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Watch The Cops As They Watch You
by Tim Rumford
Wednesday Feb 21st, 2007 9:25 AM
The recent crackdown on Homeless in Santa Cruz Ca
On Feb Tuesday 20th I took a drive down the mall on Pacific Ave at 10:30 A.M. There were few people out and stores were just opening. I noticed 4 police cars and several officers on foot all near the corner by Borders. After seeing the recent sweeps of the mall and the actions of some officers, I parked my car and began a quick walk of the mall. It was within 5 minutes that I ran into a fellow named Jeremy. He was standing perfectly legally, obeying all down town ordinances. He was sober and not making a scene. What bothered me was one police man had made it his sole mission to stalk this man, waiting for him to say the wrong thing or break one part of the downtown ordinances -- to step one foot too far to the wall, or approach someone and ask for money within 3 feet, etc. He literally stood 4 – 8 feet behind him looming for 20 minutes. I sat on the bench right next to both of them and said “hi” to the man.

Jeremy explained that for the last 20 minutes, as I had witnessed as I drove in, the officer not only stood right behind him but would follow him everywhere he went. After my short video interview, he proved this by walking 10 or 20 yards and coming back as the officer followed every which way he went and we both sort of laughed at the ridiculousness of the officer’s actions. When the man told me the officer had been and would continue to follow him, the officer looked at me and said “I will.” I did a quick video of Jeremy but was running low on batteries. This is a typical harass you out of town type approach to law enforcement.

I asked Officer Bradley what the man did wrong to warrant an officer being basically assigned to him. “Standing here” said Officer Bradley. I replied “But that is not against the law, what law is he breaking?” I received no answer but was assured he would continue to follow the man. So I walked with him and after 20 yards or so we turned direction and did this a few times, walking in circles, until the officer must have felt a little stupid turning around and around, which was my intent and he gave up.

I talked to the man for a few minutes and passed on all the downtown deadly ordinances to him, although he was pretty well versed in them already - he was interested.

He had offered to allow Officer Bradley to run his name and the officer refused. This is the part that bothers me. We have Officers who work for everyone (in theory) stalking one class of people, in this case breaking no laws, sober, and even offered to let the officer check him for warrants. Two days prior I watched an officer ask a man being arrested “Do you have a job!?”

These crack downs are aimed at the homeless, selectively enforced and criminalize a class of people, and it seems some police don’t care if this is legal or even moral. I will say Officer Bradley did not look very comfortable with his current assignment but he did it any way, and in the end reported something to the downtown hosts. Who gives an Officer an order to stand over LEGAL panhandlers and follow them? It was obvious; with an officer behind him it would ruin his business. But, will it really drive the homeless out of town? Of course it won’t.

One person, who is a friend of mine, received a bike ticked in a large alley he has been driving through for 5 years, where 4 feet is one way. He has been around long enough that they know he is not violent, doesn’t drink or ever caused a single issue downtown. This is his first ticket in 5 years. Of course, my friend is homeless.

These crack downs and sweeps are happening in the mornings or right before the shops open so there is less public eyes on the police and they can cleanse the mall as much as possible before the day begins. Of course they happen at night too but I was struck by the large presence while so few people were around. This allowed an officer to stick on one person, basically to drive them away.

The biggest mistake I see the people making as these sweeps happen is saying way too much while being questioned or arrested and the charges can add up, information will be used against you.

That same day I watched a well dressed tourist or shopper blow his nose onto the sidewalk. Where is a cop when you need one?

People may say, look Jeremy is panhandling, or look, he is unkempt. The question is -- was he breaking the law? The day I see an Officer assigned to a passive tourist in this fashion I will give up writing about such abuses. Laws are for everyone, but this would never happen to a good consumer or a tourist loitering or sitting
§Hassled on the mall
by Tim Rumford Wednesday Feb 21st, 2007 9:25 AM
§Officer Bradley Wasting Your Tax Dollars
by Tim Rumford Wednesday Feb 21st, 2007 9:25 AM
Copy the code below to embed this movie into a web page:
This is a video of appropriate size. I hope it posts. I have had trouble lately.
Copy the code below to embed this movie into a web page:
Today I ran into Jeremy again. He updated me that after I left, the officer returned and continued to follow him and wait for him to do something wrong. A woman driving saw the officer looming over him and stopped as I had. She asked the officer the same basic questions I did and got the same response. But, she did something I did not think of and it worked well. She went and bought three Orange Juices and returned, one for her, one for Jeremy and one for the officer. She then informed the officer if he did not leave, she was calling the cops herself to make a citizens arrest for stalking. At this point the officer had been following Jeremy for over an hour.

