The human cost of doing police business and at what cost
Sex and more sex scandals
The human cost of doing police business and at what cost
Sex and more sex scandals
May 3, 2005
Dear Mr. George Kennedy & Ms. Karyn Sinunu:
I am writing to you to request that your office retry the criminal case against Palo Alto police officers Michael Kan and Craig Lee. I would like to make some observations and comments regarding the recently completed trial in this matter wherein the jury ultimately hung 8 to 4 for guilty. I would then like to comment on the importance of this case being retried. I hope you will consider all of my comments in the constructive manner in which they are intended.
Comments re the recently completed trial of Defendants Kan & Lee
First I think it is important to acknowledge the fine work performed during the course of all of the proceedings in this matter by Deputy District Attorney Peter Waite. Not only was his preparation and presentation of the case outstanding, but it was apparent that his confidence in the strength of the case grew as the matter proceeded. No doubt the case was not tried without some mistakes and at least one questionable judgment call, but, given all of the many pressures and roles being balanced, it was an outstanding job. By the time the case went to the jury it was my observation/opinion that Mr. Waite had out performed the very talented attorneys for the defendants. (I sat through the entire PX and trial in this matter.)
From the perspective of a former public defender and trial lawyer it was clear to me that Mr. Waite and his investigative team (Sgt. Mike Denson and Sgt. Ron Watson from the PAPD) left few stones unturned in an effort to assure that the prosecution in this matter was both professionally managed and aggressively pursued.
I had no sense during the trial of this matter, despite the obvious political pressures and ramifications for the entire prosecution team, that at anytime that the prosecution team treated this case lightly or in any fashion differently than any other serious felony matter. Finally, Mr. Waite, in an example that more public servants should model, made himself available to members of the public who had endless questions for and observations to share with him.
During the jury selection process in this case Mr. Waite’s questions and the nature of the responses by prospective jurors re the role of race, racial profiling, the right of citizens to be free of undue and unwarranted harassment by the police etc., were both fascinating and instructive re the current public mood towards law enforcement. Had the voir dire process been taped it would have made a provocative documentary on the current status of the relationship between law enforcement and the community. As indicted by the responses during voir dire, as it currently stands, the relationship appears tenuous at best.
There were numerous jurors who expressed just barely restrained anger re the recent killing of Bic Cau Tran by San Jose police officer Chad Marshall and similarly deep concern re other recent high profile killings by members of the SJPD.
What came across strongest from the jury selection process is that both the depth and width of anger and concern over misconduct by law enforcement in this county is much greater than reflected by the mainstream media in Santa Clara County. Whereas the conventional wisdom has been that police cases are hard to successfully prosecute in this county the current dynamically shifting demographics, combined with a well informed citizenry re police misconduct issues, may well have changed the landscape permanently. Given the above, it would appear that police prosecutions are much more like to be successful in this county now and in the future.
During the course of the jury selection the defense exercised a peremptory challenge against the one black female who made it into the jury box. Given the quality of her responses to the questions posed by attorneys for both sides it was clear that this prospective juror was totally free of bias for either side.
Despite the fact that Mr. Waite made an appropriate Batson/Wheeler objection that the defense, specifically attorney Harry Stern, had exercised the challenge in a in a racially discriminatory fashion the judge, Andrea Bryan, declined to ask defense council for a showing of specific bias (to establish a race–neutral reasons for the strike) or to find a prima facie case for requiring a response by the defense. The judge should have reseated the juror in the presence of the entire panel as a clear message to the defense that the racist removal of a fair minded juror would not be tolerated. (Case law clearly supports the notion that one race based peremptory challenge is sufficient to trigger the remedies contemplated by Batson/Wheeler and its descendants.)
Given that only three African-Americans were in the initial jury panel of approximately 160 perspective jurors called for in this case, there is little doubt that the discriminatory strike of the one black female to make it into the jury box denied the people a jury made up of a cross-section of the community and thus a fair trial.
The following quotes serve as a reminder of the impact of a discriminatory challenge based on race in the context of this case: … “The harm from discriminatory jury selection extends beyond that inflicted on the defendant and the excluded juror to touch the entire community.” Batson V. Kentucky, 476 U.S, at 77 (1986).
“The need for public confidence is especially high in cases involving race-related crimes. In such cases, emotions in the affected community will inevitably be heated and volatile. Public confidence in the integrity of the criminal justice system is essential for preserving community peace in trials involving race related crimes.” (Citations omitted). Finally, as to Judge Bryan’s role in denying the community a fair trial the following is pertinent: “Be it at the hands of the state or the defense, if a court allows the juror to be excluded because of group bias, it is a willing participant in a scheme that could only undermine the very foundation of our system of justice—our citizens’ ” (citations omitted).
In addition to the failure of Judge Andrea Bryan to perform her constitutional responsibility to ensure the selection of a fair jury in this matter it was apparent that the court allowed the atmosphere surrounding the trial to favor the defense. Not only did the court appear to bend over backwards to rule in favor of the defense on issues where you would normally not expect such favorable rulings, but the court personnel, including the bailiffs, routinely acted with favoritism to members of law enforcement. This included providing preferential seating in the courtroom to members of law enforcement, to allowing outbursts by law enforcement spectators to go unpunished while, at the same time, closely monitoring the conduct of non-law enforcement citizens in the courtroom to the point of a constitutional chill on access.
Despite all of the efforts by the court and its personnel to tamper with the jury selection, evidentiary rulings, deny equal access to the courtroom to the public versus members of law enforcement, all in a thinly veiled attempt to direct a verdict of acquittal, 8 members of the community still rendered a verdict of guilty refusing, in the greatest tradition of independent jurors, to buckle under the weight of the intimidating atmosphere allowed to exist by Judge Andrea Bryan. All of this speaks volumes re the strength of the evidence in this case and the fine job done by the prosecution team.
Despite the fact that only 8 of the 12 jurors in this case voted for guilty the verdict was still one of historic proportions in Santa Clara County. I know of no other case in recent Santa Clara County history where 8 jurors have voted to convict police officers for the beating of an African-American citizen. This result calls out for a retrial.
Conclusion re why case should be retried.
Community sentiment: I have enclosed an editorial from the Palo Alto Daily News, Accused officers should be retried, April 20, 2005, outlining some of the reasons why this case should be retried and encouraging your office to do so, both in the interest of the Palo Alto Police Department and the Community at large.
Given the statements attributed to Karyn Sinunu in the San Jose Mercury News (enclosed), (April 19, 2005), that the district attorney usually retries hung juries and given that in this case 8 citizens voted for guilty under the difficult conditions described in the first section of this letter, failure to do so in this case would feed into the perception that there is two standards of justice in this community, one for the ordinary citizen and one for police officers.
