Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Behind the Blue Wall: Domestic Abuse as a Professional Entitlement

The caller’s number was unknown, but the voice coming from Nancy's* cell phone was very familiar. It belonged to Tim Gallick, an estranged boyfriend who had beaten her during a domestic dispute, leaving her with bruises and a concussion. According to her police statement, when Nancy dialed 911, Gallick demanded her phone, then grabbed a gun and fired a shot into the back wall of his house in Lancaster, California. 

Gallick was arrested, but quickly released. In most cases of this kind, a threatening phone call would result in another arrest. Yet he remains free, and armed – the latter fact demonstrated by a shapchat message Nancy received in which Gallick displayed a gun. That ephemeral contact left no record – but it did make an impression.

“I am very much in fear for my life,” Nancy told me. “He is a violent, possessive man who has repeatedly threatened me, and the police are more concerned about his professional standing than my safety.”

Officer Gallick at "work."
Despite being arrested on a domestic violence charge involving assault with a deadly weapon, and his blatant violation of a protection order, Tim Gallick remains armed and at large because he is a traffic enforcement officer with the LAPD

“When I’ve spoken with police investigators, they always bring up the damage that this situation could do to Tim’s career,” Nancy relates. “They seem to think that I should be concerned about whether or not his career will survive. I’m much more worried about whether I will survive.” 

“He’s being given special treatment,” she complains, “and I’m being treated like a criminal. In any other domestic case they wouldn’t be investigating the victim.” 

Some might suggest that the behavior Nancy describes might reflect the pressures of Gallick’s job. However, writing traffic tickets is not the kind of activity that generally results in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or other deep-seated emotional problems. In his very comfortable 18-year career, Gallick’s most notable accomplishment so far was his participation in a traffic enforcement sting near the campus of California State University, Northridge

“I have friends and relatives in law enforcement, and they think it’s ridiculous that Tim would be acting out of job-related stress,” Nancy reports. “He’s a motorcycle cop who writes tickets, not a homicide investigator. I think his problems have nothing to do with the dangers and anxieties of his job – but his job is why he has become such a threat to me.”

Any situation involving domestic violence poses potentially lethal dangers to the victim – but to whom does the victim turn when the abuser is someone supposedly sworn to “serve and protect” the public?

Women who are married to, or in a relationship with, police officers are twice as likely to become victims of domestic violence than are the rest of the female population. This shouldn’t be surprising, given that police are trained and licensed to commit aggressive violence and to treat non-submission as an offense worthy of summary punishment. Individuals in the professional habit of commanding others and using “pain compliance” to overcome resistance will often display the same inclinations in their personal affairs. 

The conceit of “qualified immunity” and the tribal loyalty of those who constitute the “Blue Wall” greatly amplify the danger to the victim if she seeks protection from the police. When police officers threaten, beat, or otherwise abuse a wife or girlfriend, the first instinct of his fellow officers is to protect one oftheir own and preserve his professional viability, rather than objectively investigating the allegations and taking necessary action to protect a victim from further harm. 

“Since the earliest days of law enforcement, domestic violence in police families was considered an officer’s personal business, one of those private realms into which departmental administrators chose not to involve themselves,” retired Chicago PD Homicide Lt. Dennis Banahan told Police Magazine. “Their attitude was that unless the problem affected an officer’s job performance, they’d prefer to ignore it. Whatever happened behind closed doors remained private. Since a large part of a cop’s M.O. is to maintain a game face, personal problems were considered just more of what we were expected to suck up and keep hidden.” 

“Police officers have always prided themselves on their ability to keep secrets within the law enforcement family,” acknowledged the publication in a rare and welcome display of candor. “That’s the case in some departments to this day…. [N]o incident was more likely to bring down the Blue Wall or trigger the Code of Silence than a cop who beat his wife. Nor did agencies want to get involved.”

Damage control, rather than prosecution or protection of the victim, has long been the chief priority of police in dealing with domestic violence incidents. According to Branahan, the first officers on the scene “were expected to be the primary spin doctors.”

Witnesses other than the victim and the offender would be removed from the scene. The victim – assuming she survived – would be separated from the abuser, not for her protection, but to isolate her and make her more vulnerable to manipulation.

