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 19, 2009

Inauguration in D.C. but life as usual in River City

"To elect a biracial president is the worst thing for these white supremacists. He's their antichrist."

---California State University, San Bernardino professor of criminology, Brian Levin who is a nationally recognized expert on hate crimes and incidents.

The African-American Historical Society held its annual Martin Luther King, jr. Walk-a-thon and many walkers attended the event which ended at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

The society sponsored the 16th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Walk-A-Thon with T-shirts and brochures featuring both leaders. Organizers said 750 walked. Many of the participants Monday said they were excited about the new president's inauguration and motivated to participate in the holiday event.

Before the 3K walk, a vendor sold T-shirts saying "Obama, the dream fulfilled."

Houston Layton, president of the society, said the dream may be fulfilled for certain levels of society but may never be realized for those with less education.

"I would say it is a step closer to the dream coming true," Layton said about Obama's election and King's dream.

The Rev. Ralph Rivers, pastor of Christian education at Good News Community Baptist Church and event chairman, pointed to people of all races walking. He said a colorblind society in which everyone's talents are used would be the next step after the election of the first African-American president.

"We feel like Dr. King had a prophetic dream in that God revealed to him that America was going to live up those ideals in its Constitution and Declaration of Independence," Rivers said.

But since the election of Barack Obama as president, there have been more racial beatings in San Jacinto.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

Hemet police and Riverside County gang detectives said the beatings, which occurred in the weeks following Obama's election, appeared to be racially motivated and they fear more racial violence during his presidency.

The attacks and rhetoric from the white supremacist group involved in the beatings is part of a larger insurgence of hate groups throughout the nation, especially in the Inland region and Southern California, experts said.

Confidential police informants and the Web site of a local white supremacist group have pointed to anger about the election of the country's first black president, said Sgt. Mark Richards of the Hemet/San Jacinto Regional Gang Task Force.

"All of these attacks occurred after the election and we believe there's some connection to the election of an African-American," Richards said. "All of a sudden these attacks occurred and we don't think it's a coincidence."

Should we be surprised that such racial hatred exists and is surfacing in violent ways? It's comments like this one which make it clear that racism (and misogyny) aren't dead.


"Achievment"? Hey dude, tell us all what Obama has achieved? He's as corrupt as John Gotti. Beautiful graphic design though, you diseased whore. Bet you designed the Obama coins available for just five easy installments of $19.95 plus shipping and handling. Let's all ride this cult of personality gravy train for four years until we're REALLY bankrupt. I just cashed my welfare check and crammed 10 of my cousins into a rental car so I could witness history. Gimme a break. You all are trying way too hard to create Abraham Lincoln or MLK 2.0. You can't create that, it has to happen on its own. Gives you idiots something to live for I guess. Be sure to tell your grandkids about the stinking porta potties and T shirt kiosks and $5.00 waters and the $400 you spent on a Motel 6 room 100 miles from DC. That'll bring a tear to their eye!

But, But, But, it is all Bushes fault isn't it? You know, yesterday my car would not start, and that was Bushes Fault too. And then today, my food stamps ran out and its all that Darn Bushes fault.

Its o.k. though, now that Obama is taking office, my rent, gas and food is going to be paid for so I can sit at home and smog crack. Anyday now, that check is going to come in the mail, I just know it!

"Diseased whore"? "Cashed my welfare check and crammed 10 of my cousins in a rental car"? "Smog crack"?

I suppose it's better that they vent their hostility online rather than go beat up someone of color or a woman instead because they're pissed off that the majority of voters in this country voted the first time for a president who's biracial and they think anyone who disagrees with them is a woman who's stepped out of her proper place. I'm not sure what ticks them off more, the fact that the president of the United States is biracial or that the majority of voters in this country picked him as their leader.

Probably a tossup.

Still other Inland Empire residents have traveled to see history in the making in Washington, D.C. some preparing months ahead of time to make the trip.

The volatile Dow cares not a whit and is anticipated to take one of its largest plunges today as emotions of stock brokers (who will no doubt be channeling Edvard Munch's the Scream in photos taken around the world) take over but then that's the way it's always been with the stock exchange.

Press Enterprise Columnist Dan Bernstein writes about the "Miracle on the Hudson" which is one way to refer to the bombshell dropped by City Manager Brad Hudson about his proposal to take a wrecking ball to the downtown library and then rebuild it from the rubble. Needless to say, many people were shocked, especially since the city seems to be kind of broke at the moment. After all, what the city's not telling you is how many projects have been tabled because there's not enough money to complete them or even start them.


So where does the other $41 million come from? Hudson thinks the city could scrape up $25 million. But that's to cover three projects costing $75 million. They are, in order of the city manager's preference 1) the Municipal Auditorium, 2) the museum and 3) the library. (The auditorium redo jumps to the front of the line? Auth: "We don't understand that. It's coming out of left field.")

So, how does Hudson make up the difference? A $50 million bond sale that could raise property taxes by $45 per parcel. To paraphrase Hudson/Carvey: Would it be prudent to seek a property tax boost at this juncture? Show me a homeowner willing to pay higher taxes as his property value craters and I'll show you a saint. Or a doofus.

Was Hudson's tongue lodged firmly in his managerial cheek when he called for a "bold, collaborative investment in Riverside's Arts & Culture facilities to achieve robust programming for the next half century and beyond?" A bond measure would have to pass by a two-thirds majority.

Auth cited "survey research in 2006" that showed voters unwilling to support a large bond measure then. Would they be more likely to support one now -- especially since (to City Hall's credit) Riverside is now dotted with new or improved neighborhood libraries?

