Activists Urge Council to Appeal Officer White’s Reinstatement

A community coalition has called on San Jose’s elected leaders to fire a police officer for a threatening tirade he unleashed on Twitter in late 2014.

Officer Phillip White got placed on paid leave as the San Jose Police Department investigated complaints against him. He was later stripped of his duties amid fierce public backlash.

But last month, White got his job back by convincing an arbitrator that termination was too harsh a punishment in light of his record. Protesters marched outside the police department. Mayor Sam Liccardo came out against the decision. The NAACP challenged the ruling in court.

The Coalition for Justice and Accountability—a group of civil rights and service organization—wrote a letter imploring the City Council to join the fight against White’s reinstatement.

Below is the letter they sent to the mayor and City Council:

The Coalition for Justice and Accountability—a collective of San Jose service agencies, civil rights groups, ethnic advocacy organizations—urge you to challenge the arbitration ruling to place Officer White back on to the San Jose Police Department. The ruling is in complete contradiction to rationale public policy of ensuring all members of our community feel safe regardless of race. That he would be once again an officer—with a weapon—also defies basic common sense for a diverse city that is trying to improve relations between the public and the police force.

As you know, after San Jose Police Officer posted on twitter, "Threaten me or my family and I will use my God given and law appointed right and duty to kill you," and "By the way, if anyone feels they can't breathe or their lives matter, I'll be at the movies tonight, off duty, carrying my gun" the community rallied in front of the San Jose Police Department, and gathered over 16,000 signatures on an online petition in a week. The San Jose Police Department followed the calls by the community, and fired Officer White. Officer White appealed the decision and was reinstated through a secret arbitration. The community does not know the name and ruling history of the arbitrator, nor what was discussed in the arbitration. 

As our elected leaders, we find it incumbent that to challenge the arbitration. This is particularly necessary that Chief Garcia has stated that he stands by the department’s initial decision to fire Officer White. Doing so does not require a tremendous amount of political courage. To say that someone who threatens the public should not be a police officer is just common sense. There are two clear ways you can show support for the community. The first is to not challenge Nick Emanuel’s writ of mandate filed on behalf of the NAACP. The second, is for you to do what the writ is asking you all do—challenge the arbitration in court. 

If our position requires further explanation, we welcome a conversation with you all in this matter.

Sincerely,

Richard Konda

Chairperson CJA

Jennifer Wadsworth is the news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Newspaper. Email tips to [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

41 Comments

  1. San Jose is a community of over a million people. This ” community coalition” represents a relatively small number of people, some of whom probably don’t even live in San Jose. Relations between the San Jose Police and an overwhelming majority of actual community members are already very good. These “activists” are, of course, entitled to express their opinions, but they’re only representing themselves and their circle of associates. They don’t come close to speaking for the community of San Jose.

  2. And yet over at the sheriff’s office where you would think activists would be protesting daily it’s crickets in a field. Even better, the NAACP CA/HI President actually said a consent decree shouldn’t be pursued in the last BRC meeting. Right after that we find out that the sheriff may have been meeting with members of the commission to get them to back off on any harsh language or recommendation against her so she can run for office *again*.

    Forgive me but I can not take these people seriously any more when they put a twitter flame war and a bunch of hurt feelings over a situation where people have actually been harmed and even died and ignore, or even help an elected official who is beginning to appear worse than corrupt.

    • Ms Thomas, I think you are misquoting me. I said I believe that the federal government taking over the Sherrif’s office is warranted. Further I explained that the reason why the LA jails are under a consent decree are very closely aligned with the same constitutional issues where are present with the Santa Clara County jails. Stay tuned for my recommendations which will align with my questioning.

      • Then I apologize Mr. Callender I will go back and re-listen. I and another heard the same thing, but that certainly doesn’t mean we didn’t misinterpret your statements. My apologies in advance here, under the assumption at this point that I misheard and I will post a correction on my blog after I re-listen.

