Chapter One Daniel Shafer

The date was June Seventh, 1986 at one in the morning. Daniel Schafer and two Friends, were driving on Hazeltine Street in Van nuys California. Officers Robert Brodoway and Rodney Gregson said they saw Shafer commit several traffic violations and decided to pull them over.

Shafer stopped at Hazeltine and Runnymeade in Van nuys. With several people watching from a nearby apartment Shafer got out of the car. I put my hand s in the air, high in the air. Brodoway got out of his car and came almost running up to me walking really fast, with his baton. There was no warning anything, nothing was said he whacked me over the head with his baton, and kept hitting me.

He just kept hitting me over the head, back and shoulders and it didn’t stop. I was on my hands and knees, and I was telling him, alright, alright, stop, and stop. That’s all I gept telling him.

He kept hitting me and kept hitting me and kept hitting me, and it didn’t stop. It must have been about 30 or 40 times with the baton. I remember him saying, don’t die on me, please don’t die on me.

I just leaned my head against the wall and my whole face was covered with blood. I couldn’t see or nothing, I was just spitting blood out.

When a tenant in the apartment building screamed for Brodowy to stop hitting Shafer, the Officer reportedly screamed back, be quiet up there or I’ll be up there and you will be next.

Daniel needed 70 stitches in his head; he had a punctured lung, broken ribs, and welts up and down his back, and on his shoulders, and few on his legs.

In the hospital Officer Brodowy told Daniels father Daniel Shafer, Sr. that he ought to be grateful that he beat him so bad because he is going to be a good kid now.

In the police report Officer Brodoway and Gregson stated that Daniel sustained some of his injuries by running, “head first into tree (Shafer) bounced of the tree and fell to the sidewalk.“

The police report also said Shafer refused to comply with officer’s orders and immediately pushed Officer Brodowy backwards with both hands and attempted to run toward a crowd. According to shafer this was a complete lie and there were witnesses there to prove it.

It was not the only lie in the Police report. Lies were made up by the Officers to cover for their unnecessary actions. Shafer was charged with speeding and making an unsafe lane change. He pleaded Guilty.

Shafer filed a complaint against Officer Brodowy; this triggered a disciplinary action against Brodowy. At the LAPD board of rights hearing, numerous witnesses testified that Brodowy brutalized shafer, and the board of rights handed down a decision.

The results of the personnel files coupled with the facts of this case has led this board to the indisputable conclusion that you as an officer of this Department are incapable of adjusting to today’s modern law enforcement requirements and methods. Additionally, it is this Boards finding that you have no understanding of the concept of escalating and de-escalating of force as it applies to your work.

Your work history indicates a propensity for actions which subject the Department to an unacceptable risk of liability. It is the Boards opinion that the seriousness of Mr. Shafer’s injuries in this single act alone makes the penalty appropriate.

By your own account of Mr. Shafer’s actions, it is clear that the force and the tactics that you used were excessive and inappropriate. We also believe that the misconduct involved here has significantly impacted your suitability to hold office as a sworn member of this department. you have been found guilty of using excessive force.You violatedthe law enforcement code of ethics, which requires all police officers to act in a professional manner and to never employ unnecessary force.

It is this Board’s sad recommendation to the Chief of police that you be removed from this Department.

This was almost the end of Officer Robert Brodowy’s rain of terror, but he was not officially fired yet.

Growing up in the valley you would always see the Stuart Miller Christmas tree lots at Christmas time, and at Halloween you could always find a Stuart Miller pumpkin patch. Mr. Miller was a well none Business man in the Valley and here is what he had to say about his chance meeting with Officer Brodowy.

It was in 1986 and I don’t remember the exact date. I was driving about 10:30, 12:30 sometime getting close to twelve o’clock. I was driving from my office on Devonshire Street, and I was driving west towards Balboa Boulevard.

I stopped and made a right turn and got onto Balboa heading north, I was in the right lane. There are four lanes, two going each direction, I was heading north, and in the center divider was a patrol car and it appeared as if they were turning into the car wash. They weren’t turning; they were parked right in the center divider, headed north. It looked like they were going to turn, and I thought it was Quite peculiar.

They were just sitting there not doing nothing. I kept on going and I watched in my rear-view mirror. After I got about a quarter of a mile, they pulled into Balboa heading the same direction I was going. I passed through Chatsworth, and they turned there lights on and pulled me over.

I turned of the key, and before I could even get out of the car, the driver, Officer Brodowy was already standing at my door. He pulled me out and shoved me against the side of the car. He whirled me around and through my arms onto the top of the car and started searching me without saying a word.

