tv [untitled] October 4, 2011 8:00am-8:30am PDT
>> good evening. i am the secretary of the police commission. on behalf of the commission, i want to welcome everyone to the san francisco 2010 medal of valor ceremony. please stand and join us for the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands one nation under god indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. thank you. mayor newsom was unfortunately unable to attend this evening. he sent his congratulations to
the medal of valor recipients. we are joined by commissioner president thomas does it go, dr. joe marshall, commissioner james slaughter, commissioner petra dejesus. we are also joined by chief of police george gascoign. also with us are the it assistant chief. this isn't she said of the operation pirro. assistant chief denise schmitt. deputy chief john murphy, enforcement and security at the mta. commander sandra tong of the airport bureau. commander james dudley of the airport operations bureau. commander daniel mahoney, chief
of the operations staff. commander daniel lazard, chief of investigations. this is a time when we stop and offer special members of the police department. these are members who have distinguished themselves through their bravery and dangerous situations. it is important to note one of the criteria for the medal of honor this one failed to -- failure to take such action would lead to center. these are actions above and beyond call of duty. at this time, i would like to invite the chief of police, cheif gascon, to come up here and speak. >> thank you, everyone, for being here. this is a special moment in policing movie get to celebrate
the incredible acts of bravery by the men and women in our department. before i say a few words about these incredible men and women sitting in the front, i want to thank their families. your support, day in and day out, or caring, companionship, your ability to talk to your loved ones as they are going through difficult times -- i was going to say men and women, but today we have just men. able to get through the incredible things that they see day in and day out, the things that they have to do to accomplish these things well. it is very special for me to honor you. this is a very arduous process. there was a great deal of review looking at your actions. for those of you who earned a medal of valor, or acts of courage were clearly above and
beyond what we would expect of someone. you're not only exemplified the best at the san francisco police department can offer, but you offer the best that our profession can offer. i cannot say enough good things about your actions. the rest of you, again, your dollar, courage, -- quite frankly, the line between a gold medal of valor and a bronze one is a very thin line. all 11 of you that are here today took incredible steps in order to save lives, in order to protect our community under a difficult situation. i want to congratulate you. you are someone who makes us incredibly proud. will come to this ceremony today, to the families, congratulations. god bless.
>> thank you, chief. next, i would like the president of the police commission, thomas mazucco, to say a few words. >> thank you. on behalf of the san francisco police commission, commissioners slaughter, de jesus, and others, we want to let you know what an honor it is to stand before you for these awards. for the audience, the police commission, by way of the san francisco general orders, has the authority to audit and review each of the metals you are seeing presented tonight. it is an awesome responsibility but it is also an incredible experience when you sit here and listen to the heroism and valor
of these officers, as you do tonight when their commanding officers present what they did. you will hear things about your loved ones and family members that you never left new before. as commission members, we sit there with a lot of pride and a lot. also, we come to the graduation of police academies. for those we come to congratulate, to the promotional ceremonies. for the medal of valor, we come to honor. what is valor? you look at the definition. it means personal bravery, heroism, gallantry. that is what each and one of these officers has done, bravery, personal heroism. but before we talk about your dollar, i want to give our appreciation to the people that brought them there, from the academy staff, field training officers. those are the true professionals
that prepared these officers for what they do out on the streets. talking to one of the officers receiving a medal tonight, i asked him, what were you thinking about when that went on? he said, i was not thinking, i was reacting to the training that i got in the academy. i would like to think the family members. as the chief said, the family members are the ones supporting you, the one that see the good and dark days. they are the ones that will give you to who you are today. thank you to the family members for sharing these heroes with the police department. and to the officers, valor-- --t is that are characteristic to quantify, that brings you to do something that is above and beyond the call of duty, where
you are willing to risk your life for the sake of others or for public service. it is an incredible gift. in talking to one of the officers receiving an award tonight, he told me about a suspect with a gun that just killed somebody and he held back from firing his weapon because it would have killed him. he did not want to strike anybody nearby. it was a veteran officer who could never tired and gone home. that is belair. that is why we are proud to be at the commission tonight. you are truly san francisco's finest. thank you, on behalf of the commission. [applause] >> both the chief and commission president mention this long review process to become a medal of valor recipient. i want to give you a brief idea
of how these acts were reviewed to get us here tonight. when an officer's actions are such that any supervisor take notice of any break, that supervisor officer prepares a report detailing the event. the commanding officer then conducts a personal investigation of the event, and if they approve the nomination, it prepares the report to the chief of police. the chief than four or -- forwards these nominations to the office of the police commission. then those are sent off to a screening committee. if the awards screening committee approved the nomination, they send it back to the commission office so the awards committee secretary can set up a meeting. this is a meeting of all of the department's captains and command staff where the nominating commanding officer who presented the nomination,
while the officer is sitting there, answering questions about what they were thinking, what they were doing. next, by secret ballot, the awards committee votes on whether to award and what grid of metal. finally, they presented to the police commission for final approval. you should be proud of your family members who are here. this is something that every captain looked at before these awards were made. it is a tremendous statement about what these people did to be here tonight that stood up to that kind of betting. -- vetting. at this time, i want to call forward mr. lazard to read the spirits of officer suguitan.
