Kropke Harasses Police, Drops The F-Bomb!

An anonymously sent email showed up in my inbox the evening of June 30, email from our interim Police Chief, Capt. Adam Hawley, to the City Manager and members of Council. Considering the topic, I’m surprised it doesn’t appear to have been sent to BOUSD Superintendant Dr. Brad Mason.

It was a courtesy report (sort of an executive summary) on department activities related to the BLM protest earlier that evening. You can get a copy here: Hawley Report.

For those not clicking the link, paragraph five was especially interesting. “It should be noted that although the group is small, they are vocal and noncompliant. Also, it was reported to me that one of the protestors is a BOUSD Board Member.”

Pressing down on the matter, it turned out to be Keri Kropke who allegedly repeatedly shouted “the F-bomb” at the officers monitoring the protesters.

Enraged, I swung into action.

I immediately fired off an email to Dr. Mason, District Superintendent, making what I believed to be a strong case to have this put on the board’s agenda for discussion. It seemed obvious to me that there was a conflict of interest… that there was a violation of board ethics as well.

Several hours later I got the obligatory brush off, suggesting the matter should be brought up during Public Comments rather than agendized as a discussion item.

I responded, pointing out how that approach seriously reduced the impact the topic deserved and, without being agendized, the result could only be zero response, zero action.

Adding insult to injury.

Two days later news of another clash between Ms. Kropke and the Brea PD surfaced. Paraphrased from my email to Dr. Mason, “BPD officers were dispatched to a theft call involving a homeless black male who allegedly stole food from a bakery. The suspect was detained at the Circle K/Union 76 gas station around 10:30 a.m., where Ms. Kropke happened to be as well.

She reportedly video recorded and harassed the officers as they detained the suspect. The bakery owner wanted to press charges, however, officers convinced the owner otherwise and released the suspect.

Ms. Kropke apparently continued to interrogate the officers about racial discrimination. (Both officers, by the way, are black.) She also said she was a “city official” and the officers would be hearing more from her.

She is not a “city” official, she is a school board member, which sounds to me like misrepresentation and misuse of authority.

The concerns I’ve raised are sufficiently grievous as to demand open discussion by the board. The sooner, the better. The pattern of behavior, which we’ve all endured for over eighteen months, must be publicly addressed and appropriate action taken.”

You can get a copy of the full email string here: Dr. Mason Communications.

Digging down for the facts.

An old hand at using the California Public Records Act (CPRA), my next step was to formally request from Capt. Hawley “copies of the audio recordings from the officers who had the encounter with Ms. Keri Kropke yesterday when she interfered with their interrogation…” and from Dr. Mason “By declaring herself as a “city” official, the video she produced became public record. I am making this formal CPRA request for an unedited/unaltered complete copy of the video captured by Ms. Kropke.”

I’m still waiting to hear back from Dr. Mason, presumably on Monday.

The response I got back from Capt. Hawley stated, “Per standard protocol, I will forward your PRA request to our City Clerk, Lillian Harris-Neal. In the future, please direct PRA requests directly to the City Clerk.”

Standard protocol? You, dear reader, deserve to read my response to that hogwash verbatim.

“Are you telling me that the City Clerk is the official custodian of BPD records, reports and evidence? Because, that is potentially what the audio recordings are, evidence. Where are incident reports filed?

I looked through the City Clerks Records Retention Schedule and find no mention of any police records outside of those connected possibly to email/electronic communications, budgeting and purchasing matters.

I do not believe that the City Clerk needs to be conscripted into this matter. Please, simply record digital audio files to DVD and mail them to me.”

(Sound of mic dropping) Guaranteed that will get a response on Monday as well. Again, you can get a copy of the full email string here: Mason/Hawley CPRA Requests.

Let’s hear you loud and clear!

Please, be bold enough to add your thoughts and opinions here. Public comments add an important dimension to One Brea.

Hopefully Brea First’s admin will pick this up for their Facebook Group (if you haven’t joined yet, now would be a perfect time to do so). You can also share on that platform as well.

Please, rattle Dr. Mason’s cage!

Add your voice to mine, whether you share my outrage or not, and send Dr. Mason an email (bmason@bousd.us). Be sure to let him know you want your communication read during Public Comments.

Epilogue – 07/07/20

BOTA announced today their endorsement of Keri Kropke’s reelection.

Excerpt from a BOTA update from President Pattie Romero distributed to members by Glenda Bartell, BOTA Secretary, “School Board Elections – As you know, a committee of BOTA volunteers took part in interviewing our school board candidates over a two day period. Each candidate was asked the same questions that were written by the interview committee. The candidates interviewed included Gail Lyons, Paul Ruiz, and Keri Kropke. After discussion, the committee unanimously recommended that BOTA endorse each candidate in their election.

