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Homophobic Police Assault In Santa Cruz
The following is a letter of protest sent to the Santa Cruz City Council for the
Santa Cruz City Council,
I am writing to protest the assault and false arrest carried out against Shane
(Tammy) Maxfield by Santa Cruz Police Officer Brierly. A description of that arrest
from an eyewitness follows this letter.
You as the City Council are the boss of the police and hold direct responsibility
for the outrageous violations of civil liberties that are routinely carried out by
your police department.
Yours is a police a department that has been successfully sued for its violations of
free speech rights, a department that has violently broken up a protest against the
war in Yugoslavia, a department that purposely targets activists for harassment,
brutality and false arrests, a department that murdered activist John Dine in cold
blood, a department that has been caught spying on and infiltrating anti-war
organizations, a department that purposely targets the poorest of the poor for
harassment, brutality and false arrests under the direct orders of the anti-homeless
laws that you as a City Council have passed, a police department that targeted the
Blue Lagoon, a gay bar, for special homophobic treatment eventually costing the City
in a settlement of well over a million dollars.
The homophobic hate crime that Officer Brierly has now carried out against Shane
(Tammy) Maxfield is just one in a long list of crimes carried out by your police
department. Your encouragement of past crimes has led directly to this most recent
one. The Santa Cruz Police department is sending out a strong message that Santa
Cruz is not safe for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender community and that
the City no longer wants their tourism dollars.
I demand that Officer Brierly be immediately fired from the police force for his
hate crime against Shane (Tammy) Maxfield and that Officer Brierly be jailed on the
charge of felony assault for his criminal violence and reckless endangerment of the
life of a person suffering with HIV/AIDS.
Sincerely, Steven Argue
Letters of protest can be sent to:
City Council: citycouncil [at] ci.santa-cruz.ca.us
Cynthia Mathews: cmathews [at] ci.santa-cruz.ca.us
Ryan Coonerty: rcoonerty [at] ci.santa-cruz.ca.us
Emily Reilly: ereilly [at] ci.santa-cruz.ca.us
Tim Fitzemauric: tfitzmaurice [at] ci.santa-cruz.ca.us
Tony Madrigal: tmadrigal [at] ci.santa-cruz.ca.us
Ed Porter: eporter [at] ci.santa-cruz.ca.us
Mike Rotkin: mrotkin [at] ci.santa-cruz.ca.us
Police Auditor: PoliceAuditor [at] ci.santa-cruz.ca.us
Date: Wed, 3 May 2006 16:16:07 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: case #065-04163
To: dao [at] co.santa-cruz.ca.us
District Attorney Bob Lee:
May 3, 2006
I am a witness in the case of Shane(Tammy) Maxfield, case #065-04163. Shane was
handcuffed and forced to sit down against the chainlink fence on Pacific Ave/Church
for "directing traffic." He was actually helping a friend and another witness, David
Bliss jump David's battery to move his van out of the handicapped space.
The officer refused to give me his name and badge number. I begged him twice not to
arrest Shane as he is severely ill with AIDS and has just started a dibilitating HIV
cocktail of Trevada and Sustiva. He laughed at me and said "That's not gonna
happen." I told him Shane might die of stress in jail and he guffawed and shrugged
It was apparent the officer realized he hadn't charged Shane with anything yet as
he pulled Shane up by his coat, slammed him against the fence and forced the top of
Shane's head to barely touch him. He said: "Now I've got you for battery." This was
in full public view of at least 40 witnesses at 1 PM on April 25,2006. Before the
sergeant could take stories from witnesses Shane was put in the police car and taken
to jail. His arraignment is May 15, 2006. The jail personnel were sympathetic and
thought the whole incident ridiculous.
It is a travesty of justice to allow a police officer with NO communication skills
arrest a severely ill man for helping a friend (the van was already jumped and ready
to go when the arresting officer on the beat got there) This officer should be
removed from the police force as he is nothing more than a thug in a uniform. He
is guilty of police brutality, false arrest and battery upon Shane not the other way
This case was immediately reported to the media and is sure to garner public
attention and support. The police on Pacific Ave. appear to be overzealous and
commonly ticket people for such trivial offenses as riding a bike the wrong way down
the street. In addition, the arresting officer in this case, listed on the arrest
report as Brierly, badge # 174, made numerous derogatory remarks about "hippies"
when he tried to prevent more people from stopping to observe the incident.
As summer approaches we need peace officers on Pacific Ave not Neanderthals.
Brierly should be arrested and removed from the police force immediately.