How Long, Oh Lord, How Long?

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.


  1. Tom

    Metro article on downtown association web site

    called soft closing ” uneventful ” “Pretty much the attitude that it was not a big deal and things went smoothly.” 

    Why does Chief Davis and Knies have different opinion about downtown?

    Are you yelling wolf and picking on few occasional incidents to make your point? What are downtown crime stats? How do they compare to other parts of SJ?

    How can Downtown association board with

    non club business majority be supporting clubs bad behavior?  Is Knies not doing what Board wants or does board has different opinion from you about downtown? 

    How are clubs controling downtown policy not Board?

    Is Knies paid from millions in city tax subsidies as some have said that downtown association receives since businesses pay low membership fees making him city employee?

    Thought downtown clubs were now paying for extra police costs as Mayor said?

  2. I drive a Yellow Cab here in San José. I suggest to my customers that they venture out into the night with care, stay in a hotel that offers entertainment, or cab it over to Santana Row.

  3. I was driving around town running errands and I noticed something. I noticed that there are a lot, and I mean a lot of “Paisa” clubs and bars around town.

    Now granted, that may not be politically correct to use that term for some folks, but we use it all the time, cut to the chase.

    But what grabbed me was that all these spots are scattered about town, meaning there are a few on Old Oakland Road, 13th street corridor, down Monterey Highway… but very much out of downtown. All catering to the same crowd, but out of downtown.

    I guess what I am getting at is that maybe , just maybe these clubs should be moved away from downtown, spread out a little, or a lot, so that rabblerousers can’t simply walk from one club to another and mess stuff up and it would be easy for the police to enforce the rules and not have to shut downtown for us law abiding folks.

    Just a thought

  4. #2 and #3,

    The soft closing has been very uneventful.  In fact, our place hasn’t been open at all after 2am because no customers have stayed in the place after 2am.  It has been nice to allow bar patrons to leave without being “bum rushed” out. 

    But if the city wanted to solve this problem once and for all.  The city would allow pay job officers again.  This dowtown spiraled out of control once we no longer had pay officers.

    Having pay officers (who are managed properly by both the clubs and the police) helps in dealing with the four major issues of bar / club management.

    1.  Minors.  Having officers nearby make it easier to deter minors and even have them arrested for using fake ID’s

    2.  Overcrowding.  Having officers nearby helps in crowd control

    3.  Serving intoxicated patrons.  Having officers nearby help establishments deal with drunk patrons / prevent already drunk patrons from trying to enter.

    4.  Violence / dress codes.  It is much easier to prevent “undesirable” clientele from entering if you have an officer nearby.  Also, it is easier to have inside issues resolved if the trouble makers know there is an officer that can arrest them outside.  Most acts of violence wouldn’t happen in the clubs /bars if there were officers near the front door.

    Best part about the pay officers, no cost to the city.  The businesses pay for them.  Also, no need to pull resources from other parts of the city, because you would have about 20 to 30 pay officers downtown who could deal with issues.  The officers would not be there on the tax payers dime!

  5. Questions#3:  Kneis & Pulcrano are joined at the hip.  Metro is hardly objective when it comes to downtown “entertainment”.

    Did you observe the collection of out of town thugs assembled for Music in the Park last Thursday that SJDA & Metro co-sponsor?  The acts booked that night drew every ghetto gangsta from Richmond to Salinas.

  6. Someone is on the take, as they say in the moves. Knies is an idiot and does he spend time at these clubs.  Does he live downtown?

  7. If you spread out the clubs you may get more drunk driving as people club hop.

    You could just trade shootings for car crashes and hit and runs.

  8. Chamber, wide range of businesses, Council, redevelopment and Downtown Association support highly successful Downtown Club Economic Strategy as shown by Downtown Association Board membership and millions city tax money spent on downtown

    It is only a few business and property owners who are not getting large profits who object just like Grand Prix

    We can get more voter and downtown businesses to support Downtown Economic Strategy by establishing 2-3 club districts where increased club fees help to pay to control problems as other ciies have done Spreading clubs out does not work and makes it more difficult and costly to control problem customers

    San Jose’s downtown will not be changing for years because many people, businesses and San Jose greatly profit from current downtown club situation with few documented costs other than some downtown businesses lose a few customers  

    Downtown probably would not get more customers anyway since city approved alternatives to downtown – Santana Row, improved neighborhood business districts and soon North San Jose

    It is like Grand Prix – city and many businesses win and few businesses lose  

    San Jose’s stealth downtown night business marketing slogan has been – Alcohol, drugs and rock and roll pays big profits in downtown San Jose

    Many profit from Downtown Club Economic Strategy

    City – gains tax millions and thousands jobs at night in under utilized night downtown Police get increased overtime and public support for more officers San Jose’s low crime rate covers up shootings, assaults and crimes

    Property Owners – higher rents for underutilized space – What other business would rent space?

