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, October 26, 2009

Riverside news briefs, elections, Neo Nazis and Parkview Hospital

Just days after the latest Neo Nazi demonstration and counter demonstration in Riverside, there's a lot of reflection going on in different places. The Neo Nazis emboldened by their ability to draw the attention of hundreds of counter demonstrators from Southern California and dozens of representatives from four state and local law enforcement agencies have announced to the press that they are planning on more regular demonstrations at the day laborer site near Indiana and Madison in Casa Blanca, Riverside. And why shouldn't they? There has never been eight more people holding as much power in their White Supremacist hands as this small band of Nazi Germany nostalgists do now at least not for a while. More power in that manner, than politicians and even members of the Greater Chamber of Commerce. Do you think if a city council member or prominent business leader issued a press release to show up that they would get this kind of response?

Maybe Sheryl Crow or Pat Benatar will rival that kind of responsive audience when they appear at the Fox Theater next year.

The coalition that formed among 60 political organizations and religious institutions isn't sure whether or not they will sponsor another counter demonstration if the Neo Nazis decide to protest. They appeared shocked at the actions taken by some of the counter demonstrators including members of the Brown Berets at the demonstration on Saturday. About five minutes after the Neo Nazis arrived at a dirt lot adjacent to the railroad tracks, a small group of counter demonstrators ran from across Madison and broke through police lines and over a metal barrier to get into a fistfight with Neo Nazis.

But the majority of the demonstrators protested peacefully and passionately against the Neo Nazis who numbered about 20 for about three hours. The police were restrained, creating police lines after the fistfight and after the demonstration, many people went to relax at the park.

La Indy Media provided its coverage of the events. The posters there claim the Nazis lost and they won like it's some kind of sporting event.

There's a lot of talk about stamping out hate in the Inland Empire before it takes root and then associating the emergence of the representatives of the NSM while patting themselves on the back for doing this. But the problem with that, is that the Nazis didn't bring hatred, they're tapping into hatred that's already been in this region for years and as it turns out, the NSM chapter in Riverside is about four years old. The region has long been a location where hate groups and gangs congregate and set up chapters or cells, whether they are Western Hammerskins/Nation, Christian Nationalist Movement, Public Enemy Number 1 (fastest growing), Nazi Low Riders, Into Everything, Aryan Brotherhood, White Aryan Resistance, White Aryan Army, IE Skinheads, Ku Klux Klan and others. The NSM if it's setting up a more hefty chapter in Riverside is simply another one on the list.

Most of the above organizations don't protest visibly and some of them are not even known about until a law enforcement agency such as the Riverside County Sheriff's Department arrests them and at press conferences, their arsenals are put on displays on tables along with their racist paraphernalia. Or in the case with the Hammarskins, a number of them are arrested after a racist attack against a member of one of their target groups, as was the case with the attack against a Black man, Randall Bowen in Temecula a few years ago. What is attracting so many hate organizations and gangs into this region? Why do they find this region very productive recruitment ground?

And when they take their banners, drums and signs home at the end of the day, Riverside itself remains unchanged in that regard. There's many good things about this city and its people but there's problems as well particularly in the area of race relations. Which is one reason why organizations like the NSM are trying to get a foothold in Riverside facilitated by the poor local economy, high unemployment rate and high percentage of people who commute long distances to work leaving their kids at home with their computers.

I ran into Mayor Ron Loveridge in the elevator and he was talking about the multicultural forum on Friday pretty early in the morning. He seemed a bit wigged out by the Neo Nazis and the counter demonstrations and when I told him that the Neo Nazis might be doing more protests and he walked away saying that wasn't the announcement that he wanted to hear.

Neo Nazis setting up chapters in California, according to the Anti-Defamation League and mirroring some of the activities of the Save Our State (founded by the current "outreach" consultant of the San Bernardino Police Officers' Association Joe Turner) and the Minutemen. The latter two groups tried to disavow any connection with White Supremacist organizations like the NSM but I guess since a couple of their members were there holding Nazi flags at the latest rally in Riverside, that this stance has...changed.

A Changing of the Guard on the CPRC

The Community Police Review Commission is set to meet again, with eight members given that the Rogelio Morales who is the new Ward Two commissioner has finally been processed and sworn in and there's a new vacancy because of the resignation of Chair Sheri Corral. With her gone, Vice-Chair Peter Hubbard will become chair and there probably won't be an election to fill his spot as there is no language in the bylaws or policies and procedures covering the filling of vice-chair positions mid-term. And besides, City Hall probably hasn't figured out which commissioner it wants to fill that position. No doubt, when it finally does, another highly questionable election will be held filling that position.

