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About this blog: So much is right — and wrong — about what is happening in Palo Alto. In this blog I want to discuss all that with you. I know many residents care about this town, and I want to explore our collective interests to help ...  (More)

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Should Palo Alto police be reformed? “It can’t happen here” -- or can it?

Uploaded: Jun 9, 2020
“It can’t happen here,” two Palo Alto city council members said at Monday’s meeting when discussing the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer and other police conduct.

But it almost did happen here. Twice.

In 2005, then Police Chief Lynne Johnson said that a group of anarchists would be coming to Palo Alto -- anywhere from 50 to 800 – and the city had to be prepared for their arrival. She urged residents to stay home that Saturday, June 25 evening. And she asked for help from police in neighboring cities.

Help arrived. By 7 p.m., a helicopter swirled above University Avenue, with police in megaphones leaning out to direct the crowds. “The anarchists are on their way,” we heard.

I was covering the story that night and when I arrived downtown. I was amazed and afraid of what I saw. Hundreds of police stood shoulder to shoulder along University, from Ramona Street to Middlefield Road, those with pistols in front and then police with rifles behind them, and then officers on horses for a couple of rows. Many had shields. They were lined up across the entire street, from storefront to storefront. Lytton and Hamilton Avenues were also filled with police. Barriers prohibited entrance onto University.

I saw this overwhelming number of police suddenly in my downtown. I feared they were going to overtake our city. The helicopter continued to circle above and there were police cars with flashing lights and fire trucks at the end of streets.

About 50 young anarchists, dressed in black, entered the downtown and were directed to Lytton Plaza, where they calmly sat for the next two hours.

I asked one of the policemen to direct me to an officer in charge, showing him my press badge, including one from the sheriff’s office. “Lady, get back immediately and get behind that line,” he told me. “But I want to talk to your leader to see why there are so many of you out here,” I replied. “Get back or I will have you arrested,” he yelled, as he raised his rifle.

I walked over to the anarchists. They looked frightened. “We are here to protest corporation policies and the Iraq War,” one told me. He seemed all of 19.

Overreaction to an anarchist peaceful assembly? It certainly was but our police chief wanted to ensure the town was safe. It was, thanks to the mob of police or the frightened anarchists. Someone told me later the overtime for police cost about $1 million, but no one made an issue of that. What was the big problem for me is how quickly and quietly our city could turn into a police state. Since most residents stayed home, few knew what happened.

•••••••
When I saw the police in full gear go after the peaceful protesters at Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., to clear the square so President Trump could walk to a church for a photo-op, holding up a black bible (backward), thoughts of what happened here on June 25 years ago came racing back. Except in D.C., one station ran a video of these rows of armed troops who suddenly started to run after the demonstrators, batons held high in hand, while tear gas and flash bangs were heard exploding at the square.

It happened there.

The second incident in Palo Alto occurred in July 2019. Police agent Thomas DeStefano allegedly “violently attacked” Julio Averalo, The police have not yet released the tape of that incident, as they are supposed to by California law. DeStefano had been previously accused of breaking a man’s arm in a 2013 traffic stop. The city settled that suit for $250,000.

There are a series of other “incidents,” such as one last November when Gustavo Alvarez was beaten by a Palo Alto police officer and it was recorded on a smart phone. Alvarez’s head was knocked on the hood of a car, and the officer, Sgt. Wayne Benitez, mocked him for being gay. Alvarez and his attorneys received a $572,000 cash settlement from the city, according to a Weekly story, Benitez has retired and is be getting a pension of $9,866.41 per month for life. City Manager Ed Shikada would not say whether Benitez retired or was fired.

So yes, we have some trouble right here in River City.

One other problem that disturbs me is the increasing lack of transparency in this city in providing information or videos on cases involving the police.

The city council is now discussing police reform, and at this past Monday’s meeting, it asked thestaff (!) to return next week with a plan for improving police policies, reviewing its hiring practices and launching a new initiative to promote diversity and inclusion throughout the city. This should be a city council job. Both Mayor Adrian Fine and City Manager Ed Shikada declared Palo Alto should be proactive and transparent, but neither provided any details. If staff draws up the changes, the "staff" probably includes the city manager, the police chief and the city attorney, who , presumably, all like things the way they are now.