    Clubs / Promoters –  $20 cover charges and high volume drink sales equals huge profits which attracts out of town promoters and club owners with low risks and costs   A high profit growth industry and San Jose has near monopoly competitive advantage to attracting high spending out of town and local customers as Gilroy’s Krazy Koyote showed when 2 promoters from San Jose tried and failed

    There is no replacement downtown night businesses that could generate taxes, jobs, customers or profits   Who will go downtown to replace lost taxes and customers?  San Jose is gaining more from increased taxes and jobs than problem club customers cost us  

    Residents who do not want to go downtown have many alternatives to downtown – Santana Row, improved neighborhood business districts and soon North San Jose to keep jobs and taxes in San Jose

    Have police go back to police special pay club officers to control club customers and clubs pay costs not city

    Why not increase costs to highly profitable downtown clubs and promoters to pay for more police and increased city clean up costs like street, sidewalk and garage clean up like other cities with profitable entertainment areas by special entertainment district fees and club promoter background and licensing fees? 

    San Jose should better manage it’s Downtown Club Economic Strategy for our high profit downtown growth industry and reduce direct city costs and generate more taxes and downtown jobs

    Council can build voter and business support for ballot iniatitive to increase taxes and fees for Downtown club entertainment districts by showing public benefits to them in increased city services for our long time stealth highly successful night Downtown Club Economic Strategy

    Voters always support more sin taxes.

  9. No wonder I drive through town to get to Naglee Park and stay in with my burgular alarm on!  Why risk being shot at by going downtown after dark.  No way, Jose!

    Can the city stop issuing nightclub permits in this area?

  10. I agree, time at long last, oh lord
    Need a shake-up at downtown assoc. board
    To hear of drunken behavior, I’m floored
    Downtown should be a place to be adored
    We need a plan citizens can get aboard
    We need civilty restored
    Law abiding citizens will not be ignored
    Jails are where criminals are stored
    Drunks, gangstas and thugs abhorred
    We need to strike balance in this accord
    Club owners profit, security they can afford
    Taxpayer’s dollars cannot be endlessly poured
    All options need to be explored
    So let’s strike the right chord
    Then we can all share in the reward
    We wouldn’t want to fall on our sword
    It is hoped these goals we can move toward
    Thank you SJI for being a sounding board

  11. The thug, who shot with semi-automatic gun, deserves a death penalty once and for all! We should not tolerate this sick behavior.  If we rise up, then downtown will be dandy.

  12. Pay job officers for individual clubs are not the answer. The officers need to remain impartial and by working for a particular club they lose this perception. The club owner expects the officer to perhaps look the other way since the club owner is directly paying the officer. If something happens across the street does the officer stay at the club who is paying him or run across the street to help out at another club? The only real benefit of pay job officers is to the actual club owners and no one else. Of course, when there were pay job officers the club owners were complaining then about the cost of those officers. Let the clubs have their own in-house security, but the officers need to remain outside and beholden to no one club.

  13. Bar Owner #6,
    Those are not functions of the police at a particular bar. Those are functions that you should have your own in-house security and bouncers perform, not an off duty police officer. Police officers are not for checking ID’s of someone trying to get into a club or enforcing a dress code of that club. You need to educate your staff on not serving an obviously intoxicated person. Don’t put your responsiblities onto the police. That is why pay job officers didn’t work the first time.

  14. I agree that Pulcrano is not helping matters at all.  Have you ever checked out the “club gallery” full page of photos in the Metro?  No captions, just a bunch of s**tfaced 20-something anonymous posers.  I do not understand the purpose of this page.  Just so much wasted ink glorifying the type of irresponsible behavior that’s messing up downtown every night of the week.

  15. A “Paisa” is a, well um, recent Mexican Migrant. Short for “Paisano”. This is the cowboy hat and cowboy boots, bullhorns on the suburban crowd.

  16. 17 and 18 Steve,

    Yes the staff should and do manage the 4 issues. 

    But downtown gets a large number of “undesirable” persons and or minors.  these problem people have no respect for door host and or manager of bars / clubs and usually try and cause issues.

    When the undersirable customers and or minor cause an issue, having an officer nearby to arrest or ticket the person will go a long way.  Otherwise they get to cause issues / violence and then walk off with no reprocussions.

    Besides, at this time the police station numerous officers in front of bars / clubs that have “undesirable” patrons.  That is on the city dime; not the problem bar or clubs. 