        I do hope that your recommendations extend the understanding that the sheriff is mismanaging the entirety of her office and that removing corrections will not change the rest of the organization.

        I have spent many years now talking to deputies, they have risk themselves talking to me, as well as trying to reach out to others. They deserve to have the problems recognized and addressed.

        Even though the BRC’s mandate only extends to investigating the jails, I hope that doesn’t prevent an all encompassing solution to the entire organization. Doing this all over again in enforcement through another election and if she wins, God forbid, through another commission because we failed to recognize her impact on enforcement would be a tragedy for the community and the taxpayers.

  3. Sam Liccardo needs to let the City system work and stop his ridiculous pandering as he did after the Michael Brown incident. Without any accurate facts of what actually transpired between Michael Brown and Officer Wilson, Liccardo was out there doing exactly what 2-bit politicians do…pander to these activist groups. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_HuSnqtFzo

    I’m so sick of these double standards. These so called activists (more like terrorists) can chant “What do we want? Dead Cops! When do we want them? Now!” or “Pigs in a blanket; fry em like bacon” and apparently that is never condemned but a cop can’t tweet that he will protect his family if someone tries to hurt them. These “activist” break the law all the time by stopping traffic on freeways, etc., and get away with it.

    I don’t think that White used good judgement tweeting such things and he probably should have been written up but I’m also so sick of these racist activist/terrorists making unreasonable demands.

  4. This is simple, he won. We need cops leave him alone!
    Go pick on Hillary, she did plenty wrong.

    • Yeah, we need cops, but not cops like that.
      An honest cop would be nice. But probably half are dishonest.
      Having lived in San Jose for 15 years, trust me, I know how corrupt they are.

  5. I posted this comment last night, but it was removed. I emailed SJI in order to findout why it was removed, but have not gotten a response. I think the content explains everything. So here it is again:

    Mayor Liccardo coming out against Officer Phil White getting his job back is no surprise. It was predictable. All of this phony concern about White’s tweets is laughable. This is political grandstanding at its worst, apparently an attempt to show that the City does not tolerate bias and racism. Which is not true. Mayor Liccardo and the City Council have a lot more to worry about than those tweets by Officer White. They have their own issues with discrimination, as well as, public corruption. The NAACP and other community activists have every right to be critical of White’s tweets. But, it they are serious about issues related to discrimination against blacks/African Americans, I suggest that they ask the Mayor and City Council to respond publicly to the lawsuits I filed against the City for discrimination related to my disability retirement from the police department. There has been a criminal cover-up of this matter by the Mayor and other top city officials, with help from the federal courts. It is quite clear that the City has a double standard when it comes to enforcing its policies relating to discrimination and the City’s Code of Ethics. Rank and file police officers are held to a higher standard than top city officials. Over the last five years, I filed numerous complaints with the top city officials against the City Attorney’s Office and three former police administrators for discrimination and criminal misconduct relative to a lawsuit I filed against the City. Not a single one of my complaints have been investigated, as is mandated by city policy. This scandal with the tweets by Officer White pales in comparison with the Bull Connor like manner I have been treated by Mayor Liccardo, the City Council and several other City officials. The mistreatment I endured was a flagrant violation of my constitutional rights, and was nothing more than a high-tech lynching. SJI and the rest of the local media lap dogs for the City should be ashamed for not reporting my story. Apparently they are okay with City officials discriminating against a black police officer. But any opportunity to disingenuously portray a police officer as being a racist or violating a person’s rights, they are all over it. So who is more unfit for their job, Officer White or Mayor Liccardo and the City Council? If you want to read about a real scandal, check out the following links: https://www.facebook.com/groups/624131267713226/
    http://www.opnlttr.com/letter/open-letter-san-jose-mayor-sam-licardo-and-city-council
    http://crnctz.blogspot.com/2015/08/exposing-cover-up-of-cheating-scandal.html
    A new lawsuit I recently filed against Mayor Liccardo, the City Council and the City of San Jose in US District Court has not yet been included in the above links. The case number is 15-cv-5729-EJD. You can look it up in PACER.
    Fred Bates – retired sergeant, SJPD

  6. Does Mr. Konda not understand that the City of San Jose participated in the arbitration process and prosecuted, to the extent allowed by rule and reason, the precise sentiments of his coalition? Perhaps he doesn’t realize it was a hearing and not the lynching his mob had counted on.