And what about barring use of choke holds? I'd like to see that included in the changes.

My reaction? Our transparency over police issues is becoming more opaque every day, in a very disturbing way. Two years ago, police incidents were immediately sent to a police-auditing firm in southern California that did a wonderful job of investigating any incident and reporting back to the city council and the public. But this past year the city council agreed to a change proposed by Shikada and City Attorney Molly Stump to let the city’s HR department handle disputes and incidents involving police officers, instead of the southern CA auditor. And once something goes to HR, it becomes a personnel matter that the public can’t know anything about.

So what’s going to happen in our city? Will this issue softly go away, or will there be real reforms? Or can it happen here?

We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

 +   10 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jun 9, 2020 at 1:20 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Having listened to the discussions on "defunding police departments" I hear two alternative definitions:

1 - Defund a current police department and create a new public safety agency

2 - Reallocate some of the funds currently allocated to police department and use those funds to increase investment in social services.

I oppose the first alternative and support the second alternative.


I think we would be healthier communities if we spend less of our budgets on police services and then devoted the freed up resources to better social services.

A useful perspective:

"Defunding the police means shrinking the scope of police responsibilities and shifting most of what government does to keep us safe to entities that are better equipped to meet that need. It means investing more in mental-health care and housing, and expanding the use of community mediation and violence interruption programs."

Web Link


 +   11 people like this
Posted by Brian Steen, a resident of Greater Miranda,
on Jun 9, 2020 at 1:51 pm

Great article, Diane showing how history repeats itself, even though "It can't happen here." Hope your article gets shared widely.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jun 9, 2020 at 2:07 pm

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

I have to take issue here Diana Diamond, who, as you said earlier once worked for Stanford President Donald Kennedy so you do have a sense of history and you have seen class in the sense of high standards we have hereabouts, town and gown (and, um, River City?)
Here is Dick deStefano's obituary from a couple years ago, my mother's age.
Web Link
I don't know the family well other than the brother of the cop -- unless its an uncle -- was my basketball coach. When i ran for council I stood up in council and maybe wrote lettes to editor - -probably before PAW/TS -- saying that a remedy to the seemingly real problem of cops not being from here and being a type of mercenary or occupying force was more local kids wanting to be cops here (or homes and BMR deeded homes for local public safety to live here). I mentioned a couple I knew of and people offered me more names (I briefly dated Lt. Elliot's daughter back in the day).

My point is that the DeStefanos this man included have done a lot for our community. I have not reviewed the evidence in the case you mention but i am peeved at demonization efforts. By and large we have a great police force.

Duly noted that Eric Filseth said last night that people report being anxious when black and white rolls by and not comforted.

Also, where did you verify that the phalanx of police cost us "$1 million"?

My story of that night is that my father had the license plate stolen that night from his car, though we cannot prove it was my anyone wearing black and spouting Marxist slogans. But for me I recall that my dad, in weird dad logic, or perhaps at times when you are 80 you're mindset varies -- and my dad was a classic Libra -- decided therefore to get a personalized plate that references the model of his car - his logic was that thieves would be less likely to steal a license plate if the police would later notice a mismatch between car and plate. (When he died in 2015 I later inherited the car and got my first vanity plate, that twists that plate into a Jewish expression for "my his memory be a blessing").

I agree that we should get community input going forward and look seriously into defunding. Also, what if we taxed business, and used that money for social services? What if we, as a nation, taxed capital?

I saw Chief Jonson and City Manager after the rally Saturday - which seemed more like 5,000 people than what was said last night - and said "keep up the good work".

Bad analogy but: you see football players practice catching a pass on the same route hundreds of times yet drop the ball during game action, some times. We are only human. I think our Palo Alto reaction to very unusual confluence of the growth of new media, the novel virus and black lives matter was good enough. My own thoughts on all this change from day to day.

But as an experienced journalist and longtime community member, you can do better! I give you a D, maybe a D plus, maybe a Double D. One diamond, not four.

It can happen here in the sense that Minneapolis is here, we are one country. George Floyd is our neighbor our brother.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 9, 2020 at 2:18 pm

As an aside to the main point of the blog, I would like to comment on one of the details mentioned in the first example.

