On a “quiet” Sunday night in downtown San Jose—the evening of August 26—over 30 police officers were called to quell a large disturbance at the Scores/Raw nightclub on South First Street. While the officers were dealing with the ugly scene and arresting 12 patrons, another customer cut loose with a semi-automatic weapon directly into the crowd and toward the officers. Miraculously, no one was hit.
This incident was not a surprise.
I have several questions: When will the chief of police use his powers of “closure” to deal with the dangers of such a situation? Will the chief be cowed by the legitimate questions about “profiling” that have been in the news lately? Chief Rob Davis has not been accused of precipitous action in dealing with nightclubs. Pardon the expression, but he has been notably slow on the trigger. He has been aggressive in only his rhetoric toward Scott Knies of the Downtown Association, the noted apologists for the violent premises. And while on the subject of Scott Knies, one can only wonder if his mealy-mouthed apologies for the nightclub owners will ever end. Do the bodies have to stack up in front of his door and downtown become synonymous with drunken, out of control, debauchery?
Perhaps one solution would be the renaming of his group of downtown businesses that many of us are members of as the “Downtown Nightclub and Carousers Association.” It would be more truth in advertising. The unlikely alliance of these two has resulted in inaction and untold danger to people visiting our downtown. Its effect on the police budget is extreme. Also, legitimate requests for service from Almaden to Evergreen to Alum Rock must be suffering. These are questions that need to be answered and some actions must be taken. The chief’s position is for the mayor and council to ascertain. While the city finds it impossible to fill potholes and fix pools, we actively subsidize a group of out-of-control nightclubs. Something is radically out of whack.
Now back to Mr. Knies. Many restaurant and business owners in his association have spoken openly of dropping from his group, forming a new one, and charting a more positive course into the future. His board should take note. All the grand ideas of the Business Improvement District have to be severely questioned in the latest turn of the screw and in light of such leadership. And please remember, the late night, after-hour closings opposed by the chief and many of us, have resulted in extreme violations. These were championed by Mr. Knies with great flourish. The aforementioned Scores/Raw club, was promoted as a sports bar to be full of professional athletes and supermodels as I remember—a transparent ruse and an unwanted gathering. The only people who can be so deluded are either bought and paid for or terminally naïve.
It is time at long last, oh Lord, for accountability and some common sense.