Mayor Liccardo Supports More Civilian Oversight of SJPD

San Jose may strengthen civilian oversight of its police force by allowing the Independent Police Auditor to review internal investigations.

The San Jose Police Department has always handled complaints filed by its own officers without outside scrutiny. Last month, in her final annual report before retiring in July, Independent Police Auditor LaDoris Cordell recommended that the city add a layer of oversight by letting her office review those complaints.

Mayor Sam Liccardo agreed with Cordell's direction and submitted a proposal to today's Rules and Open Government Committee to hand over SJPD-initiated complaints for the IPA's review. He also asked that police broaden the scope of inquiry into citizen complaints of bias, as Cordell also found in her yearly report that SJPD has never, in its 166-year history, upheld an allegation of racial bias.

The mayor included funding in his June budget proposal for police body cameras as part of a broader initiative to improve accountability—something Cordell has urged the city to do for years.

"By working together to formulate a policy providing the public a more objective view of police misconduct, we can strengthen the trust between the community and the department," Liccardo wrote in his Rules memo.

More from the San Jose Rules and Open Government Committee agenda for May 27, 2015:

  • A couple landlords wrote letters imploring the city not to impose stricter rent control measures. "Punitive rent control measures lead to troubling consequences,"Rongxuan Ye wrote. "There is an increase in the deterioration and under-maintenance of rent controlled rental units as owners reduce or eventually abandon upkeep, creating more dangerous neighborhoods where rental housing is clustered." At an earlier Rules meeting, city officials were discussing the possibility of updating its rent control ordinance, which currently allows landlords to up the rent by a maximum of 8 percent a year.
  • Councilman Ash Kalra wants the city to drum up a resolution opposing Citizens United, the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision that equated money with speech and granted corporations First Amendment rights. "Under current law, corporations are be recognized at 'people,' vesting them with Constitutional rights that are afforded to American citizens of natural, human birth and existence," Kalra explains. "Yet, corporations benefit from special advantages not afforded to human beings, such as limited liability, perpetual life, and favorable treatment of the accumulation and distribution of assets." In 2013, San Jose adopted a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment declaring that campaign money isn't "speech" and that it should be subject to limitations. California recently added an advisory measure (Prop. 49) that addresses this issue at a state level, but it's being held up in court.
  • Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio spent $225 on a radar gun, which he lets his constituents use to monitor traffic.
  • Four years ago, 12-year-old Colin Montgomery was riding his bike along Hicks Road, as his grandmother told him. But he came upon a truck blocking part of the sidewalk as part of a home renovation, so he rode onto the street to get around it. A car struck him, rendering the boy permanently paraplegic. Liccardo includes Colin's story in a memo directing the city to increase penalties for blocking sidewalks, a fine currently set at $40 per violation.

WHAT: Rules and Open Government Committee meets
WHEN: 2pm today
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

34 Comments

  1. The cops already hate him, so I guess Sam decided it would be no big loss to go all-in against them. Lotsa luck in the upcoming pay and benefits negotiations.

      • Riiight? Because Norberto Duenas is suddenly Alex Gurza and he wants to completely eliminate the SJPD in one fell swoop.. You’re nonsense Betty.

        • Not Duenas….Chuccardo has been saying this out one side of his mouth… the same side of the mouth he uses to say he is going to “hire more officers” where he reslly means Community Service OFFICERS (set to swear in 26 more very soon and promote 4 existing CS OFFICERS to ‘Supervising’ OFFICERS) … I’m talking about the opposite of his mouth with which he says he is all for a “universal solution to “fix” Measure B…”

          Any pay raise he says he supports will be conditioned on employees accepting a 16% increase in the employee’s continuation to his her pension…. which combined with the existing amount police and fire pays will be about 37%+ of an individual employees pay. ( compare the current 21%+ they pay to other City’s police and fire which pay between 0% – 11% and you will begin to see why San Jose has employee retention problems.)

          • Sam has nothing to do with the actual negotiations, he can only influence the City Manager and Deputy City Management behind the scenes. The SJPOA & IAFF Local 230 will not even entertain anything even eerily similar to a 16% raise combined with an additional 16% in pension contributions.

