Kalra and Liccardo Respond to POA Video

We write to express our concern regarding the recent tone of the rhetoric between a few members of the San Jose Police Officers Association and police critics.

Issues surrounding race and police enforcement inevitably invite controversy and sharp differences of opinion. Nonetheless, we expect that members of the San Jose Police Officers Association and other community members will confront what they view as distortions of the facts with respectful criticism and correction.

We do not expect, however, that any member of the San Jose Police Department will label critics as “thugs.” Nor can we condone a recent POA video that mischaracterizes Raj Jayadev’s reference to a “street response” as a “threat,” particularly where Mr. Jayadev has repeatedly advocated nonviolent community activism and dialogue. We believe these public statements fall below the very high standard that members of our San Jose Police Department have long set by their routinely exemplary conduct and statements.

By the same token, we do not condone the suggestion that San Jose POA had anything to do with a childish “rebuttal” video that mocks police officers or members of the council. Lacking evidence of its authorship, no one should attribute such efforts to anyone else.

In total, we believe that inflammatory comments and actions like these reflect poor judgment, and we ask both sides to take a deep breath and consider how to proceed in a constructive manner.

Most importantly, we emphasize our commitment to First Amendment freedoms that may be chilled when dissent is characterized as “threats” by the only group lawfully entitled to use force to administer our laws. If the expression of dissent is false or concocted, every police officer, and every individual in this society, is entitled to say so. Whether truthful or not, however, the free and uninhibited expression of dissent remains essential to proper functioning of democratic institutions in our pluralistic society.

During this time of economic crisis, our community needs to band together to address our city’s serious challenges. We look forward to a more civil tone in the dialogue on these issues, and we urge those on all sides to remember that we have far more to lose in incivility than to gain through rhetorical posturing and name-calling. We look forward to a full, honest, and meaningful discussion of these issues, to help bring us closer to our common goals of protecting our residents’ lives, property, and civil liberties.

Ash Kalra, Councilmember
Sam Liccardo, Councilmember

43 Comments

  1. Liccardo and Kalra are hypocritical. They ran to the POA for campaign donations, begged for their endorsements, and sat on their butts while these “activists” called the SJPD everything from terrorist to murders. They can’t claim to be a supporter of 1st Amendment Rights, and then “scold” the POA for speaking out as THEY see fit. If these two had spent more time trying to resolve this issue, then this would not have gotten so out of control. I guess in these two Council Member’s worlds, Raj and his merry band of followers are exempt from respectful, professional behavior, and the rights of Police Officers who put their lives on the line every day are expected to take it and shut up.  Must be nice to live in a fantasy world like that!

  2. Hugh does not always see eye to eye with Kathleen, but in this case she’s absolutely correct. 1st Amendment rights need to apply to the POA. If Raj is allowed to make his allegations, then the POA is entitled to respond.

  3. 1 – Can the POA do no wrong in your world? They have lowered themselves in this debate and look petty and unprofessional. Do they have a right to do that? Of course. Should they? That’s what this discussion is about. They posted a silly, juvenile video and were rightly criticized for it. Had they posted a thoughtful and serious response a substantive discussion could have followed. Instead, they left themselves wide-open for derision for their child-like response.
    You can blame Raj, and Sam, and Ash, and ignore the blunder by the POA if you want. Until they raise the level of discourse this will not amount to much more than spitting in the wind.
    BTW – You accuse the activists of not being law-abiding. Any facts to back that up?

  4. Kathleen,

    Much like SF’s Mayor Newsom and LA’s Mayor VivaLaRaza, I suspect Liccardo has his eyes on bigger things.  This issue might be the one that keeps him in the public eye. 

    Too, it might be the issue that takes him down to the level of dogcatcher if he’s not cautious.  Newsom is now little more than a bad joke in terms of running for Governor – issues can cut both ways.