I would like to point out that there is a new presence on the mall. Fully uniformed "Peace Officers" they have no guns. Eric Peabody has been very helpful and I have heard nothing but good things from the homeless about him. He is the one the took the time to show Jeremy how to count the sidewalk blocks to make sure he was in compliance. He is a musician. He talks to people, learns there names and says hello to them as he sees people by name. He writes few tickets. I spoke to him at length about this incident. Although he could not tell me much as the other officers orders, they do not come from the same place. He urged me to write or call the officers boss, which I will and report back. I don't not often write nice things about the police or peace officers, but, if all the police acted like him, the mall would be a much better place. I would like to thank him for informing people of the law rather then giving out tickets like candy, asking if the have a job, or stalking one man for doing nothing for an well over an hour.

If the upload works there is a short video Jeremy's 2nd interview. The end got clipped a bit but you here the whole story. The sentence at the end was just that the officer walked away.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Jake Bradley
Wednesday Feb 21st, 2007 3:28 PM
Some may think it is an appropriate use of our tax dollars. Why can't your friend find something constructive to do and add something positive to his community?
by I.C. Kopps
Wednesday Feb 21st, 2007 3:35 PM
I had trouble viewing the clips you put up, so I'm not totally sure, but the cop in the first photo on this post is Sgt. Warren Barry. Is that the same cop that was following Jeremy?
by Kate
Wednesday Feb 21st, 2007 3:45 PM
I just wanted to say I was walking the Mall and witnessed some of this. I know of Tim who wrote this, and saw him, the cop, and what looked like a younger man with the police behind him. I was struck by the scene because it looked like this man who I did assume was homeless had his own police escort.
I wondered myself what he had done and if he had broken the law, why did they not just arrest him. I saw him follow the kid, almost mime him. If it was not so important that this DOES NOT HAPPEN, it would be funny.

With all the newspaper propaganda, I realized it made perfect sense to the officer. Ruin the kids business, make him pissed off enough to do something illegal, which is a tactic I know they use. In essence this Officer was trying to make him do something illegal and, although I am not sure, is that not entrapment? It seems a stalking case could also be made. I work, but even with my crappy job I barley get by. I don't want my tax dollars going to police who spend an hour on one kid who is homeless trying to intimidate him into doing something wrong. I think I would have gone beserk if I was him.

There has to be a better way. How did a few letters of complaint to the City Council cause this type of behaviour from our cops? Who orders a cop to use these tactics? Do we really want a SC like this. Laws are for everyone. Can I stand in front of the theater, when its closed, or is that against the law now and I missed the fucking meeting.
A very pissed off
Kate - PS: I have walked the Mall for 20 years and never been robed, never raped, never had my car broken into. Wake up folks, this is paradise. We need more of the kind of approach this peace officer he mentions takes. There can be a mall for all.
by Oscar G.
Wednesday Feb 21st, 2007 3:52 PM
“Kate - PS: I have walked the Mall for 20 years and never been robed, never raped, never had my car broken into. Wake up folks, this is paradise. We need more of the kind of approach this peace officer he mentions takes.”

That’s good for you, but not everyone can say the same. The completely toss aside the fact that shit like that happens near the Mall is sad.

