A fresh look at the Ombudsman and Police Oversight in 2007

Today’s Sacramento Bee contains a nice piece on the Ombudsman Bob Aaronson (http://www.sacbee.com/257/story/116710.html). This seems like a good time to revisit some of the issues that arise in the article.

Mr. Aaronson is quoted as saying:

“What we have here is a failure to communicate.”

“The (hit-and-run) case was actually an opportunity to have a community dialogue about the role of law enforcement, the role of community members and the expectations we have of interactions between law enforcement and community,” he said. “That opportunity was missed, to everyone’s detriment.”

Following the Buzayan case, I completely agree with Mr. Aaronson there was a total and complete failure to communicate. I do not think that served the public’s best interest well and I do not think that served law enforcement’s best interest well.

Even now, comments I see in the newspaper and on this blog believe that there is disdain for the police. That is just simply untrue. One can be critical of certain practices and even certain particular police officers without having disdain for the police as a whole.

Some of us simply believe in the constitution. The constitution includes protections for the rights of the accused. It lays out conditions under which people can be searched, detained, questioned, etc. And there is a serious concern when the rights of the accused are violated. That concern is often translated as meaning soft on crime, but in fact, it is a concern that innocent people will have their rights violated. In order to protect the rights of the innocent we must protect the rights of all, because in this country we are theoretically innocent until proven guilty.

Moreover there is an unwritten covenant between the community and its law enforcement. It is a covenant based on trust and communication and when that covenant is stressed or broken, it leads to problems on both sides. We as a nation believe that in our system of government there needs to be checks and balances. In the federal government that means one branches has the power to check the power of another branch. In state and local government, it means that there are bodies and individuals with the power to oversee the operations of governing bodies. When a neutral third party is overseeing the operations of the government, it fosters and reinforces that trust and communication.

That is why many of us last year requested the formation of a citizen’s body to be that overseer. Law enforcement and the city council prefers this current model, of having an expert such as Mr. Aaronson act as that check, and while some of us have other preferences, we would all like to see Mr. Aaronson succeed.

“In dealing with police departments throughout the state, the most common citizen complaint is that an officer was rude, Aaronson said.”

I honestly wish Mr. Aaronson would not have said this. Not because I necessarily think it is untrue, but because I think there are much more serious and more valid complaints than this. What I am concerned with is not whether or not an officer is rude or polite, although I would much rather have a polite and professional officer. I am concerned with the policies that lead to pretense stops and also the rules of engagement for the escalation of police force based on the perception of verbal noncompliance. While I respect Mr. Aaronson, I think his statement makes it too easy for people to be dismissive of what are at times serious and valid complaints about the operations of the police.

The Buzayan case was misinterpreted to be a case based on the demeanor of the officer rather than what are alleged to be serious violations of department policy and state and federal laws.

I was interviewed as well during the course of the interviews for the article that appeared a few weeks ago about the People’s Vanguard of Davis.

“Davis resident David Greenwald runs the People’s Vanguard of Davis blog and has roundly criticized the Davis Police Department’s conduct. He has spoken at length with Aaronson and calls him “an excellent hire.”

He wishes Aaronson had more power to implement investigations and mete out discipline; instead, the ombudsman reviews existing internal investigations and makes nonbinding recommendations.

“(Aaronson) is more of an auditor than an ombudsman,” Greenwald said.”

I spelled a lot of this out in the series about police oversight in Davis. From my conversations with Mr. Aaronson, I think he has a good deal of understanding about what the strengths of the Davis police department are. But he also has a good sense for things that need improvement. My fear is that he really is not in a position where he can recommend changes but does not have the authority to enact changes within the current power structure.

“I expect over the life of his role as ombudsman there will be times he will support the Police Department; other times he will be critical of it,” Pierce said. “I’m open to the ideas and criticisms he has.

