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Santa Cruz Police and First Alarm Brutalize and Arrest People for Being Black and Homeless
by Yannidies Brown
Thursday Aug 21st, 2014 1:11 PM
Today, August 21, 2014, I, Yannidies Brown, have just not only witnessed, but experienced, police brutality. It started roughly at about nine o'clock in the morning when my brother Rogiers Brown, my fiance Christopher Wuerfel, and I were at an empty parking lot waiting on a ride. An SCPD officer, Bradly Barnett, approached my brother Rogiers telling him that he needs to "get the fuck out of the parking lot" and "I'm going to write you a ticket."
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I replied with "he just took out his cigarette, you're not writing him a ticket for walking to the sidewalk with a cigarette in his hands." So while my family is walking, officer Barnett starts following us. I told him not to because my brother did not do anything wrong, and that this is harassment. So while we are walking, he proclaims that he's an officer, and he can do whatever he wants, and that he's going to arrest my brother's "black ass."

We walked by the parking lot on Cedar Street in front of the red church, and another SCPD officer, Armando Aguilar, approached us and told my brother he was being detained. At this point, I'm like, "For what? He didn't do nothing."

Officer Barnett was like, "Didn't I say I was issuing him a ticket?"

I replied by asking, "Was that before or after the racist comment about arresting my brother's black ass?"

At that point the officer goes up in my brother's face saying "get the fuck out of my city punk. I will mess you up."

They proceeded to try to arrest my brother, and meanwhile my finance is recording video. The officer on the right side takes my boyfriend and throws him to the ground. A First Alarm officer, Jason Vogley, and SCPD officer Barnett punched Roigers three times and elbowed him in the face, cracking his glasses and making his face bruise.

While those two are getting arrested, a third officer, Jose Garcia, arrived on the scene and had the audacity to push me while I was trying to walk toward my stuff. He told me that I could not get my belongings, which I eventually got after an SCPD supervisor arrived.

The SCPD supervisor did not see any portion of the incident, but he said his officers might be in the right.

In the video, "Sergeant" Jonathan Bush is talking to my brother Rogiers in the cop car. Funny thing is while asking all the officers who is in charge, and what are the charges to both my brother and finance, they all rudely answer that none of them are the supervisor and that I would have to wait on the supervisor to arrive on scene.

Mr. Bush, the sergeant that was talking to my brother in the cop car, claimed not to be the supervisor. However, after all the chaos, the same Sergeant Bush comes and says to me that he just got on the scene and that he does not know what's going on. In the video you see him clearly on the scene and talking to my brother. Bush told me he wanted my part of what I 'think' happened. It's like, dude, I was there ...

It pisses me off that not only were we harassed, but also lied to. I feel very disrespected and dehumanized. Police brutality is getting worse, and they get away with it, including murder. They go around wearing their pretty blue suits, and harassing people that are doing nothing, especially out here in Santa Cruz.

They make it impossible for us. I'm disgusted with the SCPD because honestly, these police will be real quick to arrest someone for something so small like smoking a cigarette, and feel as they have a right to be laying hands on a female. It really must be the uniform, because if a regular citizen laid hands on another female, they would want that case, but because they're wearing uniforms, they can do that; push, shove, or hit anyone in their way. This is just how I feel; I'm just beyond pissed.

While writing this report, I received a call from my boyfriend in jail. He said that my brother is being charged with resisting arrest and aggregated battery on an officer. My boyfriend is being charged with obstruction of justice and resisting arrest.

