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Re: From the archives 2005--Democractic policing anyone?

From: domainremoved <Palo>
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2017 05:42:02 -0600

Thanks for sending this along Aram... Democratic policing? Not in Palo Alto! It's racially motivated...
Ask anyone on the streets as I have.... along with well documented democratic video...

Best,

Mark Petersen-Perez
Editor: PaloAltoFreePress
Twitter: _at_(domainremoved)
Ticuantepe, *Nicaragua Central America

*Someone recently asked me if Nicaragua was a African country... lol

Sent from my iPad

> On Sep 18, 2017, at 12:44 AM, Aram James <abjpd1_at_(domainremoved)
>
>
>
>>
>> Democratic policing: The concept of human rights as a linchpin or starting point re all discussions of community policing.
>>
>> From Aram James: February 2005
>>
>> To: Jeff Blum and the HRC, City Council, the management and line members of the PAPD, and most importantly to members of our diverse community here in Palo Alto.
>>
>> Below you will find a 70 page + document on Police Accountability and Promoting Civilian Oversight in the emerging democracy of post Apartheid South Africa. You will find the link to the entire article (below) Policethatwewant.pdf .
>>
>> The article elevates the limited conversation normally taking place in the US re policing to a new level by discussing the concept of "Democratic Policing" and the inextricable connection between this concept, "Democratic Policing," and human rights generally.
>>
>> The article also raises important points about the interplay between internal police oversight and external or civilian oversight. There is even mention of giving the power of arrest to a truly independent oversight commission. The piece discusses the critical importance of providing adequate resources both to the police as well as the external oversight commission.
>>
>> In addition to discussing the issue of "Democratic policing" from a citizen's view point, there is extensive discussion of the importance of the same Democratic principals applying to police both as citizens and police employees.
>>
>> In any event my first reading of this document raised many intriguing possibilities re how we might begin to frame the discussion of police oversight and Democratic Policing in our own community. I recommend that anyone interested in this topic consider reading the piece and giving your own feedback to this e-group as well as to the discussion to be held on Wednesday night ( Feb 23) from 7-9 PM at the Palo Alto Unitarian Church.
>>
>> Sincerely,
>>
>> Aram James
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> home
>> about
>> current info
>> projects
>> comments
>> publications
>> links
>> contact
>> South Africa
>> Africa
>> Home
>>
>>
>>
>> Click Map for south African and regional oversight structures
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Vision
>> Dynamic resource to enhance and promote effective, publicly accountable policing in South Africa
>>
>> Mission
>>
>> promote and strengthen civil society monitoring of police conduct,
>> strengthen state agencies & police,
>> highlight current debates,
>> encourage networking,
>> provide information on police oversight
>>
>> WHAT'S NEW:
>>
>> The police that we want: A handbook for oversight of police in South Africa
>>
>> Published by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation in association with the Open Society Foundation for South Africa and the Open Society Justice Initiative. 2005. The handbook is intended to be a resource for people involved in police oversight in South Africa. The aim of the handbook is to highlight information that informs the debate around police and policing. The handbook explores police oversight and the use of indicators in assessing policing and holding the police accountable; discusses the term "democratic policing" and identifies five key areas of concern relating to democratic policing and relevant to evaluating police agencies; identifies key measures to evaluate police performance and puts forward suggestions for improving indicators for democratic policing in South Africa as well as indicators to evaluate police services in relation to each of the key measures.
>> PoliceThatWeWant.pdf (1.4MB)
>> Author: David Bruce and Racheld Neild
>> Published Date: 2005
>> Please Comment
>>
>> Conferences and
>> Workshops
>>
>> Join the Mailing List
>> Police Accountability: promoting civilian oversight project
>> a joint project of the Open Society Foundation of South Africa (OSFSA) and the Open Society Justice Initiative.
>>
>>
>>
>> 2/20/2005
>> Dear Nat,
>>
>> I think a lot of Jeff as person and someone who is obviously willing to give a lot of time to the community, despite his full time work as a practicing family law attorney. That being said is clear to me he is deluding himself big time re the HRC's credibility with either police management or the public. His statements to you that the HRC has a great deal of credibility and that their recommendations will be taken seriously seem incredibly naive, to say nothing of the fact that he has pointed to zero facts to support such a conclusion. Were his ears closed to the criticism at the last HRC meeting? Was I listening to a different meeting?
>>
>> Over and over again it has been my perception that Jeff has been taken in by the PR and outright prevarication of Chief Johnson. As others have pointed out he often acts and reacts as though he must be her defender, almost like a child defending a parent without apparent clue that he is doing so. When I and others have attempted to ask hard questions of the chief, or challenge her in a strong way, he becomes visibility upset as thought we were personally attacking a member of his family. It is truly hard to watch.
>>
>> Jeff has consistently shown a very deep bias in favor of the chief and only in the most superficial and softball manner been willing to ask her anything approaching a hard question. I think Jeff has a very difficult time standing up to the chief and appears time and again to be extraordinarily deferential to the chief at the expense of the community and any real change within the department. Given his current track record with the chief I think it is only fair to say he has allowed the problems to grow rather than done anything of substance to be part of the solution. He really needs a reality check here.
>>
>>
>> As just one example let's look at the racial profiling issue: For the last five years the PAPD was allowed to collect data re racial profiling with no oversight or accountability to an outside agency or oversight body.
>>
>> Despite this their own data consistently showed that the PAPD is deeply committed to racial profiling -- as Ladoris Cordell said their own data doesn't lie. If we had an independent body responsible for overseeing the collection of data you can bet the results re profiling would have painted an even uglier picture.
>>
>> It is incredible to me that the HRC ( Frank Benest and the city council) has allowed the PAPD to get away with this fraud on our community. Why in the world should the agency guilty of the profiling be allowed to call the shots on what data is going to be collected and equally troubling why should there be no outside agency overseeing the collection and interpretation of the data? Again these are the type of questions the HRC has never even asked.
>>
>> But we continue to allow the chief to do her own thing with no accountability. Now let's look at what the Chief just pulled on the community while Jeff made the incredible comment in his recent Op-Ed re what a "breath of fresh air" the chief has been.
>>
>> As I said in my letter to the editor in the latest Weekly (Feb 18) re a Mr. Bloomberg (see below in blog), would apply to Jeff as well: Why don't you ask Albert Hopkins, Jameel Douglas, Jorge Hernandez, et al: how fresh the air has been for them, while Chief Johnson has presided. Jeff’s Op-ed was one of the most condescending and pro police things I have ever read and out of the mouth of the chair of our HRC. Very Sad, indeed!! And this is the same Jeff who thinks his HRC has credibility. Please!!!
>>
>> In large part because the HRC ( city Council and Frank Benest) has refused to take a critical look at what was happening re the racial profiling issue they have allowed the chief to distract the community from the true issues and essentially returned us to where we were 5 years ago, before data collection began.
>>
>> Why do I so conclude: After 5 years of irrefutable evidence of racially discriminatory law enforcement ( racial profiling is just one part) by the PAPD-- instead of moving forward to disciple the offending officers-- what does the chief do? Incomprehensibly, not only did the chief not move to step two-- solutions and discipline of the offending officers-- she unilaterally decided to cut back on the data collection.
>>
>> In effect she has now won the battle of PR by being a master at distraction. While we fight with the chief to retain the data collection we have totally ignored or been distracted from the fact that we should have moved to step two-- discipline of the offending officers, up to an including the firing of the worse offending officers.
>>
>> Because the HRC ( city council and Frank Benest) has been asleep at the wheel they have allowed the chief to take us back to where we were five years ago. And if she is successful in discontinuing the very critical collection of data on passengers, we will be worse off on this issue than 5 years ago. And Jeff believes the HRC has credibility with the chief. Wow, what a leap of faith.
>>
>> It was not until I pointed out to Adam Atito ( at Feb 10, HRC) that I believed the Chief was still going to cut back on the prior level of data collection, by not collecting data on passengers-- that the question was even asked by Adam. Once the question was asked the chief had to admit she was not intending to continue to collect data on passengers.
>>
>> This despite many historical and contemporary examples that frequently the reason for a racist cop to stop a car is because one of the passengers is a white woman seated in the car with persons of color ( most often a Black man) . Failure to continue to collect data re the passengers will deprive the community of one of the most important indicators of racial discriminatory law enforcement (racial profiling).
>>
>> Jeff and the rest of the HRC acted as though they had no clue re this issue and asked no follow up questions nor did they insist the chief at least return the data collection to where it was prior to January 1, 2005. To this day it is unclear how much of the pre January 2005 data will continue to be collected.
>>
>> It would have been a simple thing to ask and to get a direct answer from the chief if someone on the HRC had even the most basic cross examination skills and were not afraid to upset the chief with their questions. Jeff is a nice guy but he has shown no inclination to ask the hard questions and to follow-up with appropriate questions until the chief is no longer able to hide the ball.
>>
>> Unfortunately, I find Jeff personally very guarded and defensive around me and I doubt seriously that he would be willing to sit down to allow me to lay out the problems I see the HRC has, as currently constituted, in taking on the very complicated task of oversight of a police agency.
>>
>> Jeff appears almost overly eager to meet with the chief behind closed doors, but how about meeting with some of the citizens that have worked so hard to bring these issues to the public attention? It seems that Jeff’s view of his leadership function with the HRC is very one sided: all for the Chief, the PAPD, Frank Benest etc., and the crumbs for the public.
>>
>> In any event, despite my sense that Jeff is not open to anyone he views as hostile to the police chief or the current practices of the PAPD, I would be delighted to meet with him to give my input on the issues. I will not, however, bite my tongue re my criticism of the way Jeff has repeatedly squandered the credibility of the HRC re issues involving the PAPD.
>>
>> As I have mentioned to you Nat there are at least two major areas of concern and each breaks down into many nuanced and complex issues. 1) We have to have an ongoing ability to monitor PAPD misconduct as it occurs and the ability to quickly respond to citizen complaints.
>>
>> As it stands if a citizen calls the HRC and says I would like to file a complaint against the PAPD, but not with the PAPD, but an independent body, there is no mechanism currently in place, nor any currently contemplated, that would allow the HRC to preserve the complaint and to guide that person to an independent body.
>>
>> During the course of Jameel's case with the PAPD I sent the HRC pages of materials on numerous occasions re the cover up by the PAPD, the systemic problems with their internal affairs, asked them to review the tapes etc., and the only one who responded was Lakiba Pittman. The other members of the HRC either didn't care, were afraid, or had no idea how to respond without guidance.
>>
>> Having such a system (to take and preserve complaints from citizens and act upon them) in place with adequate resources, staff etc., is a task the HRC is not set up to accomplish.
>>
>> As I tried to mention, in the very hostile environment Jeff created for the public at the last HRC meeting (Feb 10), as it currently stands the only viable alternative for a citizen who has a complaint against the PAPD is for that person to contact someone like myself, an experienced criminal defense attorney, who can then film and record the persons complaint and then act as a resource and run interference in filing the complaint with an agency other them the PAPD.
>>
>> This would include taking the evidence to the DOJ, the local District attorney, etc. The HRC has no ability to act on citizen complaints other then to tell the complaining citizen to go to the lion’s den for further abuse--the PAPD.
>>
>>
>> If Jeff is really listening to the input of the community and puts aside his ego (and what appears to me to be his overly trusting and naive belief that Chief Johnson is willing to engage in meaningful police oversight without the figurative gun to the head), in this matter the HRC will decline the offer to act as the oversight body--or should I say decline to act as the pawn of Chief Lynne Johnson.
>>
>> I suggest the HRC demand strong independent oversight with a full time staff, subpoena power, investigative responsibilities etc., and then consider having the HRC act to oversee and insure that this new oversight body is functioning as it should. In essence the HRC would act to oversee the new oversight body.
>>
>> 2) The new oversight body needs to be able to review all general orders and to insure that future police practices are put in place that minimize the likelihood of wrongful convictions. In essence they would act as an "Innocence Project" that prevents wrongful convictions before they occur as opposed to the haphazard discovery of wrongful convictions 10, 15, or 20 years after they take place.
>>
>> The current Innocence Projects that have sprung up around this country as a result of the initial and ongoing work of Barry Scheck, Peter Neufeld et al: are extraordinary. But we, as a community, can stop these wrongful convictions before they happen if we have the courage, resources and talent to review and amend the many police practices currently in place in police departments all over this country, and in Palo Alto, that lead to wrongful convictions. A strong and well funded oversight body, here is Palo Alto, is where we are best able to start.
>>
>> As you know I have written on this subject ( risk of wrongful convictions) re coerced false confessions and how the current system in Palo Alto can be changed to prevent this from happening again (Jorge Hernandez case). This is just one small example of how poor police practices result in thousands of wrongful convictions a year.
>>
>> In order to stop this abuse we need criminal law practitioners, DA's and Defense attorneys etc., who understand where the system breaks down. This is very complicated and time consuming work and not something that can or should be left to a group like the HRC.
>>
>> In any event, I hope Jeff will be willing to meet with me (and others from the public) and to allow input on more then a two minute sound bite basis. In the meantime let's continue to support Jeff and the HRC in refusing the city's offer for them to act as the oversight body.
>>
>> Aram
>>
>> P.S. Nat, In addition to it being mandatory that the tapes be allowed to run 24/7, without police manipulation, there is one additional major issue that must be addressed or the entire thing will be yet another scam on the public. The public must have access to the tapes and this policy will require hard work to hammer out.
>>
>> If we don't do this the only time we will see the tapes is when they support the police version of the incident. Absent such a policy we will never have access to the tapes (like the Hopkins, Hernandez and Douglas cases) because the cops will claim some legal privilege or the tired mantra of ongoing investigation.
>>
>> As I have pointed out before, why do you think the only time we see police abuse on tape is when some citizen lucks upon the scene with a camcorder? The reason is that damage control re the tapes is already built in by the police. We must fight for this second issue as well or we will be dead in the water re any public credibility on the cameras in the PAPD vehicles before we even get started on meaningful police oversight.
>>
>> Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2005 15:18:51 -0800
>> Jeff, ( Jeff Blum chair of Palo Alto HRC)
>>
>> It sounds like policy regarding the cameras, what system to use, is already
>> made. The bids are out there.
>>
>> The only policy remaining, and an important one, is whether the cameras are
>> on continuously or controlled by the patrol officers. The type of cameras,
>> what they are capable of, is already decided. My point in my previous email
>> was that policy should have come before deciding on which system to purchase
>> and sending out bids. And The HRC was not consulted.
>>
>> The facts, that the HRC was not consulted before the cameras bids went out,
>> that Benest discouraged you from having more than one meeting a month if
>> you do take on the added responsibility of police review, really are not
>> good signs. Be very very wary.
>>
>> You seem to think that if the HRC were to accept the "charge", then you
>> would have more influence with the police - am I reading you correctly?
>>
>> Natalie
>>
>> Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2005 14:25:37 -0500
>> >
>> >Dear Natalie:
>> >
>> >
>> >I think it is premature to conclude the HRC will not have any input in
>> >setting policies. We have not decided as a body to accept the charge that
>> >we oversee the Police. If we do decide that, we can make recommendations
>> >about the manner in which it will be done. I think we have a great deal of
>> >credibility. Therefore, if we make suggestions, I am confident they will
>> >be given serious consideration.
