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PARADISE RIDGE WINERY » Spirit of CYCLISTS’ DILEMMA » Sharing the road

hope, resiliency in new artwork. A3 challenging for some motorists. C1

SUNDAY, JULY 8, 2018 • SANTA ROSA, CALIFORNIA • PRESSDEMOCRAT.COM

RP POLICE INVESTIGATION » TOP ENFORCER OUT

Ex-sergeant under
cloud for road stops
Mike Pompeo

Officials
slam US
nuclear
demands
NORTH KOREA » Talks
with Pompeo for quick
deal called ‘regrettable’
By MATTHEW LEE
ASSOCIATED PRESS

TOKYO — North Korean


leader Kim Jong Un has deliv-
ered a dose of harsh reality to
Donald Trump, bashing hopes
for a quick denuclearization
deal in a pointed rebuke to the
president’s top envoy while
accusing the U.S. of making
“gangster-like” demands.
After the historic U.S.-North
Korea summit in Singapore,
Trump declared the North was
no longer a threat and would
hand over the remains of Amer-
icans killed during the Korean
War. Now, three weeks later,
the two sides were still at odds
on all issues, including exactly
what denuclearization means
and how it might be verified, JOHN BURGESS / THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
after a third visit to Pyongyang
by U.S. Secretary of State Mike MARIJUANA SEIZED: Hue Freeman, 60, prunes plants on his state-licensed cannabis farm near the Alexander Valley. Freeman claims Brendon Tatum, a former sergeant
Pompeo. And, the promised re- with the Rohnert Park Police Department, wrongly seized 47 pounds of cannabis from him during a traffic stop south of Cloverdale in 2016.
mains have yet to be delivered.
Pompeo wrapped up two days
of talks in the North Korean Drivers allege ex-officer stole cash, pot; attorneys say he has credibility issues
capital on Saturday on an opti-
mistic note even without meet- By JULIE JOHNSON

O
ing Kim Jong Un, as he had on THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
his previous two trips. He said
his discussions had been pro- ver nearly 15 years as a Rohnert Park po-
ductive and conducted in good lice officer, Brendon Tatum led local law
faith, but he allowed that much
enforcement missions to disrupt the flow
TURN TO NUCLEAR » PAGE A12 of illegal drugs into Sonoma County, netting
Rohnert Park hundreds of thousands of dollars
in seized assets through traffic stops.
NURSING HOMES Tatum, who goes by his middle name Jacy, built
a reputation as an aggressive cop for his work
Records: Low stopping cars on a rural stretch of Highway 101