Given comments in a recent article in The Recorder, April 27, 2005, that there will be a chase for endorsements by police and law enforcement groups by the presumed candidates for District Attorney in 2006, and given Ms. Sinunu’s apparent intent to run for this position, failure to retry this case might well be seen as decision based on political expediency rather than the merits of retying this case.
It is clear that this case would likely not have come to light but for the courageous act of a few “whistle blowing” members of the PAPD willing to break down the traditional “code of silence” that so perniciously permeates much of law enforcement in this community. By the jury’s verdict in this case the community has spoken: it is time, once and for all, to send the message that the so-called “code of silence” will not longer be tolerated by those we entrust with the awesome power of the badge. Failure to retry this case would discourage officers in the future to speak out against rogue officers in their ranks and, as result, put the public at risk of more unwarranted beatings and deaths.
Given all of the above, the strength of the evidence presented in the first trial, the resources and efforts expended by the prosecution, the strong likelihood of a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt at a second trial, the efforts of the trial judge to sabotage the prosecution’s case in the first trial, and the strong public support for a retrial in this matter it is my request that you exercise your prosecutorial discretion in favor of a retrial in this case.
This letter requesting a retrial of Kan & Lee was originally sent out on May 3, 2005. Ultimately the DA declined to retry the case against officers Kan & Lee. In a miscarriage of justice Kan & Lee were allowed to plead guilty to one count each of disturbing the peace, as an infraction, with a maximum punishment of a $250 fine.
Victim(s) statement to the Palo Alto Police
Victim(s) Maria Auxiliadora Moncada Flores, y Melissa Caceres Auxiliadora Moncada de Masatepe Nicaragua statement to the Palo Alto Police.
“El sospechoso violación a la víctima sobre una base diaria. El sospechoso ordenaría a tener relaciones sexuales. Si se negaba El sospechoso podría arrancarle la ropa y tener relaciones sexuales por la fuerza. La víctima sufrió una infección vaginal debido a violaciones repetidas y consiguió ayuda médica. El sospechoso amenaza con deportar a la víctima cada vez que ella se resiste “.
Dishonest Police and District Attorney’s
This is the stuff the Innocence Project should be all about. Getting at the truth before the conviction and providing support to those who find themselves faced with life in prison based on false police reports or coerced confessions perpetrated by Dishonest Police and District Attorney’s.
Heart wrenching stories of those found innocent and released from years of imprisonment can be found at the Innocence Project website.
The vast majority of those released from prison are the direct result of newly discovered DNA evidence pointing to an altogether different person or from coerced police confessions and evidence often times hidden from the defense by unscrupulous District Attorney’s for political gain.
One such cold case where the Palo Alto Police Department and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office sits center stage, is their attempt to build and fabricate a rape charge with evidence they themselves invented and or coerced from their victims and whom they allowed to flee the country.
Massive vaginal infection
The alleged crime is detailed in an emergency protective order outlining repeated rape having caused a massive vaginal infection described by Chief Sex Detective April Chan-Wagner. April Chan-Wagner was lead investigator.
Later discovered through an intercepted medical report from the victims own doctor, was evidence the vaginal disease was not the result of any sexual assault, but rather a yeast infection. Exculpatory evidence April Chan-Wagner and the DA’s office have continued to ignore.
Had a sexual assault occurred, the medical profession is under clear legal responsibility to report any such crimes. The Chan-Wagner report indicates the victim sought medical assistance to bolster her claims to the DA of repeated rape and was used to justify a phone wiretap of the editors’ apartment.
April Chan-Wagner is no stranger to her specialty in the sex business. She headed up and promoted a newly enacted city ordinance in Palo Alto to curb what she felt was a haven for sex crimes taking place in the Palo Alto massage therapy profession and is also known for constitutional rights violations.
Although, charges never resulted in the arrest of the editor of the Palo Alto Free Press, charges still stand and will not be prosecuted “at this time” as detailed in an email received by Chief Prosecutor Daniel Okonkwo in charge of this case. In other words, their opened ended.
No interest in solving crime
Disturbing, is the fact that District Attorney Jeff Rosen has absolutely no interest in solving this alleged crime, a crime with the potential of sending away the suspect for life in prison.
We suspect the District Attorney is protecting the police in not disclosing the actual police reports and tactics used which may have included illegal coercion.
We beleive, coercion to be an unethical tactic often used by police as in the now City of Palo Alto Police infamous David E. Carlson and Jorge Hernandez cases, an all to common occurrence according to the Innocence Project in which the DA’s office and the Palo Alto Police Department would like us all to forget.
Selective Prosecutorial Discretion. It is a criminal act of knowingly providing a false police report. DA’s are obligated to prosecute. But many simply choose to look the other way. As in this case, with Jeff Rosen.
Comment section closed. Those wishing to may send to email@example.com
Joe Webb is no stranger to the streets of Palo Alto and nor are his racist views and anti-semitic remarks which grace the chambers of city hall from to time to time.
Local city leaders cringe and often criticize Mr. Webbs appearances during oral communications a time afforded all citizen to express their view points and grievances on a wide variety of political issues.
Subjects discussed during oral communications can be unpredictable. From the most vile and despicable racist remarks. To aerobic break dancing in the the hall way corridors.
The later is often met with smiles and laughter whereas critical comments are most always met with disdain.
Mr. Webb makes no qualms concerning his white supremacist vile views and will go to great lengths at driving his points home even taking his message to the streets of Palo Alto.
It has been purported that Mr. Webbs caustic views and protests have now include other city “covered facilities” causing city council, the community services department including the city’s legal department to enact new changes to an old ordnance which now appears to target Mr. Webbs Free Speech.
For that matter anyone’s Free Speech placing our First Amendment Rights on a slippery slope.
Assistant city attorney Donald Larkin is well known for directing, censoring and ordering the “blocking” of critical emails directed at city government employees.
Even going as far as approving the removal of the word “Bullshit” from public comment emails sent to city council elected officials. (LETTERS FROM CITIZENS TO THE MAYOR OR CITY COUNCIL 07/11/2012 page 49)
This newly developed ordnance language by city attorney Donald Larkin includes the following provisions:
“No person shall engage in threatening, loud and raucous, intimidating language or conduct directed at patrons, visitors or City staff on covered facilities premises, including in courtyards, doorways or walkways, in any manner which significantly interferes with the use of facilities by other patrons, visitors or City staff.”
Covered facilities are, “Defined to include all buildings and premises of the Lucie Stern Community Center, Children’s Theatre, Community Theatre, Junior Museum & Zoo, Mitchell Park Community Center and Field House, Art Center, Peers Park Field House, Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Interpretive Center, Pearson Arastradero Preserve Gateway Center and Foothills Park Interpretive Center.”
In reality this newly revised city ordinance provision presents many interesting challenges to our Fundamental Constitutional right to Free Speech and to Peacefully Assembly.
