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Citizens Police Review Board an Idea Whose Time Has Come?
Community is Ready to Move Forward
Posted: Fri Jul 1, 2016 12:49PM
A failure of character.
The Oakland PD has been under Federal review, for over a decade. It hasn't worked. In the past few weeks, the Oakland PD has replaced numerous rotten Chiefs, within days of each other. Instead of addressing this chronic problem, City government chose to investigate those that dared to speak of the corruption. http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/the-real-reason-why-oakland-fired-its-police-chief/Content?oid=4826701 http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/badge-of-dishonor-top-oakland-police-department-officials-looked-away-as-east-bay-cops-sexually-exploited-and-trafficked-a-teenagerdepartmen/Content?oid=4832543 http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/how-the-oakland-police-department-worked-to-cover-up-sex-crimes-and-a-home-invasion-committed-by-cops/Content?oid=4861737 http://www.eastbayexpress.com/SevenDays/archives/2016/06/30/cops-that-worked-at-richmond-schools-now-under-investigation-for-alleged-sexual-misconduct-with-former-student http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/libby-leaks-oakland-mayor-launches-investigation-against-city-and-police-whistleblowers/Content?oid=4849906 Scandals are not unique to Oakland, nor San Francisco. Nor Santa Cruz. Clearly, LEO are above the law, and resist any attempt to change that ugly fact. Local, State, and Federal government have failed to address this chronic problem. The old Santa Cruz Citizen Review Board failed. It's a failed idea that came and went.
Posted: Fri Jul 1, 2016 2:30PM
Steve, I'm familiar with civilian police review; our civil grand jury looked at it six years ago and I've had several conversations with the fellow who was the independent reviewer for Santa Cruz for a number of years. I could write a dissertation on the subject, but I'm afraid I'd put the readers to sleep. Let me start by making it clear I support the concept of civilian review. However, due to the Peace Officers Bill of Rights (POBOR) and court decisions, there are severe limitations to what an independent board would be allowed to do. It certainly could not do parallel investigations of alleged misconduct. While the police department can legally force officers to answer questions during an internal affairs inquiry, there is no mechanism permitted by current state law to force officers to answer questions posed by anyone outside of internal affairs. Fifth amendment you know. In addition any discussion of investigations would have to occur behind closed doors. The LA Board of Police Commissioners does release a summary of "categorical use of force" incidents but all identifying personal information is redacted. Where a civilian group could be useful is in evaluating policy, and providing input to the police department. But, the department and the city manager would make the final decisions, not the civilian board. There's no way around the liability issues and other legalities involved.
Posted: Fri Jul 1, 2016 4:07PM
Slow Food USA respalda el boicot de Driscoll’s Berries
Slow Food USA respeta y valora las manos que nos alimentan. Es por esto que nos solidarizamos con Familias Unidas por la Justicia.
Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 5:44PM
Four Days…the Slaying of Krista Deluca in the Santa Cruz County Jail
A description and analysis of the incarceration and pain she endured in the four days and nights she was held captive by the officials in charge of the Santa Cruz County jail. She was deprived of the medication that, without question, would have ended her agony and saved her life. The limitlessness of her four sleepless days and nights of torture and mayhem, that culminated in her choking on her own vomit and dying, is not easy to imagine.
Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:16AM
Santa Cruz County Jail and the California Forensic Medical Group in government crosshairs!
My client Megan Andrea Morgan was arrested by Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD) Officer Frederick Yoon last Saturday afternoon at the intersection of Soquel and Ocean Streets. She was arraigned by Judge Paul Burdick who set her bail at the outrageous amount of $2500 for the dangerous crime of "panhandling". Megan uses most of her Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) for her disabilities to pay for rent at a local motel, but is forced to panhandle for food because she has so little money left after her rent is paid. After arraignment she was booked into the jail, where it is unclear whether she received any medical treatment at all. The sheriffs at the County Jail and staff of the California Forensic Medical Group (CFMG) tried to do the same thing to Megan that they did to Krista DeLuca and others: they were going to kill Megan. Megan is prescribed methadone; she's a recovering opiate addict — she is in a protected class because this is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). I discovered the jail doesn't have methadone on hand and they don't use medicines to mitigate opiate withdrawal. Opiate withdrawal is serious: it can cause dangerous medical harm, even death as in the case of Krista DeLuca. Basically the staff doesn't care about killing inmates because they have gotten away with it for so long without consequence. Jail inmates are dying left and right, being beaten, being sexually assaulted, being denied necessary medicines causing medical harm. There is a serious lack of accountability — jail staff act with impunity and reckless disregard for the health and safety of their inmates. Forcing an inmate unnecessarily into opiate withdrawal by denying them a prescribed medicine for a disability is a criminal violation of federal civil rights statutes. After three days of speaking to numerous sheriffs at the jail, outside the jail, Santa Cruz Regional 911, the SCPD and CFMG medical staff it became obvious they were willing to kill Megan rather than providing her methadone or mitigate her opiate withdrawal with medicines, because they routinely deny necessary medical care to inmates. After I spoke to Lieutenant Kent Kelly on Monday morning (one of the jail administrators) where he denied responsibility, lied, evaded reason and made blatantly false claims — he was immovable — I decided to immediately contact the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (HHS OCR) laying out the crimes being committed and the criminal violations of federal civil rights statutes. I emphasized that