staffing levels
near the Sonoma-Mendocino coun-
ty line — some 40 miles north of

often routine the city limits — in operations to


find black-market marijuana, other DARREN ABATE / ASSOCIATED PRESS
illegal drugs and cash. POLICE INQUIRY: Rohnert Park’s investigation into Tatum is focused on the
By JORDAN RAU
NEW YORK TIMES The highway runs alongside the complaints of Zeke Flatten, officials say. He believes a pair of officers wrongly seized
3 pounds of cannabis from him during a December traffic stop on Highway 101.
Russian River and links the mari-
ITHACA, New York — Most Brendon
nursing homes had fewer nurs- Tatum
juana-growing Emerald Triangle re- “He said, ‘We’re with the ATF. Marijuana
es and caretaking staff than Ex-police sergeant gion to the north and the urban San
they had reported to the gov- for Rohnert Park Francisco Bay Area to the south. is taking over in California like cigarettes,
ernment for years, according to
new federal data, bolstering the
is under scrutiny
over traffic stops But the man once honored by you may get a letter from Washington.’”
long-held suspicions of many and pot seizures Rohnert Park for his highway sei- ZEKE FLATTEN, former police officer at a Texas school district
families that staffing levels were zures is no longer employed by the
often inadequate. COMING The attention also has spot- one out there. I didn’t want to
The records for the first time MONDAY city. Rohnert Park officials will not lighted another side of Tatum’s be the tip of the spear,” said
reveal frequent and significant Rohnert Park say why but confirm he is under reputation, one discussed for Freeman, 60.
fluctuations in day-to-day staff- Public Safety investigation in connection with years among local defense at- Tatum stands by his conduct
ing, with particularly large Department has torneys who have faced off with during his career as a police
shortfalls on weekends. On the an outsized role in a puzzling December traffic stop him in court and among people officer and firefighter with the
worst-staffed days at an aver- traffic opera- and marijuana seizure across the who claim their rights were Rohnert Park Public Safety
age facility, the new data show, tions that target county line in Mendocino County violated during roadside stops Department, and he rejected
on-duty personnel cared for black-market when their property was taken. characterizations of his on-duty
nearly twice as many residents drugs and money involving a pair of officers who six One is a Mendocino County behavior as unprofessional or
as they did when the staffing months later remain unidentified. cannabis dispensary owner and unethical.
roster was fullest. longtime grower, Hue Freeman, “That is their opinion, but I
The data, analyzed by Kaiser
Tatum’s departure comes amid increasing who believes Tatum illegally disagree with their opinion,”
Health News, come from daily public scrutiny of a range of his on-duty actions seized more than $65,000 worth Tatum, 35, said in an interview. “I
payroll records Medicare only and persistent questions about missing cash and of marijuana he was bringing served and protected my commu-
recently began gathering to a dispensary. He said he feels nity and made a positive impact
and publishing from more
seized marijuana. It has raised questions about emboldened to speak out about and changed people’s lives for the
than 14,000 nursing homes, as why Rohnert Park routinely sent its officers his case now that others are positive, the best I could.”
required by the Affordable Care to the northern edge of the county to conduct questioning Tatum’s police- The encounter with Freeman
Act of 2010. Medicare previously work.
had been rating each facility’s highway seizures even with a staffing shortage “I didn’t want to be the only TURN TO INVESTIGATION » PAGE A14
and after other agencies stopped.
TURN TO STAFFING » PAGE A2

Business E1 Crossword T7 Movies D6 Sonoma Life D1 COUNTY TRANSIT FUNDS AT RISK: Millions SANTA ROSA ©2018
Classified E5 Forum B11 Nevius C1 Smith A3 for road projects could be lost in November if High 90, Low 50 The Press
Democrat
Community B10 Lotto A2 Obituaries B4 Towns T1 voters statewide approve repeal of gas tax / A3 THE WEATHER, C8

Jazz Jess Petty of Elegant Jazz (horn and vocalist)


and Ken Chambers (keyboardist) will entertain
in July Friends House residents and guests
on our patio on the green.
Friday, July 20th For complimentary tickets sign up
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at www.friendshouse.org FRIENDS HOUSE
A14 THE PRESS DEMOCRAT • SUNDAY, JULY 8, 2018

“As I got just past the Asti turnoff I noticed a Rohnert Park police car going
northbound and I made the comment, ‘What are they doing up here?’”
HUE FREEMAN, Mendocino County grower, dispensary owner

ALVIN JORNADA / THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

OFF THE BEATEN PATH: Motorists drive along Highway 101 around Frog Woman Rock near Hopland. A former co-worker of Brendon Tatum, who is under investigation by the Rohnert Park Public Safety Department,
said he continued patrolling highway near the Sonoma-Mendocino border even after command staff last year informed officers they were ending the operation.

INVESTIGATION over the course of two weeks. A


representative of his Pleasant
said. “There had been a recog-
nition (in California) that there
Hill-based firm said Buffington
were a number of lawful bases
Rancho Cotate High School and
received his police training from
Santa Rosa Junior College’s
its prolonged focus on highway
drug missions far from Rohnert
Park — which increased after
CONTINUED FROM A1 had no comment or statement on which someone could lawful- Public Safety Training Center. other cities ceased.
to offer. ly be carrying cannabis on the State records show Rohnert Park The operations boosted the