“If we’re doing something outside the community’s expectations and Bob tells us we need to change the way we do business, that is something I will certainly take to heart”

The critical test for Mr. Aaronson will be the next time there is a major incident–and maybe his presence alone will prevent something like the Buzayan case or some of the other lesser known but often just as serious cases from the past year. I think a lot of us thought that Former Chief Jim Hyde was going to be an outstanding Police Chief and were stunned by the manner in which he became defensive and shut down communications in the face of scrutiny and criticism of his department.

“After months of observation, Aaronson says a new police chief is the Davis Police Department’s most pressing need.”

The next police chief will make or break this department. If we get a good police chief, we can begin to forge a new covenant between the citizens and the police and we can put the last year behind us. If we get a poor police chief or one that lasts only a few years, then in ten years this will be revisited yet again. The most amazing thing about the events of the last year is that they are not new. If you talk to long-time residents who have been involved in the process something like this occurs every so often, the issue comes up and then it is never resolved and reemerges once again in the future. We need to be able to fix it during times of non-crisis so that we can avoid another incident like we had last year.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Author

  • David Greenwald

    Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Categories:

Law Enforcement

40 comments

  1. The ombudsman plan in place coupled with close public scrutiny by People’s Vanguard and our council representatives keeping this issue on the “front burner” seems a good first step in this police oversight issue.
    Time will tell how it plays itself out. Question: Has the current HRC formally had its original mission mandate recinded either by a self-neutering vote or a vote of the council majority?

  2. The ombudsman plan in place coupled with close public scrutiny by People’s Vanguard and our council representatives keeping this issue on the “front burner” seems a good first step in this police oversight issue.
    Time will tell how it plays itself out. Question: Has the current HRC formally had its original mission mandate recinded either by a self-neutering vote or a vote of the council majority?

  3. The ombudsman plan in place coupled with close public scrutiny by People’s Vanguard and our council representatives keeping this issue on the “front burner” seems a good first step in this police oversight issue.
    Time will tell how it plays itself out. Question: Has the current HRC formally had its original mission mandate recinded either by a self-neutering vote or a vote of the council majority?

  4. The ombudsman plan in place coupled with close public scrutiny by People’s Vanguard and our council representatives keeping this issue on the “front burner” seems a good first step in this police oversight issue.
    Time will tell how it plays itself out. Question: Has the current HRC formally had its original mission mandate recinded either by a self-neutering vote or a vote of the council majority?

  5. “Aaronson said much of the tension between law enforcement and civilians can be traced to a clash of cultures.

    Take the basic traffic stop, he said.”

    The issue goes beyond traffic stops – I think everyone can live with whatever happens during a traffic stop. About three 2 weeks ago I was stopped because one of my headlights had just gone out. I admit I was a little annoyed because I was on my way to work at about 6:30AM, it was sub freezing and the “process” seemed to take too much time. But, whatever.

    The tension comes when one relizes police officers are playing games with the law.

    Examples things that cause tension-

    You talk to a Davis Police officer about an incident and he is dishonest. Furthermore, his dishonesty is verified by eye witnesses and even another Davis Police Officer.

    A Davis Police Officer (not the same officer as above) writes down something in a report that you know was false because you took the time to look at the same thing the officer looked at.

    When you take the time to go to meet with the Davis Police Chief and after sitting across from him for an hour he simply does not follow through on the things he has promised to do.

    Those are the things that create tension.

    I think it is great that people are watching Davis Police Officers – it motivates them to think before they act. It also promotes more honesty.SAH

  6. “Aaronson said much of the tension between law enforcement and civilians can be traced to a clash of cultures.

    Take the basic traffic stop, he said.”

    The issue goes beyond traffic stops – I think everyone can live with whatever happens during a traffic stop. About three 2 weeks ago I was stopped because one of my headlights had just gone out. I admit I was a little annoyed because I was on my way to work at about 6:30AM, it was sub freezing and the “process” seemed to take too much time. But, whatever.

    The tension comes when one relizes police officers are playing games with the law.

    Examples things that cause tension-

    You talk to a Davis Police officer about an incident and he is dishonest. Furthermore, his dishonesty is verified by eye witnesses and even another Davis Police Officer.

