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Alameda Releases Raymond Zack Investigation Report

The City of Alameda has released a report on it’s investigation by Ruben Grijalva into the death of Raymond Zack earlier this year. The report is online here.

20 comments to Alameda Releases Raymond Zack Investigation Report

  • hugh duckworth

    Whitewash. Waste of money.

  • Matt Duckworth


    Why does the summary of the incident leave out the bystander who retrieved Raymond Zack as he floated unconscious in the water? Who asked or directed or encouraged that bystander to retrieve Zack? Who is that bystander and what was her level of training? How could the officers refrain from wading out into the water while accepting such help from someone else? What of the attempt to resuscitate Zack? And so forth. Shouldn’t those issues be part of this report?

    (Did I read too quickly in my anger over this tragic non-response by the authorities that I missed where the report address those above issues?)

  • 94502

    On page 21 he says “…54 degree water…”

    BS. BS. BS.

    The water was between 63* in Alameda on May 30 according to the National Oceanographic Data Center.

    Did the city really give this guy about $200,000 for this fallacious report? Send him back to junior high to learn how to do simple research.

  • Matt Duckworth

    The Pacific Ocean itself and perhaps the deepest parts of the San Francisco Bay may have been 54 degrees, but Crown Beach waters would have been much warmer as 94502 reported. Where did Grijalva get his figure from? And, when we did the Memorial Wade Out, the water temperature was definitely in the 60’s.

    If the water wasn’t quite so cold as “reported,” shouldn’t that put less attention on simple hyperthermia and more attention on the resuscitation attempt (and the faulty equipment–not noted in this report) in relation to cause(s) of the death of Raymond Zack?

  • It appears that Grijalva merely regurgitated information from the Alameda PD’s incident report that was so “objectively” written. Just the facta, ma’am. No opinons, slanted facts, gossip from other public safety personnel. Objective police reporting of facts. Wonder if Grijalva actually went to the scene and conducted his own physical collection of information-as in wading into the shallow water,etc. It is very tragic that the crime committed by these cowardly police officers and firefighters will be swept away. Sad.

  • C. Gottstein

    Totally redundant & worthless report. He blows it in the 1st line by assuming “suicide”. Reports from the scene are equivocal regarding intent. That’s what the wade-out was about:to show that Mr. Zack did not necessarily pur himself in a life-threatening situation. A despondent man wading aimlessly out into shallow water does not have to die. The number of false assumptions & incorrect conclusions drawn only highlights why there is a need for a bona-fide health professionals input into this investigation. Rather, this report focuses on protecting the rescuers in a situation NOT life-threatening to them & on throwing more equipment @ the problem, when the real problems are a total LACK @ all levels in the Police & Fire Departments of COMPASSION & COMMON SENSE.

  • hobnob

    The report, somewhere in the middle since I skimmed it stated it was deemed a danger to personel to wade 500 yards out to attempt to talk to the Raymond b/c he was suicidal. That section talked about what is required to make a water rescue (lifeguard/trained in water rescue) and that the firemen/policemen lives would be put at risk if they went 500 yards out to try and talk to the guy.

    – yes, their lives would be at risk b/c they had to walk into the water to try and talk to the guy in *54* degree water. (I am being sarcastic).

    As we all predicted this report concluded that APD and AFD didn’t communicate and it was a clusterfuck of epic proportions from people at the scene, command, and all the other services/dispatchers that were called/not called.

    Blame – budget and person that discontinued the water rescue training program for an island.

    Cost/punishment – nothing.
    cost of Death of Raymond Zack – $20k for the report

    Overall impact: nothing will be done except more talk and blah blah blah.


  • C. Gottstein

    I would also like to suggest that some kind of small permanent memorial be erected @ the scene, perhaps on an existing park bench; a plaque saying:
    Raymond Zack
    Memorial Day
    May 30, 2011

  • The placgue is a good idea. How about putting one in each firehouse and the police station to remind the public safety folks of their sworn duty to protect and serve?

