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Copwatch the New Order Downtown Halloween Night
by Robert Norse (rnorse3 [at]
Tuesday Oct 30th, 2007 11:50 AM
Copwatchers will gather at the Coffee Roasting Company downtown on or slightly before 8 PM Wednesday October 31st to monitor police and take reports of excessive police exuberance.
Are police profiling and selectively enforcing laws downtown?

Recently police power has expanded significantly and public space contracted with the passage of the Parking Lot Trespass Law (making it illegal to socialize in a parking lot at all, or to linger for more than 15 minutes even if you're parking your car or bike--law to go into effect in all downtown parking lots November 22 or so).

Police are expected to be out in unusually heavy numbers to enforce the "Triple Fine Zones". Such crimes, as carrying around your own beer in a paper bag can earn you hundreds of dollars in fines, as well police intimidation and a trip to the pokey. An incentive to folks to buy from local bars and restaurants rather than risk DIYing it.

When Councilmember Tony Madrigal raised the forbidden "profiling" concern briefly at a September City Council meeting discussing the "Triple Fine Zones", he suffered the combined fury of the SCPD, the Sentinel, and every other member of the City Council. (Listen to it archived at -- about 2/5 of the way through the audio file)

Santa Cruz's weak but struggling Citizens Police Review Board was amputated without apology by the Mathews-Rotkin City Council in January 2003. Even when it was there, it was community activism that got the first independent review of the police department's mini-riot in May 1999. Then Officer David LaFaver abused a woman and her child, part of a crowd surrounding a police car that had made a false arrest at the demonstration against Clinton's Yugoslavia bombing. Complaints against LaFever's behavior towards the woman's defender, Steve Argue, were later sustained. LaFaver quit the SCPD (and transfered to another cop shop over the hill).

What's the current situation?

Come and find out for yourself. Bring a camera, tape recorder, videocam, cell phone, and/or just a notebook and watching eyes. We'll be keeping an eye on the quasi-military police presence that has become a regular and unwanted presence on Pacific Avenue on Halloween.

Bring a friend. Come in costume if you wish. We'll be taking complaints (and commendations), as well as encouraging people to call the HUFF line (831-423-4833) with updates on how things are going.

Don't let the Sentinel and Megabucks Mainstream Radio echoing police hand-out's be the only voices in the community.
§Cop watch video
by Robert Norse Sunday Nov 4th, 2007 7:07 AM
Short video of HUFF's Cop Watch

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Magda
Tuesday Oct 30th, 2007 3:15 PM
Can anyone with a scanner upload that newspaper ad from the city which shows a mug shot, and threatens a $520 fine for drinking beer or littering
by you asked
Tuesday Oct 30th, 2007 4:16 PM

Download PDF
by you asked
Tuesday Oct 30th, 2007 4:21 PM

Download PDF

If you are planning to come to downtown Santa Cruz on Halloween night, we ask that you have fun and behave responsibly. With the well-being of our residents and visitors in mind, the City has concentrated resources downtown to promote a safe environment that everyone can enjoy. This includes over 100 law enforcement officers from 9 agencies patrolling the downtown corridor and triple fines for certain violations of the Municipal Code. Triple fines and court costs make an alcoholic open container violation total almost $500, and littering almost $300.

The City is serious about keeping its downtown safe on Halloween night, and we ask that you do your part. This Halloween…PLAY SMART and STAY SOBER.

* Street Closures and Safety Enhancement Zone Map
* Safety Enhancement Zone Poster
* “A Costume to Remember…” Print Ad
* Safety Enhancement Zone Resolution
* Example Triple Fine Schedule
by more
Tuesday Oct 30th, 2007 4:25 PM

Download PDF
by Santa Cruz City
Tuesday Oct 30th, 2007 4:27 PM

Download PDF
by Santa Cruz City
Tuesday Oct 30th, 2007 4:28 PM

Download PDF
by Like the 9 who got stabed in 2 years
Tuesday Oct 30th, 2007 5:52 PM
Robert,you don't speak for me, or for many others in the community that you don't represent; it's your typical brand of arrogance.

I welcome the police presence on the mall on Halloween. The gang presence and overt violence was getting out of control. 9 people in total were stabbed on Halloween night 2005/2006.

For you to try and compare this situation to that jerk Argue, who blindsided a cop and got busted for it....well, it's both an apples and oranges comparison and just more of your standard operating procedure.

I look forward to celebrating with you on the Mall tomorrow though!
by Magda
Tuesday Oct 30th, 2007 6:08 PM
I don't get the triple fine which goes from $30 to 90, then to $288 via a second 3X multiplier. Call it a nontuple fine.

While I actually was in favor of dealing harshly or preemptively with certain people in the Castro, where I've seen violence, the two times I went to Santa Cruz there was absolutely nothing happening. There were lots of bored, polite kids. A few areas were too crowded. The littering and improper vehicle stopping to drop off friends are the ones most likely to be selectively applied, because most crowd events have a lot of this. Firearm discharge should have the highest fine, but it's not clear why that doesn't involve a felony arrest with more than 3X the penalty of defacing the sidewalk. Don't typical DUIs cost thousands of dollars, or jailtime?

The other situation with Santa Cruz is that they promote carrying out celebrations outside of the home at bars, restaurants, downtown, via the noise/party ordinance. The fine is rather punitive, and they say that fines are rarely written, yet this is very much up to discretion. The party ordinance helps keep apartment dwellers from bothering each other, but the counterside is directing that activity downtown.
by Tired of the BS
Monday Nov 5th, 2007 8:27 PM
All the chest thumping and posturing and the best you can post is a 45 second clip of someone whinning about a ticket and a shot of the cops arresting someone ( which by the way didn't even come close to anything that could be described as excessive) The shots of your feet were really quite creative though! No wonder the local ACLU won't have anything to do with you and your band of complainers. I for one, thought the police did an excellent job and it didn't take a rocket scientist to see the dozens of gang bangers hanging around or the falling down drunks that were all over. So nice to see puddles of puke all over the sidewalks. What a wonderful sight. The participants should be oh so proud of themselves.
by Robert Norse
Wednesday Nov 7th, 2007 2:21 AM
See also Halloween at the Poet and Patriot Pub | Racism in Santa Cruz - Revisited
Interview with Jonathan and Elizabeth in entirety. Not Audible on Video.