>> >
>> >Jeff Blum
>> >
>>
>>
>>
>> NEWS RELEASE
>>
>> Open Letter to the President of Google:
>>
>> Dear Mr. President:
>>
>> We believe certain members of the Palo Alto Police department along
>> with the Palo Alto City Council are trying to "sabotage" and shut down
>> "Palo Alto Police Victims of Abuse" email service by reporting this
>> valuable information to you and our community as "SPAM".
>>
>> This outright threat and "suppression" is believed to be a direct
>> violation of our "Constitutional Rights", the freedom of speech and
>> expression. As a technological leader in the delivery of emails
>> worldwide, it is hoped you will consider all facts before you decide
>> to "shut down" this important community service.
>>
>> Sincerely,
>>
>> Mark Petersen-Perez
>> 434 Addition Ave.
>> Palo Alto, Ca 94301
>> 650.814.2504
>>
>>
>> Publication Date: Friday, February 18, 2005
>> ReaderWire
>> Aram responds
>> In the Weekly's Feb. 2 letters section, in a piece titled "Pas-de-deux," Mr. Dan Bloomberg becomes so angered over bumper stickers that allegedly outraged his moral sensibilities that he loses whatever ability he may have once had to distinguish fact from fiction.
>> He claims that in the Jan. 26 edition of the Weekly I engaged in a rant against the Palo Alto Police Department (PAPD).
>>
>> A careful look at the Weekly of that date will show that my letter to the editor, titled "Shock and Awe," not once referred to the PAPD.
>>
>> At the end of Mr. Bloomberg's rambling missive he engages in outright fabrication. He claims I accused the PAPD of racism when they arrested two African-American juveniles for alleged burglaries near Gunn High School.
>>
>> I have never written or spoken publicly of that case. I challenge Mr. Bloomberg to show otherwise. As my father used to say: "Some people prefer not to be disturbed by the facts." Mr. Bloomberg clearly suffers a severe form of this syndrome.
>>
>> Finally, Mr. Bloomberg speaks glowingly of the well-mannered PAPD. I wonder if Mr. Bloomberg has asked Albert Hopkins, who was brutality beaten by two of Palo Alto's finest for the crime of "Sitting In His Car While Black," how he feels about the PAPD.
>>
>> Or what about Jorge Hernandez, who spent several weeks in jail after the PAPD extracted a false confession of rape from this young man.
>>
>> Next time check your facts, Mr. Bloomberg.
>>
>>
>> Aram James
>> Los Robles Avenue, Palo Alto
>>
>> Dear Mr. James:
>>
>> We the jury (city council ) find you guilty on ALL of the following charges:
>>
>> COUNT 1. Choosing to exercise your "speech". This "right" is no longer
>> valid under our present form of government.
>>
>> COUNT 2. Inciting and enlisting others to "riot" in council chambers
>> on the night of
>> February 7, 2005 by your volume, pitch, power, conviction, motivation
>> and your strong desire to change our present form of city government
>> which is illegal.
>>
>> COUNT 3. Everything and anything you said is being held against you
>> without recourse.
>>
>> Therefore, Mr. James you are to proceed directly to Jail for life
>> accompanied by the Chief of Police Ms. Johnson as you know will have a
>> ARMED escort and will prevent you from saying anything further and
>> will exercise lethal forced without provocation.
>>
>> Jury Foreman:
>>
>> Mayor Jim Burch
>>
>> (By, Mark-Peterson-Perez Productions)
>>
>> NEWS RELEASE
>>
>> Judge James P. Madden ruled against Mark Petersen vs Daniel Ryan
>> without giving an opinion. At stake were the allegations that Mr. Dan
>> Ryan prevented Mr. Petersen-Perez from gaining lawful access to his
>> apartment on 07/24/2004 after a restraint had expired on 07/15/2004.
>>
>> The order states to the protected person: "If you need protection for
>> a longer period of time, you must request restraining orders at Family
>> Court 170 Park Center Plaza, San Jose".
>>
>> There was no additional restraining order on file at the time Mr.
>> Petersen-Perez was denied access on 07/24/2004.
>>
>>
>> Judge James P. Madden concluded in count testimony that the
>> "presumption of guilt" on the allegations of RAPE would preclude
>> further restraining. Judge James P. Madded went on further to
>> recognize the presence of Mr. Dan Ryan in Mr. Petersen-Perez's
>> apartment as his former wife "packed away" Mr. Petersen-Perez's TV
>> based on "Family Community Laws".
>>
>> Mr. Petersen-Perez argued with Judge James P. Madden that his former
>> wife was not entitled to any of his property do to a prenuptial
>> agreement. Therefore, based on family law, we question weather Dan
>> Ryan and Judge James P. Madden has the legal right or jurisdiction
>> over how community property should be divided.
>>
>> All decision in smalls claims court are finale with "no rights to
>> appeal". Mr. Petersen-Perez's comments were; "I believe that Chief
>> Johnson may have influenced his decision. Nevertheless, I have shown
>> by my small claims actions against the Palo Alto Police, that if you
>> feel you have been abused by the police, there's recourse and in this
>> case, I believe I was victorious".
>>
>> Mark Petersen-Perez
>>
>>
>> "Dedicated to the prevention of Palo Alto Police Abuse"
>>
>>
>> 2/18/05
>>
>> Dear David "Junya" Taylor:
>>
>> Congratulations and thanks for your excellent piece in today's Weekly (Feb 18), Missing equality? ( see attached below), rebutting Lynne Johnson's piece ( "Profiling can occur in both directions").
>>
>> Not only does your article rebut and undercut any credibility her piece had re the myth that profiling can be a two way street, thanks also for going after the run of censorship that is currently plaguing city government, specifically the: City Council, HRC and the Police Chief.
>>
>> Finally, I hope you can attend this coming Wednesday's ( Feb 23) forum on police practices issues sponsored jointly by the PAPD and HRC. The meeting is scheduled to run from 7 to 9 PM and I am told, unofficially, that the public will not be subject to another filibuster by City Manager Frank Benest or Police Chief Lynne Johnson but, instead, will actually be given equal time. Of course, seeing is believing-- so let's see what actually happens on the 23rd.
>> Sincerely,
>>
>> Aram James
>>
>> P.S. By the way, you may recognize the author of another letter to the editor just accorss the coloum from your piece, Just the Facts? . Let me know what you think.
>>
>> Missing equality?
>> The fallacy in Lynne Johnson's Feb. 2 article is right in the title: "'Profiling' can occur in both directions...."
>> "Profiling" means discriminatory policing -- which cannot occur in both directions.
>>
>> Actions of on-duty police cannot be equated with the public's actions. The Bill of Rights is solely concerned with protecting the public from objectionable government actions, like unreasonable searches and seizures -- not protecting the government from the public's actions.
>>
>> That's the law of the land, and the city's chief law enforcer must respect its intent.
>>
>> During the stop and subsequent complaint, as Johnson's hypothetical Palo Alto police officer I was paid for my time and backed by a powerful union and department, and the general public presumption of police propriety. Like any other public service position, complaints come with my job. Nonetheless, my chief publicly argues that complaints against police are unfair.
>>
>> Meanwhile, the hypothetical African-American male's lost time during the stop may result in losing his slim salary, missing a critical meeting or losing an important customer. His embarrassing excuse -- that police mistakenly stopped him at gunpoint -- is received with skepticism, or as yet another reason African-American males are undependable employees.
>>
>> Filing a complaint means losing more time, going in circles. Then there's the acute anxiety that resurges every time he sees the police and their guns. He watches the Human Relations Commission, City Council and police chief censure legal airing of legitimate grievances against police. And people wonder why he always seems angry.
>>
>> Where's the equality?
>> David Taylor
>> Ventura Avenue, Palo Alto
>>
>>
>> Thank you for bring this to our attention. As each person comes
>> forward to request that there email address be removed it is done so
>> promptly. We question weather or not the persons reporting
>> unsolicited messages is in fact legitimate.
>>
>> We believe strongly that certain individuals may in fact be trying to
>> shut down a legitimate service in reporting violations of police abuse
>> and the expressions of our "First Amendment Rights".
>>
>> Copy of our response to your email is being submitted to our legal
>> staff and local press.
>>
>> Mark Petersen-Perez
>>
>> Profile of today's corrupt cop;
>>
>> Does this erosion factor exist within the Palo Alto Police Department?
>> (Mollen report on police corruption New York City)
>>
>> I think it does and the city council is responsible for its continued
>> existence namely Mr. Benest!
>>
>>
>> "The crime and drug-ridden conditions that breed corruption
>> opportunities are often so overwhelming and frustrating that they
>> breed corrosive changes in attitude and principles even among
>> initially dedicated and honest cops.
>>
>> As a result, our findings revealed that the traditional and rather
>> comforting notion that most corrupt cops "slipped through the cracks"
>> during recruitment and should never have been permitted to join the
>> department is not always true.
>>
>> Some of the most notoriously corrupt cops in the department were ideal
>> recruits on paper: excellent references and employment histories, well
>> respected and liked in their communities, and good scores on their
>> psychological evaluations.
>>
>> Framed as an issue of "nature versus nurture", we found that the
>> latter the influence of prescient environments and job culture often
>> controlled. While there is no excuse for succumbing to corruption,
>> regular and constant exposure to certain conditions and opportunities
>> in crime-ridden precincts changes the attitudes and behavior of some
>> officers.
>>
>> This erosion theory of corruption helps explain why so many initially
>> dedicated cops become corrupt. It further explains why so many honest
>> cops are able to tolerate and overlook corruption among colleagues.
>>
>> We also found that many although not all of these corrupt cops looked
>> similarly "idea" while in the department; many of the 30th precinct
>> officers, for example, had outstanding performance and awards records.
>>
>> Some had well over a dozen awards and honors for police work. Some
>> cops performed well because despite their corruption they wanted to be
>> effective cops; others because a stellar police performance served as
>> a good cover to corruption.
>>
>> No one suspects a "hero cop" is a corrupt cop, as one arrested officer
>> put it. Other corrupt cops, of course, had dismal performance
>> records: few or no arrests in high-crime precincts poor attendance and
>> sick leave records.
>>
>> They had long ago abandoned their responsibilities as police officers".
>>
>> I believe and allege that the following police officers, Lynne
>> Johnson, Dan Ryan, April Chan, Sam Minty, Arin Sunseri and others fit
>> this profile.
>> Mark Peterson-Perez
>>
>> Dear Aram,
>> I have always said that in all groups there are mediocre, excellent, and evil persons.Mr. Eduardo. There is nothing new, or original, or even remotely not "put me in a coma" to what you regurgitate. The police department does not have a magic wand that allows them to select and hire only excellent people. Is there a "stupid" drinking fountain out there that all mothers who give birth to people like you have to drink from? How about stop deflecting, eliding, glossing over, shining on the TRUTH and back what will finally berid society of this SHIT. TECHNOLOGICAL MONITORING. We have historically seen bullies hide behind a badge, and when these same bullies promulgate the ideas that "an officer does not tell on a fellow officer and you don't cross the blue line" well then we have a lot of horse manure. We have to clean house on a continuous basisHorse shit, in your vernacular. Technological monitoring, i.e., voice and picture recorder on every officer's chest, no turning it off, felony to tamper with the tape. Then we will talk from FACT, and not out of our ASS. , there are lawyers who become clients, and the same applies to copsHorse shit. It is harder to sue (much less have criminal charges brought against) a cop, than it is to find a proverbial needle in a large hay stack, or pick fly shit out of black pepper. Example: 50,000 dollars (plus the other side's court costs if lose) to bring a silly civil case like mine, which took all of 10 minutes to happen, according to the average civil lawyer I've talked to. Please, your slumber only makes me laugh. . It is unhealthyHey, someting I can finally agree with you on in this note you've written. Extraordinarily unhealthy. for any community to refuse to see the reality, that sometimes we give power to people who abuse it. What is wrong with continuously cleaning the dirty laundry?Refer to the ONLY way it is going to change. Have real backbone and demand a means to glean FACT and nothing else. If you demand anything less, you're eating right out of their hands (the ones who wish to keep things as they are), unwittingly. Don't fall for it, as the vast majority of people so easily do, and pat themselves on the back afterward for "knowing" they made the right decision. Boy, talk about being hoodwinked.
>>
>> 2/16/2005
>>
>> Dear Sgt. Scott Wong:
>>
>> It was good to see you this morning. As promised I am copying you the ongoing e-mail conversation re the issue of police oversight here in Palo Alto and related police practices issues.
>>
>> As I mentioned, when we spoke briefly at the Starbuck's near my home, I am encouraging any and all members of the PAPD to join in on the conversation regardless of viewpoint. I think it is important that we have input on these issues not only from citizens but our public servants as well.
>>
>> As you will see, when you scroll down the conversation, Sgt. Ron Watson was gracious and courageous enough to be the first member of your department to offer his perspective on the issues. I look forward to you, and others in your department, doing the same.
>>
>> Sincerely,
>>
>>
>> Aram James
>>
>> Dear Aram,
>> I have always said that in all groups there are mediocre, excellent, and evil persons. The police department does not have a magic wand that allows them to select and hire only excellent people. We have historically seen bullies hide behind a badge, and when these same bullies promulgate the ideas that "an officer does not tell on a fellow officer and you don't cross the blue line" well then we have a lot of horse manure. We have to clean house on a continuous basis, there are lawyers who become clients, and the same applies to cops. It is unhealthy for any community to refuse to see the reality, that sometimes we give power to people who abuse it. What is wrong with continuously cleaning the dirty laundry?
>> Eduardo
>>
>>
>> Mr. Minty,
>>
>> If you can think you can intimidate me by rolling down your window
>> this morning in your patrol car, so that I can get a good look at you
>> while I drove by, will not work. I am not impressed and I will not
>> be intimated by your stalking me or while riding my bike.
>>
>> Mark Petersen-Perez
>>
>> Dear Hillary:
>>
>> "There are four kinds of Homicide: felonious, excusable, justifiable,
>> and praiseworthy."
>> -- Ambrose Gwinett Bierce (1842-1914), American writer
>>
>> I will be the first to give praise to those who deserve it and condemn
>> those who are guilty of wanton and willful blindness.
>>
>> April Chan
>> Frank Benest
>> Lynne Johnson
>> Entire HRC Staff
>> Natasha Powers
>> Mr. Morton
>> Gary Baum
>> Dan Ryan
>> Brad Zook
>> Dennis.Burns
>> Sam Minty
>> Arin Sunseri
>> George Kennedy
>> Jay Boyarsky
>> Marc Buller
>>
>> These crimes are no different then homicide and there excuses can no
>> longer be viewed as "justifiable".
>>
>>
>> Sincerely,
>>
>> Mark Petersen-Perez
>>
>>
>>
>> Dear Lt. Hernandez, I don't know if we have had the pleasure of meeting, but if not I want to introduce myself with a little background information.