This has led one concerned government watchdog, Palo Alto resident and attorney Aram James to question whether undue pressure or influence was placed on Palo Alto city council by members of the Jewish community and or other special interest groups to protect citizens from all unwanted hate speech. Hate speech which was allegedly directed at the Jewish community by Mr. Joe Webb.
Any time state or local governments subtly and covertly encroach on our rights to speak freely without debate, or “due process of law”, places us all of on a very slippery slope of potentially sending all of our rights including Free Speech forever off into oblivion if no one takes the time to seek and determine the real motivations behind the city’s attack on our rights to Free Speech.
We appreciate and laud Mr. James one man stand, to BAN one man in his attempt at uncovering the truth and all those behind this newly revised city ordinance and if any special interest groups were operating behind the scenes or who may have applied undo pressure on city council to enact these new ordinance changes thought a California Public Records Request.
And on May 14th 2012, local retired Public Defender attorney Aram James specifically requested the following information from Palo Alto city attorney Molly Stump. The contents read as follows:
Dear Molly Stump (Palo Alto City Attorney):
It was a pleasure to speak with you at last week’s city council meeting (May 7, 2012).
At the City council meeting of May 7, 2012, I expressed my concern to you—and later to the city council– that a matter on the consent calendar—later approved by the city council to wit:
Approval of revisions to regulations of the city of Palo Alto regarding prohibited conduct at or in Community Centers, Theaters Interpretive buildings and the Art Center—and more specifically under the section: Regulation of the city of Palo Alto regarding prohibited conduct at or in Community Centers, theaters, interpretive Building and Art Center—may well raise constitutional concerns.
And more specifically yet:
# 8 “No person shall engage in threatening, loud and raucous, intimidating language or conduct directed at patrons, visitors or City Staff on covered facilities premises, including in courtyards, doorways or walkways, in any manner which significantly interferes with the use of facilities by other patrons visitors or City Staff.”
It is my concern that the above language was designed specially to chill protected First Amendment speech—in this case –alleged hate speech by one Joe Webb.
The language as drafted in # 8 above may well be in violation of the First Amendment principal that regulations designed to regulate speech must be content neutral.
I am sure you recall the below cited language from the famous U.S. Supreme Court Case of Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356 (1886):
“Though the Law itself be fair on its face, and impartial in appearance, yet, if it is applied and administered by public authority with an evil eye and an unequal hand, so as practically to make unjust and illegal discriminations, between persons in similar circumstances ….the denial of equal justice is still within the prohibition of the Constitution.”
As an aside: it is my contention that all discrete communities in Palo Alto deserve and are entitled to equal protection of the law—but not –absent some compelling state interest or concern—special protection.
In other words—if the language allegedly used by Mr. Webb outside of Palo Alto theaters was hateful and targeted at one particular community –that community does not –regardless of their disproportionate political sway in the community –if that is in fact the case—become entitled to special provisions or regulations that would allow them to avoid unpleasant or targeted hate speech – hate speech that would otherwise be protected by the constitution –specifically the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the California equivalent.
In order to determine –under what circumstance and subject to what if any specific undue pressures by particular community interests the above–# 8 regulation was drafted and subsequently passed I will be asking –pursuant to the California Public Records Act— for a wide range of potential public records touching upon the above issues and concerns.
As you might guess I would be troubled if there is any effort by anyone to limit my access to public records I would otherwise be entitled to –because of any undue and continued pressures –if any –related to what some might consider a very sensitive and potentially politically explosive community and legal set of issues.
In other words, in an effort to be direct— I anticipate and in fact expect a full and total good faith compliance with the letter of the law re this particular CPRA request that I am now making.
If any of this CPRA request is not –per your opinion –sufficiently focused so as to allow you to fully comply I am requesting that we meet at your earliest convenience in order to ensure that my request is adequately narrowed so as to allow full and timely compliance by your office.
Pursuant to the California Public Records Act I am requesting all of the following:
(1) Any and all documents –no matter how memorialized touching on the drafting of and subsequent passage of the above revised regulation:
(2) I am asking for all documents whether in written form—electronic form, etc., of all of the following parties-staff members of the city of Palo Alto –including memos to and written by James Keene, Greg Betts and members of their respective staffs re the above regulation. Any and all other letters written by city staff or letters to staff re this issue.
(3) Letters, e-mails –other forms of traditional communications—and more recent forms of electronic communication—by citizens complaining about the above situation—regarding the Joe Webb ordinance and his alleged disruptive – alleged hate filled speech—alleged intimidating speech and conduct.
(4) Any and all other documents –including but not limited to the above going back a period of 24 months prior to the drafting and passage of the above regulation on May 7, 2012.
Aram B. James
832 Los Robles Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94306
Editorial note: All concerned citizens of Democracy should be reminded. Especially city attorney Donald Larkin who’s been sworn to protect the United State Constitution and our right to Free Speech.
“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Thank you Mr. James for your one man stand on a what appears to be a blatant one man BAN!!
Up-date. California Public Records Request (Joe Webb CPRA 06-11-12) data released by the city of Palo Alto allegedly shows in-part responsible parties involved in the one man First Amendment BAN (Joe Webb) on protected speech.
Peter M Bliznick (Executive Director) Palo Alto Players
Greg Betts (Community Services Department) City of Palo AltoComplaint of Discourtesy,
As previously reported – Update and outcome of Palo Alto citizen Joe Webb’s complaint.
Theater employees called 911, alleging that a man was handing out pamphlets in front of the theater door, harassing patrons and creating a disturbance. Officers talked to the pamphlet distributing man and theater employees, determined that there was no trespass or other illegal activity, and departed.
The pamphlets protested the contents of the play being performed at the time. The play was a historical piece about Leo Frank, a Jewish factory superintendent in the American south accused of strangling a thirteen year old girl who worked in the factory. Frank was tried and convicted of the crime, then lynched and hanged by a mob.
The events are often cited to illustrate the perversion of the justice system by anti-Semitism in the early 20th Century. The pamphleteer’s literature took exception to the play, describing it as perpetuating a myth of Jewish victimhood. Two days later, he complained to the Department that he had been threatened with arrest and treated in a rude and unprofessional manner by officers.
The pamphleteer also asked about the ethnicities of the various officers and opined about their character and competence based on his assumptions about their ethnicities, suggesting, for instance that one officer was probably an “affirmative action hire” while another was “a good German boy.” A Lieutenant took the pamphleteer’s complaint and opened a
citizen complaint investigation. Another Lieutenant met with the pamphleteer a month later and recorded a statement from him regarding his complaint against one of the officers from that night.
The rest of the complaint investigation, however, was not formally assigned to an investigator until two months after that and was completed a month later. The Department determined that the citizen’s allegations were unfounded. Recommendation: The IPA reviewed the police reports of this arrest as well as the exhibits, including photographs of the scene, the pamphlets that were distributed, and the hate crime policies of the PAPD as well as the County.