As for Morales he's expected to make his debut at the CPRC meeting as a commissioner. He attended the last meeting and left about half way through. It wasn't clear whether that was because he had a prior commitment or he just got disgusted like most of the people who attend commission meetings after sitting for about 30 minutes.

It's not sure what kind of chair Hubbard (who manages or regionally directs a company, American Medical Response, that has a public safety contract with the city manager's office) and it's not clear whether there will continue to be fewer meetings than there is now, even as the number of days on average it takes the CPRC to review complaints has increased especially since the new leadership of the CPRC took office in March.

Complaint time lines involving the CPRC will be on the agenda for the current meeting for discussion along with a reemergence of the issue of minority reports. The latter was placed back on the agenda by commissioner Brian Pearcy who was absent when all but two of the current commissioners voted to eliminate them pretty much forever.

More Election News

Speaking of elections, the Riverside Police Officers' Association is gearing up for its own election next month to fill board positions. So far, there are three candidates who have thrown their hats into the ring to run for the presidency which has a two-year term including incumbent, Det. Chris Lanzillo. Two opponents, one an officer and the other a detective have also been nominated. Last time out, Lanzillo won by about 80 votes including many cast by newer patrol officers. The union has been facing its own divisions within its ranks during the past several years and has also filed at least one lawsuit against the city in recent months for the department's interrogation practices during investigations which may or may not be defined by the department as being investigations.

Challenges faced by the association will include future contract negotiations, freezes on step pay increases and freezes in hiring and promotions. Although technically it's not the promotional positions that have been frozen, it's the pay increases that come with the higher level position to the person being promoted as there have been promotions done already where the people didn't get the increases in pay that usually accompany them.

The RPOA also apparently tried to get on the agenda for a CPRC meeting but were allegedly told by CPRC Manager Kevin Rogan that they couldn't be on the agenda. That situation appears to have been straightened out and they are awaiting a date to appear on the agenda at a future date. It will be the bargaining unit's first appearance at a meeting in front of the commission since March 2004.

Parkview Hospital needed money from Riverside in the past and now it needs more funding again. From somewhere.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

Parkview Community's financing search is a result of a decision made by one of the hospital's lenders to get out of the commercial finance business, the hospital's attorney said.

City officials recently asked Riverside's Washington, D.C., delegation, including Rep. Ken Calvert and Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, to help Parkview Community with HUD's application process, Mac Arthur said.

City officials got involved after Riverside's business community expressed concerns about the hospital, Mac Arthur said. He said he didn't know why the hospital is looking for money.

"This is an economic engine for the community," Mac Arthur said. "We need to make sure the hospital stays open."

Parkview Community, a 193-bed hospital, filed for bankruptcy-court protection in 2002 after years of losses. In 2002, the city of Riverside and a private donor loaned the hospital $1.5 million to save it from liquidation.

Lemar Wooley, a HUD spokesman, said officials at Parkview Community had submitted preliminary information but had not yet applied to the department's Federal Housing Authority mortgage insurance program.

"We have invited their lender and the hospital to Washington, D.C., for a preliminary meeting," he said. "(There is) nothing scheduled as of now."

Is the proposed multi-modal transit center in Riverside back on track?

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

City and county officials said other stumbling blocks hopefully can be addressed in the next two months. Riverside Councilman Andy Melendrez said planners must make sure the center doesn't conflict with the planned widening of Highway 91 through downtown Riverside, including a new intersection with 14th Street.

"I'd hate to see this site compromised by the widening," Melendrez said.

At first glance, the widening of Highway 91 will take some of the property, but probably not enough to impact the project, Gardner said. There should be plenty of room for buses to turn at the planned transit center once buildings are demolished and the new building -- mostly a shelter for riders waiting on buses, with restrooms and possibly some small space for Riverside Transit Agency staff and Greyhound ticket sales -- is finished.

Gardner said the most optimistic schedule would have construction start early next year and take until early 2011. Most of the cost would be covered by the federal transit money awaiting the bus system and other Riverside Transit Agency funds.

With weeks of study left, officials remain optimistic, but they are not ready to declare the center a done deal.

"I'm just pleased to get this far," Gardner said.

The vacancy in the Riverside County Board of Supervisors once again delays action.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger still has not appointed a replacement for the late Supervisor Roy Wilson, leaving the board with little margin for either disagreement or unexpected absences.

Last week, Board Chairman Jeff Stone was absent, forcing the delay. This week, Supervisor Bob Buster missed the meeting.