>>
>> Mr. James and I have know each other and been very close friends for over 25 years. We are closer than brothers would be, since our relationship is one of choice and not birth. As close as we are, we do not speak with one voice. We respect and acknowledge the right each of us has to our own opinion.
>>
>> Let me give an example of how we differ. Aram has called several times for Chief Johnson to resign. I am not a registered voter within the city limits of Palo Alto, and the factual support for Aram's position I believe gives the Palo Alto citizens alone the right to call for the Chief to resign. However, I do believe there are some actions from which all citizens in our state and nation can and must demand stepping aside. The primary area I would also call for the Chief to step down relates to the calling of officers into the chambers of the City Council. If the Chief did in fact make the call, given the cover up that has been attempted to be put into place rather than admit a mistake had been made, I believe the calling with a violation of the oath of office. The calling, at the time based on the subsequent attempted cover up, was an attempt to violate a most precious constitutional right. The founders of our nation said often, they gave us a republic if we could keep it. The citizens keep what we have when they speak to the elected and appointed servants of the people. The elected and appointed are the employees of the people, the power these individuals have is only what we give them. Any elected or appointed servant who would do anything to chill the right of the people to speak to their government does not deserve to remain in any position of trust. If Chief Johnson did in fact call officers in the meeting, given the cover up and refusal to acknowledge immediately the error, the Chief must step down (her attack on MY constitution is of the same class as that of former President Nixon).
>>
>> I was a Deputy Public Defender with the County of Santa Clara for over 17 years. Prior to that I was the Administrator for the Legal Aid Society of Santa Clara County during a time when they was grave doubt that the agency could continue to provide the services it has and currently provides. Going back to very early childhood I have stood for the rights of humankind, and will continue to make this stand always.
>>
>> I represent the Feliz's. I am also honored to call the Feliz's friends. This is a family of great people, and any community anywhere should be honored to have them as part of the citizens. These folks really care.
>>
>> I know the impact your officer had on the Feliz son. The message sent was that it is OK for some to outright lie in our society. I know the courts have said officers can lie during their investigations. The courts are wrong in this opinions. The message sent is clear. Police Officer are know to lie, they will lie, they will frame, they cannot be trusted. This is not the message I communicate about police. True Police Officers, both within my circle of family and friends, do not place themselves above the law and the constitution. True Police officers will never cover for BAD COPS. True Police Officers will always understand they are the servants, not the army of control and slavery.
>>
>> I could go on, but I will close with one final comment. Mr. James and I do completely agree on one thing. We both desire to make the Police more responsible to the community. We desire to see the Police respected because they have earned the respect, not have the police feared. We firmly believe that the tax payers are best served by quality law enforcement, and we believe quality cops have nothing to hide from the people they have sworn to protect and serve. We believe if a cop has to lie to do his or her job, then we must fire that cop and hire another person for the job. We hold the Police Officer to the same standard of conduct we impose on ourselves. We as defense attorneys sworn to do all in our power to assist our clients, never crossed the lines we ask you not to cross. We are servants to the same people and constitution as you.
>>
>> Zachaias B. Ledet
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Open letter to the members of the Palo Alto City Council and Police Chief Lynne Johnson:
>>
>> RE: Last Monday's city council meeting (Feb 7, 2005)
>>
>> From: Aram James
>>
>> In Wednesday's Palo Alto Daily (Feb 9, 2005, in an article written by Jason Green) when asked who called the Police into the city council chambers (at Monday's Feb 7, 2005, meeting) the following was attributed to three members of the city council: Benest and Burch told the Daily News they did not know who called for them. Council member Hillary Freeman also said she did not know if someone requested officer presence.
>>
>> In Today's (Sunday Feb 13, 2005) Palo Alto Daily News, The Phantom, the following was printed: Chief of police Lynne Johnson said she called police officers into the council chambers when public discussion about what a police review body should look like grew heated. Johnson - who attended the meeting but was not in uniform -said she called officers in at the direction of council members who feared things turning violent. Advocates of an independent police oversight group have criticized the move as an attempt to chill debate. Johnson said the intention was to keep the discourse civil. "People can express their opinions without exciting fear in another person," Johnson said.
>>
>> As a citizen of Palo Alto and a long time member of the California State Bar in good standing I am very interested to find out the truth in this matter. Was it a member or members of the City Council who called the police, and if so who were they? Or in the alternative, did the Chief of Police determine unilaterally to exercise her police powers by calling the police into chambers to quiet and or even potentially arrest the speaker who some in the press have labeled as the Chief's most harsh critic?
>>
>> I hope someone on the council will step forward and state the true facts in this regard. Who called the police on the speaker? As a retired public defender who has many, many times argued in the courtrooms of this state in the most passionate way for his clients, who has many, many times in the courtrooms and the free speech zones of this community argued strenuously about the obligation of the government, prosecution, the police etc., to not hide evidence, not engage in lies and deceit, misconduct, etc., I am, as you might imagine, interesting in seeking out the truth in this regard.
>>
>> Finally, as I await your response in this regard, I will leave you with a quote from at least one court in this state to ponder:
>>
>> ”The First Amendment protects a significant amount of verbal criticism and challenge directed at police officers (citations omitted). Indeed the freedom of individuals to verbally oppose or challenge police action without thereby risking arrest is one of the principal characteristics by which we distinguish a free nation from a police state," (citations omitted). While the police may resent having abusive language “directed at them, they may not exercise the awesome power at their disposal to punish individuals for conduct that is not merely lawful, but protected by the First Amendment." People V. Quiroga, 16 Cal. App 4th 961 at 966 (1993)
>>
>> Sincerely,
>>
>> Aram B. James
>> Attorney at Law
>> Bar# 80215
>>
>>
>>
>> As you know, the police report is baloney. When are we going to do something
>> effective instead of relying on undocumented rumors, like the statistics about
>> complaints. I didn't know if I could release the info on the calls I get. I
>> get a lot, as you know but can't document them. We need to have...well you know
>> the rest. I am so fed up with people who don't want to do what would give us
>> facts. I think our complaints the other day went nowhere. The HRC may say they
>> are not competent to handle complaints but they didn't refuse the charge.
>> It's so unethical of them to
>> accept a job they can/t do.
>> Chris
>>
>>
>> A response from one who has been labeled by Chief Johnson's
>> investigative unit of her department or shall I dare say Mr. Benest's
>> department.
>>
>> If one is to call the kettle black and a spade a spade then we are
>> merely exposing all the cards in the desk. I for one speak from
>> personal experience with respect to being labeled publicly as a RAPIST
>> by Casey O'Neil of the city attorney's office.
>>
>> There was absolutely no reason for her to attack slander and defame my
>> character. Would you not express a similar reaction? The focus is on
>> abuse, be it physical or psychological in nature. Police abuse is in
>> fact a hideous gangrene infection which needs to be irradiated
>> starting with the chief of the PALO ALTO POLICE DEPARTMENT.
>>
>> With all due respect to you Ms. Hillary we have merely identified the
>> culprits Mr. Blum, Mr. Benest and Ms. Lynne Johnson, April Chan the
>> HRC and others who we believe to be responsible for this pandemic
>> infectious decease within our city government.
>>
>> Sincerely,
>>
>> Mark Petersen-Perez
>>
>> With all due respect for free speech and the first amendment and acknowledgement that issues raise ire as well as conscientiousness, I respectfully request that the continued dialog address the topics rather than to resort to labeling the people, residents or staff, who are forthright in presenting their personal perspectives.
>>
>> Hillary Freeman
>> Palo Alto City Council member
>> hillary_at_(domainremoved)
>> 650-444-8880
>> please keep in touch
>> From: Femmelibre_at_(domainremoved)
>> To: abjpd1_at_(domainremoved)
>> Cc: jgreen_at_(domainremoved)
>> Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2005 16:35:23 EST
>> I would like my message to be heard... The Police Deprt does not get many
>> complaints for the following reasons
>> - people are afraid
>> - people know they can't document their complaints so they don't bother to
>> complain.
>>
>> How do I know? I take complaints for ACLU and have learned that without
>> witnesses,
>> complaints go nowhere.
>>
>> It's time to stop bickering about the number of complaints and realize we
>> should now
>> have all interactions between suspects and law enforcement officers recorded
>> on film. Until then the police, police supporters and police adversaries
>> will only utter opinions that can't be verified. Enough words have been
>> wasted. It is time for action. Police Department, you didn't get the facts from any
>> survey. Police critics you didn't get the facts from any survey.
>>
>> Christiane Cook
>> abjpd1_at_(domainremoved)
>>
>> "Watson, Ron" <Ron.Watson_at_(domainremoved)
>> Dear Ron, I respond to your letter in bold below:
>> Dear Colleagues, Citizens, Local Politicians, Community Members, and Critics,
>>
>>
>> Since several folks on this growing email list refuse to remove me from the list, First off, you have some serious gall thinking you have the right not to be contacted as a government agent. Word! The government is owned by the people, not the other way around. Capiche! I thought I would take a moment to respond with some fair and balanced information on the Palo Alto Police Department.
>>
>> It appears from these emails and the letters to the editor in the local papers that a small number of individuals (some who arent even residents of Palo AltoMoron, we are citizens of this country, and of the the world, and of the human race. Think that qualifies Palo Alto as in this country and on this planet. ) dont think very highly of the Palo Alto Police Department. They are certainly entitled to their opinion. However, with the growing number of individuals on this email list, I thought some unbiased facts from a recent survey of our citizens was in order. This survey was completed by the National Research Center in jurisdictions throughout the country.
>>
>> Survey results released just last week indicate that 90% of Palo Alto residents rate police services as good or excellent. Moron, again, morons like you hang their hat on pablum, cliche, hoary, drone "thought free" buzz words/phrases and platitudes. First, moron (I really mean imbecile), the very people who have been violated by the Palo Alto slimeballs were not contacted for this interview. People who have been violated tend to, there forth, be very frightened of the slimeballs, and would remain tight-lipped to all. The people surveyed live a lifestyle, most likely, that doesn't question, doesn't speak out, doesn't do much more than the Norman Rockwell of life. So of course, moron, they would wax glowingly about what they know not. Second, and far from lastly, there are a lot of people who look differently, act differently, think differently, don't fit into most people's ignorant picture of what it means to be righteous, good, decent, upstanding, and all that ignorant projecting spew that comes from SELF-clueless folks as yourself. This citizen rating places the Palo Alto Police Department in the 86th Percentile compared with other jurisdictions nationwide. These numbers represent an increase in satisfaction over last year. So while a small number of residents and non-residents are not satisfied with police services, an overwhelming and growing number of residents rate us as good or excellent. Moron. If it were up to the majority (notwithstanding the U.S. Constitution) we'd still have slavery and women would still not be able to vote. And that's just the beginning.
>>
>> Having said that, theres always room for improvement.Fuck your "room for improvement." The police department across this country needs TRANSPARENCY. Technological monitoring of every cop all the time, felony to tamper with tape, suspect gets copy on demand. CAPICHE! No more room for prolix "room for improvement," darling. That's such an ancient distraction tactic, along with all your other "throw off the scent" spittle. We are light years...way past that in this country, much less Palo Alto. But I'll give you one thing. In most other cities and towns in this country, we, the critics, would have long been killed, harmed, jailed, run out of town, affixed trumped up charges, vandalized and, and, and.... So cudos for Palo Alto for at least giving the appearance of free speech and corollary concern. After all, we have ten percentage points to go to reach a 100% perfect rating from our citizens. Im not sure its an achievable goal given the nature of police work, but the vast majority of us come to work every day attempting to do our very best. You can't possibly be as knaive as you come across, darling. No one is asking the cops to do anything in the same universe as "perfect". In fact to bring the word "perfect" into this conversation is a mere ruse, a smelly Red Herring, which is yet another ploy of the woefully ignorant to throw the truth, the fact off the the trail. And yes, of course cops' work can be harder than any other field. And yes, sometimes it's the easiest job in the world. Krispy Cream Donuts aside. So, moron, no one is contending that police work can be impossible at times. What is being contended here, is that there is endless power in the this line and endless opportunity for EVIL. And if the cops have nothing to hide (I've heard that phrase a lot from people of your ilk) then let's get those tape-recorders/micro-video cameras rolling on every cop, and see where we stand in the behavior department, both cops and suspects. Neither you or I or any one truly knows the extent of the problem, or lack thereof, without this technology. We all just see the tip of the iceberg, through media, or have our own personal experiences and that is it. Who the hell do you think you are fooling? And if nothing is going on, well then it has also done its job. Putting everybody on their best behavior. Voila! While most of us work towards that goal every day, we all need to keep in mind the fact that police work isnt always pretty and it isnt always perfect. I'm literally vomiting inside my soul as you utter each one of your insurmountable inane, insipid statements.
>>
>> For those who care to read more information on the National Research Centers Annual Service Efforts and Accomplishments theres information outlined below from the Palo Alto City Auditor with a link to this year's entire survey results from the National Research Center. Darling, I was at the last council meeting, with a lot of activists, and heard the whole, put me in a coma, survey from the horse's mouth.
>>
>> In closing, I would like to briefly address those groups who will receive this email.
>>
>> To my colleagues: If you havent seen the survey results, please review the survey and keep in mind that the vast majority of residents rate the service we provide as good or excellent.Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
>>
>> To the Citizens: Thank you for your support and know that we will continue to work towards the high praise we receive from you. What an egocentric moron you are. True good and humaneness, and decency, and tolerance stands on its own. It doesn't need a thing. So if Palo Alto is so good in so many ways, which I wouldn't necessarily disagree, then there is a thing called: humility. You know the phrase: actions, and inactions speaks louder than words. Actually, actions speak from the mountain tops, talk usually compares as a mute, unless it reverberates completely with the actions. I suggest you do some sort of meditation or breathing exercises, and find the stillness inside you. Because your ceaseless monkey mind will never give you the depth of what it truly means to be human. Only in the you that you truly are (stillness) can you see the humanity in others fully, and the inhumanity in others as well as yourself, fully.
>>
>> To the Local Politicians & Community Members: As the drum beat rolls on and the criticisms continue, please keep in mind that those you dont hear from ...because many of them are 'spine, backbone' free zones. Besides, we got since man and woman has been on the earth how wonderfull the government is and its enforcers. So don't give that crap that that viewpoint isn't out there. We are drowning in it, for god sakes. Boy, your so banal you put me into a stupor. everyday are the 90% of residents that fall into the two categories listed above. We all welcome constructive Here's CONSTRUCTIVE again, moron, the ultimate witness to any interaction between the police and the suspect, technology which is not at the beck and call of the cops. Is there something not constructive about this, moron? ideas on how to improve police services, most especially those ideas that represent the views of our citizenry as a whole. Fuck the whole. I don't want one fucking person being violated by the cops and vise-a versa. Is that really too hard to get through that fancy brick head of yours?
