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.