Former City Council Candidate, Robert Bates, is continuing his battle to have an outside investigation done on the Cedar RapidsPolice Department. He made a Youtube video of a phone call he made to the New York Associated Press on May 3, 2013 that became available to the public on May 5, 2013.
Fifteen years after he stumbled upon a memorandum with his name on it claiming he was violent and under a doctors care Robert Bates has made it his life mission to have an outside investigation done on the Cedar Rapids Police Department.
Bates told CRSmells, Ajai Dittmar that he wants to clear his name. “I want to clear my name I am not a violent person” he says “I feel like the media has portrayed me as a mentally ill person who wasn’t on my medication but I am not on any medications at the time of the memorandum I wasn’t even under a doctors care.”
Robert Bates Robert Bates was charged with two felony counts of threats and an aggravated misdemeanor of first-degree harassment in 2009. He paid a $10,000 surety bond to get out of jail.Trish Mehaffey a journalist with the Gazette covered this case in 2011. Mehaffy wrote three articles in 2011 about Robert Bates but never once called him to ask him his side of the story. News reports aired over and over reminding everyone that “Robert Bates, 43, was charged with two felony counts of threats and one count of first-degree harassment.” Saying “he threatened to blow up the courthouse”.
I asked Bates if he’d ever been interviewed by Trish Mehaffey from the Gazette. He said “no, I’ve been trying to tell my side of the story but they won’t report it”.
On October 4, 2011 Mehaffey wrote “An assistant prosecutor told a judge Tuesday neither he nor the Linn County Attorney’s Office had any bias against a carnival business owner, who is accused of threatening to blow up the courthouse in 2009, and the case is being
handled fairly.” Robert Bates asked for a change of venue based on the nature of the allegations to ensure he had a chance at a fair trial and he was denied.
In an article two days later on October 8, 2011 Mehaffey wrote “Sixth Judicial District Judge Robert Sosalla denies both motions based on lack of evidence presented by Bates. “Bates presented no evidence that any district judges had any personal knowledge of the disputed facts or that they were even aware of the alleged threats, Sosalla stated. He also failed to show any member of the Linn County Attorney or the Linn County Public Defender’s offices showed any bias or prejudice against him.”
I asked Bates why he made that request and he told me that he did it because if he did in fact make a threat to blow up the courthouse then everyone there
would have been a potential victim therefore it would be a conflict of interest. “I didn’t get a fair trial because the case didn’t even go to court”. Bates said. I asked him if he was relieved the charges were dropped and he told me “no I wanted my day in court to settle this matter once and for all but the case was dismissed”.
One sided story
Mehaffy – March 2, 2012 “Assistant Linn County Attorney Jason Besler said he requested medical records from Bates, which were provided last week. It was determined Bates was making “idle talk” and didn’t intend to present a “real” threat. Instead, Bates’ behavior stemmed from a medical condition, which means he wasn’t responsible for statements made.”
Mehaffy never mentions what this so called medical condition is. Bates says “it’s because it doesn’t exist”.
Randi Shannon– A former Senate Candidate posted this story from KCRG on my Facebook wall yesterday with this comment: “Died from positional asphyxia? And he was handcuffed in their vehicle? And they aren’t guilty. I’ve not had any of my friends die from too much alcohol (not saying it doesn’t happen), and I’ve never known anyone to drink and then repeatedly slam their own head until they go comatose and then die. I think the factors are the ‘alone’ time he had w/the cop. Something stinks about this story and i think someone is getting away with murder that is walking around with a badge. I also noticed KCRG isn’t allowing any comments on the story which is interesting since they let me get slaughtered when i ended my race. Collusion. Be safe out there the cops are DANGEROUS to your health!”
Cedar Rapids Police Department (CRPD) is liable in Salvadar’s death. He was in their custody when he died. It doesn’t matter how he died– they are liable. Salvadar’s family isn’t alone. The family of Desirae Daniel. a woman shot and killed by Cedar Rapids police officers on December 4, 2012 also expressed frustration with the way CRPD handled that investigation. Desirae’s mother learned about her daughters death from the Gazette. Why didn’t CRPD contact her? I would hate to find out my child died by them! I would also like to know if both incidents involved car #40.
I would like an outside investigation on both incidents and on internal affairs within the police department. KCRG didn’t have an exclusive video with the Salvadar family but KGAN did! We all know who KCRG caters their news to and it’s not the pioneers or lifelong residents of CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa. Salvador’s brother is right, it will come out.
