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In effort to reform policing, experts call adoption of 8 Can't Wait platform 'inadequate'

Human Relation Commission to discuss, send recommendations to the City Council on Wednesday

The policies and practices of the Palo Alto Police Department are being scrutinized in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody and the subsequent protests and revelations about how some local police officers treat African American residents along the Midpeninsula. Embarcadero Media file photo by Veronica Weber.

The city of Palo Alto's prospective adoption of the 8 Can't Wait platform for police reform was met with significant skepticism last week from a panel of experts, who said that such a move would be wholly inadequate for the task at hand.

As part of an effort to respond to public outrage about police brutality and systemic racism nationwide, the Palo Alto City Council on June 16 directed the Human Relations Commission to review the consistency of Palo Alto Police Department policies with those in the 8 Can't Wait campaign, created by the nonprofit group Campaign Zero to reduce police officers' excessive use of force.

On July 9, a five-member panel advising the Human Relations Commission did not dismiss the platform outright but regarded it as a first — and very small — step.

David Alan Sklansky, co-director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center and author of the book "Democracy and Policing," said the 8 Can't Wait policies seem sensible but are designed to be non-controversial, consensus reforms. It's hard to argue against implementing them, he said, but even its authors said the platform should be taken as a first step.

The 8 Can't Wait policies are: ban chokeholds and strangleholds, require de-escalation, require warnings before shooting, require officers to exhaust all alternatives before shooting, require officers to intervene and stop excessive force by other officers, ban shooting at moving vehicles, require a use-of-force continuum and require comprehensive reporting.

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Over-policing isn't the fault of police departments, but the systemic failure of governments and society, Sklansky and other panelists said.

"The police department did not ask to be our principal response agency to people in mental health distress, to people in emotional distress," he said. "They took that lead on that because nobody else was going to do it.

"When we ended forced institutionalization of people with mental illnesses in the late 1960s and 1970s, we were supposed to create community mental health systems and we never did. We just asked the police to pick up the slack," he said. "It's a good idea to think about ways people other than armed police officers can respond to people in mental health distress."

Matthew Clair, Stanford University assistant professor of sociology and author of the book "Privilege and Punishment: How Race and Class Matter in Criminal Court," said these failures date back decades.

"Police inherently are not a de-escalating institution. Police work, given our legal norms around probable cause, and the proactive-policing policies and culture that arose since the '80s and '90s especially with community policing practices, promote actively searching for illegal behavior, which is based on a logic of escalation," he said.

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Sklansky said that while community policing, touted as a more humane and inclusive model, brought about progress, it also had serious downfalls.

'How can we ensure policies are actually enforced? Will police officers be fired who violate them?'

-Matthew Clair, assistant professor, Stanford University

"The biggest flaws with the community policing agenda and the procedural justice agenda is they didn't attend sufficiently to issues of race and they didn't attend sufficiently to issues of violence, and those are the issues that I think people around the country today are asking police and municipalities to pay more attention to," he said.

City policies should try to recover the agenda of community policing and procedural justice but should also take into account what they missed in terms of race and violence, he said.

Clair said Palo Alto's police department has policies in place that in spirit align with the 8 Can't Wait platform but questioned their implementation.

"I wonder how can we ensure policies are actually enforced? Will police officers be fired who violate them?" he asked.

"There's no certainty that the police will hold themselves to these policies and there's no mechanism for external enforcement of a policy manual," he said.

For instance, the Palo Alto Police Department's policy manual states it encourages de-escalation.

"Officers should consider, as time and circumstances reasonably permit, conflict resolution and de-escalation techniques when responding to all types of calls for service and when engaging in self-initiated activity," the manual states. But in practice, that hasn't always played out.

He noted that the city now faces a $10 million lawsuit for an assumption an officer made on July 10, 2019, that a man who was talking outside of Happy Donuts to others was engaged in a drug transaction. Video did not show that to be the case. The officer's use of force, including throwing the man, Julio Arevalo, to the ground, fractured Arevalo's eye socket.

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About 200 to 250 demonstrators march down Ramona Street in Palo Alto protest of the death of George Floyd and police brutality against Black people on June 11. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Another expert took aim at the efficacy of implicit-bias training for officers, a special interest of the Human Relations Commission.

