Santa Cruz IMC
Santa Cruz IMC
Indybay Regions North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area California United States International Americas Haiti Iraq Palestine Afghanistan
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
SCRUZ: 4th Anniv Protest of Cop Murder of Happy John Dine
by Edison Carter / Network 23 (ecarter [at]
Saturday Nov 17th, 2001 1:12 AM
Interviews with activists protesting on the 4th anniversary of the fatal police shooting of activist Happy John Dine in Santa Cruz.
Video, 13mins 28k / 56k / 128k
Copy the code below to embed this movie into a web page:
Wow. This video brings it all back, ten years later. Art Danner is dead. Connor Carey left the SCPD and worked elsewhere but has now returned and it back on the force. Chief Belcher has retired. Carey is a SCPD hometown boy who knew best friend, Ben Newman, the person who caused Dine's death, from their days at Mission Hill Junior High School. HUFF members, Robert Norse and myself interviewed witnesses who told us that Newman had had words with Dine earlier in the day. He had banned Dine from BEING on the sidewalk in front of the Catalyst Night Club where Blue Oyster Cult were playing that night.

Carey had testified that there were a HUGE number of people present that night in downtown Santa Cruz. HUFF has previously reported that it is a police practice to sweep undesirables off the sidewalk before large events which attract a lot of tourists or shoppers. Dine, who was not homeless at the time, but living in a group home in Live Oak, would ride the bus downtown every day with his $2.00 and stay as long as he possible could until he had to take the bus back to the home or break curfew there. He would often panhandle.

He said the word "Happy" a lot. It was like a stutter for him. He had been homeless for quite awhile before he was placed in the group home. He LOOKED homeless. He certainly was poor. He was every bit as weird as the Pink Umbrella man is downtown Santa Cruz. He dressed as though he was still at the Summer of Love in 1968 with rainbow tie-dyes, a bandana around his forehead. And urging us all to "have a Happy Happy Day, man!! Have a Happy Day!"

According to our witness, Martin Over had continued to harass Dine in the weeks prior to his death. So had Newman. Our witness said that Newman had banned Dine from BEING on the sidewalk for an entire block -- from Cathcart to Elm St. Our witness didn't say if Newman had threatened Dine with physical violence or not. Dine had recently been banned from catching the bus at the Metro Bus Station. That is why he was on the corner of Front and Soquel Ave. It was the only place he was allowed to be, and the authorities knew it.

The day of Happy John Dine's killing, Conner Carey was interviewed at the District Attorney's office by various members of the Sheriff's Department. The transcript of those interviews had been placed in the public library by Mayor Celia Scott at the request of HUFF. After he was interviewed by the Sherriff's office, he spent the entire day in confession with Father Mike Marini. Marini's family owns Marini's Ice Cream on Pacific Ave. as well as the one at the Boardwalk.

The Citizens Police Review Board DID review the case. They exonerated Carey. They said that if Dine had been pointing a toy gun at Carey, OR reaching for a toy gun, then it was reasonable for Carey to shoot him. They made no mention of the fact that Chief Belcher and DA Art Danner had both said continuously to the public and the press that Dine had POINTED A REALISTIC TOY GUN at Carey necessitating the shooting.

Perhaps DA Bob Lee will reopen the case. The ball is in his court now.
by DM
It wasn't Blue Oyster Cult that night. It was Pearl Jam that night at The Catalyst. I was standing in line on the sidewalk in front. The bouncer was giving Happy John a hard time and John was visibly upset (the only time I've not seen him happy). He walked past me and I didn't watch where he went, but less than 10 minutes later, I heard the gunshots.

I also think you meant to say at the end with your capital letters that he NEVER pointed a realistic gun or any such thing warranting getting shot.
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!


Donate Now!

$ 140.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.


Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network