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Police chiefs, community leaders tackle systemic racism as calls for change get louder

Town hall sponsored by Embarcadero Media tackles issues of police accountability, use of force

Former East Palo Alto police Chief Ron Davis, attorney Winter Dellenbach, Palo Alto police Chief Bob Jonsen, East Palo Police Chief Al Pardini, StreetCode Academy CEO Olatunde Sobomehin, East Palo Alto Center for Community Media Executive Director Henrietta Burroughs and Project WeHope co-founder Paul Bains participate in a June 25 town hall on race and policing. Video by Palo Alto Online.

Ron Davis believes reforming the police is not enough. It's time to reimagine it.

Davis, who served as East Palo Alto police chief between 2005 and 2013 before becoming executive director of President Barack Obama's President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, observed that the nature of police work, whether it's in Palo Alto or East Palo Alto, hasn't changed in decades. Police departments remain similar, in structure and design, to how they were in the 1940s and 1950s, he said.

But given the historic function of police in a society where systemic racism permeates, this failure to change has created a problem.

"We police in pretty much the same way and we police for the same reasons," Davis said Thursday evening at a virtual town hall sponsored by the Palo Alto Weekly and Palo Alto Online. "But we were designed to enforce Jim Crow laws. We were designed to contain and to oppress communities of color. So until we remove that structural racism, that systemic racism, then everything else we're reforming, we're just putting Band-Aids on the festering wound of racism."

The conversation, titled "Race, Justice and the Color of Law," was moderated by Henrietta Burroughs, executive director of East Palo Alto Center for Community Media.

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It brought together police chiefs and community members to discuss the topics of systemic racism, police transparency and ways to overcome obstacles that for decades have stood in the way of change.

The list of ideas included repealing policies that allow officers to purge their records of citizen complaints; discouraging use of force in police training; reforming the appeals process for officers facing misconduct allegations; and bringing in the community to discuss a fundamental question: What role should the police play in the modern society?

The Thursday discussion came at a time when police departments across the nation are rethinking their service models after weeks of demonstrations following George Floyd's death. In Palo Alto, about 500 people marched in downtown Palo Alto on June 19 to celebrate Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery, and to hear speakers recall the racial discrimination they experienced in their hometown. And the City Council has just kicked off a process of reviewing and updating policies in its own police department, which has recently seen two lawsuits alleging excessive force.

On use of force

One good place to start, the entire panel agreed, is the 8 Can't Wait platform, which calls for such policies as banning chokeholds, requiring de-escalation, mandating that officers intervene when a colleague is using excessive force and prohibiting shooting at moving vehicles.

Everyone agreed that the measures are reasonable and that most departments already have many of these measures in place, either because of state mandates or local policies. Palo Alto Police Chief Bob Jonsen noted that the department has just adopted a ban on carotid control hold, a policy change that was proposed by officers themselves. The department, he said, continues to actively evaluate its policies for consistency with 8 Can't Wait.

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East Palo Alto Police Chief Al Pardini said his department made the same move. Pardini called 8 Can't Wait a great "prompter" for discussing change.

"I looked at those eight different items and ended up immediately meeting with the police unions and taking the carotid restraint out of our use-of-force policy," Pardini said.

But Davis said that while the 8 Can't Wait policies are "a good start," departments need to constantly reinforce in their use-of-force policies sanctity of human life. The more officers value life, the more they'll look for ways to use non-lethal force.

"What shocked the country in watching 8 minutes and 46 seconds was not just the brutality of the moment," Davis said, referring to the May 25 killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. "Do you know how much you have to devalue life to sit there for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, while you're killing somebody? That means that person was dehumanized. That's the part of the structural racism that's there."

On systemic racism

Panelists agreed that police departments are a microcosm of the broader community and, as such, inevitably reflect the systemic racism that has long been embedded in the wider society. Olatunde Sobomehin, CEO of StreetCode Academy, an educational nonprofit in East Palo Alto, said at the town hall that the experiences of Black people are rooted in the racial hierarchy that has existed since the first European settlers came to America, stretching through 200 years of slavery, 50 years of Jim Crow laws and the current system of mass incarceration.

The fruits of this root, Sobomehin said, are the experiences of his 8-year-old child, who feels lonely as the only Black kid in school, or his 15-year-old, who is confused because he doesn't understand how someone can stand on another man for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

"It's caused me to weep profusely because I'm now facing the idea that my kids will have to one day realize that it's not about what they do, it's about the racist system that they're in," Sobomehin said.