Instead of a Citywide curfew, advice was given to all Palo Alto residents to stay away from the potential trouble spots. This was wise advice and sounds much better than telling every resident of Palo Alto to stay at home as if we were potential looters or rioters en route to Stanford Shopping Center.

I think a wise warning would have been much better than the curfew we were put under last week.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Anon, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 9, 2020 at 3:54 pm

>> I asked one of the policemen to direct me to an officer in charge, showing him my press badge, including one from the sheriff's office. “Lady, get back immediately and get behind that line," he told me. “But I want to talk to your leader to see why there are so many of you out here," I replied. “Get back or I will have you arrested," he yelled, as he raised his rifle.

A very "militarized" police response. Somewhere along the way, things moved away from the idea that they are here to protect and serve us, to the idea that we are there to serve them. If they tell us to get down and do 100 pushups, we are expected to do it. Anything they tell us is a "lawful order" as far as they are concerned. "Us vs them."

Perhaps it *is* time to dissolve the police force and rebuild a new one, like Camden, NJ did. A force that views itself as protecting and serving the public-- a public which they consider themselves a part of.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Anon, a resident of Los Altos,
on Jun 9, 2020 at 8:06 pm

Can police abuse happen here?
Sure, it can and has.
Agents and agencies of Los Altos got sued in Federal Court this past week for RICO, Conspiracy, etc. An already pending lawsuit in the same Court before the same Judge details how City agents and agencies, including the Police, engaged in retaliation, discrimination, and other violation of Constitutional rights. The target? a minority homeowner. The beneficiaries? All white.

The lawsuits present instances--all from City records, no less--of systemic racial discrimination and unequal treatment by agents and agencies of Los Altos. There is plenty of other evidence to be presented at trial to the jury.

Add to that statements by Councilmembers (the latest being Jeannie Bruins) openly expressing themselves in ways common in Jim Crow South and during segregation/slavery.

If Los Altos has longstanding, customary practices of discrimination and abuses by City agents including the PD ("Jim Crow Los Altos"), how can it also not be present in adjacent cities (Mtn View? LAH? Saratoga? Cupertino? Palo Alto? Menlo Park?)


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Fr0hickey, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jun 9, 2020 at 9:20 pm

Fr0hickey is a registered user.

Police serves the community by dealing with bad actors seeking to do harm to the community.
Community serves the police by dealing with bad police seeking to do harm to the (reputation/integrity) of the police.

There should always be oversight; civilian oversight. We pay the police salaries, so we have the right to oversee them.
Unfortunately, we are too busy to oversee them and hence we just write a blank check, figuratively, out to them.

I would not defund, nor would I create another agency. I would increase/start oversight. How do you encourage civic-minded people WITHOUT an agenda to do the oversight? This last point is the sticking point.


 +   12 people like this
Posted by Kevin, a resident of another community,
on Jun 9, 2020 at 11:16 pm

How soon we forget....Growing up in Palo Alto I have seen a city change. It has only been an improvement. Yes there are always bumps along the way but to put all of police in the rogue category really shows a lack of big picture viewing of the world and lack of critical thinking. It was only two decades ago that police from all around the area had to assist our neighbor East Palo Alto which was the murder capita of the country. The police were not killing citizens. Criminals street gangs were killing each other and citizens that got in their way. Crime was up in our city as well as a result. Those officers came in and removed a criminal eliminate that allowed a city to rebuild and have a successful future. Ikea and Facebook would not be there today if you had a "public Safety" force. The world needs the police but we also need the rest of sociality tp step up and do all the non-police ever spanning role that cops do now. You can not call a counsel to a person robbing a store with a gun nor call them when you have a naked man running through the street who just smoked PCP and wants to fight everyone. So my advise...seek out the officers that are the problem and not be bias towards them all because of one officer 2,000 miles away. Police on the west coast are so much better than back east.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde,
on Jun 9, 2020 at 11:18 pm

^ If you don't have an agenda, then you're not paying attention.