  5. #1, Kathleen, it’s not that they expect the POA to shut up & take it. The POA should have taken the high road, rather than this rather lame response. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

  6. Councilmembers—just what do you interpret a “street response” to mean?  I don’t know Mr. Kalra’s background, but as a former Deputy D.A., Mr. Liccardo should have a better understanding of what that might mean.  And Mr. Liccardo certainly should understand that the attitude and thought processes of criminals is nothing like those of the rest of society.

    Please lose the P.C.  B.S., while at the same time attacking the POA.

    Law-abiding P.C. folks who think that thugs/felons think the same way we do are beyond naive. Sam, you should know better.

    It’s just like on the international scene.  Do you believe Pollyana-ish responses to North Korea and Iran, such as the drivel in your letter, will evoke co-operation from the North Koreans or the Iranis regarding nuclear issues?  They won’t with the cop haters and the apologists for felons either.

    Your drivel is fine, if the audience you are addressing has the same values that you do. But the thugs and their defenders do not. It is complete nonsense when dealing with folks who have no respect for law, society, or cops as individuals.

    Stop apologizing for thugs and their white guilt and so-called “activist” defenders, and stop trying to get the thugs into some sort of “dialogue”.  The streets ain’t Asilomar, Messrs. Kalra & Liccardo.  There ain’t no Kumbaya on the horizon with these folks.  GET REAL, councilmembers.

  7. Well put Kathleen. The POA video response was professional and in keeping with the high standards of the SJPD and SJPOA. Raj’s reference to a street response was, in fact, a veiled threat. Like true politicians they doubt themselves when the choice is so clear. The questions they ask are:

    1.) What is politically correct? 
    2.) What will offend the fewest voters?

    Mr. Kalra and Mr. Laccardo: If you had vigorously defended our police department perhaps they would not feel so compelled to defend themselves against this tyranical lobby that will NEVER be content with you or the police. Do YOUR JOB and hopefully the SJPOA won’t NEED to spend more of their money to defend themselves.

  8. Why Hugh, I’m honored! wink

    Just Wondering said, “You accuse the activists of not being law-abiding. Any facts to back that up?” Where in my post did I say that? Here is a video that shows De Bug storming the building at City Hall, and chasing Nancy Pyle’s rep in the courtyard.
    http://www.siliconvalleydebug.com/story/060107/stories/pyleaction.html

    http://www.metroactive.com/metro/07.18.07/nancy-pyle-0729.html

    Last I heard there were laws governing the right to protest and where. Funny these “activists” weren’t arrested for violating them. Even in SF activists got arrested for doing the same thing! 

    “Speech in public forums is subject to time, place, and manner regulations, which take into account such matters as control of traffic in the streets, the scheduling of two meetings or demonstrations at the same time and place, the preventing of blockages of building entrances, and the like. “

    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment01/20.html#1

  9. 8 – In post #77 under the “Raj Jayadev Ridiculed in POA Video” post you said “…So here we are again, the rights of the “activists” over those of law-abiding citizens.” Sounds like you are accusing them of not being law-abiding or are you trying to wordsmith your way out of that?

  10. Kathleen, you are obviously an ankle biter with too much time on your hands.  I’m guessing you probably weren’t liked much as a kid, especially not by your half-black sisters.

    I read that you worked for a handful of public works agencies.  That explains a lot about why it’s so hard to get quality care.  People who need to be depended on are busy online fighting for political footholds via comment boxes and police website fluff columns.

    You’re a mess.  You think you’re so noble, yet you are just so small.  Why not go make some change, instead of sitting around throwing your opinions around like any sensible person buys any of your rhetoric.

    I think you want to be able to influence people like Raj and De-Bug do, but the only people who will listen are just as misguided and confused as you are.

    Run for office so I can vote for someone else.

    Thanks.