    The officers are there so problematic customers will see a presence and not cause issues!

  17. Tom:

    In the dim past, the late 1940s and early 1950s, North Market Street, on the West side, with the exception of Arzino’s Fish, the Anglo Bank and Fire Station #1, was nothing but bars, saloons and whore houses.  Chief Blackmore, much like Chief Davis, could not control the area.

    Your father, may he rest in peace, organized “Market Parking, Inc” in the late 1940s. Mr. McEnery, and his friends, used Market Parking and the “Red Light Abatement Act” to close down all of the troublesome bars then located on North Market Street. It was the start of the renewal program in San Jose.

    If the property owner could not control the tenant, that act allowed the government to take over ownership of properties being used for illegal purposes.  At least, the city could put a lock on the doors.

    If not the city, the lenders, probably have some say in how the property is used. The Red Light Abatement Act would scare the pants off of most banks… 

    Does the Red Light Abatement Act still exist? If it does, why doesn’t the city use it and take over the ownership of the questionable properties?


  18. Doesn’t this just sound like something The Sparrow would do!  Thanks, Jerry.  Sure do miss hearing the tales of the lunch bunch!

  19. Scape,  usually the guys in the cowboy hats have been here a while.  They are the “jefes” so they wear the hat.  I just had my gardener do some landscaping work in my yard and there was a clear pecking order and only he was wearing a hat.  He’s been in this country for close to 30 years.  Most people who just arrived here don’t even own a car, let alone a Suburban with horns on the front.

    Just my take on the situation but I get your drift on the “Paisa” type bars.  I’ll take more of those downtown any day instead of the thug bars that glorify a lawless lifestyle.  Maybe the “Paisa” crowd is lawless in the sense that they may not have crossed the border legally, but it hardly compares to the thug type of lawlessness where they are actively looking to cause trouble and will create a reason if they can’t find one.

  20. Jerry, thanks for the history.

    Maybe you could explain what Market Parking, Inc. actually was. My guess would be a place where you could pay to park your car, but that wouldn’t explain how it served as a tool to evict rowdy saloons.

    The “Red Light Abatement Act”, which I haven’t read, so maybe I’m missing something, appears to be targeted against prostitution, so it wouldn’t be very effective against saloons either.

    If my knowledge of local history is correct, many of these whorehouses and rowdy saloons were owned by local politicians or their friends, so just passing a law wouldn’t be very effective unless there was support from some people with major influence.

    Perhaps you could fill in some more of the story.

    I haven’t heard anyone complain about prostitution downtown, so perhaps the “Red Light Abatement Act”, if it still exists, is not the proper tool for the job.

  21. If Downtown Association wanted downtown different then Board composed of Chamber President, 3 lawyers, Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment owner of Sharks and other “movers and shakers” would make it happen with Mayor Reed but they are not making changes so they must like downtown the way it is

    Downtown Association Board

    President: Art Bernstein*
    Hopkins & Carley, a Law Corporation

    VP of Operations: Eric Sahn*
    DJM Capital Partners

    VP of Marketing: Greg Casella*
    Catered Too and cafe Too!

    Treasurer: Rich Sutton*
    Peggy Sue‘s #2

    Secretary: Jim Salata*
    Garden City Construction

    Malcolm Bordelon
    Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment

    Gail Chandler
    Mac‘s Club

    Henry Coca
    Hank Coca‘s Downtown Furniture

    John Conway*
    Britannia Arms

    Henry Cord*
    Cord Associates

    Sean Cottle
    Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel, Inc.

    Rick DiNapoli*
    DiNapoli Companies

    Dan Doherty
    Mission Ale House

    Diana Florian
    Forest City Commercial Development

    Don Gagliardi
    Bergeson, LLP

    Donald Gansheimer
    Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley

    Sparky Harlan
    Bill Wilson Center

    Randy Knox
    Adobe Systems, Inc.

    John Leathers
    KBAY and KEZR Radio

    Greg Mauldin*
    Hotel Montgomery

    Bob Moore
    Data Direct

    Valerie Nicoletti
    Santa Clara Valley National Bank

    Dan Pulcrano
    Metro Newspapers

    Dennis Randall
    Newcastle Partners, LLC

    Bill Ryan*
    Barry Swenson Builder

    Jan Schneider*
    R & J Jewelry and Loan

    Dennis Skaggs
    Camera Cinemas

    Hank Sprintz
    Copy Club

    Troy Tibbils
    Zanotto‘s Downtown Market

    Tony Valenzuela
    San Jose State University

    Nanci Williams*
    Orloff Williams & Co.

