REDWOOD CURTAIN COPWATCH December 9, 2007
To Chief Garr Nielson and all to whom it may concern:
It has come to our attention that Officer Terry Liles recently has been at the residence of Margorie Burgess and her children on at least two occasions. This letter is to firmly request that Officer Liles no longer be sent to her residence, that he be stopped in the future of going to any residence of Ms. Burgess, and that Officer Liles be reprimanded for threatening and harassing Ms. Burgess’ current roommates, who are her extended family.
Apparently, on Sunday, December 2, 2007, Officer Terry Liles spoke with someone at the residence of Ms. Burgess. He then returned on Monday, December 3, 2007 with a woman EPD officer. Terry Liles made it clear that he knew that he was at Margorie Burgess' residence. The following is an account of his December 3, 2007 visit’:
He came to the door, and when it was answered by the primary renting adult of the residence, Ms. Ruth, he forced entry into the house by pushing his chest against Ms. Ruth's body, until he was inside the house. Officer Liles was wearing a metal helmet and bullet proof vest, and made intimidating gestures to display his highly militaristic gear to Ms. Ruth.
While he was pushing his way in, Officer Liles was making insulting remarks, “Idiots! Retards. Ignoramousus...”...etc.
The next words out of his mouth after forcing entry, "I'm here to make sure you get evicted."
Officer Liles failed to present a warrant, did not state his purpose, and did not ask the woman of the house if he could enter before pushing his way inside.
When Ms. Ruth inquired as to why he was there, Officer Liles asked her if she was the woman with whom he spoke the night before. She told him “no” and he demanded to know who that person was. Ms. Ruth informed Officer Liles that she did not know with whom he had spoken the night before.
Officer Liles asked Ms. Ruth her name, which she provided... He then kept repeating "Ruth, Ruth, Ruth... Why do I know that name, Ruth...?" Then he asked Ms. Ruth if she had a daughter, and if her daughter’s name is(name removed). When Ms. Ruth replied, "Yes", Officer Liles asked Ms. Ruth why her daughter's name was familiar to him. Ms. Ruth said that her daughter was the person who started a petition last year.
Liles:"What was that petition for again?" “What did that petition say?”
Ruth: “Well, I’d be happy to go to my computer and get you a copy.”
Liles: “No, you just tell me-- what did it say? Wasn’t she trying to get me fired?”
Ruth: “Because you shot Chris Burgess.”
Then Officer Liles puffed up, looked toward the badge side of his chest, gawked down at his badge, turned toward his partner and said, “Looks like it didn't work, did it?"
[At this point, Ms. Ruth assumed that the officer was Terry Liles. Officer Liles was not wearing his name visibly at any time while in Ms. Ruth’s home. Ms. Ruth asked him his name after he (Liles) made disturbing comments about and questioned her about her daughter.]
He then demanded to know where Ms. Ruth's daughter was. [and where she works]
Officer Liles also demanded to know "How many people live in the house? How many beds? How many rooms?" Then, “So, how many teenagers DO you have living in this house?” with an offensive tone. Officer Liles then 'asked' Ms. Ruth (who has known Margorie Burgess for over twenty years) "Why would you let Margorie Burgess stay here?"
Officer Liles asked where Margorie Burgess was. Ms. Ruth told him that she did not know; that Margorie is free to go where she pleases, of course. He then asked where Ms. Burgess’ children were. Ms. Ruth responded that they were presumably with Ms. Burgess. (Ms. Ruth had just gotten out of the shower).
Officer Liles asked for the landlord’s phone number. When Ms. Ruth told him that she did not know the number offhand, Officer Liles indicated that he had researched Ms. Ruth’s rental history in that house. He said, “You’re landlord is (name removed), moved in in June, been here a year and a half, and you don’t know the landlord’s number yet?” Ms. Ruth said she did not have the number memorized; she [landlord] lives in Vallejo." Ms. Ruth then offered to get the number from her room upstairs, and Officer Liles declined the offer. Officer Liles told Ms. Ruth that he would look the number up himself! Officer Liles, making threats to get the household evicted, was then told by Ms. Ruth that Ms. Burgess and her boys were there by permission of her landlord.
After all of these comments, questions, and threats by Officer Liles, he then asked why someone might have complained about noise. Ms. Ruth then said that Casey Burgess had been knocking loudly on the back door and appeared to have been drinking. Ms. Ruth explained to Officer Liles that she told Casey that he needed to quiet down or leave, if he was going to disrespect the house; and that the neighbors call the police often, even when just the youngest children are playing in the back yard. Officer Liles proceeded to say with a cocky tone, “Now, so what would you like me to do to a drunk 16-year-old walking on the street?" Ms. Ruth replied with seriousness, "Don't shoot 'em."
Then the female officer stepped into the doorway, increasing the feeling of threat felt by Ms. Ruth, so Ms. Ruth stepped back a couple of feet.
On December 4, 2007, the day after the above-described ‘visit’ by Officer Liles, Ms. Ruth’s landlord told Ms. Ruth that she was coming into town. On December 7, 2007, after a year and a half of Ms. Ruth renting from (name removed)and maintaining a good "landlord/tenant" relationship, (name removed) delivered an eviction notice to Ms. Ruth. After all that Officer Liles said, it would be hard to believe that Officer Liles had nothing to do with the recent (almost immediate) eviction notice.
Officer Liles has no business at the residence of Ms. Burgess or her extended family, nor should he be harassing the Burgess family or friends. Regardless of the position taken by EPD related to the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Christopher Burgess, EPD should have the decency to protect Margorie Burgess and the people who are close to her and were close to Christopher, from having to be confronted by Terry Liles. Teenagers throughout this city fear that Terry Liles will kill them. Veiled threats by Liles regarding his actions against ‘misbehaving’ teens are completely INAPPROPRIATE. Name-calling and threatening (and acting) to get Margorie, her children, and her extended family evicted are also completely inappropriate behaviors. It is only fortunate that Margorie Burgess, mother of Christopher Burgess, did not have to witness Liles in her home, bragging and harassing and threatening her family. There is no excuse for Liles’ behavior. If EPD thinks that a man who has had primary involvement in multiple killings of civilians over the past 2 ½ years should be armed, walking the streets, and going to peoples’ homes-- at least he should be in therapy, and he should be forbidden from going to his victims’ families’ homes. Liles’ unwarranted behavior is indecent, cruel, unprofessional, illegal, despicable, and only furthers much of the community’s belief that he is suffering from a psychosis that renders him remorseless and dangerous.
We will continue to document any threats or interactions Officer Liles makes with the Burgess family or Marjorie Burgess’ extended family, including but not limited to Ms. Ruth and her family.
We hope that you will warn all of your officers that it is not appropriate to retaliate against people who have made complaints or requests to you, nor is it appropriate to retaliate against the people upon who’s behalf such complaints or requests are made. In all decency, regardless of your opinion or publicly stated positions, keep Officer Liles away from the Burgess residence and family.
Control your officers.
Redwood Curtain CopWatch
Notes from CopWAtch: The eviction happened.
“Ms. Ruth” is a made up name, just a precautionary measure. She also filed a complaint to the EPD about this EPD incident. The only official complaint process, filing through the agency that then is supposed to evaluate itself, is absurd. And what an intimidating ordeal to just get the blank complaint form, and then turn it in, at the station.