Emotions run high at town hall meeting

Darrell Logan Sr. told the panel of Sheriff's Dept. leadership the most traumatic part of Oct. 13 was not knowing if his son was dead or alive for nearly seven hours following his son's death.

LANCASTER – A forum to meet the Sheriff’s Department leadership and to address questions, concerns or complaints involving the department was dominated by family members and friends of Darrell Logan Jr., the man shot and killed by deputies on Oct. 13.

Chief Tyler (standing) apologized to the Logan family for the way they were treated.

“No one has answered our phone calls, returned our phone calls or given us any information,” said father, Darrell Logan Sr. “I’m shattered right now, I’m broken.”

During the meeting, which was hosted by the AV Human Relations Commission Monday night, several of Logan’s family members expressed their frustrations to the panel of top Sheriff’s brass, including Chief Neal Tyler, Commander Anthony La Berge, Palmdale and Lancaster Station Captains Bobby Denham and Robert Jonsen, and Walter Katz and Diana Teran from the Los Angeles Office of Independent Review (OIR).

Darrell Logan Jr.

Darrell Logan Jr.

“It’s a lot of hurt in this family and we need some answers about what went on with my nephew,” said Logan’s aunt Regina Davenport.

Logan, 32, was shot and killed by Palmdale Sheriff’s deputies on Oct. 13. A statement from headquarters, issued shortly after the incident, said deputies responded to a call around 11:48 a.m. from an informant, who stated that gunfire was heard from a residence [Logan’s home].

Deputies responded to the scene and commanded the occupants to exit the garage but the suspect refused to exit; when deputies entered the garage they were confronted by an armed suspect and a deputy-involved shooting occurred, according to the Sheriff’s statement. Logan’s wife Krystle Washington was at the house when the shooting took place and gave her side of the story to The AV Times on Oct. 14. Read it here.

Monday night Logan’s relatives disputed the Sheriff’s Department’s account of the incident, saying they had spoken to the witness inside the garage with Logan during the incident, and had been told that Logan was unarmed when shot by deputies.

Logan's aunt, Regina Davenport, said the witness to the incident said Logan was unarmed.

“He went down on shot number 10. How do we know this? Because it was another person in the garage when he was shot,” said Davenport. “An unarmed man was shot multiple times, how can you go in the garage and shoot a man in his own home and then say it was a justifiable shooting, but the other guy did not get shot one time.”

Acknowledging the frustration of Logan’s family members, officials said they could offer little resolve Monday night.

Commander Anthony La Berge said parallel investigations were being conducted by the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau, and attorneys from the Los Angeles Office of Independent Review (OIR).

He said a final conclusion would be made by the District Attorney’s Office on whether the deputy-involved shooting was justifiable, or whether there was criminal intent on the part of the Sheriff’s Department.

“We just can’t discuss it right now until the investigation is completely and thoroughly done and the DA’s office has a chance to review it, analyze it and make their final determination,” said La Berge.

Logan’s mother, Arzenia Ratliff, said she went to the Palmdale Station on Nov. 21 to file a public complaint about the deputies killing her son, and she was intimidated by the Watch Commander.

Logan's mother, Arzenia Ratliff.

“The Watch Commander came out, he took me to this little room, he had me so scared,” said Ratliff. “He was telling me that it was justified… [he said] ‘You don’t need to file a complaint, what do you want to complain for?’ I left there in tears.”

“There’s been no finding at this point that the shooting was justifiable or not justifiable,” said Walter Katz, the attorney from OIR who is handling the case.

Logan’s family members seemed to accept that they could not gain immediate answers regarding details of the shooting. But they said they could not accept how they were treated in the hours following the incident.

“The question was really not about what happened at the time of the shooting, the question was ‘is our family member dead or alive’ and we had to wait hours to get that answer,” said Logan’s aunt Paulette Gardner. “[Hospital] security took me to the side and said ‘we’ve been gagged,’ can the community know about this gag policy?”

Ratcliff said her son’s death certificate listed the time of death at 12:37 p.m., yet despite several attempts, she was unable to find out if her son was dead or alive until well after 7 p.m.

Attorney Walter Katz from OIR said there's been no finding on whether or not the deputy-involved shooting was justified.

“The Palmdale deputies had me at the Palmdale station for two hours telling me the detective was coming out to talk to me, [then] they sent me to the hospital telling me my son was at the hospital, but in critical condition,” said Ratliff. “They sent me back to Palmdale station, then back to the hospital, because no one would talk to me — no one!”

Ratliff said she finally went back to her son’s house around 7:30 p.m.

“I went to the scene, the officer walked up to me, I said ‘I want to know if my son is dead or alive.’ He said ‘your son is dead’ and walked away,” Ratliff said, through tears.

Chief Neal Tyler said he heard the complaints of the Logan family “loud and clear” and could not account for the lack of communication by the Sheriff’s Department.

“I can’t justify it if that’s how it happened and I apologize,” said Tyler.  “Instead of giving you a bunch of superficial hooey about ‘oh, don’t worry, I’ll fix it,’ I can only stand up here and apologize about that. You learn from attending a meeting like this.”

Logan's family members and friends came out in full force to the Sheriff's Dept. leadership meeting.