    Gerry Wong
    Ritchie Commercial

  22. What I can’t understand is why was there no report of this incident in the Mercury News? I have searched and cannot find one word about it. Did anyone see a report on TV or hear one on the radio? A real hometown newspaper would have a reporter attached to the police beat 24 hours a day and would be all over this story.

  23. I read your post and I need to comment… I used to go downtown to the clubs etc, like 10 years ago. I do not go out there on the weekends at all. As a matter of fact, I look at the fliers and read the ads for parties so I know where NOT to be on certain nights.

    I know for a fact that a lot of these problems are generated by the out of town crowd, not absolutely all of it, but a considerable portion of the violence is triggered by gangsters from out of town, such as over the Labor Day weekend there was a slew of fights in the same area, and who was it? East Palo Alto vs Oakland.

    Now this was commented to me by one of the local DJ’s, who witnessed all the madness…

    So in my opinion, nothing has changed, years ago I saw the same mess we see today. Party promoters just getting the quick cash, bouncers with a chip on their shoulders, and yet not enforcing any type of rules at the door. I have seen far too many times where bouncers would let in known felons carrying weapons into clubs, because they were “so and so’s homeboy” then when someone gets shot, everybody wants to say “I dunno” like a bunch of 10 year olds. And then the police come in and have to clean up the mess that was brewing and exploded into the street.

    And the really sad state of affairs also is if you look at the recent activities at the Krazy Koyote in Gilroy, same madness down there, these promoters do not, I repeat, do not have a clue when it comes to doing functions where the average sane person can enjoy the evening and be safe…  actually let me rephrase that, they do have a clue, but they don’t do what needs to be done, and that is criminal. It’s like my friends say “these clowns are down for that bullsh*t, and if they are there, I don’t want to be anywhere around there”..sadly this is accepted behavior now, and it is actually expected behavior.

    “It is time at long last, oh Lord, for accountability and some common sense.” And this is what is exactly lacking… the concept of “God” in the sense that one will be held accountable by something outside of themselves, the idea of doing the “right thing” and common sense, because there is none.

    Downtown will get a few things right, but some folks are going to have to die in order for some others to see the light.

  24. I agree with your entire column. The tail has been wagging the dog for too many years in the downtown bar scene. Anyone who thinks it is not out of control is fooling themself. Listen to a police scanner on a Friday or Saturday night. The police officers in the downtown area are constantly being sent to fights, shootings, and stabbings, most of which the SJ Mercury neglects to print for whatever reason, probably out of fear of not being politically corrent. Police officers are being pulled from their normal beats in distant parts of the city to help control the downtown bars, thus neglecting deserving citizens of police services. I am sick and tired of those who have to be so politically correct as to not offend anyone, including the bar owners and out of town thugs who come to San Jose to cause problems. We have spents hundreds of millions to develop this area. During the day it is beautiful, but at night it is held hostage by a few greedy and strident club owners who act as if they are all doing us a favor by just being there, and the out of control drunks they serve. Also, anyone who suggests the relatively few police officers should magically be able to know who the lawabiding patrons are as opposed to the troublemakers in a vast sea of people out on the streets is asking the impossible of the police. I hope the police chief starts using his power to close the problem clubs and to not worry about who might get their feelings hurt or some civil rights leader going tirade about the racist police officers, which is the farthest thing from the truth. Right now it is the silent majority of the good citizens who are getting hurt and they deserve better and it is great someone is speaking up for them.

  25. Al Dotten:

    When the SJPD was not able to control the actions on North Market Street and in the bars and saloons and whore houses, John McEnery decided that something had to be done.  He asked his friends, those who gathered with him at lunch each day, to contribute to a fund to purchase the trouble causing properties.

    The money was used to form a company called Market Parking.

    Some of Mr. McEnery’s friends were bankers.  They lent money to the company to eventually make the down payments on the buildings.  The property owners were told to sell their property to M.P. at the appraised value or the city would use the Red Light Abatement Act and take the buildings without compensation.

    When the purchases were completed, the buildings were torn down and the lots leveled as a dirt parking lot – Market Parking.  Arzino’s was moved up next to the Anglo Bank.  The fire house was moved farther north,In 1951, the City purchased Market Parking, each contributor got back his investment plus about 2% interest. Jim Bocardo purchased some of the property to build his band building. None cut a fat hog. A problem was solved.

    No, the ownership was NOT in the hands of local politicians.  I don’t remember exactly who the owners were, but in those days we didn’t have “politicians” in today’s sense. The building owners were scared of the honest men of downtown. Those of you who are old enough will remember the men who met with Mr. McEnery for lunch in the basement of Millers.

