Alameda County sheriff is shocked

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Sarah Jane Holcombe, a graduate student in public health at UC Berkeley (and a neighbor of mine), was disturbed to see Alameda County deputy sheriffs using unnecessary force against peaceful student demonstrators. She's not alone -- a lot of people on campus have been upset about police conduct during the demonstrations. But Holcombe did more than grumble -- she wrote to Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern to complain. And she got back a remarkable message that says a lot about what the elected sheriff thinks about the protesters.

Here's Holcombe's letter:

Dear Mr Gregory Ahern,

I find myself just stunned and appalled at the behavior of your police in Sproul Plaza, and as a Berkeley student, have lost respect and confidence in the Alameda County Police Force.

Who are these Officers?  Where were they trained?

Perhaps more to the point is, why are you authorizing such blatantly violent and anti-democratic behavior?  This shows such bad judgement that I wonder why you are the head of the Alameda County Police Force.

Finally, what are you doing to address the gross problems and violations evident in Alameda County Police Officers' behavior?

My confidence and trust in you and your force is now very low.

I look forward to your response.

Ahern's letter back, sent within two hours:

I am shocked too.  I am shocked educated individuals who violate laws do not expect to be arrested. I am shocked that people who speak of peace in our society attempt to do harm to law enforcement personnel. I am shocked that some protesters throw rocks, cement, bottles and paint at law enforcement. I am shocked that protesters throw urine and feces at police officers.

I am shocked at the vulgar language used at my staff.

I am shocked that people like you make judgements about law enforcement without knowing all the facts and without asking questions prior to making judgements and assigning guilt on those prior to any investigation.

When the protesters follow the laws of our society and our lawful commands we have no issues.  Many of the protesters speak to us and provide us with their legal intentions to march and we assist them.

Let me tell you something.....my staff has done nothing wrong. They have assisted this community in allowing their free speech and right to assemble. We have provided protection to thousands of individuals and allowed them to practice their rights while some of those same individuals insult us. We have provided traffic blocks so people could march safely. We have protected buildings and provided escorts to frightened citizens in the area of the protest. We have escorted special need individuals and eldery from areas of the protest. We have assisted handicapped people to safety.

In each use of force that my staff has used has been in direct response to direct actions of individuals. We have not and do not and will not just use indiscriminate force. Each use of force is documented, reviewed and subject to further review of command staff. Indiscriminate force is not tolerated. Do not judge my people from news reports or YouTube videos.

I beg you to come to our training.  I will provide you full access, I will answer any of your questions.  I will prove we do our job correctly and according to national standards.  Let me know when you can show up at our training.

It was signed Gregory Ahern. I called his press spokesman and he confirmed that this was Ahern's message and represents his position.

Actually, Sheriff, I didn't see many reports of protesters at Cal doing anything to harm police officers. And to simply say "my staff has done nothing wrong" without listing to an evaluating any complaints that might be filed seems, well, a rush to judgment.

And honestly, were there "frightened citizens" at Berkeley who needed to be escorted from buildings? Was beating up a poet appropriate use of force?

Sheriff Ahern has made his decision. Already.

 

Comments

Get over it! I can't believe some of you people are judging the police, bottom line is like someone said earlier, follow the rules you idiot! National standard you can use force when there is resistance any force for an effective arrest. Tell me what does law enforcement do when they ask someone the first time and second and third and they still are not listening...in my opinion if any of you judging law enforcement probably have never seen it from their side and what they have to deal with. Educated people acting like animals is not protesting its counter productive. For those of you that think no one protesting did anything wrong, I'm sorry so you know what everyone was doing at all times? Yeah I think not! There were people doing stupid things that the police asked nicely not to do over and over...grow up and protest the right way and follow directions!

Posted by Guest on Nov. 24, 2011 @ 7:50 am

Wow?!?!? So you really believe that a cop can shoot (use any force) a protester for resisting arrest by linking arms...ummm....no. You guys would fit in perfectly down south during the civil rights protests when cops issued 'legal orders' to disperse and then beat the crap out them. Or better yet, in Syria where protesters are killed daily because protesters aren't dispersing following the 'legal orders' to do so.