 +   22 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Midtown,
on Jun 10, 2020 at 2:17 am

I support the police 100 percent. Not gonna jump on this ridiculous bandwagon. It's incredibly illogical to suddenly apply the actions of Floyd's killer to ALL cops. We need to stop right there. That is such a logical fallacy, and the viral media metastasized it overnight into a destructive hysteria that is completely fabricated much like the "pandemic".
No one is acknowledging how ridiculous and unnecessary the lockdown was, because now its trendy to say "policemen are bad!" so like a massive hivemind, everyone will clutter around the "trendy catastrophe of the week" and sound off on it all over the internet and twitter and whatnot like a cacophony of mindless parrots. I am amazed how we are fixated on one national story and ignore everything else that is going on. It is hype, hysteria and sensationalism.
Its like we're being shown some kind of fake reality theater but we believe it to be real. This is what happens when we gaze more at our phones and less at the world around us. Not gonna jump on this ridiculous bandwagon. The blurring of reality is reaching new levels.
Stay away from the Mainstream Media!!! The Groupthink I'm seeing, first with COVID and now "racism" again, is some of them most alienating stuff I've encountered in my lifetime.
Sorry for having an independent mind. Does no one think independently anymore?


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Refund and reform, a resident of Evergreen Park,
on Jun 10, 2020 at 5:34 am

Refund and reform.

Violent crime is down for two plus decades. Cops have not thrown out the bad apples in their midst, despite having decades to do so since Rodney King.

Refund and reform.

Police unions gotta go.

Refund and reform.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Resident2, a resident of College Terrace,
on Jun 10, 2020 at 6:47 am

>Sorry for having an independent mind.
>Does no one think independently anymore?

Sure, sure, sure...you sure do have an independent mind and no one other than you thinks independently.

>I support the police 100 percent.
That alone confirms how "independent" your thinking is.
To support "100 percent" an entity that is made of many individuals, some good and professional, some not, indeed says a lot about you.

You can drink that orange-colored koolaid and join your leader in pretending everything is "great" or "terrible", those that don't agree with you are "losers" or "tiny" or "lying"...and take pride in how smart you are with your independent thinking. The discussion here is whether PD abuse can happen here, locally and if you have to contribute something, present it...


 +   6 people like this
Posted by NeedDetails, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 10, 2020 at 6:50 am

>Agents and agencies of Los Altos got sued in Federal Court this past week
>for RICO, Conspiracy, etc. An already pending lawsuit in the same
>Court before the same Judge

Why has this not been reported or covered in the PAWeekly? other media?
This seems to be of high relevance and local significance it merits broader coverage.

Diane, can someone from the Weekly get these lawsuits and report on them?


 +   16 people like this
Posted by The Patriot, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jun 10, 2020 at 10:07 am

Though the police tactics may have been extreme (to a certain extent), they were merely precautionary measures in an effort to preserve the American way of life.

We do not need anarchists and/or other troublemakers disrupting our society. While the right to assembly is ensured by our Bill of Rights, this privilege should not be extended towards those seeking to destroy traditional American values and laws (aka treason), especially when there is a potential for violence.

Fortunately, the so-called 'anarchists' cited in Ms. Diamond's reportage were of the atypical 'all talk and no action' type but things could have gotten worse had there been a hard-core element of subversives involved.

An ounce of prevention is still worth a pound of cure and while American society has yet to find a cure for many of its social ills, having the local police monitoring a potentially volatile scenario is reassuring to countless law abiding citizens who actually enjoy and prefer living in America.

For those who cannot accept and/or appreciate what this nation has to offer, there are other countries to live or reside. Go try and build a utopia somewhere else.

The last time I checked, there are still more people wanting and trying to settle in America than expatriates leaving the USA in search of their delusional Shangri La.

This in itself speaks volumes.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by officious, a resident of Greater Miranda,
on Jun 10, 2020 at 10:15 am

"may have been extreme (to a certain extent)"

The world has a 8 minute, 45 second video for you to see.


 +   11 people like this
Posted by The Patriot, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jun 10, 2020 at 10:24 am

QUOTE: "may have been extreme (to a certain extent)"
The world has a 8 minute, 45 second video for you to see.

^^ I was referring to Ms. Diamond's Lytton Plaza account not the George Floyd incident.

Race relations between our nation's police departments and people of color needs to be vastly improved and sweeping police reforms should be mandated. That goes without saying.

On the other hand, violent and disruptive anarchists seeking to destroy our country should be curtailed by any means possible.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Patriot2, a resident of Charleston Gardens,
on Jun 10, 2020 at 10:52 am

>For those who cannot accept and/or appreciate what this nation has to offer,
> there are other countries to live or reside.