All this copwatch energy could be better used to help stop crime on women and the weak in our town.
by Tim Rumford
Wednesday Feb 21st, 2007 3:53 PM
Bradley , you may hold the opinion that you want your tax dollars going to one officer to harass one homeless person not breaking the law and following him for an hour, but I think most who saw what I saw would feel its not just a waste of tax money. Its plaint wrong and possibly against the law since he exited when threatened with a call to the police against the officer from a woman driving an SUV.
I do not know Jeremy well, just from my Monday night food program and now this. I do know he was breaking no laws. This is a nation of laws right? We have a right to not have a police officer stalk us for being poor.
by Tim Rumford
Wednesday Feb 21st, 2007 3:56 PM
Yes it is Sgt. Warren Barry who loomed over and followed Jeremy. Thank you for the correction; I meant to make it when I discovered the mistake.
by Kate
Wednesday Feb 21st, 2007 4:11 PM
Of course you don't care about watching the cops because you are not being harassed by them. Should we ignore the poor and homeless women, or are they not weak enough for you? Weak Women. Is a woman weak because she was abused. Is a Teenager weak because he was abused at home and became homeless. Everyone needs to understand the underlying cause of homelessness. I am a woman. I am not homeless, not that makes one ounce of difference. I work used to work with with rape victims, many were homeless.
Are the homeless and poor not weak enough for you?
Laws are for everyone not one class, wake up.
Being homeless is a job and not one you want.
I doubt you could handle it. Not all homeless are causing the problems downtown. What about the drunks from bars? Lack of toilets, etc.
by cp
Wednesday Feb 21st, 2007 9:25 PM
One thing about Santa Cruz that stands in contrast to other towns is that you have to assume that half the people walking in the downtown or beach area do not live locally. The town's economy is based on people from San Jose driving in for the weekend. A segment of people who are out to have fun can be pretty annoying, such as drunks, and don't act like they might back in their own neighborhood at home. So while there are some local residents with behavior disorders, one shouldn't ignore the bad behaviors of the nonhomeless that you can see on weekend nights.

Something that might help are more inexpensive sites for teens on Pacific. I mean, I guess the traffic grid of the town is designed to funnel people from the freeway to Cocoanut grove and back. But on the shopping strip Pacific, there are few inexpensive restaurants other than Taco Bell. Jupiters is a great spot. Personally, I can only deal with about two cafes in the area, although the theaters are nice too. Most clothing stores and restaurants are suitable for someone with a middle class or higher income, or age 30+. Thus the kids stand around on the sidewalks
by Robert Norse
Thursday Feb 22nd, 2007 12:57 AM
Anyone else experienced or observed this kind of stalking--by the Officer in question or other officers locally.

Any interest in doing some copwatch patrols?

I'll be continuing radio discussion of the subject later today on my show 6-8 PM at 101.1 FM. Or if the broadcast stream is down, tune in on the internet at Or report incidents at 831-4233.

The last two archived shows (accessible at under "Bathrobespierre's Broadsides") had numerous interviews about stiffening oppression of poor people outside.
by Becky Johnson
(becky_johnson222 [at] Thursday Feb 22nd, 2007 8:26 AM
Perhaps the new Coonerty-Robinson-Matthews Downtown committee is orchestrating the new Officer Stalking policy? Oh, and when does that committee hold public hearings, BTW?

Apparently the Downtown Merchants (the group Ryan stated publicly that he was ready to meet with and hear what it was that they wanted the city to do) have said that transient panhandlers were their nemesis. And that stationing an officer to stand near a panhandler and wait until they break a law (sit 13' from a building, stand the on concrete lip of the treewell, lean on a tree, ask for change while seated on a park bench, lie down for even half a second, etc...)

Let's face it folks. The real crime wave downtown are all the so-called "crimes" the City Council has passed in the past few years!!

Making hopscotch, blowing bubbles, hackysacking illegal as well as greatly limiting the time, place, and manner for political tabling (Don't forget Mathews "Move-Along" Law!!) The cops can basically write all the tickets they want to and justify an even BIGGER budget.

The violent attacks--knifings and shootings in the past year and a half have largely been from gangs in some kind of conflict with each other ---many were not even from our town!! (remember Halloween 2005?) We DO have a problem with our streets being used as a battlefield for gang wars. We DO have a problem with women and girls being sexually assaulted. We do have a meth problem which triggers both hold ups and burglaries by addicts. But the homeless beggar on Pacific Ave. is NOT the cause of these problems.