>>
>> To our Critics: Well Im not sure what I can say or if you will care. Look moron, if you had the slightest inkling of what deep caring was, you wouldn't be dribbling this trite rubbish that folks like you do at infinitum. I guess the only thing I can say is that your current level of rhetoric is both destructive and demoralizing to a far larger group than your intended target. Moron, have you ever heard of civil disobedience. The many, many groups that have fought for fundamental, FUNDAMENTAL human rights in this country have only got them through this means. And what is going on in Palo Alto is heavenly civilized juxtaposed to the methods other "self-respecting" human beings have had to imploy throughout the ages to get the cretins, in power in society, to acknowlege and promulgate these no brainer rights into law.
>>
>> Having said all this to you. Keep coming back for more, and you will actually grow your soul. The growth of Real Humanity comes to us in a very messy box, as our messy birth brings us all into this world. So even though I despise all the onion rings around your pure soul which are made of pure poison, ignorance, lack of capacity to identify with another much less the profound currents of your own being, I admire you putting yourself directly in the line of fire of the harshest criticism. That speaks volumes of your character right there.
>>
>> Hope to meet you at one of the meetings. Don't hesitate to come up to me. I always speak at the podium.
>>
>> Rich Shapiro
>>
>> To our Critics: Well I'm not sure what I can say or
>> if you will care. I guess the only thing I can say is that your current
>> level of rhetoric is both destructive and demoralizing to a far larger group
>> than your intended target".
>>
>> Dear Mr. Watson:
>>
>> We care very much about what you have to say and we thank you for
>> coming forward. First, let me point out to you that we are not
>> interested in "demoralizing" you or anybody else on the Palo Alto
>> Police force.
>>
>> Were interested in improving the quality of our police practices
>> constructively, not destructively and let me be the first to
>> congratulate you on your willingness to even address theses important
>> community issues. I would only hope that other officers like yourself
>> will be just as courageous you.
>>
>> With respect to the resent survey, I believe the outcome would have
>> produced far different results had the following timely questions been
>> incorporated.
>>
>> 1. How would you rate Chief Johnson's performance on the handling of
>> the Albert Hopkins case?
>>
>> 2. How would your rate Chief Johnson's performance on the handling of
>> the Jorge Hernandez case.
>>
>> 3. How would you rate the truthfulness of our investigative unit of the
>> PAPD?
>>
>> 4. How would you rate the Human Rights Commission?
>>
>> 5. How would your rate the OVER ALL effectiveness of the PAPD.
>>
>> Sincerely,
>>
>> Mark Petersen-Perez
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Lakiba,
>>
>> Great job at last night's HRC meeting standing up to Frank Benest. I have been to many HRC meetings and you are correct that there are sometimes one or two uniformed cops at the meeting, but this was very different.
>>
>> There were many more in uniform last night and it was, in my mind, an attempt to further intimidate me, and other outspoken critics of the PAPD. Obviously this is my view, but I felt strongly this was the case last night.
>>
>> I also felt Jeff Blum's decision to cut the public speaker's time from 5 minute to 2 minutes was done in a unilateral and autocratic fashion. It particularly troubles me that this decision came from a fellow member of the state bar who in my mind, should know better.
>>
>> I felt Jeff Blum showed utter contempt for the public and the First Amendment last night. He had no problem allowing Mr. Benest and Chief Johnson to speak to you on the HRC from 7 - 8:30 p.m., but knowing that many in the public had already prepared to speak for 5 minutes decided to cut our time without debate.
>>
>> I politely raised my hand in an effort to at least have Jeff hear our voices on this issue, but he refused to recognize me. Given the critical nature of the police practices issues before the council last night, and the large public interest, evidenced by the overflow crowd, it would have been appropriate to limit the talk of the city manager and Chief Johnson to 1 hour, or so, to insure that the public would each have up to 5 minutes to address these critical issues.
>>
>> I think it is equally troubling that other members of the HRC didn't at least insist on minimal debate on the topic before the public's time was cut back to 2 minutes per speaker.
>>
>> Please see today's Palo Alto Daily, specifically Dave Price's editorial titled: Mayor silences critic. In Wednesday's Daily News when asked who called the police (apparently as a result of my refusal to be silenced by the Mayor Burch), both Mayor Burch and City Manager Frank Benest are reported to have told the Daily News that they didn’t know who called the police.
>>
>> I suggest we get to the bottom of this. Maybe someone should ask Chief Lynne Johnson who called in the uniformed, and apparently armed officers, into the council chambers. In my view, this was quite a week. First the mayor attempts to silence me, a harsh critic of the police, and than the HRC allows the city manager and police Chief to speak without apparent limit, while the public is handed the short end of the First Amendment stick. A shameful performance by our public officials!
>>
>> Finally, as Lynne Johnson's boss City Manager Frank Benest should be able to find out who called the police into the council chamber this last Monday. More will be revealed later?
>>
>> Best,
>>
>> Aram James
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On Fri, 11 Feb 2005 10:08:12 -0700 <lakiba_pittman_at_(domainremoved)
>> Just for the record, and on one point - it is not uncommom for uniformed cops to attend HRC meetings (or community meetings) when the Chief comes to present - sometimes they participate in the discussion and offer their perspective. When we have enough space, they sit at the table along with the Chief. Also, I think it's good that they hear - first hand - how some citizens feel/and what they believe to be happening.
>>
>> Lakiba
>>
>> I came to the HRC meeting, for the first time, on 2/10. At this point I wanted to learn about what the community had to say and how to voice my concerns. I have been mistreated by police in Palo Alto at one point or another, however, my main concern is what is happening to our children, especially if they happen to be black or Hispanic. This is hurting our family a great deal because we feel that these children are being targeted and the methods used are questionable. My child, for example, has been accused of crimes he did not commit and at one point he has been told by the police that they had a video of him committing such a crime, they have also told him that they had a “witness”. As responsible parents that we are, my wife and I, immediately went to the police department and were told the story of the “witness” though no one mentioned the video. As the police explained the day and time on which the crime occurred then it became clear that this was a fabrication. The police did not know that on this day and time my son was in school (supported by school records) and that my wife had come to pick him up for lunch and stayed with him for part of the period on which the crime had taken place. If you talk about respect, where is the respect when a police officer lies to a teenager with the intent of implicating him on something he or she has not done? Where is the respect, when my wife and I go to the police department and face to face we are being told these lies? The truth became so obvious that the police did not have any other option but to drop their accusations, at this point I requested a copy of the report on what had been done, but I was told that since it was clear that there was no crime that they destroyed whatever documentation that existed on the matter, but of course, based on my experiences I did not believe it, but at least walked out knowing that my child was not going to be falsely pinned on a crime he did not commit. My wife and I, as parents, are lucky and can be very involved with our children’s lives, but what happened to the children that do not have that luxury due to facts of our actual society such as divorces, single parenting and overworking to make sure you can provide for your kids?. There is also the case, which I know very well, of parents and children being affected due to the fact that their first language is not English and they may not have knowledge of how things work in the system.
>>
>> This is just one example, I have more that I could tell you, but will rather try to help on making a real bad situation get better. As per the HRC meeting on 2/10 it does not take much brain effort to realize that you need a commission with legal power and independence over the police. I do see that a lot of the people sitting on the table last night have very good intentions and some of them asked the tough questions. The answers were loud and clear. It is a good step that these meetings are taking place and that the people have the opportunity to come forward. I believe that the people in charge, are trying their idea of PR. This is always important, but will not account for the time when things get rough and someone comes up with a specific complaint. According to what I heard the city manager and the police chief will be willing to meet with the commission anytime, but however, the commission has no mandate according to the city charter and they can only provide advice or opinions. This is all nice and rosy but I do not see it working when you get an actual complaint. Under these circumstances, will the police department be as cooperative on investigating issues affecting them as it was presented yesterday? Will they voluntarily provide the commission with all information or will they hide some? I could go on and on, but I believe that when these type of questions are asked then the need for a full blown group with the proper powers, be a commission or something else, becomes even more obvious.
>>
>> Braudilio Feliz
>> Page Mill Rd
>> Palo Alto, CA
>>
>> On Sat, 12 Feb 2005 22:44:21 -0800 "Watson, Ron" <Ron.Watson_at_(domainremoved)
>>
>> Dear Colleagues, Citizens, Local Politicians, Community Members, and Critics,
>>
>>
>> Since several folks on this growing email list refuse to remove me from the list, I thought I would take a moment to respond with some fair and balanced information on the Palo Alto Police Department.
>>
>> It appears from these emails and the letters to the editor in the local papers that a small number of individuals (some who aren’t even residents of Palo Alto) don’t think very highly of the Palo Alto Police Department. They are certainly entitled to their opinion. However, with the growing number of individuals on this email list, I thought some unbiased facts from a recent survey of our citizens was in order. This survey was completed by the National Research Center in jurisdictions throughout the country.
>>
>> Survey results released just last week indicate that 90% of Palo Alto residents rate police services as good or excellent. This citizen rating places the Palo Alto Police Department in the 86th Percentile compared with other jurisdictions nationwide. These numbers represent an increase in satisfaction over last year. So while a small number of residents and non-residents are not satisfied with police services, an overwhelming and growing number of residents rate us as good or excellent.
>>
>> Having said that, there’s always room for improvement. After all, we have ten percentage points to go to reach a 100% perfect rating from our citizens. I’m not sure it’s an achievable goal given the nature of police work, but the vast majority of us come to work every day attempting to do our very best. While most of us work towards that goal every day, we all need to keep in mind the fact that police work isn’t always pretty and it isn’t always perfect.
>>
>> For those who care to read more information on the National Research Center’s Annual Service Efforts and Accomplishments there’s information outlined below from the Palo Alto City Auditor with a link to this year's entire survey results from the National Research Center.
>>
>> In closing, I would like to briefly address those groups who will receive this email.
>>
>> To my colleagues: If you haven’t seen the survey results, please review the survey and keep in mind that the vast majority of residents rate the service we provide as good or excellent.
>>
>> To the Citizens: Thank you for your support and know that we will continue to work towards the high praise we receive from you.
>>
>> To the Local Politicians & Community Members: As the drum beat rolls on and the criticisms continue, please keep in mind that those you don’t hear from everyday are the 90% of residents that fall into the two categories listed above. We all welcome constructive ideas on how to improve police services, most especially those ideas that represent the views of our citizenry as a whole.
>>
>> To our Critics: Well I’m not sure what I can say or if you will care. I guess the only thing I can say is that your current level of rhetoric is both destructive and demoralizing to a far larger group than your intended target.
>>
>>
>> Sergeant Ron Watson
>> Investigative Services Division
>> Palo Alto Police Department
>> 275 Forest Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301
>> ron.watson_at_(domainremoved)
>>
>>
>> Comments from the City Auditor, City of Palo Alto
>>
>> Last Thursday the Auditor's Office released our third annual report on City Service Efforts and Accomplishments. The report includes summary information about the cost, quality, quantity, and timeliness of city services. It includes 5-year spending trends, a variety of comparisons to other cities, and the results of a citizen survey.
>>
>> For the second year in a row, the citizen survey gave high ratings for the quality of the services that you provide. Overall, 90% rated city services good or excellent (up from 87% last year) including 33% rating the overall quality of services as excellent, 57% good, 9% fair, and only 1% poor. That places Palo Alto in the 85th percentile compared to other jurisdictions that used the same survey.
>>
>> When asked to evaluate whether they felt they received good value for the City taxes they pay, 75% agreed that they receive good value (up from 69% last year) and only 9% disagreed. That puts Palo Alto in the 93rd percentile compared to other jurisdictions. This year 63% of residents reported they are pleased with the overall direction of the City -- up from 54% last year.
>>
>> 64% of residents said they had contact with a city employee in the last 12 months. 86% had a good or excellent impression of the employee's knowledge, 84% had a good or excellent impression of the employee's courtesy, 84% had a good or excellent overall impression, and ratings for the responsiveness of City employees went up 10 points (from 74% to 84%).
>>
>> We asked residents to rate the quality of city services -- 97% rated fire service good or excellent, 92% rated garbage collection good or excellent, 91% rated city parks good or excellent, 90% of residents rated police services good or excellent (86th percentile nationwide), 88% rated electric/gas utilities good or excellent, 86% rated recreation programs and classes good or excellent, 81% rated library service good or excellent, 70% rated street tree maintenance good or excellent, 57% rated storm drainage good or excellent (down from 65% last year), 48% rated planning department services good or excellent (up from 40% last year), and 46% rated street repair good or excellent.
>>
>> http://www.city.palo-alto.ca.us/auditor/ServiceEffortsandAccomplishments.html
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: aram b james [mailto:abjpd1_at_(domainremoved)
>> Sent: Friday, February 11, 2005 9:01 AM
>> To: AATITO_at_(domainremoved)
>> Subject: HRC's Blum accused of limiting the public's right to speak. Uniformed cops present,were they there to intimidate?
>>
>>
>> HRC's Blum accused of limiting the public's right to speak. Uniformed cops present,were they there to intimidate?
>>
>> > NEWS RELEASE
>> >
>> >
>> > Last nights HRC meeting proved once again the ineffectiveness and
>> > experience of those who sit on the panel. Certain members admitted
>> > before a not so lively audience compared to the last City Council
>> > meeting where someone called the police on Mr. James. However,
>> > security was tight best described as being on a high "yellow alert"
>> > status.
>> >
>> > Nevertheless, the mayor requested they(HRC) move forward with there
>> > time honored inexperience and ineffectiveness (toothless) take a
>> > wait
>> > and see approach. Eye for one, am still not sure just what exactly
>> > there entrusted to do.
>> >
>> > Can someone help me out here?
>> >
>> > The chair, Mr. Blum was in rare form once again in his attempt to
>> > "Squash" (legal term) or limit those who are concerned citizens in
>> > the
>> > community from speaking out on police issues from five minutes to
>> > two
>> > minutes.
>> >
>> > Spoken like a true ineffective attorney, however, true to his
>> > belief
>> > of not wanting to be bothered with emails. Well, Mr. Morton we
>> > will
>> > not take the "back seat" any longer.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> > "Dedicated to the prevention of Palo Alto Police Abuse"
>>
>> (Feb 10, 2005, Rich Sharpiro writes to Jeff Blum, Chair of the
>> Palo Alto HRC):
>>
>> Dear Mr. Blum,
>>
>> With all due respect, your intentions might be pristine as the driven snow. But apparently you haven't been the brunt of pure evil coming from behind a badge. A sing-songy approach to the police department and their heads will not only go no where, but will fizzle back out as soon as the pressure is off. It's long past due leaving it up to the good intentions, good will, good faith of the police.
>>
>> What are absolute necessities below in an oversight board:
>>
>> 1 Independence from the city government entirely is required.
>>
>> 2 Independence in the realm of investigation, and all the legal powers that accompany that.
>>
>> 3 Expertise in this area by its members.
>>
>> 4 Disciplinary capacity against all and any officer, including firing and criminal charges.
>>
>> 5 And most importantly of all, technological means (tape-recorders/micro-video cameras worn by officers) turned on at every suspect/subject stop. So if respective subject does not get satisfactory results from said objective, qualified oversight board, they have the tools (the irrefutable evidence) to take their case to civil court on their own.