Anand Subramanian, managing director at PolicyLink, a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity, said that police reform fundamentally does not work: Cities repeatedly grapple with cycles of bias followed by attempts at reform, followed by more bias and more reform attempts, he said.

"Defunding and investing in communities is a path that will break that cycle," he said.

He, too, cautioned against putting too much into stock into the adoption of 8 Can't Wait policies.

"There is desperation to do something whenever things like this come up. 8 Can't Wait is that something," he said. But "8 Can't Wait offers false hope. We need more time, patience and investments to highlight programs. If we just jump to reform, it will be a mistake."

'8 Can't Wait offers false hope. If we just jump to reform, it will be a mistake.'

-Anand Subramanian, managing director, PolicyLink

Even investing in reform of police departments is a matter of debate. Clair said reducing police budgets and putting the money into nonviolent and nonpunitive programs would better serve communities and reduce crime. The city, he said, should investigate the Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets (CAHOOTS) program, a mental health crisis intervention program started in Eugene, Oregon, a suggestion made by Palo Alto resident Winter Dellenbach. Since 1989, the program has sent medics and mental health crisis counselors instead of police officers to 911 calls that are nonviolent in nature but relate to addiction, disorientation, mental health crises and homelessness.

Clair said such programs successfully reduce crime. A study of 264 cities found that from the 1990s to 2010s, for every 10 additional nonprofits funded in a city of 100,000 people, the murder rate shrank by 9%, violent crime rate dropped 6% and property crime was lowered by 4%.

Another randomized control study in Chicago found that when more than 1,634 youth were employed in a summer-jobs program, violence decreased by 43% over 16 months. The decline also occurred after the jobs program ended because it changed behavior, he said.

Palo Alto Police Chief Bob Jonsen cautioned that creating an infrastructure for a new set of programs could be costly. While he agreed with Clair's suggestion that defunding could begin by not filling vacancies within the department, it would be a slow process, he said.

Sklansky also cautioned against focusing on budgets or on the size of budgets when replacing police functions with new social programs.

"Doing things 'the right way' can cost more than doing things the wrong way," he said.

Clair said that there are plenty of opportunities to redirect funding exists given the size of the police department budget.

"In fiscal year 2020, the city's general fund spent $43.8 million on police — one-fifth of the city's expenses," he said, but the city spends just $1.6 million on support for nonprofit organizations.

Kenan Moos (left), Kai Moos (center), and Jimmy Dessouki (right) kneel and raise their fists listening to Kiyoshi Taylor during the protest in Los Altos on June 5. Photo by Adam Pardee.

Panelist Kenan Moos, a member of Justice Vanguard, which has staged many local protests in favor of police reforms, said local Bay Area cities have "huge financial power and a lot of money to go into these social programs."

8 Can't Wait is "a very necessary and very small first step in terms of something that can be done today, pretty immediately, but it's definitely not something that's going to make that big of a difference in terms of protecting lives," he said.

Jonsen said the department has already implemented much of the "8 Can't Wait" platform. The department now prohibits carotid artery restraint and has modified its de-escalation policy. It could still modify its retention and accountability policies to better align with 8 Can't Wait, he said.

(While the department policies do largely mirror those in 8 Can't Wait, several recent incidents and police audits suggest that some of the policies pertaining to de-escalation and intervening aren't always followed.)

Regarding accountability, State Assembly Bill 953 requires all agencies to capture data on every interaction, Jonsen said. The department will have a computer system in place to capture the data, hopefully as soon as next year. For now, the department is manually collecting the data and should soon have high-level reports, he said.

Other residents who spoke at the July 9 meeting said they hope that accountability data and new policies will improve how police treat them.

Teresa Brown, an African American resident whose family has lived in Palo Alto for 100 years, said she and her family have faced multiple embarrassing, invasive and frightening encounters with Palo Alto officers on flimsy pretexts such as dim license-plate lights. Her family members have been held for long periods of time, and placed on the ground or frisked against a squad car in plain view of other residents.

"It is hateful, demeaning," she said.

Moos said these incidents have a lasting, detrimental effect on people of color.

"For me, when I go outside, no matter — no matter that fact that I'm a senior, I'm in college, no matter how educated I am — I'm treated the same. I leave the house, I leave wherever, and I am just a Black man. And the way that I get treated for that from police officers is very scary. I've been pulled over in this area 22 of the 23 times; followed to work," Moos said.