T
is among a number of troubling highway. I feel their procedures hired Tatum in December 2003, department’s budget. Local law
run-ins with Tatum described by ATUM SAID he doesn’t were certainly out of line.” while he was at the public safety enforcement agencies can keep
defendants and lawyers who’ve remember the traffic stop Freeman said the officers academy. He was promoted to a portion of the money they
criticized his police work, point- with Freeman, which oc- asked him about the strains sergeant in July 2015. seize through state and federal
ing to what they said were ques- curred a year and a half ago. of marijuana in the vehicle, Tatum has been involved in civil asset forfeiture laws. Since
tionable traffic stops, searches Freeman is part owner of a which he said seemed odd. He two officer-involved shootings, 2015, Rohnert Park’s officers
and seizures. dispensary in the town of Men- explained he was following one of which was fatal. The Dis- have seized assets worth more
Interviews with people he docino, Sol de Mendocino, and he California medical marijuana trict Attorney’s Office cleared than $2.4 million, more than any
pulled over on the road, as well grows cannabis in the Anderson laws that allow cultivators to be Tatum in the 2005 fatal shooting other law enforcement agency
as a half-dozen defense attor- Valley. On Dec. 29, 2016, Free- compensated for their work and of a 30-year-old man who was in Sonoma County, according
neys and several police officers, man was driving his harvest in materials, which he estimated at high on methamphetamine to the California Department of
including members of his a rental car down Highway 101 about $1,400 per pound. and armed with a gun during a Justice. The department’s annu-
own department, also reveal a to the Higher Path dispensary in The officers seized the can- nighttime foot chase. In January, al budget is about $20 million.
pattern of aggressive confronta- Sherman Oaks. But he didn’t get nabis. Although charges were Tatum was one of five officers Schwartz, in an email re-
tions — both with people under past Geyserville. never filed, Freeman has been who shot at a 21-year-old man sponse to The Press Democrat’s
investigation by Tatum and with “As I got just past the Asti unable to get it back. He sus- during a standoff in front of questions, would not elaborate
lawyers he’s accosted at their turnoff I noticed a Rohnert Park pects his cannabis never made the police station near Rohnert on the policy decision to send
workplace and at the Sonoma police car going northbound and it to the Police Department be- Park Expressway. The man was officers so far north but said
County courthouse. I made the comment, ‘What are cause he’s never received proof wounded. District Attorney offi- Rohnert Park participated in
In the courtroom, defense they doing up here?’” said Free- it had. cials said they are waiting for a these highway drug seizure
attorneys have uncovered cases man, who was driving with the But five days after the traffic Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office missions to “reduce the flow of
where Tatum violated his own adult son of a friend. “No sooner stop, a Sonoma County judge report on the shooting. illegal drugs to Sonoma County,
department policies, including than I got those words out of my signed a destruction order Tatum is also the subject of an including the City of Rohnert
a September 2016 encounter mouth, they braked and crossed for the cannabis requested by ongoing federal civil rights case Park.” He noted that Rohnert
where the sergeant repeatedly the divide and got right beside Rohnert Park, according to against Rohnert Park alleging Park’s crime rate “remains
turned off his body camera while me and turned on their lights.” Assistant District Attorney Bill he and other officers conducted low by historic standards, and
investigating a fender bender Freeman said the traffic stop, Brockley, who reviewed the an illegal, warrantless search response times to fires and other
and ordered a junior officer to involving Tatum and another case documents in response to of a family’s house in 2014. With emergencies that are generally
turn his camera off, according to officer, felt questionable from the Press Democrat’s query last his partners at the front door, within national standards.”
court filings. Tatum then failed the start. week. It wasn’t until about four Tatum was the officer who went He cited an earlier email state-
to properly catalogue the video, He was told by officers that he weeks later that prosecutors around to the back of the house ment provided last month to The
resulting in a delay of about six had allowed his wheels to touch received Rohnert Park’s report then entered a back door of the Press Democrat stating that the
months in criminal proceedings the white fog line, according to requesting charges against Free- home and held a resident at gun- city takes concerns about police
against one of the drivers while Freeman. One of their first ques- man, the files show. They de- point, according to an attorney officer conduct seriously. But he
police staff searched for the tions, according to Freeman: Did clined to charge Freeman with a in the case. The trial is sched- declined to provide information
missing evidence, court records he have marijuana in the car? crime “in the interest of justice” uled for October. about how much money the city
show. The case was dismissed The answer was yes. after determining Freeman Tatum said he didn’t wish to is spending on an outside firm
June 28. Freeman was hauling appeared to be following medical comment in detail on many of brought in to investigate Tatum
In another case, Tatum seized 47 pounds of cannabis, the bulk marijuana rules, Brockley said. the allegations facing him or even though the cost of such
a man’s car and then abandoned of his annual harvest, worth an The city declined to provide meet with a reporter in person. contracts are routinely disclosed
him on the side of the highway estimated $65,800. Tatum and the information about Freeman’s “For 15 years I put my life on as part of city business.
to walk to a nearby exit, ac- other officer, Joseph Huffaker, case by press time, including de- the line,” Tatum said. “I was “I’m following the recommen-
cording to interviews and court seized it and cited Freeman for tails about whether the cannabis involved with two shootings and dation of the city attorney,”
records. In another, Tatum illegal possession of cannabis, was booked into evidence and if it’s stressful. I have kids and a Schwartz said.
demanded a man give him the according to public records, in- it was in fact destroyed. wife and I just want to focus on Rohnert Park is a combined
earrings he was wearing while cluding a misdemeanor citation “They stole from us, that’s my family and be a good dad.” police and firefighting agency,