    A Davis Police Officer (not the same officer as above) writes down something in a report that you know was false because you took the time to look at the same thing the officer looked at.

    When you take the time to go to meet with the Davis Police Chief and after sitting across from him for an hour he simply does not follow through on the things he has promised to do.

    Those are the things that create tension.

    I think it is great that people are watching Davis Police Officers – it motivates them to think before they act. It also promotes more honesty.SAH

  7. “Aaronson said much of the tension between law enforcement and civilians can be traced to a clash of cultures.

    Take the basic traffic stop, he said.”

    The issue goes beyond traffic stops – I think everyone can live with whatever happens during a traffic stop. About three 2 weeks ago I was stopped because one of my headlights had just gone out. I admit I was a little annoyed because I was on my way to work at about 6:30AM, it was sub freezing and the “process” seemed to take too much time. But, whatever.

    The tension comes when one relizes police officers are playing games with the law.

    Examples things that cause tension-

    You talk to a Davis Police officer about an incident and he is dishonest. Furthermore, his dishonesty is verified by eye witnesses and even another Davis Police Officer.

    A Davis Police Officer (not the same officer as above) writes down something in a report that you know was false because you took the time to look at the same thing the officer looked at.

    When you take the time to go to meet with the Davis Police Chief and after sitting across from him for an hour he simply does not follow through on the things he has promised to do.

    Those are the things that create tension.

    I think it is great that people are watching Davis Police Officers – it motivates them to think before they act. It also promotes more honesty.SAH

  8. “Aaronson said much of the tension between law enforcement and civilians can be traced to a clash of cultures.

    Take the basic traffic stop, he said.”

    The issue goes beyond traffic stops – I think everyone can live with whatever happens during a traffic stop. About three 2 weeks ago I was stopped because one of my headlights had just gone out. I admit I was a little annoyed because I was on my way to work at about 6:30AM, it was sub freezing and the “process” seemed to take too much time. But, whatever.

    The tension comes when one relizes police officers are playing games with the law.

    Examples things that cause tension-

    You talk to a Davis Police officer about an incident and he is dishonest. Furthermore, his dishonesty is verified by eye witnesses and even another Davis Police Officer.

    A Davis Police Officer (not the same officer as above) writes down something in a report that you know was false because you took the time to look at the same thing the officer looked at.

    When you take the time to go to meet with the Davis Police Chief and after sitting across from him for an hour he simply does not follow through on the things he has promised to do.

    Those are the things that create tension.

    I think it is great that people are watching Davis Police Officers – it motivates them to think before they act. It also promotes more honesty.SAH

  9. “I see in the newspaper and on this blog believe that there is disdain for the police. That is just simply untrue.”

    Simply untrue?

    Maybe you have a different definition of what disdain means. To me, it’s contempt, a feeling (in this case) that a significant percentage of the sworn officers of the DPD were or are not doing their jobs properly. That they are at the very least dishonest; at the worst dishonorable.

    That contempt was made most clear in the badly composed HRC report, which suggested that there was a pattern of DPD officers mistreating, stoppping or arresting non-whites, because those individuals were not white. The allegation inherently implied that up the chain of command this racist misbehavior on the part of the rank and file was being covered up.

    Never mind that a fair reading of the “evidence” in the HRC report exposed the allegations as bogus. The fact remains that the radicals who sided with the HRC report actually believe(d) that the DPD is/was corrupt or racist as an institution. In other words, they held the DPD, to some degree, in disdain.

    Want further evidence? Look at SAH’s comments made right here in this blog. He clearly does not believe in the honesty and integrity of individual officers in the DPD, or in its leadership:

    “You talk to a Davis Police officer about an incident and he is dishonest.”

    SAH may be completely right about this. But right or wrong, such a belief implies contempt for the DPD.

    “Furthermore, his dishonesty is verified by eye witnesses and even another Davis Police Officer.”