The Cops should focus on these problems and not spend a minute being the downtown merchants sidewalk bouncers.
by Birgit
Thursday Feb 22nd, 2007 5:04 PM
By the way, what the poster above was doing in taking the short movies and photos, is something that many of the rest of you should be doing. While most homeless people couldn't do much with a digital camera because of the need of a computer, safe spot to carry it, and batteries, the price of used digital cameras that have the video option on their dial has just plummeted in the past year. Video phones can still be pricey, as far as I understand, but a 3megapixel camera that automatically records .mov or .avi (moving jpegs) is about $40 on Ebay. Memory is also super cheap too. This really rivals a couple tanks of gas, or the printing costs of regular photography.

If you get the smallest yet decent type available, it is no problem to carry your mini-video camera everywhere, and this really changes life, if you think about it. No longer does the situation become one person's word vs. another's.
by Rico
Thursday Feb 22nd, 2007 5:28 PM

I am consistently surprised and troubled when I hear stories of people's interactions with the police. People are largely unaware of their rights and so are less assertive than they should be about protecting themselves. I hear tales of people regularly volunteering their identification for cops to check, letting cops search their bags, etc.

Here is a know your rights flier that I hope will be widely circulated. It was developed with the help of two well known radical lawyers.

Know Your Rights & Resist the Police State

The Know Your Rights information here came directly out of a Free Skool Santa Cruz workshop on the subject. The class used to be called Surviving Police Encounters, but is now more aptly named Resisting the Police State.

We created a Know Your Rights handbill and poster that we hope you'll find useful.

We encourage all of our friends to hang the poster next to the toilet in their co-op houses where we know it will get read.

Here are the PDF versions of the handbill and poster. Please print and distribute widely:

littlefileicon.gif Know Your Rights Handbill (PDF)
littlefileicon.gifKnow Your Rights Poster (PDF)
by potstirrer
Thursday Feb 22nd, 2007 8:48 PM
To Becky Johnson: isn't it possible that some of the "homeless beggars" (your wording; certainly not mine) are on meth? It is as naive to assume that everyone who doesn't have a house is just an innocent victim of police harassment as it is to assume that those same people are always troublemakers. The problem is that the police are using differential enforcement based on appearance.

I agree with the general idea that meth is a HUGE problem. The County Sheriff recently said that 9 out of 10 cases that cross his desk involve meth. I personally am sick of dealing with tweakers on the levee, which I walk on nearly every day. I don't have a problem with the mentally ill; I have a mental illness myself. I don't have a problem with the poor; I live on Social Security Disability. I do have a problem with meth heads, and, unfortunately, some homeless people are also meth heads.

To assume there is NO correspondence AT ALL between the group you describe as "homeless beggars" and the group I describe as "tweakers" is just incorrect, because there is naturally some overlap (just as there is some overlap between the group "students" and the group "tweakers.). Acting like all the people without houses who hang out on the mall are angels doesn't really help the argument about appearance-based differential enforcement.
Until the SCPD releases its stop, citation, and arrest stats, we won't know how many stops are for "sitting too near a building" and how many are far selling or using meth.

I'm not a big fan of throwing more police at consensual drug use (even consensual hard drug use).

If it were happening in front of my house, they tell me, I'd feel differently fast. No doubt.

But regardless of that, the futility of prohibition is a well-known truth. The costs of alcohol prohibition in terms, of blackmarket crime, and contempt for the law outweighed the real but limited reduction in alcohol use.

Using the Drug War as our excuse to intensify the police state downtown is reminiscent of what Bush is doing nationally with the Iraqi/Iran wars.

Why are people letting this happen in Santa Cruz?

The howls of hysteria from the Downtown Neighbors, the Downtown Association, and the Coonerty cabal at City Council is as familiar and cyclic as the tides. Outgoing Mayor Krohn pointed it out in clippings from the 70s, 80s, and 90s--the same howls of alarm (and the same absence of stats).