Posted by Guest no name on Nov. 24, 2011 @ 9:02 am

Wow?!?!? So you really believe that a cop can shoot (use any force) a protester for resisting arrest by linking arms...ummm....no. Force has to be appropriate and justified. You guys would fit in perfectly down south during the civil rights protests when cops issued 'legal orders' to disperse and then beat the crap out them. Or better yet, in Syria where protesters are killed daily because protesters aren't dispersing following the 'legal orders' to do so.

Posted by Guest no name on Nov. 24, 2011 @ 9:04 am

Laws are laws. Police are given guns, batons, and pepper spray, for a reason. Without enforcement of the rule of law this country would quickly collapse into barbarism. If protesters and illegal immigrants get badly injured and even occasionally killed by the police, that's the breaks. It's the price we pay to live in a secure democracy.

Your right to 'free speech' doesn't trump my right to live in a secure home free from having to deal with a bunch of hippie nut jobs and illegal invaders who are ruining my state. I pay taxes for that security and I expect to get what I pay for.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 24, 2011 @ 10:49 am

You could grab 10 people from that group of squaters and each one would have there own personal agenda, none of which are unified. This protest is nothing more than a bunch of random people who want to blame everyone else for their life not working out the way they want.
Reality check, you aren't entitled to anything, no on owes you anything, least of all our country. You want something? Get to work and be deligent about changing your situation. Don't sit around in a circle of disperity feeding each others ego's and feel sorry for yourselves.
Bottom line is you have a choice, when a person of authority especially one with a badge tells you to something, do it. If you don't, you are going to like the results! That's how a civilized society works. Don't get it twisted, this isn't Nazi Germany, or the 60's in the south, this isn't anything even close to that honorable of a battle. This is a bunch of spoiled Americans who made bad decisions and would like to blame others for there situations. Well that would be 99% of them, there probably are 1% that actually have a viable reason to be out there. Maybe that's why they call themselves the 99%?

Posted by Guest The working majority on Nov. 24, 2011 @ 10:18 am

It is so much fun to see conservatives who thrive under strict rules and structure watching their world come undone as the limits of state power exercised through the police are being demonstrated in high contrast before the world.

The best one for me was the march in support of Bradley Manning this past Tuesday. It started at the Cable Car turnaround on Market and Powell and ended at the Occupation.

The march did not request a permit to take the street, the 50-100 of us just took the street, old school style. We managed to safely march the ten or so blocks down to the units block of market, negotiating and accommodating transit and auto-instigated gridlock.

Once we got to the first block of Market, the last block of the march, the SFPD assembled to escort the permitted Egypt solidarity march organized by the RCP, Revolutionary Communist Party (who knew the RCP cadre had such a good rapport with the cops?) noticed that we'd taken the entire width of the low trafficked foot of Market.

Determining that their authority was challenged and that they were not exercising power, 15 or so motorcycle cops (fat, white) whipped their bikes around and headed up Market for that few hundred feet, essentially into the march at 15-20mph or so.

They tried to pin the march into the right lanes, but we were laughing our fucking asses off so much and the distance was so minute that the cops reduced themselves to absurd stereotypes of inflexible authoritarian power going through the motions of futility only to highlight their own utter powerlessness. It was priceless.

As I was about to step over the foot of Market Street, I saw a brass cop watching the affair, and recounted this story to him and his department's pathetically weak response to it. Finally, I asked him what the fuck was wrong with this department that they felt necessary to conduct themselves in a way that put people in danger where before there was safety? He told me to get on the sidewalk and I just laughed at him.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 24, 2011 @ 10:43 am

Someone should have run your stupid ass over - and probably would have, if the very cops and laws you are currently disparaging were not protecting you.

The SFPD doesn't care what your organization is, they care whether or not you had the decency to get a permit, so that they could set up to allow other people to be detoured around the street you were walking on, and keep people safe. After all, other people have rights, too - not just you and your selfish friends.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 24, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

The cops were not there, we all acted safely, and nobody got run over.

Not so lucky for the motorists, the uncertainty and lack of cop presence and the resulting legal vacuum shook many of them to the bare foundations of their beings, some are still in coma.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 26, 2011 @ 8:21 pm

Damn Marcos... Take it easy on the communist kool-aid.. Your W A Y out there man.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2011 @ 7:55 am

Taking the streets is easy, we don't need no stinking (fat,white) motorcycle cops.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 27, 2011 @ 8:14 am

Marcos ... Breathe... count to ten ... exhale the bong hit ...