    SAH makes clear that he believes that DPD officers are conspiring with one another to lie, apparently in order that SAH could get a traffic ticket. That is obviously disdain.

    I don’t think SAH’s attitude is any different than most of the other proponents of the views expressed by the HRC report. Of course, that view is not shared by the vast majority of people who live in Davis. But it is rife with disdain.

  10. “I see in the newspaper and on this blog believe that there is disdain for the police. That is just simply untrue.”

    Simply untrue?

    Maybe you have a different definition of what disdain means. To me, it’s contempt, a feeling (in this case) that a significant percentage of the sworn officers of the DPD were or are not doing their jobs properly. That they are at the very least dishonest; at the worst dishonorable.

    That contempt was made most clear in the badly composed HRC report, which suggested that there was a pattern of DPD officers mistreating, stoppping or arresting non-whites, because those individuals were not white. The allegation inherently implied that up the chain of command this racist misbehavior on the part of the rank and file was being covered up.

    Never mind that a fair reading of the “evidence” in the HRC report exposed the allegations as bogus. The fact remains that the radicals who sided with the HRC report actually believe(d) that the DPD is/was corrupt or racist as an institution. In other words, they held the DPD, to some degree, in disdain.

    Want further evidence? Look at SAH’s comments made right here in this blog. He clearly does not believe in the honesty and integrity of individual officers in the DPD, or in its leadership:

    “You talk to a Davis Police officer about an incident and he is dishonest.”

    SAH may be completely right about this. But right or wrong, such a belief implies contempt for the DPD.

    “Furthermore, his dishonesty is verified by eye witnesses and even another Davis Police Officer.”

    SAH makes clear that he believes that DPD officers are conspiring with one another to lie, apparently in order that SAH could get a traffic ticket. That is obviously disdain.

    I don’t think SAH’s attitude is any different than most of the other proponents of the views expressed by the HRC report. Of course, that view is not shared by the vast majority of people who live in Davis. But it is rife with disdain.

  11. “I see in the newspaper and on this blog believe that there is disdain for the police. That is just simply untrue.”

    Simply untrue?

    Maybe you have a different definition of what disdain means. To me, it’s contempt, a feeling (in this case) that a significant percentage of the sworn officers of the DPD were or are not doing their jobs properly. That they are at the very least dishonest; at the worst dishonorable.

    That contempt was made most clear in the badly composed HRC report, which suggested that there was a pattern of DPD officers mistreating, stoppping or arresting non-whites, because those individuals were not white. The allegation inherently implied that up the chain of command this racist misbehavior on the part of the rank and file was being covered up.

    Never mind that a fair reading of the “evidence” in the HRC report exposed the allegations as bogus. The fact remains that the radicals who sided with the HRC report actually believe(d) that the DPD is/was corrupt or racist as an institution. In other words, they held the DPD, to some degree, in disdain.

    Want further evidence? Look at SAH’s comments made right here in this blog. He clearly does not believe in the honesty and integrity of individual officers in the DPD, or in its leadership:

    “You talk to a Davis Police officer about an incident and he is dishonest.”

    SAH may be completely right about this. But right or wrong, such a belief implies contempt for the DPD.

    “Furthermore, his dishonesty is verified by eye witnesses and even another Davis Police Officer.”

    SAH makes clear that he believes that DPD officers are conspiring with one another to lie, apparently in order that SAH could get a traffic ticket. That is obviously disdain.

    I don’t think SAH’s attitude is any different than most of the other proponents of the views expressed by the HRC report. Of course, that view is not shared by the vast majority of people who live in Davis. But it is rife with disdain.

  12. “I see in the newspaper and on this blog believe that there is disdain for the police. That is just simply untrue.”

    Simply untrue?

    Maybe you have a different definition of what disdain means. To me, it’s contempt, a feeling (in this case) that a significant percentage of the sworn officers of the DPD were or are not doing their jobs properly. That they are at the very least dishonest; at the worst dishonorable.