  11. Well, I sat through the You Tube, Kathleen; but I could find nothing that I would describe as “intimidating”  or “storming” City Hall.  What I saw were a couple of dozen REALLY ANNOYING people engaged in acts that, though not rallying me to their cause, I certainly found to be legal.  I couldn’t get over the one woman carrying a sign with that same silly ass grin on her face in every frame in which she appeared.

    And you have said that Nancy Pyle was frightened by this demonstration, as were city hall staffers.  I didn’t see Ms. Pyle anywhere; and none of the spectators seemed frightened to me.

    I saw more like what I expected—a rag tag group of self-appointed activists alienating a lot of folks.  Low rent Jesse Jacksons/Al Sharptons.  Don’t these people have jobs?  Who do they expect to convince by their tactics.  The felons are already on their side.  The hard working taxpayers of SJ would hardly be convinced by their rhetoric. They’re more of a joke than a threat.

  12. Folks.  This is much ado about nothing.  I think Sean Webby got it right this weekend when he made fun of the video.  Our nation and community really do take this PC thing way too seriously—especially these councilmembers Ash and Sam.  You can just see them sweating about this.  Oh boy.

  13. Finally, 2 courageous City Council members who are bringing this issue back to what it really is about—police accountability and what can we as a community do about it!  Good job Ash Kalra and Sam Liccardo!  Hope the other city council members follow.

  14. 11-You sound jealous of Kathleen. You ought to take your own advice and spend some time doing something worth while like getting a life. Your post is a personal attack on someone you seem to feel threatened by. Why else would you say such hateful things to someone you don’t even know? Get over yourself and your petty jealousy of those who can do what you can’t.

    On the topic, I saw Kalra give a speech at the vigil. I guess he can’t make up his mind about the Cops. One minute he is blasting them and the next he is standing in a crowd of hundreds praising and supporting them. I guess all the comments on the Mercury News site made him rethink his stupid stand on 1 Amendment Rights.I guess getting support from the POA and the public do matter.

  15. #8 Kathleen: Thanks for posting the link to the DeBug video. It’s pretty shocking when you consider that the POA was, perhaps clumsily, trying to make a point in their own video: DeBug’s confrontational style can fairly be described as threatening.

    In the video we wee an angry mob force it’s way into the councilwoman’s office shouting “Watch your mouth Nancy Pyle.” We also see the DeBug activists harassing a city employee who clearly has no interest in talking to them.

    After watching Deug’s own video I can see why the POA is accusing Raj ad his acolytes of engaging in threatening behavior. Any reasonable person would feel threatened in these circumstances. 

    Funny how Kalra, Liccardo and the Merc refuse to consider DeBug’s behavior in their condemnation of the POA.

    One other point. I encourage anyone with an interest in this issue to take a look at the POA’s new site: http://www.protectsanjose.com. I was impressed that they ran many comments from Raj’s supporters. See for yourself what the site is about. Don’t let the Merc define it for you.

  16. #16, there is nothing inconsistent with bashing the POA for the way they handled their response (in my opinion, such a response should be a council responsibility), and praising them for the fine work they do protecting & defending our city.

  17. Hey all, Check out ProtectSanJose.com today. They just posted a letter from the ACLU to the City Council defending the POA’s right to free speech. Nice PR move by the ACLU.

  18. #19-Fernando,
    The ACLU sent a letter to the Mayor and Council condemning any kind of censure to the POA for exercising their First Amendment Right to free speech. Further, they stand by the POA’s right to speak their truth without interference by anyone on the Council. I say Amen to that because the right to give a differing point of view, and equality is what this is all about.

    Careful study of the issue and listening to their constituents is NOT something either Liccardo, or Kalra have done. This minority vocal group in no way reflects the silent majority in any way. Until such time that they take a survey of ALL citizens, they cannot claim to know what the majority of us want.

    My comments about these two Council Members were merely to show the hypocrisy they displayed in the stand they took. If they truly cared about these two fractions working things out they would have taken the bull by the horns and created an opportunity to help these two come together in a peaceful, and PRIVATE manner.