            The city knows Measure B, outside of tier 2 will be ruled completely useless once the quo warranto process and the PERB appeal are completed. This is why the city is desperate to get a real fix hammered out as soon as possible, not to mention there is continued, growing public dissention about SWORN POLICE OFFICER staffing.

            CSO’s are a bandaid. They will inevitably stay around, but they will not grow into huge numbers.

            SWORN POLICE OFFICERS, once Tier 2 gets fixed, will slowly begin to come back to the SJPD.

          • Mr. Rogers,

            Respectfully, if you believe that SJPD officers will come back as soon as and because the “Tier 2” problem will be fixed then you probably believe in the Easter Bunny and that storks deliver babies.

            Abject betrayal (the laymen’s term for Measure B) is not something most cops will ever forget. Even if those who left were to come back all at once, the organizational culture of the SJPD has been so devastated and the trust so broken that it will take years to rebuild it and like a serious spinal injury, even if it can be repaired to a functional level, it may never be the same.

            It is ironic that we expect our police officers to build relationships with the community based on trust and respect but our City fathers don’t extend that same treatment and courtesy to their police officers.

            Mr. Rogers, sir. I am certainly not a numbers guy but when you mention this whopping 16% raise over 2 years, please consider that the cops took a 10% pay cut during the last negotiation and if you divide that remaining 6% over 2 years, that’s 3% a year which is just about the rate of inflation. Wow. Keep in mind too that cops get no bonuses, no commissions, no profit sharing, no stock options or any of the other perks so common in the private sector and only 1 1/2 hours of paid overtime a week even if they work 10-20 hours or more.

          • Yes, Will – VERY SLOWLY! I’m fully aware of that, but its going to have to be with a Tier 2 that’s on par with the new PERS Tier 2, and even then, it will take time (the better part of a decade) to even get back to and maintain 1,000 sworn. Will, I’ve talked to a few of our recent departures and while the climate with the city is a large part of the reason they’re leaving, the reality of competitive pay is a huge part too. I’d love to just show up and take home what I make with 30 hrs of OOT every 2 wks, and that’s a reality with many of the smaller agencies officers are migrating to.

            Mr. Robillard,
            I’m just going to disregard your opening paragraph out of respect for the fact you’re retired.

            I didn’t literally mean officers lateraling back to SJPD (although a sizeable group will if “the fix” is good enough.) I meant once a 2nd Tier fix is made, the department will once again be able to hire good candidates and RETAIN them, thus resulting in the sworn numbers increasing (see my comment to Will above.)

            Once again, I’ll be kind to you here, as I think your reading comprehension may be slightly astray regarding my numbers commentary. I said, there is no chance on this earth that a 16% raise combined with a 16% pension contribution increase will ever be considered by (my union) the SJPOA nor IAFF local 230.

            And trust me, I would love to get my 10% back, with interest and inflation. This doom and gloom mindset is not shared by all, especially those who acknowledge that the city is desperate and the tide is ripe to swing back in our favor.

            I can’t predict the future, but I also know the grass is nowhere near as green as some people believe on the other side. Find anyone of the guys who have left to a smaller agency and 90% of them will have more than a couple complaints about how things are done, how incompetent, how unsafe, how unreasonable, how monotonous, how boring, how political, how scrutinized, etc, it REALLY is to get paid up the wazoo and fantasize about doing police work again.

          • Mr. Rogers, Thank you for your explanation and will appreciate your view on competitive compensation v. SF & Oakland.

            I distinctly remember Deb Figone stating (day 2 of arbitration hearing as I recall) that SJ’s SJPD compensation policy is to fall in the 50% area of bay area PDs. She wasn’t asked if that’s the mean (average) or median (half of salaries are above & below). They would be equal in a normal distribution, but not clear that’s the case.

            Also recall Pete Constant telling me that SJ will never be able to compete with “dine and dash” policing of wealthier communities with more generous compensation such as Los Altos. Constant was somewhat dismissive of SJPD officers that took positions with them, claiming that only SJ, SF and Oakland offer area “big city” policing opportunities; officers that want that experience must choose among them or leave the bay area.