As a result, Stone asked county officials to fax copies of Tuesday's continuances to the governor's office to show the effect the lack of an appointment is having on Riverside County.

"It is becoming very critical for Gov. Schwarzenegger to make the appointment necessary to fill the 4th District seat," Stone said.

Stone said he spoke with John Cruz, the governor's appointment secretary, Monday and "stressed that we are coming into a fiscal crisis, not because we don't have the money but because we don't have the votes to disburse the money."

Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear said Tuesday the Riverside County board still has a quorum to do business. Only certain items, such as budget adjustments, require a four-fifths vote.

"The focus for us on boards and commissions is to appoint those boards that do not have a quorum," McLear said. "We recognize that there's a vacancy on that board. The governor is currently looking for the most qualified candidate to fill that seat."

Inside Riverside has started writing on the upcoming election for Riverside County's next sheriff. Currently, it is a bit of a contest instead of a coronation between current sheriff, Stan Sniff who was elected by three board of supervisor members last year and an ex-employee of the department, Frank Robles.

What's interesting is the argument taking place on the comment thread between various self-identified members of the Riverside Sheriff's Association including one post where Inside Riverside's administrator had to edit out a swear word. Look for the Sheriff's race to heat up for a change and that should prove to be quite exciting in the weeks and months ahead until next year's election.

Recall election efforts are totally in vogue in Riverside County this season. In Moreno Valley, a city councilwoman's sighing in relief because a recall effort against her has failed even as a councilman in Lake Elsinore faces a recall election.

In Perris, voters will decide whether prospective city clerks should continue to run for election.

Riverside County is trying to hold onto its money.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

Under the current budget, the state will borrow 8 percent of the property tax revenue designated for cities, counties and special districts in fiscal 2009-2010.

The state is legally required to pay back that money with interest by June 30, 2013, which will allow the local agencies to pay off the debt.

Though not ideal, county officials say the move will stem short-term cuts and help keep the county on sound financial footing.

"It allows us to keep that money in reserve to handle emergency issues," Supervisor John Tavaglione said. "It allows us to keep it as a cushion."

As of Thursday, the joint powers authority, known as California Communities, consists of 400 cities, 57 counties and 902 special districts.

Once the bonds are sold, the proceeds will remain in escrow until the state withholds the property tax payments. Then, on Jan. 15 and May 3, the joint powers authority will distribute the money to local agencies to make up for the loss from the state.

Even though the state is required to pay back the money by 2013, Tavaglione said he still worries the repayment might not happen, given past state budget problems.

"There is always that risk," he said.

The mental competency hearing for a man who is being retried for the murder of two Riverside Police Department officers in 1982 is being scheduled for next week.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

Daniels is expected to meet with the psychologist Wednesday. If he is found competent to assist his attorneys, the criminal trial and death penalty proceedings could remain on track for a Nov. 2 trial date.

If the judge finds evidence that Daniels is not competent to face the murder charges, Daniels would be ordered to a state prison mental facility for treatment.

The case would not resume until Daniels is deemed mentally fit for trial. Given his age and fragile health, his attorneys say that may never happen.

Assistant District Attorney Bill Mitchell said he believes Daniels is competent and able to assist his attorneys. He said he has shown awareness and cooperated with the court for the past several years.

Riverside Public Utilities is promoting measures to conserve water in this time of severe drought.

The end of an era in the Los Angeles Police Department in more ways than one. The department has finished with its new administrative headquarters and they're saying goodbye to Police Chief William Bratton.

(excerpt, Los Angeles Times)

City Hall, across the street, was reflected in the new building's windows, while a gigantic American flag was draped over part of the structure's exterior, occasionally moving in the gentle breeze that gave relief to those sitting under the blistering sun.

The Los Angeles Police Department Band, taiko drummers and Mexican folk dancers provided a musical backdrop for the occasion.

"What a beautiful Los Angeles morning it is," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told those attending the ceremony. "Today we can celebrate great progress. Today we can celebrate the changes, perceptions and opinions of our Police Department."

Construction of the 500,000-square-foot building began about three years ago. A price tag of $437 million covers the headquarters complex and three related structures nearby. Funds came from Proposition Q, a public safety facilities bond measure approved by voters in March 2002.

The bond measure also provided money for the repair of some LAPD stations, as well the construction of new ones in Canoga Park, Koreatown, San Pedro and Boyle Heights.

On Saturday, Police Chief William J. Bratton, who is leaving the department at the end of this week, talked about the symbolically significant location of the new headquarters -- flanked on three sides by City Hall, the Caltrans building and the Los Angeles Times. He said those three neighbors represented the Police Department's obligation to serve the community, its requirement to cooperate with state, federal and county governments and its need for transparency to the media and public.

