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Palo Alto commission calls for more restrictions on use of force by police

Original post made on Jul 23, 2020

Palo Alto's effort to discourage excessive force by police officers advanced on Wednesday night, when the city's Human Relations Commission recommended a series of revisions to Police Department policies.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, July 23, 2020, 9:42 AM

Comments (14)

28 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Jul 23, 2020 at 11:19 am

More restrictions? The more power you take away from the police, the more the criminal wins. Good luck with that.

6 people like this
Posted by densely
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 23, 2020 at 12:01 pm

Palo Alto Online needs an editor who knows the difference between "proscriptive" and "prescriptive". The former creates a prohibition, the latter creates a requirement.

17 people like this
Posted by john
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 23, 2020 at 1:07 pm

"We are forcing police officers to police bodies that are Black and brown just because people feel uncomfortable with them in this community. The reality becomes that we in the community need to have some responsibility for calling people just because they're Black and brown."

No, police are intelligent enough that we often refuse to respond to what we call "There's a black man in my neighborhood" calls, absent any other information like trespassing in a side yard, looking into vehicles, etc. However, given the incredible discrepancy in criminal rates, we have to respond to thefts and robberies predominantly committed by people fitting that description. It's a sad reality, but it is reality. Don't lump both together. One is bias, the other is reporting of legitimate criminal activity.

15 people like this
Posted by Yes, please cut them and change their focus
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2020 at 2:08 pm

It's hard to take anything that the Human Relations Commission says seriously since the commission seems to be peopled with those who think that average working adults are against them. They are usually so far out of the loop of what the real world entails that they are a joke. This is really a commission that needs to be restructured to represent the Palo Alto community rather than composed of blatantly biased anti-government, anti-family, anti-safety individuals. Or perhaps they should go.

6 people like this
Posted by The Beginning
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2020 at 2:58 pm

The HRC earned respect last night with Kaloma Smith doing an able job in keeping the meeting on track. Commissioners made some good Recommendations, though some could be stronger and more true to 8 Can't Wait. Hopefully that can be rectified.

Chief Jonsen was given a huge role and input last night on everything discussed, item by item. He advised, made his own recommendations, objected to and explained - all through his own lens and the lens of law enforcement - it didn't matter if it was counter to the goal of reform.

Who let the Police Chief of PAPD play such a significant role? This isn't about getting the PAPD's permission to reform, in this case, eight use of force policies, or how each exactly should be worded - that is up to the HRC and then our elected City Council.

A commenter pointed out that the meeting packet noted that staff had the idea that HRC Recommendations be reviewed by the police union before going to the City Council. That's how far off track this was. It was made clear by the Chair that this would not happen - Recommendations would go straight to the City Council.

Why Chief Jonsen got to suggest wordding for substitute policies, tell the Commissioners that what they were thinking of was unacceptable to him, and when asked questions didn't always answer them was unbelievely inappropiate. He heads the very institution that our city council committed to substantiallly reforming due to systemic racism and equity issues in Palo Alto. Everyone better keep a sharp eye on this effort in the name of Black Lives Matter or it will be hijacked by city staff, PAPD and its union.

1 person likes this
Posted by Anne
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2020 at 3:01 pm

Bob Jonsen is a supporter of the status quo. We need a new police chief.

10 people like this
Posted by ResidentX
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2020 at 3:25 pm

The less they can do -> more crime goes up. I am sorry people in Palo Alto did not learn Cause And Effect.
With a "small" city as Palo Alto the correlation is immediate and personal.
It will be YOUR car that gets broken into, YOUR apartment/house burglarized (remember our good friend George Lloyd 2-time burglar), and YOUR children assaulted on the street.
Please tell me there is no correlation between crime and funds and laws allowing police to stop crime?

7 people like this
Posted by LeeShouldGo
a resident of Mayfield
on Jul 23, 2020 at 5:50 pm

Steven Lee's term is over and he should remove himself from the commission as Gabe Kralick did. He's just showing up and no one wants to battle him over it.
His term is over. There is no replacement because the HRC is reducing size

3 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 23, 2020 at 7:15 pm

Re The Beginning's comments: Not sure what your background (or lack thereof) in governance matters might be, but you seem to lack any understanding of how to create workable standards of performance for a governed body. In order to end up with policies that are practical, safe for all concerned, and that have any chance of being effective the governed party - the police - have to be involved in the structuring of those policies. Leaving them out of the process or relegating them to just a diminutive role guarantees a result that is impractical and unworkable for all.

14 people like this
Posted by Commonsese
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 24, 2020 at 1:50 am

Shallow Alto where feelings matter ! What a joke we pay 8 million for a home in neighborhoods buffered by homeless caravans. In a city filled with billionaires that jet off to their summer homes. And you want to hamstring law enforcement. I say Give them More not less to work with

16 people like this
Posted by Terry
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 24, 2020 at 10:05 am

We are starting too go far left? defund the police? That’s insane! Move too Portland or Chicago if you don’t like it here! Sick of this hate for the police!

2 people like this
Posted by art
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 24, 2020 at 11:52 am

human rights over property rights

3 people like this
Posted by Mark
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 26, 2020 at 8:15 pm

Well geez! Thank god for the second amendment!

1 person likes this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 26, 2020 at 9:13 pm

Posted by Mark, a resident of Midtown

>> Well geez! Thank god for the second amendment!

I'm much more thankful for the First Amendment.

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