            How does SJPD compensation compare with those in Oakland and SF?

    • Mayor Liccardo takes no risk, political or otherwise, because with the ever dwindling, and soon hardly any, number of cops remaining, those who do stay (until they can get a job with a better police department elsewhere) will be spending more time protecting themselves from all the “watchdogs” and cop-haters than protecting the public from crime. Ladies and gentleman, welcome to Baltimore.

  2. “Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio spent $225 on a radar gun, which he lets his constituents use to monitor traffic.”

    SMH….

    • I saw some little league dad”s using the radar to monitor their Kids pitch speed … had a good laugh.

      Been reading blog posts from others who say radar confirms speeding on their streets has increased since the road diet…. PLO counters with the City Report that says difderent….

      Me, I wonder how much the City is spending on lawyers for his Sexual Harassment Case. Any ideas SJI? Where did that story disappear to,

  3. This really isn’t much of a story. Even if the IPA’s office was allowed to review internally generated complaints/investigations, they still have no authority to influence the final outcome. Furthermore, internally generated complaints account for a very small portion (single digit percentages) of the complaints Internal Affairs investigates.

    Why on earth would PLO lend a radar gun to his constituents? So they too can see that people are out driving like maniacs all across the city and there are no Officers to conduct traffic enforcement? This sounds like a terrible idea from all angles.. It will take almost no time for an over zealous constituent to chase some erratic driver down or jump out into the street when a drunk comes barreling down the road and it will be crystal clear why citizens should not be monitoring the roads.

    • “Why on earth would PLO lend a radar gun to his constituents? So they too can see that people are out driving like maniacs all across the city and there are no Officers to conduct traffic enforcement? This sounds like a terrible idea from all angles.. It will take almost no time for an over zealous constituent to chase some erratic driver down or jump out into the street when a drunk comes barreling down the road and it will be crystal clear why citizens should not be monitoring the roads.”

      Totally agree and when that injured (or worse) citizen–or their family, comes after PLO, he’ll start pointing fingers elsewhere. The liability is on him.

    • Mr. Rogers,

      While I might otherwise stand corrected, my previous comments were born more of cynicism than a lack of reading comprehension. I have become so accustomed to people characterizing cops as greedy “tax dollar gluttons” that I interpreted your comments as likely yet another sarcastic implication that the bloated, overpaid blobs in blue (as cops are considered by City Hall and the media) wouldn’t even consider a (meager) 16% pay raise and would most certainly hold out for much more even though a 16% pay raise might nonetheless seem generous to an uninformed public that would be diverted away from taking into account any other factors. Your comments to “Betty” earlier served to reinforce my presumption of your sarcasm; both that and the fact that I have morphed into a sarcastic, cynical burn-out myself during my career as a public servant and societal garbage collector, so I thought I detected a kindred spirit.

      You mentioned that 90% (???) of the cops you have spoken to who have left SJPD have complaints about their new agency. Such as that seems normal to me. Everyone, and no one more than cops, goes through an adjustment period when transitioning from a comfortable, familiar workplace, where all the processes are second nature, to a newer place where everyone and everything is again unfamiliar. You mentioned that the substance of these complaints you were hearing were of “how incompetent, how unsafe, how unreasonable, how monotonous, how boring, how political, how scrutinized, etc” things were. These are the same sorts of complaints these cops likely expressed when they were still at SJPD. The difference now however would be that they are putting up with these things in exchange for better wages and benefits. Of that 90% (???) of the cops you spoke to who had left SJPD, my guess is that after they become acclimated to their new agency, about 0% would come back to SJPD where their compensation, leadership and political support is so inferior.

      As far as “fantasizing” about doing “real police work”, any good cop (fanatical, obsessed, relentless, chain-smoking, over-caffeinated, insomniac) can still find good “stops” and make good arrests and good cases but depending on where he works, he may just have to dig harder, get used to coming up “dry” a bit more often, and discipline the mind against giving in to discouragement and frustration. Many years ago, I also worked a few years for a small department before coming to SJPD so I understand the feeling and the truth behind the sentiment. However, this situation is not unique to smaller or different agencies.

