Getting bent: the sordid practice of badge bending in the Vallejo, CA “Badge of Honor” club

Police who themselves are gang members are a large part of the problem known as “gang stalking.” and their practices–including extra-judicial homicides–are getting a makeover. But rooting them out won’t be pretty, because the problem is policing itself. America’s police institutions are at war, with each other.

From OpenVallejo, a story about “the badge of honor“:

Vallejo police bend badges to mark fatal shootings

They call it, “The Badge of Honor.” For a generation, a secretive clique within the Vallejo Police Department has commemorated fatal shootings with beers, backyard barbecues, and by bending the points of their badges each time they kill in the line of duty, an investigation by Open Vallejo has found. The custom was so exclusive, some officers involved in fatal shootings were never told of its existence. 

But senior law enforcement and government officials say everything changed when a police captain tried to end the practice following the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Willie McCoy in February 2019. Over the next six months, the tradition became known at the highest levels of Vallejo city government and the district attorney’s office. 

The captain who pushed for an investigation, John Whitney, would soon be out of a job. A former SWAT team commander with two master’s degrees, Whitney says he was forced out of the department after raising concerns about the badge-bending tradition and other misconduct. He filed a retaliation claim against the city in March. 

“The community we serve will lose faith in us,” Whitney told Open Vallejo. “This practice needs to end.” 

‘Kind of like a notch on the bedpost’

While reporting this story, Open Vallejo received a series of threatening emails from an anonymous account using the name, “Tariq Aziz.” Law enforcement sources believe the author is a high-ranking Vallejo official with knowledge of the badge-bending tradition. This is consistent with Open Vallejo’s analysis of the emails and other evidence. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s