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Any witnesses to a Police Assault Thur Night 2-4 10 PM across from the Cinema 9?

by Robert Norse
A homeless guy named Jack Straw reported that he was accosted by a police officer demanding to know if he'd "broken bottles" on the sidewalk. When he denied it, Straw reports being tackled from the back by two other officers, pepper-sprayed, and hog-tied, then taken to the County jail. He said police refused to tell him what he was being charged with. At the jail he reported having his request for an attorney and a phone call ignored, being denied medical treatment, and peppersprayed in custody when he continued to demand his rights. Jack is seeking witnesses who were downtown Friday nite.
Straw describes the incident happening at Church and Pacific in front of O'Neill's Sports Shop or near there in downtown Santa Cruz.

Leave a message for Jack Straw at 831-423-4833 (my number and the voice mail for HUFF--Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom). You can also phone the radio show I do tomorrow (Sunday February 7th) 9:30 AM to 1 PM at 101.1 FM and Or e-mail me at rnorse3 [at]

Strew says he was denied a breathalyzer or a blood test, though they claimed he was drunk, then released from jail at 3 AM without charges and without any of his survival gear or other property, which will be held at the police station until Tuesday.

There's no indication that the officers involved have apologized for their behavior--if Straw's account is accurate--or been disciplined. One of the officers, Straw recalls, was named Jones.

If anyone else has experienced abuse or harassment by the local police, security guards, rangers, or UCSCPD, please post an account here, or leave a message in the notebook at the Sub rosa Cafe at 703 Pacific Ave. The computers there also available for us to post on this website.

HUFF meets Wednesday mornings at 10:30 AM (or soon thereafter) at the Sub Rosa. If it's closed, look for a note on the gate to see where we've moved.

The ass you save may be your own or your friend's.
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Comments (Hide Comments)
by Cop Watcher
Carter Jones
Badge #169

The only Jones that I am aware of in the SCPD.
by Bensten
BS..Quit blaming the police for everything. These homeless cretins are one of the reasons I no longer go to Santa Cruz. Theyt stink, they cause problems, it is annoying to be bothered with their begging. We do have social programs in this Country to help people.
by what a fool
you're right bensten. we shouldn't blame the cops for beating people up and jailing them for no reason. we should just accept it because jack straw was stinky and annoying. who cares about rights anyway huh? get those stinky hungry people out of here
by Sludge
Your Civil Right do not depend on how you smell. The White Wing Whackos posting hate comments here NEED TO CONSIDER...What if The Cop objected to your shoes, ethnicity, or attitude and thrashed YOU?

Your rights are as Tenuous as those of the Least Protected. Someday They Could Be YOU!

thanks Pigs, for this lesson in street punishemnt in place of Justice!
by Hobo Joe
People. Come on. Do you really believe that the cops would just attack some guy named Jack Straw, a Grateful Dead song, for absolutly no reason? Give me a break. They would lose their jobs in an internal affairs investigation. They would never risk that. It's just not worth it. Maybe Jack Straw was drunk and out of control? It sounds like it, if he had to be pepper sprayed in jail too. Cops are people too. Treat them with respect and that's what you'll get in return.
by NOT
So I'm supposed to believe Robert, who is always unbiased when it comes to reporting on homeless issues (Remember the Metro incident? Donna Deiss? Wes Modes? Should I continue?) when he reports that some homeless dude using a fake name was just innocently minding his own business when the cops jumped him?

And then the cops, for no reason other than their sadistic enjoyment, pepper sprayed him again while he was in custody? He wasn't resisting arrest, yelling his fool head off, making threats, or any of that? He was just politely minding his own business and they went maverick on him?


'll come back in 6 months to laugh at Robert's latest ridiculous assertion; just as I have in the Deiss case and the Wes Modes case. (Yeah, I know. Pointing out that Wes's bust was 100% justified isn't allowed here. I should ignore the photos posted here earlier that showed him interfering with the cops. I apologize for pointing out reality in this fantasy anarchist utopia. My bad. Adios post, but the charges and the realities remain unchanged. The funniest part to me? If I was making this up, you'd leave my post up to show how right-wing crazy I am. But you'll instead remove it, because it reeks of truth. Funny stuff.)
by VonManstein
I also believe about 5% of this story. I believe all the cops and Jack Straw were in Santa Cruz. Other than that this is all fiction except for the necessity of locking this fool up. He was probably urinating in public at least and I won't detail what he could have been doing at worst.