"You couldn't ask for a better siting," Bratton said.

In San Jose, police officers are being investigated for the beating of a college student, an incident that was videotaped last month.

(excerpt, Los Angeles Times)

A grainy cellphone video posted on the San Jose Mercury News website shows at least one police officer subduing the student with a baton. The San Jose State student can be heard screaming on the recording. Police had been called to a home Sept. 3 after a report that the student, Phuong Ho, was fighting with his roommate, police said.

The department is conducting a "thorough investigation" that will be turned over to the Santa Clara County district attorney's office for review, Sgt. Ronnie Lopez said.

Lopez said the department launched the investigation immediately after learning about the incident late last week. Investigators are interviewing witnesses and reviewing the posted cellphone video, along with other video.

"Our investigators are reviewing this entire case from beginning to end," he said. "They want to make sure that the force used was necessary."

Two officers, Kenneth Siegel and Steven Payne Jr., are seen on the video, police said. Two other officers were also at the scene. All four are on administrative leave.

Few city residents are turning to the civilian review board in Boston. Given all the upheaval over that process in that city, the results of a study conducted on user satisfaction giving it less than passing grades aren't surprising.

(excerpt, Boston Globe)

Interviews by the Harvard team with 27 people who did not appeal to the board after their abuse allegations were dismissed found that the vast majority were disillusioned with the way the police department handled their cases. Only one of those surveyed knew the civilian review board existed. Many believed that the police department’s internal affairs division, which investigates allegations of misconduct, as well as the independent civilian review board, favored police officers and would not take their complaints seriously.

Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said he was “surprised and disappointed’’ that so few people have used the board, and he is committed to making it work. He said he is trying to “scare up’’ money for a more comprehensive review by Harvard, and is also trying to better inform the public about the board by sending officers to neighborhood meetings and putting up more signs in police stations.

The civilian review board, formally called the Community Ombudsman Oversight Panel, is made up of three people appointed by Mayor Thomas M. Menino; one of the seats has been vacant since August. The police department currently informs people about the board by mailing them a letter if their complaint is dismissed by internal affairs.

Davis said he is also trying to establish a mediation process to review complaints, which the Harvard report recommended. Davis said that not only are citizens unhappy with the system, a survey of officers would probably show “a similar feeling of dissatisfaction with the whole procedure.’’

“I’d be very upset’’ if the panel did not succeed, Davis said.

Activists are seeking to reform the Internal Affairs Division in San Antonio's police department.

(excerpt, San Antonio Current)

SAPD Chief Bill McManus called in the D.C.-based police-consulting group, Police Executive Research Forum, to review and advise the department on use-of-force measures. When those 141 recommended changes were released last summer, McManus quickly accepted most of them.

However, measures to reform Internal Affairs were handed over to a special task force to hash out over months of meetings. Thanks to the resistance of the San Antonio Police Officers Association, many of the most vital reforms didn’t make the cut, said Mario Salas, chairman of the San Antonio Coalition on Civil and Human Rights and task force member.

“This police union is out of control,” he said this week. “There’s not accountability, as far as that’s concerned, and there’s no transparency.”

Antonio Diaz, of the Texas Indigenous Council, has been agitating for reform. He told the Current this week that he took his concerns to Assistant City Manager Eric Walsh, who is leading contract negotiations with the union. While Walsh failed to return a Monday call from the Current and the city’s communication office still hasn’t gotten back with us, Diaz said in email that police aggression in the city is “getting worse.”

“As an Activist I get complaints from people that are afraid to go before Internal Affairs because of the biased way that it is setup. The Civilian Review Board is a joke,” Diaz said.


October 22, 2009


Mary-Beth Baptista, the Director of the City Auditor's Independent Police Review (IPR) Division is pleased to announce that six nominees will be presented to the Portland City Council today at 2 PM in Council Chambers, by Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade, for appointment to serve on the Citizen Review Committee (CRC).

IPR and the nine-member CRC were created in 2001 to help improve police accountability, promote higher standards of police services, and increase public confidence. These volunteers were selected by a committee that included one past and two current (but not re-applying) members of the CRC, two representatives from the community, and the IPR Director.

To learn more about IPR: http://www.portland auditor/index. cfm?c=26646&

To learn more about the CRC: http://www.portland auditor/index. cfm?c=27069

Contact the IPR office @ 503-823-0146.