There are a couple of big problems with this. Candidate documents won’t be available to take out for four more days. I don’t remember hearing about any public declaration of her intent to run but, as of today, Keri Kropke is not a candidate! No one is, officially. Is incumbency automatically indicative of running for reelection?

And exactly who is the union comparing her to if there are no other openly declared candidates? This paints a pretty clear picture of just how bright the BOTA leadership is. Their choice would never be my choice.

Vargas Dismissal

Please share your opinions with the school board, click this: PUBLIC COMMENT.

Epilogue – 07/15/20

Brea PD released a summary report of incidents between their officers and BOUSD Board Member Keri Kropke. You can read/download a copy of this public document here:  PD SUMMARY REPORT

Released last night, this report reads a little like Cliff Notes but fully vindicates all details in this blog and more. There was a third incident in the Brea Downtown that readers will find particularly interesting.

There is a 90% chance a more detailed sequel will be released and I will add it here. Kudos to Mayor Simonoff, members of Council supporting his demand for clarification and anyone else behind the scenes who pressed for full public disclosure.

Epilogue – 07/17/20 (8:00 p.m.)

Statement from Keri Kropke Regarding Letter from Brea Police Department to Mayor/Council: Emailed to the BOUSD Board and posted to her Facebook page and Instagram.

As a person who comes from both a union and law enforcement family, I am disheartened at the misinformation that has circulated regarding my interactions with the Brea Police Department.

-At no time have I ever used a racial slur or epithet toward a Brea Police Department officer, or anybody else. As explained in a separate letter being sent to the Chief of Police, I was providing an explanation of how a store owner yelled a racial slur at the subject being detained during the encounter described in the Police Department’s narrative sent to the Mayor and Council. How the repetition of what a store owner said became confused for my use of a racial slur toward an officer is bewildering. As mentioned at the School Board meeting, I am the single mother of an African American son and have never used a racial slur toward anyone.

-At no time during the Black Lives Matter march did I direct profanity toward a Brea Police Department officer. I was at the march with my son, to exercise my Constitutional right to free speech and assembly and to champion values I believe in. I have asked the Chief of Police for all recordings and to correct slanderous statements against me.

I have spent my career as an unapologetic champion for equality, diversity and inclusion and will continue to stand up for those values when threatened. I have always and continue to support the brave women and men in law enforcement, like my grandfather, who commit to community through constitutional policing, building community and racial harmony through transparency and effective partnerships.

Respectfully,
Keri Kropke – Brea Olinda School Board Member, Clerk

Epilogue – 08/07/20 (8:00 p.m.)

Contrary to the emotional assertion, at last night’s BOUSD board meeting, of working hard for Brea schools, parents and kids… Keri Kropke chose not to run for re-election to BOUSD.

This afternoon she completed qualification to run for District 7 of the NOCCCD and tonight has removed her BOUSD Official Facebook page.

Epilogue – 08/18/20

Ms.Kropke has purchased an endorsement from Women in Leadership (WIL). They define themselves as, “… a bi-partisan Political Action Committee formed in 1993 for the purpose of electing women candidates to local, regional and state-wide office who are dedicated to keeping access to full reproductive rights. We provide funds to candidates who believe that ensuring access to reproductive education and healthcare is essential to safeguarding rights for all women.”

Think of WIL as a virtual slate mailer where endorsements are bought and paid for. Whatever a candidate provides about their background appears to be published without any attempt to fact check or validate. How else would you explain this on their website?

Confirmed today, by the President of the Cooperstown National Baseball Hall of Fame, no team has ever been inducted and Keri Kropke has not been personally inducted or honored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

54 thoughts on “Kropke Harasses Police, Drops The F-Bomb!

  1. Wow! It’s not bad enough to have to have endured Ms Kropke’s very shady antics while running for school board office, then her ridiculous antics at the meetings regarding Fanning School and their name. But now to hear that she’s abusing our police officers and misrepresenting herself. Please rid us of her unfavorable behaviors!

    • Daniece… Great summary. Rumor is a longtime resident in Kropke’s “district” is thinking about running against her. I want to know who that is so I can scrape and beg!

    • Keri Kropke canvased our neighborhood before the last School Board election. She presented herself as a mother with children (or child) in the local school district. She also spoke convincingly of the positive measures she would forward as a board member.

      We were to find later her true colors and were very sorry we didn’t vet her better before we voted.

      I will join whatever effort is organized to remove her from the board.