Thank Xenu there's no decent place for them to congregate in Soquel as there is no foot traffic.

So is there a petition being circulated to honor the officers who removed this scourge from the once beautiful Pacific Garden Mall?
by seen it close up
I am so sorry to see all these comments by people who judge people by how they look, ( in this case -homeless people).
Or use their own biased opinion about something that happened and they weren't even there.
People are persecuted for being out in public and aren't going to work or a nightclub or restaurant. Basically if they don't have money to do the things that these people who put these up comments do.
The choice of lifestyle that is alternative is suddenly wrong without really knowing whats going on.
In the case of Wes- it was activism. But you consider standing up for your rights to be different wrong, don't you.
In the case of in a vehicle is considered a bad lifestyle even if it's the only way to get by when you have little money as a older, disabled person. And a little marijuana is considered sooooo bad. Oh please!
In the case of the Metro...standing at a bus station doing something other than catching a bus is a crime? Give me a break.
This guy (Jack) probably gets pushed around by cops with the same mentality as these commentators. Thinking that being different should be illegal. The guy was probably tired of being run off from everywhere just because he chooses to live free and on the road instead of have a job and a box to live in. I suppose Jack Kerouac would be considered dirty and worthless to these commentators too.
Alternative life styles and people who think and live different are a threat to the statis quo.
It's the same old story. Go back in your cars, go back to don't know whats going on.
by Rick
Don't forget the Anna and Miguel story. Robert blasted the police for harassing this poor innocent couple for doing nothing other then trying to sleep at night. The couple said that they were always well behaved, only slept in out of the way places, never argued with people, and cleaned up after themselves. Then they were caught on tape breaking and entering into private property playing sword games, partying with their friends, making a mess of the place, and doing anything BUT sleeping. When the police confronted Robert with this video Robert shut up in a New York minute and started complimenting the officer on his legs. Honestly, his legs.
Robert's comments should be taken with a grain of salt. He's turned into the activist that cried wolf.
by Robert Norse
Beware getting distracted by internet trolltalk.

This thread is an account (which I did not witness) involving Jack Straw (whose real name is Jeremy Casimir). I am passing on his account. So it's not my credibility that's involved here, but his. Readers have to judge this themselves.

Personal hostility to me doesn't change the facts.

Rick is in error on the substance of the Anna Richardson and Miguel de Leon Injunction. The two face jail if they fall asleep downtown in Merchantland, even though there's no legal shelter for 95% of the homeless and it's illegal to sleep on any public property throughout the entire city. The Injunction has nothing to do with trespass on private property, partying, littering, or anything else. None of these subjects are mentioned in this costly exercise in targeted government repression.

Rick is either ignorant of the facts or intentionally raising inflammatory red herrings, which the judge refused to enjoin because there were no convictions, or even repeated accusations for the other charges. The only "crimes" involved here are sleepcrime.

Going off into Anna and Miguel's case is a diversion--being made apparently to avoid the issue of alleged police violence. It wouldn't be worth discussing except that the two are coming back to court next month as the city attorneys attempt to make the preliminary injunction permanent.

The one thing that is coming out of their case is an interesting amount of discovery that shows the Sleeping Ban has not been a "useful tool" for police other than getting marijuana charges, Drug War charges, "resisting arrest" charges, and "having a Safeway shopping cart" charges uncovered. Real crimes of assault, robbery, stalking, arson, etc. aren't uncovered by this "useful tool". It simply serves as a device to deprive homeless people of dignity, privacy, possesions, and health.

It also creates a hostile atmosphere between poor people and police. And, if Straw's account is accurate, these kind of blank checks to the cops may be empowering police to engage in abusive physical behavior.

It's the police, city council, and city attorney that are "crying wolf" in empowering police to go after homeless people without any kind of meaningful oversight.

Full disclosure. I am sympathetic to those who express sympathy with "Jack Straw" and appreciate their weighing in against the rather transparent anti-homeless bigotry that anonymous trollsters spew. Still, remember that this is one man's account. I have also audio-recorded it, have Straw's permission to play it, and after he's checked with an attorney, may do so soon.