    Once again we see the arrogant community of color being treated like a tantrum prone child, granted a measure of political power based only on its indefatigable ignorance and incivility. It didn’t get what it wanted and so it stamps its collective feet and whines.

    Mr. Konda writes about a “rationale [sic] public policy” that ensures something no policy can ever do: satisfy the feelings of “all members” of a gender, race, neighborhood, or city. Nevertheless, he and his coalition of Chicken Littles are convinced they know these things and now demand the city protect them from the falling sky. And so the rest of us must observe and endure, like witnesses to parental misfeasance, as this city’s leaders (and news media) respond to these loud, irrational brats as if there was merit to their demands for a process that acts on things unknowable and a policy that guarantees results to their liking.

    • Konda is a tribalist. He lives in the world of “tribal logic”:

      “My tribe good. Other tribe bad.”

      There is no no intersection of “tribal logic” with the logic of Western Civilization based on Socrates and Aristotle.

      Socrates and Aristotle were “other tribe”, so nothing they have to say has any meaning to Konda.

      For all we know, Konda is an aspiring under-shaman trying to move up the pecking order so he can claim to talk to a better class of spirits in the spirit world.

      • As America began with what can only be called a caste system composed perhaps of three castes, so as it continues its merry way, it appears that we are emerging into a tribalized system and all the accompanying aspects of tribes to politics, society, and community. The watchword will likely be “I against my brother, my brother and I against my cousin, my cousins and I against everyone else.” It will be interesting times, indeed.

  7. Screw the “Community Coalition” and the perennial crybaby racists of the NAACP.

    Officer White was returned to duty as a function of San Jose’s agreed to procedures.

    If the Council is too timid to stand up to the racist mongers of the NAACP and the “Community Coalition”-offer Officer White a handsome severance package; paid for out-of the pockets-of the “Community Coalition and the worthless NAACP, with accompanying city contribution in conjunction with a “Full-Medical Retirement.”

    If not, publically apologize to Officer White and prepare for Officer White’s attorney(s) to tell the Community Coalition, the NAACP and the City of San Jose-in either Superior or Federal District Court;
    “Bend-over, Face China and we’ll show you where Geronimo is buried.”

    David S. Wall

    • Mr. Phillips,

      I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or feel pity for you. Is race some sort of prerequisite in all your relationships? Is it that important to you? Do you go to gatherings and introduce yourself by saying “Hello, My name is Lee and this is my Latina wife. And over there is my black friend”?

      Do you feel that it somehow bolsters your credibility to emphasize race as a component for everyone in your life? Mentioning such in your comments might lead one to believe so. If my wife was Arab; my best friend was a Mongolian; and my dentist was a mestizo Indian from Peru, does that give more weight or credibility to my opinions?

      Please, for your own sake, get some help. You can look up a counselor and pick a “deserving lad or lassie” who is of the appropriate race with whom to talk.

  8. > The Coalition for Justice and Accountability—a collective of San Jose service agencies, civil rights groups, ethnic advocacy organizations

    Just curious.

    Could you please identify the names, number of members, annual budgets, and contact person for each of the “service agencies”,”:civil rights groups”, and “ethnic advocacy groups” that comprise the “Tho Coalition”.

    This information is necessary to validate the credibility of “The Coalition” and ensure that it is not just some phony baloney “letterhead organization”.

    Also, please report if any of the “ethnic advocacy groups” are racist.

    Thank you.

