Police chief says use of force is 'very rare.' Critics are not convinced. | Town Square | Palo Alto Online |

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Police chief says use of force is 'very rare.' Critics are not convinced.

Original post made on Feb 25, 2020

Facing numerous allegations of excessive force by local police officers, Palo Alto Police Chief Robert Jonsen assured the City Council on Monday that officers who cross the line will be held accountable.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, February 25, 2020, 12:12 AM

Comments (13)

21 people like this
Posted by A Moral Catastrophe
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 25, 2020 at 5:26 am

Our current Council majority is incapable of providing responsible governance. They haven't lifted a finger to prevent the police violence, police racism, or police coverups detailed above. They voted to reappoint a Planning Commissioner who broke city laws. Rather than stopping developers who flout city rules to rake in millions of dollars, our Council majority instead creates ever more giveaways for the very same developers. And one Council member is herself under ongoing investigation for breaking election laws.

Palo Alto's present government is a moral catastrophe. Please help by electing responsible councilmembers this November.


28 people like this
Posted by Claudia Marie
a resident of Ventura
on Feb 25, 2020 at 7:34 am

^How about you move to Frisco or Oakland where the cops do absolutely nothing. I for one applaud the hard work of PAPD. Palo Alto is one of the few low crime cities left in the Bay Area


16 people like this
Posted by Keep Palo Alto Safe & Secure
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 25, 2020 at 8:17 am

The PAPD should not exercise excessive force in the detention and arrest of Palo Alto citizens/residents.

It's OK when detaining suspects from out of town or transients who are committing crimes.

Palo Alto has become an affluent city & its own residents are not known for breaking into cars, houses or sexual assaults. They don't need to.

It's usually the criminals & vagrants from outside the city boundaries who come to pillage or assault.

Today's daily Post mentioned that many of the car burglary suspects come from as far away as LA & recent accounts show suspects and arrestees coming over from Solano County and the East Bay to shoplift & burglarize vehicles.

It's like PA housing...if one cannot afford to live in Palo Alto, live farther away where it is more affordable & commute.

And the same goes for high-end shopping (aka shoplifting)...if you cannot afford to buy clothes at Stanford Shopping Center, go to Target.

While fencing stolen goods is an industry of its own, the Palo Alto police should crack down on out of town thieves, homeless derelicts and the mentally ill who are disrupting the modern day Palo Alto way of life...as these types are not welcome in our city.


14 people like this
Posted by Irresponsible
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2020 at 8:49 am

The Chief only spoke of use of force as an after thought when he saw the NBC TV cameras there. If he was serious about stopping the long time culture of unreasonable force in the PAPD he would have confronted it head on in the Annual Report presented last night. It was barely mentee there and then dismissively.

Veteran cops are getting caught beating and taking down people so forcefully and needlessly that bones are broken and no charges sustained. We only know because of private videos and lawsuits. This is the culture of the PAPD - other cops cover up and remain silent. It’s not a couple bad apples.

The city council, but for one question by DuBois, was completely disinterested though this is costing you and me big time and will continue to in lawsuit settlements.

Staff has undermined the Independent Police Audit process as outlined in the Police Manual by simply not releasing them, counter to the process and depriving the public and press access. Neither the 2018 or 19 Reports have been released with the Chief saying he will release the 2018 soon - we shall see.

The message sent last night by all was - “We don’t care”. We don’t care about real accountability and serious reform. We don’t care if the public has any reason to trust us to be responsible or to exercise oversight.


2 people like this
Posted by No Donut for you!
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 25, 2020 at 11:37 am

"Very Rare"? Check out subreddit /r/Bad_Cop_No_Donut (Web Link) to see how "very rare" police brutality is.


9 people like this
Posted by Do not question the popo
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 25, 2020 at 12:13 pm

Thandie, Claudia Marie, for showing your support of gestapo tactics by the papd.
And who really believes the chief? What about the officer who used the n word? Why has the police stymied attempts to get information on this case.and the spineless city council just pays out settlements and is afrsid to ask questions


9 people like this
Posted by Public Relations vs. reporting
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2020 at 12:35 pm

The annual PAPD report used to be loaded with data that showed how the department was doing and how it compared to other departments in the county. There was also a lot of contextual information that helped citizens and Council understand problems. For instance, it used to provide info on how population shift during the daytime related to traffic safety issues and calls for service. That kind of info was not in this year's report, but I don't know how you evaluate performance without it. This year's report is a bound, four-color PR piece loaded with pictures and much thinner data reported. I was disappointed to see that.

I appreciate PAPD. Maybe they printed this as a promo piece for job candidates. I know they are short handed and have been aggressively recruiting new officers. However, I think the staff report should have been unchanged in the type of material that was typically provided over the years.

Please go back to the old model. PAPD is good. Show your stuff in a more substantive way.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2020 at 1:11 pm

In Oakland, a great police chief has been fired for being a great police chief.

Just who is running the checken coop?


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2020 at 1:12 pm

In Oakland, a great police chief has been fired for being a great police chief.

Just who is running the chicken coop?


12 people like this
Posted by Keeping The Crooks & Derelicts Out of PA
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 26, 2020 at 8:35 am

Quote: "The PAPD should not exercise excessive force in the detention and arrest of Palo Alto citizens/residents.

It's OK when detaining suspects from out of town or transients who are committing crimes."

^^^^^ Concurring. When confronted by the PAPD, Palo Alto residents should identify themselves as such & the police should refrain from using unecessary force.

For non-residents who are either committing a crime in PA or creating a public nuisance, showing less consideration towards them will send out a powerful message...as in you & your types are not welcome here.

Note..the use of excessive force is not recommended but making certain types of 'undesirables' feel unwelcome in Palo Alto would be a step in the right direction.

Racial profiling is also unecessary
as these types of individuals can be easily identified by their sheer actions & presence.


4 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 26, 2020 at 9:35 am

>> Posted by Keeping The Crooks & Derelicts Out of PA, a resident of Palo Alto Hills

So, how do we keep the *rich* crooks out of PA?


12 people like this
Posted by Zhao
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Feb 26, 2020 at 9:50 am

OK for rich crooks to live in Palo Alto. Don't want bums or thieves.


2 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 26, 2020 at 9:56 am

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood

>> In Oakland, a great police chief has been fired for being a great police chief.

Which chief are you referring to?

Web Link


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