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From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Tue Feb 14 2006Investigation Reveals More Santa Cruz Police Department Spying
Tue Feb 14 2006Details From SCPD Infiltration Were Shared With Outside Agencies
Santa Cruz, CA, February 14th, 2006: Police Auditor Bob Aaronson rejected the results of the Santa Cruz Police Department’s investigation of its own behavior in the Parade Spying Scandal. Heading the investigation into police spying was Deputy Chief Kevin Vogel who, according to public records obtained by the ACLU, was the officer who ordered the undercover infiltration. Predictably, the police cleared themselves of any wrong-doing. Additionally the report attempted to make the case that the spying, while legally questionable, was expedient and useful.
Aaronson, in a letter to Council (.pdf) circulated at Monday's Public Safety Committee meeting, said the investigation "is incomplete and flawed for a very predictable reason. It violates one of the most basic investigative precepts by having been compiled and written by the very individual whose decisions are and should be under investigative scrutiny." He went on to say, "I am surprised and disappointed that he was assigned to that task."
Details of the 600-page report , released to the public Friday, reveal a pattern of abuses, including spying on parade organizers, spying on other unrelated groups and first amendment activities, and profiling organizers and other unrelated people. Officers posing as parade planners gathered information about the planned peaceful protest against virgin forest destruction by Victoria’s Secret and relayed this information to Capitola Police. On the date of the protest, dozens of officers denied protesters entrance to the mall. Infiltrators also gathered information about Art & Revolution's “Anti-Corporate Christmas Caroling” on Pacific Ave. and monitored the group's activities at the event. Read more
Audio: FSRN: SCPD Internal Probe of Surveillance Rejected
Photos: Just Us Voicing Our Concerns to Santa Cruz's Public Safety Committee