I said I would like to no what you are doing, and he said there was an armed robbery down the street, and you’re a suspect. Are you carrying a weapon? This is ridiculous I said. He got down frisking me and said were is you’re driver license? I don’t have my driver’s license, I left it at home.

He starts searching my car; by the way, I was in a 1979 Brewster green Rolls Royce, also I had on a tweed jacket and Levi’s. It is quite unlikely that I would have been in a robbery.

I said what are you doing? I’m searching your car for a weapon. I am driving home from work. This is bullshit. I pointed at him and I read his name on his badge, I said Officer Brodowy, your ass is going to be in trouble if you don’t stop fucking with me. I said I have done nothing wrong, and I looked over at his partner, you’re going to stand there and let this guy search my car, berate me and let him do everything he is doing.

The minute I said that, Brodowy came back, swung me around, shoved my head over the trunk of my car and handcuffed me. Them he put me into there car, and there I sat,

I told his partner I not leaving this spot until you call a back-up officer immediately. So by this time another police car came up on the west side of the car and they rolled there windows down, there were two officers. Brodowy says, “I got this genuine asshole in the back, I think he was in a robbery.”

Finally the sergeant came, the sergeant recognized me right away and he says “what’s going on Miller.” I told him I said this guy is nuts. There is something wrong with this guy, He’s a bad apple.

I can tell you right now I want file a complaint. He says, you come down to the office tomorrow and file a complaint.

I will tell you right now, unequivocally, that had I, had I even said another word prior to him handcuffing me, he would have pulled out his gun and shot me. I’ll guarantee it. He was looking, begging, borrowing for some reason to waste somebody.

I asked him, by the way, why did you stop me? He said you ran a red light. I said, you’re joking me. You think I ran a red light with you right behind me. You stopped behind me on Chatsworth. You think I ran a red light? He says, you ran the red light. I took it to court and naturally beat it. The judge knew that the cop wasn’t telling the truth.

I carried out the complaint and then spoke with a friend of mine that was an attorney and he was an eight year officer with the LAPD. He went on to tell me Stu he says, there are some bad apples on the police force, and it takes a citizen willing to spend some money to get them off of the force and it is long road and one I am not going to go down.

I hired another attorney in van-nuys, he did nothing but fight claims like this, and he said it would cost three or four thousand dollars to get into his files. By the time we got done fighting it could be ten thousand dollars. I was not doing this for my self I was doing it to prevent this guy from doing anything to anyone else. Since I was not harmed fisacally there was not much I could do so I had to let it go and did not pursue it any further.

Although what I did pursue were from other high up police officers and friends that I knew personally and they revealed some startling, unbelievable information about this guy.

One of them I spoke with who was in charge of public affairs at the hospital, and he had access to the files. He did a report on Brodowy for me. He came back and said, “If I were you, I would leave this guy alone, let this matter drop.

This Brodowy is bad, bad son of a bitch.” I said, what are you talking about? He has been involved in five shootings, all of which the suspects died, prior to any other police officers arriving.

One was an off duty shooting, of which he killed the man as well. Also he was relieved of his gun one time for psychiatric evaluation and confined to the front desk I believe it was for a six month period, and he was also relieved of his gun a second time.

Another official that worked in the court building and rented my plane from time to time to go to Mexico, a Sergeant, very qualified, wanted to be kept completely in the dark on this. When I asked him about Brodowy he said yes the name sounds familiar.

He came back and to me, he said, you won’t believe this. He said I walked into the West Valley Division, one time and there were a bunch of police officers standing around Officer Brodowy, and he had in his hand some spots of blood on his hand and three or four teeth.

As the story goes, he stopped this car. There were two men in it. The driver got out of the car. Brodowy walked around to the other side of the car, the passenger was already getting in the clove compartment to get the drivers information on the car. Brodowy told him not to reach into the glove compartment. The guy was already in the process of doing it and Brodowy hit him with the baton and knocked all of his front teeth out.

The people that gave me this information, one of them was a Sergeant in San Fernando who wanted to be kept completely in the dark. They were afraid of Brodowy.

I did not get hurt physically, but I will tell you that mentally, I was shocked and am still very, very precarious of, uh, police officers. Not that I don’t think that ninety eight percent of them are perfect individuals. In fact I know a bunch of them. My dad is retired battalion chief of L.A. Fire Department. My brother was on the fire Department.

I respect everyone of those public services, but I will tell you that I have told hundreds of my friends and continue to do so, never stop on a street that’s not lighted and doesn’t have other people around. I won’t stop until I got where there are other people after what happened with Brodowy and that’s the flat ass truth.