Open Letter to the Palo Alto Community

Full text of Police Chief Lynne Johnson's response to the Daily News article relating to Sgt. Michael Yore:

(View the press release)

April 24, 2008

Palo Alto, CA - There are significant gaps in the Palo Alto Daily News article published on Thursday April 24 concerning the investigation of the Galbraith case. The Galbraith investigation was a tragic case for all concerned.

However, much of the information that was reported is incomplete and inaccurate. For example, statements that were attributed to a Palo Alto detective consist only of incomplete excerpts of responses to specific questions asked during a lengthy deposition.

These excerpts were taken entirely out of context of the 181 page deposition transcript. The way the article was written and excerpted statements were chosen, it appears as though the newspaper intended to discredit the Palo Alto Police Department and impugn the reputation of a highly regarded detective sergeant.

The Galbraith case was an investigation into an unattended death, and like all unattended deaths was investigated as a case of suspicious circumstance.

A criminal case goes to trial only after many agencies and their personnel have reviewed the case, contributed their expertise, conducted a thorough analysis and determined that the evidence has stood up to that intense scrutiny.

There is never only one investigator assigned to a case, rather a team made up of police department detectives, District Attorney's Office and its investigators, the Coroner's Office and its investigators, and potentially other agencies.

The Palo Alto Police Department strictly adheres to this standard investigative protocol and followed this process on the Galbraith case specifically referenced in recent news accounts.

I am very proud of the dedicated members of the Palo Alto Police Department who work tirelessly 24/7 on behalf of the Palo Alto community.

Many officers, including Sergeant Michael Yore, have received awards and commendations for their bravery, expertise, hard work and investigative skills, talents that my staff utilizes every day in the line of duty. The Palo Alto community is fortunate to have such competent employees working tirelessly on its behalf.


Lynne Johnson

Police Chief


Like this comment
Posted by Bruce Cowper
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 26, 2008 at 9:34 am

Short and sweet yet incomplete.

Then there is this: who work tirelessly 24/7 on behalf of the Palo Alto community.

Why have you not aggressively sought to arrested the thugs and panhandlers that prey on the children and elderly of Palo Alto.

Unimpressed and tired of crime so give yourself platitudes a rest and hit the streets.

Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 26, 2008 at 12:07 pm

Speeding is out of control on Embarcadero and rarely is there a PAPD officer in sight. Cars
come off 101 during the commute like the INDI 500. There is no slowing down, dangerous passing - and that is in both directions. Red light running. Most of these are non-residents. Crime is rising, and my mom is afraid to go out walking anymore. She's 80.
I think we need a 'change of command NOW.

Like this comment
Posted by Fireman
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2008 at 2:18 pm

Do they think people are still buying the same old stories. SAME OLD COVER UP...

Bill... Maybe the One's who should have stayed, Hit the road.. Emily and Ms Auditor.

The Ones that should have hit the road. Fire Chief, Police Chief ,City Attorney, Department of inhuman staff,City Council, stayed. Might be too hard to find any other place that would take them.

And Frank has only promised to leave. I guess he still has damage to do and bonuses to collect. Friends to bless with the Palo Alto bucks and benefits..$$$..

Like this comment
Posted by Road hoggers
a resident of another community
on Apr 27, 2008 at 5:31 pm

Bill: "Speeding is out of control on Embarcadero". Well, aren't you lucky, at least the traffic keeps moving. On San Antonio the traffic doesn't move at all, it is one big permanent traffic jam.

Now we know where to send all the trucks that cause the backups on San Antonio Road.

Like this comment
Posted by Mark
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 28, 2008 at 9:34 am

This is the same idiot costing the city money with his investigation of the children's theatre. the brurglars should have been caught months ago.

Like this comment
Posted by Janet
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 29, 2008 at 7:04 am

Lynn should be apologizing to the Galbraith family and the community, not scolding the media who are simply doing their jobs. Shoddy work by her detective and the former medical examiner lead to an innocent man in his 80s being arrested and jailed in the death of his wife. That's not an opinion, that's what two courts have ruled. Mr. Galbraith died with this cloud over his head, never knowing that one day after his death he would be exonerated. The county, after dragging its feet for years, has written a letter apologizing to his family and they've paid them $400,000, which probably won't cover his legal fees. Lynn and the Palo Alto City Council needs to apologize too. It's called taking responsibility. Blaming the Daily is a diversionary tactic. She should be ashamed!

P.S. -- This isn't the first case the PAPD has blown while Lynn has been chief. I remember a well-liked preschool teacher who was wrongfully accused of molestation by Lynn and her officers. His life was turned upside down and his reputation was destroyed. He spent three weeks in jail until the D.A. ran some tests and determined he was innocent. I support law enforcement in general, but when serious mistakes are made, the chief should be held to account.

Like this comment
Posted by t
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 30, 2008 at 1:06 pm

thetre now using tazers merely because your not reacting fast enough to their commands! they use the ''tazer'' just to ease their fears! you dont have to threaten or touch ''police'' before they use tazer in palo alto! lynne johnson ''statement'' is more beaurecratise verbiage which ,as anyone whos dealt with ''legal'' system knows, police are very descriptive with their lies and fabrications. time for a postive outlook on how to live on earth...

Like this comment
Posted by Gordon
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 30, 2008 at 7:29 pm

I have just one question. If the Palo Alto Police are doing such a bang up job with their investigation into the Children’s Theater why did the city manager find it necessary to higher his own independent investigator? That doesn’t sound like a vote of confidence to me.

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