T
he was detained in a parking lot, and a letter to the city of Rohnert what they did,” Freeman said. one of only two cities in the

I
the man’s lawyer said. Park from Freeman’s lawyer. ATUM’S BOSS will not state with personnel trained to
Tatum is on the so-called Freeman said he had a packet NSIDE THE DEPARTMENT, answer questions about perform both duties. Tatum was
Brady list maintained by the of documents showing he had a Tatum was regarded as “this him, even in the face of new listed as a sergeant assigned to
Sonoma County District Attor- cultivation license through Men- amazing dope cop” who revelations and increasing public the fire services division in 2017,
ney’s Office, a designation that docino County and an agree- brought significant amounts of criticism of the city’s public safe- according to city payroll re-
requires prosecutors to notify ment to bring the marijuana to asset forfeiture money into the ty department. The city’s internal cords. That year, Tatum earned
defendants and their attorneys the dispensary. He had called city, according to a fellow officer. investigation of Tatum was first $203,477, including $77,488 in
when an officer has potential the dispensary that morning to Tatum had great independence reported in April by Kym Kemp, overtime pay, plus benefits val-
credibility issues, such as having alert them he was getting on the in the department, which the offi- author of Humboldt County’s ued at $97,959.
lied in an official capacity. road. cer said was beset by a culture of Redheaded Blackbelt news blog Rohnert Park’s investigation
Rohnert Park Assistant City Freeman showed the officers lax oversight. Tatum’s co-worker and also last month by KQED, the into Tatum is focused on the
Manager Don Schwartz said he — Tatum and Huffaker — his pa- asked to have his name withheld Bay Area’s NPR affiliate. complaints of one man, Zeke
cannot disclose whether Tatum perwork and put one of them on out of concern managers would Tatum’s boss is Rohnert Park Flatten, Schwartz said. Flatten
resigned or was fired, and he the phone with his lawyer, Fort retaliate against employees Public Safety Director Brian said he believes a pair of officers
also cannot provide Tatum’s Bragg attorney Hannah Nelson. speaking out about personnel Masterson. He has refused to wrongly seized 3 pounds of can-
last day of employment because In an interview, Nelson said and policy issues. speak with The Press Demo- nabis from him during a Decem-
of California laws prohibiting Freeman diligently follows The officer said Tatum contin- crat, and referred all questions ber traffic stop on Highway 101.
the release of police personnel California’s rules for medical ued patrolling Highway 101 near to Schwartz, the assistant city The investigation is looking into
information. marijuana cultivation, transpor- the Sonoma-Mendocino border manager. what role, if any, Tatum and
“We’re very limited on what tation and sale within a collec- even after command staff last Schwartz confirmed the Huffaker had in the stop. Huffak-
we can say regarding personnel tive. While on the phone with the year informed its officers they existence of the investigation er remains employed by the city
issues,” Schwartz said. officers, Nelson said she offered would no longer routinely do but would not discuss Tatum or and is on paid leave.