      • I’m with you. She came and spoke to me, in person, three times because I live on a very prominent corner near Country Hills School and Country Hills Park and she completely lied to me; completely misrepresented who was backing her, what her agenda was, and what her background was.

        She came by more than once to re-position signs to get maximum exposure for her election of lies. Bad me for being fooled once. I will not be fooled twice!

  2. Ms. Kropke is a BOUSD School District Leader therefore representing our schools, our children, our parents, the rest of the school board, the school district staff and ultimately our city.

    I am very saddened and embarrassed to read this blog and the letter from Police Chief, Capt. Adam Hawley.

    She has demonstrated inappropriate behavior and needs to apologize to the school district and resign. We should not tolerate this unprofessional and disrespectful behavior from an elected official. Shame on Keri Kropke and her manner in representing our school district and city.

    • Sara… Her behavior, in these recent incidents and really her conduct from the moment she took office, is intolerable. I agree, the board should ask for her resignation.

  3. First of all, I’m pretty sure that Dr. Mason will not bother to read any email sent to him; he has proven time and time again to not respond to email or tackle any problem sent his way.

    Secondly, I’m sickened by the crazy antics that Ms Kropke Continues to participate in. There is no reason she should be participating in a staged “protest” when she is representing the Brea Olinda School District. Even worse, she has no business getting involved in a police matter.

    Ms. Kropke should resign immediately or be removed from her position, as she is clearly a huge liability to our city and district.

    • Leslie… I’ve had mixed success working with Dr. Mason. We’ve had our successes and, like now, the wagons circle to protect whatever in complete disregard for the greater good of the district.

      If enough voices are raised the board will be compelled to deal with it. So far there has been little but looking the other way. I wouldn’t count on Ms. Kropke doing the right thig either.

    • I sent Dr. Mason an email about Kropke, and how we don’t need her in any position of power and that he needs to ask for her resignation. I got a response back within 24 hours. If everybody emails him he will have to do something.

    • Boadicea… Precisely. A CPRA request to the (acting) Chief of Police should produce the audio tapes without a hitch. The redirect to the City Clerk was a silly and ineffective diversion that fell flat on it’s face.

      I’ve enjoyed very open, candid and mutually respectful relationships with every Brea Police Chief back to Mike Messina. We’ve managed to deal with some pretty dicey issues without bogus red tape or CYA mentalities. I’ve got nothing but respect for these guys.

  4. If Ms Kropke can not respect the basic traffic laws and block traffic and if she represents herself falsely how can we as residents have faith she will she respect what we believe as community and she do right by our children. She can not be trusted. She needs to resign immediately.

  5. This is unacceptable behavior. No person acting like this should be representing our school and children in them. This needs to be dealt with.

    • Heather… I would hope that Dr. Mason and Capt. Hawley are forthcoming and that the other four members of the BOUSD Board recognize just how serious this is.

  6. Rick – Thanks for informing us of this brazen anti-police hater…

    I personally have had multiple 1:1 engagements with Keri. She outrightly misrepresented her election “backers”, her motivations and intentions. I did back her in the election to school board. My own fault-I did not do my own due diligence and research her Anti-American, social-progressive, femi-socialist, and racist background.

    She will outright lie to get elected because that is exactly what she did. You can always tell a socialist because if they told you the truth of who they are, and what they really want, nobody of sane mind would back them.

    I will contact Mason – he is a non-responsive stooge – the only time I ever got a response from him was when I cc the whole school board in my email. Rick, please let me know how I can help getting the word out…her behavior is unacceptable!

    • Nita… Hi, thanks for your comments. You can best help in two ways.

      First, follow through on your comment to Dr. Mason and the board. Be succinct and firm in your requests. Second, share your thoughts and opinions with all of your Brea friends, encouraging them to take the same actions you have.

  7. Fortunately my children are grown and no longer in the Brea schools so they won’t be subject to her influence on the board or as a teacher. If they were still students I would be lobbying to have her removed from the board and her teaching position. This is not representative of who Breans are.

    • Gregg… that seems to be the universal response to her conduct. There is an email link for Dr. Mason at the end of the blog… please send him your thoughts.

  8. Email sent.. Does anyone have any idea if there is a petition to remove this person who is unfit to represent our school board?

