that this was going to be such a contentious issue."

According to the activist's version, Welter didn't appreciate the comments, questioned their factual basis and said he wasn't the person Roberts saw on motorcycle."It's possible," the former council candidate readily admits to the Weekly about a potential case of mistaken identity. "I can't prove it."

With the media present witnessing the incident in addition to the presence of others in the lobby, Deputy Chief Raul Quezada took his superior by the arm as they promptly exited.

But not before the unassuming, blue-eyed gabacho with a tucked-in Hawaiian shirt found himself in the middle of another mini-shit storm once again!

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6 comments
fc2479
fc2479

Well I saw the youtube documentry.....what a bunch of crap.  This is the result of illegal immigration.  Instead of having people come to this country that are skilled, educated, law abiding we get another countries poor assholes.  We now as a society have to take care of these assholes and sorry folks it ain't going to be cheap, schools which they don't want to attended etc....  You can thank all the past idiot presidents including the idiot occupying the white house now who will just kick the immigration can down the street.  Instead of doing what law says, mainly enforcing the immigration laws.  The immigration system is not broke, we just have to have the balls to enforce the immigration laws.  Now we got a idiots like skandel or whatever his name is in the documentary  who just want to hang out in his garage with his buddies writing rap lyrics....they are not even black...talking crap about how angry he is.  How about getting a job and hey maybe, just maybe if you stop tattooing your body stupid someone might hire you. 

rotoro91
rotoro91

The comments of Chief Welter in the video, and his confrotational behavior when questioned by Duane, is not what we need to improve civic relationships in our city.

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

Anaheim Hills secession, now more than ever.

Whophantom
Whophantom

" The chief replied that he was "shocked" and unaware when he read the newspaper the next day and saw a photo of an armored vehicle driving down Anna Drive with SWAT members hanging from the side". 

This is his department & he's clueless? Time to find a more responsible Police Chief!


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