“She’d be told that an arrest would serve no one’s best interest, and would absolutely jeopardize the officer’s job, thereby threatening the family’s security,” Branahan explained. “In effect, that’s telling a bleeding victim, `Hey, sorry about the broken arm and that your nose will never be the same again, but drop a dime on this guy and you’ll all be in the welfare line tomorrow.’”

In effect, the woman and any children are being blackmailed into protecting the interests of an abusive cop – sacrificing their personal security to protect the abuser’s job security.
Destruction or falsification of evidence is also quite commonplace in police-related domestic violence cases. Early in his career with the Chicago PD, Branahan was given specialized instruction regarding the handling of domestic violence cases involving his comrades. The most common method of official obstruction “was failure to file an official report, followed by withholding information from the victims.”

In addition to the "professional courtesy" extended by police to others in the fraternity of official coercion, abusive cops can usually exploit the deference extended by most citizens. In tracking down his estranged wife, Milwaukee officer Robert Velez used department resources to find that she had checked into a hotel in the Exel Inn chain. After he arrived at one location, Velez flashed his badge and claimed to be undercover looking for a criminal suspect; the clerk was able to locate the woman in a room at the chain's Oak Creek location.

The wife had advised the hotel staff that she did not want to be contacted by her husband. Nonetheless, when Velez arrived he brow-beat a clerk into taking him to the room and threatening to use the master key if his wife didn't open the door. Once inside, he punched his wife and assaulted her paramour, threatening to kill him. Originally charged with offenses that could have resulted in more than five years in prison and being barred from owning a gun, Velez was "punished" by a six-day suspension.

Nancy, who has no intention of marrying Gallick, lives in a different city -- but is very aware that this may avail little in terms of protection. She told the police that she had been trying to find some way “to end the relationship safely."  She is in significant peril if Gallick’s colleagues succeed in making this case disappear -- leaving him free to continue his career as an armed revenue farmer, and Nancy in fear for her life. 

Holiwell strikes a pose.

His wife and ex-wife are understandably fearful of him – but both Holiwell and his “gang” – his preferred description of the SWAT team – pose an acute threat to the public at large, as well. 

"The defendant has been violating the law and the public trust for years,” insists the indictment against Holiwell. The document goes on to state that there are “significant concerns for the safety of the community and the many witnesses who have cooperated in the investigation and whose identities will be revealed." The indictment also alleges that "Both [Holiwell's] current wife and former wife reported to investigators concerning acts of physical violence, assaults, and violent behavior ... that went unreported and are now outside the Statute of Limitations."

Holiwell (r) with members of his "gang."
Holiwell, who was arrested and given $155,000 bond, was tipped off before his colleagues took him into custody. A text message recovered from his iPhone indicates that he is planning to retaliate against his enemies: "Sh*t storm is coming.... I got something for there [sic] asses. Hang on, it's about to get real."

Prostitution and drug use are vices, rather than crimes, of course -- but it shouldn't be forgotten that most SWAT deployments originate in efforts to treat those behaviors as if they were criminal. Holiwell, who has been a King County Deputy since 1995, was surely being paid enough to live comfortably. In addition to his tax-derived salary, Holiwell owned a firearms training company called Praetor. Yet according to Sheriff John Urquhart, his deputy pimped out his wife and started retailing steroids because he "needed the money" following an injury that cut into his overtime pay.

In a television interview several years ago, Holiwell described the King County SWAT team as a “gang”: “Bad guys, we’re a gang, too…. As soon as they unleash us, go hide; guaranteed, we’re coming to get you."
Sheriff Urquhart admits that his SWAT team, which is deployed, on average, about twice a week, is compromised. Yet the sheriff insists that Holiwell’s government-licensed gang will be “operating as normal” until the investigation is completed. 

If he were at all concerned about the safety of the public he is sworn to protect, Urquhart would take immediate action to disband the gang, rather than keeping it together. In keeping with the well-established priorities of Urquhart’s profession, protecting the public – including victims of domestic abuse by a cop – comes a distant second to concern about the continued professional viability of the abuser’s comrades. 
*The woman's name has been changed for the purposes of this story. 