CM Hudson has 'em scratching their heads, all right. His Main Library vision -- new or expanded -- now seems in line with what various boards and blue-ribboners want. But is there more to this proposal than, as Auth calls it, "just words on paper?"

She and other library boosters may find out more when the City Council meets today. Until then, says Auth, "I don't want to pass judgment."

But before you start shrieking, "it's a miracle," Hudson's plan to raise the dough to do all this is to attach a $45 fee onto the property taxes of land owners, during a period of time when property values have of course gone past their free fall and are now residing in the basement of what once was the real estate stock market. Home sales have increased in the Inland Empire but prices continue to drop.

But there's projects on the Riverside Renaissance list which have been postponed for the next several years because the city can't come up with either by raising or borrowing the capital to get them started. And at least one city council candidate said that truncating 20 years worth of capital projects in five years could have a lasting detrimental impact on the city's coffers as it tries to ride out an economic downturn for the next several years which has picked the Inland Empire (through its housing market-based economy) as its epicenter of choice.

The Hudson Proposal not to be confused with the Hudson Directive will be unveiled at the city council's workshop today, Jan. 20 at 3 p.m. in the city council chambers. It's hard to know what to think of all this. I mean Hudson and his crew have been struggling just to get any signs even temporary ones to mark the police department's new headquarters including its recently relocated but problem-plagued Internal Affairs Division to the downtown bus terminal. Now they want to demolish the library? Who's steering the S.S. Hudson on this project anyway?

The new office building in downtown Riverside may be ready for Riverside County District Attorney Rod Pacheco, but will he be sharing that space?

The answer is probably no. He's not big on sharing anything. Even space. I remember when I attended an awards banquet last year, I was talking to another individual and Pacheco walked by and put his hands on my upper arms and moved me out of his path without saying anything. Apparently, other women have shared the same stories of similar experiences with him. Most people in that situation simply say, "excuse me".

Like every topic on the Riverside Police Department that's written up in the Press Enterprise, the recent officer-involved shooting has elicited comments from "Crazy Horse", "Pazzap" and "Mr. Bill". Sounds more like a match out of the WWF.

No more information has been released on the shooting of Russell Franklin Wyatt, 48, including when a Riverside Police Department representative will appear before the Community Police Review Commission for an initial briefing on the department's investigation before City Hall forces the commission to put its own investigation on ice for six months, a year or longer upon a joint order of City Manager Brad Hudson and City Attorney Gregory Priamos who no doubt are being directed by several city council members. Most likely the members of the city's Governmental Affairs Committee who will be most likely, putting on a good show and rubber stamping the Hudson directive at its next meeting on Feb. 4.

The whole city finds out at the city council meeting whether or not Councilman Andrew Melendrez gets to substitute on the committee or not. If so, he'll still be outvoted for any recommendation put out by the two city council members who are the most vocal (and certainly the most published) supporters of the Hudson Directive. Still, it was apparent that he was a more palatable alternative for the other members than Councilman Mike Gardner who's been on the commission.

The highlight of the city council meeting will no doubt be the city council issuing a proclamation to long-time activist and gadfly, Marjorie Von Pohle who wil be honored before the city council takes up the weekly business. For over 60 years, she has been active including years of service on the city's Park and Recreation Commission. As of lately, she was a staunch advocate for the right of city residents to pull items from the consent calendar at city council meetings, a right suspended by the BASS quartet council in July 2005. No city council member has even brought up the issue of restoring this basic right of redress even those who including readdressing this item as part of their campaign promises.

But it bears consideration because of the trends that bore out during Riverside's last civic election cycle which penalized at least one incumbent who actually pushed for the restrictions on the consent calendar by proposing the motion that passed in 2005. And at least one candidate who has tossed his hat in the ring so far in one ward has said that he supports greater public participation not less. Then again, where have we heard that before?

Former Bolingbrook Police Department Sgt. Drew Peterson is apparently engaged to some woman 30 years his junior.

(excerpt, Chicago Sun-Times)

And Ernest Raines said his daughter, Christina, 24, has told him that her weekend move into Peterson's home is only the first step.

"She's planning on living there, and they're planning on getting married -- after he gets divorced," Ernest Raines said Monday.

Peterson wouldn't comment Monday, nor would his attorney. Christina Raines couldn't be reached for comment.

Raines said he's not happy that his daughter and his grandchildren moved in with Peterson, who is 30 years older than Christina.

"I don't like the fact that she's with him, but what can I do?" Raines said. "This is not right, but my hands are tied."

Whoever it is should consider these facts about the women in Peterson's life before moving in with a married man. Wife #2 was abused and stalked, losing her boyfriend in an unsolved murder. Wife #3 was murdered and her death is under investigation. Wife #4 hasn't been seen since she disappeared over a year ago and that is under investigation. Run, do not walk away from this man.

This is not a blog for relationship advice but in this case, not a good idea.

Search term of the day but it didn't come from this site. Courtesy of Injustice In Seattle, you have the following Google search:

"I need information on going to another police department after being fired for offduty misconduct/dishonesty"

The visitor originated from Modesto, California and apparently is seeking prospective employment of a law enforcement possibly in this great state. Hopefully, not in the Inland Empire.

The New York City Police Department has sent crews to look for the missing engine of U.S. Airways Flight 1549, a search which has taken on greater importance because one or both of the engines might have failed on the same aircraft two days earlier.

76 days spent, 289 left.

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