It’s been five days since the OC Weekly’s Gabriel San Roman broke the news of the most recent lawsuit against the Fullerton Police Department. The suit accuses a now former Detective from the FPD of coercing sex from a woman in exchange for favorable testimony in the woman’s custody case. The suit also alleges that other FPD officers tipped off the detective to an attempted anonymous complaint by the plaintiff, and alleges that the detective threatened the plaintiff as a result. We don’t know if any of these accusations are true, but one would think that the county’s only daily newspaper would have noticed the story by now.
The Orange County Register found the time to publish a story about a new anti-loitering ordinance just adopted by the City Council, and one about the new, expensive body cameras Fullerton Police officers will now be required to wear, but nothing at all about allegations that an FPD detective may have done some seriously ugly and abusive things to a woman, or about how much money it could cost the city in damages paid to her if a jury decides in her favor.
Late last year the Rag pondered the relationship between Cornerstone Communications, a public relations firm that counts the City of Fullerton as one of its clients, and the OC Register. Cornerstone Communications provides police-friendly stories under the heading Behind the Badge OC to the OC Register, content that used to appear on the now defunct website Fullerton Police News. In that 2012 story we wondered how much Fullerton’s taxpayers were paying a PR firm to write positive stories about our own police department to have spoon fed back to us online and in print. Well, it’s even worse if serious stories about the police are being ignored because the Register relies on this PR firm for some of its coverage of the subject, because you can bet that Behind the Badge OC won’t have much to say about the lawsuit.