Change, he said, is well overdue.

"Now is our time. It's our Emmett Till moment. It's our 1968 moment. It's a once in a generation moment to uplift the entire system," Sobomehin said.

Paul Bains, president and co-founder of Project WeHope and pastor of Saint Samuel Church of God in Christ, concurred. Bains, who serves as chaplain to police departments in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and Menlo Park, said racism in America is a system that tears at the fabric of everything from fair housing and a fair justice system to food insecurity.

"Is there racism in the police department? Yes there is, but there's racism in all other areas too, like institutional racism in academia. I feel the police department is one aspect where we have to root out racism, but there's many other areas of society we have to work on as well," Bains said.

On police accountability

While the process of addressing the problem is expected to be long and difficult, Winter Dellenbach, an attorney and community activist who founded Friends of Buena Vista Mobile Home Park, proposed one policy change that she argued would make an immediate difference in the police department: repealing a provision that allows police officers to have citizen complaints expunged from their records, in some cases after as little as two years. Internal investigation records, meanwhile, can be removed from their records after six years.

This, she said, makes it difficult for police departments to ensure that they don't hire officers with histories of misconduct.

"This is wrong, this is serious," Dellenbach said. "If you're trying to make sure you're not doing lateral hires for misconduct, if you're trying to track a record, this is not good practice."

'Now is our time. It's our Emmett Till moment. It's our 1968 moment. It's a once in a generation moment to uplift the entire system.'

-Olatunde Sobomehin, CEO, StreetCode Academy

When asked whether he would support a law that would eliminate the policy on purging records, Jonsen said that he is committed to keeping his officers accountable but argued that the system of disciplining an officer is complex. Some of these policies, he noted, are rooted in state laws — including the Peace Officers Bill of Rights — and would be difficult to abolish.

"There has to be a system that's designed, and this is where it gets complex, to where there's a balance and there's a fair due process associated with it," Jonsen said. "

"It's such a complex structure that to disentangle it on a statewide or even national level is going to take some work, it's not going to happen overnight," Jonsen said.

Davis took a clearer position.

"I think the answer should be 'Yes,'" Davis said. "This is one of those structures that, although it had honorable intent, has had a very damaging effect. … You should not use discipline from 10 years ago to keep penalizing someone who made a mistake. They should have the ability to learn from mistakes in their career and keep growing. But the idea that you would destroy a record from someone who has been given such enormous power, the power to take freedom, the power to take life — there is no complexity with that."

Sobomehim also called the policy on purging records wrong, particularly given the fact that 2.3 million people are incarcerated, in many cases for non-violent crimes, and don't have the same luxury.

"To me that's hypocritical, when there is literally a quarter-million children who are locked up for life for a non-homicidal thing they did as a kid," Sobomehin said. "Now we're not allowing for records to be expunged for children, but for police officers, who have the power to take lives, to take futures, (records) are now expunged."

On arbitration

Davis and his colleagues said a major obstacle is the existing police union contracts, which make it hard in many cases for police departments to discipline officers facing misconduct allegations. Pardini concurred and noted that in some cases, the arbitration process makes it easier for officers to challenge and overturn suspension and termination.

"What we see, and where it comes back to haunt police chiefs is when you have a serious case and you try to terminate someone and they go to arbitration," Pardini said. "And maybe they get a suspension, but you don't want this person on your police force based on what they've done and how they conducted themselves, and they get ordered back into police force."

One possible reform, Pardini said, is taking arbitration out of the hands of attorneys and employing retired judges, who are better suited to fairly evaluating the cases.

'Until we remove that structural racism, that systemic racism, then everything else we're reforming, we're just putting Band-Aids on the festering wound of racism.'

-Ron Davis, former police chief, East Palo Alto Police Department

Davis noted that arbitrators often use a higher standard than chiefs in evaluating misconducts and the chief, in some cases, may lose before the case even starts. An arbitrator may also see a financial benefit in "splitting the baby" and reducing the proposed punishment, a result that may help them maintain their employment as arbitrators. He suggested that arbitrators be required to use the same standards as chiefs in evaluating an officer's misconduct.

Jonsen warned that changes to arbitration practices are something that police unions would be very resistant to, particularly when a new chief comes in and starts implementing significant changes.

