Deputies transgressions caught on videotape

July 16, 2010

Deputy Darren Murphy is at right.

Which has the most weight in a court of law — the testimony of a law enforcement official, or that of an average, law-abiding citizen?

A rare opportunity to see, and hear, how some San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s deputies view the U.S. Constitution is contained in a 22-minute “mini-documentary” on a news website just launched. That opportunity is presented by deputies themselves, talking into their shoulder microphones and standing in front of their vehicle-mounted cameras.

In this case, the recordings tilt the argument in favor of the citizen… in a big way.

Deputy Darren Murphy is featured in the first video report by, a project of Central Coast News Agency. Murphy leads a squad of heavily armed deputies into the yard of a North County man,  then into the man’s house , and ultimately, into a locked gun safe. Sheriff’s department recordings made by the deputies themselves clearly illustrate their lack of concern for individual rights; deputies can be overheard manufacturing reasons for the intrusion into the home, the gun safe, and for the pending arrest of longtime resident Matt Hart.

The video report is the first of what Central Coast News Agency editor Daniel Blackburn says will be monthly offerings by the new Web site.

Blackburn, who helped found, cited “Deputy Murphy’s uncensored, darkly disturbing observations and behavior following his Code 3 arrival at the rural home of Hart. Those utterances were picked up by Murphy’s and other deputies’ own recorders,” Blackburn said.

“Those recordings provide a rare, frighteningly revealing, behind-the-scenes perspective of how one local law enforcement agency views the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and other laws its personnel are sworn to uphold,” he said.

Watch the full video documentary at Note, you may have to download plug-ins in order to view the video.


A little birdie told me that Murphy had resigned prior to this coming out.



Did he poop too.


Your little “birdie” was VERY WRONG!!! I just called the templeton office of the sheriffs dept and asked for Deputy Murphy. They told me he works grave yard shift, which starts at 9 pm. Although he is on his days off right now, but will return on saturday!!!


The real problem here is our crooked District Attorney Gerald Shea and our impotent Grand Jury that continues to give the DA’s office and the Sheriffs Department a pass. The FBI under Eric Holder is nothing but a bunch of buffoons and is as culpable as the rest of the law enforcement community. Nothing is going to change until the likes of Shea is voted out of office. The law abiding citizens of this county are forced to take matters into their own hands if they want to attain any sort of justice.


You are so right!

All the problems with all the law enforcement agenicies combined don’t mean anything if the DA’s office is not even thinking of prosecuting The ‘buck’ stops with them as probably has many bucks (in one way or another)!


He wouldn’t prosecute the Sheriff for wiretapping so you might be right. SOMEONE has to hold crooks accountable, even those in uniform. There are only a few but just deal with them so that the respect and confidence can be restored in their valuable service.


This case has NOTHING to do with the federal or state government at all; this is purely county law enforcement period. Now, I will agree that D.A. Shea is as crooked as Lopez Drive, and he really needs to be replaced, but he is not up for election and Parkinson and Cortez are the candidates for Sheriff; so the question is- who is more likely to continue the Sheriff’s Department in the same path that it has been on, and who is more likely actually implement real change in the Sheriff’s Department? My money is on Joe Cortez. Perhaps after Sheriff Cortez is seated in office, he can give D.A. Shea a spine infusion, or at least he can tell the impotent man to back off and let Mr. Cortez run the department like it needs to be run.


Cortez is done with law enforcement. His is a has been.


Every other generatrion of regulators, law enforcement, legislators, business executives, etc. forget there is a rule of law or think they are above it. We are in that time right now and it is imperative to stop letting them off the hook when they are caught doing whatever they want to do because they think they are untouchable.


This is the reaction of a Facebook Friend of mine who, for obvious reasons, prefers to remain Anonymous. Let’s call it a dissenting opinion on Dan’s piece:

A provocative report by an “independent investigative” TV reporter in San Luis Obispo examines a 2008 sheriff’s response to a “shots fired” call in the rural part of the community, which according to the footage edited together by this reporter, purports to show an illegal search and seizure of the suspect’s home and then deputies trying to come up with stories to justify that search.