Dum spiro, pugno!


joyce said...

I'm at a loss for words

Thank you for your continuous work, Mr Grigg.

Ed said...

Hey women, quit hanging out with assholes.

Anonymous said...

Good writeup Will but again I caution you against misinforming the public with your way of saying that a given action is "not a crime, but is X" when it is, under the law, a crime. Your readers are likely legally sensitive folks but your rhetoric does not make the distinction as clear as it could be. Whether X should be a crime is another story, but misdescribing it as a not-crime is no service to the readership.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous... A crime has a victim. If there is no victim, it's not a crime.

normajeana said...

Actually, Anonymous, being 'against the law' is not the same as being a 'crime.' A crime has a victim, such as rape has a victim, domestic violence has a victim. It is against the law to drive over the speed limit or to change lanes without signaling, but I think it would be a stretch to claim that the person who goes a mile over the speed limit is a criminal.

Prostitution is against the law to "protect women from exploitation' (or so they tell us)- and the government imposes the moral/ religious values of one group of people onto the rest of society (which is also against the law of the land- the constitution). Why then, if the prostitute is the alleged victim (of exploitation), is she the one arrested and charged with a 'crime'? The two elements of her alleged ‘crime’ are both perfectly legal - she can legally have intimate relations with as many men as she wishes, and those men can legally give her gifts of any sort that they want, including cash, so long as the two actions are not connected. However, if she agrees to obtain a government issued license granting him the sole right to have sex with her whenever he wished and he agreed to provide her with cash, houses, jewelry, cars and whatever else her heart desires, the cash or other gifts offered in exchange for her sexual favors is not only NOT against the law, but is encouraged by society and by government.

Now, if the poor exploited prostitute agrees to become an informant for the cop who uses the prohibition of prostitution to threaten her into providing him with sexual favors and information on her colleagues or clients, she is free to go about being exploited as often as she wishes so long as she continues to give her 'handler' free samples and informs on other 'victims.' So who is the criminal in this case?

Drug use is another one of those things which, while being against the law, the government can and does give exceptions to certain favored persons or in certain circumstances (such as a cops giving his or her 'informant' drugs for snitching on someone else). If the average person gave drugs to another individual, it would be illegal and that person would be breaking the law. But if it were truly a 'crime' then it would always and in every circumstance be one and then the officer who gave drugs to his or her informant would also be a criminal. Yet, the law does not view as a criminal the officer who either permits a prostitute to continue being 'exploited' as long as it is beneficial to the government - or the cop who provides his/her informant with the same illicit substance that the mere possession of can send someone else to prison for decades.

Discrimination is also against the law, so are those who discriminate, even those in government who discriminate against the politically incorrect- criminals?

Is murder a crime? Yes. Is taking something that is not yours a crime? Yes. Is threatening someone's life and committing violence against them as in domestic abuse and violence a crime? Yes. Unfortunately, if you have a bright shiny badge, the 'crime' may not be considered illegal and the badge holder may not be considered a criminal despite having one or more victims. Being against the law and being a crime are two entirely different things and it is something you really ought to learn, especially if you are a law enforcement officer, which it sounds suspiciously like you are.

Anonymous said...

^You're preaching to the choir re your moral semantics, but the uneducated reader knows one thing: the law says X and you say Y. If someone has a rhetorical reason to believe Y over X, and acts accordingly, he stands a good chance of getting ruined by the law, because of semantic differences. Prostitution is illegal. Murder is illegal. Both are, therefore, crimes. They are crimes because they are punishable by the penalty of law and subject to protective mechanisms not available to the civil wrongdoing. Wrecking your neighbor's car is against the law and might be criminal if certain requirements are met, but probably won't qualify, so don't try to split the hair so finely.

Are they "crimes" in your weird moral notion of individual-individual wrongdoing (more akin to a tort)? No, but they're still outlawed, and the force of law is nothing to mess with. Think as you please, fellow commentators, but speak more cautiously.

normajeana said...