    I feel this issue is really between the POA and De Bug, no one else. Unfortunately, Raj is unable to have civilized discussions in private, but rather chooses to exploit this issue and try it in public Council Meetings, on blogs, and in the press. The loss of Barbra Attard has seemed to fuel a real fire under Raj to the point of ridiculous recklessness on his part. Very sad~

  19. #11-“Kathleen, you are obviously an ankle biter with too much time on your hands.  I’m guessing you probably weren’t liked much as a kid, especially not by your half-black sisters.”

    This comment, and the rest of your post accurately reflect my point of how ignorant, hateful, and destructive your group really is.  If you are any example of the kind of people in De Bug, it is no wonder you have zero credibility on this or any other issue you tout.

  20. I went back and read #11. It is disgusting and disgraceful. The silence of a response by Raj or someone in his “group” to this post is deafening. It is why they have zero credibility.

  21. Steve,
    “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
    by
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Thank you for your support.

  22. 24 – Why do you think Raj would be monitoring this site? It is pretty much made up of a small group of zealots who know everything. Why would anybody monitor this site other than occasionally? Besides, if he did respond to some of the silliness espoused here he’d be criticized for responding. SJI has become a no-win situation for everyone involved.

  23. Kathleen:

    Let not your heart be troubled. Many, many here, including yours truly, appreciate your approach and viewpoint. Some of these De-Buggers, and their ilk, show their true colors in these vile attacks. Raj has become pathetic and predictably boring.

    A Concerned Citizen in SJ: Check the mirror.

  24. #1 – Kathleen—“They ran to the POA for campaign donations, begged for their endorsements, and sat on their butts while these “activists” called the SJPD everything from terrorist to murders. ”

    Are you suggesting that political positions by City Councilmembers need to align with campaign donations instead of careful study of the issue and listening to constituents?

  25. I’m not sure how De-Bug got credit for what I said, but I’m not surprised it would be used as an opportunity to take another shot at them.

    While we’re quoting Dr. King,

    “Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But, conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one’s conscience tells one that it is right.”

  26. #27-Reality, thank you!

    #28-“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
    ~ John Wooden ~

  27. 28-A Concerned Citizen,

    Anyone can throw out a quote to try and justify his or her destructive actions. If you are going to take a quote from a man like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. you should at least know his philosophy.

    “Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.”
    By
    Martin Luther King Jr.

    I think you owe Kathleen an apology for your post to her in #11.

    “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”
    ~ Frank Outlaw ~

  28. Katie and Chris, you are hilarious.  You really will protect and defend your tomfoolery to the bitter end.

    I’m so amazed to hear that you and Dr. King were so close.  I’m sure he’d be pleased with the way you talk to people and criticize their efforts.  That keeps with the spirit of his message.

    Let’s remember a couple things about Dr. King:

    1.  He is best known for his publicly speaking out against injustice and organizing rallies to tell the powers that be that everyone deserved to be treated fairly. During this time people were beaten and hosed down for this, some, including Dr. King, were even beaten and killed.  You like to talk about him all the time, but I’m pretty sure he would not approve of the way that you mock and insult people brave enough to speak out and demand justice.

    2.  He was murdered for these same reasons.  I can not say who killed Dr. King, as that has yet to be figured out.  I can say with some certainty, however, that if he would have just sat back and been OK with the status quo he may very well be alive today.  These kids should be applauded for their efforts, instead they have crows on perches cawing at their every word.

    While you attempt to poke fun and torment people, all you do is allow people to see what sadness and bitterness exists in the world.  It seems that most people are kind enough to indulge your undying hunger for combat, by being kind and compassionate toward you.  I am not them, nor do I wish to be.  I will treat you the way that I see you treat others.  This could only be deemed a threat, if you consider yourself threatening.  You do things as infantile as refer to De-Bug members as “debugged” to achieve some sort of comic( and slanderous?) effect.  I’ve seen your routine, and at this rate you won’t be headlining the Improv any time soon.