      Actual proactive enforcement, often referred to as “real police work” has become crippled, some might say even passé, at SJPD ever since former chief Lansdowne started the car stop “racial bean counting” profiling “study” (the most “permanent” of all “temporary” appeasement programs that SJPD has yet seen) and the pursuit nullification policies back in the 90’s.(where a pursuit would be called off even if the suspect had just attacked an officer before speeding away). I doubt the other agencies where so many former SJPD officers who have left now work, have such morale destroying, counterproductive policies and such policies are further discouragement for officers to return and additional incentive for them to leave.

  4. Messrs. Weed & Rogers, Thanks for your illumination on pay and SJPD IA.

    I’ve expressed my views on Cordell’s challenges with statistical inference – no point in repeating them. The claim that “SJPD has never, in its 166-year history, upheld an allegation of racial bias.” made me recall a critical thinking game we played in junior high called Propaganda http://agloa.org/propaganda/

    Cordell might just as well claimed “No SJPD bias claim has been upheld since the solar system was formed.”

    If SJPD has kept complaints for 166 years, then presumably one could determine how many bias claims were filed, dismissed, and why. Nor do we know what type of bias complaints: gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, etc. The definition of bias has undergone a significant expansion since the last quarter of the 20th century.

    Am conflicted if Cordell’s claim is a mostly a Red Herring or one of the other propaganda techniques described at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda_techniques

  5. Does Riccardo have any clue on what is going on? Officers are leaving as they get their new SJPD Badge pinned on. And does Liccardo have an answer for that… Nope.. Younger cops end up getting more complaints…Its like that in any job. More lawsuits, more payouts.. How did Measure B help anything Sam? Licccardo created such a mess with the lies and deceit. This will take decades to resolve. Citizens need to buy guns. The cops have left.

  6. Time to get serious on this PLO purchases a Radar Gun Story… I just read his memo ( and you should too) and now see what a timely topic this purchase is.

    First a little context.. in another thread The Village Blacksmith wondered where all the news links detailing Chuck Reed’s “misuse” of his old D4 Council Office funds (tax dollars) to purchase personal memberships , meals, entertainment and make political campaign contributions (among other things) went. I provided several links as I did when…

    SJI decided that It was going to excoriate County Sup Shirakawa for making similar unauthorized purchases with a county credit card and more including meals and alcohol and gambling and on and on including a treadmill or other sort of exercise apparatus that he generously donated to the County Fire Department…

    TO BE FAIR, Both Reed and Shirakawa reimbursed the City and County (respectively) for most if not all of the things that they spent taxpayer money on albeit AFTER they were caught dirty by Cindy Chavez and SJI (respectively).

    So what is the big deal? The RADAR Gun? No! The $225? No, It’s chump change!

    The big deal is contained in Oliverio’s Memo – where in the background section is says something like: ” Currently this expenditure is not covered under any of the permitted uses outlined in the City Council Expenditure and Reimbursement Policy 0-38.”

    So Oliverio or someone in his office authorized spending money in a situation, on a thing, for a reason… where spending the money WAS NOT ALLOWED.

    …and NOW rather than do what slightly more honorable people did (Reed and Shirakawa) – pay the money back – Oliverio is going to his colleagues on the council and asking that they “OK” spending the money AFTER it is ALREADY SPENT!!!

    The other aspect to this story is the fact that SJI reports it so casually – ho-hum just another Council Meeting agenda item… I called SJI out when they were going after Shriakawa for doing exactly the same thing as Reed while giving Reed a pass for doing exactly what Shirakawa did! …and I am calling SJI out again: Is SJI going to Give former SJI Blogger Pierluigi Oliverio a pass for an unauthorized expenditure of taxpayer dollars?

    Everyone nod your head and say “YES.”

  7. “The San Jose Police Department has always handled complaints filed by its own officers without outside scrutiny.”

    I need a little help from those in the know. Is the above statement true? I don’t see how it could be possible for the City Manager to be left out of the disciplinary process (in the event of a sustained complaint).

