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Indybay Feature
Wed Jan 1 2014 (Updated 01/03/14)
"Bring Back Code Blue" Stickers Spotted in Downtown Santa Cruz
Phrase Printed on Stickers Brings Back Memories of 1980s SCPD Assaults on Street People
At the end of December, stickers printed with the statement "Bring Back Code Blue! Santa Cruz, CA" were spotted in downtown Santa Cruz. Many residents remember the phrase "code blue" as a reference to when officers within the Santa Cruz Police Department organized a pattern of violent assaults on homeless or "street" people in the 1980s.

On December 25, one of the stickers was found on a no trespassing sign located on Bulkhead Street at the rear entrance to the parking lot of two businesses. On December 30, another one of the stickers was spotted on the bumper of a car, also downtown.

When questioned in 2012, Deputy Chief of Police Steve Clark recalled there being charges filed against officers who participated in the attacks, which then "created an opportunity" for him personally within the police department. Many community members recall the details of the operation differently, but perhaps the most common telling of the story maintains that when police found a person on the street they wanted to attack, they used the phrase "code blue" over their radios to call other officers to the scene to participate in the beating.

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