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Wed Jun 10 2009 (Updated 06/13/09) Police in San José Chastised for Attempts To Quash Public Criticism
San José Police Target Anti-Profiling Activists On May 5 at a San José City Council Meeting, Raj Jayadev, founder of the watchdog group Silicon Valley deBug, spoke about the deteriorating trust between the San José Police Department and the people of San Jose. In his testimony he called for greater citizen oversight of the San Jose Police Department.

The San José Police Officers Association (SJPOA) took a copy of Mr. Jayadev's official recorded testimony and had their way with it. Specifically, they turned it over to a PR firm they have hired to discredit critics of the police department. That group produced an altered version of the video for the SJPOA website. The altered video attempts to attack Raj Jayadev's credibility, making snide comments about his clothing and use of colloquial language, and adding in quotes from City Council members taken out of context.

On June 8, two City Council members, Sam Liccardo and Ash Kalra, quickly denounced inflammatory statements as well as the video on the police union website. The Council members noted that activist Raj Jayadev's testimony was incorrectly characterized as a threat, and signed a letter stating that, "First Amendment freedoms may be chilled when dissent is characterized as threats". Community activists are calling on Police Chief Rob Davis, Mayor Chuck Reed and the rest of the city council to join in disavowing the police union's response to its critics.

Read more | Council Members Take Police to Task for Targeting Activists | Complete Text of Council Members' Letter | Silicon Valley deBug

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