Five before Midnight

This site is dedicated to the continuous oversight of the Riverside(CA)Police Department, which was formerly overseen by the state attorney general. This blog will hopefully play that role being free of City Hall's micromanagement.
"The horror of that moment," the King went on, "I shall never, never forget." "You will though," the Queen said, "if you don't make a memorandum of it." --Lewis Carroll


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Location: RiverCity, Inland Empire

Monday, December 12, 2005

Blowing off San Francisco

While the LAPD is trying to extricate itself from its consent decree with the Department of Justice by promising to equip its entire fleet of squad cars with video cameras, another law enforcement agency is trying to deal with a controversy that has erupted from the department's use of video equipment for entertainment purposes.

Over 30 San Francisco Police Department officers face suspensions for videos made while onduty, depicting stereotypes that city officials and community members have said are racist, sexist and homophobic.

Amazingly, or not, the only people who appear unsurprised by the content of these videos, are the community members of Bayview. But then again, the videos have just been depicting what they knew to be there all along. It may be(or not) news to the politicians, but not to them.


Mayor Gavin Newsome criticized the videos as being racist, sexist and homophobic. Not surprisingly, the predominantly African-American neighborhood of Bayview were outraged by them, including one scene where a Black homeless woman was run over by a squad car. Outraged, but again not surprised.

Bayview residents reacted angrily to the videos. Newsom has promised widespread department reforms.

On Friday, after learning that other insensitive videos had been made public, Newsom renewed his criticism of officers who, he says, "just fail to get it."

No, Mayor Newsom, it is you who doesn't "get it".

"A small group of officers made a video on city time when they should have been out fighting crime. They used city resources to make a parody they insist is benign, but which at worst is racist and sexist and outrageously offensive to this community.

--- Mayor Newsome

The police union president apologized for the scandal, abeit with the usual caveat attached: The neighborhood made us do it.

Gary Delagnes, president of the 2,200-member San Francisco Police Officers Assn., said the videos should never have been made. "It's an embarrassment to the department and the officers involved," he said. "We're wrong, and we have to take our medicine."

Before you get too excited by that "apology", here comes the caveat:

But Delagnes said that the videos were made by officers in stressful jobs who wanted to blow off steam.

"The precinct where they work is the Iraq of the city of San Francisco," he said. "They are outgunned and outmanned, and just a year ago one of their numbers was murdered.

"And so a bunch of officers, white, black, Asian, women and gay, got together and made a video they thought was going to be shown at their captain's retirement dinner. It was their way of dealing with the futility of their jobs."

By engaging in racist, sexist and homophobic stereotyping for entertainment purposes? The officers chose to engage in this behavior because of who they are, not what they do. After all, the majority of SFPD officers had nothing to do with making these particular videos.

The Bayview community's response:

On Friday, Milton Williams, head pastor at Bayview Baptist Church for 23 years, met at City Hall with other religious leaders to discuss how to handle rising anger over the videos. He said he was stumped about the sermon he would deliver Sunday.

"There is an incredible amount of anger out there," Williams said. "Some people are surprised and outraged. But I've heard from people who say, 'I'm not shocked at all. This is the kind of behavior I've seen for years.' "

At the meeting, which included priests, ministers, rabbis, Franciscan friars and Buddhist monks, one cleric said the city "cannot stomach a bunch of cops gone wild." Another called for the officers involved to be fired.

But Williams said he was going to call for calm from the pulpit. "We shouldn't be about pointing fingers."

San Francisco PD films videos to "blow off steam"
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Monday, December 05, 2005

Wanted: Assistant Police Chief

This just in from the International Assn of Police Chiefs Web site:

Position: Assistant Police Chief
Deadline: 12/23/2005
Agency: City of Riverside, California
Location: Riverside, CA USA
Salary: $115,460-$151,021


Successful candidates should possess a minimum of fifteen years of increasingly progressive municipal law enforcement experience including attaining rank of Captain or above. If you have a proven track record of managerial effectiveness, a demonstrated ability to lead a complex police organization to achieve critical goals, possess a BA/BS degree and are committed to Community Oriented Policing, you are encouraged to apply. Completion of a recognized advanced law enforcement leadership program or comparable advanced management training program with a Master’s Degree in law enforcement, business or public administration is highly desirable.

Responsibilities: The City of Riverside, California (pop 300,000), the 13th largest City in California and recently named as “America’s Most Livable Community” is seeking an energetic, self-driven and results oriented municipal law enforcement professional to serve as its Assistant Police Chief. Riverside is centrally located in southern California approximately 60 miles east of Los Angeles and 100 miles north of San Diego. The City’s total budget of 555.7 million reflects a staff of approximately 2,600 including 394 sworn personnel and 185 civilian employees in the Police Department. The position serves as the Chief of Staff and is the Acting Police Chief in the Chief’s absence. The position assumes full management responsibilities for the overall operations of a large, modern and data-driven metropolitan Police Department.
Special Conditions: Out of State candidates will be expected to acquire California POST certification within one year of employment.

For more information, contact:Teresa McAllister3780 Market StreetRiverside,CA 92501USAPhone: (951)826-5239Fax: (951)826-5922Email: tmcallis@riversideca.govWebsite:

How To Apply: Interested candidates should submit a completed application and supplemental with your resume by December 23, 2005. Recruitment package is available on-line or by contacting the: City of Riverside Human Resources Department, 3780 Market Street, Riverside, Ca 92501 (951) 826-5808 FAX (951) 826-2552

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