    If there is one simple act of anything approaching prostitution, or any other illegal actions such as gambling, the Red Light Abatement Act was used.

    For gosh sakes, use your imagination! That is all that Mr. McEnery did! Dream up something that will take out the clubs where the trouble starts. Go after the property owners. They can’t complain about profiling!


  26. JJ the policeman,

    I am a bar owner and no I do not need help in dealing with the issues I mentioned.  but most of the downtown clubs do need help with this. 

    Also, a large number of undersireable people own the streets downtown.  I personally don’t want them downtown, I won’t take a dime from them and wish we could rid our downtown of the gangbangers and lowlifes once and for all!

    Sorry for trying to help.  didn’t mean to tell you how to do your job.  (hear that alot from officers, they don’t like to be told how to do their job).  Keep up the good work.

  27. #24 Mark T

    Oh I agree with you,  I was just observing how they do their thing. They are a clear demographic and serve their patrons, and they are pretty spread out around town, not clustered together. And the police don’t seem to be all over their establishments..It’s like they are in the shadows, out of the way, not all on front street… am I making sense? oh well.

  28. Mr. McEnery, thank you for taking the time to report this shooting incident to us.  I am grateful that you and the people of this web site bring us insightful information. I am mystified as is Watchdog (post #27) who says it better than I could, “A real hometown newspaper would have a reporter attached to the police beat 24 hours a day and would be all over this story.”  As Mr. McEnery wrote in not so many words, Scores/Raw nightclub went to hell in a hand basket yet again.  The promotion of the day was some known “rapper” who attracted the out of town thugs yet again.  I’m sorry did I miss this event on the SJDA website?

    The real scoop is this.  Police were called to the scene of 1st and San Salvador to “quell a large disturbance”.  As several police police patrolled the parking lots on the two west corners of 2nd and San Salvador for further violence, 5-6 shots rang out on the southeast corner of 2nd and San Salvador.  As people fled for their lives, officers ran to the scene.  The suspect fled with gun in hand, eastbound.  A concerned citizen (thank God we have them in our city) called 911 alerting police that a subject was hiding in or near a dumpster on 3rd Street.  After a search of the area, police apprehended the suspect (not sure if he was from SJ) and I believe obtained a full confession and the gun was recovered in the bushes when the sun came up.  This incident generated a mandatory holdover for all police in the city for at least an hour.

    Steve #2, your right, “Listen to a police scanner on a Friday or Saturday night.”

  29. A few more comments if I may:
    #1: “A real hometown newspaper would have a reporter attached to the police beat 24 hours a day and would be all over this story.”  People have died already; I guess just not the right ones.

    #1: “I have seen far too many times where bouncers would let in known felons carrying weapons into clubs”.  A lot of the bouncers are parolees, probationers or convicted felons themselves.

    #4: “I suggest to my customers that they venture out into the night with care, stay in a hotel that offers entertainment…”  Good advice, I too have seen freaked out guest that are here for an event at the convention center.  I give them the same advice.  I’m sorry is that on the SJDA website.

    #6: If you are a bar owner and need the police to help you with “minors, overcrowding, serving intoxicated patrons and violence/dress code”.  GET A NEW JOB!

    From the SJDA website:  “One of the ultimate goals of the changes under way is to attract a broader and more appealing customer base.” Other than obtaining the help of the Responsible Hospitality Institute, what is being done about this?

    Finally, from the Mercury News, “Four men are facing felony charges after San Jose police arrested them Friday night for allegedly cruising the city in a van with three loaded handguns, cash and half a pound of crack cocaine.”  9/5/07….all from out of town.

  30. Jerry—
    Thanks for the story. I’m not sure how legal it would be considered today, but obviously it got the job done. It seems to me that support from local bankers was a key part of the plan.

    When I said that local politicians owned some of these establishments, I wasn’t referring to Mr. McEnery and his friends. However, what I’ve read about San Jose in the 30s and 40s suggests that certain local politicians and their influential friends had interests in gambling and prostitution. Obviously there were “reform” politicians during all this period as well.

  31. Since Rick Callender and others have demanded/required/insisted that the SJPD keep race-based statistics on who SJPD stops and arrests, how about we give it right back?

    Please keep race-based statistics on shooters like @ The Ambassador (now Miami Beach Club) a while back, and this most recent incident Tom speaks of; as well as all other types of violent crimes.

    Feed the stats to the Murky News and see if they publish them in their entirety without editing.  My bet is they’ll publish only those that fit their preconceived PC notions.

    Also, keep statistics on the home addresses of the gangstas that get popped here for violent acts of all types.  Let’s find out who’s doin’ the crimes, and whether they’re from SJ or not.