"There's a lot of people who feel the way I feel and who are terrorized constantly. And it sucks. It really sucks with how you see yourself as a person," he said.

The Human Relations Commission will continue its discussion of police reform on Wednesday, July 22. The commissioners will also vote on a set of recommendations to the City Council regarding the 8 Can't Wait platform.

Sue Dremann
 
Sue Dremann is a veteran journalist who joined the Palo Alto Weekly in 2001. She is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who also covers the regional environmental, health and crime beats. Read more >>

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In effort to reform policing, experts call adoption of 8 Can't Wait platform 'inadequate'

Human Relation Commission to discuss, send recommendations to the City Council on Wednesday

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 9:15 pm

The city of Palo Alto's prospective adoption of the 8 Can't Wait platform for police reform was met with significant skepticism last week from a panel of experts, who said that such a move would be wholly inadequate for the task at hand.

As part of an effort to respond to public outrage about police brutality and systemic racism nationwide, the Palo Alto City Council on June 16 directed the Human Relations Commission to review the consistency of Palo Alto Police Department policies with those in the 8 Can't Wait campaign, created by the nonprofit group Campaign Zero to reduce police officers' excessive use of force.

On July 9, a five-member panel advising the Human Relations Commission did not dismiss the platform outright but regarded it as a first — and very small — step.

David Alan Sklansky, co-director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center and author of the book "Democracy and Policing," said the 8 Can't Wait policies seem sensible but are designed to be non-controversial, consensus reforms. It's hard to argue against implementing them, he said, but even its authors said the platform should be taken as a first step.

The 8 Can't Wait policies are: ban chokeholds and strangleholds, require de-escalation, require warnings before shooting, require officers to exhaust all alternatives before shooting, require officers to intervene and stop excessive force by other officers, ban shooting at moving vehicles, require a use-of-force continuum and require comprehensive reporting.

Over-policing isn't the fault of police departments, but the systemic failure of governments and society, Sklansky and other panelists said.

"The police department did not ask to be our principal response agency to people in mental health distress, to people in emotional distress," he said. "They took that lead on that because nobody else was going to do it.

"When we ended forced institutionalization of people with mental illnesses in the late 1960s and 1970s, we were supposed to create community mental health systems and we never did. We just asked the police to pick up the slack," he said. "It's a good idea to think about ways people other than armed police officers can respond to people in mental health distress."

Matthew Clair, Stanford University assistant professor of sociology and author of the book "Privilege and Punishment: How Race and Class Matter in Criminal Court," said these failures date back decades.

"Police inherently are not a de-escalating institution. Police work, given our legal norms around probable cause, and the proactive-policing policies and culture that arose since the '80s and '90s especially with community policing practices, promote actively searching for illegal behavior, which is based on a logic of escalation," he said.

Sklansky said that while community policing, touted as a more humane and inclusive model, brought about progress, it also had serious downfalls.

"The biggest flaws with the community policing agenda and the procedural justice agenda is they didn't attend sufficiently to issues of race and they didn't attend sufficiently to issues of violence, and those are the issues that I think people around the country today are asking police and municipalities to pay more attention to," he said.

City policies should try to recover the agenda of community policing and procedural justice but should also take into account what they missed in terms of race and violence, he said.

Clair said Palo Alto's police department has policies in place that in spirit align with the 8 Can't Wait platform but questioned their implementation.

"I wonder how can we ensure policies are actually enforced? Will police officers be fired who violate them?" he asked.

"There's no certainty that the police will hold themselves to these policies and there's no mechanism for external enforcement of a policy manual," he said.

For instance, the Palo Alto Police Department's policy manual states it encourages de-escalation.

"Officers should consider, as time and circumstances reasonably permit, conflict resolution and de-escalation techniques when responding to all types of calls for service and when engaging in self-initiated activity," the manual states. But in practice, that hasn't always played out.

He noted that the city now faces a $10 million lawsuit for an assumption an officer made on July 10, 2019, that a man who was talking outside of Happy Donuts to others was engaged in a drug transaction. Video did not show that to be the case. The officer's use of force, including throwing the man, Julio Arevalo, to the ground, fractured Arevalo's eye socket.