    • Daniel… I’ve not heard of a petition and am not so sure it would actually facilitate her removal. Best solution is to find someone with the experience and willingness to run against her, to contribute to their campaign, to help with campaign activities and to vote Ms. Kropke out of office

  9. Here is the response I got from Dr. Mason when I requested that the BOUSD board publicly address the recent events chronicled in your blog:

    Hello Ms. Causey,

    As concerns come into the District over a variety of topics each is taken and looked into based on the issue or concern. Every matter that comes in is then handled in an appropriate manner based on what is substantiated, what is or isn’t within our purview as a District or a Board and what is the most appropriate course of action. That is our commitment in all circumstances, including the concerns you reference. As is always the case the public has an opportunity at all of our Board Meetings to express their concerns to the entire School Board during the Public Comments portion of the Agenda. Many people have utilized that opportunity in order to inform the School Board of their thanks, concerns or displeasure.

    Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.

    Sincerely,

    Brad Mason

  10. I was at the protest. I went because it was advertised as a “peaceful protest”.

    There were three people who were walking on the sidewalk and standing on the sidewalk and NOT blocking traffic – me, Ms. Kropke, and her son. One of the organizers approached us to ask us to stand in the street, we declined.

    I also did not hear her shout any “F-bombs”. I’m curious if you ever receive any recording of these alleged statements.

    Also worth mentioning – there were approx 30-40 protestors but approx 20 cops. In riot gear. Some cops with their hands on their guns? Not sure why that happened.

    I will email Dr. Mason to provide firsthand account of what I witnessed.

    • Seema… First, thanks for confirming that Ms. Kropke did, in fact, take her son to the protest. Language and animosity not withstanding, I suppose there was some limited teachable moments. I’m glad you all declined to obstruct traffic and fail to follow police instructions.

      Who was the protest organizer that encouraged you to break the law? I’m sure Brea PD would like to have a chat with him, or her.

      I’ve watched a Googled video taken from the lofts facing Brea Boulevard. The “F*ck the police” phrase was repeatedly shouted by the whole mob as they moved from blocking the intersection at Birch Street to blocking Imperial Highway.

      There were five police SUVs and one motorcycle cop following the mob, no riot gear, with the sole objective to keep protestors safe from traffic. Your remark is inaccurate and inflammatory. The Brea PD are to be commended for their handling of what could have been a much uglier situation.

      Please do email Dr. Mason. It is your right. I would consider editing it to be more truthful and balanced than what you’ve posted here.

      • John… She was so obviously either totally uninformed or had been conscripted to help with damage control. Her silence since posting her original comment speaks volumes. Wouldn’t it be funny to see her name crop up in the transcripts and reports from the Brea PD?

  11. This is not the behavior of a Board Member and this member needs to be removed.
    Clearly has failed to follow the Bylaws a responsibility of a Board Member.

    Go To BOUSD click Board, Policies, and board bylaws.

    The Board expects its members to work with each other and the Superintendent to ensure
    that a high-quality education is provided to each student. Each individual Board member
    shall:

    1. Keep learning and achievement for all students as the primary focus
    2. Value, support and advocate for public education
    3. Recognize and respect differences of perspective and style on the Board and
    among staff, students, parents, and the community
    4. Act with dignity, and understand the implications of demeanor and behavior

    Clearly failed on 3 and 4.

  12. During the election it came out that she received significant campaign contributions from a labor union, so it’s not surprising that BOTA would support her. Also her agreeing to break the BOUSD board dead lock to let Measure G go to voters was in line with what the union wanted.

    I think voters see through this that her interests lie not with the best interests of students, but mainly for herself to gain political power and more campaign contributions.

    She should take her trouble making to another city.

    • Sue… You can read about her campaign finances here: Kropke Finances and there is a link within the text that will take you to all of her campaign finance reporting. With substantial help from her dad, Marvin, a union bigwig, she amassed a fortune.

      I have not speculated what their long game is but the short game has little to do with being a dedicated board member or true public servant.

  13. Heard about the prologue. Came back to catch up on comments and read it. There were only 4 or 5 comments when I was last here. OMG.

    The melt down is obvious and complete. Why someone would purposefully self destruct like this is beyond me. I suppose we will never know why.

  14. Rick, Agree with most of what you have posted.

    Kropke’s first campaign was using her first name “Keri” to be used as to present her self as the very capable and sincere Carrie Flanders, Brea School Board.

    Dr. Mason to me shows a lack of integrity and unwillingness to be transparent. At the time of the Fanning discussions I received a letter noticing me as I was a Planning Commissioner at the time. I was noticed of the meeting but many of my neighbors who have children attending Fanning were not. Mason denied it and spoke of a mailing to thousands of addresses.

    Kropke’s alleged behavior during the protest was deplorable. I believe folks should have the right to their opinion, but that ends at blocking traffic and mostly the disrespect to our Brea PD plus the explicit language.

    This is not what exemplifies a school board member. As a Planning Commissioner (13 years) we took ethics training every two years. In that, the look of inappropriate behavior is just that… inappropriate.