    That contempt was made most clear in the badly composed HRC report, which suggested that there was a pattern of DPD officers mistreating, stoppping or arresting non-whites, because those individuals were not white. The allegation inherently implied that up the chain of command this racist misbehavior on the part of the rank and file was being covered up.

    Never mind that a fair reading of the “evidence” in the HRC report exposed the allegations as bogus. The fact remains that the radicals who sided with the HRC report actually believe(d) that the DPD is/was corrupt or racist as an institution. In other words, they held the DPD, to some degree, in disdain.

    Want further evidence? Look at SAH’s comments made right here in this blog. He clearly does not believe in the honesty and integrity of individual officers in the DPD, or in its leadership:

    “You talk to a Davis Police officer about an incident and he is dishonest.”

    SAH may be completely right about this. But right or wrong, such a belief implies contempt for the DPD.

    “Furthermore, his dishonesty is verified by eye witnesses and even another Davis Police Officer.”

    SAH makes clear that he believes that DPD officers are conspiring with one another to lie, apparently in order that SAH could get a traffic ticket. That is obviously disdain.

    I don’t think SAH’s attitude is any different than most of the other proponents of the views expressed by the HRC report. Of course, that view is not shared by the vast majority of people who live in Davis. But it is rife with disdain.

  13. Moderator’s comment-I would suggest that Rich Rikin’s comment be allowed to speak for itself without reply.We all know where that goes. Please refrain from distracting word-games which just clutter up this blog with tit-for-tat schoolyard..”I know you are but what am I?”

  14. Moderator’s comment-I would suggest that Rich Rikin’s comment be allowed to speak for itself without reply.We all know where that goes. Please refrain from distracting word-games which just clutter up this blog with tit-for-tat schoolyard..”I know you are but what am I?”

  15. Moderator’s comment-I would suggest that Rich Rikin’s comment be allowed to speak for itself without reply.We all know where that goes. Please refrain from distracting word-games which just clutter up this blog with tit-for-tat schoolyard..”I know you are but what am I?”

  16. Moderator’s comment-I would suggest that Rich Rikin’s comment be allowed to speak for itself without reply.We all know where that goes. Please refrain from distracting word-games which just clutter up this blog with tit-for-tat schoolyard..”I know you are but what am I?”

  17. I really appreciated the article in the Bee about Aaronson. I like him already. He truely is a great hire. One thing quoted was his comment about the lack of pride in each other and political dialogue in Davis being tinged with “anger and intemperance.” This is the opinion of someone from the outside looking in. It is sort of shameful.

  18. I really appreciated the article in the Bee about Aaronson. I like him already. He truely is a great hire. One thing quoted was his comment about the lack of pride in each other and political dialogue in Davis being tinged with “anger and intemperance.” This is the opinion of someone from the outside looking in. It is sort of shameful.

  19. I really appreciated the article in the Bee about Aaronson. I like him already. He truely is a great hire. One thing quoted was his comment about the lack of pride in each other and political dialogue in Davis being tinged with “anger and intemperance.” This is the opinion of someone from the outside looking in. It is sort of shameful.

  20. I really appreciated the article in the Bee about Aaronson. I like him already. He truely is a great hire. One thing quoted was his comment about the lack of pride in each other and political dialogue in Davis being tinged with “anger and intemperance.” This is the opinion of someone from the outside looking in. It is sort of shameful.

  21. “…….political dialogue in Davis being tinged with “anger and intemperance.”

    It has been my observation, after many, many hours going door to door politically campaigning about local issues,that heated anger and intemperance have little relation to the topic-at-hand but rather appears to well up from some deeper, darker place before which “dialogue” tragically seems impotent

  22. “…….political dialogue in Davis being tinged with “anger and intemperance.”

    It has been my observation, after many, many hours going door to door politically campaigning about local issues,that heated anger and intemperance have little relation to the topic-at-hand but rather appears to well up from some deeper, darker place before which “dialogue” tragically seems impotent

  23. “…….political dialogue in Davis being tinged with “anger and intemperance.”

