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

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Election 2009: The Schiavone cyber crew comes out swinging

It's only a couple of months into the Riverside City Council elections and the "fan" mail has already started pouring in, all from people who allegedly support Ward Four Councilman Frank Schiavone. Not surprising as I received tons of similarly written rantings when I blogged about the District One Riverside County Supervisor contest last year which included Schiavone as a candidate. Many of his supporters are nice people who are just working on his campaign because they believe he's the better candidate. Some however, are clearly not and are expressing themselves in other ways.

They hang out on the internet and apparently campaign for Schiavone that way, making attacks on his fellow competitor, Paul Davis and other people. They or others of that ilk did the same thing when Schiavone ran for supervisor last year. During that campaign, there was a "greatest hits" section in my blog just for the Schiavone campaign trolls and some of their rants were creepy including someone who claimed to have been on the elevator with me at City Hall. Is that relevant to a political election or is that just creepy behavior?

This election's rants by anonymous people apparently started with some unnamed commenter complaining about of all things, my breasts and claiming that I wasn't wearing a bra underneath my shirt. Election 2009 and breasts, who would have thought the two would be related? Interestingly enough, after thinking about who this individual could have possibly been, I remembered that several weeks I had run into several individuals including one who several years ago had made similarly crude comments about my breasts to a woman we both knew in common who later told me. They are staunch Schiavone supporters.

It's a bit unnerving to say the least to know that I'm apparently crossing paths with some of these creepy authors without knowing it. When you don't know who they are, you don't have the choice of whether or not to avoid them if you encounter them in public. And even though I'm confident in my identification of some of my cyber harassers, there are others that I'm not sure or have no clue who they may be. But some of the ones lately seem to know a lot about the inner workings of the Schiavone campaign (not to mention a few other venues of supporters as well). And their eagerness to harass Davis and others on the internet seems to override the usual discretion that campaign supporters exercise to keep any such strategies to their chests rather than putting them on blast. That's also one of the biggest difference between the cyber harassers who have targeted Davis and me and those who focus their rants on Schiavone is that claiming of insider knowledge.

As mentioned previously on this blog, some people also write derogatory and probably untrue things about Schiavone and those people who engage in that behavior are just as wrong as those who engage in it against Davis. I'm one of the last people who's going to defend this cowardly, disgusting behavior towards anyone, based partly on my own experiences with it. But it's curious to watch those who engage in that behavior against Davis insist that I serve as the arbiter to say that one side's behavior is worse than the others almost like two children fighting on the playground. And I'm not the arbiter or "parent" for the cyber harassing crowd. It's even more bizarre when one of those "sides" asks me to arbitrate when it's choosing to be abusive towards me as well especially for not marching in lockstep with its crazy rants.

I'm a blogger. I am not their parent.

But the vast onslaught of comments have been geared at Davis surrounding the lawsuit filed by Schiavone which challenged statements included by Davis in his candidate statement which will be mailed to every registered voter in Ward Four. As you know, that decision resulted in a draw, meaning that both candidates walked away with a partial victory. Schiavone in the comment about the voice at City Hall and Davis with his law enforcement officer employment background.

It's perplexing that people who claim to be so happy with the city (enough to call you a hater of city government) can behave in the fashion that they have been doing. But it's clear that it's going to be a looooong election season if the venom being expressed by cowards like those at Craigslist is any indication. Bantering with them is sometimes an exercise in banality but takes too much energy and time away from writing the posts which piss them off in the first place.

Here's a couple shining examples which appeared in the wee hours of the morning. Yes, it's true that posting them here might feed their narcissism but it's always good to highlight the climate of an election season in order to leave a better accounting of what transpired from the time the nomination and declaration papers are filed to the moment the final ballot is tallied. This is the uglier side of any election and Election 2009 apparently is not an exception to that rule.

This lovely post appeared at Craigslist along with a bunch of others about being anti-city government and anti-cop (oh, if I had a dollar for every time I was called either or better yet, $5 for both at the same time). But this one was the post of the evening because it's not too often you see someone take a situation where people have died and basically used it to get their kicks. I was pretty appalled and shocked when I read it. Who wouldn't be?

