Reed Rips Fong and Coto

In a letter posted yesterday to ProtectSanJose.com, the often entertaining website operated by the San Jose Police Officers Association, Mayor Chuck Reed made the not-so-subtle suggestion that Assembly Members Joe Coto and Paul Fong back off.

Obviously angered by their not-so-subtle call for a state investigation of the San Jose Police Department’s use of excessive force, Reed wrote: “Your request for an audit implies that there is something seriously wrong with our police force and that we are not capable of dealing with it at the local level.  Both implications are wrong.”

Reed had previously expressed shock that his buddies Coto and Fong had neglected to approach him personally regarding the audit, but any hurt feelings have clearly now turned to righteous indignation. Reed goes on to say that the city’s acting Independent Police Auditor and City Auditor are more than capable of handling the scrutiny of police behavior.

“Perhaps,” he writes (and there’s an audible throat clearing here) “if you wait until our work has been completed, you will have a better view of the issues in San Jose and will not need to use taxpayer funds to do an audit that will essentially duplicate work we are already doing.”

Reed helpfully attached the recently released Status Report on the City’s Use of Force Efforts, which showed that force was used in 1,200 out of 25,000 cases, and blamed “rhetorical excesses” for the debate swirling around the issue. (Perhaps he meant “Mercurial excesses?”)

Only time will tell who will stand down and whether this is an excessive use of force or farce.

The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.

19 Comments

  1. Interesting story twist to this saga.  I looked for coverage in the Merc, but couldn’t find it.  Unless I missed it, the newspaper either missed the story (whoopsie) or is avoiding it because the don’t agree with it (shame on them).  Thanks for sharing this with me.  As always, I rely for my news on the kindness of strangers and blogs.

    • Yeah, it’s sort of like trying to find coverage of the (parent company) Media News bankruptcy in the Merc.

      It’s not surprising that our local rag fails to report when the city’s elected leader speaks up FOR the police. Such actions do not support the Merc-s anti-cop agenda. Of course is some inconsequential activist-wannabe like Raj speaks AGAINST the cops, it’s front page news.

      The best coverage of an Jose Police issues are Ed Rast’s blogs on ProtectSanJose.com, Ed has done a very convincing statistical analysis that shows pretty much everything the Merc has tried to tell us about the Police Department is 100% wrong. Frank, Richard and AJ would do well to look over those articles so that they can get a more accurate picture of San Jose Police statistics.

  2. Bravo to both Coto and Fong.  I don’t think there should ever be a price on public safety, if it takes an audit to solve San Jose’s police issues, let the audit begin.

  3. Just one more skirmish as SEIU and POA compete for budget dollars.

    All auditors, including police auditors, need to be independent.  But this is really about embarassing police so that there is enough money left over for the purple shirt guys who staffed Fong’s campaign.

    • Please do your research in the future.  The overwhelming majority of SEIU members are County employees.  Their contract has nothing to do with funding for San Jose’s public safety personnel.

      • G – If you are going to require people to know what they are talking about before they post here it will mean the end of SJI as we know it.

      • Really?  SEIU doesn’t represent any city employees?

        No clerical SEIU staff?  No parks staff?  No Librarians?  No architects?  Not one person in the city of San Jose is affiliated with SEIU? 

        My point, as you know, was that SEIU and public safety employees are in conflict for tax dollars, since both types of CITY employees draw on the same CITY budget.

  4. Reed is tone deaf. He doesn’t realize there’s a problem at SJPD. The city leadership is in denial. Downtown has been killed by thuggish police practices that drove entertainment to Santana Row and Campbell and scared away condo buyers. The reputation of SJPD has been tarnished as experienced officers were ignored and young bucks were allowed to run wild by a desk job police chief with little street experience. No use of force complaints sustained? Come on! Is San Jose a city of liars and complainers who make stuff up? If the city can’t investigate its own properly, bring in the state — and the Feds.

  5. Coto and Fong must be idiots. Our state is on the verge of bankruptcy due to jokers like this. They only thing they should be focused on right now is the financial situation, and quit grandstanding on the police matter.