    I have enjoyed watching the pitiful defense that was mounted against my comments.  You first attempt to combat my use of a quote by using a quote of your own.  Swift move using an ethics minded basketball coach connected to civil rights as a failed attempt at head shrinking me.  I’m starting to think you have a nice ACLU branded civil rights themed “quote of the day” desk calendar.

    I used a Dr. King quote because Katie did.  I was mocking the endless availability of them (online…not mocking Dr. King or his words) and the swiftness with which they can be used.  1 point for me.  Actually 3 points considering Chris here chimed in with the 2 freebies.

    I love the Frank Outlaw quote, considering that it is disputed as to whether or not the quote actually belongs to him.  Various sources site various origins.  You know what…for being such a genius I’ll just give myself a nice solid 5 points.  I’d lay out the rest of the riddle, but I think it would be more fun if I let Christian here tell everyone who Frank Outlaw is, since he likes being so helpful.  I still don’t think quotes make for valuable fodder in personal debates.  Especially debates that take place in cyber space.

    I’ll apologize when the den mother apologizes.  I’m just a computer geek having some fun.  This is actually very out of character for me, but as long as you people attempt to bully these folks, who after some careful research and a visit to the their center I have deduced pose absolutely no physical threat to anyone, I will be here to say what they are too kind and decent to say.

    My mom says I’m a sweet boy, and that is the only quote I’ll be referring to for direction in life.

    Keep the insults coming.

  29. Comment deleted for violating comment policy.

    “3. We will not post racist, sexist or sexually explicit comments, obvious commercial promotion, off-topic comments or comments that constitute a slur against a person or group.”

     

  30. Jeez, Christian, do you have to come whining in every time someone disagrees with Kathleen?  She’s perfectly capable of responding herself.  R U looking for The Knight In Shining Armor Award, or what?

  31. #37-JMO
    Either the Editor applies the rules to everyone or not at all. And I’m not going to apologize for standing up for Kathleen. Number 11 is racist, made an off topic remark, and a personal slur that should not have been posted.

  32. #39-W. Hining,
    Or should I say Anonymous?  What is getting tired is seeing hurtful and personal attacks on here and people like you excusing them. “If you go back and look at all the times there have been complaints like this, in almost every case they came from you two and nobody else.” Not true. Re-read the thread. Also, many write the Editor directly, rather than saying it publicly. Jack never allowed this kind of commentary.

    This was just posted about Cindy Chavez. One post called the Mayor a dork. I’ll just wager she wouldn’t find this gem a “foolish comment.” I think she’d be pretty offended by it.

    “15.Been meaning to say this for a long time:  anybody else think that Cindy Chavez looks like Seinfeld’s George Costanza in drag?

    Posted by George Indrag
    Thursday, June 18 at 10:53 AM”

    This is just another example of the hypocrisy of the Metro staff who are monitoring this blog.

  33. #38—So, If Kathleen chooses not to stand up for herself, why R U butting in?  I believe she is fully capable of defending herself; and if she choses to let something slide, why do you feel the need to chirp in?

    I’d wager a majority of your posts are in defense of Kathleen, versus having something to say for yourself.  Have you discussed this “I need to be a hero to my girl” complex with your therapist?

  34. 38 – It’s getting tired. Racist, off-topic? Maybe a personal slur but even that would be a stretch. If you go back and look at all the times there have been complaints like this, in almost every case they came from you two and nobody else.
    While there are a lot of foolish comments on this site they hardly rise (or lower) to level you two have tried to make them.
    You don’t like what is said you can either respond or not respond or leave. But to so often want comments removed is just getting plain tired.

  35. I think Kathleen’s response and defense of the POA and SJPD have raised some serious questions around her credibility that I think we should all take note of.