This was the most disgusting one. Meaning of the evening. Not by this particular author who's probably just there because he thinks the cops are and he's trying to impress them. Interestingly enough, the other visitors pretend that this comment below doesn't exist but then maybe even as trollish as they are, they are simply pretending its writer doesn't exist.

Initial poster how correct you are about FBM, but didn't you know that FBM know's everything and is never wrong about anything.
I'll even bet that FBM had multiple orgasms over the 4 Oakland cops that were killed by a parolee.
Was that story even covered on the FBM blog ?

This isn't the first posting ranting about orgasms that I received from this individual who claims to have never communicated with me in an earlier comment. I received a similar one in 2006 with the same writing style. That's why it's so strange when commenters act like they don't know me or have never "communicated" with me and then they start writing the same crap they did three years earlier, easily picking up where they've left off.

Since he won't leave his name, from now on, he'll just be called Mr. "O". The "O" can stand for a variety of things.

This one's clearly disgusting but what's ironic (and a common tactic used by this particular individual) is to write crap like this in the first place and worse intentionally to harass and intimidate and then whine in a later comment that I'm harassing, intimidating them or stalking them. What kind of person uses the deaths of other people as an excuse to write nasty comments? Clearly not someone who supports law enforcement. And it's likely that this particular individual doesn't support them in any meaningful way that makes a substantive difference.

He and others call their decision to harass me my "hardship", which is their attempts to absolve themselves of their own actions and decision to harass others and put the blame on those they target. It's like if a person comes up to you and slaps your face, instead of taking responsibility for it they say, it's your fault, your "hardship" or whatever and then say that not only do they get to make the decision to slap you but also how you're supposed to respond to that action. That's often how it is with cyber harassment as well.

It's like when they make insinuations about Davis and rather than showing evidence themselves of their own allegations against him, they demand that he prove their own claims for them. Which kind of serves as an indication how sure they are about their own allegations themselves. So sure about them, they of course put their own names on them.

A bit of a reversal used to justify bad behavior and attempt to validate to any audience this individual thinks they have attracted. He's also written in the past how I supposedly "know everything" (which no one does as most of us know) and is picking up that same thread of thought three years later.

Naturally, it's unsigned but I think I know who wrote it. If I'm right, it was a guy who once thought the death of a Riverside County Sheriff's Department deputy in 1999 was righteous and that the guy deserved it which was pretty appalling. Maybe he's changed his mind since when it comes to law enforcement officers who are killed or maybe he's using these latest deaths just as an excuse to be disgusting.

This person sounds like someone who would call themselves a "fan" of the profession. Sometimes it's not clear who's more disturbing or scarier, officers who post these kinds of posts online anonymously or their "fans". But the internet does allow both to do some intricate duet with one another when it comes to harassment without either party actually knowing who the other one is that is in agreement with them.

But it's a bit ironic to read something like this nearly 10 years later, purporting to be writing something truly disgusting on behalf of four dead police officers. Which leads me to think this person who's harassed me online before is just using the deaths of these men for kicks. Unless anyone can truly come up with a good reason why "orgasms" and deceased police officers even belongs in the same sentence in any context at all. Maybe one of the two candidates that this individual is allegedly working for on their political campaigns can come up with a good reason. He didn't come up with much support for his comment from others present and it's possible the one comment in agreement that he did receive was also posted by him.

But comments like this one show up always anonymously from time to time by individuals (or people who believe they are like this guy) who clearly have nothing better to do than write content like that. It's really a shame. It's a waste of energy and time but it's their energy, their time and this is how they choose to use both. It's also reinforcement to keep blogging and the nice little spike in visitors I get to my site when their comments appear is always appreciated.

Here's another:

Yep! FBM has no concern for all of the cops that give their lives in the line of duty. Nope, her concern is for the predatory criminals that cause so much pain and misery onto law abiding citizens. Idea, how about blogging about the cops that are fatally killed in the line of duty on a weekly basis. Not FBM's concern, FBM would rather blog about the criminal that happened to be shot or assaulted during the commission of a crime. This is what gets FBM off. Let her do her thang though, most know that FBM's missing a few marbles upstairs. A real 5150.