>>
>> Enough of the BS. There is no more room for light-weight kum bi ya measures in dealing with an agency, that has so much power, on so many levels, it would even boggle your mind if you knew the true extent.
>>
>> Rich
>> Feb 10, 2005, Mark Peterson-Perez writes:
>>
>> Mr. Blum,
>>
>>
>> "If an obscure Florida convict named Clarence Earl Gideon had not sat
>> down in prison with a pencil and paper to write a letter to the
>> Supreme Court, and if the Supreme Court had not taken the trouble to
>> look for merit in that one crude petition among all the bundles of
>> mail it must receive every day, the vast machinery of American law
>> would have gone on functioning undisturbed.
>> But Gideon did write that letter. The Court did look into his case and
>> he was retried with the help of a competent defense counsel, found not
>> guilty, and released from prison after two years of punishment for a
>> crime he did not commit, and the whole course of American legal
>> history has been changed."
>>
>> Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy
>> November 11, 1963
>>
>> You should look for merit in ALL letters(email) which cross your desk
>> sir. Your attitude disgusts me and you should be disbarred and
>> impeached from any and ALL further responsibilities as acting HRC
>> chair!
>>
>> Mark Petersen-Perez
>>
>>
>>
>> On Feb 10, 2005 Mark Peterson Perez writes to the chair
>> of the Palo Alto Human Relations Commission HRC Jeff Blum :
>>
>> "But we are all committed to assuring that every person is treated
>> with due respect and fairness, and that appropriate policies and
>> practices are in place to assure that occurs to the utmost extent
>> possible."
>>
>> Mr. Blum,
>>
>> I believe had the Palo Alto Police done there homework in my case, I
>> would not be in the position of being classified as a RAPIST.
>>
>> First, let me point out to you that none of the evidence which I tried
>> in vain to present to Detective April Chan was accepted. Furthermore,
>> as a detective, one would think she would examine ALL evidence and my
>> personal background for any history of past sexual abuse. She did
>> not. Is this what you call being treated with respect?
>>
>> One would think as a detective, April Chan would look into my former
>> wife's possible motives for the alleged allegations of RAPE. She did
>> not. Is this what you call being treated with respect?
>>
>> One would think as a detective, April Chan would interview friends and
>> family members with respect to this heinous crime. She did not. Is
>> this what you call being treated with respect?
>>
>> I believe, the Palo Alto Police in my case and in others did what you
>> described as the "utmost extent possible" to convict me and others of
>> crimes in which we did not commit. April Chan, Natasha Powers and
>> others should be fired for negligence and malpractice.
>>
>> Mark Petersen-Perez
>>
>> > Enlightening opinion
>> >
>> >
>> > Editor,
>> >
>> > Jeff Blum's "An e-mail blitz on police policies, practices" (Feb. 2)
>> > enlightened me. I'd hoped communicating my concerns to the Human Relations
>> > Commission (HRC) would demonstrate the value of community participation to
>> > those who feel that the local government totally disregards our twin human
>> > rights of freedom from degrading treatment and equality before the law.
>> >
>> > Since the HRC meets only monthly, at a time which conflicts with my
>> > parenting duties, I've relied on e-mail. But then I read Mr. Blum's article
>> > and found myself stripped of humanity and reduced from a person to one of
>> > "these persistent e-mailers" -- i.e., a spammer.
>> >
>> > So much for freedom from degrading treatment.
>> >
>> > In contrast, Lynne Johnson is described as a "breath of fresh air" and
>> > "reacting in positive ways to problems." Johnson stated her department
>> > "didn't do anything wrong" in their investigation that left the public with
>> > a wrongful arrest, $75,000 settlement and an unsolved rape.
>> >
>> > Rather than apologize to Jorge Hernandez (and the public), she suggested he
>> > was linked to the crime, offering no supporting evidence. Does Mr. Blum
>> > consider that a positive reaction? Should those feeling threatened by power
>> > that deceives, imprisons and then slanders instead of correcting mistakes be
>> > dismissed as just "a few unhappy residents" -- i.e., misfits?
>> >
>> > From Mr. Blum's comments it seems those who feel that the local government
>> > totally disregards our human rights were correct and I was naive in
>> > believing the HRC offered an avenue to redress our grievances. I regret
>> > inconveniencing Mr. Blum with e-mail.
>> > David Taylor
>> > Ventura Avenue
>> > Palo Alto
>> --
>> "Dedicated to the prevention of Palo Alto Police Abuse"
>>
>> NEWS RELEASE
>>
>> Officers shoot and KILLS Thirteen year old. Live discussion on
>> Channel 7 KGO radio. 8-9 P.M. ( Feb 9, 2005)
>>
>> -New Room of-
>>
>> Palo Alto Police Victims of Abuse.
>>
>>
>> --
>> "Dedicated to the prevention of Palo Alto Police Abuse"NEW RELEASE:( From the Desk of Mark Peterson_Perez 2/9/05)
>>
>> There is some question as to who called in the Police when sparks flu
>> during last nights City Council meeting. On one side of the RING was
>> Aram James and his challenged opponent being Mayor Burch. At stake
>> were the fundamental rights to the "Freedom of Speech". As of this
>> writing Mr. James is relaxing in bed after suffering verbal blows to
>> the head but did not sustain anything life threatening.
>>
>> Next round is set for this Thursday at 250 Hamiltion ave City Hall and
>> there are also some questions as to weather or not Homeland Security
>> will be present.
>>
>> -New Room-
>>
>> Palo Alto Police Victims of Abuse.
>>
>>
>>
>> On Wed, 9 Feb 2005 15:10:23 -0800, PaloAltoPoliceVictimsOfAbuse
>> <paloaltopolicevictims_at_(domainremoved)
>> > NEWS RELEASE
>> >
>> > As reported in The Palo Alto Weekly 02/09/2005
>> >
>> > It should be noted that the Palo Alto residence who defended the Palo
>> > Alto Police, on the quality of service provided by the Palo Alto
>> > Police is in fact a former Police Officer. This individual is in fact
>> > known to have a cache of high powered weapons.
>> >
>> > However, I do not consider this person to be classified as "ARMED AND
>> > DANGEROUS" at this point in time. But I do question weather or not he
>> > was planted by the Palo Alto Police as a supporter.
>> >
>> > If so, This would explain his defending the statistics presented in
>> > the annual report on the quality of service provided by the Palo Alto
>> > Police. Where he stated, the data "is so miniscule, it doesn't merit
>> > another oversight committee".
>> >
>> >
>> > --
>> > "Dedicated to the prevention of Palo Alto Police Abuse"
>> >
>>
>>
>> --
>> (Rich Shapiro Writes to Palo Alto City Mananger Frank Benest on 2/9/05):
>>
>> Frank, I only met of you at the retreat (1/29/05). I don't really know you from Adam. But so far, from the rafters, I'm not liking what I hear about you. Now I don't go off judging people from what others say. So I will reserve judgment. I will say this though, I appreciate your suggestion to the council, Monday, the 7th, that there be a 5 minute break after the bru-ha-ha between Aram and the Mayor. That was excellent. So there goes a point in your favor. Nevertheless, Aram, and anyone else getting up there has every constitutional, legal, moral, ethical, human, civil right to say his/her peace, as they see fit. And that includes "blasting", or otherwise criticizing the government and the agents thereof. Capiche! So as I sent to the city attorney, I will have my toothbrush ready for jail after I blast Mr. Morton and the Mayor at the next oral portion of the city council meeting, if that is the way you and yours wish to proceed.
>>
>> There is nothing like a good first amendment court test.
>>
>> No one pulls that crap on me. I'm willing to die and be jailed before anyone silences me or anyone around me.
>>
>> All the dialogue in the world out of you is fancifully welcome, Rich Shapiro
>>
>>
>>
>> (Christiane Cook writes on Feb 9, 2005):
>> > I was so incensed about the idea of having HRC act as a review board
>> > that I
>> > didn't give you the whole scope or my protest and proposition.
>> >
>> > - we do need a review board. Whether there are police problems in
>> > P.A. or not
>> > the police is too powerful not to be monitored; it wields loaded
>> > guns both in
>> > fact and metaphorically
>> > - the HRC is not qualified to be a review board: it is appointed by
>> > the body
>> > it may have to criticize; nothing in the application nor the
>> > appointment
>> > process guarantees that the commissioners will be experts in civl,
>> > criminal and
>> > constitutional law, nor good video readers and interpreters and it
>> > does not
>> > conduct its meeting in a professional way
>> > - the Palo Alto City Council with an advisory board made up of
>> > experts in
>> > civil, criminal and constitutional law should write a new manual for
>> > the police
>> > which, among other transgressions, will eliminate coerced true or
>> > false
>> > confessions, harassment in general and profiling in particular
>> > - once that new manual is written, the residents of Palo Alto with
>> > the help
>> > of the City Council should create a review board
>> > - the review board should be made of experts in those fields of law,
>> > officers
>> > of the court, perhaps, and video experts who have no connection with
>> > the city
>> > government.
>> > - the board should review the police conduct, read the videos when
>> > there are
>> > complaints, and see to it that the delinquent police officers be
>> > reprimanded
>> > or punished
>> > - the board should, at random, review the police conduct and the
>> > videos to
>> > make sure that it is following the rules spelled out in the new
>> > manual and see
>> > that the officers who don't follow those rules are reprimanded or
>> > punished
>> >
>> > In conclusion, the review board should be completely independent
>> > from the
>> > City government, it should be made up of experts,and should have
>> > teeth.
>> > Christiane Cook
>>
>> Aram James( on Feb 9, 2005) writes in reply to Chritiane Cook:
>> Chris your letter is great. It goes to the blog and then out to the world
>> ASAP. The new procedures manual will be a national model
>> so we can prevent wrongful convictions at the front end, instead
>> of someone having to spend 10 or 20 years in prison and then
>> hope their case, among the thousands of wrongfully convicted
>> that languish in prison, gets the time and attention from the
>> innocence project it deserves. Yes, we must reform and rewrite
>> police policy and procedure manuals from top to bottom. End
>> wrongful convictions now!! Police oversight for this reason
>> must for now become the number one priority of every
>> city in this country. It is time for truth and reconciliation.
>>
>> Aram James
>>
>> Aram
>> On Wed, 9 Feb 2005 20:26:24 EST Femmelibre_at_(domainremoved)
>> Thank you for emphasizing the big problem of wrong convictions. As
>> you know it has been my obsession for years now, since the Hernandez case,
>> and I was the one who encouraged Ken to have Mr.Ofshe, an expert on the subject to
>> come to speak to the HRC. See you tomorrow.
>>
>> Chris
>>
>> (Aram James (2/9/05) response to Christiane Cook):
>> Yes, you have done much for many years to end injustice
>> by pointing to causes, not in the abstract, but in our own
>> backyard--that lead to wrongful convictions. Since these
>> problems exist in our own backyard they are very much
>> tangible and thus with both the experts you speak of and
>> the power of the people --can be changed now and forever.
>> No more wrongful convictions in our names!!
>>
>> Aram
>>
>> ( On Feb 9, 2005, Rich Shapiro writes to City Attorney Gary Baum):
>>
>> Gary, with all due respect, I hope you aren't one of the staff who are supporting this chilling of free speech at the city council meetings. You and I know that "political" free speech is time-honored and revered by the Supreme court, and if it came to a civil law suit around chilling (arrest or whatever form) of this type of speech, your city would be in a world of hurt. Let's get real here. A puny 3 minutes offered, if you're lucky, to speak to the government which works for the people in a democracy, and that's pretty much it on the limit of imput, and those in the driver's seat have a problem with that?.
>>
>> They need to simply have backbone, and a thick skin and sit there and take it, like an adult.
>>
>> So no, at the next meeting, I will be having my cab fare home, and be appropriately attired to go to jail, cause I will be criticizing the mayor and Mr. Morton when I am up there. I'm fully putting the entire city on notice, so we can have a big showdown in court around the first amendment, if that is what you and yours want.
>>
>> All dialogue is warmly welcome.
>>
>> Sincerely, Rich Shapiro
>>
>> Hello all, ( Donna Wallach on feb 9, 2005, writes in respond to
>> the Mercury News article CRITICS CLAIM INVESTIGATIVE POWERS LACKING):
>>
>>
>> This is such a clear example of how city council does NOT represent the
>> citizens, but rather represent the government, the police, those in
>> power.
>>
>> It is so clear that the Palo Alto city council does not want to take
>> responsibility for the out-of-control PAPD. The human and civil rights
>> of the citizens do not matter to the Palo Alto city council, it appears
>> that it is okay to them that human beings get beaten up, falsely
>> arrested and accused, and mistreated by the PAPD. Just because the
>> majority of people getting harassed are people of color, as stated in
>> the article, does not mean that it doesn't affect each and every
>> citizen who either lives or passes through Palo Alto. Everyone's rights
>> gets trampled when one person's rights gets trampled. If it is
>> dangerous for people of color to live or be in Palo Alto because an
>> out-of-control police force might use their excessive force in any
>> which way they want, then it is also dangerous for me, a person of
>> European decent.
>>
>> It is an outrage that the Palo Alto city council was not willing to
>> listen to the citizens who tried to speak out and be heard in order to
>> make effective change to a system that is not working for the benefit of
>> the people. The police department is paid by the citizens, supposedly
>> to serve and protect, but rarely do the police serve and protect the
>> people. Typically the police serve and protect the rich and big
>> business. Apparently the Palo Alto city council is following in the
>> footsteps of the PAPD, serving the rich, big business and the PAPD.
>>
>> Thank you,
>> donna wallach
>>
>>
>>
>> On Feb 9, 2005, at 11:04 AM, aram b james wrote:
>>
>> > Posted on Wed, Feb. 09, 2005
>> > P.A. council endorses police review body
>> >
>> > CRITICS CLAIM INVESTIGATIVE POWERS LACKING
>> > By Elise Ackerman and Kellie Schmitt
>> >
>> > Mercury News
>> >
>> > After months of citizen concerns about the Palo Alto Police
>> > Department, the city council has endorsed the creation of a police
>> > review body.
>> >
>> > The proposal almost immediately was criticized by experts and
>> > community members who said the body would lack the basic powers given
>> > to police oversight organizations around the country.
>> >
>> > ``You don't want to be out there creating the consumer fraud version
>> > of civilian oversight,'' said John Crew, an attorney with the American
>> > Civil Liberties Union of Northern California who specializes in police
>> > practices.
>> >
>> > Unlike the independent police auditors who review departmental
>> > practices in San Jose and Sacramento, or the civilian review boards in
>> > Berkeley and Oakland, the proposed Palo Alto body would have no
>> > authority to investigate complaints of police misconduct or to force
>> > the department to produce internal documents, including investigations
>> > into alleged misconduct.
>> >
>> > Instead, it would act only as a forum, listening to complaints,
>> > soliciting comments on department policies and then issuing periodic
>> > reports to the city council and public.
>> >
>> > Concern about police practices has been raised by a number of
>> > high-profile cases over the last 2 1/2 years in which residents of
>> > color said they were mistreated by Palo Alto police.