    Both sets of stats will help the cops to determine whom to target (yeah, profile) to keep SJ streets safe.

  32. JMOC – Mercury gave us crime by race info

    In March, police released a report that revealed Latinos represented more than half of the department’s use-of-force arrests. It also concluded that African-Americans were subjected to use of force out of proportion to their population in the city.

    According to that unprecedented “Use of Force” report, 10 percent of the 34,000 people arrested in 2006 were African-American, but 17 percent of those subjected to force were African-American. The city is roughly 32 percent white, according to the latest census figures, 32 percent Latino and 30 percent Asian. Only 3 percent of the city’s residents are black.

    Rivers said these numbers “leaped off the page.”

    Police have said such statistics reflect calls they have to respond to and that many of the suspects come from out of town.

  33. Keeping statistics on shooters and gangstas would not help the situation.  Gangbangers, shooters and other people who commit violent crime are the true victims.  Had these people had a positive role model while growing up, they would have turned into perfect gentlemen.

  34. #37—you sound like the pre-Mohammed Ali Rhyming George Berlin.

    #36—Murky News #s are interesting; I’ve read them before.

    There are cries that the percentage of arrestees who are African-American is higher than their percentage in the population.  No-one @ Murky News or Rick Callender even consider that perhaps a higher percentage of African Americans commit crimes.  I presume that virtually all these African American arrestees actually did commit a crime, or were reasonably suspected of doing so.  So what is the perceived problem here?  Does anyone actually believe the cops arrest people who did nothing wrong just because they’re Arican American?  If that were true, we’d have a HUGE statistic of arrestees freed before arraignment, or against whom no charges would ever be filed.  Where’s that statistic?

    Are we to stop arresting African American lawbreakers once their percentage of arrests as against the total # of arrests reaches their percentage of the total population???!!!

    If they committed a crime, they should be arrested.  End of story.

    Same thing re use of force.  Did it ever occur to Callender or Murky News that perhaps some groups resist arrest more often than others? I’d bet the farm that gangbangers of all ethnicities resist more than middle class working folks.  Also, the types of crimes for which people are arrested plays a role.  Doesn’t it seem likely that perpetrators of violent crimes are more likely to resist than white collar criminals?

    Do I believe that at times cops overreact, and then file a charge of resisting?  Sure, there’s no doubt in my mind it happens.  Is it anywhere near a majority?  I seriously doubt it.  It’s probably rare these days.

    A cop is on the street putting his/her life on the line.  Some suspect makes a move, too bad, so sad…take him/her down.  Beat on him like we see very occasionally as a percentage of total arrests?? No.  Those cops need to be disciplined, or perhaps separated from the force.  But the VAST majority of arrestees who get roughed up brought it on themselves, and we need to stop coddling these as*holes.

    SJPD is very racially diverse.  It is nonsense to believe that the entire force has decided to target people of color to arrest just because of their ethnicity when the force is so ethnically diverse.

    Let’s stop making excuses for the bad guys and start supporting the good guys.

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  36. I’m not going to lie: I’m sort of filled with glee at the bitterness San Jose’s tin-pot aristocracy is displaying on this web log. Bitterness at being deposed, bitterness that the proles aren’t catering to you and only you, bitterness that brown people are spoiling your vision for San Jose’s Downtown—the Lincoln Center of the West. (Read your Jane Jacobs before you move on Urban Renewal—or, as they used to call it back east, “Negro Removal.”)

    There are lots of fantastic quotes here that demonstrate not only the racism, classism, and ageism, but all the sheer arrogance of the Sonoma Chicken Coup crowd. These quotes will ensure that you will never get a single brown or young vote so long as you live. This will never be your city again.

  37. #40, it is my hope along with all other posters here, that SJ will never be YOUR city again.  Since when is calling for an end to situations that foster lawlessness and violence, to the point of producing fatalities, considered elitist?  I didn’t realize east Oakland where concerned citizens are calling for the same thing, was an elitist enclave.

  38. 42: So how is one to determine that these rowdy folks come from Oakland, Richmond, etc.? Are they wearing signs?

  39. #40.. I am not a part of the “Sonoma Chicken Coup crowd”… and no one ‘cept yourself has introduced race as an issue. And that is ok, if that is the lens that you use to look at the world. I am frankly tired of Latinos killing Latinos, and Blacks killing Blacks, hey since I am on it, I am tired of Whites killing Whites as well. Can we just simply say that we all want downtown to be safe for EVERYONE and keep it simple like that?

