top
Santa Cruz IMC
Santa Cruz IMC
Newswire
Calendar
Features
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
SCPD No Disclosure of When People were PepperSprayed, Choked, Tasered, Gun-Bullied or Shot
by Robert Norse
Thursday Dec 4th, 2014 1:10 PM
In August of this year, the SCPD forwarded me its Policy 300, covering Use of Force. They also refused to respond to the substantive part of my request detailing when and where they drew their guns, shot their guns, used their tasers, initiated choke holds, used their clubs or pepper-sprayed. City Council's "Public Safety" Committee has been spending its time wagging its tail behind the "Homeless Are Criminals" Public Safety Task Force and, as far as I know ignored this important issues that have now assumed national prominence. I include my initial Public Records Act request and the responses that followed.
QUESTIONS THAT DEMAND ANSWERS

Does the SCPD report on the number of injuries suffered by and inflicted by its officers to federal authorities? Is such available to the public? I'm putting in a Public Records Act today.

Are racial stats available in regular reports that may clarify whether other police officers are disproportionately citing African-American (“black”) people in issuing citations. (See "Race and Class Bias in the SCPD: What's the Real Story" at https://www.indybay.org/uploads/2014/12/03/grand_jury_protest_updated.pdf )

When and where are the specific uses of force used, as described in the original Public Records Act above. Who used them? What injuries were created? Were the individuals so impacted ever charged with or convicted of crimes?


NOW IS THE TIME....

for public pressure and protest to demand answers to these questions, so Santa Cruz can separate itself from the National Shame of class and racial police abuse. With the national media focused on these issues, we are at our strongest point in raising issues long ignored here.


STRAIGHT FROM THE DARK POLICY MANUAL OF THE SCPD ITSELF:


SCPD PAIN-COMPLIANCE TECHNIQUES..."Officers may only apply those pain compliance techniques...when the officer reasonably believes that the use of such a technique appears necessary to further a legitimate law enforcement purpose."

CHOKE HOLDS: "The carotid restraint may only be used when the officer reasonably believes that such a hold appears necessary to prevent serious injury or death to an officer or other person(s)."

DEADLY FORCE: “An officer may use deadly force to protect himself/herself or others from what he/she reasonably believes would be an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury...[or] to stop a fleeing suspect when the officer has probably cause to believe that the suspect has committed or intends to commit, a felony involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious bodily injury or death, and the officer reasonably believes that there is an imminent or future potential risk of serous bodily injury or death to any other person if the suspect is not immediately apprehended.”

LEG RESTRAINTS, CONTROL DEVICES, AND TASERS: Go to https://www.indybay.org/uploads/2012/05/19/scpd_policy_manual_8-4-11.pdf (at least for the 2011 Policy Maual) and check out sections 306, 308, & 309.


THE LONG SNAKY TRAIL AND THE STRUGGLE YET AHEAD
In August of this year in response to a Public Records Act request, the SCPD forwarded me its Policy 300, covering Use of Force. However refused to respond to the substantive part of my request detailing when and where they drew their guns, shot their guns, used their tasers, initiated choke holds, used their clubs or pepper-sprayed. City Council's "Public Safety" Committee has been spending its time wagging its tail behind the "Homeless Are Criminals" Public Safety Task Force. Yet these issues are of particular local importance for those of us who want to restore real peace and justice in our community. Hopefully this record may be helpful in those carrying on the investigation and the struggle.

I reprint the correspondence in Comment section below as well as my latest follow-up Public Records Act Request .



2011 SCPD POLICY MANUAL IN ALL ITS GLORY

For the 2011 SCPD Policy Manual go to https://www.indybay.org/uploads/2012/05/19/scpd_policy_manual_8-4-11.pdf.

Hopefully Jacqui will be providing the updated manual (if it has been updated) soon.

If anyone else has been having fruitful correspondence (or unfruitful correspondence for that matter) with the SCPD--please post your results.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Robert Norse
Thursday Dec 4th, 2014 1:12 PM
CORRESPONDENCE WITH JACQUI DRECHSLER, RECORDS KEEPER OF THE SCPD

From: Robert [mailto:rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com]
Sent: Monday, July 14, 2014 9:25 AM
To: Jacqueline Drechsler
Subject: Public Records Act Request Regarding Lethal Force Procedures

Jacqui:

Please forward me any documents referencing or mentioning SCPD procedures regarding the appropriate use of lethal force, the training officers have regarding such use, and the specifics about when police drew or fired their weapons in the period beginning January 1, 2013 up to the present. If these documents are only available in hardcopy form, please make them available for viewing as I customarily request. I can then advise you if I need additional copies to be made.
I prefer e-mail if possible.

Thanks for your past help and your assistance here. Robert
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: jdrechsler [at] cityofsantacruz.com
To: rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
CC: jdrechsler [at] cityofsantacruz.com
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:24:01 -0700
Subject: SCPD PPA Response

Mr. Norse,

Please see attached.

Thank you, Jacqui Drechsler
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Robert [mailto:rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com]
Sent: Monday, July 28, 2014 4:34 PM
To: Jacqueline Drechsler
Subject: RE: SCPD PPA Response

Jacqui:

The Use of Force General Orders downloads defectively. Could you send it to me again?

Am I understanding correctly that officers have not drawn or fired their weapons other than in simulations between January 1, 2013 and the present. That seems unlikely. Please verify that you either have no records of when officers drew their weapons during this period or that you are, for some reason, unwilling to provide them.