>> on saturday generate 23, 2010 at 1721 hours, ms. johnson phoned the police to report that her roommate, mr. smith, was suffering from psychological problems, had been drinking, and was taking medication. in her request for the police, this johnson indicated mr. smith was not known to carry weapons and that she wanted vice from officers on how to deal with mr. smith. she needed assistance based on his behavior. officers brodericks suguitan and samuel fung arrived at the scene within four minutes. officer suguitan and fung were met by the woman outside of her
porch. officer suguitan observed at the front door of the residence was open and stepped inside. officer suguitan noticed mr. smith and mr. rios, an additional roommate, were standing face to face having a conversation. both men were approximately 7 feet in front of officer suguitan. officer suguitan looked at both men and stated, how are you doing, we are here to help. mr. smith and mr. rios both faced officer suguitan. immediately, officer suguitan realized mr. smith's and were behind his back and concealed from officer. officer suguitan directed mr. smith to "show me your hands." instantly, officer suguitan here's what he believes is an item quickly being taken out of a sheaf, and without notice, mr. smith raises a large machete
above his head and in close proximity to officer suguitan. officer suguitan, fear for his life, draws his department farm, and that close proximity begins to rapidly backup. mr. smith begins to advance on officer suguitan. of a suguitan continues to back up, but begin to officer fong and mr. johnson in the doorway. nor were they aware of it at this moment that their lives were in danger. officer suguitan, fearing for his life and that of his partner, and for ms. johnson, discharged at least two rounds of his firearms that mr. smith and his willful attempt to stop the threat posed by mr. smith. noticing that mr. smith was still advancing, officer suguitan discharged more rounds, mortally wounding him. mr. smith collapsed in the doorway of his residence. officer suguitan and his partner quickly responded to a residence
in response to a citizen needing assistance in meeting with your roommate. officer suguitan was in the of the confronted with a life- threatening soup -- a circumstance and his attempt to offer the suspect assistance in dealing with his mental issues. with practically no time to react to the threat to his life, that does his partner, and a citizen requesting assistance, officer suguitan reacted under tremendous circumstances by discharging his department's firearms and ending on stopping the threat posed by the suspect. officer suguitan, in a split- second, had to act on the threat posed by a his environment and realize that he and his partner and the reporting party were in grave danger of serious bodily harm or death. officer suguitan's actions saved his life, that does it of his partner, and that of mr. smith's roommate, and should be considered heroic. mr. smith considered killing himself and that of the
responding officers as evidenced by a phone call the made to his doctor prior to the incident. the message he left his doctor was, just call the cops. the number was inaudible. then he stated, not my house anymore. i am going to try to take them out when they come to take me. it is all over today, doctor. it is all over today. bye-bye. for his heroic actions, the police department has offered officer suguitan the bronze medal of honor. [applause] in the audience, i would also like to acknowledge his partner, samuel fung. if he could remain standing and
>> on wednesday, march 10, 2010, at 1653 hours, officers trail, peregoy, and obot were in uniform and part of the seven dale housing team responding to a report of shots fired on the 1800 block of sunnyvale ave. officers trail, peregoy, and obot were in the trip same vehicle as they reached the 1700 block of sunnyvale ave. they were flagged down by a citizen who stated, they are shooting up there right now. as they pointed west on sunday dale avenue, instantly, the officers looked west and saw the suspect armed with an uzi-type assault weapon on the 1800 block. the officers saw the suspect had
the weapon in both hands and was firing in the direction of a crowd of people. as the suspect fire the weapon, numerous people began running in various directions. officers could hear the shots being fired and could see smoke coming from the weapon. the suspect fired at least -- approximate three to four shots and then fired in the air. officer trail broadcast over the radio shots fired and a suspect description as numerous units responded. officers pulled up to the suspect, at which point the suspect notice the officers, and while fully armed, began running from the officers westbound on sunday dale avenue. officer obot pursue the suspect on foot while officers peregoy and trailed initially pursued from their vehicle. officer obot parallel the suspect on foot, ordering him to stop as the suspect ran south from sun and dell toward brookdale ave.