1. Jeffrey Bissonnette

2. Ayoob Ramjan

3. Myra Simon

4. F.G. (Jamie) Troy II

Jeffrey Bissonnette is the Organizing Director for the Citizens' Utility Board of Oregon (CUB), representing residential utility ratepayers in Oregon. In that role, he leads CUB's legislative program and coalition work. He has been appointed by the Public Utility Commission to the Portfolio Options Committee, overseeing renewable energy products offered to customers and serves on the boards of the Northwest Energy Coalition and the Renewable Northwest Project. Bissonnette was formerly a board member of Portland Community Media and the Steering Committee of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters' Multnomah County chapter.

Appointed October 2009 — term is from October 22, 2009 through December 31, 2011

Ayoob Ramjan has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from Oregon Institute of Technology and a Masters in Business Administration from Marylhurst University. He is currently a Research and Development Manager at Hewlett Packard Company in Vancouver, Washington — Printer Division. Ramjan served as a citizen member on the City of Portland Budget Committee from 2006 to 2009, an appointment then by Mayor Potter. He has volunteered since 2001 on the Portland Police Advisory Committee; he also served as the citizens' member on the Portland Police Performance Review Board; and is a member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Citizen Advisory Committee. Ramjan is an active board member of the Islamic Social Services of Oregon State, an all-volunteer social service organization which helps Portlanders in need. He is an active member in his community trying to bridge the gap of understanding between the diverse communities of Portland. He lives in Southwest Portland.

Appointed October 2009 — term is from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2011

Myra Simon is a graduate of Lewis and Clark College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Masters in Teaching High School Social Studies. She currently works at Regence Bluecross Blueshield of Oregon as a Strategy and Performance Manager. Prior to working in health care, Simon worked with homeless and at-risk youth in downtown Portland. She currently volunteers with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Appointed October 2009 — term is from October 22, 2009 through December 31, 2011

F.G. (Jamie) Troy II is a graduate of the College of William & Mary and of Lewis and Clark Law School. He works with the law firm of Troy, Rosenberg and Wolfe, P.C. where his practice focuses on Juvenile and Family Law cases. He is on the Board of the Bill and Ann Shepherd Legal Scholarship Fund working to fund the education of future attorneys dedicated to eliminating bigotry and discrimination based on sexual orientation. An avid marathoner, Jamie currently leads training runs for the Portland Marathon Training Clinic and looks forward to increasing the double digit number of marathons he has completed to date. He is an East Coast (Virginia) transplant who has resided in the area for over a decade. He lives in Northeast Portland.

Appointed October 2009 — term is from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2011


1. Loren Eriksson

2. Hank Miggins

Loren Eriksson retired after 25 years of service as a Portland firefighter and volunteers his time and resources to help the Portland community. He is a member of the Portland Police Bureau's Use of Force and Performance Review Boards and serves on the Employee Information System Advisory Committee. Eriksson has also been a member of the Force Task Force (it analyzed the Bureau's use of force data and provided reports to the Chief of Police in 2007 and 2009).
Appointed December 2003 — term is from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2011
(Current CRC Recorder)

Hank Miggins has an extensive background in multi-faceted services with experience in managing diverse personnel. He was a former City Manager for the City of Spokane and is currently a mortgage consultant. Miggins has held positions with Multnomah County: Animal Control Director, Interim Director of the County Exposition Center, Deputy County Auditor, Executive Assistant to the Chair of the Multnomah County Commission, and Interim Chair of the Multnomah County Commission. He is a member and serves on the Board of Directors for: the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, the Center for Airway Science, and the Board of Trustees for De La Salle North Catholic High School. He is a former member of civic organizations that include: Board of Bar Governors, Oregon State Bar, the Oregon Assembly for Black Affairs, Project Pooch (a rehabilitation program pairing dogs with incarcerated youth), and the Mainstream Youth Program, Inc.

Appointed October 2001 — term is from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2011
(Current CRC Vice-chair)

Mary-Beth Baptista, Director
City of Portland/City Auditor
Independent Police Review Division (IPR)
1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 320
Portland, OR 97204-1900

Interoffice Address: 131/320
mary-beth.baptista@ ci.portland.

www.portlandonline. com/auditor/ ipr

Candidates Forum

The NAACP in Riverside will be holding a mayoral candidates forum at Emerson Elementary School on Monday, Nov. 2 from 5-9 with the speakers coming at 6 p.m.


Mayor Ron Loveridge is holding a Multicultural Forum on Friday, Oct. 30 from 7:30 a.m to 9 a.m. at City Hall. One of the topics on the agenda will be the Neo Nazi demonstrations.

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