Another expert took aim at the efficacy of implicit-bias training for officers, a special interest of the Human Relations Commission.

Anand Subramanian, managing director at PolicyLink, a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity, said that police reform fundamentally does not work: Cities repeatedly grapple with cycles of bias followed by attempts at reform, followed by more bias and more reform attempts, he said.

"Defunding and investing in communities is a path that will break that cycle," he said.

He, too, cautioned against putting too much into stock into the adoption of 8 Can't Wait policies.

"There is desperation to do something whenever things like this come up. 8 Can't Wait is that something," he said. But "8 Can't Wait offers false hope. We need more time, patience and investments to highlight programs. If we just jump to reform, it will be a mistake."

Even investing in reform of police departments is a matter of debate. Clair said reducing police budgets and putting the money into nonviolent and nonpunitive programs would better serve communities and reduce crime. The city, he said, should investigate the Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets (CAHOOTS) program, a mental health crisis intervention program started in Eugene, Oregon, a suggestion made by Palo Alto resident Winter Dellenbach. Since 1989, the program has sent medics and mental health crisis counselors instead of police officers to 911 calls that are nonviolent in nature but relate to addiction, disorientation, mental health crises and homelessness.

Clair said such programs successfully reduce crime. A study of 264 cities found that from the 1990s to 2010s, for every 10 additional nonprofits funded in a city of 100,000 people, the murder rate shrank by 9%, violent crime rate dropped 6% and property crime was lowered by 4%.

Another randomized control study in Chicago found that when more than 1,634 youth were employed in a summer-jobs program, violence decreased by 43% over 16 months. The decline also occurred after the jobs program ended because it changed behavior, he said.

Palo Alto Police Chief Bob Jonsen cautioned that creating an infrastructure for a new set of programs could be costly. While he agreed with Clair's suggestion that defunding could begin by not filling vacancies within the department, it would be a slow process, he said.

Sklansky also cautioned against focusing on budgets or on the size of budgets when replacing police functions with new social programs.

"Doing things 'the right way' can cost more than doing things the wrong way," he said.

Clair said that there are plenty of opportunities to redirect funding exists given the size of the police department budget.

"In fiscal year 2020, the city's general fund spent $43.8 million on police — one-fifth of the city's expenses," he said, but the city spends just $1.6 million on support for nonprofit organizations.

Panelist Kenan Moos, a member of Justice Vanguard, which has staged many local protests in favor of police reforms, said local Bay Area cities have "huge financial power and a lot of money to go into these social programs."

8 Can't Wait is "a very necessary and very small first step in terms of something that can be done today, pretty immediately, but it's definitely not something that's going to make that big of a difference in terms of protecting lives," he said.

Jonsen said the department has already implemented much of the "8 Can't Wait" platform. The department now prohibits carotid artery restraint and has modified its de-escalation policy. It could still modify its retention and accountability policies to better align with 8 Can't Wait, he said.

(While the department policies do largely mirror those in 8 Can't Wait, several recent incidents and police audits suggest that some of the policies pertaining to de-escalation and intervening aren't always followed.)

Regarding accountability, State Assembly Bill 953 requires all agencies to capture data on every interaction, Jonsen said. The department will have a computer system in place to capture the data, hopefully as soon as next year. For now, the department is manually collecting the data and should soon have high-level reports, he said.

Other residents who spoke at the July 9 meeting said they hope that accountability data and new policies will improve how police treat them.

Teresa Brown, an African American resident whose family has lived in Palo Alto for 100 years, said she and her family have faced multiple embarrassing, invasive and frightening encounters with Palo Alto officers on flimsy pretexts such as dim license-plate lights. Her family members have been held for long periods of time, and placed on the ground or frisked against a squad car in plain view of other residents.

"It is hateful, demeaning," she said.

Moos said these incidents have a lasting, detrimental effect on people of color.

"For me, when I go outside, no matter — no matter that fact that I'm a senior, I'm in college, no matter how educated I am — I'm treated the same. I leave the house, I leave wherever, and I am just a Black man. And the way that I get treated for that from police officers is very scary. I've been pulled over in this area 22 of the 23 times; followed to work," Moos said.

"There's a lot of people who feel the way I feel and who are terrorized constantly. And it sucks. It really sucks with how you see yourself as a person," he said.