In that case, going one mile over the speed limit, being against the law, is a crime on par with murder. Given that the government has made just about everything illegal, it is no stretch to say that we all commit at least five felonies a day, as is noted in a book of the same name. I doubt that people whose mind set is such that they cannot differentiate between actions one does with one's own body/ property and that which is done to harm another are going to be reading Will's articles. Should they happen upon his writings by accident, I think the last thing that they will find offensive is his claim that things which are 'against the law' are not necessarily a crime. They will take offense that neither Will or his regular readers bow and scrape before the shiny badge, nor do we worship at the altar of government might. These would be folks on both the left and the right who are mortified that anyone would dare question the right of government and the thugs who enforce the incomprehensible and often contradictory laws that the government creates in order to place all it's citizens in the role of criminal unless absolved by one of THEM...

Lemuel Gulliver said...


You remind me of the Red Light District in Amsterdam. Every doorway had a sign: "Kamer te huur" or "Room for rent" --- by the hour, of course --- and your landlady was sitting in the front shop window, scantily clad, under red and purple lights. If she happened to like you, she just might do you a sexual favor, for free, in the room you had just rented, which act was not illegal. Clever.

I do not think this artifice would impress our American LEO thugs, who interpret the law and the Constitution on the fly as they please, as well as taking on the role of judge, jury, and executioner whenever their testosterone overflows out of their balls into their bloodstream.

Does it really matter if your offense is a crime, a felony, or a misdemeanor? You can be sleeping quietly in your bed, innocent of breaking any of the millions of lines in the code of law (sic) we suffer under, and still be shot dead or blown up by a grenade as you sleep. The event will then be declared, by the Police Commissioner, the local prosecutor, the judges, the politicians, and all the apparatus of the American Legal (sic) System, to have been right, proper, and according to law.

It happens numerous times every day. Governments and government servants have (legally, of course) killed some 100 times as many people - innocent civilians, called "collateral damage" - in the last 100 years, as have criminal members of the public. The number is conservatively estimated somewhere between 100 and 250 million, which is 1 to 2 million a year on average. Right here in America today you are several times more likely to suffer death by cop as death by citizen.

Moreover, when a loved one suffers death by citizen, you can hope for some measure of redress, but death by cop is never, ever - make that never in a thousand years - declared a crime and punished, no matter how egregious the circumstances. Does a baby sleeping in a crib deserve to be blown up with a grenade? Or a little girl of 7 years old sleeping on a sofa deserve to be shot dead with an assault rifle? Our system of law(sic) enforcement says, yes, the baby and the girl were committing the unforgivable crime of --- wait for it --- being a citizen NOT clad in a blue uniform.

Not only that. By all accounts, our betters in blue joke about it back in the precinct house. Yes, they laugh at your bereavement and suffering.

Does this make you mad? I hope so.

What are you going to do about it? How about beating the dog, or kicking the cat, or yelling at your kids, or fighting with your spouse? That is ALL most American do about it. I don't think those reactions are going to make it stop.

- Lemuel.

Lemuel Gulliver said...

PS: Anonymous @ 12:33 PM,

YOU: "The LAW says this, the LAW says that; thus sayeth the LAW. He that breaketh the LAW is a criminal and shall be punished."

I don't know what system of philosophy you subscribe to - you may call yourself a Christian, or a Jew, or an Atheist, or an Anabaptist, but know this: One day, you will die, and that day, you will stand before a Power which will remind you of every act you have committed in the life you have just ended. It and you together will then weigh your actions in the scales of justice.

Let us hope, for your sake, that that Power is less unforgiving, rigid, and dogmatic than you are. Otherwise, I feel pretty confident that that Power will remind you of the lines which have become part of our lexicon:

"Judge not, lest ye be judged. For with what measure ye judge, it shall be meted to you again."

I think you should keep those words in mind.

- LG

normajeana said...

Lemuel, I have been doing something about this for the past 32 years, since I left my horrible job working for the LAPD from 1972 to April 18, 1982. I spent years in the legal system , in prison, for writing a book about the corruption I observed, and was interviewed on '60' Minutes' by Ed Bradley during my incarceration. You can see that interview by going to my website and then click the link to 'Norma Jean and the Hollywood Corruption Scandal.'