    In a recent San Jose Revealed posting “The Phony Youtube Controversy,” she posted comments defending the POA, claiming that police officers are intimidated by comments from the public and that the SJPOA’s video is really something of a mistake. Even she is trying to distance herself from this. (See http://tinyurl.com/Kathleenscomments)

    While I usually think of Kathleen as more level headed than the usual right-wing ideologue posting crowd of Inside San Jose, she’s gone out the window with this one.

    She said in reference to a city council meeting where members of the public criticized the practices of SJPD:
    “Police either left, or decided not to speak out of fear of reprisal by Raj.”

    Are you kidding me? Can you cite any specific examples of how people coming to speak at a city council meeting (or even one particular person) prevent police officers from speaking? Because I tend to think that you can’t prove this in any meaningful way. 

    SJPD carries guns, these folks do not. This is akin to saying Exxon-Valdez is intimidated by a shoe string budget handful of activists criticizing their environmental policies. Even though Exxon’s resources and power outnumber the activists by one hundred fold, the real reason they are scared is because they are afraid of being rightly called out. I think this situation is analogous.

    On the controversy of the video, Kathleen at first says:
    “as no one has proven the POA even did this [referring to the video]”

    And then after it clear that the POA did put out the video:
    “The video was not meant to stay up. It was just to be viewed for a short time by a select few. The POA themselves DID NOT put that video together…”

    This is a total side step of responsibility and I think shows that she has put her close relationship with SJPD and POA above reason or the better interests of the community. What type of community would allow intimidation tactics such as these from the only group of citizens empowered to legally use force, including deadly force, against others?

    This is clearly an abuse of power by civil servants that should not tolerated and is an affront to the basic ideals of democratic government. Does this mean its OK if one of the posters here criticized the Redevelopment Agency and then the next week the RDA staff association posted a video with veiled threats of using immanent domain against that posters house? Or if one of us criticized public elementary school teaching practices and the teachers union posted a video threatening to fail our kid in math? This is shameful conduct.

    First, POA clearly hired these folks and is therefore responsible for their actions. If a club hires a bouncer who punches out a patron for no good reason, the club owner is still liable for damages. POA should be held responsible for their employees/contractors just the same.

    Second, the argument that the POA doesn’t support the underlying message of the video (ie, it was the fault of a rogue consulting firm employee) and that the video was just some sort of accident doesn’t have a leg to stand on. It flies in the face of reality in fact. Read POA President Bobby Lopez’s recent editorial in the Mercury News—they are largely the same arguments.

    Third, the POA has made no move to distance itself from the message of the video. Lopez actually writes in response to the controversy the POA’s video generated “the video honestly reflected our feelings about his approach [referring to Raj the subject of the video].” (Link: http://tinyurl.com/bobbylopezisabully). Finally, you would think that if this was all a mistake, POA would have fired the consulting firm, but instead they have promised us more videos!

    Kathleen, your defense of POA’s shameful attacks ruin any standing as a community leader that you might have in my opinion. Your credibility is zero.

  36. Adam,
    You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but you are misinforming people when you say I said the Police left the Council Meeting, I said PEOPLE, you know members of the public. I was there on several occasions and I know it to be the truth first hand.

    I make zero apologies for my support of the POA, or the Police, nor have I ever tried to hide my position Adam.

    I’m not trying to distance myself from the video the POA put up, I’ve made it very clear I do not agree with the video that the POA posted, but I support their First Amendment Right to do it. What I posted on SJI about the video was what I understood Bobby Lopez to say. I make no apologies for that either because it is the truth.

    I am NOT a community leader, never have been, never claimed to be, never want that responsibility. I am active in my beliefs, I volunteer on a lot of boards, in a lot of programs that need help, and I love youth and want a better life for them.

    Whether you find me credible or not Adam honestly doesn’t matter to me. You don’t know me, have never worked with me, so while you can read my comments and guess you have some idea of who I am, your post clearly reflects that you don’t know me well enough to judge me one way or the other, but this is America Adam so feel free to do whatever you wish.

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