We concur with the Department’s finding with regard to the complaint about the face-to-face interaction with the pamphleteer by PAPD officers. He was questioned respectfully while other officers ascertained the circumstances from other witnesses.
When the pamphleteer appeared offended by the questions posed by one officer, another officer took over to attempt to establish a better rapport. Officers and supervisors were patient and unbiased in their treatment of the pamphleteer. Moreover, the ranking supervisor at the scene made a legally appropriate and prudent decision to simply withdraw. We have misgivings, however, about the handling of the case after the call for service at the theater was resolved.
Upon receiving a citizen’s complaint from the pamphleteer, the Department opened a complaint investigation. But it held that investigation in abeyance while pursuing a “hate crime” investigation relative to the same incident. While the activities of the pamphleteer were not regarded as actually constituting a hate crime, PAPD supervisors believed that standard County protocol categorized this as a possible “hate incident” or “bias-related incident” that required documentation and review by the District Attorney’s office prior to investigation of the citizen complaint. A supervisor completed the “hate incident” investigation and submitted the documentation to the D.A.’s office, which declined to file charges.
At that point, the Department restarted the citizen’s complaint investigation, completed it, and concluded that the complaint was unfounded. This staggering of the two ongoing investigations – citizen’s complaint and hate incident – raises three potential problems.
First, the supervisor who commenced the citizen’s complaint investigation by interviewing the complainant was at the same time responsible for putting together the documentation of the “hate incident,” instructing the officers involved in the incident to write reports and preparing this package for the D.A.’s review. This confusion of roles risks confusing the objectives of these two investigations. Second, the PAPD standard procedure invoked in this case appears to be based on a very broad understanding of the County Hate Crimes Policy.
The Santa Clara County Law Enforcement Policy Statement Regarding Hate Crimes (adopted August 2008) admonishes participating police agencies like PAPD to commit to thorough and effective investigation of hate crimes as well as their tracking and reporting to a centralized authority.
It defines a hate crime as a crime committed for reasons of bias toward someone because of their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or other specified characteristic. Since the pamphleteer was determined at the scene not to have committed a crime, the incident would have to fall, if at all, into the other category addressed by the Policy Statement, a “bias-related incident.” Participating agencies are told to document, collect and store records of bias-related incidents but are conspicuously not required to report the incidents to the D.A. The decision to do so in this case was therefore a discretionary one by PAPD.
A week after the incident, the Department received several calls from citizens associated with the theater who complained that no action had been taken by the police against the pamphleteer. They also received an allegation that the pamphleteer had spit on a member of the public during the incident, and the District Attorney’s office suggested the Department look into these allegations. Unfortunately, this information is not reflected in the documentation of the citizen’s complaint or hate incident investigations.
We recommend that such information be documented whenever it relates to Department actions during an investigation. Third, in order to accommodate the hate incident investigation, the PAPD held back on completing the citizen’s complaint investigation for an additional three months, delaying and potentially undermining its response to a complaining member of the community. The interruption of the citizen’s complaint investigation in favor of the hate incident investigation might also make the Department vulnerable to the accusation that the hate incident investigation was in some way retaliatory.
The IPA would like to emphasize that we believe that PAPD personnel handled the original incident quickly and cordially and made a determination in the field that was commensurate with the law and good police practice. We are also convinced that the citizen’s complaint investigation was thorough and unbiased. Finally, the hate crime package was carefully researched and assembled. It is also evident that the Department did not expect the D.A.’s office to file criminal charges based on the “hate crime package” of reports related to this event.
Rather, the information reviewed by the IPA indicates that the PAPD submitted the package in order to maintain a consistent procedure with bias-related incidents and as a precautionary measure to comply with the County Hate Crimes Policy. There was not the slightest indication of a retaliatory motive. Nevertheless, the chronology of these investigations and the precautionary investigation and submission of the incident to the D.A. may create the appearance of bias against the complainant because of his odious and unpopular viewpoint.
The complainant was informed of the results of complaint investigation. We recommend that PAPD proceed swiftly with all citizen complaint investigations and that it consider adopting a more literal interpretation of the County Hate Crimes Policy, thereby referring crimes committed for reasons of bias to the D.A., but not non-criminal bias-related incidents.
Synopsis: At about 5:00 a.m., City of San Francisco police received a 911 call from a young woman requesting help. Her boyfriend had just left their hotel room and she believed he was headed to the hotel roof and might be planning to commit suicide.
Officers arrived and contacted the woman who told them her boyfriend was an off-duty Palo Alto Police Officer who was extremely intoxicated and emotionally down on himself.
His gun had been left in the hotel safe. She showed them a note on hotel stationary that appeared to be a makeshift will written by the off-duty officer. The female friend reached the off-duty officer by cell phone but he would not tell her his location.
He also refused to provide his location to an SFPD sergeant who got on the phone. SFPD officers searched throughout the area and quickly located the off-duty officer walking on a nearby sidewalk.
The off-duty officer said that he had no intention of committing suicide; the SFPD officers nevertheless decided to detain the off-duty officer for a psychiatric evaluation and took him to a hospital.
Hospital personnel examined the offduty officer and, after a few hours, released him to Palo Alto PD supervisors, who had been notified in the meantime. They took him back to the Palo Alto Police station, placed him on administrative leave, retained his firearm and opened an Internal Affairs investigation of the incident.
The original 911 caller, the officer’s female friend, did not cooperate with any of the investigator’s several follow up attempts to contact and interview her. Ultimately, the investigation concluded that the officer did violate the Department’s policy against “conduct on or off duty unbecoming of a member of the Department…and which tends to reflect unfavorably on the Department or its members.”
The Chief of Police imposed discipline upon the officer in the form of a written reprimand. The officer was also required to write a letter of apology to the San Francisco Police Department. The officer has also been referred to the Employee Assistance Program, an evaluation and counseling service that provides services and referrals for employees who voluntarily seek assistance with substance abuse or psychological issues.
Recommendation: The IPA reviewed the police reports. The IPA agrees that the Department’s sustained finding of a violation of its “conduct unbecoming” policy was an appropriate finding.
The officer’s conduct unnecessarily consumed the resources of another police agency and he was less than cooperative with them. Our main concern, however, is whether the Department has made the appropriate decisions regarding the future status of the officer within the PAPD. The Department is to be commended for performing an exhaustive investigation of this incident to determine as much relevant information as possible.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is the mental condition often spuriously called “split personality”, referred to in psychiatry as dissociative identity disorder, in which the same person has the ability to exhibit more than one distinct personality. In this case, there are two personalities within Dr Jekyll, one good and the other evil; completely opposite levels of morality.
The very phrase “Jekyll and Hyde” has come to mean a person who is vastly different in moral character from one situation to the next. Perhaps the most notorious person to exhibit such a contradiction of exhibited morality is Ted Bundy.