"There's concern that a new chief could come in and start disciplining people excessively, with no protection," Jonsen said.

Davis agreed that changing the rules would be tough, but argued that this should be put on the table during contract negotiations.

"It's going to be a heck of a fight, but it's going to be worth it if you can get a good appeal process that's fair to the officer but not an obstruction to the constitution of policing," Davis said.

On the path forward

The police chiefs and the community activists agreed that addressing systemic racism and reforming police work is an urgent task that should involve the entire community. Dellenbach said the society has a "historic window" that won't be open for long and that residents and police leaders have to jump through it to address change and institute police reform.

Sobomehin said the time is now to "reimagine what our community could look like." Davis proposed a "truth and reconciliation process" to examine systemic racism. The truth may hurt, he said, but "selective ignorance is fatal." Bains said that it's going to "take everyone to lean in to resolve those systemic issues."

"Every voice should be at the table and not on the menu," Bains said.

Jonsen also said he is committed to moving ahead with changes in the Palo Alto Police Department to improve transparency and accountability.

"What's really profound right now is the energy among the community and the quickness with which things are happening, not like any time I've ever experienced in my career," Jonsen said. "That's exciting for this profession, because the time is now. If we're going to look to make some major changes in this profession, I think the time is now to do that."

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Police chiefs, community leaders tackle systemic racism as calls for change get louder

Town hall sponsored by Embarcadero Media tackles issues of police accountability, use of force

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Jun 26, 2020, 9:49 am

Ron Davis believes reforming the police is not enough. It's time to reimagine it.

Davis, who served as East Palo Alto police chief between 2005 and 2013 before becoming executive director of President Barack Obama's President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, observed that the nature of police work, whether it's in Palo Alto or East Palo Alto, hasn't changed in decades. Police departments remain similar, in structure and design, to how they were in the 1940s and 1950s, he said.

But given the historic function of police in a society where systemic racism permeates, this failure to change has created a problem.

"We police in pretty much the same way and we police for the same reasons," Davis said Thursday evening at a virtual town hall sponsored by the Palo Alto Weekly and Palo Alto Online. "But we were designed to enforce Jim Crow laws. We were designed to contain and to oppress communities of color. So until we remove that structural racism, that systemic racism, then everything else we're reforming, we're just putting Band-Aids on the festering wound of racism."

The conversation, titled "Race, Justice and the Color of Law," was moderated by Henrietta Burroughs, executive director of East Palo Alto Center for Community Media.

It brought together police chiefs and community members to discuss the topics of systemic racism, police transparency and ways to overcome obstacles that for decades have stood in the way of change.

The list of ideas included repealing policies that allow officers to purge their records of citizen complaints; discouraging use of force in police training; reforming the appeals process for officers facing misconduct allegations; and bringing in the community to discuss a fundamental question: What role should the police play in the modern society?

The Thursday discussion came at a time when police departments across the nation are rethinking their service models after weeks of demonstrations following George Floyd's death. In Palo Alto, about 500 people marched in downtown Palo Alto on June 19 to celebrate Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery, and to hear speakers recall the racial discrimination they experienced in their hometown. And the City Council has just kicked off a process of reviewing and updating policies in its own police department, which has recently seen two lawsuits alleging excessive force.

One good place to start, the entire panel agreed, is the 8 Can't Wait platform, which calls for such policies as banning chokeholds, requiring de-escalation, mandating that officers intervene when a colleague is using excessive force and prohibiting shooting at moving vehicles.

Everyone agreed that the measures are reasonable and that most departments already have many of these measures in place, either because of state mandates or local policies. Palo Alto Police Chief Bob Jonsen noted that the department has just adopted a ban on carotid control hold, a policy change that was proposed by officers themselves. The department, he said, continues to actively evaluate its policies for consistency with 8 Can't Wait.

East Palo Alto Police Chief Al Pardini said his department made the same move. Pardini called 8 Can't Wait a great "prompter" for discussing change.

"I looked at those eight different items and ended up immediately meeting with the police unions and taking the carotid restraint out of our use-of-force policy," Pardini said.

But Davis said that while the 8 Can't Wait policies are "a good start," departments need to constantly reinforce in their use-of-force policies sanctity of human life. The more officers value life, the more they'll look for ways to use non-lethal force.