CBS 2/FOX 28 — Paul Saldivar’s family is speaking out, saying they believe his death was not an accident. CBS 2/FOX 28 first told you Wednesday that no criminal charges will be filed in Saldivar’s death. Police arrested him in May for public intoxication, and on the way to jail, he became unresponsive. Saldivar was taken to a hospital, where he later died.
The family said they feel shocked, but not surprised at the outcome of that investigation. Now, they are standing together after the report sent out Wednesday by Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden called Paul’s death an accident.
“It just don’t make no sense,” Paul’s brother John Saldivar said. Seven months later, Paul’s brother John wants Cedar Rapids police held accountable.
“For the police chief to say, ‘Oh I’m going to clean things up’, he ain’t cleaning nothing up,” John said.
The report states Saldivar left Hazzard County Saloon, followed shortly after by an officer. The officer tried to talk to Saldivar as he walked toward the back parking lot. Instead, he started running south for about a block and a half, before eventually being arrested in an alley between 2nd and 3rd Streets SE. Police said Saldivar thrashed around in the back seat and hit his head on an armrest. The Saldivars have never believed that story. The read the attorney’s report and said if it is indeed accurate, Paul’s death was not an accident.
“They should live to a higher standard and take responsibility criminally for somebody dying in their care,” John said.
The county attorney’s report did state Saldivar was drunk, with a .299 blood alcohol content level, nearly four times the legal limit. It also adds the primary cause of death was positional asphyxia; that’s when a person’s posture doesn’t allow for proper breathing.
“If they say he was that messed up, that should have been their priority to either get medical attention or make sure he was okay,” John said. Paul’s widow Rachel said it’s not like Paul. They have been married nearly four years and were raising four children together. “No one there if they get into trouble to help. I was always able to call Paul,” Rachel Saldivar said.
John and Rachel said the family will continue to fight for justice.
“It’ll all come out. The officers involved will have to answer to what has taken place,” John said.
CBS 2/FOX 28 spoke with the police department Thursday. They said they still are not in a position to speak openly about the incident — although the criminal investigation is over, they still have to perform an internal investigation.
Thursday, December 27 2012, 09:56 PM CST
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS 2/FOX 28) — After seven months with no answers, family and friends of Paul Saldivar now have one. Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden said Saldivar’s death was accidental and will not press charges against Cedar Rapids police officers involved that night. Police arrested Saldivar back in May for public intoxication outside Hazzard County Saloon in Cedar Rapids.
Police have said all along Saldivar hit his head on an armrest in the squad car.
Vander Sanden’s report adds that what ultimately killed Saldivar was “positional asphyxia”; that’s when a person’s posture doesn’t allow for proper breathing. The Iowa State Medical Examiner found Saldivar was very drunk, with a .299 blood alcohol content level, nearly four times the legal limit.
The report states the excessive alcohol slowed down his breathing, which was already a problem because of his posture.
“I do not believe this was an accident. I do not,” Paul’s sister Paulette Gandara said. Paul’s family still doesn’t believe the story. They said it doesn’t line up with what doctors told them about Paul’s injuries the week before he was taken off life support.
“You do not get picked up for public intox and end up dead in the back seat of a police car,” Paulette said. Even more frustrating for them after all this time — Paul’s brothers’ and sisters’ cry for justice has not been answered. “It’s just heartbreaking to know that my brother’s gone, and they didn’t do anything about it. And it took this long. It took this long for them to do nothing,” Paulette said. Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman said he appreciates the work done by all the agencies involved in this investigation. He added that the police department “will continue to work with citizens, agencies and community groups to make Cedar Rapids a better place to live and work.”
To read the full report, click here.
Wednesday, December 26 2012, 08:44 PM CST
Chief Jerman Comments on Linn County Attorney’s Findings
Sgt. Cristy Hamblin (319) 286-5439
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – December 26, 2012 – Today the Cedar Rapids Police Department was made aware of the findings of the Linn County Attorney’s Office regarding the death of Paul Saldivar. “The Cedar Rapids Police Department cooperated fully with the Division of Criminal Investigation and the Linn County Attorney’s Office,” said Chief Wayne Jerman. “We appreciate the work done and the thorough and exhaustive efforts by all agencies involved in this investigation. We at the Cedar Rapids Police Department will continue to work with citizens, agencies and community groups to make Cedar Rapids a better place to live and work.”