And the most famous person to publicly exhibit psychopathy characteristics is Bill Clinton, “It depends on what the meaning of the words ‘is’ is.” –Bill Clinton, during his 1998 grand jury testimony on the Monica Lewinsky affair
Jim Kouri, vice president of the National Assn. of Chiefs of Police, has assembled a group of traits that define psychopathic personalities — like serial killers — and has discovered that these traits also apply to many of today’s politicians. Traits such as superficial charm, an exaggerated sense of self-worth, glibness, lying, lack of remorse, manipulation of others, and sexual obsession are the hallmark of both groups.
Kouri notes that these types of psychopaths are psychologically capable of committing their dirty deeds free of any concern for social, moral or legal consequences and with absolutely no remorse, save getting caught.
There is not much that separates the politician from the Police Chief when it comes to possessing the character traits of those who seek powerful positions of control.
To the community, to his unaware friends and even his family Mr. Burns presents the façade of a boy scout yet lurking under that veneer is a person who would violate everything he proclaims to stand for.
In 2008 long time Palo Alto resident Tony Ciampi was rousted out of his vehicle by three gung-ho police officers, (April Wagner, Manuel Temores and Kelly Burger). The incident resulted in two of the officers using their taser guns on Ciampi. Ciampi has maintained that Ofc.
Burger first fired his taser gun at Ciampi’s face while Ciampi was not fleeing or resisting and that the police destroyed and tampered with all of the evidence that would prove his allegation. On the other hand, Chief Burns has asserted that nothing unethical or illegal has taken place regarding the Ciampi case despite the fact that Judge Thang Barrett ruled that the three officers violated the Constitution.
Ciampi has provided a detailed description of the city policies and laws that Chief Burns and his subordinate officers have violated. www.chiefburns.weebly.com
Chief Burns and City Staff are not willing to address Ciampi’s allegations to dispute them, and thus provide credibility to them through their silence.
The psychology of the Palo Alto Police Department takes its lead from its Chief and other superiors on City Staff, so by way of extension we are not just referring to who Chief Burns is, but what the generalized psychological make-up is of the members of the police department and by their actions represent what Chief Burns’ true character is. Vice versa the Chief is known by the conduct he either condones or condemns that his officers exhibit.
As a 30 year veteran of the Police Department Chief Burns has been around it all and just like a child taking on the attributes, good or evil, of his parents people are influenced by the culture they live in exhibiting the attributes of that culture. Burns was a Lieutenant in 2005, Asst. Police Chief in 2008, acting Police Chief in 2009 and appointed Police Chief in October 2009.
Traveling back in time what do we find?
1) In 2008 Sgt. Micahel Yore conducted a well known bungled investigation of the Children’s Theater and Pat Briggs which resulted in no charges and the City Council issuing an official apology.
2) It was Sgt. Yore who recommended murder charges be brought against Nelson Galbraith for the death of his wife. Yet Galbraeth won a $400,000.00 settlement from Santa Clara County for malicious prosecution and bungling the investigation. Despite this apparent act of taking responsibility by the District Attorney, Yore remained defiant during a 2005 deposition by referring to the Galbraith’s lawsuit as, “ludicrous.”
3) When Burns was Assistant Police Chief he called Yore a “quintessential detective.” Chief Burns followed that up with “We’d be pretty apparent if we were doing anything untoward or trampling on people’s rights,” Burns said.
That’s very interesting given that Ciampi has documented Chief Burns’ involvement in violating department policy at least half a dozen times over the course of six months by suppressing and destroying evidence which are also violations of California Law and the Constitution under Brady v. Maryland.
4) In 2002 Jorge Hernandez was charged with a rape of a 94 year old woman due to a coerced confession induced by Sgt. Natasha Powers, the same Powers, who conspired with Chief Burns in destroying and falsifying evidence in the Ciampi case.
Powers and other officers lied to Hernandez claiming that they had finger prints, physical evidence and a video tape that placed him at the crime scene when in fact they had zero evidence. As a result of DNA testing the charges were dropped against Hernandez and the actual perpetrator was arrested seven years later. Had the PAPD focused on the real evidence instead of the fake evidence perhaps they could have apprehended the true criminal much sooner. In response to the settlement Powers is quoted in the Mercury News stating that her use of falsified evidence isn’t going to change.
5) In a retaliatory act due to Ciampi’s case being thrown out by Judge Thang Barrett, Powers filed a false report with her own agency falsely claiming that Ciampi had threatened her 4 months before she filed it. Burns, the Acting Police Chief, did nothing to hold Powers accountable.
6) In 2005 Palo Alto Police Officer Michael Kan and Craig Lee were prosecuted for falsely arresting and beating a homeless man, Albert Hopkins, who was reclining in his car on a residential street. The trial resulted in a hung jury, 8 members voted to convict and 4 Asians voted to acquit. During the trial, then Lt. Dennis Burns supplied his own investigation of the incident which cleared Kan and Lee of any wrong doing yet contradicted the initial investigation conducted by Sgt. Con Maloney as well as the District Attorney’s Office.
In fact DDA Peter Waite who prosecuted the case stated that Burns’ report was flawed. Revealing of Burns’ character, Burns refused to allow Maloney to read Burns’ investigative report. When asked while on the witness stand if Burns’ was lying in his report, Maloney stated “no comment” and “I have some concerns about some of the things I’ve heard.”
7) One result of the Hopkins incident was the implementation of video cameras in the squad cars. Then Police Chief Lynne Johnson stated to the Human Relations Commission that the cameras would record any contact between police officers and the public providing insight to the interaction.
So long as that interaction does not catch police officers violating the law. In 2008 during a very similar situation that occurred with Hopkins, three arrogant, bully Police Officers falsely arrested, assaulted and battered Tony Ciampi.
Instead of revealing what occurred, the Palo Alto Police destroyed numerous pieces of evidence and edited and falsified the videos in order to remove the incriminating evidence of their actions and to falsely portray Ciampi. Chief Burns would have a very integral role in the suppression, destruction and falsification of the evidence.
8) In 2009 a Palo Alto Police Officer ran a red-light and t-boned a private vehicle. Almost all significant auto crashes are reported in the blotter and to the media but not this one. The Daily Post found out five months after the fact due to a claim filed with the City. The PAPD claimed that there was no video available even though the video records all the time storing video whenever the lights are turned on such as what occurred in this case. It appears that the PAPD and Burns did not like the video footage of this interaction either.
9) In 2009 a Palo Alto resident, Jerold Reed Jr., was arrested on drug and weapons charges which resulted in a Judge throwing out the case because the officers violated the man’s “right to privacy and freedom from ‘unreasonable’ searches and seizures.” Reading the Palo Alto Weekly’s story it is clear that the officers made up a neighbor’s statement of placing a suspect at the property when in fact that was not the case. In fact the neighbor stated that the police never inquired about the person whom the police claimed they were looking for. Lie, lie, lie.
