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Drummer Claims Kangaroo Court Trial in Baskett's Court

by (posted by) Robert Norse
I received the following e-mail from Drum Circle Dave, who calls in regularly on my radio show. If the story is accurate, it's interesting both as further testimony to the bias in Commissioner Baskett's Dept. 10, the weight given to police testimony, the police practice of baldly violating their service oaths without consequence, and the continuing extra-legal crackdown on poor people on the levee (if it's the same Nate I'm thinking of). I have cleaned up the punctuation and the spelling a bit.
NOTE BY NORSE: The "Demo Garden" referred to below is the area along the San Lorenzo levee across from CVS near the Soquel Ave. bridge which was the location of the Wednesday Drum Circle until it was driven away some months ago--See "City runs off Drum Circle again, cuts down trees and cements AREA CLOSED signs along levee" at .

Dave writes:

"Well Rob: I was at the trial this afternoon at 1:30 pm in the basement of the county building in Dept. 10 Dec 14th
I was Nathan's witness to the charges filed against him in a citation Officer Warren had issued him...on that day.

Nathan was standing on the path next to the Demo Garden at the time the officers arrived in a patrol car, They saw Nathan and confronted him as a criminal suspect, I overheard them telling him at the time,

Then the two officers told him to enter the garden, furnish them with his identification and sit on a boulder.. while they ran an ID check on him. He was not the suspect the officers were looking for. Nathan pleads with the officers to let him go on his way, But officer Warren insisted on giving him a citation for being in the garden. Which the officers had led him into--to sit on a rock and take his photo!

Now all you have to be is a suspect. Be walking, riding a bike, or standing on the levee Path. And you Can be Cited for Trespassing. Period.

I told the judge Basket that the officers entrapped Nathan and violated his right to be on the Levee walkway/Path of his own accord.

She yelled at me for asking what the charges were against him, And fined Nathan 80 dollars.

This Basket Judge is a complete Idiot running a kangaroo court.

She said i was a contemptuous witness... bad witness on his behalf, And disqualified my statements on his behalf.

Somewhat of a win for Nathan as he had a 80 dollar fee versus 300 dollars or more.

She warned him not to stand next to the demonstration garden or he will be cited again. And she would be willing to fine him the full amount if he is found there again next to it on the bike path.

I am ashamed that Santa Cruz Police Department Officers have no respect for the commoners in this town.

Please forward to those you deem so.

And Peace Robert.

P.S. The Sentinel has a [letter]..on the downtown hosts,
They harassed a Woman and her child for eating purchased foods from a market. On the mall, Hosts said to her: "fFinish yer snacks and move along!"

What a great neighborly city we live in!!"


The letter that Dave refers to is probably the following one at

Downtown guides not very hospitable

"The Downtown Association hospitality guides seem to be misguided and in need of some sort of training.

My 4-year-old and I were downtown on Sunday, enjoying the warm weather. My daughter got tired so we grabbed a cookie at a local merchant and went to the sunny side of the street to sit down. Seeing no open benches nearby and only chairs and tables restricted to restaurants and kiosks, we sat on the sidewalk in a nice sunspot, against a wall so we would be out of the way of any folks walking by.

A Downtown Association hospitality worker had the nerve to inform me that sitting in front of a building was not allowed. When she noticed that my kid was snacking, she said as soon as my daughter was finished, we had better move on. I am sorry, but wow, did I feel unwanted. Mind you, I did not see this worker say anything to the woman near me with the cigarette, or to the pan handler, or to the crowd gathering on the corner. Some welcome wagon.

I am so glad she was focused on moving the mom and the preschooler along from resting for a bit. We really were quite a threat."

Pamela Perkins, Santa Cruz

FINAL NOTE: Baskett has shown her partiality towards the police, city attorney, and downtown merchants in prior decisions. Sees "Silencing the Drums" at and "Political Persecution of Singsong Two Continues" at She presents a reasonable often personable veneer, but when the chips are down, sides fairly consistently with authorities. She also seems to be allergic to Constitutional claims. Like virtually every other local judge on local issues involve police versus poor people in public places.
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