Misconduct Lawsuits Lead to Change in San Diego Police Department

A woman who was alleged to have been groped by an on-duty police officer has settled her lawsuit for $250,000 in an agreement reached with the San Diego City Council on Tuesday, April 28th, 2015.

The Officer, Donald Moncreif, allegedly groped her after she was arrested on suspicion of driving a stolen truck. She claimed that the officer made unwelcome sexual comments. He then allegedly exposed himself to her and touched her breasts. The incident occurred in February of 2013.

moncrief-left-police-departmentMoncrief left the Police Department after the incident. No statement has been released to determine whether he was fired or he resigned from duty. He is now 40 years old. The woman was not charged with anything and there was an investigation after the incident. Moncrief was unable to be contacted after the conclusion to the lawsuit.

A lawsuit was filed by her attorney Daniel Gilleon against the city as well as the officer on her behalf. The payment of $250,000 to the victim settles the lawsuit. A total of $1.3 million was also paid to two other women who claimed assault by another previous officer, Christopher Hays.

The lawsuit claimed that the department was not very good at policing their force. There was an alleged unofficial policy that allowed misconduct. This was possible by not informing other officers in the unit. Given the outcomes of these lawsuits, it appears as though the council is trying to get the police department under stricter control. There have been three allegations against 3 separate police officers that have been fought by San Diego criminal attorneys.

two-officers-present-when-female-arrestedSince these allegations and lawsuits, many changes have been made on the force. There is now an official policy to report all incidents of misconduct by other officers. It is now also required that two officers are present when a woman is arrested and taken to jail. Police officers must now wear body cameras as well.

A lot of these changes have come from the new Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman. She was appointed in 2014. She has taken these incidents to heart and has publicly stated that she will not stand for officer misconduct. She also vowed to fire police officers who abuse civilians.

Councilman David Alvarez also spoke about the incidents: “We need to face this problem head-on and hold management accountable.”