All the police have to do (as the did in May 2000 to kill the Safe Sleeping Zones) is lay off enforcement of all laws, create an appearance of disorder, then reap the benefit of harsher laws or policies. It happened again the spring of 2002 with the resultant Downtown Ordinance expansion.

It seems to me we'll need a federal injunction like L.A. and Fresno activists obtained. In the meantime, we need to urge people to stand together, stand strong, and peacefully resist abusive police behavior.

Check out the text of the Downtown Ordinances at /newsitems/2007/02/13/18362739.php. Keep a copy in your pocket.

If a policeman starts to write a ticket for a person sitting peacefully against a wall in the rain as one man reported happened two weeks ago, consider sitting down to join that man.

Or stand up and loudly draw public attention to the cruel practice of selectively enforcing laws to move along or jack up the poor. Class profiling has no place here, but will become standard practice unless each of us does what needs to be done to stop it.

The Ordinances were designed to give the merchants veto power on who can use the public spaces downtown. And, like the Sleeping Ban, to drive the homeless out of sight and out of town.

In L.A., San Diego, and Fresno, they're specifically used to clear parts of town for gentrification. Isn't a similar process happening here?
by Tim Rumford
(guitarandpen [at] Saturday Feb 24th, 2007 8:06 AM
Its true, there is a meth problem on the street and more so with the youth. Many come from abusive parents, grew up on Ritalin, etc. etc. In California, it is not against the law to be a runaway. At least it was not when I was a teen. Tech, it is against the law to not go to school, but we do not have a large truancy police presence here. The reasoning behind this is so kids can leave abusive homes.

Now as far as meth, I have seen it destroy many lives and although I am against any law that goes after users, it is a problem. I blame the Meth problem on the Drug War. I have walked this mall since I was 12 and I am 40. When the Reagan's made the infamous "Just say no speech", cocaine dropped about 70% and hit the streets like wildfire. Suddenly it was sometimes more available then harmless pot and even cheaper in some ways. I watched the drug of choice on the mall go from pot and psychedelics to Cocaine and Meth among some groups. I blame the police and the drug war for all of it.

There are better ways to deal with these issues then doing what society has been doing over and over again achieving the same results, the definition of insanity.
I have spoken to many of the youth on meth. Most want to stop, almost all that I have spoken to. I have watched other homeless people help others kick, some even using marijuana to aid in this. This brother and sister helping each other approach to helping someone who EXPRESSES a wish to stop, I have seen work far better then the current programs in place which have never worked well for many people.

If drug addiction is a disease, which every doctor will tell you it is, then we are locking up sick people for being ill.

Not every panhandler is on meth. Not every youth is on Meth. The Majority of the homeless I know are sober.

Panhandling may be annoying, but its LEGAL if done within the guidelines set up by our City Clown Council. For the record, Jeremy thinks anyone who wants to be on the streets homeless is nuts because its a very hard job. I do not necessary agree, some like living without a house. But, my point is, he is trying the only way he knows to survive into a better situation. He was clean, no warrants and obeying all laws taught to him by Service Officer Peabody. What did he get for trying to navigate the draconian laws downtown and stay within the law, a permanent police escort for the day. What a waste.
I have filed an official complaint against the stalking Sgt.

by Tim Rumford
(guitarandpen [at] Saturday Feb 24th, 2007 8:12 AM
Thank you Rico! I agree and have watched too many people handing over their rights, their Ids, and speaking far too much when already under arrest. I attended the free school class and appreciate it. Maybe its time for another.

I also want to say that many homeless rights cases have been won in court due to pictures of abuse by cops, hospital dumping etc. The other poster is correct that cameras are getting cheaper and if put in the hands of the homeless can be an even more powerful tool.

I know of two others who are doing or want to do cop watch. As long as the rights of the homeless are being attacked we must fight back.
by Becky Johnson
(becky_johnson222 [at] Saturday Feb 24th, 2007 11:19 AM
POTSTIRRER WRITES: "...isn't it possible that some of the "homeless beggars" (your wording; certainly not mine) are on meth?"

