SACRAMENTO -- Retired Sgt. Carl Stincelli of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department doesn’t consider himself much of a social media activist. But in the weeks since the death of his former colleague, Deputy Robert French, he felt compelled to post something on Facebook. He wrote an open letter to the woman he feels bears some responsibility in French’s death.
“I’m not angry at her,” Stincelli told FOX40. “It’s the system. She had the ability to make a more reasoned decision, and chose not to.”
The letter is addressed to Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim of the United States District Court’s Northern District of California. On Aug. 24, 2016, Judge Kim was presiding over the case of Thomas Little Cloud. He was facing several charges, including weapons and drug trafficking.
“Judges are supposed to take into account what the general harm will be to the public when making a decision,” said Stincelli.
Judge Kim chose to release Little Cloud into a drug rehabilitation program, not federal custody. One year later, Little Cloud killed Deputy French in a shooting spree, before being killed himself by law enforcement.
In Stincelli’s letter, he asked Judge Kim to resign, saying “It won’t bring Bob back, but it will keep you from (again) destroying lives.”
Stincelli takes solace in the hundreds of shares and likes his post has received. He says he hopes his fellow law enforcement officers see it and know they are not alone.
“For my law enforcement brothers and sisters who are still working, still carrying out that thin blue line; I wanted them to see that people are still looking out,” said Stincelli.
Here's the full letter:
"Open memo to U.S. Federal Magistrate, Judge Sallie Kim:
Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy Bob French just paid the ultimate price. A terrible consequence. His family and friends also had a consequence. The Sacramento Sheriff's Department itself paid a consequence. The citizens and taxpayers of Sacramento paid a consequence.
Your terrible decision set this all in motion. And YOUR CONSEQUENCE? You have no civil/criminal issues to worry about. Your job? Not an issue becauseyour current term expires in 2023 regardless of mistakes in judgement. If ANY of the injured (or dead) officers had made a similarly serious mistake in judgement they would find themselves in search of a new line of work (or in jail).
Oh, you feel bad don't you? But what consequence did you have?
Even if you ruled against every criminal between now and 2023 (you won't) you would never make up for the misguided decision you've made. Do the right thing. Step down. Resign. Go back to civil law, private practice (or what the hell make pottery). It won't bring Bob back but it will keep you from (again) destroying lives.
Think about it. 3 officers shot and one paid the ultimate consequence because you thought this long time weapons/meth addict should go to rehab not prison.
I'm mad and I'm not taking it anymore. I will bring your name up in every conversation I have. You are part of the problem. Until last week, Bob was part of the solution."