In her 32 years in the department, Zimmerman has had just about every job you can think of. Undercover high school student. Bodyguard for the mayor. Internal Affairs. Vice. In the mid-1990s, she was working narcotics when she got into some controversy.
Zimmerman and four other SDPD cops went into a City Heights home after a tip about drug sales there. The Guatemalan family inside the house alleged in a federal lawsuit that the officers, in plainclothes, roughed them up, ransacked their house and threatened their 5-year-old daughter with a gun.
In a court filing, the city said Zimmerman and the other officers were serving a warrant after a confidential informant purchased cocaine from someone in the apartment. After the officers entered, they handcuffed the people inside, searched the home, found nothing and left within an hour.
“The only force used in serving the warrant was a show of firearms, including an automatic machine gun used by Officer Zimmerman,” according to the city’s filing.
The case settled and the family received $5,000. Zimmerman said she had only a vague recollection of the incident.
Zimmerman also spent three months undercover in fall 1983 at Patrick Henry High in Del Cerro. Passing herself off as a Midwestern transfer named Shelley Rogoff, a 24-year-old Zimmerman infiltrated groups of students and targeted those she believed to be drug sellers. At the end, her work netted more than 70 arrests.
During court hearings, some of the students testified that while Zimmerman was acting undercover she smoked marijuana with the juveniles. Despite allegations from the students, Zimmerman told the court she didn’t use any pot, and the statements were disregarded.
original article by Voice of San Diego