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2011 @ 8:40 am

Why stop at ten seconds? You have the lung capacity of a couch potato.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 27, 2011 @ 8:52 am

Guest, thank god for people like you . There are people with common sense left in the world after all. These so called protesters are costly annoying and selfish. There are rules for everybody. So do not speak for me. I am a part of the 50 % who actually pay taxes. I appreciate the police and am grateful.

Posted by GuestCc on Nov. 29, 2011 @ 10:12 am

You could grab 10 people from that group of squaters and each one would have there own personal agenda, none of which are unified. This protest is nothing more than a bunch of random people who want to blame everyone else for their life not working out the way they want.
Reality check, you aren't entitled to anything, no on owes you anything, least of all our country. You want something? Get to work and be deligent about changing your situation. Don't sit around in a circle of disperity feeding each others ego's and feel sorry for yourselves.
Bottom line is you have a choice, when a person of authority especially one with a badge tells you to something, do it. If you don't, you are going to like the results! That's how a civilized society works. Don't get it twisted, this isn't Nazi Germany, or the 60's in the south, this isn't anything even close to that honorable of a battle. This is a bunch of spoiled Americans who made bad decisions and would like to blame others for there situations. Well that would be 99% of them, there probably are 1% that actually have a viable reason to be out there. Maybe that's why they call themselves the 99%?

Posted by Guest The working majority on Nov. 24, 2011 @ 10:20 am

Sheriff Ahern is perfect for saying what he did. If you don't want to get beat up by the police, first don't act stupid, second listen to what they say, third keep your ass at home.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 24, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

The answer to your questions are rather simple from both a law and law enforcement level.....after given a lawful dispersal order (which was given before force was used in all of these cases) and should you not only not leave, but link arms with others in defiance of such order.....by law you by all means can be pepper sprayed. The law is pretty clear on this, to include rulings by the US Supreme Court....officers are allowed to use force one step above what is being used against them...so if you refuse to leave and an officer attempts to put your hands behind your back to arrest you...and you link arms to thwart their attemps to remove you....pepper spray is the next level of force.....push and officer...and use of a baton is not only allowed by law, it's what is taught.....if you see the entire UC Davis incident.....the same Lt. who used the pepper spray went to each protester sprayed BEFORE and said, "You understand if you do not leave, force will be used to remove you"....if you're gonna stand up for your cause, by all means do that...but don't later complain about how you were treated after you are warned force is about to be used against you....I've been pepper sprayed and I've been tasered....several times....and neither have ever killed me....come on people...we're smarter then that....right???

Posted by Guest on Nov. 24, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

Post links to these so-called court rulings of yours.

They don't exist.

And in fact police departments have repeatedly been successfully sued for millions of dollars for engaging in such unconstitutional tactics.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 24, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

Example: Graham v Connor is the basis for the reasonable officer standard. Reasonble force based on the officer's training and experience... NOT the least intrusive which protestors believe is the requirement.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2011 @ 10:53 am

Yet more bullshit.

I said post inks, not your selective redacted blurbs that contain no absolutely details of the cases in question.

You clearly looked these up. Now simply show us the links to your supposed proof (undoubtedly bogus, which is why you -didn't- just post the links).

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 25, 2011 @ 11:57 am

Graham v Conner
Scott v Henrich
Forrester v San Diego

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2011 @ 11:01 am

Yet more bullshit.

I said post inks, not your selective redacted blurbs that contain no absolutely details of the cases in question.

You clearly looked these up. Now simply show us the links to your supposed proof (undoubtedly bogus, which is why you -didn't- just post the links).