BECKY: Of course. And I am not saying you should give every panhandler who asks for spare change money. But it's wrong to assume that they will ONLY spend the money on alcohol or drugs. When someone asks you for money, you should consider carefully whether that money will go to actually help that person or not. But I certainly don't see anything wrong with giving someone--even a meth addict---food.

Here are the local stats on homeless drug use/abuse via the Homeless Needs Assessment Survey of 2000 from the United Way and the Community Action Board.

There is an alcohol/substance abuse problem among housed people as well as among homeless people.

It's around 10-15%

Those who find themselves newly homeless are composed of an average of 10 - 15% substance abusers. There is little evidence that substance abuse leads to homelessness, contrary to public opinion. The biggest cause of homelessness is high rents vs. low wages.

But once a group of homeless people have been on the streets for four months or so, their substance abuse percentage doubles, for the state of living on the streets without permanent housing is so stressful, that people self-medicate.

But it tops out at about 30%, which means that MOST (at least 2/3) are NOT substance abusers, even after being on the streets awhile.

Conversely, when a homeless person is able to get back into housing, their substance abuse problem is much more easily treated, and the overall percentage goes down.

So calling homeless people "meth heads" is really adding insult to injury. And it's false more often than it's true.

Tell me, Potstirrer. Are your psychic skills so sharp that you KNOW for sure a homeless panhandler won't use the spare change you give them to buy sunscreen, bus change, phone change, a cup of hot coffee, vitamin C, aspirin, kleenex, dental floss, rolaids, or use it to replace the rubber tips on their crutches?

Remember, its a good deed if you can actually help someone. Sometimes giving spare change to a panhandler does not help them. Sometimes it does. In fact. more often than not it does. We have to get over this idea that poor people shouldn't be allowed to have money. Its infuriating that we don't demand that COSTCO assure us that the profits they earn from our purchases will not be used to buy drugs or alcohol (two products which they sell), but we have this double-standard when it comes to poor people.


--- demonization = "crack heads, bums"
--- delegitimization = "transient, unwanted element"
--- double-standards = blaming homeless for litter or urination when tourists and college kids exiting bars are ignored for the same behavior

by potstirrer
Saturday Feb 24th, 2007 4:42 PM
Dear Becky,

Your response to me made it extremely clear that you didn't actually read what I wrote, but instead just went on an unrelated tirade. Nowhere did I say that "homeless beggars" are all meth heads. You, however, in your previous post, seemed to say that NO "homeless beggars" could also be meth heads.

I don't give people change. Not because I have some assumption about what they will use it for, but because I AM POOR. I live on SSI, which is $835 a month, and I don't have Section 8 housing.

Next time you respond, at least do me the favor of actually reading what I write. If you had bothered to read my response to you, you would realize that your subsequent soapbox rant was just preaching to the choir.

I am totally sick and tired of you and Robert Norse acting like you have some sort of mainline to the experience of the poor, because, as far as I know, neither one of you is struggling to find enough money to eat. So, fuck you and your assumptions about me. And yes, I am flaming you, because you are behaving like an idiot.
by David
Saturday Feb 24th, 2007 11:26 PM
Hey neighbor,

It seemed pretty clear to me that Johnson was attempting to disagree with your opinion and provide some supporting figures for her counter position. There wasn't a personal attack on you.

Your rebuttal through using a personal attack on her character is within your rights but I frankly see no value in it. This thread is not about Johnson, she is merely contributing to the discussion. I disagree with Johnson on lots of things but I treat her with the same respect I treat everyone else, including you.

I suggest we stick to the issues and not concern ourselves with the personal finances of contributors. Any point to made through referencing Johnson and Norse's bank accounts (or lack thereof) could only be anectdotal at best but most likely just plain rude.
by Rico
Sunday Feb 25th, 2007 1:11 AM
There is another Free Skool Know Your Rights/Resisting the Police State workshop being offered April 8th 1pm to 3pm. This time in honor of the downtown crackdown, we'll hold the workshop on Pacific Ave. See your new Spring Quarter Free Skool Calendar.