"What shocked the country in watching 8 minutes and 46 seconds was not just the brutality of the moment," Davis said, referring to the May 25 killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. "Do you know how much you have to devalue life to sit there for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, while you're killing somebody? That means that person was dehumanized. That's the part of the structural racism that's there."

Panelists agreed that police departments are a microcosm of the broader community and, as such, inevitably reflect the systemic racism that has long been embedded in the wider society. Olatunde Sobomehin, CEO of StreetCode Academy, an educational nonprofit in East Palo Alto, said at the town hall that the experiences of Black people are rooted in the racial hierarchy that has existed since the first European settlers came to America, stretching through 200 years of slavery, 50 years of Jim Crow laws and the current system of mass incarceration.

The fruits of this root, Sobomehin said, are the experiences of his 8-year-old child, who feels lonely as the only Black kid in school, or his 15-year-old, who is confused because he doesn't understand how someone can stand on another man for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

"It's caused me to weep profusely because I'm now facing the idea that my kids will have to one day realize that it's not about what they do, it's about the racist system that they're in," Sobomehin said.

Change, he said, is well overdue.

"Now is our time. It's our Emmett Till moment. It's our 1968 moment. It's a once in a generation moment to uplift the entire system," Sobomehin said.

Paul Bains, president and co-founder of Project WeHope and pastor of Saint Samuel Church of God in Christ, concurred. Bains, who serves as chaplain to police departments in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and Menlo Park, said racism in America is a system that tears at the fabric of everything from fair housing and a fair justice system to food insecurity.

"Is there racism in the police department? Yes there is, but there's racism in all other areas too, like institutional racism in academia. I feel the police department is one aspect where we have to root out racism, but there's many other areas of society we have to work on as well," Bains said.

While the process of addressing the problem is expected to be long and difficult, Winter Dellenbach, an attorney and community activist who founded Friends of Buena Vista Mobile Home Park, proposed one policy change that she argued would make an immediate difference in the police department: repealing a provision that allows police officers to have citizen complaints expunged from their records, in some cases after as little as two years. Internal investigation records, meanwhile, can be removed from their records after six years.

This, she said, makes it difficult for police departments to ensure that they don't hire officers with histories of misconduct.

"This is wrong, this is serious," Dellenbach said. "If you're trying to make sure you're not doing lateral hires for misconduct, if you're trying to track a record, this is not good practice."

When asked whether he would support a law that would eliminate the policy on purging records, Jonsen said that he is committed to keeping his officers accountable but argued that the system of disciplining an officer is complex. Some of these policies, he noted, are rooted in state laws — including the Peace Officers Bill of Rights — and would be difficult to abolish.

"There has to be a system that's designed, and this is where it gets complex, to where there's a balance and there's a fair due process associated with it," Jonsen said. "

"It's such a complex structure that to disentangle it on a statewide or even national level is going to take some work, it's not going to happen overnight," Jonsen said.

Davis took a clearer position.

"I think the answer should be 'Yes,'" Davis said. "This is one of those structures that, although it had honorable intent, has had a very damaging effect. … You should not use discipline from 10 years ago to keep penalizing someone who made a mistake. They should have the ability to learn from mistakes in their career and keep growing. But the idea that you would destroy a record from someone who has been given such enormous power, the power to take freedom, the power to take life — there is no complexity with that."

Sobomehim also called the policy on purging records wrong, particularly given the fact that 2.3 million people are incarcerated, in many cases for non-violent crimes, and don't have the same luxury.

"To me that's hypocritical, when there is literally a quarter-million children who are locked up for life for a non-homicidal thing they did as a kid," Sobomehin said. "Now we're not allowing for records to be expunged for children, but for police officers, who have the power to take lives, to take futures, (records) are now expunged."

Davis and his colleagues said a major obstacle is the existing police union contracts, which make it hard in many cases for police departments to discipline officers facing misconduct allegations. Pardini concurred and noted that in some cases, the arbitration process makes it easier for officers to challenge and overturn suspension and termination.

"What we see, and where it comes back to haunt police chiefs is when you have a serious case and you try to terminate someone and they go to arbitration," Pardini said. "And maybe they get a suspension, but you don't want this person on your police force based on what they've done and how they conducted themselves, and they get ordered back into police force."

One possible reform, Pardini said, is taking arbitration out of the hands of attorneys and employing retired judges, who are better suited to fairly evaluating the cases.