  9. I have read and heard several news reports that stated Officer White’s emails were in response to emails he received which he perceived to be threatening to his family. None of those reports I read or heard have set forth those emails. Given the media bias, that comes as no surprise to me. Has anyone on SJI seen those emails that caused his now famous response other than Officer White? I’d like to see/hear them to help me evaluate why Officer White lost his cool. I presume both SJPD command staff and the arbitrator saw them, and that may be one reason why the arbitration ruling was to reinstate Officer White. I understand Officer White’s frustration. In today’s PC/liberal white guilt environment there is a double standard applied to cops. Also, has the sender of those emails to Officer White been identified and questioned? If so, with what result? If not, why not?

    • My brother was a sergeant on the force for 35 years. He’s got a few stories. I think this man Mr. White would be fine in another position, as a civilian.

      Mr. White is not shown proper impulse control two warrant wearing the badge. These other emails are utterly irrelevant.

      Even if you choose to make them relevant-it still does not excuse of police officers verbal assault(my dad was an attorney.)

      A threat is A threat. Police officers should be models for impulse control.

      • So we should agree with your point of view because your brother was a sergeant and your father was an attorney? How does that have anything to do with your credibility? Are you unable to stand on your own two feet without attempting to rely on them?

      • You have a brother with “a few stories”? And this guy has no disciplinary actions in his file after 18 years? Perhaps if your brother has these stories about this officer with no impulse control and they never made it to a disciplinary action, your brother as a sergeant has some answering to do as well regarding his own ethics issues, should that be true.

      • Mr. Phillips,

        Your comments here are likely a bit of “terminological inexactitude”. Most cops retire after about 27-30 years since retirement benefits are maxed-out at 30 years. After 30 years, the officer is essentially “donating” his retirement benefit contribution and therefore paying hundreds of dollars a month out of pocket for no return.

        Any sergeant who went over 30 years,( and there is one in “collective memory” who went 31 years but his name wasn’t Phillips) would be nearly a celebrity, as much for retirement financial “donation” each month as for his longevity. In the past quarter century or more, there was a lieutenant with the last name Phillips but he retired before 30 years. Assuming you and this brother of yours have the same last name, I don’t know which brother you might be talking about but I’m having trouble bridging your obvious credibility gap.

        A vague, disembodied “tweet” might be unpopular, offensive or hurt someone’s feelings but it is hardly an “assault” (an attempt coupled with present ability to inflict a violent injury on the person of another) or even a credible threat. (Who posts credible threats on public forums?) Ask your dad, the attorney, and see what he thinks.

        Impulse control? Wow. Officer White has no pattern or even any significant instances of poor impulse control after 2 decades of police work. I’m sure there was ample opportunities for him to “lose it”, if he was prone to doing so but your contention is unsupported by fact or past performance.

        Blowing off a little “verbal steam” with a tweet, while it might be scary to the feint-hearted, and a marvelously exploitable opportunity for race merchants, is not evidence of poor impulse control. Wait, maybe he smashed his keyboard all to hell while he typed or something. What color was the keyboard?

        Impulse control? Let’s do a fun experiment. I want you to stand in line at a movie theater with your wife and two small kids. I will approach you, tell you I know where you live (I looked it up on the internet for .99 cents) then threaten to kill you, your kids, and rape your wife. I will then spit in your face (causing no visible injury, of course). Now, show me your impulse control. At what point in this sequence do you “lose it”? Step away from the keyboard.

        • JS, I have since learned that his wife is Filipino, and his fathers African American. You see you that means everything to me.

          Good bad right or wrong-I feel that this gives me an understanding about the man as an individual-and I have tremendous respect for the fact that he married a Filipino woman-really I do.

          Family means everything-now that I see a little more around the issue-I advocate to allow the officer to continue his good service.

          And to those who speak ill of cops in general-my blood brother is a cop. I have friends who are cops. Decent people who chose the uniform and the badge.

          So lucky us. By the way-in the early 80s in the late 70s I could ride with my brother in the patrol car. For those who choose to criticize cops-try doing that if you can.

          That is an incredibly difficult chosen profession-and it is a profession. With all the accolades warranted a professional. To be prejudiced against the human because of his uniform is no different than because of his skin color.

