Former Rohnert Park Police Sergeant Faces Credibility Questions as He Testifies in Court This Week

Sgt Jacy Tatum

Jacy Tatum being sworn in as sergeant in 2015. [Photo from the City of Rohnert Park Police and Fire’s Facebook page]

This week, Sgt. Jacy Tatum, a former Rohnert Park police officer, who is being investigated for his role in allegedly trying to frame a man in a cannabis-related incident revealed first on this website, is currently testifying in an unrelated federal civil trial in Sonoma County. Tatum resigned in June as media accounts increasingly appeared to show he had made untrue statements in regard to the earlier case.

The lawsuit Tatum is currently involved in was filed against the City of Rohnert Park, Tatum, and two other officers by a couple that alleges Sgt. Tatum illegally entered their home through the back door while the other officers interviewed the couple at their front door.

KQED’s reporter, Sukey Lewis, who has been investigating the allegations first brought to light on this website, was at this trial also. She has written a detailed description of what occurred at the trial on Wednesday. (Click here to go to her account.) 

KQED also published an earlier story, Ex-Rohnert Park Police Officer Skips Court ‘Because KQED Might Be There’ (We Were), about the first day of the trial in which Tatum reportedly refused to attend because he was concerned that a reporter from KQED would be there. That article recounts the following statement from the plaintiffs’ attorney Arturo Gonzalez to the trial judge:

“This witness is hiding from the court…He doesn’t want to come because he doesn’t want the media to exercise their First Amendment right, that’s not unavailability. That’s hiding.”

However, Tatum had to testify on Wednesday. And Lewis’s article, Ex-Cop’s Credibility Is Key Question In Federal Suit Against Rohnert Park, captures the drama.  A small excerpt below highlights a key concern, but the whole article is riveting.

“You’ve testified untruthfully under oath, haven’t you?” González asked Tatum at one point.

The courtroom fell silent as Tatum paused for a long moment.

“What are you referring to?” he finally answered. “I’m not sure. If you can refer to a certain point or case?”

“You’re aware of the fact you testified untruthfully in Superior Court in Sonoma County?” the lawyer asked.

..

KQED investigation found Tatum has had issues with credibility dating back to at least 2015, when his shifting testimony about the probable cause for a traffic stop led a judge to dismiss the case. In a 2016 case, four Sonoma County defense attorneys submitted affidavits declaring that they had reason to question Tatum’s credibility. In another case, Tatum’s reason for an arrest was disproved by body-camera footage.

Read the whole article by clicking here.

Earlier:

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40 comments

  • Yes! Kym, kudos kudos kudos.

    Maybe Col. Josh Ford at TCSO could use an investigatory AUDIT.

    How many cases has he been given, how many has he solved? What’s his pay? Has his pay been increased while not solving so many cases? How many people are still missing under his case files? How many violent criminals are in trinity free of any prosecution or investigation?

    His ability to detect is similar to Haneys ability to be in office, physically. What a joke the TCSO is.

    Its hard to remember that there are good people in law enforcement with all these @$$#*!&$ in blue.

    (Kym, I’m just mouthing off, I’m not suggesting this for you seriously)

    • I like stars too!

      Interesting that Tatum resigned behind all this. I can’t wait to see if anyone at all can prove any of the allegations filed against this officer, who, it is increasingly apparent that, has some severe procedural problems and appears to possibly have some issues with his competency and ethics…

      It is still difficult for me to accept that sworn officers will go outside the lines so easily, but, when faced with so many professional-grade criminals, such as exist on the North Coast, it seems to be a great temptation.

      Hang in there, LEO’s, and to everyone else, if you transport, get a dashcam, a bodycam, and keep your voice recorders on while you commit your crimes, because hard evidence beats a stoner’s account every time.

      For the record, I still do not believe Zeke Flatten’s account, and, although Tatum’s procedures may appear to have been improper, Flatten was not charged with anything, either, and merely is out some product.