The following six video clips document portions of my boyfriend and brother being brutalized, handcuffed, and arrested by Santa Cruz Police and First Alarm.
by Yannidies Brown Thursday Aug 21st, 2014 1:11 PM
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by Yannidies Brown Thursday Aug 21st, 2014 1:11 PM
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by Yannidies Brown Thursday Aug 21st, 2014 1:11 PM
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by Yannidies Brown Thursday Aug 21st, 2014 1:11 PM
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by Yannidies Brown Thursday Aug 21st, 2014 1:11 PM
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Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Steve Pleich
(spleich [at] Thursday Aug 21st, 2014 1:28 PM
I observed the beginning of the incident and the arrival of several SCPD cars and officers. Can't testify to the facts bit it seemed like an over reaction to a simple miscommunication. This kind of police response to relatively minor disturbances is troubling but I don't have any other helpful or constructive comments.
Thursday Aug 21st, 2014 5:26 PM
I [MALCOLM A. BARTH] saw an incident involving two people [1 black male and 1 black female] and First Alarm officer.
AT first look [about 7 feet away] the brother & sister was sitting in the parking lot at Cathcart & Cedar enjoying the hot summer day when a First Alarm [CAR#144] officer asked if they would not smoke in the parking lot.
THE BROTHER had a cigarette in his hand unlit then the First Alarm officer asked them both to leave the parking lot. They got up & walked about 5 feet to the sidewalk where the First Alarm officer arrested the brother on the sidewalk & as the brother was being takin' to the patrol car, the First Alarm officer punched the brother [real hard] in the right side of his ribs.
THEN a whole crap load of police cars came & the rest is HISTORY!
by FTP
Thursday Aug 21st, 2014 9:23 PM
Next time stick around so you can tell us what happens after all the cops show up.
by Robert Norse
Friday Aug 22nd, 2014 10:35 AM
The monthly Board of Directors meeting of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) happens on a late Monday of every month. It is open to the public--sort of--depending on the mood of Chair Peter Geldblum and whether the rest of the group has the balls to overrule his "kick the public out" procedure after they have their brief Oral Communications from the public section.

I suggest folks concerned about this incident (and others involving racial and class profiling, police abuse, militarization of law enforcement in Santa Cruz, and related issues) come to the meeting in numbers. ACLU has generally been oblivious to local police abuse and anti-homeless activity (or racism locally). However large numbers of people not only make an impact but can get together to form their own independent actions and organizations. Which is probably what needs to be done.
I also suggest contact Sin Barras about this.

I'm also happy to interview on my Free Radio Santa Cruz radio show Sunday (9:30 AM to 1 PM) at 101.3 FM (though the stream is a surer beat at .

Please give me a call at 831-423-4833 if you'd like to be an in-studio guest or call in at 831-427-3772 and/or 831-469-3119.

You can also call Free Radio at any time (though you may not find a broadcaster in the studio) with breaking news---such as this incident.

Video documentation is very important however partial and choppy. Also get the names of witnesses and their contact numbers--something often hard to do in the tension of the moment.

HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) was discussing getting a local Copwatch going in Santa Cruz at its weekly Wednesday meeting (11 AM to 1 PM Sub Rosa Cafe). Give me a call at 423-4833 or e-mail me at rnorse3 [at] if you're interested.

Also the student organizations behind the Mike Brown protest rally last Sunday might be interested. NAACP and SCCCCR should also be interested but don't get your hopes up here.
See "Selective Enforcement of Smoking Ban, Obstruction of Video Reporting--Report to the Chief!" at .
by Robert Norse
Friday Aug 22nd, 2014 10:54 AM
There is a parade today starting at the parking lot in back of the Saturn Cafe at 4 PM denouncing the continued prosecution of the Santa Cruz Eleven (the Final Four). See Marching in that parade with signs and literature about this issue would be a good idea.

Also Sin Barras has been more active than other groups locally regarding the misconduct at the jails.

What rae the names of the men arrested? The First Alarm Security Guard involved?