Also please provide the specific times officers have used either (a) choke holds, (b) pepper spray, (c) tasers, or (d) batons during this same period. Include all reports indicating when, where, by whom, and on whom these acts of force were executed.

Thanks again, Robert
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

From: jdrechsler [at] cityofsantacruz.com
To: rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:21:00 -0700
Subject: RE: SCPD PPA Response

Mr. Norse,

Policy 300 has been attached.

I do not have a way to tally when officers have drawn or fired their weapons. This information would be contained within a narrative of a police report. However, on February 26, 2013, where we lost two of our employees, i.e., Police Sergeant Loran Butch Baker and Detective Police Officer Elizabeth Butler, we did have officers from our department involved exchanging gunfire with the suspect in this case.

Types of Force Number of Uses

Taser 39
Baton 4
Hands 6
Elbow 3
Knee 2
OC 1

Thank you, Jacqui Drechsler
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Robert [mailto:rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2014 1:42 PM
To: Jacqueline Drechsler
Subject: RE: SCPD PPA Response

Jacqui: Again, thanks for the speed and specificity of your response.

Policy 300, which previously downloaded "double" i.e. as though it were blurred, printed over itself, now downloads as though it's a cryptogram with a mishmosh of capital letters in place of words. Please check at your end to see if the copy you sent downloads differently.

Thanks for beginning to make available a summary of the results responsive to the second part of my request. Do I understand that officers do not specifically note and their superiors review when they have drawn or fired their weapons, other than an incidental part of the report?

Also, as you can see below, I requested "the specific times officers have used either (a) choke holds, (b) pepper spray, (c) tasers, or (d) batons during this same period." I asked that you "include all reports indicating when, where, by whom, and on whom these acts of force were executed."

Please do so. Or make available for viewing the reports that would enable a researcher to find this information.

Thanks, Robert
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: jdrechsler [at] cityofsantacruz.com
To: rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2014 15:23:45 -0700
Subject: RE: SCPD PPA Response

Mr. Norse,

Please see responses below [IN CAPITAL LETTERS]:

Policy 300, which previously downloaded "double" i.e. as though it were blurred, printed over itself, now downloads as though it's a cryptogram with a mishmosh of capital letters in place of words. Please check at your end to see if the copy you sent downloads differently. –-I HAVE ATTACHED THE PDF AGAIN.

Thanks for beginning to make available a summary of the results responsive to the second part of my request. Do I understand that officers do not specifically note and their superiors review when they have drawn or fired their weapons, other than an incidental part of the report? --CORRECT, THE INFORMATION WOULD BE CONTAINED IN THE NARRATIVE OF THE REPORT

Also, as you can see below, I requested "the specific times officers have used either (a) choke holds, (b) pepper spray, (c) tasers, or (d) batons during this same period." I asked that you "include all reports indicating when, where, by whom, and on whom these acts of force were executed." -- THIS INFORMATION IS EXEMPT FROM DISCLOSURE UNDER 6254(f).

Please do so. Or make available for viewing the reports that would enable a researcher to find this information.

Thank you, Jacqui Drechsler SCPD Records Supervisor




LATEST PUBLIC RECORDS ACT REQUEST SENT TODAY


A NEW PUBLIC RECORDS ACT REQUEST FILED TODAY

From: rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
To: jdrechsler [at] cityofsantacruz.com
Subject: Public Records Act Request: Use of Force Records
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2014 12:34:37 -0800

Jacqui:

I have three requests.

1. Please forward me an electronic copy of the current SCPD Police Policy Manual.

2. Also advise me of where I can receive updates of any policy changes.

3, Additionally regarding the Public Records Act correspondence of earlier this summer (see below), please make available for viewing all narrative reports referenced in your 31 July 2014 e-mail itemizing the numbers of different categories of force used in police interactions.

I am making this request as a reporter and doing so for investigative purposes. I so swear under penalty of perjury that this request is being done for "a scholarly, journalistic, political, or governmental purpose" as provided in section 6254f(3)

You denied my request for "the specific times officers have used either (a) choke holds, (b) pepper spray, (c) tasers, or (d) batons during this same period" as well as "all reports indicating when, where, by whom, and on whom these acts of force were executed." You cited 6254f.

However that section only allows such exclusion if "the disclosure would endanger the safety of a witness or other person involved in the investigation, or unless disclosure would endanger the successful completion of the investigation or a related investigation."

Additionally, 6254f(1) specifically requires you to provide " The full name and occupation of every individual arrested by the agency, the individual's physical description including date of birth, color of eyes and hair, sex, height and weight, the time and date of arrest, the time and date of booking, the location of the arrest, the factual circumstances surrounding the arrest, the amount of bail set, the time and manner of release or the location where the individual is currently being held, and all charges the individual is being held upon, including any outstanding warrants from other jurisdictions and parole or probation holds."

At this time I only require the name, date of birth, time and date of arrest, location of the arrest, factual circumstances surrounding the arrest, and last known contact information of each person arrested. If you wish to provide this information independently of the actual reports, that would be satisfactory. Otherwise make the reports available for viewing within ten days.

Thanks,

Robert Norse
by Robert Norse
Saturday Dec 6th, 2014 1:49 PM
See "Escalating Protest Against Institutionalized Police Bullying on the Horizon?" at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/12/06/18765110.php .

We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!

Donate

donate now

$ 196.00 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