B
A police union official did not to put them on the phone with a so. Command staff appeared to accusations of misconduct, saying
respond to requests for comment. Mendocino County sheriff’s offi- overlook or ignore Tatum’s con- California law bars him from dis- EFORE HE LEFT the
Tatum said he decided to cial who could vouch for Free- tinued forays north, he said. cussing police personnel matters. Rohnert Park force, Tatum
resign from his job with Rohnert man. She said they declined. “It’s suspicious,” the officer “I’m not answering questions had faced heavy scrutiny
Park last month and quit the “I can honestly say those tac- said. “Why weren’t the bosses on specific cases,” Schwartz in the court cases involving
law enforcement profession tics by the Rohnert Park Police stepping up, and saying, ‘This is said. his arrests. Defense attorneys
altogether. The internal inves- Department were tactics no a red flag?’” Schwartz also declined to an- have said that while their job
tigation of him plus the public longer being used by many law Raised in Sonoma County, swer questions about the depart- is to question the lawfulness of
scrutiny have been stressful, he enforcement officers,” Nelson Tatum played basketball for ment’s oversight of its officers or arrests, they said Tatum stood
said, and he had already been out as engaging in a pattern of
thinking about a career change.
“I’m just trying to move on
with my life,” Tatum said. “The
“For 15 years I put my life on the line. ... questionable police work and
unprofessional behavior.
They raised their concerns
law enforcement profession has
changed.”
I have kids and a wife and I just want to focus with the District Attorney’s
Office, according to interviews
Tatum’s attorney, Justin
Buffington, did not respond to
on my family and be a good dad.” with local lawyers.

repeated requests for comment BRENDON TATUM, former Rohnert Park police sergeant who is under investigation TURN TO INVESTIGATION » PAGE A15
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT • SUNDAY, JULY 8, 2018 A15

“His reputation is of not telling the truth. He gets caught in court


and cases get thrown out because of it.”
STEVE GALLENSON, longtime Santa Rosa defense attorney about former Rohnert Park police sergeant Brendon Tatum

INVESTIGATION
CONTINUED FROM A14
“His reputation is of not
telling the truth,” said Steve
Gallenson, 65, a longtime Santa
Rosa defense attorney. “He gets
caught in court and cases get
thrown out because of it.”
District Attorney Jill Ravitch
declined to discuss whether her
office is investigating Tatum for
possible misconduct.
“We don’t talk about investiga-
tions,” Ravitch said.
Ravitch’s office decides when
law enforcement officers have
engaged in conduct requiring
what’s called Brady disclosure,
a designation named after a 1963
U.S. Supreme Court case, Brady
vs. Maryland, requiring prose-
cutors to disclose to defendants
and defense attorneys informa-
tion that could undermine an
officer’s credibility.
Tatum’s designation came after
he provided false testimony on the
stand in 2016 while being ques-
tioned about whether he knew a
driver’s vehicle registration was
expired before pulling him over,
according to court documents JOHN BURGESS / THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
provided to The Press Democrat. TENDING HIS CROP: Hue Freeman, 60, prunes plants on his state-licensed cannabis farm above the Alexander Valley.
During the hearing, Tatum
was unable to answer the — $21,920 — was “money that surveillance near the Sono- Rosa defense attorney. “And look bad,” Tatum said.
question definitively and asked was in exchange for a controlled ma-Mendocino county line on then he doesn’t tell the truth Several weeks after that
to make a phone call during a substance or proceeds from drug Dec. 18 when he and Huffaker about it and he gets caught in courthouse confrontation in
break to research dispatch re- sales,” according to Jamar. He stopped a Mercedes-Benz in con- those lies. And the case gets 2014, about 10 defense attorneys
cords. A dispatcher couldn’t get declined to provide information nection with an unrelated case. dismissed. Then what happened gathered at a conference table at
into the records system quickly about the evidence linking the It turned out the driver to him is he gets a promotion.” Andrian and Gallenson’s office