    It has been my observation, after many, many hours going door to door politically campaigning about local issues,that heated anger and intemperance have little relation to the topic-at-hand but rather appears to well up from some deeper, darker place before which “dialogue” tragically seems impotent

  24. “…….political dialogue in Davis being tinged with “anger and intemperance.”

    It has been my observation, after many, many hours going door to door politically campaigning about local issues,that heated anger and intemperance have little relation to the topic-at-hand but rather appears to well up from some deeper, darker place before which “dialogue” tragically seems impotent

  25. I wanted to clarify one point, since I confused Rich.

    One Davis Police Officer was dishonest when I spoke to him, but his dishonesty was contradicted by witnesses and another Davis Police Officer(in a subsequent report). I was not suggesting the two officers conspired to do anything – they told different stories about the same event and one story was true and the other one was not. I really do not understand why two officers standing ten feet apart and working together managed to come up with completely different stories.SAH

  26. I wanted to clarify one point, since I confused Rich.

    One Davis Police Officer was dishonest when I spoke to him, but his dishonesty was contradicted by witnesses and another Davis Police Officer(in a subsequent report). I was not suggesting the two officers conspired to do anything – they told different stories about the same event and one story was true and the other one was not. I really do not understand why two officers standing ten feet apart and working together managed to come up with completely different stories.SAH

  27. I wanted to clarify one point, since I confused Rich.

    One Davis Police Officer was dishonest when I spoke to him, but his dishonesty was contradicted by witnesses and another Davis Police Officer(in a subsequent report). I was not suggesting the two officers conspired to do anything – they told different stories about the same event and one story was true and the other one was not. I really do not understand why two officers standing ten feet apart and working together managed to come up with completely different stories.SAH

  28. I wanted to clarify one point, since I confused Rich.

    One Davis Police Officer was dishonest when I spoke to him, but his dishonesty was contradicted by witnesses and another Davis Police Officer(in a subsequent report). I was not suggesting the two officers conspired to do anything – they told different stories about the same event and one story was true and the other one was not. I really do not understand why two officers standing ten feet apart and working together managed to come up with completely different stories.SAH

  29. I did want to respond briefly to Rich’s point–I don’t think he makes an unreasonable point. I see a difference between being critical of the actions of some individuals within a class of people and having disdain for them. I have spent the last year studying this issue, talking with numerous people about this issue both within and outside of the Davis city.

    I believe that the HRC report was largely correct in identifying the problem. And I would have written it vastly differently if I were the one writing the report than it was written.

    I have since done a follow-up which identifies 32 cases over the last 18 months or so that describe potential cases where a police officer with the DPD acted in a way that elicited a complaint. Until the last few months, the only realistic way to adjudicate a complaint was to file a lawsuit against the city–an action that requires vast resources and takes a long period of time to sort out.

    I will point out two things.

    First, I have consulted with a number of law enforcement officials from outside of the Davis locale, and I find their feedback invaluable.

    Second, it is ironic that I am called anti-police, as when I lived in San Luis Obispo, I worked very closely with the police chief there. He was a close political ally of mine. It is now ironic that I find myself in the position where I am considered anti-police. I’m not at all.

    I am pro-civilian liberties and civil rights however. And I hope to work closely with the next police chief to improve the communications between the department and this community.

  30. I did want to respond briefly to Rich’s point–I don’t think he makes an unreasonable point. I see a difference between being critical of the actions of some individuals within a class of people and having disdain for them. I have spent the last year studying this issue, talking with numerous people about this issue both within and outside of the Davis city.

    I believe that the HRC report was largely correct in identifying the problem. And I would have written it vastly differently if I were the one writing the report than it was written.

    I have since done a follow-up which identifies 32 cases over the last 18 months or so that describe potential cases where a police officer with the DPD acted in a way that elicited a complaint. Until the last few months, the only realistic way to adjudicate a complaint was to file a lawsuit against the city–an action that requires vast resources and takes a long period of time to sort out.

    I will point out two things.

