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, January 12, 2009

Comments and Commentary in River City: The sequel

"There was an (City Council) election. Things changed. He's (City Manager Brad Hudson) marching in a new direction. I don't think he's as devious as he's accused of being."

---Riverside Ward One Councilman Mike Gardner to Columnist Dan Bernstein. And Mr. Gardner, how successful do you think your attempts to substitute in for any Governmental Affairs Committee discussion of the CPRC will be?

After the latest Community Services and Youth Committee meeting, people said they felt like they had witnessed the beginning of the end of Project Bridge which apparently underwent another "reorganization". The city's only gang intervention and prevention program has allegedly been gutted of quite a bit of its staff, even beyond the two community outreach workers laid off in December and apparently park directors are being asked to double as gang outreach workers without the qualifications.

But then the city has muddied the waters before around the "reorganization" of Project Bridge, in the past disguising a hostile work environment allegation made by one of its employees who was later fired after filing a grievance, to the extent that even a community organization investigating that "reorganization" never realized it was really a human resource issue in a City Hall filled with Human Resource issues involving employees of color. Sometimes a "reorganization" is really a "reorganization" but things have never been that simple with Project Bridge.

And in the report, they sold the attributes of this program which spent years being batted back and forth between the police department and its current home, the Park and Recreation Department and barely subsisting on grant money and some city funding, even as they slice its meat away. If the city's going in this direction, then this is bad news. But is it really surprising?

Other cities have lowered their crime rates after adopting and implementing multi-prong approaches to gang violence. Riverside? Intends to go the other direction. How much are they paying this city manager and his minion again?

The discussion about the most recent article on the case of Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Wayne Guillary heats up as the discussion moves on to the issue of race and who posting in this discussion's a racist and how many races there really are and so forth.

Uh oh.


kindjustice who was just getting warmed up as it turns out.


Guillary has every reason to be concerned about this incident and the progress of the investigation.

According to several news reports, it was reported that in 2008 the LAPD received 320 complaints of Racial Profiling. Of the 320 complaints it received, the agency could not find one case that was questionable or discriminatory against its citizenry. Moreover, the Board of Police Commissioners were baffled behind their findings, citing that it is impossible for LAPD to claim that it could find or question one incident of reported racial profiling against its citizenry.

Therefore, LAPD cannot investigate this matter and remain impartial toward Guillary or RPD in their investigative findings.

Their own report has cast a cloud of suspicion upon them.

How can LAPD investigate Guillary and RPD officers and look for acts of racial inequality associated with Guillary’s claim when they can’t find one claim (reported 320 cases)of racial discrimination in their own city?

We do not live in a perfect world and police officers (including Guillary) are not perfect.

However, if I were in Guillary’s shoes, I would be “worried!” because the majority of decision makers from both agencies will not be from a diverse group of people with an understanding of racial conflict, racial degradation and racial adversities.

The Riverside city council is all white. The Chief of Police is white and Guillary's boss is white.

Good Luck Mr. Guillary. Keep the faith and stay strong! Read Ephesians 6.11, it will enlighten your Spirit. God Bless!

kindjustice challenges "Crazy Horse" on his apparent word usage. Did "Crazy Horse" really call Black people, "savages"?

Crazy Horse: This is a racist comment. "Then the local "savages" got angry and ignited the Watts Riots and burned down their own neighborhood."

Why did you refer to African Americans as "savages." It was 1965, racial unrest was high in the country and with no other avenue for justice, civil unrest occurred. No need for racist comments like that. Let's keep our heads as we debate this sensative issue.

You are man with years of experience or perhaps you are from that generation that embraces the perceptions that people like Guillary should not be residing in an upscale community where he has been devalued, dehumanized and demoralized as a human being while sitting on his own property.

This is the greatest country in the world. We have the right of free expression. However, lets be civil in our discussions with one another. I'm sure we can all attest that racism is a volatile subject.

He or she also tells "Crazy Horse" not to call him or her "emotional" when it's clear who's emotional. Hint: It's usually the one who engages in name calling and personal attacks.

"Crazy Horse" who was also just getting warmed up jumps into the fray.

Speak for yourself. I look at these things with an objective eye.

You, on the other hand are a garden variety hysterical reactionary.

You look for racial profiling. You get off on that malarkey. The Board of Police Commissioners in L.A. is headed by a racist hateful bigot, so it doesn't surprise me that he would snivel about racial profiling. Pretty hard to scream racial profiling in a black area when the only non blacks are a few of the officers. Who the heck else are they supposed to arrest?

Racial profiling is another refuge of the criminal element. That's like Middle Easterners screaming "racial profiling" when they're escorted off an airliner.

I mean, who exactly demolished the World Trade Center and murdered 3,000 Americans?

The Italians? The Finns? Perhaps East Side Riva?

So kindjustice tries to give "Crazy Horse" a history lesson explaining why his decision to call a primarily Black populated community "savages" which has an offensive context for several racial populations probably wasn't the best choice of words. It's a shame if he worked for another agency, he could actually make derogatory comments and still be able to win an award as an upstanding police officer as long as the attorney general's nowhere around.

Crazy Horse:

When you referenced Marquette Fry you spoke of a time period of 1965. In 1965 Watts was an entirely black community. So when you said, "Then the local "savages" got angry and ignited the Watts Riots and burned down their own neighborhood." You were addressing a population that was comprised of black people. It's a racist comment. Second, you said, "The Board of Police Commissioners in L.A. is headed by a racist hateful bigot, so it doesn't surprise me that he would snivel about racial profiling." Well! Anthony Pacheco is the President of the Board of Police Commissioners. He is an Hispanic man. Another racist comment. So who are you referencing? Third, you said, "It's not only blacks who live in Watts. Question? During what time period? If was 1965 the population/demography, Black. 1990's to 2000 Black & Hispanic. 2000 to 2009, Hispanic, with few blacks.

