Corporal Ben Lowry has been a cop in El Monte for 10 years. After launching a re-call election for his Police Union President, and speaking out in favor of a Walmart Development earlier this year, he has decided to sue the Mayor, Police Department, the City of El Monte and others for what he says is a violation of his civil rights.
Lowry says he launched the recall because a large majority of fellow police union members were in favor of the development, yet El Monte Police Officers Association President Brian Glick opposed it. He says Mayor Andre Quintero was against it also, and that when Lowry went to speak out in favor of it, he faced warnings from union leadership. Lowry says text messages told him he needed to “align” himself with the Mayor and that it was in his “best interest career wise.” Lowry says he was told that he should not challenge the Mayor on the Wal-Mart issue if he wanted to retire “on the high end of things,” and that he should “not get pissed when things start to happen” since he was advised “not to get involved.”
He also says Mayor Quintero sent out e-mail messages saying Lowry launched the re-call effort because the police chief had offered him a promotion if he did, something Lowry denies. Lowry says he’s suing for a number of reasons including a violation of his civil rights, that he now fears for his safety, worries that he won’t receive the necessary backup out in the field, has suffered damage to his professional reputation, and that he has been shunned and labeled as a persona non-grata with other police officers.