  • Guest

    This is exactly what I expected, a worthless whitewash.
    Oh well, now that there will be boats situated on the shoreline,
    per Russo, I feel much much better.Although I’m not screaming to
    bring back the guillotine (tempting as it is) I would like to
    see some repercussions on those who were derelict in their duty.
    It appears than Kaplan and one of the former City Managers is
    getting the blame. Nice try.

  • Barb

    Grijalva certainly never braved the waters himself or he would have known the correct temperature. Everyone is correct, he regurgitated that which he was spoon fed. They might as well have given him an enema for the quality of the report we paid for.

    I can’t wait for this horrible crew to take credit for revamping the fire department and getting the Naval Air Station for “free”. That is something that Ann Marie Gallant had been sucessfully working on before she was banned from City Hall. The bill was already on DiFi’s desk for a free transfer long before the fire department bought us this ersatz council. These dimwits are going to take credit for her work!!!

    The only question I have, is what happened to the training and staffing that taxpayers funded to maintain safe waters and for 10 water rescues in 2010-2011? Was this all a lie to rip us off for higher wages? Speak D’Orazi, speak up.

  • cgottstein

    More inconsistencies w/this report:On its 1st page, locate, isolate, & negotiate are identified as the 3 key features of such a rescue. Negotiation seems to be the most successful & least costly way to resolve the situation. Yet in the list of 14 recommendations at the end, there is not a single reference to “negotiation” or how the total absence of communication w/the victim will be addressed in the future. It’s all about the uniforms & their equipment. Hard to remember Mr. Zack even existed.

  • In order to determine the mental state of Raymond Zack the responding police officers and firefighters would have had to talk with him. To be face-to-face. Police officers are trained to make mental health/suicide assessments and place such a person under a 72 hour mental health evaluation (per 5150 Welfare and Institution Code of Calif.). In many cities cops perform this action many times a day. Becuse of the cowardice of the involved Alameda cops and firefighters who never made contact with Zack (until his corpse was brought to shore by a citizen) Grijalva does not address the act of negotiation, of assessment. To do so would be to lay blame and accountability. Grijalva’s “investigation” obviously avoided doing so. Remember-there were supervisors from both APD and AFD on scene that day and they made NO life-saving decisions.

  • 94502


    Thank you for laying this out in a straight line.

    This “investigation” is a farce and makes the AFD and the APD look worse than before the “report” was published.

  • Dr Poodlesmurf

    In this town a fire chief (David Kapler) was fired over a couple of gallons of gasoline; NOW it is time to fire someone for a far more serious issue (public safety – Raymond Zack).

  • Does anyone think the Alameda City Council will have Grijalva and representatives from the Fire and police depts. availible to anwer citizen questions at next week’s special meeting re Zack incident?

  • vigi

    Mr Russo has already promised Grijalva will be there Oct 11.

  • 94502

    and Rikki Zombeck and D’Orasi and other AFD members?????

  • Liz Williams

    Barb, thank you for the the $20,000 enema idea. That’s a high colonic. As for: “Was this all a lie to rip us off for higher wages?”

    It’s much worse than that. It was a lie to rip us off for boats to replace the two taken out of service under Ann Marie Gallant and to reinstate overtime pay for training firefighters to maintain certifications. That’s something Ann Marie discontinued as well. So, on May 31, 2011, the firefighter’s were paying the city back for taking away the firefighter’s toys (boats) and refusing to pay for training that firefighters in other departments maintain voluntarily, on their days off. They wanted to show us who was boss, so they let Raymond Zack die. But the decision that led to their inaction – that their financial interests outweigh their sworn duty to us – was made years ago. Which makes the negligent homicide of Raymond Zack inevitable. And the next disaster they fail to manage a horrific inevitability.

  • Liz Williams

    overtime – refusing to pay *overtime* for training that other area ff’s complete voluntarily.

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