I am VERY suspicious toward all parties in this report. I’m not sure that any of the parties involved here have “pure motives,” without a i.e. agenda in mind–be that avoiding legal consequences and reprimands from superiors; or wanting to become famous in journalism; or planning and winning a civil law suit; or furthering very specific political agendas.

First, the “investigative” journalist in his narrative, in my own personal view, goes over the line of objective journalistic reporting, by taking this one incident, along with citing a state appeals judge dissension on an approved warrant-less search case in San Diego, and repeatedly asserting in what I view as broad strokes, that in his view, law enforcement and the courts in general, are systematically and intentionally violating our rights and freedoms. This may tip his hand as to his own political agenda behind his journalistic reporting.

This can frequently play into proponents of one extreme in the political spectrum of anti government, anti law enforcement rhetoric in addition to proposing seceding from the “United States,” boycotting all taxation, and stock piling weapons for the predicted civil unrest or ” resistance” against federal “storm troopers” and so on and so on. The mess at Ruby Ridge and Waco, along with assault weapon bans, are frequently cited in this context.

I am also suspicious of the man who was doing target practicing on his own property and who is the subject of this televised report. He was slow to respond to deputies telling him to put his firearm down and come toward them, citing that one of his ears had a shooting earplug in it; and when he was told to keep his hands up and get down on his knees, he instead, decides to remain standing and then reaches into his pocket! Nut head. Even if you have cell phone, that’s not what you do when at gun point, you are told by officers to keep your hands in sight. That could be perceived as a clear threat to officer safety and could end up causing a lethal shooting incident.

And I’m suspicious towards two of the deputies who, after searching the suspect’s house–which you could make an exigent circumstance case for looking for any family members shot and killed due to domestic violence which happens a lot, or clearing the house for any other suspects behind the shots fired call that could endanger officers responding–they then took his house keys from him, and entered his gun safes, and took all his firearms; the majority of which were legally registered and owned, as the sheriff’s dispatcher confirms to the deputies on the two-way radio.

The way this journalist presents his film and the audio tapes, it “appears” that the two deputies in question, had to then figure out how to justify their entry, their search of the gun safes and the confiscation of the guns, to meet “exigent circumstances,” which is the exception to the prohibition of warrant-less searches and seizures per the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

Anyway, you can decide for yourself what you think is going on and who, if anybody, crossed what lines in this scenario.


Of course there is going to be a “slant” in reporting this; Mr. Blackburn did try to show how this whole situation was wrong by quoting the fourth amendment- nice job of “slanting” the news report to show what the Constitution actually states! As for Mr. Hart and his “not complying” with the demands of the l.e.o.s who were on scene and telling him what to do; perhaps Mr. Hart was wrong in reaching for his cell phone, I know I wouldn’t have at that time, but clearly the deputies here are in the wrong, period. Anyone who tries to make excuses for their behavior in this situation is just plain wrong as well.


Hey Dave. I just gave you a “dislike”. Hart was legally and safely shooting on his own property. Overzealous cops fueled by an irritated RP neighbor caused this whole scenario to pan out. I too live rural and my neighbors shoot everyday almost. City folk go back where you came from. Murphy is an idiot.


Excellent article. Some areas have actually made it illegal to videotape LE while performing their duties so this is good to see. Unfortunately as the depression continues to worsen we will be seeing much more LE abuses, not less.

inverse Condemnation

—————–We no longer live in a Country or State that our Constitutional Rights really matter anymore!


We haven’t for more than 30 years.


The poor never did!


A perfect example of Law Enforcement’s elitist attitude. They view the rest of us as the problem rather than seeing us as their employers who they are sworn to protect. This incident could have been handled by calmly asking Mr. Hart what was going on. I think that Mr. Hart is now entitled to receive the offending officer’s pensions as compensation. The only way this type of thing is going to stop is if the victims are able to be made whole again directly from the offender’s pocketbook.

I see this as a fine example of why we should NOT elect an insider like Parkinson. I see him as an extension of this culture of corruption within law enforcement. Expect more of the same if Parkinson is elected.



i have not completely made up my mind about who i’m voting for but COME-ON !

isn’t the chief of SLOPD linden ? isn’t she responsible for anything any more ? why is it that when anything by any PD or SHERIFF’S personal happens some one like you comes out of the wood work to connect it to Ian Parkinson . do you really want to go there about your man’s infidelities , sweet deals , and creative taxes . OK ! why don’t you finally get it over with tell us how Parkinson dropped the ball on Lindbergh Baby kidnapping , Hindenburg disaster , and Titanic sinking .