Davis noted that arbitrators often use a higher standard than chiefs in evaluating misconducts and the chief, in some cases, may lose before the case even starts. An arbitrator may also see a financial benefit in "splitting the baby" and reducing the proposed punishment, a result that may help them maintain their employment as arbitrators. He suggested that arbitrators be required to use the same standards as chiefs in evaluating an officer's misconduct.

Jonsen warned that changes to arbitration practices are something that police unions would be very resistant to, particularly when a new chief comes in and starts implementing significant changes.

"There's concern that a new chief could come in and start disciplining people excessively, with no protection," Jonsen said.

Davis agreed that changing the rules would be tough, but argued that this should be put on the table during contract negotiations.

"It's going to be a heck of a fight, but it's going to be worth it if you can get a good appeal process that's fair to the officer but not an obstruction to the constitution of policing," Davis said.

The police chiefs and the community activists agreed that addressing systemic racism and reforming police work is an urgent task that should involve the entire community. Dellenbach said the society has a "historic window" that won't be open for long and that residents and police leaders have to jump through it to address change and institute police reform.

Sobomehin said the time is now to "reimagine what our community could look like." Davis proposed a "truth and reconciliation process" to examine systemic racism. The truth may hurt, he said, but "selective ignorance is fatal." Bains said that it's going to "take everyone to lean in to resolve those systemic issues."

"Every voice should be at the table and not on the menu," Bains said.

Jonsen also said he is committed to moving ahead with changes in the Palo Alto Police Department to improve transparency and accountability.

"What's really profound right now is the energy among the community and the quickness with which things are happening, not like any time I've ever experienced in my career," Jonsen said. "That's exciting for this profession, because the time is now. If we're going to look to make some major changes in this profession, I think the time is now to do that."

Comments

Midtown Local
Midtown
on Jun 26, 2020 at 10:58 am
Midtown Local, Midtown
on Jun 26, 2020 at 10:58 am
9 people like this

That was an excellent panel last night. Thanks very much for hosting. Let's keep up the momentum for systemic change.


BLM
Greenmeadow
on Jun 26, 2020 at 11:40 am
BLM, Greenmeadow
on Jun 26, 2020 at 11:40 am
10 people like this

I’ve seen a lot of bootlicking in conversations like this, so I’m very grateful that some concrete ideas cane out of this panel. I did see that redistributing a lot of police funds to other departments was a topic not discussed in this article and it’s important that that is kept in the conversation. But I appreciate a lot of the ideas mentioned here, and am more hopeful than before that maybe this police department can improve (as long as they treat the the 8 can’t wait policies as a starting point not an end point)

I do have to note, too, that government officials need to stop being afraid of police unions as, unlike every other union which protects Innocent workers, they protect corrupt cops and uphold white supremacy within their ranks. Just something to note going forward. The police work for the government and the people, not the other way around.


Nayeli
Midtown
on Jun 26, 2020 at 11:51 am
Nayeli, Midtown
on Jun 26, 2020 at 11:51 am
62 people like this

While any act of racism or stereotyping is inherently wrong, I do question the headline for this article. I don't believe that there is a problem with "systemic racism" in police departments throughout America.

Yes, there are some bad cops. However, there are also bad individuals too. We shouldn't generalize and stereotype an entire group on the basis of the examples of those much smaller numbers of bad individuals.

I applaud any attempt to stamp out racism from the acts and behaviors of individuals. I also agree that violent procedures are unnecessary if the person being questioned or apprehended is not an imminent threat or a person with a history of violence. I think that such steps will go a long way.

However, this doesn't address some of the actual roots of the problems.

Most of the "violence" involving police happens when individuals being questioned or detained resist, struggle with or run from police.

Obviously, this doesn't excuse the type of behavior that led to the death of George Floyd (even if he had a long criminal history of violence). If he was handcuffed, then he was no longer a threat. The officer(s) in question should be prosecuted for his/their actions.

My issue is with the assumption that there is "systemic racism" throughout American police departments. Most police officers are outstanding women and men. They do a very difficult (and often thankless) job under what can often be extreme duress.

Just like we shouldn't allow anecdotal examples of bad behavior to formulate a stereotype or generalization in our minds toward a racial or ethnic group, so we shouldn't allow the same thing to be perpetrated about law enforcement in this country.