    I am sure that there are a few “arrogant” people on this forum, but it seems to be that you are the arrogant one. Sorry but, I got’s to put it out there..leave the race card in the 1970’s it’s 2007, ok?

  40. For the record, there are Whites, Blacks, Latinos, Asians, and others having a great time, in a vibrant/safe atmosphere, down at Santana Row.  (brought to you by a home-grown Latino/Native American who completely disagrees with #40).

  41. Not only can’t planner boy # 40 spell, he can’t even read and copy it down right.  It’s Sonoma Chicken Coop, not Coup, planner boy.

    Jeez, I sure hope you’re not a planner for any city around here.  But on the other hand, that would explain a lot of problems people have with planning depts. these days.

  42. Yeah, no reason to think for one second that #40 is bright enough to be employing a play on words using “coup” instead of “coop.”  He/she is out of the same mold as Sylvio Carranza, writer of that recent letter printed in the Merc.  You know the one I mean, where he was claiming Alberto Gonzales was fired based on race.  These seriously obsessed fanatics pollute every possible issue with the race card every chance they get, and clearly need professional help.  I’m sure they can find a place where the taxpayers will foot the bill for such medical assistance because we are painfully aware of their continuing persuit of entitlements for the unproductive.

    Like #45 said, the 70’s are over.  Besides, you got your turd instead of Fallon just like you wanted.  Will you not be happy until you’re allowed to proudly park non-operational vehicles on the lawn next to it?

  43. JMOC

    You make good points in #38 and police should do a crime prevention study looking at days with high arrest numbers and what clubs, promoters, DJ’s, bands or events were occurring to develop city policies to prevent future downtown crime problems and transfer cost to clubs

    Promoters should be required to be licensed

    Clubs and promoters who book problem DJ’s bands and events should have to pay additional on site security costs   Crime study updated with new incidents can be used to revolk problem club and promoter licenses

    After a few lose their licenses problems will go away

  44. #40…  Planner
    Now that you’ve have our attention, let’s say you were King of San Jose with absolute rule to change SJ as you direct.  What would your plan look like?  … and don’t worry about the spelling.  THis is a free country; unless your plan would do away with that.

  45. I really don’t think you people are dumb enough to not see the racism in your statements about “hip hoppers” and “those people from Richmond and EPA,” but I maybe you aren’t smart enough to pick up on Sonoma Chicken Coup.

    The Sonoma Chicken Coup describes so well what would happen if you people managed to steal the government of this city from the 800,000 brown, yellow, and young people to whose interests you are so opposed. You would need to make a coup d’ville (There’s another good one! Let’s see if you find a joke in that, too.) to sieze power.

    It’s time for you to be honest with yourselves and read what you’ve written here time and time again about “those people” and the “hip hoppers” doing activities you don’t like in downtown, like dancing to black music instead of going to the opera and $150-a-plate museum fundraisers. I guess you can live with yourselves because racists have never had problems with colored people who “act right.”

    I’d say that we’re really talking about class here, but class and race are so tied up, and you’ve made it so clear in this forum that what makes you angriest are black, latin, and asian people in your downtown, that… oh, it’s useless. Rush Limbaugh says you’re not racist, so it must be so.

  46. David D.:

    Every word in my post was spelled correctly. I’m sorry that you feel the need to insult me.

    If this were a free country, how could I be king of san jose? Maybe I should insult you, but I won’t.

    Right now, the FREE MARKET has dictated that the only things that can survive downtown are dance clubs. Maybe the free market, which conservatives equate with political freedom, should be left to determine what kind of fun people are allowed to have. Do you think that only fun of which you personally approve or that you would enjoy should be allowed? Would that be a free country?

    I mean, we all saw what happened whenSan Jose had an authoritarian government: the rock clubs and all-ages venues were shut down through bureaucratic strangulation, redevelopment agency disinvestment and seizure, and autocratic action by the police department.

  47. 49,50,&51; Enough, Enough already! This site is not about you, it’s about everyone.
      You guys remind me of rap music. Don’t you ever operate is Jazz mode or better yet, Chopin?
      Give us a break! Pllllllleeesse!

  48. #52… um “those people” and “hip hoppers”… I will go on record that I have a strong distaste for current rap music and what it represents. If that makes me a racist, well I guess I am. I think the majority of people here just want downtown to be safe and cool. Yes out of towners come through here (SJ) and rip stuff up, that is a fact, (I know first hand), it has been the case since the early 90’s. To say that all of the forum posters here are “racists” is a bit of a stretch… by the way, you should try the Opera, and donating $150 bucks a plate dinner, is quite honorable, you should try it sometime.

