News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Open Letter to the Palo Alto Community
Contact : Lynne Johnson, Chief of Police, Palo Alto Police Department    650-329-2115
Palo Alto, CA - There are significant gaps in the Palo Alto Daily News article published on Thursday April 24 concerning the investigation of the Galbraith case. The Galbraith investigation was a tragic case for all concerned.  However, much of the information that was reported is incomplete and inaccurate. For example, statements that were attributed to a Palo Alto detective consist only of incomplete excerpts of responses to specific questions asked during a lengthy deposition. These excerpts were taken entirely out of context of the 181 page deposition transcript. The way the article was written and excerpted statements were chosen, it appears as though the newspaper intended to discredit the Palo Alto Police Department and impugn the reputation of a highly regarded detective sergeant.

The Galbraith case was an investigation into an unattended death, and like all unattended deaths was investigated as a case of suspicious circumstance. A criminal case goes to trial only after many agencies and their personnel have reviewed the case, contributed their expertise, conducted a thorough analysis and determined that the evidence has stood up to that intense scrutiny. There is never only one investigator assigned to a case, rather a team made up of police department detectives, District Attorney’s Office and its investigators, the Coroner’s Office and its investigators, and potentially other agencies.

The Palo Alto Police Department strictly adheres to this standard investigative protocol and followed this process on the Galbraith case specifically referenced in recent news accounts.

I am very proud of the dedicated members of the Palo Alto Police Department who work tirelessly 24/7 on behalf of the Palo Alto community. Many officers, including Sergeant Michael Yore, have received awards and commendations for their bravery, expertise, hard work and investigative skills, talents that my staff utilizes every day in the line of duty. The Palo Alto community is fortunate to have such competent employees working tirelessly on its behalf.


Lynne Johnson

Police Chief