When do they appear in court for arraignment? "Resisting Arrest" and "Obstructing an Officer" are also standard empty charges when police have nothing else to arrest you for.
by lets not make up sideline
Friday Aug 22nd, 2014 11:35 AM
this is something that erks me, it was me my brother and my husband since you seen and for got to mention it was three people first we where at the parking lot behind pregs and thats when benette felt like he can throw a racial slur at my brother, and im not cool with that, these cops are a fuckng joke, then he took an unlit ciggarette and started walkng away while first almarm just showed up at the sence and mind you he showed up after bernette, he wanted to sight my brother for stating facts, where in the law does it say he cant take a ciggarette out his pack and walk away, yeah i no...NOWHERE! so yeah it might be dramatic but the brutailtty is real and so being harrast for some stoopid shit....if your racist maybe you shouldnt be a police FUCK SCPD!
by Pat Colby
Friday Aug 22nd, 2014 1:05 PM
This incident is an example of the exact reason there needs to be video tape and cop watchers. Last week we videotaped another racial profiling incident involving police officer Azua getting aggressive with four young black men. He cited a person who I witnessed to not be smoking while not two—but three other smokers who were non-black walked in front and up to him. Azua was trying to provoke an incident like the above but because the "Colbys" John and I were there he wasn't able to falsely arrest or beat anyone just falsely cite!

Upon reviewing our video again we noticed some scary, inappropriate behavior by PO Azua. Through all the videos of Azua when standing out of his car he had his hand on his gun handle at all times. Instead of looking at the suspect he was staring at my brother while he was 8-10 ft away videotaping to protect the cited person's civil rights. At one point in first or second video he even flicked the handle open on his holster. Was Azau planning on shooting John or i for videotaping to protect people's civil rights.

I also checked the actions of the other two involved officers. Neither PO Alders or the unidentified officer had their hands anywhere near the gun much less on the handle ready to pull it out and shoot someone. In the first two videos I noticed the unidentified officer was watching Azua who was staring down and chewing gum looking at my brother the whole time. Why weren't the officers eyes on the suspect at anytime. I would think this would be proper and appropriate behavior for police officers.

I fear it won't be long before there is a wrongful death of a black person in Santa Cruz because of the attitudes and bad behaviors of the Santa Cruz police officers!
by Robert Norse
Friday Aug 22nd, 2014 2:21 PM
I'll be distributing this flyer at the SC-11 rally today--which summarizes the events as I read them from Yannides Brown's account above. I'm a little unclear on the location but I think the point is not where this happened, but that it happened--if the account is accurate. Readers and viewers can be the judge. Feel free to downlload and distribute this flyer. It is NOT an official or authorized account of what happened but just a summary of the article. Any typos or errors are mine.

I encourage any witnesses to contact me at 423-4833.

by Robert Norse
Friday Aug 22nd, 2014 2:23 PM
The proper spelling of Barnett's name is "Bradly Barnett" according to SCPD records.
by G
Friday Aug 22nd, 2014 3:44 PM
As the behavior of police in #Ferguson has amply shown, capturing video is not enough. As the behavior of #Ferguson .gov has shown, even when an officer murders an innocent person, the Blue Wall Of Silence will obstruct formal justice.

Anyone doing Cop Watch duty needs to learn how to live stream.

If SCPD shoots someone on camera, any evidence of the crime that is only stored locally, on the device, is subject to 'coverup seizure and destruction'.
by Helms
Friday Aug 22nd, 2014 4:35 PM
Brad MUST be putt on Slurpee Patrol to assist Billy Azua.
by Courtney
Saturday Aug 23rd, 2014 11:47 AM
Hi there,
My name is Courtney and I work in an organization called Sin Barras, which focuses on ending mass incarceration and putting an immediate stop to police brutality. We've been working closely with folks in Salinas lately because one of our members and friends, Frank Alvarado, was murdered by Salinas PD -- the fourth Latino man in just four months to be killed by them.

I wanted to reach out to say that we are here to support you in whatever way you see fit. Please feel free to contact me if you'd like to talk and/or hear more about what we do. We are beginning a project to more closely document and connect these stories of brutality in Santa Cruz, but there are many other ways we can amplify this story and seek justice for you, your brother, and fiance, and as a community organization we are committed to this issue.

If you email sinbarras [at], I can pass along my phone number.

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