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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Drug War

Jabberwock Busted?
by Robert Norse
Sunday Apr 3rd, 2011 6:42 AM
I've received a 2nd hand report that Jabberwock--the musical instrument and head shop on Cathcart near Pacific--was busted by the SCPD on Friday afternoon with a grand haul of a small amount (from .5 to 4 oz.) of marijuana from a group that had medical marijuana cards taking a break. Please post any information you may have about this local Drug War activity by the SCPD, which--if it happened as reported-- ay violate both Measure K (Marijuana as Lowest Enforcement Priority) and Proposition 215 (right of medical marijuana patients to possess and use marijuana).
A local last night advised me that around 4:20 PM, 5 or more police raided the Jabberwock store on Cathcart between Cedar and Pacific. He said he was not a direct witness but spoke to someone who had been at the store.

According to "Wolf", the store experienced a serious break-in by several teenagers in the last month or so. Police caught the two and then used "information" from them to stage a bust Friday afternoon. Wolf reported they seized a small quantity of marijuana. He didn't say if there were any arrests.

I'll be playing his account today on Free Radio Santa Cruz.

The Jabberwock store, next to Tacqueria Vallarta, seems to have a tolerant management. There's often a group of street folks hanging out in front. It's not easy to find on line.

The SCPD's CrimeMapping website doesn't mention any such bust. Nor has any account appeared in the Sentinel.
§More After Talking With Some Folks at Jabberwalk
by Robert Norse Monday Apr 4th, 2011 9:30 AM
Jabberwock's address is 1101 Pacific, though it's entrance is on Cathcart. The SCPD Crime map has an entry: "Drugs/Alcohol Violations Case Number: 11S-02556 Date: 3/31/2011 9:42 AM Location: 1100 Block Pacific Av Description: Furnish/Etc Minor With Marijuana", however the police raid was on the afternoon of Friday, April 1st according to the owner. So it's unclear whether this reference is to the raid.

I spoke with the owner and others there yesterday. According to their accounts, there was a major break-in several weeks back by two youths. Police did little to find them, but the store owner and workers, through their network of friends and reports from sympathizers, were able to identify the youths. When police picked them up, they claimed apparently that the management was smoking marijuana with under-18 folks, and selling bongs to them.

The folks at Jabberwock suggested this sounded like a story the youths told in order to get a better deal because they'd stolen $4000 plus worth of merchandise after breaking into the store at night.

Five cops then reportedly pounded on the door Friday afternoon, with a search warrant. They also called the owner who was at home and demanded she come down. In subsequent interrogation, witnesses reported she was threatened with "being taken down to the station," having her home searched, unless she "cooperated" (by continuing conversation with her that they had no right to demand). The result of all this apparent abuse was reportedly four grams of marijuana.

Witnesses further reported they threatened people there with "being taken down to the station", misinformed them that they "had to talk", repeatedly interrogated them with threats and accusations, and ended up writing two minors tickets for being in possession of marijuana (though not the store's or the owner's). The owner was given a felony citation for selling to minors--apparently on the testimony of the two youths accused of breaking into her store.

The landlord has responded by apparently breaking the owner's lease and demanding she stop selling all glassware, though thelease has a year and a half to run. In response the owner seems to be panicking--selling everything and planning to discontinue her business. She has three children to raise and now what appears to be a bogus legal case to fight.

Under such circumstances it's tempting for her to believe that the whole thing shouldn't be fought, but simply "negotiated" (i.e. plea-bargained) away. This may be her current attitude.

Jabberwock has seemed to be a really customer-friendly 60-'s era place in a town where police apparently are still hepped up on the Drug War against marijuana. The officer in charge of what the witnesses described as abusive interrogation was Officer B. Clark, who, witnesses said, also reportedly failed to conduct an effective investigation into the earlier break-in's after being initially interested.

Jabberwock, both inside and on the sidewalk outside, has also been an area where counter-culture people can gather in relative safety with some relief from the oppressive Downtown Ordinances and socialize. Or so it's appeared when I've passed by.

She needs strong community and legal support. Folks who supported Sub Rosa, should consider likewise doing a benefit for her and giving her some strength. This appears to me to be a right-wing ideological police attack (netting less than an oz of grass on the dubious testimony of two youths).

If the accounts I've heard are true, it appears that police used what may be standard techniques of lying to witnesses that the other had "confessed", insisting they were obliged to talk without giving them Miranda warnings, and abusively interrogating minors without adults or guardians present. This raid was apparently led by B. Clark, the same cop who reportedly did little follow-up on the earlier break-in.

The felony charge against the owner for "furnishing marijuana to a minor" may be an attempt to cover up a bungled and costly Drug War raid to prevent a civil law suit. When I spoke to her the owner was upset and without a lawyer.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Zach W
Sunday Apr 3rd, 2011 10:35 AM
I've also received a 2nd hand report that Jabberwock was busted by SCPD. My source is a trusted friend, and he watched briefly as the events occurred. From what I've gathered the "bust" took place Friday afternoon and involved six or more uniformed police. I also have searched for crime reports to no avail. However, I must say I'm not one bit surprised there was a police presence at Jabberwok. They were very lax concerning rules pertaining to the 18 and over section. Also, last time I went there kids were acting as if they worked or lived there running a muck between the crystals and bongs.
by Gary
Monday Apr 4th, 2011 11:27 AM
How can you say that the police did little to find them and then immediately say that the police worked their resources and then found them?
by R. Norse
Monday Apr 4th, 2011 2:01 PM
According to the owner, it was her and her staff who did the research and identified the perps. Clark didn't even remain in contact or return calls, she said.
by Finch M.
Monday Apr 4th, 2011 11:04 PM
The owner found the culprits because they were showing off their new pipes all over town, and trying to sell some. An awful lot of downtown regulars know Jabberwock and are loyal to its really positive presence in town. They tipped off the owner, going so far as to send her cell phone pictures of the kids who did it. According to the owner, one of the thieves walked right into her shop days later, and she recognized him from the pictures she had been sent. So no, the cops didn't help her track down anyone.
From the horse's mouth herself.