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Excessive slang? Palo Alto seeks dismissal of lawsuit from violent Happy Donuts arrest

Original post made on Oct 22, 2020

Facing another lawsuit alleging police brutality over an arrest in the Barron Park neighborhood, Palo Alto's attorneys are asking a federal court judge to toss out the complaint they claim is too long, too broad and too sarcastic.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 22, 2020, 9:42 AM

Comments (11)

40 people like this
Posted by Barron Parker Too
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 22, 2020 at 11:24 am

Barron Parker Too is a registered user.

Glad the city is fighting this. Someone who resists arrest and then engages in a violent fight with the officer, resulting in an injury, is not a victim. On the contrary, he is a criminal who should be subject to the full force of the law for resisting arrest and endangering the cop.

The last thing we need is to encourage criminals to deliberately engage in violence, hoping for a big payout from the city (i.e., from us).


32 people like this
Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 22, 2020 at 11:46 am

Paly Parent is a registered user.

Violent? Not sure what you're seeing but he wasn't violent. The police officer was out of line and used excessive force.


25 people like this
Posted by Misplaced Priorities
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2020 at 12:19 pm

Misplaced Priorities is a registered user.

I wish the City took nearly as seriously Veteran Officer Agent Tom DeStefano's needless bone breaking of Julio Aravalo's face, as it takes umbrage of word useage and the length of the Complaint filed by his attorney in his federal civil rights lawsuit. DeStefano's contact with Arevalo was needless and then open to de-escalation once initiated. But DeStafano wanted what he wanted and so it went.

DeStefano's infliction of his latest tramatic injury on a Palo Altan under color of law was another bread crumb of brutality dropped him, with the City being sued to pay for a police culture that fuels his actions with policies and a union that supports Officers no matter what. Even his off-duty drunken vehicular hit-and run where he repeatedly lied to police investigators about it only earned him an infraction (like a traffic ticket). The PAPD investigates itself, and binding arbitration makes it next to impossible to fire an Officer.

We only know what what is caught on public video. We don't know what the PAPD does otherwise. The FBI sure thinks something is going on, given it's investigating the PAPD for civil rights violations.

A recent brutality case was covered-up by several Officers for a 1 1/2 years, finally revealed by public, not police video. It's not just bad apples, its a bad police culture and it needs big change bottom up, top down - policies, union contract, the City Council reasserting its oversight and direction to staff to get it done. But only if the Council is serious about reform of the PAPD.

If the City is not serious, it's complicit in this police brutality. By never admitting wrongdoing, going to court over petty trivialities, refusing at evey turn to take the highroad rather than the low, we dishonor community, particularly brown and black residents. If we are an enlightened community we will insist significant actions are taken to stop this.


4 people like this
Posted by Joel
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 22, 2020 at 12:26 pm

Joel is a registered user.

Barron Parker Too
Could you please explain what criminal behavior the subject of the beating is accused of?
I thought police accusations were dismissed.
Thank you.


22 people like this
Posted by Misplaced Priorities
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2020 at 1:00 pm

Misplaced Priorities is a registered user.

DeStefano said he saw Arevalo hand to hand drug dealing at happy donuts. Only there were no drugs found on him, in his daypack, or anywhere on the premises. And no drug dealing shown on any police or the Happy Donut video. No evidence of any crime whatsoever.

The deflection and denigration of Arevalo is bizarre. The laws, US and State Constitutions were written to protect everyone equally and in fact it was recognized that protection was needed especially when some may try to marginalize or attempt to persuade that some don’t deserve these rights and protections - such as we see here.


17 people like this
Posted by Registered Voter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2020 at 1:15 pm

Registered Voter is a registered user.

The first posted comment by Barron Parker Too, defending the actions of that Destefano cop with a large history of violence with the department is with no doubt either a family member, a close friend or one of his many corrupt fellow uniformed brothers. It is just sad that the DA is just seeking misdemeanor charges when real Felony charges are warranted, but I guess something is better than nothing. Good luck having that lawsuit tossed out, it is by all means VERY SOLID and it will stick. Let see how many millions of dollars the residents is Palo Alto have to pay out before they decide to put a stop to violent criminal cop behavior.


3 people like this
Posted by SRB
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 22, 2020 at 1:21 pm

SRB is a registered user.

Disappointed to not see "tone policing" in the headline :)


14 people like this
Posted by Misplaced Priorities
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2020 at 1:33 pm

Misplaced Priorities is a registered user.

To clarify - This incident is NOT the one where now retired Sgt Benitiz was just charged with misdemeanor assault under the color of law and lying on a police report. He slammed the head of handcuffed, non-resisting Latino low income man into a windshild.

Unfortunately there have been multiple incidents, so its hard to keep them straight.


15 people like this
Posted by cmarg
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 22, 2020 at 1:39 pm

cmarg is a registered user.

There is always 2 sides to a story. Personally, I would not want to be a police officer and be subject to some of the anger, disrespect, and violence they come in contact with. I am not saying the police officer was correct, just that having your life on the line in some situations is not something many of us, me for sure, want to experience. I ask that all of you think about your true reaction to when you see various people on the streets. What is the first thought that comes to mind? Is it something positive about a person or is it a stereotype or is it a negative perception based on what you see? The key is to be 100% honest with this. We all need to change. Remember, when you point, 3 fingers are pointing back at you. Let's all take some time to really see who we are being and decide if that is how you want to continue being. Now is the time for change. We cannot continue as a community, state, country always pointing fingers. Let's have some empathy and kindness. Put yourself in others shoes once in a while. We all can benefit from more positive energy in our community and world.


4 people like this
Posted by Jimmy
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 23, 2020 at 6:59 am

Jimmy is a registered user.

Clearly the video shows the cop using force that's not needed. The cop went over board on this one. So many incidents like this is, Its hard to keep up with all of them. Another law suit that PAPD will have to pay. If i was that officer i would transfer to OAkland with that energy. Clearly he's not a good fit in PA. San Fran or Oakland will suit him better. POLICE REFORM.


8 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 23, 2020 at 1:42 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

The suspect in this case was violating his terms of probation. He resisted arrest. If he had NOT resisted arrest and complied with the officer, he would not have been forcefully arrested.

Sadly, the people defending this criminal never seem to put any responsibility on the suspect. YOU DO NOT HAVE A 'RIGHT' TO RESIST ARREST.

If people didn't resist arrest, then the situations wouldn't escalate. In this case, the escalation was ENTIRELY the fault of the criminal suspect.


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