A handful of residents, unrelated to Logan, expressed condolences to the Logan family before bringing separate issues before the Sheriff’s Department’s leadership. Palmdale resident Gloria Smith, 77, said someone pulled up beside her in traffic and yelled “Another n**ger with an Obama sticker.” Ed Galindo questioned the department’s policy of impounding cars for 30 days, and wondered if the rule was unfairly imposed on Latinos. Anaverde Hills resident, Steve Hill, said deputies had unfairly shot and killed his Pitbull and was seeking answers. Lancaster resident David Abber spoke about being assaulted by Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. David Grajeda spoke about being unfairly arrested and harassed by Parris and Sheriff’s deputies. And Lancaster resident, Maureen Feller, suggested a Civilian Committee be established to take complaints involving Sheriff’s deputies and route the information directly to the Sheriff’s leadership.

  15 comments for “Emotions run high at town hall meeting

  1. Abdul Majeed Askia
    December 5, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Hopefully, some day on this earth we will realize we are all in this together ! East,west,north or south! Black,brown,red,white or whatever,
    we must ultimately learn to solve problems collectively! Public speaker
    Abdul Majeed Askia/palmdale

  2. bigburd
    December 5, 2011 at 7:46 am

    here’s an idea pigs! don’t shoot unless you see the suspect with a gun! i spoke to a family member of his the following morning. shame on you pigs! why don’t you pigs ever learn how to do your job?!?! (properly) they need some serious officer training out here.

    • Nicole Dawson
      December 5, 2011 at 3:11 pm

      Our deputies may need some training, but people like you need training in manners, respect and just plain common courtesy! Those ‘pigs’ are the first people you call on when you are in trouble. How about showing some respect for the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect you everyday? You can start by not calling them pigs!!!

  3. Eric Moore
    December 2, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Man, it is hard to feel any simpathy for the cops now a days specially if you have been the recipian of a “quota ticket” or had you can inpounded or had been harrazed by them, I know there are a few are good cops out there, but lately they have been behaving like morons, I don’t wish anything bad to happen to any of them but, they need to take inventory of what their behavior has been of lately. Sorry that is my honest opinion right now I fear cops now and I am not a criminal.

    • Palmdale_Steve
      December 3, 2011 at 7:12 am

      I can sell you an Occupy Lancaster sticker to go on your car, it will make the cops nice to you.

      • Eric Moore
        December 3, 2011 at 9:34 am

        grear x-mas gift

  4. justice4DDL
    November 29, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    hello im the sister of darrell logan jr. We are not question the shooting before the report is in or done we just want to know why were we giving the run around the day my brother was killed. We was told to go to the hospital and then to the station and to wait for someone to speak to us. then back to the hospital were they were not allowed to talk to us or tell is nothing. yes we want answers why was he shot and killed and he was unarmed. this i do know for a fact.

  5. S. Parker
    November 29, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I think the family is just questioning why the Palmdale Station keep them wondering whether Logan was dead or alive for so long. If this is true, this is truly a crying shame! The young man might not have been a saint, but what did the mother and father do to justify keeping them in limbo for so long? Death notifications are sensitive and delicate matters and this one was bungled to the nth degree with bad communication and piss poor mismanagement all the way around! SHAME on whoever was in charge that day!!

  6. Palmdale_Steve
    November 29, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    “There’s been no finding at this point that the shooting was justifiable or not justifiable,” said Walter Katz, the attorney from OIR who is handling the case.”

    Is the family questioning the shooting before the report comes in, or just that the Sheriff are investigating themselves?

    But, for sure the Sheriff’s department needs to give some training to someone on every shift on how to properly deal with family members when events like this occur.

    • December 1, 2011 at 9:02 am

      First let me say ‘my heart goes out to the family of Logan.’ Secondly
      I believe all parties should consider the families lost and the pain
      they are experiencing at this hour. It would be inappropriate to agitate
      the situation with loose or unfounded statements.Abdul Majeed Askia.

      • Palmdale_Steve
        December 1, 2011 at 5:27 pm

        What comments would those be?

        While I do consider the “lost (sp) loss and pain” of the family, I also consider the Sheriff Deputies who responded to this incident and others in the Valley and who put their lives on the line every day for ALL the citizens of the Antelope Valley.

        The facts of this shooting are not known yet and have not been reviewed by the Sheriff’s department. I’m a big believer in facts, those facts are not known right now, irregardless of the emotions and unsubstantiated claims by some.

        • Abdul Majeed Askia
          December 2, 2011 at 9:57 am

          The family is still grieving and under great emotional stress. No matter how any of us may feel the fact of the matter is they are the one’s in the center of this unfortunate tragedy.In the long run a wife lost a husband,
          children lost a father,relatives lost a family member and
          friends lost a friend.Again, regardless of how anyone else
          may feel believe or think let all at least consider their
          feelings and point of view. In the end its all going to
          take its course,findings,discovery and outcome.Others may
          guess or assume it is going to be this way or that way
          but the fact is “it hasn’t happened yet!” The weight of
          the situation emotionally speaking is on the family and
          the immediate parties involved;however,there were a host
          of issues and concerns voiced at the meeting. But again,
          at this moment its all in the air. That being the case
          why should anyone disrespect the family and/or inflame the
          emotions of others without all the facts? What will be
          be will be.

          • Palmdale_Steve
            December 2, 2011 at 4:00 pm

            I’m sure you have the same call for respect for the Deputies involved in this tragic event…right?

Comments are closed.