Megan was in immediate danger: she required an expedited investigation by these agencies to save her life. These federal agencies must have contacted Lieutenant Kelly Kent, other jail staff and CFMG employees. By 5:30 P.M. that night Megan was released from the jail, which had threatened they could hold her for weeks or more without providing methadone nor medicines to mitigate her opiate withdrawal. The District Attorney's Office has dropped the criminal charges against her. The Santa Cruz Superior Court has no record of her arrest last Saturday nor a case number for it, yet they confirmed Judge Paul Burdick set her bail at an outrageous $2500 for "misdemeanor panhandling" — a non-crime — on PC 653.6 (7)(i) because SCPD Officer Frederick Yoon decided she was an immediate threat to others: Megan is five foot one inch tall, has Fibromyalgia and uses a walker, a real dangerous threat, right? The District Attorney claims Megan was arrested for PC 148 (A)(4) not for PC 653.6 (7)(i) for "obstructing" or "impeding" a police officer. Sergeant Taylor at the jail gave two stories for Megan's arrest. One was she was arrested on PC 653.6 (7)(i) and alternatively that she was arrested for PC 148 (A)(4). Both stories can't be true. The District Attorney has washed their hands of the matter, dropping the charges and sending it back to the City Attorney's Office. City Attorney Anthony Condotti has ignored my telephone messages to answer three questions: (1) who asked Judge Burdick to boost the bail to $2500 for "panhandling" (the SCPD, the DA or the City Attorney's Office); (2) will the City Attorney's Office file new charges for a municipal infraction of panhandling against Megan; and (3), what belongings of Megan's did the SCPD pilfer from her as reported to me by journalistic activist Robert Norse. Also Lieutenant Kelly Kent claimed Megan had a public defender representing her for the Saturday arrest while the Santa Cruz County Superior Court has no record of a public defender for this and the Santa Cruz County Office of the Public Defender has no record of the case nor of Megan being represented by one of their public defenders since 2012. I am left with a huge morass of conflicting stories, misinformation, missing information and outright obstruction. I intend to hold all these agencies responsible for endangering Megan's life for the dangerous non-crime of "panhandling" for food money. The federal government is taking this seriously. I realize the only way the jail will change its ways is if jail officials are prosecuted and end up in prison. Nothing short of that will change their inhumane, criminally callous culture of non-responsibility. There is going to be a huge rumble. I've just started to gather the necessary evidence to gain criminal prosecutions. More witnesses are coming forward. I will begin seeking out more jail victims. I'm going for a full court press employing the full force of the federal government. The jail will no longer be able to abuse and torture inmates with impunity.
Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:42PM
Slow Food USA Endorses the Boycott of Driscoll’s Berries
Slow Food USA respects and values the hands that feed us. This is why we stand in solidarity with Familias Unidas por la Justicia.
Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:11PM
Free Alla Aleksandrovska!
Photo: Political prisoner Alla Aleksandrovska from Dmytriy Kovalevich
Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:25PM
Theory & Philosophy Reading Group XIX: Anarchist Critiques of Democracy (Part 3 of 3)
Old Capitol Books, 559 Tyler Street, downtown Monterey
Event Date: Fri Jul 29, 2016 7:00PM
Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:21PM
Peace & Dignity Journeys runners arrive in Santa Cruz
Beach Flats Community Garden (312 Raymond St, Santa Cruz, CA)
Event Date: Wed Jul 6, 2016 4:00PM
Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 2:44PM
Watsonville Driscoll's Boycott Action
Safeway (Watsonville, CA) 2010 Freedom Blvd., Watsonville, California 95019
Event Date: Sat Jul 2, 2016 12:00PM
Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:42PM
Annual 4th of July Protest
Ocean & Water Streets in Santa Cruz
Event Date: Mon Jul 4, 2016 10:00AM
Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:11PM
I wish this welcome to holiday visitors had a more local message: Pack Your Trash
Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:57AM
Bring your own
Fixed it... BYOF ... Bring your own flag and let's burn baby burn!
Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:23PM
Beyond Climate Change: Visions for a Just and Sustainable Future
Live Oak Grange, 1900 17th Ave., Santa Cruz
Event Date: Thu Jul 7, 2016 6:15PM
Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:53PM
Obama Administration Permitted 1,200 Offshore Fracks in Gulf of Mexico
WASHINGTON, June 28, 2016 — Federal officials permitted more than 1,200 offshore fracks by oil companies in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010 to 2014, according to federal documents obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity.
Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:20PM
Freedom SleepOut #51 to Follow City Council Clampdown
Sidewalk Area on Center St. between Locust and Church Streets as well as the brick courtyard, extending all the way to the bowels of the City Council chambers... The event runs through the night until 8 AM or so Wednesday morning.
Event Date: Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:00PM
Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:12PM
RV Nighttime Parking, "Littering", Street Vendors Again on Chopping Block Today at Council
The Niroyan-led Nimbies are back again at City Hall demanding the City ban RV's at night city-wide. To avoid a veto from the Coastal Commission, city staff homeless-cleansers have dickered with Coastal Commission staff for half a year. They are introducing a midnight-5 PM resolution (though allowing for a broader parking ban in the law) (Item #25). Additional items of interest involve tripled fines for "littering" city-wide from July 2 through July 6 and $200+ fines for violating the "Vani...
Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:55PM
The Summer Solstice Music Festival 6-25-2016
A day in the San Lorenzo park in Santa Cruz California, with information, music, and food! San Lorenzo Park, Santa Cruz California
Posted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 12:02AM
Thanks for the great photos. I so wanted to go this event- but had to work on Saturday. Project Pollinate ROCKS!
Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:59AM