Ahh, that old "love it or leave it" gambit!
Patriot ought to realize those protesting accept and appreciate what the Cohstitution offers...and expect and demand the country abide by that Constitution: liberty and justice FOR ALL. A right to protest. A right to free expression.
IT is the very likes of Patriot that are unpatriotic...requiring those that demand their rights go to "other countries", teargas peaceful protestors (including young children) so their leader can emerge from his bunker and pose with a Bible, support those that shove elderly protestors to the ground and leave them bleeding and later accuse them of being terrorists...

>Go try and build a utopia somewhere else.
No, Patriot. We will stay here. You [portion removed] can go and build your "utopia" somewhere else.


 +   13 people like this
Posted by Precision, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jun 10, 2020 at 11:10 am

Diana Diamond wrote: "I saw this overwhelming number of police suddenly in my downtown. I feared they were going to overtake our city."

Fine, a personal reaction. Though you also explained that "a group of anarchists" (50 to 800) was expected -- possible big trouble -- I remember Seattle's earlier anarchist riots, the reports of training camps -- so presumaby you also contemplated *that* group overtaking the city, and knew the police to be a reaction and protection.

"I asked one of the policemen to direct me to an officer in charge, showing him my press badge, including one from the sheriff's office. 'Lady, get back immediately and get behind that line,' he told me. 'But I want to talk to your leader to see why there are so many of you out here,' I replied. 'Get back or I will have you arrested,' he yelled, as he raised his rifle."

It doesn't occur to you that one journalist's sense of entitlement wasn't the sole factor then in play? That the policeman might be correctly, legally, morally, expressing priorities in a high-stress moment?

"When I saw the police in full gear go after the peaceful protesters at Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., to clear the square so President Trump could walk to a church for a photo-op. . ."

You could be objective enough to acknowledge that your "peaceful protesters" torched that church the night before; that the Attorney General has stated the plan to move protesters from the area resulted on the night of the arson; and that the President did a photo-op after protesters were cleared. The "so-that" causality narrative is a significant assumption, mostly by highly partisan writers. I don't much like Trump; but stepping back a little, it's unclear whether the obsessive contempt for him will ultimately serve or harm those in its grip.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by encyclopedia salesman, a resident of Midtown,
on Jun 10, 2020 at 11:27 am

"your "peaceful protesters" torched that church"

False frame. A criminal torched it, not the peaceful protesters.

Then an impeached president held up a Bible, upside down, for a photo that looks like a salesman hawking encyclopedias...


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Precision2, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 10, 2020 at 11:28 am

>the Attorney General has stated ...the President did a photo-op after
>protesters were cleared.

"Precision" would do justice to his moniker by also admitting the innumerable questions concerning the AG's independence and his also innumerable breaches of duty to the country and Constitution in deploying his office's powers to assist his leader.

FYI...an independent Federal judge just blasted that very AG and his office for their attempt to subvert the law and the Constitution in the Flynn matter.

We need to be more careful in justifying extra-constitutional acts on the basis they originated from the offices associated with the current administration.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by The Patriot, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jun 10, 2020 at 12:03 pm

QOUTE: "No, Patriot. We will stay here. You and your white supremacist cohorts can go and build your "utopia" somewhere else."

^ Blindly calling someone a 'white supremacist' because they are against anarchy would be as simple-minded as my calling you a left-wing antagonist subversive which I (hopefully) assume you are not.

As far as your 'love it or leave it' axiom, why bother sticking around if one's perception of their environment is so unbearable.

People move/relocate all the time, to other cities, states and countries.

Sometimes a change of scenery can be very therapeutic. That's one of the primary reasons America is such a diverse country.

With the exception of those descended from African slaves, our nation's immigrant base either couldn't stand or detested their original countries of origin while others immigrated for presumed economic opportunities.

Ingrates and anarchists need not apply and should get lost.





 +   6 people like this
Posted by Patriot2, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 10, 2020 at 12:20 pm

>With the exception of those descended from African slaves, our nation's >immigrant base either couldn't stand or detested their original countries
> of origin while others immigrated for presumed economic opportunities.