Possibly before then, we'll have an impromptu special-edition downtown Know Your Rights training.
by potstirrer
Sunday Feb 25th, 2007 11:28 AM
Dear David,

I disagree that my ad hominem attack was completely off base. There was a snide personal attack on me. I attacked back, which is a weak reaction, I know, but the one I was able to make at the time.

Becky Johnson did not read my post, and then made assumptions about me. She assumed that I would refuse to give money to panhandlers because I have some presumptions about what the panhandlers might use it for. I, however, never referred to them as "homeless beggars," which she did, and which I personally think is really really offensive.

It was the snotty tone of this that got my goat and made me mean: "Tell me, Potstirrer. Are your psychic skills so sharp that you KNOW for sure a homeless panhandler won't use the spare change you give them to buy sunscreen...."

That was insulting in two ways: first it assumed I'm an knee-jerk no-giving-change idiot ("are your psychic skills so sharp"). Second, it proved that Becky had not read my previous post, which had nothing to do with giving change.

I was unheard by Becky, and then she insulted me. So I got mad. And I would do it again.

You, David, however, are an excellent poster and I appreciate your calling me out for being a jerk. However, I would invite you to read the exchange between Becky and myself in its entirety before you argue that my insult was unprovoked.

by David
Sunday Feb 25th, 2007 8:45 PM
I did read your entire post and exchange before I made a comment but I now can appreciate how you took the remark as offensive. I didn't read it that way but then again it wasn't directed at me.

Perhaps I was a bit quick to be so defensive because I know that this forum's participants can, at times, be very hostile toward people who do not share the predominant indymedia view on some issues.

Communicating in this fashion is alot like driving around in cars. It can be very distant and "safe" from an individual perspective and unfortunately that makes it easier for us to give each other the bird and act in ways we probably would not had we spoken in person or accidentally bumped into each other on the street.

I apologize for calling you out.
by potstirrer
Monday Feb 26th, 2007 9:03 AM
Thank you, David, for seeing how I could get all het up. But no need to apologize for calling me out, really. I was still rude, even if provoked.

And, in this particular case, I probably would have reacted to Becky the same way in real life, except in real life I tend to not curse but instead use ridiculously overblown phrases. So I might bust out with something like, "You, my friend, are a consummate blowhard whose ideas make me want to engage in fire-bombing." Same idea.

Thanks again for re-reading the exchange.
by James
Tuesday Feb 27th, 2007 2:00 AM

San Leandro City Council approves funding for project

Three San Leandro police officers have been killed in the line of duty since 1961.
As the years have passed, their memories have left a permanent mark on the lives of their families, fellow police officers and community members they served.

"For us, it's a personal loss because we're all ... like a family," police Chief Dale Attarian said. "We're a representative of the government, so when someone kills a police officer, I think it's kind of striking not only the individual but also striking at the fabric of the law in this country."

The City Council recently approved funds for a monument to honor the slain officers, one of which is Officer Nels "Dan" Niemi, who was gunned down July 25, 2005, while responding to a routine disturbance call on Doolittle Drive.

But it is not meant to be a memorial, cityofficials said.

"It's not only a monument honoring public safety officers killed in the line of duty," Attarian said. "It recognizes the day-to-day work of the firemen and policemen and public safety personnel out there every day."

Coincidentally, an Oakland courthouse is gearing up this week for the trial of Niemi's alleged assailant, Irving "Gotti" Ramirez. The San Leandro Police Officers Association had approached the City Council about creating the monument well before Niemi died.

When it is completed, city officials hope the project will strike a chord with the entire community. The monument, expected to cost the city $83,500,

will be designed by Sandy, Utah-based Monument Arts Inc., a collaborative of artists from throughout the country who specialize in public safety, patriotic and military monuments.

The design concept presented to council members last October incorporates historic photographs of the city's police and fire departments etched in granite, accompanied by three-dimensional sculptures of the "tools" public safety officers use, a poem dedicated to the agencies and a row of bronze badges honoring the three slain police officers.

In addition to Niemi, the monument will honor Officer Donald Spingola, who was hit by a ricocheting bullet during a shootout in September 1969, and Officer Fred Haller, who was found shot to death April 20, 1961, in his patrol car at a local park. That case is still unsolved.

