Fired Pacific Grove police officer generates support on social media

Peninsula Premier Admin

PACIFIC GROVE — In the wake of Wednesday’s announcement that the city of Pacific Grove fired one of its police officers for behavior that included association on some level with a right-wing extremist group and assailing the Black Lives Matter movement, it has come to light that the police union lobbied against having one particular City Council member from joining a police oversight committee because she expressed her dismay at the fired officer’s actions.

On Wednesday the city announced that the unnamed police officer was fired for behavior that began with placing right-wing extremist decals on his private car and ended with the officer posting an obscenity-laden comment against Black Lives Matter on a right-wing social media platform that Amazon pulled the plug on this week for permitting violent posts.

In a video news release, Pacific Grove Police Chief Cathy Madalone said the officer is no longer employed by the city of Pacific Grove, but that legal constraints prevented her from making any further comment.

“Unfortunately, I am unable to disclose or comment any further due to legal constraints,” Madalone said in the press release Wednesday. “I understand you would like to have more details, and I would like to provide them to you, but based on the law, I am prohibited from commenting any further on this personnel matter.”

An emailed request sent to Madalone’s office on Thursday asking for an explanation of exactly what those legal constraints entailed was not immediately returned.

This past spring it was discovered that the officer had a number of decals on his pickup espousing extremist right-wing views with silhouettes of automatic weapons and another mocking the LGBTQ movement, gay rights advocates said. One of the decals named a group called the Three Percenters, which was one of the groups that participated in the assault on the Capitol building a week ago.

A photograph of the Pacific Grove police officer’s vehicle. (

The officer was investigated but exonerated when he claimed he didn’t know what the Three Percenters were.

But then again in November, it was discovered that the same officer had posted an obscenity — “F*ck BLM” — aimed at the Black Lives Matter movement. The vulgarity was posted on a right-wing social media platform called Parler that Amazon this week effectively shut down because of the violent comments it allowed to be posted.

A woman who identified herself as Vallerie Gonzalez launched a crowdsourcing effort to raise money for “Officer Gonzalez” and posted a photo of a man on a police motorcycle. In the post made on GiveSendGo, which bills itself as a “free Christian crowdfunding site,” Vallerie Gonzalez writes in one portion of the post that officer Gonzalez was fired for his political beliefs and associated his firing with City Councilwoman Jenny McAdams.

“In November 2020 Officer Gonzalez was placed on Administrative Leave for his personal and political beliefs on a personal Parler Account,” Vallerie Gonzalez wrote in the post. “In the posts, Officer Gonzalez expressed his Political views against the Black Lives Matter Organization due to thier (sic) calls for Defunding Police.”

She went on to say there was nothing wrong with what officer Gonzalez said about Black Lives Matter. She also accused Madalone of improprieties in handling the investigation.

“The content of the posts is fully within the boundaries of law and in no way expressing threatening or hateful thoughts, yet Chief Madalone made it subjectively and maliciously assumed his intentions as threats and biased by holding a press conference and expressing her personal views without a completed investigation,” Vallerie Gonzalez wrote.

McAdams drew the ire of Vallerie Gonzalez because McAdams spoke out following the discovery of the decals on the officer’s pickup truck. In a post on a social media page as well as in a letter to city staff, McAdams said “as a member of the LGBTQ community and a BLM ally, I remain offended by what I saw on the police officer’s vehicle.

“I will not forget what I felt (sad, scared, angry, disgust) when I saw the racist decals,” McAdams wrote. “I am so sad we have lost the public’s trust, particularly with people of color.”

But McAdams was far from alone. During Pacific Grove City Council meetings following the disclosure, dozens of people called in to express the exact same thing.

“I am one of the 294 African Americans in Pacific Grove and for him to say F*ck Black Lives Matter was incredibly jarring,” said Pacific Grove resident Nadja Mark during a public comment period at a Dec. 2 meeting.

McAdams also drew the anger of the Pacific Grove Police Officers Association, which in a November letter lobbied Mayor Bill Peake not to appoint McAdams to a police oversight committee. In a November letter signed only by “Members of the POA” the membership called her comments “divisive.”

Contacted Thursday, association President Saul Rodriguez declined to comment on the letter or for the firing of the police officer, saying he would only comment after consulting with the members of the union.

Vallerie Gonzalez on her GiveSendGo account also indicated that a lawsuit against the city is an option.

“The funds raised by everyone will be used for various needs such as possibly cover (sic) the costly and lengthy lawsuit and fight against the Pacific Grove Police Department and City of Pacific Grove for Constitutional Violations,” she wrote.

This screen capture of a post on by a woman who identified herself as Vallerie Gonzales as well as “Mrs. Gonzales” depicts a man she identified as “Officer Gonzales” who she said was wrongly fired from the Pacific Grove Police Department. (GiveSenGo)

Contributed by local news sources

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