Perhaps the solution is in the classroom. Children should not just be taught about "diversity" to learn or celebrate our differences. Rather, children should be taught about the dangers of formulating stereotypes and generalizations based upon perceptions or what we see in the news. We should strive to teach empathy. We should also strive to teach that it is NOT okay to resist arrest or struggle with a police officer (lest the outcome turns violent).

I know that what I am saying (or, at least, trying to say) isn't particularly popular in the last month of protests, riots, statue destruction and efforts of activism. However, I think that this is some reasonable thought that we should at least give pause to consider.

As a Hispanic woman (and an immigrant who struggled with language) and former migrant farm worker, I've never experienced racism with police officers. However, I have faced stereotypes and generalizations by ordinary people (including people here on Palo Alto Online).


John
Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 26, 2020 at 11:53 am
John, Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 26, 2020 at 11:53 am
20 people like this

Will anything be proposed to improve “The Community’s” rampant, pathological criminality? If you’re going to define policing by a horrific and criminal 9 minutes, perhaps we can also identify and analyze who is predominantly doing the murders, robberies and assaults that frequently brings them into contact with police? People have will and agency. To blame criminal behavior solely on external factors like “systemic racism” is an excuse. [Portion removed.]


Mark Weiss
Downtown North
on Jun 26, 2020 at 4:29 pm
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
on Jun 26, 2020 at 4:29 pm
1 person likes this

On my way home from an appointment last night around eight about 200 marchers and a half dozen cars passed me or cut me off at University and high, heading East.
On June 6 my bike ride was interrupted by 5,000 people not 2,000 people at City Hall, people texted me that it was the mayor and a congresswoman speaking. I could not get close enough to see the mic. (By the way. 19 days apartment).
I will sit out until the Covid thing is completely done but duly noted Black Lives Matter.


Open Your Eyes
Mountain View
on Jun 26, 2020 at 6:50 pm
Open Your Eyes, Mountain View
on Jun 26, 2020 at 6:50 pm
4 people like this

There absolutely is no excuse to say something as ignorant as systemic racism not existing in policing... Systemic racism is in every single aspect of american culture. Every single one. But if you aren’t convinced here’s some articles about racism in policing. And there’s even more on the internet. We’re all adults and have access to google and are able to inform ourselves and not make ridiculous statements.

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link


Nayeli
Midtown
on Jun 26, 2020 at 7:51 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
on Jun 26, 2020 at 7:51 pm
44 people like this

@ Open Your Eyes - It's not an "excuse" or a "ridiculous claim." Obviously, racism exists. I've experienced it. However, I don't believe that racism is SYSTEMIC in law enforcement.

I looked at those op-ed pieces that you cited. However, the stats just don't corroborate the oft-repeated claims.

While there are a very small number of cops who have done bad things, most members of law enforcement are doing very good jobs under otherwise difficult circumstances.


Anne
Midtown
on Jun 27, 2020 at 12:08 am
Anne, Midtown
on Jun 27, 2020 at 12:08 am
9 people like this

Not surprising at all to hear PAPD Chief Jonson defending the status quo. He's part of the problem! Police unions need to be tamed.


Concerned East Palo Alto Resident
East Palo Alto
on Jun 27, 2020 at 12:47 am
Concerned East Palo Alto Resident, East Palo Alto
on Jun 27, 2020 at 12:47 am
2 people like this

Are you kidding? East Palo Alto Police Department being a model to other police departments?
The East Palo Alto Chief says that he train nis officers, let me give you an example of how well he trains them. Here they are at action, showing what they learned at the trainings, and actually these is the way they really behave.
Web Link
The EPAPD is a disgrace to our community, the behavior of these officers and the staff are not able to control themselves, and put people down for speaking up.


Resident
Midtown
on Jun 27, 2020 at 5:32 am
Resident, Midtown
on Jun 27, 2020 at 5:32 am
34 people like this

Taking the George Floyd event and applying it to ALL cops in ALL cities everywhere in the nation is a massive generalization that is:

1. Extremely irrational, with no statistics to back it up
2. Extremely unfair to cops everywhere because the SJW mob always needs a target to hate and to demonize

Its trendy to look for "systemic racism" in literally everything, whether real or imagined, and then isolate those deemed "racists" (should be saying the word: heretic) and destroy their reputations and careers because of something they once said on twitter. Anyone who challenges the mainstream/academic/social justice narrative is instantly deemed as evil for daring to have an independent idea that goes against the grain. The effect of this is stultifying, but you can't keep people silent forever. It provokes a backlash and a counter-movement.