G
and was unable to answer his cash to drug sales. wasn’t the person they were to discuss their concerns about
question before the call ended, Serafine denies any criminal looking for, but they found he ALLENSON SAID he Tatum. They agreed to submit
according to a court transcript. involvement and said the money was hauling about 30 pounds complained about Tatum declarations in each other’s cas-
But Tatum testified the dis- was from gambling, which has of cannabis that he didn’t have to the District Attorney’s es when Tatum was an arresting
patcher gave him information been his primary income for the documentation for, according to
Office in 2014. Gallenson said officer, and provide information
confirming he had checked the last eight years. Serafine said Tatum. He said the driver told
he told a lawyer in the District about his behavior toward them
registration before pulling the the District Attorney’s Office the officers the cannabis wasn’t
Attorney’s Office that Tatum and their clients.
driver over, court records show. never produced evidence linking his, so they seized it, booking it
seemed to be out of control and They’ve done so in several
Tatum later said he was his money to criminal activity, into the Police Department as
called him “a rogue cop.” cases so far.

T
merely exhausted that day and and he said he felt pressured “found property,” according to Gallenson’s complaint
didn’t intend to provide inaccu- to resolve the case because the Tatum and Rohnert Park evi- stemmed from several encoun- ATUM WAS EXPECTED
rate information, according to a financial loss was difficult. As dence records. Tatum said that
ters between Tatum and one of to testify as a witness on
court transcript. a gambler, he needed money to they aren’t required to write a
his clients, who was under in- March 1, 2016, in a Sonoma

A
make money. report for “found property,” so
vestigation for illegal drug sales. County courtroom when instead
NOTHER OF the ongo- “They never said (to me), ‘We he didn’t have any record of the
In one instance, Gallenson said, he conducted a traffic stop on
ing claims facing Tatum believe the money is tainted,’” driver’s identity. Tatum ordered the man to give Highway 101 between Rohnert
is that he was involved Serafine said. “They can’t tell a Tatum said he didn’t call the
up the earrings he was wearing Park and Santa Rosa, according
somehow in the disappearance reporter that, that’s so wrong.” traffic stop into dispatch at the
in a parking lot. to Sebastopol criminal defense
of more than $10,000 in cash On June 26, four days after time because “we were trying toThe lawyer’s comments were attorney Izaak Schwaiger, who
seized from a Fairfield man Rohnert Park officials acknowl- stay low key” during the surveil-
apparently relayed back to described the incident in an in-
during a traffic stop two years edged that Tatum had left the lance operation. Tatum, who showed up about terview as well as in a declaration
ago. department, Serafine said he “We were provided with a week later to Gallenson’s filed in court. A judge was sched-
Lucas Serafine, 36, who received a phone call from a Zeke’s information, that’s why
Mendocino Avenue office with a uled to consider Schwaiger’s
recently moved back to Cal- lawyer representing the city the name and date got messedstack of complaint forms. Tatum argument alleging Tatum con-
ifornia from Las Vegas, said of Rohnert Park who made an up. It’s because we were provid-
ran into Gallenson’s law partner, ducted an unlawful warrantless
he had $132,000 in cash in two initial offer of $15,000 to settle ed the date and the name from
Chris Andrian, in the parking lot. search and so the evidence taken
sealed containers in the trunk the civil case, then upped it to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s According to Andrian, anoth- should be inadmissible.
of his girlfriend’s Mazda 3 sedan $22,000. Office,” Tatum said. “That was
er veteran of the local defense But Tatum did not show up
when they were pulled over by Serafine said he declined. the only stop that we remem-bar, Tatum shoved a stack of in court. Instead, Tatum pulled
Rohnert Park police officers “They took my money, held bered dealing with anybody with
complaint forms in his direction over a vehicle for speeding and
about 2:20 p.m. March 10, 2016, it up like a trophy,” Serafine a similar vehicle.” and said Gallenson was “taking tailgating, according to the court
on Highway 101 near Cloverdale. said of the roadside encounter. Flatten’s persistent com-food off his family’s table” by files.
His girlfriend had picked him “They didn’t give us a receipt for plaints about the traffic stop
questioning the integrity of his The driver, Luis Carnero,
up at the airport in San Francis- the money and said, ‘You can get and drug seizure prompted the
police work with the District At- said he was driving about 5 mph
co and they were heading north an attorney.’” city of Rohnert Park to hiretorney’s Office. Andrian said he above the speed limit. He said