>> >
>> > In December, the city agreed to pay $75,000 to a man who was accused
>> > of raping a nursing home resident but was later exonerated by DNA
>> > evidence. Earlier last year, the city paid $250,000 to a man who
>> > claimed he was beaten by officers who pulled him from a parked car.
>> > Two Palo Alto officers will face criminal assault charges in that case
>> > next month.
>> >
>> > But Mayor Jim Burch said more aggressive forms of oversight, such as a
>> > police auditor, likely would violate the city charter, which gives the
>> > city manager full control over the police and other city departments.
>> >
>> > Burch and six other members of the city council voted Monday to
>> > recommend that the Human Relations Commission take on the role of a
>> > police review body -- in essence formalizing the role it currently
>> > plays as a forum for citizen concerns.
>> >
>> > One council member, Jack Morton, voted against the recommendation,
>> > saying the community had ``blown issues out of proportion.'' In a
>> > citizens survey released last week, 90 percent of respondents said
>> > police services were good or excellent.
>> >
>> > City council member LaDoris Cordell disagreed. Pointing to statistics
>> > that show Palo Alto police stop people of color in disproportionate
>> > numbers, Cordell said: ``There is a problem in Palo Alto. The numbers
>> > don't lie.''
>> >
>> > She voted in favor of the idea as a good start, but said she was
>> > concerned the commission would be ineffective. ``My preference is to
>> > take a bolder step and create the office of an independent auditor.''
>> >
>> > The next step is for the Human Relations Commission to review the
>> > recommendation.
>> >
>> > Police Chief Lynne Johnson could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
>> > She previously has said she doesn't think a review board is warranted
>> > and that research has questioned their effectiveness.
>> >
>> > Experts on police oversight say watchdog bodies can lead to tangible
>> > results.
>> >
>> > Samuel Walker, a professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha,
>> > said payments in lawsuits involving excessive use of force decreased
>> > in Los Angeles County after the Office of Independent Review was
>> > created in 2001.
>> >
>> > Some observers complain that independent auditors, who generally do
>> > not have authority to investigate specific complaints, are not as
>> > effective as civilian review boards, which can require officers to
>> > testify.
>> >
>> > But Walker, who recently published a book addressing the topic titled
>> > ``The New World of Police Accountability,'' said he preferred the
>> > auditor model because it focused on the actions of police chiefs and
>> > supervisors rather than making ``scapegoats'' of individual officers.
>> >
>> > ``In the long run,'' he said, ``the auditor model is more likely to
>> > produce results.''
>> > Contact Elise Ackerman at eackerman_at_(domainremoved)
>>
>>
>> (2/8/05)
>> Dear Hillary Freeman, Citizens of Palo Alto et al:
>> As someone that had his Gunn High School classmate (Dan Brown)
>> needlessly murdered by the Palo Alto police, had his home broken into
>> by the Palo Alto police, and saw the effects of domestic spying (Palo
>> Alto police red squad), first hand, I want to commend those courageous
>> citizens standing up to the unchecked Palo Alto police. The request for
>> independent oversight of the police makes good fiscal sense as well as
>> being essential to a free society. Our founding fathers, with all their
>> shortcomings, were appropriately consistent on the need for checks and
>> balances in our government. Today we have police departments whose
>> budgets, behavior, and growth are outside of our normal checks and
>> balances. The exception is when they get caught breaking the law, and
>> the cities who employ them pay huge sums of money to their victims.
>> Over twenty years ago, I created a poster for a group of Santa Clara
>> county attorneys who were keeping track of and litigating against the
>> police, who under the cover of their authority, were continuously
>> brutalizing the public. That necessary organization (Attorneys
>> Committee On Police Practices) ceased after seven years of operation.
>> My poster has lived on and been reproduced. I sell it today just as I
>> did twenty years ago. Not surprisingly, it continues to be one of my
>> best sellers and is sold disproportionately to younger people of color.
>> The title reads, "Report Police Crimes", with a telephone number where
>> people can get help. Where is that phone number today? Hopefully the
>> city of Palo Alto will come up with independent oversight of the police
>> and a phone number where it's citizens can seek protection from police
>> crimes.
>> On a last note, I live in the city of Berkeley today, and many here are
>> proud that we have one of the first police review commissions in the
>> country. Unfortunately, it is a commission without teeth. All of it's
>> findings and resolutions are subject to the city managers approval as
>> well as being contestable by the police themselves, consequently,
>> little has been accomplished in regards to specific police abuses. The
>> committee does however require the police to hear many complaints and
>> resolutions that they would otherwise be deaf to.
>> Thank you citizens of Palo Alto for considering the crucial need for
>> police oversight with teeth. Your example can affect all of us.
>> Gunn High School graduate 1967, Doug Minkler
>>
>> Doug Minkler
>> 1715 Ward St.
>> Berkeley CA 94703
>> dminkler_at_(domainremoved)
>> 510 548-7119
>>
>> To Hillary Freeman et al:
>>
>> From: Zacharias B. Ledet
>> Attorney at Law
>> 224 West Main Street # 4
>> Los Gatos, CA 95030
>>
>> 530-863-0187 (800-334-0041)
>> or 530-893-1996
>> FAX : 320-386-1923
>> E Mail: zachariasb_at_(domainremoved)
>>
>> February 8, 2005
>>
>> I am writing as a concerned citizen, not a citizen of the City of Palo Alto, but as a citizen of the United States and the State of California.
>>
>> I write to support the efforts being made in creating an effective Police Oversight process. I gave consideration to discussing my past, i.e., the South I was born into in 1944 as a black child and the experiences I shared with many in transforming the world to eliminate the evils of racism, but I have made a decision to deal with the subject directly and not relive the past. We all know the past, and we have, the human race, avoided what could have been terrible consequences for the wrongs then existing.
>>
>> I would rather speak to the present and the future we all will live into. The decisions made today shall determine the future our children either thank us for, or curse us for.
>>
>> The very fact that the current discussion is taking place on the issue of Police Oversight defines the need for Police Oversight. There is now, today, a total breakdown in the communication between the Police Departments and the community they are sworn to serve and protect. To say there is a lack of trust in the community for the Police is to bury our heads in the sand and avoid the true issues.
>>
>> Today, in Palo Alto and many other places in the United States, citizens are not free to travel the roads and highways. Travel too often results in what is called DWB. Do not be mislead, DWB includes walking and enjoying the beauties of life. To be black, brown, or anyone not seen as within the "system" (however that is defined), is seen as a suspect.
>>
>> I do not speak of what I am told, I speak from experiences I have almost daily.
>>
>> Unlike most "suspects", I as a retired Deputy Public Defender and an attorney enjoy protections most do not have. When stopped for merely being present in an area, I watch in wonder as the Officer "freaks" when they learn of my identity. The fact that when identified I get special treatment does not reduce the shame I experience for my nation, nor does it reduce the pain inflicted because of society's racism. In fact the pain is greater. I am only protected because I was lucky, lucky enough to put in place protections for myself and my family. But I know that the unjustified stops of me that often lasts two to three minutes, for too many last hours. And I know deep within my soul that this injustice can and must be stopped.
>>
>> I know the Police Chief and many Officers within the Department claim they do not engage in such behaviors. In truth the behaviors take place without any awareness that this happening. It is only when called to task that awareness comes about. However, too often the awareness results in defensive positions being taken rather than corrective actions.
>>
>> I do not speak from one side of the table. I speak to you as one who has worn a badge, in the United States Navy, and has had and continues to have many dear friends and family in law enforcement. My sister was a Menlo Park Officer for over 9 years. I have a brother-in-law who is a Fremont Officer. A very special and dear friend is on the South San Francisco Department. I have close friends with the San Jose Department, and almost if not all Departments in the County of Santa Clara. From this background I look at the issue of Police Oversight.
>>
>> It is possible that all of my friends are of similar opinions as me, but if anyone observes us together that myth is quickly destroyed. But it is a wonder to me that there are several areas in which we all agree. One area is Police Oversight. Not a one fears effective and independent Police Oversight. In fact they all welcome it. They believe, as do I, that such oversight improves the quality of the Police work in the community, and improves the quality of the Officers sworn to protect and serve. All agree that it returns to the community the community task of self government, the community responsibility of being part of the solutions and not the problems, the community awareness of self.
>>
>> I worked for a major company known for the quality of its glass products. The CEO of the company at the time established a company policy that has remained with me to this day. This policy is one that I strongly recommend to the Palo Alto Police Department and the City Council for the City of Palo Alto. In summary he said, "Never fear the light of day test unless you have something to hide". If the Police are an armed suppressive military might, then the light of day will be of major concern, as it was for the SS. If the Police are part of the community they are sworn to protect and serve, then the Police will always remember that they work for the community and will never fear the community knowing what it is the Police are doing.
>>
>> Effective Police Oversight will not reduce the ability to obtain criminal convictions. Rather the opposite is true. Over thousands of cases I represented clients in during my time with the Santa Clara County Office of the Public Defender, I was always struck with what had happened with the Police during the time of arrest/investigation. In each and every case where there had been effective and true police work, my job was much easier. Where the Police Officer had given respect to the suspect, respect was always returned. If the Officer spoke the truth, the Officer often got the truth in response. The "fights" were always where the Officer had lied to a suspect trying to get a confession, had treated the suspect with disrespect, had used unnecessary force on the suspect, etc. In all the cases the suspect wanted to treat the Officer as the Officer had treated him (her). Each and every suspect wanted the community to know what the Officer had done. And each and every one knew the Officer was no better then any other criminal.
>>
>> Too often I have seen Deputy District Attorneys go into Court and take part in covering for Officers. If the exact same conduct had been done by persons on the street, the persons would be sitting in defendant's chairs in the courtroom. The saddest statement I can make is too often the judges joined in the covering, and in my opinion violated the oaths of their office and brought total disrespect on the system itself.
>>
>> Often I would wonder if judges who took their oaths seriously would make a difference. But from sad experiences I have seen such judges "gone after" and a "message" sent. I have come to a conclusion, the same conclusion reached so long ago by our founders.
>>
>> True self-government does not begin at the top, and not in the middle. To keep our form of self-government we, all of us, must be willing to be part of the lowest level of government. To improve on the services provided to the community served, the Palo Alto Police Department should welcome community oversight. Opposition to the community being involved violates the most basic foundations of our form of government, and the fact that there is opposition from the Chief and the personnel within the Department, this in and of itself demands community oversight. Otherwise the Palo Police Department is not in existence to serve the community, the Department exists to enforce enslavement on the citizens. Department heads and elected officeholders who fear the community they are sworn to serve do not deserve to remain in the office they hold. They do not belong in the office they hold, unless and until they tell the community this is their position and seek the office from this platform.
>>
>>
>> Sincerely,
>>
>>
>>
>> Zacharias B. Ledet
>>
>>
>>
>> On Tue, 8 Feb 2005 19:01:26 -0800 (PST) Rich <buzz1857_at_(domainremoved)
>> Dear Palo Alto Mayor Jim Burch,
>>
>> I know you have the years to glean wisdom and insight into what it means to be alive, and human. But apparently you haven't had the horrific experiences that some have had with the cops. Your silence, along with just about everyone else on the panel, is deafening. And to me it speaks volumes of your ultimate character, and intestinal fortitude. Talk is the answer to serious problems, not protecting preconceived ideas. So before you carry on eternally in the silent mode, think of this: I have a simple police abuse case that took all of 10 minutes, and the average price of representation in a civil case quoted to me by lawyers, besides court costs of the other side if I lose, is 50, 000 dollars. So before you think everything is honky dory in the "we already have many safe-guards concerning police behavior" department, carefully think through all the ways one can find justice in this situation. Then you will see that at every turn (on the administrative level), one is rejected virtually out of hand, and found that either it was your fault, or insufficient evidence against the officer(s) (of course there is usually no way to prove your argument, which keeps the cops very happy). Didn't you hear what the ex Sunnyvale Police Officer (of 25 years) said last night. If there is anyone in the know, it's him and Aram, who have dealt with this shit forever. Frustration doesn't begin to describe this unaccountable system, on all levels.
>>
>> Second point, your behavior in trying to cut off Aram from speaking his mind as he felt fit, was a simple disgusting display by you. I think you're good intentions in trying to be "civilized" is something to be commended. But it is topical civility. Civility demands that you hear people out, no matter how they "offend" you. That is real civility and class. Also, If you had a semblance of depth to your civility, you would be talking to the people who are standing up for human and civil rights of folks who can't or won't do it for themselves...and taking every bit of outrage they could marshal your way. Civility is an action, a state of being, more than topical jestures. Why do I not get offended in the slightest when people criticize me, however they do it, however they choose? as long as they don't get physically threatening, or physically violent. Don't you think it's time to grow a thick skin, and get with the program of really solving hard issues with people who have every right to be outraged?
>>
>> So, sir, Aram and anyone else has the perfect moral, constitutional, and eithical right to say their piece at, to, against, for anyone they so deem, most of all, at government agents who work for them.
>>
>> I will make it a point next time I speak to blast Council Member Morton for his back-water remarks concerning the sweetness and light which he feels are the Palo Alto Police in toto.
>>
>> His remarks were so inane, so devoid of depth and breadth, it shocked me to my core for a half a second, until I could regain my composure.
>>
>> So, sir, the criticism will never stop until you face the music of the truth. Quite frankly, I wished I didn't have to do all this activism, and just work, play my guitar, be with my wife, and live my life in peace. But there is so much overwhelming garbage coming from the justice system, namely police, and buffeted by the legislative branch, through endless denial and soft cover up, that I couldn't look myself in the mirror if I did nothing.
>>
>> This is why I have made it my life's work.
>>
>> Rich
>>
>>
>> Donna Wallach wrote: (2/8/05)
>>
>> > Hello all:
>> >
>> > It is quite late for me to insert myself into the conversation. I'm
>> > sorry I missed the City Council meeting last night, I was unaware of it.
>> >
>> > In my opinion, the HRC is totally inappropriate for Police Oversight.
>> > They are too tied in to the city. The HRC meetings I have attended have
>> > shown me that the people sitting on the committee are very unaware of
>> > what the police are doing in the communities which are most impacted by
>> > police misconduct, police discriminatory policies, police harassment,
>> > police abuse, etc. There are some, who even after hearing from people
>> > who have suffered from the aforementioned inappropriate and illegal
>> > police conduct, they still trust the chief of police.
>> >
>> > In my opiinion, Police oversight must be made up of people from the
>> > community who are most impacted by police misconduct, police
>> > discriminatory policies, police harassment, police abuse, etc., people
>> > who have survived and/or are family members of people who have died at
>> > the hands of the police. I say this because the majority of people who
>> > live in the United States of North America have been brainwashed into
>> > believing that the police are paid to serve and protect us, which of
>> > course is not the case. People in times of crisis will call 911 trusting
>> > that the police will handle the crisis safely, however it usually ends
>> > up in a shooting death of a loved one. Just in Santa Clara County, in
>> > the last 5 years, there have been something like 15 or 16 people shot by
>> > the police who arrived on the scene from a 911 call for help. Far too
>> > few people understand that the police are paid to serve and protect the
>> > rich and corporations and not us the people.