Very interesting read if you're looking for alternative viewpoints:

Web Link


ALB
College Terrace
on Jun 27, 2020 at 4:39 pm
ALB, College Terrace
on Jun 27, 2020 at 4:39 pm
3 people like this

The town hall exceeded my expectations. Please schedule more of these town halls on a REGULAR basis concerning this very topic. Chief Al Pardini argues that arbitration needs to be discarded and instead have judges perform this role en lieu of attorneys. The police unions are fraternal organizations where lack of transparency is paramount. How to change this entrenched culture? It must be legislated. The empowering of the police union goes back to Republican legislation.

These town halls need to be scheduled at least once a month. This is a good beginning but all of the speakers need to break bread and dig further in order to facilitate change in our broken system.


Nayeli
Midtown
on Jun 27, 2020 at 6:51 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
on Jun 27, 2020 at 6:51 pm
29 people like this

@ALB wrote: "The empowering of the police union goes back to Republican legislation."

Wait. What? Where are you getting this from?

Police unions began in cities that were primarily controlled by politicians in the Democratic Party. In fact, prior to the social ideology divide that is paramount in politics today, one of the primary differences between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party was union support.

Web Link.

Republicans have largely opposed PUBLIC unions in the public service sector (e.g., law enforcement, firefighters, air traffic controllers, etc.) or much of the "must-belong-to-a-union" rules that was common in Democratic Party strongholds.


Latino
Juana Briones School
on Jun 27, 2020 at 10:19 pm
Latino, Juana Briones School
on Jun 27, 2020 at 10:19 pm
6 people like this

If this was a conversation about racism, why is fixated on black and white? This is Palo Alto, and the issues with police brutality have been with Latinos. There was the big payout to the gentleman getting his face smashed into a windshield, and then there was the current issue of the Happy Donuts customer getting his face smashed into the concrete. I believe in Black Lives Matter, but let's be perfectly honest, Latinos do not in Palo Alto or in the Bay Area.


ALB
College Terrace
on Jun 28, 2020 at 11:02 pm
ALB, College Terrace
on Jun 28, 2020 at 11:02 pm
3 people like this

To all including Nayell please read the article in the June 18, 2020 issue of The New Yorker entitled, How Police Unions Enable and Conceal Abuses of Power by Steven Greenhouse.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 28, 2020 at 11:56 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 28, 2020 at 11:56 pm
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The editorial sections of the papers are indicating that the CA AG - Becerra is protecting the bag cops. He is not releasing info on the ones that are a problem. SO the problem is at the top of the line here.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 29, 2020 at 12:01 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 29, 2020 at 12:01 am
1 person likes this

The George Floyd situation - the two knew each other - they both worked as bouncers at a club. And they did not get along in that situation. I see that as more of a relationship issue vs a police issue - except the two other cops got involved. Turns out the two other cops were fairly new so not a lot of experience on their parts.


Resident
Midtown
on Jun 29, 2020 at 5:31 am
Resident, Midtown
on Jun 29, 2020 at 5:31 am
7 people like this

The New Yorker is not a legit magazine.
How come people on here always back up their assertions by providing links to extremely biased "news" organizations like the washington post and new york times?
If only they hadn't worked so hard to sabotage their own credibility....
You think reading fake news proves your point? Think again.


Bill Bucy
Barron Park
on Jun 29, 2020 at 7:57 am
Bill Bucy, Barron Park
on Jun 29, 2020 at 7:57 am
4 people like this

It's the lack of accountability that's the problem. My argument is here.

Web Link


C
Palo Verde
on Jun 30, 2020 at 11:04 am
C, Palo Verde
on Jun 30, 2020 at 11:04 am
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I'd go a step further and look at schools and education to reduce crime. I don't how if this applies more on a national level than local, but focusing only on the police doesn't address the admittedly more complex underlying issues behind crime.

Why education reduces crime
Web Link

Also, an article I found says that for every dollar spent on prison education reduces crime by five dollars, and this obviously doesn't include the quality of life that an education provides.

Education Opportunities in Prison Are Key to Reducing Crime
Web Link


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:01 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:01 pm
5 people like this

I think we need to analyze how the "Sanctuary City" rules affect current policing. That in effect is racism. People are not treated equally within the law. Someone who is knowledgeable on the subject needs to determine what has changed under that law(s) and see if that is changing how police do their jobs.