The Human Relations Commission will continue its discussion of police reform on Wednesday, July 22. The commissioners will also vote on a set of recommendations to the City Council regarding the 8 Can't Wait platform.

Comments

Dad of frontline healthcare worker
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 18, 2020 at 12:08 pm
Dad of frontline healthcare worker, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 18, 2020 at 12:08 pm

In agreement with, "Police inherently are not a de-escalating institution” after a “neighbor” called the Police on our family when our 15mon old child had a day of extended crying. I felt so low and sad that a “neighbor” could shame our family through the use of the Police. The Police duties should be limited to extreme situations where the use of force “may” be needed.


TimR
Downtown North
on Jul 18, 2020 at 8:15 pm
TimR, Downtown North
on Jul 18, 2020 at 8:15 pm

The homeless people with mental health issues is getting a little out of control downtown, and I agree, the police shouldn't have to deal with them. So, where are the proposals for how to death with them effectively instead? Although, the PAPD did successfully arrest a half-naked crazy man from the street in front of my house last Thursday night. So they are capable, when the city council drops the ball and refuses to deal with it properly. It's shameful how so many at City Hall are now blaming the police for a problem that's their own fault.


Make Force Rare
Fairmeadow
on Jul 18, 2020 at 9:41 pm
Make Force Rare, Fairmeadow
on Jul 18, 2020 at 9:41 pm

It's not just mental health issues which need a non-armed response. The bulk of violation-level stuff doesn't need police either; there's no added value to having somebody with body armor and a gun showing up to write a report about a smash-and-grab when the perpetrator is long since gone. The same goes for routine traffic stops.

Actual armed response should be reserved for when a non-armed response fails, or where there is an immediate threat to life.


Resident
Midtown
on Jul 19, 2020 at 7:19 am
Resident, Midtown
on Jul 19, 2020 at 7:19 am

Police are fine. It's ironic that our radical city leaders aren't doing enough to please the ultraradical. Stop letting these ultraradicals take over. Do not be cowed!


John
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 19, 2020 at 8:19 am
John, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 19, 2020 at 8:19 am

@make force rare- you seem to believe that police are the drivers behind force being used. They’re not. Force is used only to overcome resistance effect an arrest or in self defense. Your utopian ideas of taking action “after a non-armed response fails” doesn’t take into account the death or injuries suffered during that non-armed response.


Nayeli
Midtown
on Jul 19, 2020 at 12:21 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
on Jul 19, 2020 at 12:21 pm

"As part of an effort to respond to public outrage about police brutality and systemic racism nationwide...."

False.

First of all, there is no "systemic racism" in law enforcement in Palo Alto or, statistically speaking, in the nation as a whole. While there is always room for reform (particularly in terms of using violent force against non-violent offenders who aren't a threat), the police in Palo Alto and law enforcement officers around the country in general largely do a great job under difficult circumstances.

We should no more stereotype, generalize or caricature law enforcement because of the acts of a very small number of bad apples than anyone should stereotype, generalize or caricature racial-ethnic or religious minorities because of the acts of a very small number of bad examples.

Secondly, the "outrage" isn't entirely public. While most people can unify behind the understanding that what happened to George Floyd was wrong, the public push by activist groups and organizations is not reflective of society as a whole (or even a majority of the whole).

While many of us sympathize with the cause or support certain aspects of what they want to accomplish, many of us also disagree with the demands that certain figures are making. We also strongly disagree with the caricatures of law enforcement that have been painted.

Racism is evil. The irony is that this truth is largely shared by almost everyone (aside from the small number of actual racists). Yes, stereotypes, generalizations and caricatures exist. However, they aren't overcome by, in turn, stereotyping, generalizing and caricaturing law enforcement.


Resident
Midtown
on Jul 20, 2020 at 7:29 am
Resident, Midtown
on Jul 20, 2020 at 7:29 am

Fascinating how an anonymous poster like Nayeli can offer a concise, respectful, reasoned, and well-balanced analysis in contrast to the partisan coverage of Embarcadero Media. You'd think they should have her write the article -- that's what journalists used to sound like -- cool, rational and objective.