Sure, after the assorted Exclusion Acts kept them out while Patriot's lineage was allowed in. To which Patriot was grateful for, presumably.

Ranting on about "anarchists" (who are a very small part of those protesting) in an attempt to tar and dismiss all those protesting is not going to work...if anything it only serves to fortify those demanding equal treatment, equal justice, and accountability for those who abuse the rights granted us by the Constitution. Patriot and his brethren claiming to speak about being patriotic while abusing the very Constitution need to do what he recommends others: "get lost."


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Carl Jones, a resident of Palo Verde,
on Jun 10, 2020 at 12:20 pm

Back to the police issue, please.
Not all police are bad. Just as not all protesters are bad.

But from the evidence that I see, there are too many bad police and their acts are becoming more and more egregious. They are eroding the respect and support that a citizenry wants to give to their police, but who are finding it harder and harder to do so.

This would be a correctable situation if those police were held accountable for their actions and suffered appropriate consequences - reprimand, suspension, firing, arrest, conviction, imprisonment. Unfortunately, this is not happening at any sufficient level or degree. There is insufficient likelihood of punishment to cause those potentially 'bad apple' police to self-moderate their actions or leave the police force. (See NPR Web Link or Search: "police qualified immunity supreme court" for many current articles of the issue).

Finally, I have no bias against the Palo Alto Police. I have attended the Police Citizens Academy and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about the operations of our police force and what it means to be a member. I have no wish to 'punish' our police force. That being said, I think that The City of Palo Alto should adopt all 8 policies outlined at 8Can'tWait Web Link. Let's have Palo Alto (citizens and police) join other cities to show that we are not merely talking, but are taking concrete steps to reduce the possibility that something might happen here.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by The Patriot, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jun 10, 2020 at 1:37 pm

QUOTE: "Ranting on about "anarchists" (who are a very small part of those protesting) in an attempt to tar and dismiss all those protesting is not going to work.."

^ Concurring...which is why POTUS45's fears & diatribes are unfounded to a certain extent.
The anarchists represent but a small number of cowardly malcontents using the peaceful protest movement (as well as the Constitution) to advance their agenda of disruption & violence .

Ironically...had POTUS45 adhered to CDC public health guidelines regarding the potentially dangerous spread of COVID-19 by federally mandating their SIP and safe distancing recommendations, he could have curtailed many of the mass civil protests (including the rioting and lootings).

Then only the true anarchists would have defied these public health measures and their losses would have been no real loss.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by The Patriot, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jun 10, 2020 at 2:35 pm

QUOTE: "This would be a correctable situation if those police were held accountable for their actions and suffered appropriate consequences - reprimand, suspension, firing, arrest, conviction, imprisonment. Unfortunately, this is not happening at any sufficient level or degree. "

^ Blame the powerful police associations and unions who not only buy politicians via their lobbying efforts but who also negatively impact comprehensive police misconduct investigations via the use of biased arbitrators.

Bad cops and disruptive/destructive anarchists should all be run out of town.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Precision, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jun 10, 2020 at 3:41 pm

Posted by "encyclopedia salesman:" '"your 'peaceful protesters' torched that church" / False frame. A criminal torched it, not the peaceful protesters.'

Willful irrelevant obfuscation. (Any mob becomes "peaceful protesters" as long as you ignore the ones who aren't peaceful.)

Sunday night: Mob at historic church. Church vandalized.

Monday night: Mob kept away from church. No further vandalism. QED.

On Monday night (the event Diana brought up), MSM video also shows numerous "peaceful protesters" throwing objects at police who were ordering them to move away. In many jurisdictions that's a felony. Diana logically should praise those riot cops for their restraint. Within Diana's own lifetime, they routinely answered such riots by breaking heads and shooting people with shotguns.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Refund and reform, a resident of Evergreen Park,
on Jun 10, 2020 at 4:20 pm

> throwing objects at police

Police? They were unmarked, weren't they? BOP thugs, perhaps?

Which video are you talking about? Link please.

-------

Police unions gotta go.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Precision2, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 11, 2020 at 6:52 am

>Any mob becomes "peaceful protesters" as long as you ignore the ones
>who aren't peaceful.
Ok, I get that.
Any PD "protects and serves" as long as you ignore the ones that neither protect nor serve (esp the minorities). Right?
What do you make of them, Precision?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Precision2, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 11, 2020 at 10:42 am

>Sunday night: Mob at historic church. Church vandalized.
>Monday night: Mob kept away from church. No further vandalism. QED.