We keep reading about someone who has been caught and has a lengthy profile of lawlessness - and there they are - out on the street doing the same things over and over. We have repeat criminals out there who are in and out of jail. The police are doing their job and the judicial system is writing get out of jail free cards. The systems are broken and some people are working to perpetuate the continued lawlessness. We need to identify the people who keep writing these laws, the judges who keep perpetuating these laws, And see how the ACLU is functioning within these situations.


Reality Check
Midtown
on Jul 2, 2020 at 12:14 pm
Reality Check, Midtown
on Jul 2, 2020 at 12:14 pm
13 people like this

The only "systemic racism" that has existed in this country in the lifetime of any living person is the systematic limits on East Asian enrollment in universities.

Bizarrely, no one is even allowed to talk about it.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 3, 2020 at 10:34 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 3, 2020 at 10:34 pm
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Just need to ask - why "East Asians" vs "Asians"? Is there something there I am not picking up on? UCLA had a good percentage of foreign students when I was in the mix. If you looked at the year book you could see whole schools within the university system that had Asian students. Los Angeles always seems to provide a contrast to what we experience in this area. But they have a large Asian population in LA.


I Might Have the Corona Virus
Midtown
on Jul 5, 2020 at 2:06 am
I Might Have the Corona Virus, Midtown
on Jul 5, 2020 at 2:06 am
1 person likes this

Palo Alto Police Police Department's Mission on their website reads: To proudly serve and protect the public with respect and integrity.
But in this video you will see Palo Alto Police Officer J. Salkeld #6647, not wearing a mask, not keeping social distance coughing on a person who is recording police activity, and then he says
"Maybe I have the Corona Virus." There is a total of 5 police officers involved, and only one is wearing a mask.
Two of the police officers are very close with no mask.These officers are not serving or protecting or serving the public with respect or integrity. I think that this police was in fact sick, because he coughed more than once in just couple of minutes. She shall stay home, if he is not going to wear a mask, he might be infecting people when he is going around cough gin like that.
Web Link
He coughs at 12:35 and mentions the Corona Virus at 12:37, and he coughs again at 13:40. I would not like to shake hands with this officer. Good Luck to the other officers who are with Officer Salkeld. They first need training on keeping the public and coworkers safe and healthy.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 5, 2020 at 10:58 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 5, 2020 at 10:58 am
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Posted by Reality Check, a resident of Midtown

>> The only "systemic racism" that has existed in this country in the lifetime of any living person is the systematic limits on East Asian enrollment in universities.

Are you referring to Chinese Americans or Chinese nationals? In California, the state schools UC and CSU and CC system are tax supported and exist primarily to support California residents. California residents are supposed to get priority. In fact, at one point in time, UC committed to admitting the top 12-1/2% of California HS grads. That % has dropped over time to allow for the admission of high-paying out-of-state and foreign students.

IOW, I'm not sure what point you are trying to make. At least as far as UC is concerned, all student, including Chinese American students, have to be admitted to a UC school if they meet the admission criteria-- I think the number has dropped to top 9%.

With respect to almost any US university, AFAIK, they are no obligation to admit any foreign students at all-- but, almost all do, because there are wealthy people from all over the world who want to send their kids to a US university.



Jesse Smith
Green Acres
on Jul 5, 2020 at 2:20 pm
Jesse Smith, Green Acres
on Jul 5, 2020 at 2:20 pm
11 people like this

Why doesn't the Palo Alto police publish the race of crime suspects anymore? What are they trying to hide?


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 5, 2020 at 9:16 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 5, 2020 at 9:16 pm
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Posted by Jesse Smith, a resident of Green Acres

>> Why doesn't the Palo Alto police publish the race of crime suspects anymore? >> What are they trying to hide?

It would be more helpful if they published the suspects shoe size. How does the saying go? If you aren't sure if you are part of the solution, then, ... ?


Reality Check
Midtown
on Jul 6, 2020 at 5:39 pm
Reality Check, Midtown
on Jul 6, 2020 at 5:39 pm
8 people like this

@Jesse:

Because that would destroy their narrative about why certain groups are over-represented in arrests and imprisonment. Leftists have a good grift going, and too much money and power is at stake.


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