          And my dad was an attorney who tried to teach me to take people at face value. In that sense it is easy for me to admire Ofc. White for seeking his job back. Consider that for a moment. And now that I see more of the picture in all likelihood Ofc. White will have another 18 years of good service.

          That would be good for everybody’s nervous system-plenty of stress already. Lee

      • Lee Phillips wrote: “Mr. White is not shown proper impulse control two warrant wearing the badge.” Is English your native language, Lee? If so, whoever passed you out of high school English should be fired. Then Lee opined: “These other emails are utterly irrelevant.” Whoever passed you in logic class ought to be fired. “Even if you choose to make them relevant-it still does not excuse of police officers verbal assault (my dad was an attorney.)” Hopefully your Dad is considerably more intelligent than you, or else his clients are really screwed.

        • I concede to your preeminence, Mr. John Michael. I have a genetic defect in my left hand, typing is out of the question. So I use a voice activated software. But No shame on your part.

          Mr. White claimed other emails rationalizing his own poor use of the English language nothing to say of what he did to human decency. That was my point, his rationalizing.
          One thing about sincerity-can’t fake it. It’s also true with humility. Ergo greatness. Thank you for this opportunity to use my voice activated software. I’m new at it-can you tell? Lee

          • Im gonna to throw the bullsh*t flag on this one… 15 yards first down

          • We should consider his service history, ofc. White. When I take time to really look at the issue I completely agree with you. To err is human. A better example of ones character is his service history, inarguable. Lee

          • “I have a genetic defect in my left hand, typing is out of the question.” Nice try with the pity card, but that dog won’t hunt. Even if I were to believe your genetic defect claim to be true, that’s no excuse. Voice activated software has a function that is equivalent to spell check, which presents possible mistakes for you to correct before you post your comment. All you need to do is review your work before you post it, and make corrections as necessary. Even Outlook Express scans one’s output and points out possible errors. And there’s always your right hand, which I presume is OK. I type with just 2 fingers and manage to get output correct. And you failed to address my other point about your skewed view of relevance. Your alleged left hand defect surely is not the cause of your lack of understanding of the concept of relevance. What is truly irrelevant to your stated position is the fact that your Dad is an attorney.

    • Well it’s really not so simple an issue in the digital age. But I did talk to my brother about this issue, he said at this point it’s really between San Jose police chief Garcia and the officer. And that how that plays out will be behind closed doors, as each department does things their own way. So I and I hope others, will put faith in chief Garcia. I think he earned that faith reaching to be Chief.

      And let’s have a peaceful San Jose, conservatives and liberals alike. Lee

      • Hey double name, no yelling here.

        Lee states: “Well it’s really not so simple an issue in the digital age.”

        Yes it is Lee, every officer’s badge number is retired when he/she retires. I don’t need to print Lee’s brother’s name just want to verify his story and posts.

        Let Lee give his brother’s badge number so we (I) can verify his story. No big deal if he is telling the truth. I just want to verify his story as his bother retired as a Sergeant after 35 years on the SJPD. Other wise his story is as another posts states “Im gonna to throw the bullsh*t flag on this one… 15 yards first down”

        Come clean or stop your false posts. Office White is a good officer.

  10. I do not understand the hooraw here.
    Officer White’s family includes his Filipino-American wife and his African-American father-in-law. Not to mention his hapa children.

  11. That’s why I moved out of San Jose. The cops are terrible, corrupt, and lazy.
    Glad I left that lousy town.

  12. JENNY LAWRENCE FOR JACK SLADE,

    Are you George Jaeger’s psychiatric nurse or a fellow asylum resident?

    • If we could somehow get the voices in “Jenny Slade’s” head to talk to the voices in the head of Lee Phillips, after the crowd noise in there settled a bit, maybe one of them could form a coherent thought. The process would be similar to putting a typewriter in a roomful of chimps and hoping that after several years of pecking at the keyboard, by random chance, one of them ends up typing a sentence.