Palo Alto Police Brutality Claimed

Palo Alto resident Michael William Esquivel claims he was arrested for being drunk in public under penal code 647(f) then “Hog Tied” with his hands cuffed behind his back and taken away and booked into custody at the San Jose main jail facility.

The arrest occurred at Hamilton Ave / Ramona St on March 6th 2011.  Mr. Esquivel recalls asking the arresting officer Manual Temores to loosen his cuffs and he refused to do so.  Mr. Esquivel also sustained an unexplained head injury.

Mr. Esquivel is not disputing his public drunkenness but is left wondering how he received his head injury.  The arresting report leaves no indication as to whether or not Mr. Esquivel was resisting arrest.   Officer Manual Temores has also been implicated in the Tazing of Tony Ciampi’s which was later ruled as unconstitutional.

Mr. Esquivel sought medical treatment for his injuries and continues to experience numbness in his fingers.  On March 9th 2011, Mr. Esquivel received a letter which states in part; that the DA has decided not to prosecute.  The letter was signed by PAPD Court Liaison Officer Paul Chamberlin.

Mr. Esquivel is seeking unspecified damages but stated to paloaltofreepress.com that he would like to have his medical bills paid.

An email was sent to Lt. Sandra Brown requesting that the PAPD preserve all arresting information in this case, in the event Mr. Esquivel wishes to pursue his claim against the city.  Lt. Sandra Brown acknowledged our request but issued no other media comments.

Sustained Hand Injury Photo Taken Shortly After Arrest
Sustained Hand Injury Photo Taken Yesterday – 9 Days Later

Did Palo Alto City Council Chase Away the Golden Gooses?

Palo Alto City Mayor - Sid Espinoza "leader of the pack"

Facebook recently announced that they will be moving their headquarters and several thousand employees from Palo Alto to Menlo Park.    A few years ago,  Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page moved Google out of Palo Alto, to Mountain View.  So there you have it.   Two of the biggest new businesses and wealth creators in the world have left or been driven out of town.  Why ?

Lack of space?  No.  Palo Alto has plenty of empty buildings and office parks.  Not enough intelligent workers nearby?  Palo Alto is the home of Hewlett Packard, Fairchild Semiconductor, loads of software companies and workers have grown up, been educated, lived and worked here so that’s not it.  No proximity to a major University?

There’s Stanford, where the Google guys went to Graduate School, but maybe Stanford’s not good enough.  Or could it be an unaware, self absorbed and inhospitable City Hall?   BINGO.

There were complaints about too many cars parking in the neighborhood of Facebook.  I never heard or read anything about the City being overly accommodating or even calling up the Google or Facebook people to see if they were doing OK and happy in town.

Could it be that our Public Serpents and cops felt it was more important to harass Facebook and keep the streets empty rather than keep the offices of Facebook full?

Did any City Official try to help Facebook find a better fit in town?  Or was the City Council too busy closing traffic lanes and planning farmer’s  markets and bike paths to nowhere?   Looks like that’s what happened.

Menlo Park’s City Council welcomed Facebook, worked with Facebook on the new location and Mountain View must be ecstatic to have Google, all the Google jobs, Google buzz, Google sales tax, and Google tech assistance.  In Palo Alto, we’ll have parking.

California Brown Act Curtain Falls on Palo Alto City Attorney Donald Larkin

City Attorney Larkin vs Carpenter Brown Act Arm Wrestling MatchPalo Alto’s TOP city attorney Donald Larkin is licking his wounds again.  This time he’s whining or crying foul that civic critic Peter Carpenter chose to have alleged City of Palo Alto Brown Act violations settled in an arm wrestling match, in the world wrestling ring of public opinion and have it broadcast live on the big screens of local media.

Here’s the Larkin whine shuffle, as reported in the Daily Post today.  “Larkin said he wished Carpenter made the suggestion to change the agenda without taking it to the papers, or threatening further legal action”.  Larkin went on further to say, “That doesn’t seem to be Carpenters style”.

Larkin obviously knows nothing of strategy.  Brilliant slam dunk arm wrestling maneuver Peter!    Mr. Larkin just can’t stomach any legal battles of any kind as noted in this world class ARM wrestling Brown Act performance match in which Peter Carpenter scores a legal TKO.

“Larkin said he wished Carpenter made the suggestion to change the agenda without taking it to the papers, or threatening further legal action”.  Larkin went on further to say, “That doesn’t seem to be Carpenters style”.

I did in fact make exactly that request in my 8 Feb. Cure and Correct email. To which Mr. Larkin immediately responded that “There is no requirement, however, that the opportunity to speak to items on the agenda be written on the agenda. ” in spite of the fact that the law clearly states:

Every agenda for a regular meeting shall provide an opportunity for members of the public to directly address the legislative body on any item under the subject matter jurisdiction of the body.

With respect to any item which is already on the agenda, or in connection with any item which the body will consider pursuant to the exceptions contained in section 54954.2(b), the public must be given the opportunity to comment before or during the legislative body’s consideration of the item. (§ 54954.3(a).

I then had to persist with a string of emails before Mr. Larkin finally capitulated.