"Mob kept away" through Trump's perversion of the Constitution involving the National Guard and military. For which Gen Milley has apologized, after several days of agonizing. His apology says enough about whether it was a "mob" and whether the tactics to "keep them away" were warranted and even allowed by the Constitution. QED.

[Portion removed.] How about this instead?

One night: Black with counterfeit $20 bill. Knees to his neck. He couldn't breathe. Knee kept in position until he stopped breathing.

Next night: No further counterfeit #20 bills from blacks (or minorities). QED.

Never mind the fact that whites with counterfeit bills don't experience knees to their necks, aren't murdered in broad daylight by those in uniform and acting under state-sanctioned authority.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Cheryl Lilienstein, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jun 11, 2020 at 2:28 pm

Cheryl Lilienstein is a registered user.

Please read this, and consider your tax money at work:

Web Link

And listen to this from Paul Butler, Georgetown Law Professor, former prosecutor, now supports prison abolition

from VOX podcast
The Ezra Klein Show
A former prosecutor's case for prison abolition
Paul Butler on how our criminal justice system is broken " and how to fix it


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest,
on Jun 11, 2020 at 4:23 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

In order to recognize and enhance the professionalism of police officers I urge that the Professional Peace Officers Training, Recognition and Licensure Act that shall provide assistance to the States to:

1- Enhance individual and departmental training in non-violent methods of arrest and detention
2- Recognize Best Practices on a nationwide basis
3 - Develop and implement State licensure programs for those peace officers that complete a formal State administered qualification and training program which includes a probationary period of active service and which then grants a State license to serve as a Registered Peace Officer in that State.
4 - Develop and administer a Continuing Education Program that Registered Peace Officers must complete on an annual basis to retain their State license.
5 - Establish a National Registry of Registered Police Officers that includes information on both recurrent training and disciplinary actions.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by demilitarize, a resident of Greenmeadow,
on Jun 11, 2020 at 4:53 pm

"Recognize Best Practices"

Says everyone who ever ran out of bullet-point ideas.

How about: demilitarize the police?


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest,
on Jun 11, 2020 at 6:00 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Recognizing Best Practices is a much more effective way of accomplishing change than are negative exhortations.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by What?, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks,
on Jun 11, 2020 at 11:19 pm

What are you talking about Peter? More social services may be needed but CPS and the rest are a failure. Their work product is a mess. Their documentation and process are inadequate. Their staff and training are poor. If you complain about police oversight then look into their policy. Less talking and more research. Look into it and listen. Make change but make better change. Don't spend money and resources on aYugo. Mental health treatment is a part time affair. Some people need long term care. That is undermined by competing interests. The mental health system is not working. No one can say that it does. It's also a constitutional issue that may need to be resolved.

Nationalizing aspectS of a local police department Takes local control away from the citizens.

The licensing blather is uninformed. Where did you cut and paste this stuff from. You are completely out of your element. See what California has in place first and post something relevant to the local communities and California. There are standards and if the voters want change then change. But understand what is in place first and make change intelligently.

But remember you live in Atherton you are far removed from reality


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest,
on Jun 12, 2020 at 8:45 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

What? - please read what I posted more carefully.

I live in Menlo Park - not Atherton. And I was a Palo Alto resident for over a decade.

I am proposing State standards - NOT National Standards.

California licenses MDs, lawyers, barbers, morticians and beauticians - why not Peace Officers?

The police are neither well trained or properly utilized to provide mental health services.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by The Patriot, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jun 12, 2020 at 9:38 am

> "In order to recognize and enhance the professionalism of police officers I urge that the Professional Peace Officers Training, Recognition and Licensure Act..."

>> "Recognizing Best Practices is a much more effective way of accomplishing change than are negative exhortations."

^ A step in the right direction BUT a purely advisory and certification measure that excludes mandatory provisions for the prosecution and imprisonment of any law enforcement officer exercising unnecessary/undue force and the deprivation of civil rights is a TOOTHLESS concept.