officers peregoy and trail drove a short distance and elected to pursue the suspect on foot along with officer obot. officers peregoy and trail bravely turned a corner and in pursuit of the suspect and noticed he was still holding onto the uzi assault weapon while facing east on centreville avenue. officer peregoy and trail could hear officer obot from another direction yell, drop the gun. officer trail yelled, drop the gun or i will shoot. the suspect got the gun, was tackled by officers, and was taken into custody without injury to the officers or suspect. as the officers detained the suspect, additional suspects approached the officers but were ordered back. the officers quickly determine this incident started over a dispute with another group, and that an additional shooter was involved and was also quickly
detained by members of the attack -- gang task force. as a result of all the shooting at the scene, property damage at the scene had occurred but not one individual was struck. officers trail, peregoy, and obot instantly responded to shots fired and were confronted by an extremely dangerous individual. the officers made a split-second decision to place their lives in jeopardy and without hesitation pursued the suspect. opposition under the risk of danger. -- the officers were well aware of the danger that they were stepping into. they quickly realized the suspect needed to be apprehended or innocent bystanders could be seriously injured or killed. these three officers are able to apprehend an individual who was heavily armed and did not easily surrender.
their capture was without injury to the suspect, by standards, or themselves. the officers acted heroically, and the community in which they patrol was a safer place to this day because of their rope actions. because of their actions, these three officers are being awarded by the department and commission the bronze medal of valor. [applause]
the next medal of valor to be presented will be to lt. henry parra and sgt russell gordon. the nomination will be read by assistant chief denise schmitt, the commanding officer at parallel at the time of the event. on february 17, 2010, at 4:30 in the afternoon, lt. henry parra and started russell gordon of terrible station confronted a deadly situation on the 1800 block of urban street. 1800 block of urban street is a light commercial corridor, starts on 19th avenue and runs nw.
it contains many restaurants and businesses and is surrounded by residents. in many of the businesses, they are owned by business owners -- they are owned by asian business owners. this was the beginning of the lunar new year. when they arrived to work, they decided to walk a foot speed on irving street. as they arrived on 1800 block, unbeknownst to them, two men with violent criminal histories or having an argument inside one of the restaurants. these men were career criminals with asian gang affiliations. their arrest histories include robbery, carjacking, trafficking, assault weapons. this argument escalated and moved out onto the street, growing heated, just as sergeant gordon pulled the car to the curb approximately 10 feet from the restaurant. the string of four parking spaces next to his vehicle were
empty, so he had a clear, unobstructed view of the two men as they came out of the restaurant arguing. sergeant gordon saw one man pushed the other backwards and told lt. parra there was a fight in progress and both police began to exit their car. in that instant, sergeant gordon saw that one man now have a revolving in his hands and was shooting in down irving street in the direction of the other man. surgeon court and chatted to lt. parra that they now had an argument that had escalated to a shooting. both officers sprang into action without hesitation. sergeant gordon, while driving his firearm, alerted dispatchers and other officers that a shooting was in progress. lt. parra, while drawing his fire arm, and exited the passenger side of the vehicle, move to the sidewalk, and john for pedestrians to get off the street.
in those put seconds, the victim fell to the ground and the suspect fired additional shots in a denver direction, executing him. sergeant gordon and lt. parra were now within 10 feet of an armed murderer. there were no vehicles behind which they could take cover. their field of fire was the backdrop of a busy irving street. it was packed with pedestrians, class storefronts, passing motorists, and an armed killer. these officers knew that they had to end the deadly threat posed by this man. yet, they knew any rounds fired on that street, whether by them or the suspect, who had the potential to kill or individual victims. they knew they had to draw the attention of this suspect and gain control of him to prevent any further loss of life. sergeant gordon and lt. parra did not hesitate. they confronted the suspect, shouting out that they were the
police and ordering him to drop his weapon. with nothing between them and this murder, they used their tactical expertise to triangulate on the suspect. they chose to close the distance between them. advancing on the murder in a purposeful manner. they knew every foot of sidewalk or st. they could close would reduce the number of pedestrians and civilians exposed. the suspect turned toward them with gun in hand. lt. parra and sergeant gordon were no more than 5 feet from the man. both had that split-second to realize that they were on the brink of using deadly force with all of its consequences. once again, the officers ordered the suspect to drop his gun. staring down officers, the suspect raised the gun and then tossed it to the ground.
lt. parra and sergeant gordon maintained control of the scene. they directed the subjects -- suspect to the ground and directed him away from the gun, handcuffing him. they also rendered aid to the victim in an attempt to save his life. they turned their attention to isolating other potential suspects. they directed the arriving units to secure the suspect, perimeter, murder weapon, to locate witnesses, they ran a textbook investigation and follow-up. we are tremendously fortunate that these two officers were on that street that night. their outstanding bravery and ability to respond without hesitation, there's protection decision making to assess, tactically respond to, and control the immediate deadly threat, their willingness to put their lives at risk, knowing it their lives at risk, knowing it was necessary to save the lives