So does "Crazy Horse" respond? How much money would you bet that he calls kindjustice a "racist"? Let's see what happens next.

Blah blah blah. You have no idea what you're screaming about. I wasn't referring to Pacheco. I was referring to the recent past president identified as John Mack. He's a vicious hater of the police and of white people. I made no racist comments at all. You're filling in imaginary blanks with your headless chicken mentality.

You're nobody to be telling anybody what to think or post.

And there is no such thing as a Hispanic race. Never has been and never will be. The three races are Negroid, Caucasoid, and Oriental. Period. Everything else is an ethnic group. Look it up.

The only racist comments are made by you.

These discussions often turn out to be so predicable. And actually, "Oriental" is a term that's no longer in use by people as it's considered derogatory by many Asian-Americans and it's never been the name of any racial group. But I'm with kindjustice (who raises some good points, and some weak points in his or her arguments) in being thankful that "Crazy Horse" is retired from the law enforcement profession.

Press Enterprise Columnist Dan Bernstein provides an update on PoodleGate otherwise known as the Greyhound mess.


GREYHOUND: Now that they're talking again, Riverside Councilman Mike Gardner has suggested Greyhound and the city undertake a joint intel operation to pick potential sites, then go house to house (sort of) alerting the masses "before they ever apply" to open a depot. Gardner calls it "Neighborhood Buy-In." Warns it will be time consuming. He awaits word from the hound.

Speaking of Greyhound, someone reported hearing the head of the Greater Chamber of Commerce applauding the ouster of Greyhound from Riverside saying all the "undesirables" will go with it. About 80,000 disenfranchised riders who are mostly elderly, disabled and/or poor just can't stack against the Greater Chamber which pretty much runs the downtown political scene as we all have seen from some of the conversations from the dais of subcommittee to full council that have taken place lately.

Coming soon: The other Greyhound Scandal downtown, because the ouster of Greyhound isn't taking place in a vacuum and the city manager's office has made yet another bad decision. What would Bill Lockyer think about this debacle, courtesy of the city manager's office?

The civil trial against a former San Bernardino County Sheriff deputy involved in a shooting caught on video tape may be starting fairly soon. A tentative trial date was set but there's concern by the attorneys that the United States Attorney's office hasn't decide whether or not to file charges alleging civil rights violations.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

"We're not going to put this on hold indefinitely," U.S. District Court Judge Otis Wright told six attorneys. "We're simply going to get this case going."

Attorneys met this afternoon at a federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles to discuss the lawsuit Carrion filed against the county and former Deputy Ivory Webb after the officer fired three rounds at Carrion at point-blank range on Jan. 29, 2006.

Gas prices were still going down but people are still taking public transit. With transit hubs becoming the rage, many cities are getting on with it. Except for Riverside of course which will miss the bus.

How do local law enforcement agencies handle corruption?

(excerpt, Tonawanda News)

For local law enforcement officials, the prevailing mood was one of disappointment.

“You’re let down,” Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour said. “You take an oath of office, and you trust the people you’re working with respect that oath. When someone lets you down like that, it does give a black eye to law enforcement.”

Warme, 27, was arrested Dec. 2 by his fellow Falls police, along with federal agents. Warme was charged with raping and tormenting women and buying cocaine on duty.Warme has now been suspended from the Falls police, and he remains in custody.

He will return to court Jan. 23.

City of Tonawanda Police Chief Cindy Young and North Tonawanda Chief of Police Randy Szukala each discussed how such allegations are viewed within their respective departments.

“It’s not just their behavior eight hours a day, it’s their behavior 24/7 that they have to answer to,” Young said.

The message was the same – an emphasis less on shock, in a profession where betrayal, violence and corruption are an everyday theme of the job -- but deep disappointment coupled with the constant need to uphold higher-than-normal standards of conduct.

“I don’t think anybody can predict what will happen with somebody,” Szukala said.

The director of Newark's Police Department defends its internal checks.

(excerpt, Press of Atlantic City)

At a news conference Wednesday to discuss the dramatic drop in homicides in the city in 2008, Newark Police Director Garry McCarthy defended his department's efforts.
"We've changed the way we do our internal investigations and we're going to make more changes," he said.

According to McCarthy, the internal affairs unit has doubled in size since he arrived two years ago, to about 30 people. In addition, the department does more random drug testing of officers than in the past and regularly has undercover personnel pose as civilians to call the complaint line and report the treatment they receive.

McCarthy acknowledged that the failure rate on these calls is "about 30 percent," but noted that many of the problems have to do with callers being transferred to an unattended line.

According to statistics provided by the police department, the number of civilian complaints against police in Newark fell from 612 in 2006 to 578 in 2007 to 485 last year. Jacobs, though, said those statistics are flawed, and she urged the department to use an external auditor to provide accurate numbers.

McCarthy, who made revamping internal affairs one of his primary goals since being hired in 2006, sounded a wait-and-see tone.

"Until we've done everything we can internally to fix everything that's broken, we shouldn't bring someone in from outside," he said.

Save the CPRC from City Hall's micromanagement and all-around puppetry from the city council, the city manager's office and the city attorney's office. When City Hall committed these same behaviors towards LEPAC in the 1990s, one of the end results was a $22 million consent decree involving the police department but the other, stronger and more independent civilian review.

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