There are many 'recommended' guidelines already in place at various law enforcement agencies on both the municipal and county levels but the individual departments have the OPTION of either adhering to these guidelines or disregarding them altogether.

The various police associations/unions play an active role in this decision and they also have a powerful lobbying impact in the state legislatures.

While defunding police departments is both an impractical and idealistic concept, the KEY is to 'clip the wings' of offending police officers and PDs by eliminating the police associations and unions who endorse and promote unlawful/unwarranted police actions.

The EXCEPTIONS would include the use of police force in the event a suspect is armed and shooting at them and/or subduing anarchists destroying public/private property and endangering the lives of others.




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Posted by The Watchmen, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jun 12, 2020 at 6:53 pm

Its pretty easy to test how your police will react in a situation. Put them in a situation. Imagine if the Mayor of Palo Alto had a classmate from UC Berkeley that was Black and this happened to his Black classmate. It almost did happen which is why the current Mayor should not play games and stop looking for a use of big force solution. The police trailed me to my home because they said I fit the description of a guy with a gun. I was driving a light green Prius (lol) The female officer pulled up in front and another care pulled behind. The female jump out of her car and took one look at me and just turned around and got back in her car. I told the guy in the other car I live here. I sound like a corny white dude honestly which probably saved my life. He said, "You fit the description of a guy with a gun in a Prius." I am thinking I should just get a low rider with juice!

Another situation 4 police officers (two in plain clothes) in a unmarked car drove slowly passed my home, as I was putting out the garbage, after I purchased it. Police officers never make eye contact as far as I know. These guys did so I went to the station and told the dispatch officer, I bought this home and I don't want any trouble with these guys. She didn't reply. Maybe, they are gone! Protesters, Anarchist, looters are protesting a problem. If there wasn't a problem they would NOT be protesting.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by The Patriot, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jun 13, 2020 at 8:54 am

> "Its pretty easy to TEST how your police will react in a situation. "

^ Atypically PREDICTABLE and potentially confrontational depending upon the ethnicity of the offender...regardless of the offense per se.


>>"Protesters, Anarchist, looters are protesting a problem. If there wasn't a problem they would NOT be protesting."

^ Concurring (with the exception of the ANARCHISTS). Peaceful protests, looting and rioting come with the territory whenever there is unresolved racially motivated police brutality and unwarranted police killings. History is merely repeating itself.

The issue (or problem) with anarchists is that they are actively seeking to destroy American society as a whole and they often use protest gatherings to further promote their non-constructive and counterproductive agendas.



 +   1 person likes this
Posted by staying home, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 13, 2020 at 1:42 pm

staying home is a registered user.

Curious why the people protesting are characterized as "anarchists"? De-funding the police is a far cry from dissolving the government. I know lots of people protesting (parents, high school students, young adults) and none of them are anarchists. Yes, they want change and diverting police funds to social programs is absolutely one of them. Protesting for change is a far cry from calling for anarchy. By calling the protesters anarchists you are dismissing what real the issue is: systematic racial inequality.



 +   2 people like this
Posted by The Patrioy, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jun 13, 2020 at 2:53 pm

> "Curious why the people protesting are characterized as "anarchists"?
...Protesting for change is a far cry from calling for anarchy. By calling the protesters anarchists you are dismissing what real the issue is: systematic racial inequality."

^ You are absolutely correct in your assessment as there are distinct differences between the peaceful protestors, the looters and the RIOTERS (some of whom represent the 'anarchists').

Only the truly ignorant cannot tell the difference as many anarchists are striving to deliver their message via destruction and violence...using the Twin City police murder of George Floyd as a catalyst.

These particular individuals need to be arrested and either imprisoned or deported.

Guantanamo Bay still has some vacancies and there is always the Sahara Desert.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by The Patriot, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jun 13, 2020 at 3:01 pm

TYPO: The Patrioy > The Patriot

Hopefully POTUS45 will eventually see the light & strive to unite rather than further divide our nation...highly unlikely but there is always November 3rd.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jun 26, 2020 at 8:08 pm

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

Two weeks later the PAPD and lawyers released video of the alleged beating of a Palo Alto resident by a police officer, at Happy Donuts. And I therefore change my opinion and to me it looks like criminal behavior that could lead to the termination of the officer and cancelling of his pension.


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