>> >
>> > It of course would be good to have people who are knowledgeable of the
>> > laws. But here I would specify that someone who has taken a stand for
>> > civil rights and has the concerns of the people in mind and not concerns
>> > of the status quo in mind.
>> >
>> > thank you,
>> > Donna Wallach
>> >
>> > >
>> 2/8/05 (Darlene Wallach wrote):
>>
>> I'm also getting in on this discussion very late.
>>
>> I agree 100% wholeheartedly with Donna Wallach.
>>
>> I wish to add that the people who sit on the City Council and the
>> HRC are supposed to serve the community. However they
>> serve the rich and corporations or their own self interest
>> especially politically if they are so inclined to further their
>> political career.
>>
>> I was astounded that the PA City Council had a retreat
>> that the public was invited to attend and only given 15
>> minutes of time. It seems to me the City Council
>> could better serve their community if the entire day
>> had been for interaction with members of the community
>> who cared enough to show up and voice their concerns.
>>
>> When those of us voiced the ever urgent concerns of
>> police violence, police brutality, police murder with
>> impunity, the entire City Council, other than Hillary
>> Freeman, could not be bothered. They are more
>> interested in keeping the status quo.
>>
>> As far as I'm concerned the PA Chief of Police,
>> the Mayor, City Manager, and other than
>> Hillary Freeman on the City Council should be
>> removed from office immediately. Since the
>> public is not being represented anyway they
>> will be no less represented with those people
>> not sitting in power.
>>
>> Darlene Wallach
>>
>> >>
>> >> 2/8/05 Rich Shapiro wrote:
>> >> Dear Mr. Morton.
>> >>
>> >> I was mortified by your utter striking---stunning really---ignorance
>> >> you bilged out at the City Council meeting last night concerning
>> >> police misconduct. Though you might be brilliant in a lot of areas,
>> >> and I don't doubt that for a moment, your sheer ignorance and
>> >> jaw-dropping insensitivity in the dignity and humanity department
>> >> leaves me to believe your soul is frighteningly unevolved, and and in
>> >> a very young state indeed.
>> >>
>> >> First, your sterlingly ignorant comparison to Alabama in the sixties,
>> >> when talking about the state of police departments, is nothing new to
>> >> you, in the "modus operondi" department. All buffoons go directly for
>> >> this tactic of relativism. Something as deep as human and civil
>> >> rights, (not whether or not an evesment is to extend this foot or that
>> >> foot) is not a matter of relativism. It has a standard in and of
>> >> itself. If you wish to compare to some other countries, perhaps a lot
>> >> of some other countries, we are saints, I concur with you in the
>> >> strongest terms. But that is a weak kneed, woefully lacking in depth
>> >> of thought, and spiritual substance argument (whether or not you
>> >> believe in a god).
>> >>
>> >> Second, your comment about the unfortunate settlements of the abused
>> >> parties by the cops, yes, I agree with you. They weren't severe
>> >> enough. The city, yours in this case, need to be taught a far greater
>> >> lesson, apparently, by your absurd comments, that technological
>> >> monitoring of police is an absolute in this day and age of very, very
>> >> sophisticated cover-up of routine abuse by police.
>> >>
>> >> Third, the comments by other Council members citing 90% of the PA
>> >> populace thinking the best of the police there is all fine and well.
>> >>
>> >> But here's a few thoughts for your very shallow, at the moment mind,
>> >> to digest. If slavery were put up to a vote today, and yesterday, and
>> >> tomorrow, it would be the law of the land. If you were not a "pillar"
>> >> of the community, white, sing-songy conventional, actually had some
>> >> off-the-wall views like freedom in the realms of person destiny and
>> >> use of one's own body as one sees fit, as long as it doesn't impinge
>> >> on others rights, you might find a very different reception by those
>> >> behind the badge.
>> >>
>> >> You see, this country touts itself as free. But I see quite the
>> >> contrary. Yes, You're right. I don't quite get taken out back and
>> >> shot, yet. But I've suffered many arrests, bullshit charges, the worst
>> >> kind of extended panoply of physical and psychological abuse by the
>> >> cops not for my skin color, not for my ethnicity, not for my gender,
>> >> not of my lack of educational backround, or any of the other slew of
>> >> prejudices that are firmly festering in this country as we speak, but
>> >> because I have the gall, yes the audacity, the nerve, the hutzpay, the
>> >> brazen capacity to fully use our touted "free speech" rights to blast
>> >> what I see as not only outrageous, systematic routine violation of
>> >> people's fundamental rights, but insult to injury, a very smooth,
>> >> slick, well coifed, and well attired force of either ill-informed,
>> >> well denialed, ice-watered-in-the-vein, or in the minority, I believe,
>> >> sadistic consciously or subconsciously government agents, and citizens
>> >> who have no qualms of a cover up, or, let's say, mulling it over, or
>> >> dismissiveness, or smooth over, or down playedness, or, or, or however
>> >> you want to put it!
>> >>
>> >> And lastly, you did simply come out and say, on tape, baby, that what
>> >> difference does race and all the rest make. Well on one important
>> >> level, nothing. Abuse is abuse is abuse. But the fact that, if this is
>> >> truly the case, that you truly think that race and all the rest
>> >> doesn't affect cops in how they treat you, whether it be unconscious
>> >> or not, is an astounding exposure of your profound internal vacancy in
>> >> the humanity realm.
>> >>
>> >> I will finish with this for now. I hope anything I've said above will,
>> >> and does not scare you away from dialogue with me and the rest of the
>> >> community from having a robust discussion of all the issues. I'm the
>> >> most severe on the verbal spectrum, I fully embrace and admit, as far
>> >> as the "shocking" goes. But I do this for serious, yes spiritual
>> >> purposes, too numerous to list right now, lest I be late for work. I
>> >> will just say this, I want to war, if that is what is called for, in
>> >> the verbal, intellect, emotional, spiritual, mental, etc., realm with
>> >> you and others, and never, never on the physical. And that means, all
>> >> is necessary, and fare in love and war, on the mental and spiritual
>> >> realms. Some of my best friends have been people who I have called
>> >> stunning ignoramuses, to their face, and our souls after that only
>> >> rose because we both saw, and knew it wasn't to diminish, but to break
>> >> through the time-honored consciously or not bullshit beliefs, norms,
>> >> taboos, acceptances and all the rest that many of us take as solid as
>> >> the earth beneath our feet. But as all the great thinkers of the ages
>> >> have blown up thoroughly human-mind created poison and nonsense, in
>> >> their time, they have also all have had the honor of paying the
>> >> highest price amongst us all for lifting us all up out of our
>> >> non-humanness, stupidity, and just sheer ignorance, into something
>> >> profound.
>> >>
>> >> Rich Shapiro, The Best
>> >>
>> >> (2/8/05) Mark Petersen-Perez wrote:
>> >> News Release:
>> >>
>> >> Last nights highly charged City Counsel meeting was attended by our
>> >> "Beleaguered" Police Chief Lynne Johnson, and it needs too be pointed
>> >> out that, our Chief should be commended for standing "tall" as I have
>> >> done throughout adversarial times and controversy.
>> >>
>> >> However, this does take away or minimize the immediate need, for
>> >> sweeping police reform and changes within our department.
>> >>
>> >> Sincerely,
>> >>
>> >> Mark Petersen-Petersen
>> >>
>> >> 2/7/05
>> >>
>> >> Hi Hillary:
>> >>
>> >> First I should say that my criticism of the HRC is not ad hominem, ad
>> >> feminam
>> >> (ad homines!, ad feminas!). Some of the people whose competency I
>> >> doubt in
>> >> this mail are, I know, excellent in other fields. I like some of them
>> >> a lot. I
>> >> am only speaking
>> >> about the mission, structure and functioning of HRC. I have acquired some
>> >> knowledge about the effectiveness and fairness of committees from
>> >> having served
>> >> for years on some 30 boards and committees for my University - some of
>> >> them on
>> >> the National level. Secondly, I have attended probably 30 HRC
>> >> meetings. In
>> >> addition, having applied 4 times for a position on HRC, I was able to
>> >> form an
>> >> opinion on the
>> >> appointment process.
>> >>
>> >> First the mission of the HRC is to advise; it is some sort of a kitchen
>> >> cabinet to the Council. It should be more useful as an elected body that
>> >> criticizes. It cannot do that, though, because it is appointed by the
>> >> City Council. And
>> >> the appointment process is flawed. There are not enough probing
>> >> questions on
>> >> the applications. Worse: the data given by the candidates are not
>> >> checked. No
>> >> one asked me to prove Ihad a PH.D. and J.D. No one asked me to prove
>> >> I had
>> >> been a college professor for years. I was not even asked to prove I
>> >> had been
>> >> working for ACLU for years in a position that made me well versed in
>> >> constitutional law. I didn't need recommendations. As to the
>> >> interviews, they are
>> >> shocking. Some people I knew lied about their qualifications. Some
>> >> told me one thing
>> >> while we were waiting, and told the Council something else. Some
>> >> candidates who
>> >> had not attended any HRC meetings and knew nothing about the commission,
>> >> applied and were appointed. Some came with no applications, but
>> >> flattery and the
>> >> promise they would be excellent HRC members. They were appointed. A city
>> >> council member told me they wanted lawyers, obviously ignorant of the
>> >> fact that a
>> >> lawyer who specializes in real estate probably knows nothing about
>> >> civil rights.
>> >> (My granddaughter is an environmental lawyer with a top firm, and knows
>> >> nothing about civil rights). One city council member told me that I
>> >> was too radical
>> >> to be ever acceptable. Nothing in my behavior during the interview,
>> >> nor in my
>> >> career allowed him/her to say that. I am passionate about civil rights
>> >> but
>> >> that does not mean I am irrational. Can one be too
>> >> passionate about people's rights? Another problem is that there no
>> >> "quality
>> >> control". Ineffective HRC members are re-appointed again and again.
>> >> There are,
>> >> of course, some good people who slip in. I have known two.
>> >>
>> >> My numerous visits at HRC meetings showed me that the people picked by
>> >> the
>> >> Council did not know how to conduct a meeting in an orderly matter,
>> >> were not
>> >> able to
>> >> write resolutions on the spot and were sometimes not well informed
>> >> about what
>> >> they discussed. I will give a few examples of the shoddy work of HRC.
>> >> It took
>> >> months to
>> >> express an opinion on the fact that the Boy Scouts have a storage room
>> >> in a
>> >> public building, which is illegal since the organization discriminates
>> >> against
>> >> gays. The HRC received a letter telling them the local boy scout
>> >> chapter does
>> >> not discriminate against gays. That was not the point and HRC should have
>> >> pursued the matter. It didn't. An expert on police practices came to
>> >> speak about
>> >> coerced false confessions
>> >> in connection with Mr.Hernandez's case. The HRC should have pursued the
>> >> matter,
>> >> ensuring, for example, that the P.A. police stop using the manual I call
>> >> "Brainwashing for Dummies". It didn't. When the HRC was given a draft
>> >> of a
>> >> resolution against the Patriot Act, it kept it for weeks, months even.
>> >> When they
>> >> finally looked at it, some of the provisions in the draft were
>> >> oobsolete. Worse,
>> >> the
>> >> chair of the HRC and the Police chief "corrected" the resolution without
>> >> having read the Patriot Act it addressed. They had not even read the
>> >> excellent
>> >> synopses
>> >> that have been made by ACLU. To me that was dishonest. The result was a
>> >> document so flawed that I didn't sleep the night before it was voted
>> >> on by the
>> >> Council. Of course, the council trusted the HRC and accepted the
>> >> document
>> >> blindly. Since the day it was voted I have been hoping that no one
>> >> else would use it,
>> >> lest its flaws be detected and the city of P.A. is vilified.
>> >>
>> >> So, there is no reason whatsoever that the HRC should supervise the
>> >> police.
>> >> It does not have the competency. (Who in HRC is an expert at reading
>> >> videos,
>> >> for instance? Who in HRC has read the police manual (by Inbau, Reid and
>> >> Buclkey)? Who in HRC knows enough about civil rights? Who in HRC would
>> >> have the
>> >> courage to harshly
>> >> criticize the police department and risk not being reappointed?
>> >>
>> >> You might ask why I wanted to be in a commission I don't respect.
>> >> First, I
>> >> though I could prevail upon my colleagues to proceed in an orderly way to
>> >> discuss issues. Secondly, I thought I could speed up the process. For
>> >> instance, I
>> >> could write resolutions on the spot. I could also bring my expertise
>> >> in civil
>> >> rights, since I have been working for years in that field. The last
>> >> times I
>> >> applied for the HRC, I did it to please my friends who continue to
>> >> think I should
>> >> be in the commission, and also.... to annoy the Council!
>> >>
>> >> Christiane Cook, 1234 Emerson, Palo Alto, 326/7673
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> Dear Editor: (2/6/05) Nat Fisher Wrote:
>> >> > >
>> >> > > Palo Alto Councilmembers Jim Burch and Hillary Freeman, City
>> >> > > Manager
>> >> > > Frank Benest, and Police Chief Lynne Johnson would like the Human
>> >> > > Relations Commission to become,
>> >> > > in essence, a police review board. I'm opposed to this. What is
>> >> > > needed is a police oversight board which is completely independent
>> >> > > of the city and of the police and which has the authority to
>> >> > > review police records and do independent investigations of
>> >> > > complaints against the police. The HRC is not set up to be more
>> >> > > than it already is, a sounding board for the public and a liaison
>> >> > > with the police chief. As a City commission, it does not have the
>> >> > > independence called for.
>> >> > >
>> >> > >
>> >> > > I hope the HRC Feb. 10 will ask the police chief if the cameras she
>> >> > > is thinking of purchasing would have been able to pick up and record
>> >> > > the
>> >> > > Hopkins
>> >> > > beating had they been in place then. Also, if the police can turn
>> >> > > them
>> >> > > on and off at will, what good are they? The Council might as well
>> >> > > save the money.
>> >> > >
>> >> > > Natalie Fisher
>> >> > >
>> >> Hillary, ( Rich Shapiro wrote)
>> >>
>> >> First I want to say, "Thank You" for being fully receptive to
>> >> dialogue. I've always felt, if we humans are to war and die, and be
>> >> tortured and be maimed, and be severely wounded, let it be on the
>> >> mental realm, on the spiritual realm, the emotional realm. And not the
>> >> physical. All that hurt is just ego anyway. Ultimately, what we learn
>> >> on those realms is one huge lesson: All our upset, and turmoil, and
>> >> restlessness, and misery, if you will, comes from within ourselves.
>> >> And others can only upset us by hooking into "already" present unease.
>> >> When I'm quiet within my being, my mind, there is not a thing in the
>> >> world that the most evil, unconscious, ignorant person can do to upset
>> >> me. I simply smile (or laugh) in their face, and deal with the
>> >> situation they present me with deft adroitness, far beyond anything
>> >> they can comprehend.