    The direction from Dr. Mason to report at Public Comment puts the issue in the”dead letter” file. The balance of the board needs to discuss the issue as an agenda item and demand a resignation from Kropke.

    The appearance is that she will eventually move on and not further effect Brea, but, unfortunately, a larger group of folks.

    • Well Jim… you may not agree with everything I wrote, but I track with every point you’ve made. Good to know you also sent comments to Dr. Mason for the meeting. I hope many more folks do too.

    • Mike..Yes, indeed. From the summary report, “During the conversation, Ms. Kropke twice uttered a highly inflammatory, racial slur. In response, the officer, who is African American, requested Ms. Kropke not to use that term.”

  15. Rick, thank you for this post and the regular updates. Ms. Kropke needs to resign, but I doubt that’s happening anytime soon.

    Fortunately, I’m aware of at least one well-qualified candidate who will be running against her this fall. Let’s hope Brea doesn’t make the same mistake again.

    • Andrew… Resignation now would be preferable, whether offered voluntarily or demanded by her fellow board members.

      I’ve heard the same about a worthy candidate. Hopefully she will be running unopposed.

  16. This woman is a menace and is a disgrace to the district. The teachers of the district should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Betty… I agree with your first statement but your second one throws me. I hope you come back and clarify what you meant. Thanks for being part of the discussion.

      • I am referring to the Brea Olinda Teachers Association supporting her re-election.

      • Betty… it was fifteen members of BOTA’s Rep Council voting with little or no real input from teachers at large, no survey that I know of. Kropke slid by with a 10:5 vote. So I would be careful to suggest the endorsement came from the entire organization.

  17. On the BOUSD, July 16, 2020, board zoom meeting she is denying those accusation, especially the racial calling to the Brea PD officer.

    I would love to hear the recording.

    Can you get it?

    • Mike… Kropke’s denial is meaningless. Chris Emeterio and Capt. Hawley obviously had to interview everyone within the department and listen to the audio recordings in order to prepare the Summary Report for the Mayor and Council.

      At no point has she ever siad anything about what I have published here nor me sharing of the documentation behind it.

      Her denial is basically calling the Brea PD liars. The consequence attached to this is, at least, voters denying her a second term. Frankly, I would like to see the PD charge her with interfering with police in the course of their duties. She would look as good in orange as she does in black.

      The PD has both my CPRA requests and a demand letter rejecting their flimsy excuse of a legal citation. They have only a couple more days to give me the audio files before this takes a turn none of us would prefer.

      Can I get it? Damn right I will get it.

      • Thank you, Rick. Please help us Brea residents to know how to organize support to get Kropke removed from her position. So many of us in Brea support our police and her behavior is repulsive.

        Besides sending a complaint letter to Mason that he will ignore, please let us know what else we can do to be proactive in supporting our police department. I am there, but I don’t know what to do.

        Also, please post on Brea Buzz, NextDoor, and other social media so other Brea residents will see it.

      • Sandy… Sounds like two separate issues. First, supporting the Brea PD and second, ensuring that Ms. Kropke doesn’t get reelected.

        To the first, follow the PD on social media and join them whenever they’re involved in any public outreach. There are many opportunities every year. You might even look into a volunteer position with them.

        The BOTA Rep Council revolted today and, with a 16:0 unanimous vote, are not endorsing Kropke any more. I also discovered that her claim to be endorsed by the Women in Leadership is also bogus, no sign of her anywhere on their website.

        Find Deana Miller’s campaign Facebook page and go join her supporters. She is running against Kropke in that district and would welcome your support.

        I do what I can with this blog and the array of Facebook pages and groups, but Brea Buzz (Jason Kraft) is about as unwelcoming and unhelpful as one might expect. Plus, I’ve been permanently booted from Nextdoor since January. You and others will need to pick up the slack there.

      • Hello, we’re you able to get your hands on the tapes. What was the reasoning for denying the public records request?

      • Matt… Council, in a closed session a week ago, met to discuss what to do with my CPRA Request for the audio files from all three encounters. That was also the day the clock ran out on the time allowed for them to respond.

        To date it’s crickets. Unacceptable.

        The first tactic to subvert my request was for the Chief of Police (whom I sent it to) to forward it to the City Clerk to be handled. Ridiculous. The City Clerk is not the custodian of police records.

        A renewed request, in the form of a demand letter, was submitted to include the encounter downtown with the officer detaining the tagger. The handoff to the City Clerk was thoroughly debunked and the weak legal citation used to withhold the files was as well.

        Bottom line, they have no leg to stand on. I will end up with those audio files.

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