top
East Bay
East Bay
Indybay
Indybay
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz
Indybay
Regions
Indybay Regions North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area California United States International Americas Haiti Iraq Palestine Afghanistan
Topics
Newswire
Calendar
Features
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: East Bay | Police State & Prisons
Berkeley Police Recend General Order A-1, Putting Public At Risk
by Oaks4Peace
Saturday Nov 7th, 2009 6:33 AM
Two weeks prior to retiring on Sept 24th, Chief Douglas Hambleton unilaterally rescinded Berkeley Police General Order "A-1", which tells police officers to use the "least intrusive action... when possible." General Order A-1 is the difference between being harassed, cuffed, and taken to the station for jay-walking, or simply being ticketed for jay-walking. It's the difference between a night or two in Berkeley jail for an open container, or being ticketed for an open container. The recension was done without the knowledge or consent of Berkeley City Council, or the Berkeley Police Commission.
half-ounce_with_the_police_commission_report.jpg
Two weeks prior to retiring on Sept 24th, former-chief Douglas Hambleton unilaterally rescinded Berkeley Police General Order "A-1", which tells police officers to use the "least intrusive action... when possible." Ten years standing, General Order A-1 is the difference between being harassed, cuffed, and taken to the station for jay-walking, or simply being ticketed for jay-walking. It's the difference between a night or two in Berkeley jail for an open container, or being ticketed for an open container. The recension was done without the knowledge or consent of Berkeley City Council, or the Berkeley Police Commission.

The general order acts as the mission statement for the police department, says the Police Commission. It sets the tone for police interactions with the public. Yet, a month and half had passed before the general public public, or City Council was made aware of the change in police philosophy, during a city meeting on Oct 27th. According to Douglas Hambleton, the order was too confusing for him or any other officers to understand, even though it had been in effect for a decade. Rather than seek clarification, the former-chief simply decided to remove it.

The general order did not just govern the dynamics between a suspect and an officer, but also governed the dynamics between the officer and the general public in the area of the suspect. The order attempted to guarantee that those in the vicinity of an alleged situation would have their rights respected, and that passersby would not get sucked into police action.

The Berkeley Police Commission is asking that General Order A-1 be reinstated, that the city of Berkeley take action to keep their police in check with a system of firewalls that protect the public from police abuses.

In related news, the Berkeley Police Commission reports that the numbers of complaints against the Berkeley Police by African Americans has risen. Two-thirds of all complaints investigated by the Berkeley Police Commission are from African Americans, yet only 13% of the Berkeley populace is African American. The African American populace will only further carry the brunt of a new police policy that does not include General Order A-1.

The Police Commission stresses that the state of California in general, and Alameda County in particular is seeing a decrease in checks and balances to safeguard the public from police abuse. California has lost the progressive edge when it comes to police, although it is in question how progressive the police actually were.

Unfortunately the Police Commission lacks any teeth. It lacks the power to reprimand to terminate police officers. It lacks the power to create or reinstate orders for the police. The police commission simply watches, reports, and hopes for the better. It will be up to a determined general public to force new chief Michael Meehan and his police to re-imagine their mission statement, and rededicate it's forces to protecting the public safety, as opposed to protecting their own agenda.
§Adios Scrutiny!
by Oaks4Peace Saturday Nov 7th, 2009 6:33 AM
640_a-1_sauce.jpg
§There are other options beside arrest, y'know.
by Oaks4Peace Saturday Nov 7th, 2009 6:33 AM
640_a-1_continued.jpg
§Goodbye, peace
by Oaks4Peace Saturday Nov 7th, 2009 6:33 AM
Copy the code below to embed this movie into a web page:
Note: In the video they keep saying 20 years, but they do correct themselves and reconfirm it is a 10 year order. It is not suddenly the year 2019, don't worry.
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!

Donate

donate now

$ 102.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.

Publish

Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network