    • FINFAN

      “The San Jose Police Department has always handled complaints filed by its own officers without outside scrutiny.” I’m sure you found that statement just as ludicrous as I did.

      To begin with, the statement is absolutely and unequivocally false. Depending on the type of internally generated complaint, if the matter involves, or even remotely gives the appearance of possibly being related to any criminal action or activity, the matter will be thoroughly and exhaustively investigated by the Internal Affairs Unit. If there is even a molecule of substance (or often just controversy) to it, the matter will be sent to the District Attorney. The district attorney will review the case, decide whether to file charges and if the latter, the case will go to trial and be scrutinized and reviewed by a judge and jury. In some instances, the case may also be reviewed by the state and/or federal Department’s of Justice and the FBI as well.

      Frequently, in order to insulate himself from any negative political repercussions, controversy, and to avoid any accountability regarding the final disposition of the case the Chief may simply “Pontius Pilate” the case to the District Attorney for review despite any clear and convincing evidence that there was any wrongdoing. (“Hey, I tried. The DA dropped the case, don’t blame me!”)

      However, non-criminal, administrative or “policy” cases are by far the most common internally generated complaint. They are nearly always initiated by a command level officer and against a line officer or possibly a sergeant but almost never against another command level officer. Generally command officer internally generated complaints are simply rubber stamped up the chain of command to the Chief who then metes out discipline. There are no set guidelines for such discipline and it is often based as much on personal or internal politics as on the merits. When this occurs, officers have the option to appeal the discipline and have their cases reviewed by the City manager, the Civil Service board, an independent arbitrator or ultimately even Superior Court. Interestingly, of those internally generated complaints that are appealed and reviewed by an independent source, many, if not most, are overturned or the discipline mitigated.

      Any IPA should take heart. Many in the SJPD senior leadership want to sustain complaints against officers. Any “watch dog” should be secure in the knowledge that internally generated have, since McNamara, always outnumbered citizen complaints. SJPD has no problems with initiating their own complaints against officers, then trying to sustain them as best they can. Thankfully there are mechanisms for independent review already in place that help protect officers.

      I don’t wonder why the IPA wants to have access to as many complaints against officers as possible, whether externally or internally generated. It must be depressing to have to scrutinize and review the actions of one of the most professional police departments in the country. It leaves the IPA with nothing to talk about at an “Activist dinner party” or “Watchdog soiree”.

      • JSR, Thank you for detailing the process. So much more professional and accountable than some other PD’s I can name. Out of curiosity, does the SCC Sheriff handle Sheriff officers and Corrections officers complaints pretty much the same?

  8. We’ve heard a lot of talk about all the SJPD officers who have fled for greener pastures. So, what does that say about all those who have remained?

    • ya… thanks for your support funny guy JMO. . I’ll treat you as if you aren’t an educated person with JD and life exoerience. The majority who left ( so far) were either not vested in the retirement system (tier 1 required 10 years minimum service to vest) or were close to retirement and scared into retiring earlier than they should have to preserve the retirement rights and benifits they had earned -that retirement group believed lots of the rhetoric that the politicians were spewing in the middle of a horrible worldwide economic crisis … rhetoric like abolish pensions for public employees including current employees…. rhetoric that was lent an aire of credibility by a SCC Civil Grand Jury that started with some politicians conclusions then investigated only to report back confirming those preconceived politically motivated concluaions.

      I wonder who went online and submitted the suggestion that the Civ GJ look into pensions… is that info shielded to pretend that such an investigation was in no way politically motivated? I wonder what that says about thosei in the decision making chain and GJ members….

      Who leaves now? Tier 2 employees who as a result of Measure B NEVER VEST in their retirements and have to work ontontheir 60s to collect anything (or because of not being able to vest EVER , May collect nothing. Those officers leave for departments that have retirements with vesting rights and guarantee as best as anyone can will pay out a defined % based on years worked.

      Who else leaves now? Others who are older than 50 years and have 25 years average service. Dedicated officers who have decided that 5 more years working in a woefully understaffed police department for a citizenry that one minute say “we love you and appreciate you” then asks ‘ what does it say about those who haven’t left…?”