In Portland, Oregon we can see what happens if you let the anti-police zealots have their way. They have elected a true ultra-radical in Jo Ann Hardesty. She is trying to wrest control from the Mayor of Portland (who apparently isn't anti-police enough), and she just strongarmed the Fire Department into cutting off the Police Department because they dared to work with Trump's feds. All they did was disperse rioters who were damaging a federal courthouse and setting a police station on fire -- should they just step aside and let the entire city go up in flames?

[Portion removed.]


Not Nayeli
Menlo Park
on Jul 20, 2020 at 11:48 am
Not Nayeli, Menlo Park
on Jul 20, 2020 at 11:48 am

"Racism is evil. The irony is that this truth is largely shared by almost everyone (aside from the small number of actual racists). Yes, stereotypes, generalizations and caricatures exist. However, they aren't overcome by, in turn, stereotyping, generalizing and caricaturing law enforcement."

This belief is the epitome of privileged complacency. If you disagree, FIRST please watch John Oliver's piece on the history of Police Departments. Please educate yourself. Selfish beliefs like these are part of the problem.

SECOND It's on people like this to take meaningful time out of a privileged life to learn what anti-racism even means. Another problem is silent and passive support of a system that slowly suffocates/destroys black lives.

If this makes you uncomfortable - invest in understanding WHY, today, tomorrow, and the next day -instead of blinding supporting the comfortable status quo.


Stepheny
Midtown
on Jul 20, 2020 at 11:54 am
Stepheny , Midtown
on Jul 20, 2020 at 11:54 am

No jobs, no school, no travel and a beautiful day locally. Protestors might as well stroll around with some signs and possibly cause trouble out of boredom.

If they did seek a positive change, they should go help a food bank, repair or build a home with Habitat for Humanity.

Signs without positive action are meaningless and accomplish nothing. You demean your cause.


John
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 20, 2020 at 12:52 pm
John, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 20, 2020 at 12:52 pm

@not nayeli- when you get your talking points from late night comedians and regurgitate talking points about non-existent systemic racism, don’t expect to be taken seriously.


Nayeli
Midtown
on Jul 20, 2020 at 3:29 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
on Jul 20, 2020 at 3:29 pm

@ "Not Nayeli:" I find it fascinating how some people will accuse others of embracing some mythical "privileged complacency." I didn't grow up in privilege (quite the opposite actually). I am not complacent.

I was born into privilege. I am not white. I wasn't even born in this country. If you want to see "corrupt police," then I invite you to visit Mexico. Not only does systemic racism and class disadvantage exist, but there are other problems that are systemic from top to bottom in every level of law enforcement throughout Mexico.

What you dismiss as "selfish" is validated by statistical evidence. I don't need a partisan comedian to preach to me about the history of police departments when I am quite aware of the current trends of crime, punishment and police activity.

The point is that there is no systemic racism in either the Palo Alto Police Department or with law enforcement in general. All of the marches, signs and repetitive claims don't alter the facts.

If there WAS systemic racism with police throughout America, I would call it out. However, since it isn't systemic -- and since well-informed people listen to facts rather than hysteria -- I am confident that the latest attempt at a coup d'etat against our nation's law enforcement agencies will end with yet another whimper.


Midtown Local
Midtown
on Jul 20, 2020 at 7:12 pm
Midtown Local, Midtown
on Jul 20, 2020 at 7:12 pm

Agree with the article that 8 Can't Wait is just a start, and that accountability is key. Palo Alto's policies have been closely aligned to what they should be, but they're not consistently followed.
We're not getting accurate and complete reports and recent videos show the opposite of deescalation.

To the people who are claiming that there's no systemic racism in Palo Alto's police department: Is it a coincidence that both of the high-profile excessive force incidents were against Hispanics? That the people who recount stories of ongoing harassment happen to be Black? C'mon.


Nayeli
Midtown
on Jul 20, 2020 at 9:26 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
on Jul 20, 2020 at 9:26 pm

@Midtown Local asked, "Is it a coincidence that both of the high-profile excessive force incidents were against Hispanics?"

Actually, the fact that they were Hispanics had NOTHING to do with their arrests (or the manner in which they were arrested). Rather, the commonality in both cases is that both suspects had awful criminal records; and, both whined and antagonized law enforcement while they resisted arrest.

As a Hispanic woman and an immigrant, I am annoyed when I see convicted criminals (or individuals engaging in criminal behavior) victimize Palo Alto residents and businesses and then complain about when force is used while they resist arrest.


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