The three cases that you cite have each been solved. Parkinson still has convicted drug smugglers earning a full salary while on paid administrative leave. He still has not earned a BA degree as required for the position when he applied. He forgot to pay his taxes and insisted on filing charges against a man for bank robbery when the real criminal had already been caught and confessed. Oh, that’s right, he isn’t the chief so it’s not his fault. Yet, he jumps at every opportunity to expound on how he runs the police operations. Pick a lane. I too thought Parkinson was the right man for the job at one point but it appears that Ian himself has proven me wrong. We don’t need another Sheriff that either wants to be everyone’s friend or is afraid of the union.


And the sad saga of the SLOSO continues. If I worked there, I’d change agencies in a hurry or just find a different career. The continuous stream of illegal and unethical behavior in this department from the Sheriff himself on down is something I would surely want to distance myself from.


Funny how I would get a negative response for that statement. What’s there to argue with ?


those negative responses are just from the sheriff ‘s few and i mean few boot licker left .


Bolts, Reid,Bryn, Sousa…


The sad thing is with Ian Parkinson in the lead for sheriff it will be more of the same.

The city of SLO just paid out $195,000 to Jeff Milne for police brutality. The thing many don’t know, the reason nothing happened to the four officers who beat this man to a pulp is one was having an affair with her boss Ian.

Ian’s wife even knows and is more interested in Ian moving through the sheriff job to higher political aspirations. Screw the people of SLO. Ian has flirting with his boss, Deb, for years and gets away with murder. Deb smiles at him and giggles like a school girl with a crush.

After Ian signed his sports car over to Deb, at a below market rate, Deb gave the car to her hubby for Christmas and let Ian spend his time, while on the taxpayers dole, campaigning. This can be verified with DMV records.

He did the same thing with Chitty, Chief Lisa Solomon’s hubby, they gave him a boat at below market rate and he gave Chitty a job he was not qualified for.

Did he follow the law when he campaigned, of course not. He is above all that. He purchased a sign way above the legal limit, the size of a billboard, and bragged on his facebook page how he was moving it around town every night on the back of a semi truck. As part of the good old boys, no one in power said a word.

He also committed voter fraud by sending out mailers as a democratic group when he is a republican. I hope the FPPC reams him.

Ian thinks he is above the law and because of the climate of good old boys in our county, he appears to be. Shame on those who know what he is doing and support him because they can continue to get away with their misdeeds. Just take a look at his supporter list.


Didn’t Parkinson fail to pay his property taxes? Can’t he make it on his civil service salary? He doesn’t have a college degree either. What kind of a security clearance can you have if you don’t pay your property taxes? What about his credit report? Because these jobs are filled by the electorate, don’t background checks matter? I mean, can anyone run for Sheriff with no financial background check? Just asking.


i have not completely made up my mind about who i’m voting for but COME-ON !

isn’t the chief of SLOPD linden ? isn’t she responsible for anything any more ? why is it that when anything by any PD or SHERIFF’S personal happens some one like you comes out of the wood work to connect it to Ian Parkinson . do you really want to go there about your man’s infidelities , sweet deals , and creative taxes . OK ! why don’t you finally get it over with tell us how Parkinson dropped the ball on Lindbergh Baby kidnapping , Hindenburg disaster , and Titanic sinking .


Your Right, Linden is also responsible. She should fire Parkinson for not disciplining the officers he is in charge of. Who he boinks outside of his marriage isn’t anyone’s business until he starts giving them preferential treatment, like he did with the incident surrounding the Milnie brutality case. When the tax payers have to pay out 195K, somebody needs to get FIRED.

It’s now been 10 months since McDow and Limon have been on PAID leave for drug smuggling.

If this is what Civil Service jobs are all about then we need an immediate overhaul. Screw Parkinson, Linden and their GOB excuses. We need change and we need it now. They are literally allowing bad cops who plead guilty to act like PIGS at a trough, eating up our tax dollars for free. This is bullshit.