Sean Webby

Tangled Webby

The San Jose Police Department’s ink-stained nemesis has gone native and joined the apparatus that puts people behind bars rather than hold the system accountable. That’s right, reporter Sean Webby is leaving the Mercury News to become a media coordinator for District Attorney Jeff Rosen.

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Reporting Crime

The business travel plans of SJPD Chief Chris Moore, center, were called into question in an article with serious undertones.

A story sensationalized last weekend by the Merc’s Sean Webby stops just short of blaming the recent violent-crime spike on SJPD Chief Chris Moore’s business trips. “As San Jose’s homicide rate soared,” Webby writes, “police Chief Chris Moore was out of town on business 12 times.” He goes on to report that “some argue” an absent chief can destabilize a police force battling crime and sagging morale. Maybe so, but who exactly is arguing this (or even saying it under their breath) is unclear.

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As Bobby Lopez Lawyers Up,  LaDoris Cordell Plays Down IPA Spy Saga

LaDoris Cordell, who took over as San Jose’s Independent Police Auditor in May, landed in a firestorm involving the former head of the police union.

Sgt. Bobby Lopez, the former San Jose police union president, ignited a firestorm last month when reports surfaced that he boasted of having a spy in the Independent Police Auditor’s (IPA) Office. Now he has hired an attorney and won’t talk.

Two weeks ago, the usually loquacious Lopez announced that he would run for his old job as president of the San José Police Officers Association (POA). Lopez said he believes George Beattie, his media-shy predecessor, is a weak leader.

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Cordell: No Spy in IPA’s Office

LaDoris Cordell, San Jose’s Independent Police Auditor, says a study has concluded that there is no spy inside her office.

“I am greatly relieved that the investigation has determined that there are no leaks of confidential information by any member of my staff,” Cordell said at a press conference outside her downtown office this afternoon.

Cordell announced her conclusions in response to a June 9, 2010 article in the San Jose Mercury News. The newspaper claimed that confidential information from inside the IPA’s office had been leaked to SJPD Sgt. Bobby Lopez, the former president of the San Jose Police Officers Association, during his tenure.

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Police, Press and Perception

POA President Bobby Lopez feels the Merc’s recent coverage reveals an anti-cop bias.

As complaints about the San Jose Police Department’s use of force play out in both the traditional and the social media spheres, calls continue for the resignation of “the man we all love to hate,” as state NAACP president Alice Huffman introduced San Jose’s police chief at a community event on Saturday, Dec. 5.

For Rob Davis, who is fighting to keep his job, winning this latest round means shifting attention away from the actions of his officers and towards a more nuanced discussion about public policy, community attitudes, media missteps and the ambiguity of grainy video clips.

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SJPOA Attacks Merc Use-of-Force Series

A number of posts over the past week on ProtectSanJose.com,  a blog run by the Police Officers Association (SJPOA), have effectively called into question a series of San Jose Mercury News articles about use of force by SJPD.

The Merc series started with the Oct. 24 posting of a cell-phone video that seems to show SJPD officers beating and Tasing a Vietnamese SJSU exchange student while he is pinned to the floor. The series culminated with a Sunday package a few days later, headlined “Mercury News investigation: San Jose police often use force in resisting-arrest cases.”

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