I am currently doing research for my next book (first is 'Cop to Callgirl- Why I Left the LAPD to Make An Honest Living as a Beverly Hills Prostitute' (Simon and Schuster, 1993) which is entitled Dishonored Badge, Broken Trust- the Immoral Consequences of So Called Moral Laws. Am also doing a book entitled 'Cops, Hos, Preachers and Politicos- Commercial Sex Scandals in America.'

Hopefully giving it 32 years + of my life to exposing this horrific situation is enough? Anyway, that's what I am doing about it. And you?

Anonymous said...

A prostitute is certainly a more honest and respectable profession than being a cop these days.

Keith said...


Capitalist acts between consenting adults are just - always have been and always will be - aggression is never just. Those don't change with time or place.

Fiat laws, like fiat money are printed in ever increasing numbers - and ever debased subjective value.

That process continues up until there is a popular repudiation, where the value of each becomes effectively zero. No number of wheelbarrows full of fiat notes, or yards of bookshelf filled with fiat laws will change that.

Actual money and actual laws are like language - emergent orders, constantly peacefully evolving and being replaced by better ones.

No one body or institution can claim a monopoly, and no fiat imposition can survive for long unless enforced by aggressive violence.

Those fiats are almost invariably vehicles for theft and extortion: Fiat notes are printed (or their digits entered in a computer) at next to zero cost, and are then (under the threat of violence if you refuse to accept them for any and all debts) exchanged for actual goods and services.

I don't think anyone here has any doubt that thugs in blue costumes will aggressively make life very miserable - or un naturally short, for any (non privileged) individual whom they or their bosses, decide has broken a fiat law, however victim free and non aggressive the action or inaction which they consider to have broken that law.

Lemuel Gulliver said...


Hope you get to read this. My question was not directed at you so much as all the other couch potatoes who sit around and whine about the situation, or jackasses like Anonymous who think the situation is just fine. Congratulations and many thanks for your efforts to expose the corruption - I hope they are successful. I am entirely in agreement with you. My father-in-law was on the fringes of the Mafia in Corona, NY, grew up with all the big boys, and they said, the day people stop wanting prostitutes, gambling, tax-free gasoline, drugs, and all the other pleasures the government makes illegal, is the day we go out of business. Fine gentlemen, very good businessmen, their word is their bond, and they do not involve families or outsiders in their business deals. No protection rackets - that particular exploitation of the public they leave to the government.

The LAPD must hate you - please be careful. Too many warriors have died - eg Michael Hastings - and you don't want to become another statistic. I know one person who has so much unpublished dirt on the CIA, which he got from a now deceased Deputy Director, two large file boxes on everything from the assassination of Allende to the assassination of JFK, that no matter what he says about them, they leave him alone. They are afraid of what would happen if he died suddenly, and they have every reason to be afraid. You need to get yourself a similar insurance policy before you take on the minions of Satan. Live long and prosper.


Joshua Cottle said...

I didn't realize so many illiterates enjoyed your work like I did, Will.

"Lemuel" - nothing I posted shows I "think the situation is fine," or gives you any rhyme or reason to rant about judgment day, or think that I am "judging" the behaviors of free choice - die or live as you see fit, as we all do. Who gives a flip if I am speaking from the perspective of the punitive system? That's the one at issue here: the "punitive caste" as Will calls it. It has thoughts on actions and regulations you clearly don't share, but that's moot for what say it has over you as an entity within its grasp. I merely caution to keep it in mind, whereas you want to type idiocy

For your future reading, I recommend trying to stay on topic: the subject was law, crime, penalty and rhetoric, and now, it seems, literacy. Since you can't read or follow a coherent path of thought, you're dismissed from the conversation, but I'll note that for further reading, I'd pick up ANY BOOK ON CRIMINAL LAW AND THEORY before opening your ignorant mouth again.

Normajeana, I will message you about your story. I love the prostitution/law/crime convergence. Moral regulations are fascinatingly nebulous and pervasive.

Lemuel Gulliver said...

Ah, it has a name, after all.

normajeana said...

