Judge Jim Gray authored Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What We Can Do About It: A Judicial Indictment of the War on Drugs. “It was the culmination of his experience as a former federal prosecutor, defense attorney and trial judge.” We’ll speak with Judge Gray about Anaheim, about an important factor in the legal conflicts between the people of the affected neighborhood of Anaheim and the Anaheim Police Department.
Larry Sand of CTEN talks with us about a racket teachers in CA use to hike their pay regardless of whether or not they hike their skills or achievements as teachers.
Katy Grimes of CalWatchDog talks about the investigative reporting she’s done recently, to uncover millions of dollars of stashed away taxpayer dollars. While the State of CA cries poverty and threatens to shut down parks, cut vital services and cut back university and K-12 funding, agencies have been hoarding and doling out millions of dollars, like slush funds.
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The recent scandal inside of the State Parks and Recreation Department is no surprise to anyone, but the levels of corruption, schemes and deceit, is. The agency director, Ruth Coleman, resigned. But as she r…
“…Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait…tried his hand at tough-guy rhetoric at a news conference after Tuesday’s violence: “Vandalism, arson and other forms of violent protest will simply not be tolerated in our city. We don’t expect last night’s situation to be repeated but if it should be, the police response will be the same: swift and appropriate.
Of course, we all are against violence, vandalism and arson. Indeed, the mother of one of the men killed by police poignantly called for calm. But I can’t agree that the police response was appropriate.
Tait, who rightly called for an outside investigation of the police shootings, over the objections of other council members, needs to work harder to live up to the promises he made when became mayor. Tait promised to foster a culture of “kindness” in the city. I know he means it, and he told me he is deeply concerned about some police actions.
Anaheim’s police culture echoes the old Los Angeles Police Department culture that valued aggressiveness over community policing, and the city administration has shown no willingness to confront it. City police have shot six people this year, five fatally, under varying circumstances (Gadfly’s emphasis).”
“Powerful police unions
While Anaheim has a greater need than some other cities to re-evaluate its policing policies, problems with police use-of-force problem are endemic throughout the country and, especially, in California, where police union priorities — i.e., what’s best for officers, not the citizenry — have dominated policy decisions for decades.
Recent news reports show a significant increase in police-involved shootings in many areas of California. Police shootings account for one of every 10 shooting deaths in Los Angeles County, according to a Los Angeles Times report. Videotapes of the encounters often show that the official version of the story is at odds with what really happened. No wonder police agencies spend so much time confiscating video cameras from bystanders, something that should chill every freedom-loving American, whether on the political Left or Right.
The California Supreme Court’s Copley Press vs. San Diego decision in 2006 allows allegations of police misconduct to remain shrouded in secrecy. The public can access complaints against doctors, lawyers and other professionals but, in California, misbehavior by public employees who have the legal right to use deadly force often is off-limits to scrutiny. Because of an exemption in the public-records act, police agencies need not release most details of their reports of officer-involved shootings.
Furthermore, the Peace Officers Procedural Bill of Rights in California’s Government Code gives accused officers such strong protections that officers can rarely be disciplined or fired. The “code of silence” is alive and well in police agencies…”
History: First state to get a POBR (Peace Officers Bill of Rights), effective 01-01-77. The concept originated around 1974. The largest supporter of POBR was the ACLU. Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law.
Of the six victims of Anaheim police-involved shootings this year, five were Latino. In fact, the Anaheim neighborhood where Diaz was shot is almost 90 percent Latino.
At news conferences and in statements to the press, Anaheim police have repeatedly used the term “gang member” in justifications for the recent shootings and subsequent treatment of protesting residents.
Anaheim Police Chief John Welter has said that the firing of bean bags and pepper spray at residents protesting the killing of Diaz was in response to “some known gang members” throwing bottles and rocks at officers.
In a detailed statement released by the Anaheim Police Association on July 24, Kerry Condon, president of the police union, said the following:
“… we live in a dangerous world where there are too many violent gang members like Manuel ‘Stomper’ Diaz and Joel ‘Yogi’ Acevedo who spent their young lives wreaking havoc on their neighborhoods and the law-abiding citizens who live there. It was the actions of these gang members, not the police officers, who set these unfortunate events in motion.
“Even though there have been several death threats to Anaheim police officers in gang neighborhoods throughout the city of Anaheim in the last year, our officers continue to go into these areas to fight gang crime and protect the residents who continue to live in fear of these domestic terrorists.”
“What’s going on here in Orange County is symbolic of a problem with the system,” Eduardo Perez, a 21-year-old student, told the Register. “This wouldn’t happen to white people. This is racism, simple as that.”
The demonstrations occurred just hours before a scheduled evening memorial service for Manuel Diaz, a 25-year-old man who was shot dead July 21. Police said Diaz, who had a criminal record, failed to heed orders and fled police. He was unarmed.
2 Anaheim protests: 1 raucous, 1 silent; 9 arrested
July 29, 2012 | Updated: July 30, 2012 9:25 a.m.
By Eric Carpenter, Andrew Galvin, Tom Berg, Scott Martindale and Sonya Quick |The Orange County Register
The Rev. Fr. Arturo Ferreras of St. Matthew Ecumenical Catholic Church in Orange urged the mourners – mostly residents of Anna Drive – to use Diaz’s death to work toward permanent, positive change in their community.
“We are gathered to let the world know we don’t want a community of violence on Anna Drive,” Ferreras told the mourners in Spanish as he presided over an ecumenical Catholic Mass. “We want our children to be able to grow up in peace. … Hopefully we will be able to make a better Anaheim and a better Anna Drive.”
Ferreras, who stood next to a 4-foot-tall Virgin of Guadalupe statue near where Diaz was shot, blessed the site where Diaz was killed and the children who witnessed what happened that day.
He also challenged young Anna Drive residents to become community activists and to use “democratic” channels to pursue change.
“2. Repeal the failed and hopeless War on Drugs by restricting the role of the federal government to assisting each state to enforce its chosen laws. Crime was reduced by more than 20 percent within one year after we pursued this course with the repeal of Alcohol Prohibition, and the same results will be realized when we finally repeal Drug Prohibition. People must be held accountable for their actions, instead of for what they put into their bodies. The War on Drugs has directly created an enormously large and lucrative black market that has corrupted institutions, people in all walks of life, and, most especially, children, here and all around the world. In addition, it has enabled the sale of illicit drugs to provide huge amounts of funding for terrorists. Our policy should be changed for specified drugs like marijuana to be strictly regulated for distribution to adults — and taxed — and users of other drugs should be allowed legal access to them under the strict supervision of medical professionals. Medical programs of this kind are successfully reducing crime, drug usage and health problems today in countries like Switzerland and Germany , and we can emulate their success.”