After reading a post like this one which did respond to the already listed post, when I see something like "missing a few marbles upstairs", I realize that this is all relative. It's always a treat to read postings challenging or questioning my mental stability by anonymous individuals who clearly are suffering from some sort of problem. Is it mental illness? No, because hatred isn't a mental illness and calling these individuals "mentally ill" is an insult to those people who actually are. They're not mentally ill, they are just mean people who enjoy harassing people they don't like from beneath a rock. That's not mental illness.

This person calls me "FBM" like they don't know who I am when in an earlier posting, they used my first name.

Actually, it's a brilliant idea that this person has proposed to create that type of blog and there's already some blogs on this issue out there but the world can use more of them. Is this person himself setting up a blog and doing the work to make it meaningful himself? No, he's clearly too lazy so he's sitting at his keyboard and ordering someone else to do it for him. Setting up blogs is relatively easy and writing in them is even easier even if your knowledge of html language is minimal. So that can't be why this person doesn't start a blog like he suggested himself.

This person hasn't done so because it's so much easier to again, use the deaths of law enforcement officers to get kicks while posting anonymously online because frankly, they don't have the guts to put their names on it. And if they really cared about blogging being on these deaths, they would do it themselves instead of sitting at their keyboards writing anonymous comments which actually very little to do with dead police officers except to use them to harass other people. A person who would pair "orgasms" with officers who have been killed probably isn't capable of writing the type of blog that honors their memories.

But this kind of garbage aside, it brings to mind an interesting point. How does one support police officers, live or deceased if one claims to be a supporter? Posting comments like the ones above (and I've received dozens similar since I started this blog) is clearly one way to do that but is it a very productive way? Is it a way to claim to be supporting law enforcement officers when instead you're simply doing it just to harass someone else? Does law enforcement as a profession and the Riverside Police Department really need people of this ilk in its corner? And if so, what does that really say about either the livelihood or the entity?

The irony is that the Riverside Police Department does need its supporters including its self-proclaimed ones to be more active at addressing some of the issues that have challenged it during the current economic crisis. Hopefully, these individuals aren't spending their energy and time exercising their support of law enforcement and the police department by waxing on about how they think people are getting their orgasms but are actually doing something a bit more constructive.

Here's an example involving the Riverside Police Department which if you read here, you know is experiencing staffing shortages due to employee freezes that have taken place in the past nine months. Included in these freezes are three positions at the sergeant level which haven't been filled since those who occupied them have retired. The latest is that some people feel that these staffing levels aren't what they should be and aren't what they need to be. So in light of this situation which mirrors a similar one that took place during fiscally difficult budget times in the late 1990s, what can you as a citizen do?

Here's two options.

1) You can write a posting like either of the ones above to show your "support" for police officers.

2) You can write emails to your elected representatives, you can call or talk with them or you can speak at city council meetings asking the city government to address this issue or direct its staff to address this issue.

3) You can research it yourself and educate people on the issue.

Which option or two are a more direct way of addressing this issue? Which one is not? If enough of these conversations and missives were communicated to elected officials as suggested in the second option especially during an election year by city residents including those who take the energy and time to show their "support" of police officers, then these issues would be resolved if not entirely, in a better way than now. If the S.S. Hudson is making decisions which impact the staffing levels of the police department (as with other departments as well), he's being guided by a majority of city council members or a vocal minority surrounded by a silent majority. They can only be pushed out of that dynamic by an engaged public.

Earlier this year, Chief Russ Leach announced that after the expiration of the current Strategic Plan (that was mandated by the stipulated judgment), the department will create a new five-year blueprint of policing which will take over. Leach said that input would be solicited from community members all over the city.