  49. I saved and saved and went to see The Barber of Seville. I still get the spam from the opera association.

    I don’t really want to associate with the kind of people who go to expensive fundraising dinners. I’d rather associate with people who participate in making cities better places.

  50. I’d like to see an “86” list and a “Permanent 86” list.

    If a person is caught with a weapon,  starts a fight, harasses other clubgoers or passers-by, that persons name and photo should be distributed to all clubs and be barred from any club for 90 days on a first offense.

    For a second offense, or firing of a weapon or using a knife, etc, that person should be permamnently 86’d from all clubs in San Jose.

    The list could be provided to all owners and door personnel.  Photos could be downloaded to their cell phones, which everyone on the planet seems to have these days.

    Violations by the owners of allowing entry to a club of anyone on either list would result in a fine the first time, a suspension of their license the second time, and a revocation of their license on a third offense, with the revocation to be STATEWIDE and permanent.

  51. #53 says: “I mean, we all saw what happened whenSan Jose had an authoritarian government: the rock clubs and all-ages venues were shut down through bureaucratic strangulation, redevelopment agency disinvestment and seizure, and autocratic action by the police department.”

    Let me vamp on that a bit. For those of you that weren’t part of that scene, here’s what happened: The landlords and property owners—with the city’s and the RDA’s full blessing—decided that they could make a lot more money by opening up ghetto DJ/dance clubs instead of rock clubs. Which was true. So for the last half of the 90s, that’s what took place. Never mind the fact that the rock scene was precisely what brought downtown out of the porno district that it still pretty much was circa 1988 or so (as ironic as that sounds). And when the live music scene did emerge, (meaning Cactus, Ajax, Marsugi’s, F/X), there was no violence, so stabbings, no shootings, no police-state scenarios, no gangbangers rolling in from East Palo Alto, no floodlights, nothing like there is now. Then the ruthless landlords either jacked the rents up and put places out of business or just decided not to support live music, so, now, in 2007, this is still going on, because downtown San Jose is across the board becoming more and more of a ghetto-ish destination. Each new generation of kids just grows up with an irresponsible fight-type mentality. That’s the reality of it. This has nothing to do with “licensing promoters.” The property owners know full well what they’re getting into when they open these clubs. They know they’re catering to a thug mentality. It’s no secret.

    Meanwhile, there are thousands of kids all over the valley who just want to rock out and play in a band in a legitimate venue and they have nowhere to go, thanks to the city of San Jose, its landlords and its idiotic permitting processes, which have collectively caused all the problems people are talking about in this thread. Every major city in this country has an all-ages live music club, but not San Jose.

    I don’t know what the answer is. You can’t just say get rid of the hiphop clubs because they’re “thugs.” That’s ridiculous. That’s exactly what the landlords said about the rock scene. They called us “thugs” and “troublemakers.” Sure, we’d urinate in the street occasionally, and try to sneak beer in the club, but we never carried guns or knives.

    And somewhere crammed in the middle of all this is a city bureaucracy that picks and chooses what it wants on one particular day. An upscale wine bar will get its alcohol license immediately, while a punk rock vegan place right across the street will get tossed through quagmires for over a year to get theirs.

    Welcome to downtown San Jose. Now take your business somewhere else.

  52. #59 State may control liquor licenses, but city controls business licenses, cabaret licenses, etc.
    Could the clubowners move on?  Yup. I’m sure other cities would take them in, at least until the trouble got 2 B 2 much.  But they’d be out of our hair in SJ.

  53. # 57 JMOC As a lawyer tell us how legally your 86 list would be done as California controls liquor licenses or is 86 list just talk? 

    #58 Are you are saying property owners are cause of downtown problems and threw out rock clubs for more profitable ghetto DJ/dance clubs and
    Downtown Association’s Board with Chamber, Sharks, property owners and lawyers support clubs for more profits

  54. I posted my comments I once lived here in the mids 80’s when then the honorable Mayor Tom, I posted my views but was not submitted thanks to racial profiling, I’m a former comisioner for the city of San ose,Ca. I didn’t open with former activities for the city of San Jose, What happen to free speech.

  55. Gosh, everyone has gotten away from the most interesting part of the original post. Why is the Downtown Association so willing to support rowdy bars that attract crowds that keep nice middle class folk like me hanging at Santana Row?

    Also, the SJDA Association website notes it gets money from memberships, sponsorships and the Redevelopment Agency. Just how much money does the DA get from the City? Less than the Grand Prix, one would hope…

  56. #62
    Why don’t you run for Mayor.This particular area seems like the gold rush of years gone by.can you dig no you can’t dig you can dig over there. rowdy or calm Make money Move on. Grow with this planet lets make the destination of the north.