      A citizenry that wets it’s pants TV is too loud and the wind causes scary noises in the backyard late at night…

      A concerned citizen would be asking why a city of 1 milli has a police department that has fewer than 1000 officers. Why can’t this City attract and retain employees of any classification? Why have the last 6, 8, 10? Police academies budgeted for 60 recruits only attract on average fewer than 30 recruits? Why is this situation getting WORSE when the academy class starting next week was only able to find 18 qualified recruits to start? 18! For a department that has more than 200 budgeted openings.

      Please find some grammar and spelling mistakes in this post so that you can dismiss the content…

      • Perfectly stated . I had a co-worker friend of mine , resign from his public safety position . Because he was offered and took a job with the city of Milpitas. He will get an immediate $30,000 raise and will now pay a fraction of what SJ public safety currently pays into their pension/benes. Needless to say , he is sad to leave the city he grew up in. BUT ecstatic to be free from the attacks from the Mayor/council .

      • A few of us did ask the questions you raise. And also asked why SJ couldn’t find $24 million (as I recall) per year to achieve parity and offer competitive salaries for SJPD.

        * Why does SJ (under SJPD budget) pay for school crossing guards employees (including a 50% discount 5 at County schools). San Leandro outsourced theirs and achieved more than a 25% savings. Per public records 3 SJPD FTEs (full time equivalent) are needed to supervise the crossing guard program.

        * Why does SJPD provide SJC police services at a loss? SCC Sheriff’s bid was lower, then SJPD responded with a bid below the department’s cost – again public records. My recollection is 17 FTEs are allocated to SJC.

        * Why hasn’t SJFD adopted the City Auditor’s recommendations (which SJFD accepted)? I have yet to see a SJFD EMS unit respond although SJFD says they bought some. Instead, firetrucks seem to respond to every EMS call.

        BTW, About 95% of SJFD calls are non-fire. The County is legally obligated to provide EMS services, but contracts with SJFD and SJ taxpayers pay for both. Seems like we could save millions by not duplicating services that SCC is required to provide.

        * Why can’t SJ reinstate its employee suggestion awards program? Based on savings from other governments – and our previous suggestion program that was abandoned, we could be saving between $5-10 million per year.

        * Why not eliminate paper records (allow for electronic submission) for building permit approval as SJ’s auditor recommended? Better yet, outsource plan review as many municipalities have done and reduce review cost by over 40%

        There were many more too.

        Sam Liccardo was quoted (as D3 councilmember) as saying, “We shaken the sofa cushions and there’s no more money left”. He had no response when given a laundry list of savings opportunities vetted by SJ’s Finance department for reasonableness / accuracy. Not sure that Cortese would have been any better, but Liccardo’s “don’t confuse me facts, my mind is made up” inaction cost him at least one vote.

        SJ has the money now for competitive SJPD compensation and had the money during the Measure B buildup. What we lacked and still lack is reasonable stewardship and good leadership among our elected officials.

        What troubles me more is the future. If public officials botch something like SJPD compensation, then what other matters will be stunningly mishandled?

        • Liccardo’s “don’t confuse me facts, my mind is made up”

          Problem is, is that has been the mayor and council clowns mentality. It was the same way with reed. Their mind is always made up and they won’t venture to look left or right. Sad because what it creates is a lot of dysfunction. You would think he would learn something, but I guess not.

      • It was an honest question, WeedBoy. No need to get your panties in a bunch. What I gather from your petulant response is that it’s all about the money.

        • It isn’t the first time you have attempted to disparage SJPD and I doubt it will be the last. Your a very big man in your world. Probably do/done plenty of pro bono work…. doesn’t change the way you look down your nose at people on the front line and it’s something you have to deal with not me.

          At this point in life ya it’s all about the money. You can bellyache all you want. You can try to limit pay and pensions all you want …. you can wonder all you want about ‘what it says” about officers still at SJPD all you want… rest well knowing that I will do my best to live a long long time and collect all this City owes plus interest.