      • Bad cop no doughnut

        Crooked cops are everywhere. Here are 66 listed by the DA in philly alone. It’s a tough job and the temptation to cross blurred lines is a real issue. http://www.philly.com/philly/news/crime/philadelphia-police-list-larry-krasner-problem-cops-names-details.html?mobi=true

      • saddly it is more comonon than most wants to admit. but until you are accused and watch that wall of blue you never truely believe it.

      • thick blue line of criminal corruption

        wait didn’t rp hire a damage control dude from the bay area? this is what he came up with?

      • Don’t you mean he was robbed of his belongings by a person of authority with a gun, not that he’s just missing product?

      • I respect people opinions, as long as they are accurate or based on fact. But sir yours is not; I am not only out some product. I was framed by Tatum in retaliation for publicly exposing their corruption. That is a very serious crime, it’s not just procedural or ethics issues. Thanks to some awesome investigative journalism by Kym, she found the real driver of the 30 lbs. of cannabis that was used to frame me. It was stolen by Tatum and Huffaker on December 18, thirteen days after my incident. There is obviously evidence or Rohnert Park wouldn’t be conducting an internal investigation that both Tatum and Masterson resigned in the midst of. I am a former police officer who had worked regularly with federal agencies. I understand it is a serious crime to make false reports to federal authorities. I would not do that nor waste their time (copy of my statement provided to the FBI is in Kym’s first article dated February 11). Unfortunately, police corruption happens. Police officers are humans. With very little research you can find mainstream media coverage about the scandals of LAPD Rampart, New Orleans, Baltimore, or maybe even a little closer to home and happening right now…

        https://www.kqed.org/news/11699925/probe-into-corrupt-cops-in-kern-county-deepens

        • I like stars too!

          My only question, can you prove any of this in court? Do you have any evidence?

          Your own accounts varied from report to report, and your past history as a LEO adds no credibility, in my mind.

          Please present your proof. You are proficient at attesting that others wronged you, but appear to lack evidence of anything at all. Were you charged with transporting illegal substances? Possession of Marijuana? Did you spend any time in custody?

          It appears that Tatum was over the line, but you broke the current set of laws which existed at the time, and you, since you were a former LEO, should have known better.

          I guess I don’t see how the Kern County story relates, but I am curious why you left law enforcement yourself.

          Best of luck in your future endeavors.

          • Do you really think that journalists would report on this story or Rohnert Park would open a costly internal investigation on just my statements alone? Come on? Please show me where my story has changed or shifted. I’m pretty sure I’ve read every article published about my incident and fully stand behind all statements I’ve made, published or not. I think you will find that you misunderstood something you read along the way. There have been several journalists and editors combing through this story for months and they would have been quick to point out any changing of my story. I am not going to discuss personal matters why I left law enforcement in an online comment section to someone who I don’t even know their name, but I will say that I served honorably and left (for family reasons) with the highest recommendations from my department. I have provided documentation of such to Kym, The Press Democrat and KQED, which I’m sure they’ve vetted. The relevance of the Kern County article was to show you that police corruption actually happens since you find it difficult to accept that sworn officers will go outside the lines so easily (“and happening right now…insert link”).

            • groba dude trustafarian osnt

              I am enjoying your comments. I notice you are not attempting to bore anyone with any facts, just more of your usual outrage.

              Were you charged, when you were relieved of the original 3 pounds?

              Did you spend a minute in a jail cell?

              If you were a police officer, why were you transporting marijuana while it was illegal?

              Why should I believe you at all?

              You are spoon-feeding all of the little cop haters in Humboldt, which is pretty much filled up with law-breakers anyway, but I still hold respect for the LEO’s who attempt to hold the line against the incredible amount of disrespect and outright smashing of law and order in Northern California. The small departments of smaller towns may well contain some poor quality officers, but I see no reason to bend journalism or to push public opinion against law enforcement in general, simply because you had an unpleasant experience in Mendo, one night.

              Proof, evidence, and veracity are not the same as bluster, and I don’t see your tawdry story as having a “60 minutes” level of importance or relevancy. It’s not that world shaking, and your case does not seem worth the fuss you are making.

              You want to end people’s careers, but you present no real evidence to support the idea that you are any better than the officers you revile.

              From my point of view, you were just as much in the wrong, and, you have not shown anything at all to support you assertions.