    First, I have consulted with a number of law enforcement officials from outside of the Davis locale, and I find their feedback invaluable.

    Second, it is ironic that I am called anti-police, as when I lived in San Luis Obispo, I worked very closely with the police chief there. He was a close political ally of mine. It is now ironic that I find myself in the position where I am considered anti-police. I’m not at all.

    I am pro-civilian liberties and civil rights however. And I hope to work closely with the next police chief to improve the communications between the department and this community.

  31. I did want to respond briefly to Rich’s point–I don’t think he makes an unreasonable point. I see a difference between being critical of the actions of some individuals within a class of people and having disdain for them. I have spent the last year studying this issue, talking with numerous people about this issue both within and outside of the Davis city.

    I believe that the HRC report was largely correct in identifying the problem. And I would have written it vastly differently if I were the one writing the report than it was written.

    I have since done a follow-up which identifies 32 cases over the last 18 months or so that describe potential cases where a police officer with the DPD acted in a way that elicited a complaint. Until the last few months, the only realistic way to adjudicate a complaint was to file a lawsuit against the city–an action that requires vast resources and takes a long period of time to sort out.

    I will point out two things.

    First, I have consulted with a number of law enforcement officials from outside of the Davis locale, and I find their feedback invaluable.

    Second, it is ironic that I am called anti-police, as when I lived in San Luis Obispo, I worked very closely with the police chief there. He was a close political ally of mine. It is now ironic that I find myself in the position where I am considered anti-police. I’m not at all.

    I am pro-civilian liberties and civil rights however. And I hope to work closely with the next police chief to improve the communications between the department and this community.

  32. I did want to respond briefly to Rich’s point–I don’t think he makes an unreasonable point. I see a difference between being critical of the actions of some individuals within a class of people and having disdain for them. I have spent the last year studying this issue, talking with numerous people about this issue both within and outside of the Davis city.

    I believe that the HRC report was largely correct in identifying the problem. And I would have written it vastly differently if I were the one writing the report than it was written.

    I have since done a follow-up which identifies 32 cases over the last 18 months or so that describe potential cases where a police officer with the DPD acted in a way that elicited a complaint. Until the last few months, the only realistic way to adjudicate a complaint was to file a lawsuit against the city–an action that requires vast resources and takes a long period of time to sort out.

    I will point out two things.

    First, I have consulted with a number of law enforcement officials from outside of the Davis locale, and I find their feedback invaluable.

    Second, it is ironic that I am called anti-police, as when I lived in San Luis Obispo, I worked very closely with the police chief there. He was a close political ally of mine. It is now ironic that I find myself in the position where I am considered anti-police. I’m not at all.

    I am pro-civilian liberties and civil rights however. And I hope to work closely with the next police chief to improve the communications between the department and this community.

  33. Doug… What IS the status of the original mandate of the HRC? Has it been changed by the council and/or voted upon by the newly appointed HRC members? It is also illuminating that the past HRC chairperson was accused of running roughshod over the other HRC members and only one,I believe, of those “abused” members chose to volunteer for the HRC when it was reconstituted.

  34. Doug… What IS the status of the original mandate of the HRC? Has it been changed by the council and/or voted upon by the newly appointed HRC members? It is also illuminating that the past HRC chairperson was accused of running roughshod over the other HRC members and only one,I believe, of those “abused” members chose to volunteer for the HRC when it was reconstituted.

  35. Doug… What IS the status of the original mandate of the HRC? Has it been changed by the council and/or voted upon by the newly appointed HRC members? It is also illuminating that the past HRC chairperson was accused of running roughshod over the other HRC members and only one,I believe, of those “abused” members chose to volunteer for the HRC when it was reconstituted.

  36. Doug… What IS the status of the original mandate of the HRC? Has it been changed by the council and/or voted upon by the newly appointed HRC members? It is also illuminating that the past HRC chairperson was accused of running roughshod over the other HRC members and only one,I believe, of those “abused” members chose to volunteer for the HRC when it was reconstituted.

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