          I must have hit some big nerve wondering if your Civ GJ was used as a political tool. G’NIGHT John-boy!

    • It says their applications are being reviewed by another agency and they are waiting to hear back so they can give SJPD their resignation notice.

  9. Mr. Kalra wrote: “Under current law, corporations are be recognized at ‘people,’ vesting them with Constitutional rights that are afforded to American citizens of natural, human birth and existence,…” Huh?

  10. What Can Happen If Police Officers and District Attorneys continue to Abuse “I was in fear for my life or that of another and I only had a split second to respond, killing unarmed, easily disarmed or Mentally Ill people and those severely intoxicated on public streets or by entering homes via Dynamic Entry Surprise Tactics by error?
    In recent years and currently we have hundreds of Militarized Police Departments killing and wounding citizens at an alarming rate. Deaths in custody are growing as well as Pull Up and Shoot First” incidents like the 12 year old black child in Cleveland or the 60 patrol car chase and the 100 officers firing of more than 150 bullets and shotgun blasts at a blocked in car containing two black people who were unarmed. An incident motivated by a false report of an officer who claimed to be shot at and other officers who shot at the vehicle causing the occupants to flee. Then additional officers, falsifying, seeing the occupants loading and aiming guns at police as they fled. In the end one officer after 100 shots were fired jumped out from behind safety, jumped onto the hood of the blocked car and fired 42 rounds into the windshield. Acquitted because there was no way to determine which officer killed them. No ballistics were initiated and the law is simple, the Judge found the officer was in fear for his life and was exempt from the killings due to “even an unrealistic fear” and there was a reasonable doubt as to whether his BULLET killed the woman or man first.
    So where do we stand when a Police Department like SJPD, Santa Clara PD, the SC Sheriff’s Office and Sunnyvale PD and a District Attorney like Jeff Rosen exonerates Police Officers who are now Media Exposed as men and woman who are protected from being responsible to use sufficient numbers of officers, Mace, Nightsticks and Tasers to subdue minimally armed or unarmed citizens instead of yelling and screaming demands at people who lack volitional control, then executing them? Where is this going, a solidified Government that now encircles itself and produces tanks, armored vehicles, grenades and automatic weapons to occupy the streets and kill people, refusing to release the video because the cop is not charged and neither is the victim. The Heinrich Himmler Syndrome. I am 75 and live in Zurich, far from the insanity, so for me it just doesn’t matter but I know people will grow tired of it when enough average good citizens become threatened and become of one mind about the unstables that represent our Police Departments.
    What happens when CCW becomes widely common and people witness Police beatings and the killing of people like the LAPD female officer on trial for beating the handcuffed and hog tied suspect and leaving her to die in the back seat of the patrol car or this incident of pure assassination on the streets of Saint Louis See: https://youtu.be/PT9srCJd9Is Two officers with 4 more seconds away with a crazy man and a pocket knife. Each officer had a Taser, night stick and baton and the training to subdue him. They got out of their Patrol cars yelled and shot him eight times. How might it stop, by violent intervention from citizens who are also armed like those in Arizona who were faced down with guns and stood tall with theirs and courage? We have had an example in San Jose where a mentally deficient man under the influence but aware of the recent and multiple media stories of SJPD disgracefully killing the mentally ill they were called to help. This time he took his rifle and shot first when they came for him in his house. He had committed no crime but to have his wife get angry with him and a man in uniform with a gun coming at him.
    Self-defense is defined as the right to prevent suffering force or violence through the use of a sufficient level of counteracting force or violence. As a general rule, self-defense only justifies the use of force when it is used in response to an immediate threat. The threat can be verbal, as long as it puts the intended victim in an immediate fear of physical harm. Sometimes self-defense is justified even if the perceived aggressor didn’t actually mean the perceived victim any harm. What matters in these situations is whether a “reasonable man” in the same situation would have perceived an immediate threat of physical harm. The use of self-defense must also match the level of the threat in question. In other words, a person can only employ as much force as required to remove the threat. If the threat involves deadly force, the person defending themselves can use deadly force to counteract the threat the original laws regarding self-defense required people claiming self-defense to first make an attempt to avoid the violence before using force. In contrast to the duty to retreat, many states have enacted so-called “stand your ground” laws. These laws remove the duty to retreat and allow for a claim of self-defense even if the claimant did nothing to flee from the threat of violence. Even in states that require a person to retreat from the threat of imminent harm before defending themselves, a person can often use deadly force against someone who unlawfully enters their home. This rule, also known as “the castle doctrine,” allows people to defend their homes against intruders through lethal force.
    Now the day is coming when Police Officers, who often get it wrong, but get exonerated and protected by men like Rosen, will face armed citizens who will step in and bring improper conduct to a halt. I would not want to be the next cop who arrogantly and without any real justification draws his weapon, points it at someone on the street or during a mistaken Dynamic Entry who absolutely hasn’t committed a crime, isn’t committing a crime and isn’t planning to commit a crime giving that legally armed citizen an immediate fear for his life and the right to defend himself against an unstable Police Officer. When juries are allowed to hear all such cases instead of a DA, Defense Attorney and Judge handpicked to exonerate on technicalities, we will have a fair system where the citizen goes free due to self-defense also.
    Officers in Santa Clara County are dealing with 4,000,000 plus who will eventually put an end to it. If not the Justice Department, under rigid consent decrees, will take over like Ferguson, Oakland and soon again Los Angeles. How long can you spend millions on riots, funeral spectacles and cop killings before someone takes charge and puts a stop to it. The Government can’t win this one, citizens have too many guns.