        • I’m grateful that someone had the guts to call Tatum and his accomplice out. Thank you Zeke and thank you Kym.

  • disorder!

  • He stole enough money and drugs that he doesn’t need the job anymore. He will move somewhere else and convince another dept. to hire him if he wants to continue his crime spree.He should be stripped of all his credentials so that can’t happen. Its guys like him that give law enforcement officers a bad rep.

  • He’s afraid of KQED!….
    …..says the other guys lawyer.
    Seems like speculation

  • What sucks is NOTHING will happen to this man or any of his thug cop friends.

  • Nothing to do with Humboldt

  • He’s probably an expert on donuts like all cops.

  • I saw that MF in freedmans in SR this afternoon. He drives a black newer dodge diesel PU extra cab. what cocky MF.

  • HMMM! Break the law, get pissed when LEO busts your balls, whine like a %^&@# when you get caught, cry racisim, homophobism, Nazi-like -cop ism, or whatever else EXCUSE you can to demonize the keeping of social order. Fuck…

    • Sooo, its okay if law officers break the law?

      • I like stars too!

        Hmmmm, no, they swear an oath to protect and serve…

        But then, people get married too… That’s kinda like the same thing!

        People are imperfect, and often selfish.

        When faced with huge amounts of entitled criminals, especially ones with high value easily sellable substances, as well as large amounts of cash, anyone at all would be hard pressed to behave.

        Somebody needs to do the job, and the main job of LEO’s can be to keep citizens from developing dangerous habits, like speeding, endangering or harming others, getting out of control in public, and harming themselves.

        I certainly couldn’t have had this career, myself, since I doubt that I have the right temperament…

        It has to be hard! BUT: lots of citizens who consider themselves to be “good citizens” are faced with choices that involve breaking the law! Who hasn’t parked illegally, torn the tag off the mattress, sneered at some regulation they didn’t like?

        Freedom is not free. We are a nation of laws, even if we continuously try to get around them, bend them, break them!

        LEO’s are under scrutiny, and they should be! They should be policed from within, but at the same time, they are paid little, and respected even less. Who is moral, ethical, upright enough to do this job? And what police force has enough officers, all the equipment, the resources to do a decent job?

        We all need to hold ourselves to a higher standard, but we need to start with ourselves! When you are righteous, the only reward is knowing it yourself.

        Not only should LEO’s obey the law, but citizens should as well. This is what we call civilization, a covenant of individuals who act for the good of society.

        In the case of Flatten vs Tatum, it seems to me that impropriety exists on both side of the equation, and being a cop with an ethics and procedural problem, to me, does not seem much different from being a lawbreaker who feels that he is above society’s current laws.

        Before you hate the police, check yourself out carefully! Are you holding yourself to the standards you would like to see in others?

  • Supervisors the problem.

    This is what the better majority of law enforcement and politicians have become THIEVES let’s start pushing back on this rip off behavior and vote no on measure o. After all they have tons of money here in Humboldt from extorting the rural population and from milking the permit bitches they don’t need to tax us any more!!!! Slow down the Leo’s thievery by taking away there over surplus of funds.theyre destroying our local economy and they want. MORE,MORE,MORE!!!!!! The new greenish is local government extortion and thievery they’ve got nothing but$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ in there eyes

  • Supervisors the problem

    This is becoming the normal for law enforcement and local politicians!!!! The new greenrush is being committed by the government in the form of extortion and thievery to the population. We need to push back or they’ll finish off the lot of us !!!!! Corporatising, fennels obsession for a very long time left us heading to total ruin. They don’t need our tax money with all there new funds from ripping off the weed industry and from there new fees collected from permittees. VOTE no on measure o. They want more,more,more.

  • Supervisors the problem

    And what’s going on with the recall of extortionist Estelle???? Humboldt will be in economic ruin by the time we can get her and bone out.tresonous is an understatement !!!!!!

  • Cops aren’t inherently good people.
    They don’t protect and serve anymore.
    They are a militarized branch of local government out to oppress us.
    Brainwashed to backstab and betray the American populous.

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