10) In 2009 Palo Alto Police Officer Anthony Bulatao rolled his Ford Explorer at the San Antonio off ramp. Officer Bulatao thought he was in San Jose because his blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit .16 percent. The Palo Alto Police refused to identify Bulatao and it took over year to find out through public records requests to several agencies. Bulatoa was off-duty and was picked up from the Santa Clara jail by Palo Police Sgt. Zack Perron after Bulatoa submitted to blood tests.
Bulatao refused to submit to field sobriety tests telling CHP Officer Kevin Gualtieri that he was not going to allow Gulatieri to build a case against him. That’s a good example for the community to follow. Bulatao is back on duty working for the PAPD.
11) On October 25, 2011 fifteen Palo Alto police officers took part in the Occupy protests in Oakland which resulted in Scott Olsen being severely injured from a police projectile. The Palo Alto Police refused to identify the fifteen officers involved, however attorney Aram James and media mogul Mark Petersen-Perez were able to obtain the identities from the Oakland Police Department demonstrating how honest and transparent government is supposed to work.
12) Then there was the David Carlson case of 2005 in which Carlson was falsely arrested for molesting a 4 year old girl by the Palo Alto Police, Detective Powers. Like Hernandez, Carlson spent three weeks in jail before DNA testing exonerated him. Then Chief Pat Dwyer stated that the “system failed somebody.”
13) Instead of admitting the loss, the City of Palo Alto passed up on the jury award to Michael Schmidlin of $24,000.00 plus attorney’s fees and appealed the case for eleven years incurring close to a million dollars in costs.
14) In 1999 Palo Alto Police Officer Louis Verbera was sentenced to a 1 year jail sentence for sexually assaulting 5 women while on duty, some of whom were hand-cuffed in the back of his patrol car. One of the victims, Ronelle Meier, who filed suit against the City, claimed that numerous officers in the department covered up her complaints about Verbera’s assault against her with lies.
This seems to bear out given that Verbera was initially charged with assaulting two woman in 1999 but then three victims dating back to 1996 were added to the complaint. Three years transpired between the first victim the last. There is a serial “fondler” on the loose in Palo Alto as we speak, do you suppose he will get a year of work release when he gets caught or will the justice system apply a much stiffer penalty demonstrating a double standard?
15) In 2008 the Palo Alto police secretly recorded a conversation between and East Palo Alto tenant activist, Chris Lund, and a representative of Page Mill Properties Russelle Schaadt. The recording was taken because Page Mill alleged that Mr. Lund had attempted to extort money from Page Mill Properties. To be specific, Page Mill claimed that Chris Lund wanted $20,000 and he would go away for Mr. Lund was having a significant impact on protecting the tenants from the oppressive acts of Page Mill Properties. After reading the transcript it is clear that it was not intention at all by Mr. Lund to extort money. Page Mill Properties were at their wits end and attempted to pay Mr. Lund off if he would go away, Lund refused to take their money.
Russell: “I mean you are continuing to disgrace me you know and our company you…………Know, with going around and posting these things but that seems to be what it is about at this point and would just as soon accommodate you in your request get you out of the picture and want you know to move on.”
Chris: “Thats not. .thats not on the table and it has never been about personal settlement.”
Russell: “they said look it may be easier just to get Chris out of the picture. Lets just pay him you know and.”
Chris: “I am not going to be…m not going to be bought off that is not what it is about it never has been there is no even if took cash like that and gave it to community legal services you think am going to walk away from the 4000 people who still live in this neighborhood who are.. are.. are struggling to put food on the table.”
Chris: “Making people aware of what the tragedy that happens in this neighborhood on daily basis.”
As a part of the harassment of Chris Lund, Page Mill’s Head of Security Tim Morgan who happened to be moonlighting as a full time Lieutenant for the Palo Alto Police went out to Lund’s house to photograph Lund. Morgan refused to identify himself toLundwhen asked. (Ciampi experienced strange men taking pictures of him at thePalo Alto playing fields).
If that wasn’t bad enough, the officer who secretly recorded the conversation between Lund and Schaadt sent the recording to Page Mill Properties to have Page Mill Properties transcribe it. Since when does a public police station hand over investigative evidence to victims in a crime to have them transcribe the recording as a part of the investigation? If the transcript were to have ever been submitted to a court it would have been tossed out due to the blatant conflict of interest. In an attempt to embarrass Mr. Lund Page Mill Properties released the transcript to the media.
As a result the officer, who is presumed to be April Wagner for her name is at the top of the transcript for the PAPD refuses to verify the officer’s identity, was reprimanded with a slap on the wrist, (wink-wink), for violating department policy. Ciampi established that Wagner made false statements in a declaration to federal court and destroyed evidence in violation of department policy, yet Burns did not discipline her for that.
The kicker is former Deputy District Attorney Jim Shore who is Page Mill’s general counsel. In a nut shell, a cop and a former Deputy DA both working for a private company use the Palo Alto Police in an attempt to bribe Chris Lund with $20,000 in order to get Mr. Lund out of the picture by twisting the facts and turning their bribe into extortion.
All of the above occurred under Chief Burns watch.
16) Since becoming Chief of Police, Dennis Burns created an advisory group composed of Police Department personnel and members of the community who are tasked with advising the Police Chief on the delivery of effective and responsive policing to all members of the diverse community, in the most fair and impartial manner possible, according to the police department’s website.
Just one major problem, the meetings are held in secret so that Mr. Burns and manipulate and mold the perception of the cherry picked participants without incurring objective or subjective criticism.
If you are not doing anything wrong or ashamed of then you have nothing to hide.
17) Perhaps the most famous revelation of the character of the Palo Alto Police is when former Police Chief Lynne Johnson ordered her officers to contact every African-American wearing a ‘doo-rag’ to find out who they were because an African-American wearing a ‘doo-rag’ had robbed someone.
Johnson and the PAPD received much criticism for their racial profiling and recanted. Though City Manager James Keene put on a good show for the public, Dennis Burns did say a word regarding characteristic profiling since Johnson’s resignation in January 2009.
The above are the cases that we know about. Given the extent to which the Palo Alto Police will violate its own policies and state laws to cover conceal it’s officers’ unethical and illegal acts one has to conclude that there are numerous other incidents that have gone unreported corroborated by the three sex assault victims that were revealed only after Verbera was charged with attacking two other women.
The Dr. Jykyll and Mr. Hyde disorder is not left to natural causes, but is actually fostered and inculcated within the police department. It is common knowledge that the police are trained in how to lie and be deceptive in order to catch violators of the law, even to the extent of violating the law themselves. But the courts have ruled that it is okay for law enforcement to violate the law, buying illegal drugs, in order to catch a dealer. But as we seen in the Hernandez case, there are no restraints left giving law enforcement the latitude to lie to suspects inducing false confessions from out of context and contrived interrogations.