    • Steve,
      If the audit they want didn’t cost such an outrageous amount of money, I would welcome it! I know the stats the Merc is touting are untrue, and this audit would FINALLY put an end to all of this misinformation once and for all. But given the cost, and the fact that our Mayor is already in the process of investigating this issue, I see this as nothing more than a political ploy of two men who seem to be trying to embarrass our Mayor, and are wasting tax payer dollars to win favor with certain misinformed groups who clearly have an anti-Police bias.

    • What I don’t understand Steve if it’s the state of the city’s financial situation your so concerned about, why haven’t you and your followers commented on how the city could have saved Millions on the lawsuits filed by victims (citizens of San Jose)and on the cost of Video and Listening devices installed on our police, not to mention the cost to service and the personel to review the tapes. It would have made more sense to disapline those abusive officers and be done with it.
      We have real good officers who went into the trade for the right reason, to protect and serve the citizen of San Jose, but when arrest are being performed on law biding citizens who didn’t move fast enough or are to loud after leaving the clubs at closing times and even some who were the designated drivers getting arrested for drunk in public, something had to be done. Mercury News and some of our city officials who were brave enough to say enough is enough. Instead of insulting our officials. Seek the truth as it will set you free.
      Oh, and Steve, I wouldn’t call it grandstanding, I would call it serving the public. How many years does it have to go on before something gets done.
      This should have been dealt with years ago, but when we have our law enforcement officials that make statements, “if the systems not broken why fix it”, well need I say more. Keep in mind we’re talking about lawbiding citizens, your grocery clerks, retail sales reps. your cable guy, your high school or college students your stay at home mom, your human resources rep. your business owners, your Mothers and Fathers.
      I think you get the picture. On the Mayor’s comment about not being able to handle the problem locally, I don’t think they can, it would have been resovled long ago. The red flag was the reporting by the Mercury News our conduit to information, if only the police dept could be as informative.
      What was the Mayor talking about sometime ago,
      Transparency! Things are now beginning to happen.
      Quote by MLK- “Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere”.

  6. ” The red flag was the reporting by the Mercury News our conduit to information, ”

    The only red flag – was that many continue to believe discredited Murky fake News reporting about police drunk and resisting arrests since they have not checked facts

    San Jose has lowest lawsuit payout of top California cities and many time it is cheaper to pay a few thousand even if claim is untrue than take it to court

    Looking forward to California investigation since it will prove San Jose Police has been falsely accused by Murky fake News

  7. Surely Chuck “Sunshine” Reed isn’t scared that a State level audit of the SJPD might uncover anything he has staked his reputation on denying the existence of, like police misconduct or organization-wide racial disparities in use of force or discretionary arrests.

    Reed’s underlings at Internal Affairs and the Independent Police Auditor have been telling the public that everything is fine. Now that that pesky IPA Barbara Attard is gone along with all her requests for more power to investigate police practices, we can be sure that Reed and his administration are not biased toward the police or that he has anything to hide.

    And just because Reed (and the rest of the council, to be fair) hired Chris Constantin, a replacement IPA that worked as a cop and whose brother was an SJPD officer doesn’t mean that he is biased towards the police or that he has anything to hide. (http://www.sanjoseinside.com/sji/blog/entries/ipa_controversy_wont_go_away/)

    And just because “No force allegations were sustained” in 2008 by the IPA out of the 117 filed doesn’t mean that Reed and his underlings are biased towards the police or have anything to hide. (see p.43 of the IPA’s year end report for 2008 http://www.sanjoseca.gov/ipa/reports/08ye.pdf)

    I think Reed and all the cop worshippers should stop whining about $250,000 of state money going to investigate police practices in San Jose. First off, because you have all given yourselves aneurisms screaming how perfect the police are, so there is nothing for you to hide and the audit will only make us all unanimously praise their perfection, which must be worth at least $250,000 to you. And second, because that $250,000 could save tens of millions of dollars that will eventually be spent settling lawsuits against the city if the SJPD does indeed have something to hide.

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