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to Humboldt County for a poker an outside firm to conduct an
has known Tatum since he was a Tatum immediately started
tournament at the Bear River HE REPORTED POLICE administrative investigationchild and is close with his aunt, asking Carnero and his passen-
Casino. He said he was also go- encounter that launched into Tatum. Flatten also sent a
who used to work for him. ger if they had cash or drugs in
ing to look at a piece of property the ongoing investigation complaint about his encounter “He got so aggressive toward the car. In an interview, Carnero
he wanted to buy. into Tatum was a brief Dec. 5 with the unidentified officers to
me, it freaked me out,” said described his encounter with
According to court documents, traffic stop on Highway 101 the Mendocino County Sheriff’s
Andrian, 74. “I saw a side of him Tatum as “one of the worst
the officers, Tatum and Nicholas south of Hopland in Mendocino Office and the FBI. that I’d never seen before.” experiences of my life.”
Miller, had pulled Serafine’s County. An FBI spokesman said they A week or so later, Andri- “He started immediately
girlfriend over for traveling too Zeke Flatten, the driver, said a reviewed the complaint but an and several other lawyers getting aggressive,” Carnero
fast for weather conditions. The pair of officers in an unmarked didn’t find grounds to investi-
watched as Tatum confronted said. “My friend with me is a
officers claimed they smelled patrol vehicle pulled him over gate further. When asked wheth-
Gallenson in a Sonoma County bit flashy, he wears jewelry, and
marijuana, which they said gave and said he had been speeding. er the agency is investigating
Superior Court hallway. Several Tatum, he immediately labeled
them the authority to search Minutes later the officers were Tatum related to other matters,
witnesses said Tatum’s demean- us as drug dealers.”
the vehicle, said Serafine, who gone, taking with them 3 pounds FBI spokesman Prentice Danner
or and statements during the Tatum searched the vehicle
noted he had just come from the of marijuana they found in the said he could not provide fur-
encounter went beyond the and their luggage, finding a
airport and had no marijuana. back of his rented SUV and ther comment. normal adversarial relationship few grams of marijuana they