Showing the edited and falsified videos of the Ciampi case to the media sums up the psychopathic traits of Dennis Burns and the PAPD. First, Burns coaxes his co-workers to go along with the plan to lie to the public, (manipulation). Two, the videos portray the exact opposite of what occurred painting Ciampi in a negative light, (lying to harm another/manipulating the public’s view with the lie).
Three, Burns refused to allow Ciampi to be present at the showing to challenge the authenticity of the videos in the presence of the media and public whom Burns was manipulating, (refusal to be challenged; total control; bullying and cowardly traits). Four, the showing of the videos was in response to a public records request, yet the videos were a part of an ongoing investigation and case which the PAPD usually denies requests under such circumstances, (double standard, manipulating department policy for his own benefit and others harm).
The “Good cop, bad cop” routine manifests the tell-tale characteristics of the Jekyll-Hyde disorder.
The “good cop” is just a charade acted out by the officer to disarm the unsuspecting and trusting target for all the while the “good cop” has an ulterior motive of doing harm to the suspect/victim. The “bad cop” routine is to accentuate the “good cop’s” character and false promises. This is how the PAPD induced a false confession from an innocent young man, Hernandez.
With the support of the Palo Alto City Council, City Manager James Keene appointed Dennis Burns to become the next police chief.
City Manager James Keene praised Chief Burns as a “person of integrity, character, commitment and honesty,”
At his inauguration Burns stated, “Please do not lose sight of the fact that our job is to serve that public and that this is a tremendous privilege and responsibility.”
In order to generate hostility from the Public toward Ciampi Chief Burns used his official office within the City to make false and defamatory statements about Ciampi in official reports to the City Council and public endorsing the use of those false statements by his subordinate officer Manuel Temores while giving testimony during a court proceeding.
Chief Burn’s is quoted as saying, “We’d be pretty apparent if we were doing anything untoward or trampling on people’s rights,”
During Ciampi’s criminal case the PAPD refused to provide Ciampi’s attorney the taser gun activation data in violation of the law, the Constitution and Palo Alto Police Policy 308.99. While knowingly violating his own policy, Chief Buns lied to the media by stating, “perhaps the data downloads are still awaiting transfer.”
The ability to coolly and comfortably lie to the public and the media is a clear sign of a psycho-sociopath.
Burns’ actions contradict Keene’s and his own statements. Click here to read how Chief Burns lied to a federal judge:
Chief Burns comes across as friendly and charming, not unlike former Sgt. John Costa and Lt. Sandra Brown. Ciampi had a very friendly relationship with Costa and Brown up until they conspired with their fellow officers to wrongfully incriminate Ciampi of a crime.
Like Costa and Brown, Chief Burns’ appearance is that of a boy scout, yet that appearance belies his true nature, a nature that hates the Constitution, freedom, truth and his fellow man to such a degree that he would imprison a fellow citizen by using fabricated and falsified evidence.
You see, Burns didn’t have to fabricate the video in such a manner to falsely portray what occurred on March 15, 2008. Just as he removed the audio dialog from Temores’ MAV recording (See Echibit 8I)
Just as the PAPD claimed they could not retrieve the MAV recording of Seghetti smashing his patrol car into a private citizen, Burns could have protected his officers from being held accountable for their false arrest and brutal beating of Ciampi by ditching Temores’ MAV video without falsely portraying what occurred.
Instead Burns chose to not only conceal the crimes of his officers but he also chose to send an innocent man to prison by utilizing his fabricated videos that falsely portray what occurred painting Ciampi in a very negative light which is the complete opposite of that which occured. That is the definition of a bully, using one’s superior power to harm someone who has no power.
Coupled with Chief Burns’ penchant for secrecy, Burns is a man not to be trusted, for he will do whatever he has to in order to avoid accountability and any means necessary contrary to his oath and duty as an officer of the law to obtain the ends he seeks for self.
Only a person who has two distinct sets of morality can stand before hundreds of dignitaries, law enforcement personnel, co-workers, family and friends and swear an oath to uphold the laws of God and the Nation while at same time violating those laws by bearing false witness against his neighbor and destroying and falsifying evidence, several felonious acts.
One set of morality is for those who are acceptable to Burns, and the other set of morality is for those who are not acceptable to Burns, to those who are less human and have less rights than himself.
Just as many of Ted Bundy’s friends an co-workers were duped by his charm and defended his character, Chief Buns has duped many in the community. No doubt many will still praise Burns as a man of moral and upright integrity, yet they will be praising a man who will if necessary use falsified videos to incriminate them of a crime should the right circumstances arise.
FACT: Chief Burns destroyed Temores’ taser probes to cover up the second taser gun firing and the fact that the video footage of the second taser gun firing is missing from the videos.
FACT: Chief Burns refuses to acknowledge what he did and instead lies to his friend, family and the community falsely claiming that he did not destroy and falsify evidence. He has manipulated numerous subordinate officers and City Staff to go along with his lies and crimes to preserve his freedom and status in the community.
FACT: Chief Burns through his attorney Steven Sherman argued to the court in the civil case that if one of his officers is beating a suspect to death regardless if the detention is lawful or not, the suspect is required to submit to the beating without defending his/her life and seek remedy for the unlawful arrest and excessive force from the grave just like Barron Pikes has.
Contrary to upholding the Constitutions and the laws creating peace and harmony, Burns’ actions have brought anarchy upon the community.
The final piece of a psychopath is the need to have total control and dominion over their victims, to be superior over all. According to Chief Burns, had Ronelle Meier and the other women defended themselves against the unlawful sexual assault committed by Ofc. Verbera the women would have been justly prosecuted for resisting arrest regardless of the crime committed by Ofc. Vebera.
Psychopathy is a personality disorder that has been variously described and characterized by shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, lacking empathy, coldheartedness, lacking guilt, egocentricity, superficial charm, manipulativeness, etc…..
And in fact, this is true. They, (psychopaths), DO have control when others believe their lies. Sadly, the degree of belief, the degree of “submission” to this control via false representation, generally produces so much pain when the truth is glimpsed that the victim would prefer to continue in the lie than face the fact that they have been duped. The psychopath counts on this. It is part of their “actuarial calculations.” It gives them a feeling of power.