>> >>
>> >> So while you say "labeling" never serves---in a more civilized world I
>> >> concur completely (outside the humor realm). But in a world where
>> >> there is so much brazen evil, yes I said evil, within so many
>> >> "humans", one must call a spade a spade, in shaking those out of their
>> >> illusion. That is a major service to them. And while I see everyone
>> >> as an onion, the many outer layers (anywhere from sublime to
>> >> diabolical), the center is aways a pure soul, that I would always
>> >> honor in the worst of the worst, as I would in a near saint. So no, I
>> >> think labeling has a raw power to wake up those who are so profoundly
>> >> asleep, that they themselves don't have the remotest hint or notion
>> >> that they are emanating evil into the world, through their good
>> >> intentions, most likely. I truly believe this more than I believe that
>> >> most who exude evil into the world know they are doing harm against
>> >> their own soul and others. That is why grit, power, courage, colorful
>> >> language, eye to eye contact, and "direct for the jugler" is the most
>> >> profound way to not only get people's attention, but to bring
>> >> everybody's feet to the fire real quickly and get down to brass
>> >> tacks to the issue at hand. This isn't astrophysics, or atomic nuclear
>> >> research, or unlocking the mysteries of our DNA; it is,
>> >> however, finally saying no to letting endless drift occur to our
>> >> capacity to be fully human, at least on a societal level. And that
>> >> takes boldness, courage, lots of failure, and risking it all
>> >> sometimes, to get to a place where human dignity and humanity, on the
>> >> realm of government, be the top of the food chain. Then from there
>> >> all human creativity flows and evolution will be allowed at its own
>> >> pace, and in its own time, to evolve to a place where people can
>> >> find true personal dignity and respect, and bliss, yes I said bliss,
>> >> within themselves. For this is our natural destiny, as a soul,
>> >> regardless your affiliation with a god or not.
>> >>
>> >> Thank you Hilary, Rich Shapiro
>>
>> >> Dear Mr. Petersen-Perez,
>> >>
>> >> Thanks for your comments.
>> >>
>> >> Hillary Freeman
>> >> Palo Alto City Council member
>> >> hillary_at_(domainremoved)
>> >> 650-444-8880
>> >> please keep in touch
>> >> abjpd1_at_(domainremoved)
>> >>
>> >> Dear Hillary, ( Mark Petersen-Perez wrote):
>> >>
>> >> As a result of my picture in the Daily New of February 2, 2005
>> >> individuals are slowly beginning too come forward with their own
>> >> horror stories and treatment by the PAPD.
>> >>
>> >> One man was so moved after reading the article, approached me during
>> >> recess to relate his own horrific devastating encounter with the PAPD.
>> >> Like me, no charges were filed and this case is still pending.
>> >>
>> >> A high profile sex cases such as mine and purely from a physiological
>> >> point of view can be an emotionally upsetting experience, when there
>> >> is no closure as in his case, as well as mine.
>> >>
>> >> I believe, as we move forward and build together a "World Class"
>> >> police oversight commission, we will dramatically begin too see a
>> >> reduction in brutality, racial profiling, harassment of our youth and
>> >> homeless individuals, by those who reside at 275 Forest Ave, namely,
>> >> The Palo Alto Police Department.
>> >>
>> >> .
>> >> Sincerely,
>> >>
>> >> Mark Petersen-Perez
>>
>> >> >> Saturday Feb 5, 2005
>> >>
>> >> Hillary, (Aram James wrote):
>> >>
>> >> I have not written any response since your thoughtful comments to my
>> >> initial letter in this series. I thought it was important to let
>> >> others address my letter, and your initial responses, before I came
>> >> back with any additional thoughts, rebuttal, etc. I most certainly
>> >> recognized your gracious reference to the eloquence of some of my
>> >> comments and the fact that you think enough of the democratic process
>> >> to be certain that my position(S) be brought to the attention of the
>> >> those with decision making authority.
>> >>
>> >> The comments that I believe you are referring to, which I will
>> >> highlight in red, below, are by David "Junya" Taylor and he ends his
>> >> comments to you with the greeting "ciao." If I am in error and your
>> >> are addressing other comments please advise. I am so impression that
>> >> you have encouraged the conversation to go forward.
>> >>
>> >> Aram
>> On Sat, 5 Feb 2005 18:46:34 -0800 "Hillary Freeman"
>> >> <hillary_at_(domainremoved)
>> >> > Good points! I believe that I also said "You express your ideas
>> >> > eloquently. All decision makers and those with input to decisions
>> >> > should be aware of your position(s)." I am surprised you didn't
>> >> > recognize that comment.
>> >> >
>> >> > As a general life principle, it is my personal belief that labeling
>> >> > is
>> >> > unnecessary and actually an inhibitor to progress. I have
>> >> > experienced
>> >> > public labeling, as many of you may have as well, and in every case
>> >> > I
>> >> > have experienced, labeling hasn't promoted resolution.
>> >> >
>> >> > Keep the conversation going!
>> >> >
>> >> > Hillary Freeman
>> >> > Palo Alto City Council member
>> >> > hillary_at_(domainremoved)
>> >> > 650-444-8880
>> >> > please keep in touch
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> > -----Original Message-----
>> >> > From: junya [mailto:JUNYA_at_(domainremoved)
>> >> > Sent: Friday, February 04, 2005 11:20 PM
>> >> > To: hillary_at_(domainremoved)
>> >> > Cc: sukiroo_at_(domainremoved)
>> >> > buzz1857_at_(domainremoved)
>> >> > lakiba_pittman_at_(domainremoved)
>> >> > Subject: RE: Jan 11, 2005 meeting with Frank Benest & No to the idea
>> >> > of
>> >> > the HRC as an oversight commission in Palo Alto.
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> > --- Hillary Freeman <hillary_at_(domainremoved)
>> >> >
>> >> > > 2) I vigorously oppose the HRC being designated as a volunteer
>> >> > token
>> >> > > oversight body for the PAPD.
>> >> > >
>> >> > > WoW! That was a race up the ladder of assumptions
>> >> > Aram.
>> >> > > Let's see what their input is and what the council thinks before
>> >> > > labeling.
>> >> > >
>> >> >
>> >> > Hillary - ( David "Junya" Taylor wrote):
>> >> >
>> >> > If you remove the word "token", you're left with "volunteer
>> >> > oversight
>> >> > body for the PAPD". Do you disagree with that assessment? As I
>> >> > understand it, that is precisely what has been proposed.
>> >> >
>> >> > If you agree, then "the race up the ladder of assumptions" must be
>> >> > referring to use of the word "token". That sounds to me like Aram's
>> >> > input - i.e., he's telling you what he thinks. Why do you suggest
>> >> > that
>> >> > he wait for the input of others and hears what the council thinks
>> >> > before giving his own input and expressing what he thinks?
>> >> >
>> >> > ciao
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> Dear Rich, (Hillary Freeman wrote):
>> >>
>> >> Thanks for your comments. I hope you read the last comment on the
>> >> Daily article on Friday. This is a start. This hasn't even gotten
>> >> approval to move forward from the council yet. Let's please at least
>> >> get the key in the ignition!
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> Sincerely,
>>
>> >> Hillary Freeman
>> >>
>> >> Palo Alto City Council member
>> >>
>> >> hillary_at_(domainremoved)
>> >>
>> >> 650-444-8880
>> >>
>> >> please keep in touch
>> >> Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2005 14:09:38 -0800
>> >> Subject: Update re ongoing conversation with city council member
>> >> Hillary Freeman re Police Oversight etc:
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> ( 2/5/04 add on:) I am also requesting that both Darlene and Donna
>> >> Wallach, long time advocates of police reform on both a county and
>> >> national level ( and both who have written on problems with the PAPD
>> >> )also consider addressing the issue of citizen oversight. Both Darlene
>> >> and Donna are members of Coalition for Justice and Accountability.
>> >> Anyone else who would like to invite others to this discussion group
>> >> please do. Aram
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> Please add your comments to the entire e-mail exchange as it currently
>> >> exists( this will avoid me having to constantly update it, Thanks).
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> Dear Hillary, (Mark Petersen-Perez wrote):
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> I recall early on in my career with IBM, a quote by its founder Mr.
>> >> Watson. Which stated in part, "Success is on the far side of
>> >> failure". This central theme can run through all facets of private,
>> >> public and governmental decisions.
>> >>
>> >> As we set and build the foundation of police oversight which impacts
>> >> our community, input from our community, should play a vital role in
>> >> its construction.
>> >>
>> >> Like Mr. James myself and other who are concerned about police
>> >> oversight, want to make sure, that we collectively, and as community
>> >> TEAM, build a successful police oversight commission which will serve
>> >> as a "Bench Mark" and role model for other cities of follow.
>> >>
>> >> Thank you, Hillary for your acknowledgement of our concerns while the
>> >> majority has remained silent on this very important issue and I will
>> >> look forward too further meaningful dialogue.
>> >>
>> >> Sincerely,
>> >>
>> >> Mark Petersen-Perez
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> 2/5/04
>> >>
>> >> Dear Hillary, ( Rich Sharpio said the following:)
>> >>
>> >> This is what I think (Rich Shapiro here). I think what people are
>> >> saying (I know I am) is in order to have serious oversight of a police
>> >> agency, there must be TEETH. It is as simple as that. So thinking you
>> >> can manipulate meaning by simply manipulating a word (token), shows
>> >> utter ignorance of reality and most of all, wisdom.
>> >>
>> >> And as far as the "ladder of assumption" you refer to. Well, duh! All
>> >> of us have seen pure evil face to face, when it comes to police
>> >> actions, inactions and comportment. We don't need endless discussion
>> >> into what will change this virulent culture, police culture. It's
>> >> called technological monitoring, plane and simple. With an oversight
>> >> board that has expertise in this field, and TEETH, to enforce just as
>> >> vigorously crimes for which police officers commit, as any citizen.
>> >>
>> >> Sincerely,
>> >>
>> >> Rich Shapiro
>>
>> >> I agree with all the critera listed in the email below for a police
>> >> oversight commission. I would also like to point out that I just read in
>> >> this week's Council packet a news story of a Eugene, Oregon police
>> >> chief who
>> >> would like an independent police commission for his force and is
>> >> consulting
>> >> with a company that does research on such commissions that exist and how
>> >> they are designed and how they work. Aram sent the article and suggested
>> >> that Chief Johnson write to the Eugene, Ore. police chief for advice.
>> >> Good
>> >> idea.
>> >>
>> >> Natalie Fisher
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> Dear Council Member Hillary Freeman:( Aram James make the comnents in
>> >> black)
>> >> (Hillary Freeman's orginial respose is in this color:)
>> >> When you have a few minutes please e-mail your response re the following:
>> >> 1) The circumstance under which you were called into a meeting On Jan
>> >> 11, 2005, with City Manager Frank Benest. I would like copies of any
>> >> and all correspondence re why the meeting was called and any and all
>> >> subsequent correspondence that touches on the same topic. I am only
>> >> asking for documents that would be subject to release by the public
>> >> records act. I want very much to put this issue to rest. I attempting
>> >> to determine if the meeting was called by Frank Benest, Lynne Johnson
>> >> etc., in effort to put a lid on your criticism of Lynne Johnson and or
>> >> the PAPD. The paper trail leading up to this meeting would be the best
>> >> evidence re the intent for calling this meeting.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> As you are aware, you can ask for any public records you wish to have.
>> >> I believe the appropriate channel is through the City Clerk's office.
>> >> As I mentioned to you, I have periodic meetings with Mr. Benest.
>> >> Furthermore, my comments have been focused on the dire need for
>> >> openness and inclusivity between the PAPD and the community, through
>> >> the vehicle of two way communication, which I think is sorely lacking.
>> >> Opening up the dialog, in my mind, is the first step to clear
>> >> identification and repair of many issues. And as I have clearly
>> >> demonstrated, I speak freely.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> 2) I vigorously oppose the HRC being designated as a volunteer token
>> >> oversight body for the PAPD.
>> >>
>> >> WoW! That was a race up the ladder of assumptions Aram.
>> >> Let's see what their input is and what the council thinks before
>> >> labeling.
>> >>
>> >> The level of misconduct by the PAPD and the continuing unwillingness
>> >> of the Chief to change policy re the PAPD calls for oversight with teeth.
>> >>Let's see what surfaces. And of course, you have ample
>> >> opportunity for input as well!
>> >>
>> >> We are way past the point that an all volunteer body, closely
>> >> connected to city government and the PAPD, would be the appropriate
>> >> body for police oversight. As I have written before meaningful
>> >> oversight would require at minimum the following:
>> >>
>> >> a) A paid staff of experienced individuals with sufficient
>> >> understanding of the criminal justice system to be able to
>> >> analysis the current policies and procedures of the PAPD to determine
>> >> which are appropriate and which need change. As it currently stands
>> >> some, if not many, of the policies and procedures in place have a high
>> >> probability of resulting in wrongful convictions of innocent
>> >> individuals. I, for one, will not allow this to continue in my name. I
>> >> would hope you would at least be willing to sit down with me, and
>> >> others, so I can explain some of my proposals for change.
>>
>> >> b) We must have an oversight commission that can subpoena witnesses,
>> >> conduct independent investigations of alleged police misconduct etc.
>> >> The commission must not be selected by special interests and must
>> >> represent a cross-section of the community.
>>
>>
>> >> c) The commission must also have the power to impose discipline on the
>> >> officers without the right of the police to override such
>> >> recommendations. This will, of course, only take place after a full
>> >> hearing on the facts where both the police and the person alleging
>> >> misconduct have a right to due process, equal protection etc.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> d) The commission must be totally independent of the PAPD and the city
>> >> government including people like Frank Benest who has demonstrated an
>> >> open hostility to meaningful police reform.
>>
>> >> e) The longer we wait to establish such a commission the greater the
>> >> changes that we will have of another case of outrageous police
>> >> misconduct of the sort we saw in the Hopkins, Douglas, Hernandez cases
>> >> et al: Do we want this to happen because as a community we were too
>> >> timid to move in the face of obvious and compelling evidence of an
>> >> ongoing problems with the PAPD?
>> >>
>> > You express your ideas eloquently. All decision makers
>> >> and those with input to decisions should be aware of your position(s).
>> >>
>> >> I wait patiently for your e-mail response to these critical issues. I
>> >> believe E-mail correspondence is preferred so we have total
>> >> transparency of the issues for all to see.
>>
>> >> Best,
>> >>
>> >> Aram James
>> >>
>> >> Citizen Advocate
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> P.S. I will copy this e-mail to four of the most consistent advocates
>> >> for police reform in this city so they can add their thoughts on these
>> >> subjects should they decide to do so (Nat Fisher, David "Junya"
>> >> Taylor, Mark Petersen-Perez, Rich Shapiro). I am also copying this
>> >> e-mail to current HRC member Lakiba Pittman who has a long history of
>> >> activism and concerns re these issues. Finally, I am copying my good
>> >> friend, and retired deputy public defender, Zach Ledet. Zach has a
>> >> wealth of knowledge on this and other issues. And please feel free to
>> >> e-mail this letter to any and all.
>> >>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> >>
>> >>
>>
Received on Mon Sep 18 2017 - 04:47:51 PDT

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