Joshua and Lemuel, yes, I read both your comments. I also saw that there were two persons posting as anonymous, but I take it that Joshua you are the one who did not want Will to differentiate between crime and against the law. I do think though that Will's readers are of sufficient literacy that they would know the difference. But we can always hope that others who may not quite be as astute about freedom, government and the harm of an out of control law enforcement, will find there way here and learn the difference.

I see that you also live in Austin, where my good friends and fellow libertarians live. They are attending the LP national convention this week.

I trust that you are at least libertarian leaning if not outright libertarian. I do not use the capital 'L' as a political part is quite different from a philosophy. I did, however, run for political office as the nominated California LP candidate, back in 1986. Had I been elected Lt. Governor, I would have been able to pardon myself and then would not have had to go to prison.

You might enjoy the research I have been conducting on the unfortunate consequences to all of society of the prohibition of consenting adult commercial sex, on my website. That is the site. I never hide who I am as I have been 'out' as whom I am for the past 32 years, and the LAPD know who I am and where I live. Lemuel, thanks for your concern for my well being. The cops had their opportunity to do me in during my incarceration, but fortunately the media spotlight was on me and I have done well over 1,000 radio, TV and print interviews through the years. Not that it will protect me, but at least enough people around the world would question why I would disappear etc.

I realized years ago that if one is going to attempt to fight a corrupt law enforcement organization, one cannot do things like use drugs, or drink and I can never give them ANY excuse to be stopped or searched etc. (not that they need an excuse, but since I am a notorious non drinker or drug user, it would be suspicious if I were ever charged with drunk driving or for possession or use of drugs).

Well, time to get my disabled husband ready for bed . I look forward to hearing from you, Joshua. And anyone else who looks me up. I hide in plain sight.
Norma Jean Almodovar

normajeana said...

Using my iPad and tiny text... Did not see my grammatical error 'there' instead of 'their' for those less literate finding THEIR way to this blog.... Sigh... Even the best of us sometimes make mistakes...

William N. Grigg said...

As they say, even Homer nods -- and even the most fastidious of us sometimes get caught in a typo. That's happened to me at least three times this week. :-)

normajeana said...

Thanks, Will. :-)

Anonymous said...

I love how you keep churning these out! Great article after article. Would you please also link to your Facebook and twitter profiles at the end of every article?

Anonymous said...

Am oi wrong in saying any offence with a punishment of 1year or more imprisonment or against the public is a crime,anything else is a misdemeanor ? Am I wrong. Greetings from scotland

Ayn R. Key said...

Officer Tim Gallick is being put on trial for his actions. I suppose one could say his mention here prompted the DA to action, but I think it was a case of someone treated gently while going through the process.

I am actually disappointed, although I shouldn't be. As a resident of northern LA county (Lancaster-Palmdale area) I keep hoping you'll have an article about someone in my area. While he isn't in my area, he's not fully getting away with it.

William N. Grigg said...

Ayn R. Key -- please contact me at WNGrigg [at] msn [dot] com. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

This article horrifies me. I happen to know this officer because I was married to him. It's horrible that only one side is told and how an article and "bad" picture can make someone look. Alot of facts were left out that would make the "victim" look quite suspicious. It will all come out in the end with proof and she should be ashamed of herself.

Anonymous said...

Cop Ex Wife,
Why are you posting anonymously? One only had to google the cops name to find out your name.
You divorced him for a reason, you were obviously tired of something? This man doesn't even have custody of his child yet you want the victim to be punished? Are you afraid of losing your child support? Have you ever met the victim or know the real story? If you do then by all means call the journalist and say your peace as well. Until you walk a mile in either of their shoes I suggest you stop being a coward behind a screen.

Anonymous said...

Officer Tim Gallick resigned in lieu of being terminated. After further investigation Tim Gallick had multiple domestic incedents involving various victims that made him a liability with the LAPD.

William N. Grigg said...

How long ago did this occur? Does he retain his pension and benefits? Were any of the findings in the investigation made public?

Anonymous said...

Mr Gallick is serving a 5 year sentence in the Kern County Prison. He did not receive any pension from LAPD