If others have had similar experiences, please post them here.
by Skeptic
Robert, you repeatedly refer to people with dissenting opinions as yours as "trolls", and point to their anonymity as sufficient reason to discount their points of view. What about people like "seen it close up"; do you also consider his/her comments to be "trolltalk"? Or are only those who disagree with you trolls?
by Sarah
Speaking of Miguel, you should have seen him this morning outside Lulu Carpenter's on Cooper Street. He was screaming profanities at people walking by. He was totally hostile to one of the hosts when she suggested hooking him up with services. One couple sitting near by asked him if he needed any help and he went totally ballistic on them too. They were only trying to offer assistance to him. Then he rolled himself a "cigarette" and smoked it while walking around, despite Becky's claim that they don't smoke or use drugs. He wasn't with Anna, he was with another woman and they looked rather chummy. There was tons of garbage/junk all over the place, which was his as he eventually picked it all up and put it into his personal bags.
by tired of reading it
A troll is someone who avoids the issues being discussed and personally attacks people who write comments about the issue.
Commenting about the comments is not included.
Trolls write on these blogs... just for the hell of it and/or because they can put people down from a safe distance. It seems they get off on judging and dissing people they don't like. Like a high.

In the case of this article, its about police abuse and homeless people who are hassled by police.
Stick to the issue and don't personally attack the commentors and you are not considered a troll.

By the way, Sarah, I feel these people like Miguel are at their last survival end now. They are constantly abused for trying to get by and have gotten to a point where they don't give a damn anymore. They are angry and sad.
When I see people who suffer from abuse, whether they live in a house or not, I feel sad that they have gotten to a point where they don't care anymore to a point of abusing themselves and others around them.
Now THAT is down and out!
by It's YOUR credibility in question
Robert says "This thread is an account (which I did not witness) involving Jack Straw (whose real name is Jeremy Casimir). I am passing on his account. So it's not my credibility that's involved here, but his."

To which I reply: No, it's all about your lack of credibility Robert.

-You recanted multiple key points on your original Deiss thread, after acknowledging that your accounting was incorrect.

-You contradicted your own reports on the metro case. (Claiming you were there, then acknowledging you met the racist drunks on the mall not at the metro.).

-You have a history of misquoting unsubstantiated, second-hand reporting. As such, the question about credibility on this post is absolutely as much a question of your credability as it is about the unsubstantiated posts you're asking us to beleive at your word. Personally? I don't . Happy to see some proof though, but won't hold my breath.
by I disagree re Wes
You say "In the case of Wes- it was activism. But you consider standing up for your rights to be different wrong, don't you. ".

No, I don't consider standing up for ones rights to be wrong.

But I do consider it wrong, and shady, to claim you were abused by cops for no reason when the evidence showed otherwise. And I do mean showed, as the pictures of Wes interfering with the cop was clear as glass.

I also consider it wrong to try to cover your tracks by erasing said photos, then repainting a fake story of what happened to cover your butt. That type of action is self-serving, serves to divide the community, and is not activism; its weaseling.
by VonManstein
Is that it is effectively crying wolf and eroding credibility which may some day actually be needed to report actual news.

Let's be realistic about this. This guy was just hanging out and the cops singled him out from all the other productive citizens of the downtown area to be their example of how fine citizens are subject to random imprisonment with a side of pepper spray at police whim.

More like this guy was probably intoxicated with his intoxication of choice and was too out of control to behave in society or he was actively trying to purchase more intoxicants and started breaking stuff when he couldn't panhandle enough change from the other proletariat, not wanting to part with their hard earned capitalist tokens. Also very likely he had his trousers down and was relieving himself in public. The Fascist PD decided that Keep Santa Cruz Weird does not mean Keep Santa Cruz Unsanitary and told this guy to act like a human. I'm sure Mr. Straw then folded up his copy of The Economist and was heading off the the Christian Science Reading Room when the Fascist PD that Citizen Straw wasn't going to get all uppity on them with fancy book learnin' and tackled Straw. Yes.....tackled him. Please God, let "tackled" mean "batoned him into submission" and then decided they didn't want him reading in the jail library like some sort of low rent Andy DuFresne so the pepper sprayed him.

Honestly...can we give these officers a medal or maybe a pay bump?
by Robert Norse
Further interviews with and about Jack Straw (or Jeremy Casimir) can be found at

Go to and check out the January 21 and February 25 shows to find the approximate location of the above interviews.

Casimir's actual interview on what he describes as a police assault has also been played, but the description of it has not yet been downloaded. Hopefully at some point these past shows will receive on-line descriptions as well as being available as straight downloads as they are now.

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