It is all too easy to fall under the spell of the charismatic psychopath. There are many who do the psychopath’s bidding without realizing that they have been subtly and cleverly controlled. They can even be manipulated to perform criminal acts, or acts of sabotage against another – innocent – person on behalf of the psychopath. Very often, when this is realized by the victim, that they have caused suffering in innocent people at the behest of a liar, again they prefer to deny this than to face up to the truth of their own perfidy and gullibility. http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/official_culture.htm
Not all psychopath are uneducated low-class misfits. Some of them are quite handsome and have good careers, and use this all the more to their benefit. Take a look at Ted Bundy; my friend’s mother once went on a double-date with him and claimed he was the nicest person. His mother said he was the “best son any mother could have.” Bundy was also apparently quite good-looking, which made him even more dangerous. So not all psychopaths are derelict, low-class, high school drop-outs, there are many who also work in professional occupations;
Another example which someone on the “Victims of Psychopathy” board came up with was Bill Clinton and his “goofy” yet loveable demeanour (so is Clinton really a psychopath? Many believe he is). http://www.cassiopaea.com/cassiopaea/psychopath3.htm
Olmstead v. United States 277 U.S. 438 (1928)– “Decency, security and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen. In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our Government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the Government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.”
Officer Daniel (Dan) Ryan aka “Father” Ryan is no stranger to those who know him. He served as media spokesperson for the PAPD during the final tumultuous days of former Police chief Lynne Johnson who resigned in disgrace for ordering her officers including Dan Ryan to stop and question all African Americans wearing a “Doo Rag” prompted by a string of robberies having occurred in Palo Alto back in 2008.
“When my officers see an African American who has a doo-rag on his head, absolutely the officers will be stopping and trying to find out who that person is,” Johnson had told reporters ……
In one of his most provocative and chilling media statements, Ryan fully supported former police Chief Johnson’s actions in stopping African Americans by suggesting that news media had reported the original story incorrectly.
It’s alleged that former police Chief Lynne Johnson instructed Ryan, to release the following media statement to CBS 5 crime watch:
“Police spokesman Dan Ryan defended the chief’s statements Friday, saying they were taken out of context and were truncated to appear in the worst possible light”.
Ryan’s controversial media statement prompted one Palo Alto city council member Pat Burt to see through Ryan’s media spin by questioning his own tone on illegal racial profiling to the press.
“He [Ryan] is still making statements that it’s largely the fault of the listener and the press,” Burt told the Post yesterday. “I requested that … we don’t have the community representative in the department making statements that essentially contradict the city manager and the police chief and contradict the record”.
Ryan is also well known for his supportive role in other officer’s questionable behavior as in the tazing of long time resident Tony Ciampi ruled unconstitutional calling it a ‘training exercise’. We beleive the community should be aware of Ryan’s return to the streets of Palo Alto and his perceived bias of African American’s and Latino’s.
The police, namely Lt. April Wagner aka Chan/Wagner in full uniform with her loaded sidearm clearly stood ready to enforce whatever draconian ordinance is decided upon.
I personally know Ms. April Wagner and she is a text book example of a detective known to be aggressive and deceptive. In my opinion she’s a bad cop.
How quickly we have forgotten that Lt. April Wagner was found by a court of law to have violated the constitutional rights of longtime resident Tony Ciampi and it is alleged she fabricated police reports and evidence.
This in itself, should give rise and alarm us all to the potentiality of Lt. April Wagner and her enforcement team falsifying evidence collected during massage business raids.
In the Ciampi case, the city of Palo Alto paid out a 35 thousand dollar settlement for her mistakes and those of her colleagues.
What I also found alarming and disturbing among other things in her report to city council, was that she made it a point of having readily available and accessible massage therapy client lists, for unannounced police raids for any potential violations.
Here’s how a portion of the newly created ordinance reads….
4.54.120 Inspection by official
“Any and all investigating officials of the city shall have the right to enter massage establishments from to time during regular business hours to make reasonable inspection to observe and enforce compliance with building, fire, electrical, plumbing or health regulations. A warrant shall be obtained whenever required by law.”
[absent of exigent circumstances]
It was also evident from last night’s discussion that Wagner was ill prepared and unable to produce any real hard data or for that matter, unable to address any issues or complaints (sexual assaults or activities) evolving massage therapy businesses or otherwise within Palo Alto or in attracting the criminal clientele. This data was non-existent prompting several council members to wonder and suggest if we even have a problem at all.
What’s the big deal? Why do anything as councilman Larry Klien mentioned. One thing is for sure there’s an obvious divide between reflexology, massage therapy and a simple foot rub. The reflexology professionals are asking for an exemption to the city’s proposed ordinance along with the foot massage therapists.
But wait, what about the foot massage business. Why should they be forced to comply and compete right alongside the massage therapists and reflexologist professionals with expensive training and licensing as mandated by the State of California?
Again, why is the police and the city’s attorney’s office pushing for state compliance and why are the police involving itself in the administration of an occupation some claim is equal to doctors and lawyers.
Essentially, Wagner’s response was, she worries about Happy Feet causing injury by putting a client in a strangling toe hold. This whole process seems absurd in my opinion.
If there are complaints with the level of service or for that matter health issues, get the health department involved and not the police in all non-criminal activities or behavior. It just seems like the police and our lawmakers are attempting to criminalize the entire massage therapy profession by placing a strangle hold on legitimate businesses.
Both Palo Alto Free Press and retired former Santa Clara County Public Defender Aram James made numerous requests for this very same information.
All of which were denied by both Palo Alto city attorneys Molly Stump and Donald Larkin.
Were completely dismayed at the total and complete lack of transparency and open government emanating out of the city’s attorney’s office and it would appear Molly Stump and Donald Larkin are “playing by their own set of rules” as stated by Aram James in the city’s compliance with the California Public Records Request Act.
Furthermore, this is clearly a case between The City of Palo Alto vs. The City of Oakland in terms of compliance.
We believe both attorney’s Molly Stump and Donald Larkin owe it to the citizens of Palo Alto to answer why they refused to comply with our initial request.
Both city’s have a complete legal understanding of the laws and yet only the city of Oakland recognized the scope of our joint request and put forth an honest answer rather than deceit.
In light of the following case sited below, it’s extremely important to note here, the need for maintaining public trust and in keeping all of us “fully informed of the activities of its peace officers.”
New York Times Co. v. Superior Court (Thomas) 1997, 52 Cal. App. 4th 97.
“[3c] We conclude that the public interest here outweighs the right of the deputies to have their names withheld. (New York Times Co. v. Superior Court, supra, 218 Cal.App.3d at p. 1586 [public disclosure of names of excessive users of water allowed]; see also City of Richmond v. Superior Court, supra, 32 Cal.App.4th at p. 1435; see also 78 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 103 (1995).)
Law enforcement officers carry upon their shoulders the cloak of authority to enforce the laws of the state. In order to maintain trust in its police department, the public must be kept fully informed of the activities of its [52 Cal.App.4th 105] peace officers.”
As noted above and in light of the foregoing, we further believe the city of Palo Alto and its chief attorney’s Molly Stump and Donald decisively set out to undermine this trust and should be held accountable for their actions.