In California city, officers bent badges to mark each fatal police killing, ex-captain says
In Vallejo, California, a former police captain is alleging a secretive ritual that has triggered an internal inquiry into the city’s embattled police force: he says some officers involved in fatal shootings since 2000 bent the tips of their star-shaped badges to mark each time they killed someone in the line of duty.
Former Vallejo police Capt. John Whitney, a 19-year department veteran and former SWAT commander who was fired from his job last August, first described the alleged tradition in an interview published this week by Open Vallejo.
According to the unaffiliated news outlet, officers involved in fatal shootings marked those incidents with backyard barbecues and were initiated into a “secretive clique” that included curving one of the tips of their seven-point sterling silver…