    • Mr. Nate

      There is a simple solution to the things your post described. Thorazine and lithium, and don’t stop taking them (again) without consulting your doctor.

  11. In light of J.S. Robillard’s illuminating response to my question regarding outside scrutiny of internally-generated complaints, we have to ask ourselves, “What exactly is going on here?” Was Mayor Liccardo duped into supporting a false notion or did he give his support for increased scrutiny despite being aware of the untruthfulness of LaDoris Cordell’s assertion?

    Was Mr. Liccardo was duped? As there can be no question that the true picture of the process (as contained in Robillard’s reply) was never more than a phone call away from the mayor’s office (a quick call to the police chief, city manager, city attorney), it’s inconceivable that Mr. Liccardo didn’t know Ms. Cordell was lying. No, he wasn’t duped, which leaves us to wonder about his true motives.

    Was his support for this sophomoric “reform” simply a parting gift for race-activist who’d promised a big splash but never did much beyond squeezing out a few odorous bubbles in a small pond? After all, other than true believers and the math-challenged, local residents paid little mind to her annual spinning of statistics that showed only that the police were stopping the people actually responsible for street crime.

    Of course, it could be the mayor, always willing to sniff the wind no matter the stink, was simply trying to capitalize on the national anti-police frenzy, as he did during his campaign when he grabbed a megaphone and made a jackass of himself in a show of solidarity with a Ferguson-charged herd of local NAACP jackasses. Perhaps Mr. Liccardo imagined this as the cherry on top of his overhyped body-camera program.

    Whatever the case, it sure looks like business as usual at city hall: erroneous information + unprincipled elected officials + irresponsible journalism + cowardly department heads = another layer of bad government for poorly served taxpayers.

    • There may be more explanations than the ‘either or’ choice. My sense is that Liccardo’s calculus is motivated by how his actions will be judged when he runs for higher office. A review board endorsement will probably play well in his next campaign. “Sam Liccardo championed greater transparency” – or similar rubbish.

      If run as other SJ boards or commissions, then the group will be staged managed by the City Manager’s office, stacked to render acceptable decisions and primarily populated with people of color, women, plus a smattering of sexual minorities. Non-white handicapped lesbians will be given a favored position next to Sam during the photo-op launch.

      And like many city “advisory” groups, civic-minded citizens will loose interest once they realize it’s a waste of time unless to burnish resumes for subsequent elected positions.

      Arguably, it gives Liccardo another information spigot and monitors the pulse of aggrieved minorities at negligible cost.

      I’d probably do the same were I a professional politician.