But the monument's designers hope that when it is unveiled at Civic Center Plaza, possibly this summer, people will not just look at it and remember those officers. Daniel Bolz, the collaborative's director of marketing and sales, said it invites onlookers to touch it and interact with the agencies as well.

Similar to the feeling onlookers get when they visit and are able to touch the monument at Ground Zero, Bolz said, the goal of the monument here is to help foster the next generation of service men and women.

"When a person, particularly a child, comes up and touches the bronze, they have a kinetic interaction with not only the pure bronze itself but also with the message of the memorial," Bolz said in a telephone interview. "What we want is for the design to inspire the next generation of young people to not only respect these current people. ... We want to inspire the future generation to become policemen and firemen."

For more information, contact community relations representative Kathleen Ornelas at 577-3358 or kornelas [at]
by John
Wednesday Feb 28th, 2007 9:53 AM
In response to your previous post.....could you further explain the comment "some like living without a house" ?
by Tim Rumford
Wednesday Feb 28th, 2007 11:42 AM
n response to the question about my comment that some like living without a house.

I know several people who live very happy lives, working odd jobs, living the way they want, not the way society says is the right way. The people I know, these free souls take no social services and take pride that they do not because they know its their choice to live as a traveler, or outside in nature. Some do not want to conform to the American dream which has been reduced to "How can I afford the last few remaining years and afford to live.

In short. Some do not want to live inside. I know some vets who simply cannot. That's a different story.
by ht
Wednesday Apr 18th, 2007 2:22 PM
Check this out -

On the watch says we have censorship here. Has anyone else noticed this?
by Tim Rumford
Thursday Jun 28th, 2007 11:26 AM
I read the Sentinel Forum link about censorship, and its true, people are censored here, including Huff, myself and many others. I and many other have complained. We want people to have equal access and say.

The man in the post on the Sentinel Forum, although he quoted me wrong and I disagree with him about the police presence on the mall, he should have a voice here as should anyone.

He did say that I though Jeremy was a nice person. The article had zero to do with Jermy's Character, I had just met him. It was about bullshit enforcement. He wasn't breaking any laws. In fact he had been told how to say within the law by peace officer Peabody, who I wrote a commendation for as well as a complaint against this officer stalking Jeremy. .If you disagree with the laws that fight to change them. Its not against the law to do what Jeramey was doing.

I don't like being asked for spare change, but I also don't like the police wasting money by placing a full time officer on one legal panhandler.

This is not about Jeromy its about rights, the law and a wast of time and taxpayer money. All the officer did was make Jeremy more aggressive in his tactics, because his rights were violated. Its not Ok for an officer to violate anyones rights, simply because you dont think you like the person.

Change is hard, and we as a society have to evolve past the way we relate to each other. We will have to change politics and government with new ideas. But we let our government and media become so powerful, because we play their game. In the end, were all guilty.
Together let us enact change in unison.
Together let us treat every human being with equal dignity and respect.
Together let us all stop buying gas two days a week.
Together let us all stop buying anything one day a week.
Together let us all not pay taxes for a year.
Together let us continue until we have healed this society.
We can demand change by not buying into the system in unison.
In unison, we can demand whatever kind of society we want. We can end poverty.
by John
Tuesday Jul 3rd, 2007 9:30 AM
The point of the missing comments was not about the police following a law abiding person walking down the street. The point was that the police were following a person known to be a drug user and a possible dealer.
Jeremy, identified by the pictures in your posts, was engaging in illegal activity. Engaging in an illegal activity as part of a group. Not MJ, but meth. Are you suggesting that openly doing meth in a downtown area is cool and ok? Are you suggesting that the police should not watch someone that is actively using, and possibly selling, hard core illegal drugs?
Meth is a digusting and harmful drug. It debilitates people. It furthers the suffering of people that need help.
Again, thanks for posting your pictures of Jeremy. Now people, and the police, can watch out for him. He does, for the moment, seem to have left the area as he has not been seen downtown for awhile.

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