I think what Mr. Larkin meant to say is that if I had not taken this to the papers and threatened further legal action that he would have just ignored me.

Peter

From: Larkin, Donald

Sent: Thursday, March 03, 2011 10:05 AM

To: ‘peterfcarpener@gmail.com’

Cc: Council, City; Clerk, City; City Mgr

Subject: RE: Brown Act Cure and Correct Demand re your 7 Feb. 2011 City Council meeting

Mr. Carpenter,

You are reading language into the Brown Act that is not there. Because you misunderstood my previous response, I will make it as simple as possible. The language you cite below (which you accuse the City of violating) states:

Public Testimony Every agenda for a regular meeting shall provide an opportunity for members of the public to directly address the legislative body on any item under the subject matter jurisdiction of the body.

An Oral Communications period is included on each of our agendas, including the February 7 City Council Agenda and the March 1 Finance Committee Agenda. Although not required by the Brown Act, our agendas normally contain the following description under Oral Communications: “Members of the public may speak to any item not on the agenda; three minutes per speaker. Council reserves the right to limit the duration of the Oral Communications period to 30 minutes.”

It appears that on at least two occasions this descriptive language was inadvertently omitted. However, failure to include the descriptive language, while regrettable, is not a violation of the Brown Act.  It is also important to note that the following instructions are provided along with the Agenda for each meeting: “We welcome you to address the City Council, committee, board or commission. Please review the meeting’s agenda and identify whether you would like to speak during an agendized item or during general oral communications. Under oral communications, State law prohibits the council/board from discussing items not

listed on the Agenda, so they will not be able discuss or respond to your comments … THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION.”

With respect to any item which is already on the agenda, or in connection with any item which the body will consider pursuant to the exceptions contained in section 54954.2(b), the public must be given the opportunity to comment before or during the legislative body’s consideration of the item.

There is no allegation that any member of the public has ever been denied the opportunity to speak to any item on an agenda either before or during the Councilor Committee’s consideration of the item.

Donald Larkin

Interim City Attorney

City of Palo Alto

(650) 329-2171

donald.larkin@cityofpaloalto.org

This e-mail may contain confidential and/or attorney-client privileged material. If you have received this message in error, please immediately notify the sender and delete this e-mail message from your computer.

From: “Larkin, Donald” <Donald.Larkin@CityofPaloAlto.org>

Date: February 8, 2011 5:43:26 PM PST

To: peterfcarpenter@me.com

Cc: “Council, City” <city.council@cityofpaloalto.org>, City Mgr <CityMgr@cityofpaloalto.org>, “Clerk, City” <city.clerk@cityofpaloalto.org>

Subject: RE: Brown Act Cure and Correct Demand re your 7 Feb. 2011 City Council meeting

Dear Mr. Carpenter,

Thank you for your concern.  We have reviewed the information provided below, and have determined that no Brown Act violation occurred.  With regard to the agenda, the City Council followed the agenda that was posted pursuant to the Brown Act requirements.  While there was a slight difference in the order of items between the posted agenda and the draft agenda posted on the internet, that change does not constitute a Brown Act violation because there were no changes to the items themselves.

Even if the order of items were changed at the time of the meeting, the Brown Act does not prohibit adjusting the order of items, provided that no items are heard before the noticed start time of the meeting.  Further, the Mayor clearly indicated that the order of items was being changed and announced each item as it was being presented.  No items were discussed that were not on the posted agenda.

Your second concern was with regard to the opportunity for oral communications.  As you noted, the Brown Act requires that the agendas include an opportunity to comment on issues pertaining to the City that are not on the agenda.  A time was provided on the agenda for such communications, and several members of the public took the opportunity to make comments to the Council.

The Brown Act also requires that the Council allow members of the public to speak to items that are the subject of discussion.  There is no requirement, however, that the opportunity to speak to items on the agenda be written on the agenda.  No person was denied an opportunity to comment on any agenda item.

I apologize for the confusion at the meeting.  The discrepancy between the internet draft and the posted agenda was due to a transition to new agenda management software.  Certainly the existence of two agendas that were identical in substance, but not formatting, was an unfortunate error.  That error did not amount to a Brown Act violation.

Regards,

Donald Larkin

Interim City Attorney

City of Palo Alto

(650) 329-2171

 

For more information, please see the follow Pocket Guide to Open Meeting Laws in California – The Brown Act

http://www.thefirstamendment.org/Brown-Act-Brochure-DEC-03.pdf

The Apple iPad 2 has Landed

“Anticipation, Anticipation Is making me late Is keeping me waiting” not any more…..Were not talking about a new release from Carly Simon, although that would be a sweet hit too.

The Apple store located downtown Palo Alto on University Ave may experience a long line as customers wait for this much anticipated release of its next generation of Apples popular iPad.  – http://www.apple.com/ – set for release on March 11th at 5:00PM which happen to fall of a Friday.  No big deal, I just through I would mention that……

Paloaltofreepress.com will be following this event live through a multimedia application called qik.  To learn more – http://qik.com/

Update:  To sure to check out all the prerecorded live video feed snippets from this much anticipated release from the main page…..