One recommendation to the next Strategic Plan might be to create provisions in writing for the restoration of frozen positions in both the civilian and sworn divisions of the department. One of the things which devastated the police department in the 1990s (necessitating the stipulated judgment) was the lack of attention paid to refilling positions left vacant by freezes instituted during economically difficult times. There wasn't really a follow through in terms of long-range plans to address staffing issues in the department and instead, there was just cuts made to deal with a short-term crisis. About $22 million later, this issue became one the city was mandated to resolve including the deficiencies in its supervisory staffing ratios.

The only way to institute a long-range plan which includes the restoration of frozen positions is to categorize it as an issue of both accountability and public service rather than just a labor issue that can be hidden behind closed doors without the public being any the wiser about it. Including it in the next state of the Strategic Plan could go a longer way of accomplishing this.

Then there's this comment which is kind of silly but I included it anyway. It's interesting that people seem to be preoccupied with what you're doing to this degree that they're talking about you being asleep and dreaming. That just seems a bit silly.

FBM probably dreaming that the RPD would pull FBM over and ask FBM to submit to a full search and seizure.

nite nite! : )

Again, I've received similar comments like this in the past. Though mostly from individuals complaining about my postings on the Riverside Police Department, rather than political campaigns. Some of them have been fairly disgusting in nature.

The annual air show at the Riverside Municipal Airport was well attended by a record crowd even as it was a fairly warm day with little in the way of breezes or winds. A perfect day for flying and there were many demonstrations of aviation acrobatics, wing walkers, sky divers and demonstrations from the Riverside Police Department's Aviation, K-9 and Metro Divisions. Officer and Pilot Mike Pelissario flew one of the department's 25-year-old helicopters with SWAT officers and K-9 Officer Dave Taylor (along with his canine Von who rode in a special harness) rode on the skids. K-9 Officer Mike Mears and Aldo also participated while Officer Mike Dillion (who is interested in being a K-9 officer himself) and K-9 Officer Brad Smith wore the padded suits to be the targets for the dogs.

Later, Mears and Aldo and Smith and his newest dog, Rocco demonstrated canine skills using Dillion in the padded suit. Dillion is one of several officers who are interested in becoming future K-9 officers but it often takes years for an opening to be available because it's a small unit and extremely low turnover because canine handlers tend to be leave through promotion or retirement. The last opening in the canine division was over five years ago and filled by Smith and it seems that Dillion along with several other officers are hoping to be the next individuals assigned to work in that division should the opportunity arise.

Margie, the wing walker returned this year as well as the Dr. D, the old-timer pilot who does a breathtaking stall glide before landing on the runaway with his propeller completely still. Some newcomers flew flat spins, loop to loops, square loops and other maneuvers. Absolutely brilliantly.

The police department's aviation division was on display, including its newest helicopter purchased a few years ago. The department now has two older helicopters including the one flown by Pelissario, one newer and one owned by the State of California and used for narcotics actions. The city is in the process of purchasing a newer helicopter but the process was recently stalled although some recent developments might help move it along. Aviation is staffed by seven pilots, all sworn officers and two mechanics and is under two sergeants (who also oversee the Metro unit), a lieutenant and the head of Special Operations, Capt. John Wallace.

Det. James Dana and Officer Aaron Brandt also demonstrated the department's robots assigned to the bomb squad.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department had a recruitment booth with two deputies at the air show. They both said that about 1,800 positions would open up in a few months mainly to staff the new jails that are being built in the county. But there will be openings in the sworn division as well.

In contrast, the Riverside Police Department is currently only hiring dispatchers and those positions technically aren't open yet. All other vacancies in the civilian and sworn divisions have been frozen. More civilian positions are scheduled to be frozen and for the first time, there's whispers of layoffs but no definitive announcement.

The airshow is very popular attracting a huge turnout. It's really the only remaining festival that hasn't been decimated by Riverside's city government.

Four police officers laid to rest and Rialto Police Department pays it forward.

Riverside Downtown Bookstore near the intersection of Sixth and Main is the best place to shop for affordable books during these economic times. Not just used books, but ordering books not in stock. I got a great price including shipping and the 15% extra on a hardback book in great condition which was priced at about 20% of what it would cost in a chain bookstore.

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