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The officers found the cash. leaving without giving Flatten a between criminal defense attor- had purchased at a San Fran-
The officers seized the money citation, he said. HE SAME YEAR Tatum neys and cops. cisco dispensary. He seized the
and gave Serafine a felony cita- Flatten said one of the officers was promoted to sergeant, “There’s no other cop I’ve ever rental vehicle and both men’s
tion for being in possession of said they worked for the U.S. he was awarded “Officer known who has behaved that cellphones, and ultimately gave
money from unlawful drug sales, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, of the Year” for his work on way in a courthouse,” Andrian Carnero a citation for driving
according to a traffic citation. Firearms and Explosives. drug interdiction cases. Rohnert said. without a license, according to
Only $121,920 ended up in evi- “He said, ‘We’re with the ATF. Park City Councilman Amy Cellphone video taken of the the documents.
dence at the police department, Marijuana is taking over in Cal- Ahanotu, who was mayor at the encounter shows Tatum con- Carnero had a valid Texas
court documents show. ifornia like cigarettes, you may time, complimented Tatum for fronting Gallenson, who is seat- driver’s license, but he had
“All I can assume is they get a letter from Washington,’” his passion for combating illegal ed on a hallway bench talking moved from Texas to San
reached in and pulled out a according to Flatten. “He hand- drug activity during a March to a prosecutor. Not all of the Francisco a little more than a
stack and put it in their pocket,” ed (over) my license and rental 2015 council meeting. conversation is audible but in month before the traffic stop.
Serafine said. car contract and said, ‘Have a Tatum addressed the council, response to Tatum’s complaints, Tatum said Carnero had failed
Serafine’s lawyer reported the nice day.’” thanking the city “for giving Gallenson responds: “I thought to acquire a California driver’s
missing $10,080 to the Rohnert Bureau officials told Flatten me the opportunity to work it was an out-of-control move.” license in a timely manner,
Park Public Safety Department. and The Press Democrat that no the highway to fight the war on “What about it? He’s a drug according to Carnero.
They never received a response, ATF officer was involved in his drugs.” dealer. All this stuff that he has, A judge ultimately dismissed
he said. traffic stop. Tatum has arrested or cited it can come through court,” the case against Carnero, but he
Serafine is suing Rohnert “I know it wasn’t lawful, I at least 68 people from 2013 Tatum said in the video, refer- was still on the hook for more
Park in a case scheduled for a know it was unconstitutional,” through 2017 for charges that ring to Gallenson’s client. “So than $1,000 in fees from the
November trial, arguing that said Flatten, a former police offi- include marijuana possession, if you want to run your mouth rental car company because the
Tatum and Miller violated his cer at a Texas school district. according to Rohnert Park Pub- outside of court, I’m going to vehicle was impounded.
rights against unlawful search Though no law enforcement lic Safety Department records. do everything I can to prove my Carnero said he was so trou-
and seizure by their actions agency has said its officers were Of those, 30 people were con- case. This is unprofessional, you bled by the encounter that he
during the traffic stop. He’s also involved, Tatum included Flat- victed of a crime. Misdemeanor calling the DA and telling them agreed to testify in an unrelated
demanding the city return the ten’s name on an official police possession of more than 28.5 I’m out of control. It’s unprofes- case in Sonoma County Superior
remainder of his money. report, and the department in grams of marijuana was the sional and it’s childish.” Court about his encounter with
Tatum denied allegations February issued a press release most frequently cited crime. They continued discussing the Tatum, in an effort to provide
he or the other officer took the about a December traffic stop The charges were dismissed issue while other attorneys and context about an alleged pattern
money. and marijuana seizure near the against 14 defendants — repre- bystanders watched, and Tatum of behavior by the officer. His tes-
“That did not happen,” Tatum Mendocino-Sonoma county line. senting 20 percent of his marijua- began indicating he would timony ultimately was not need-
said. The press release didn’t identity na possession arrests. In addi- consider taking some kind of ed and the case was dismissed.
Serafine was never charged the driver or provide the day of tion, the Sonoma County District action if Gallenson questioned Schwaiger, Carnero’s lawyer,
with a crime, and the District the stop. Attorney’s Office rejected 10 drug his police work again with the said he’s handled several cases
Attorney’s Office has since Tatum said he made a paper- cases involving an unknown District Attorney’s Office. with Tatum as the arresting
returned $100,000 to him, work mistake that has drawn number of people arrested by “If you call the DA’s office officer, including a case when
according to Serafine and the him into a “lengthy” internal Tatum, which means prosecutors again and say I’m out of control he argued Tatum provided false
settlement document filed in investigation. Tatum said he declined to file any charges in and that you have issues ...” said information on the stand.
Sonoma County Superior Court has no memory of a traffic stop those cases, records show. The Tatum. Tatum “has no business to be
in August 2017. involving Flatten, and he incor- remaining 15 cases are pending Gallenson stood up, folded his wearing a badge,” Schwaiger
Chief Deputy District Attor- rectly put Flatten’s name into or were resolved in other ways. hands in front of his torso and said, “and quite frankly I’m glad
ney Scott Jamar said prosecu- a police report involving a dif- “There have been many cases said: “What?” to hear he’s not anymore.”
tors investigated the source of ferent driver on a different day where lawyers have filed mo- “I’ll call the (California) Bar
the money and determined the because he relied on information tions to suppress evidence based Association, OK? Because court You can reach Staff Writer Julie
bulk was from “potentially a given to him by the Mendocino on the fact that he (Tatum) pulls is the time to bring something Johnson at 707-521-5220 or julie.
legitimate source.” But prosecu- County Sheriff’s Office. people over without cause,” said like that up, not trying to ruin johnson@pressdemocrat.com.
tors determined the remainder Tatum said he was conducting Gallenson, the veteran Santa my reputation or try to make me On Twitter @jjpressdem.