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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Police State and Prisons

DRAFT POLICY ON POLICE SPYING
by Just Us
Wednesday Mar 29th, 2006 2:29 AM
It is the policy of the Santa Cruz Police Department to ensure that the First Amendment rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution are protected for all individuals and to permit police involvement in the exercise of those rights only to the extent necessary to provide fir the legitimate needs of law enforcement in investigating criminal activity.

This is the policy we drafted for the Santa Cruz City Council. This is a vast improvement over Chief Skerry's hastily thrown together one-page policy that provides no protection for people's civil rights. This policy, based on the San Francisco Police Department's policy dealing with First Amendment Activities, provides:

* Explicit protections for First Amendment activities
* Definition of first amendment activities
* Limits on police powers regarding first amendment activities
* Steps the police have to take before considering monitoring a group
* Rules of conduct
* An auditing requirement (we've seen what happens when the police police themselves)

At this point, we need to tell the city council and it's public safety committee that we insist that they direct staff to adopt the draft and create a policy protecting people's civil liberties. See you on Wednesday at 6pm

EXCERPT:

GUIDELINES FOR FIRST AMENDMENT ACTIVITIES

610.1 Statement Of Principles

A. GENERAL POLICY. It is the policy of the Santa Cruz Police Department to ensure that the First Amendment rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution are protected for all individuals and to permit police involvement in the exercise of those rights only to the extent necessary to provide fir the legitimate needs of law enforcement in investigating criminal activity.


. . .

610.2 Definitions

A. First Amendment Activity: All speech associations and/or conduct protected by the First Amendment and/or California Constitution Article I, section 2 (Freedom of Speech) and/or Article 3 (Right to Assemble and Petition the Government, including but not limited to expression, advocacy, association or participation in expressive conduct to further any political or social opinion or religious belief.)

1. Examples. First Amendment Activity includes speaking, meeting, writing, or other expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment, including assemblies such as demonstrations, rallies, parades, marches, picket lines, or other similar gathering conducted for the purpose of persons expressing their political, social, or religious views.