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 25, 2011 @ 11:58 am

Mr. Brooks. Those aforementioned cases do in fact outline "progressive use of force" for Law Enfocement Officers. Not only are they appropriate Case Law Rulings; but the previous thread advising that Officers may indeed use Pepper Spray in lieu of "Physical Pain Control Techniques" (which pose a much greater risk to the public and Officers of both injury and further escalation of force) is correct as well. We who HAVE Law Degrees have read the cases and done the research. Simply saying it's "Bullshit" because someone won't do the work for you and post "links" shows that either you are letting your ideology get in the way of your logic; or you are just a simpleton and are incapable or finding the TRUE answers yourself.
If Case Law is too dificult for you (and it can be a handful at times), just pick up and CA Penal Code book at the local library. The law is quite straight-forward and easy to comprehend. Officers may use that force deemed reasonably necessary in order to effect and arrest; prevent escape or overcome resistance. A "peaceful protest" is no longer legally "peaceful" if protestors remain once police give a legal dispersion advisement. The "locking of arms" is a "PHYSICAL ESCALATION", as it no longer allows Officers to make an arrest without using "PHYSICAL FORCE" to overcome resistance. Both Case Law and the Penal Code now authorize Officers to use "Non-Lethal Force"; which includes Pepper Spray, Physical Pain Compliance Techniques, Batons, Bean Bag Rounds, Rubber Bullets and even K-9's. Out of all of those options, Pepper Spray is easily the most safe. It is only painful for a short period of time, rarely has any side effects and it keeps Officers and protestors from using Physical Force (the quickest way to escalate into the top-tiers of Non-Lethal and possibly even force a lethal confrontation). Lastly, I want you to please keep in mind that we do not pay our Law Enforcement Officers to "fight fair". We pay them to Win. That is why they have the Right and Authority to escalate force when necessary to enforce our laws. I think most Officers do this amazingly well, since they must make many of these decisions in a split-seconds time; while the rest of society gets days and weeks afterwards to "criticize" their actions.
Speaking for those who gave all... Rest in Peace Officer Jim Capoot - Vallejo PD

Posted by Guest Legal Standpoint on Nov. 26, 2011 @ 5:39 pm

Why do you misuse capitalization? Is that a lawyer thing?

Posted by marcos on Nov. 26, 2011 @ 5:54 pm

Get it?

And I repeat, your personal hearsay doesn't cut it. You are making unsubstantiated statements.

Back up your claims with actual links to direct case law citations.

Otherwise you are just blowing hot air.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 26, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

"Lastly, I want you to please keep in mind that we do not pay our Law Enforcement Officers to "fight fair". We pay them to Win."

We pay cops to follow the law while enforcing the law.

To even contemplate the contrary undermines the entire premise.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 27, 2011 @ 9:06 am

Why don't YOU look them up. You seem to be doing a lot of finger pointing but your easy response is to ask everyone else for specific facts when you have nothing but you tube reference material. You pose yourself off to be educated... well then do some research yourself a cite the Cal.Ap case yourself.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2011 @ 8:03 am

you fucking brainless twit. The Headwaters decision.

Posted by anonymous on Nov. 27, 2011 @ 2:19 pm

I love the Sheriff's response. Totally accurate. I hope the protesting terrorists get what they deserve... prison time.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 24, 2011 @ 8:33 pm

No sympathy for these protestors who break the law and act out against the ACSO. I love the people who say destroying property isn't an act of violence. If everyone's behaving out there, why wear the V for Vendetta masks? The sad truth of it all is that punks always love to riot at any opportunity and the non violent Occupy protests suffer due to the selfish acts of these scumbags. If Occupy doesn't police themselves, ACSO & law enforcement will.

Posted by HippiesSuck on Nov. 24, 2011 @ 8:36 pm
Posted by Guest on Nov. 24, 2011 @ 11:11 pm

Thank you Sheriff, yoour county supports your stance on the occupiers. Keep up the good work.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2011 @ 2:10 am

"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."

It appears that the 99% might have other ideas than to be held to honor a social contract that has long since been shredded. All bets are off, fuckers.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 25, 2011 @ 9:04 am

Oh now he's a tough guy ... Another one that can dish it but can't take it.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2011 @ 8:06 am

Graham v Conner
Reasonable officer force standard based on officer's training, experience and knowledge at the time the force was used.

Forrester v San Diego
Reasonable force requirement clarified. Least intrusive force is not required.

Scott v Henrich (9th Circuit 1994)
Officers need not avail themselves to lesser alternatives of force. The test us reasonableness, not escalation. Officers need not experiment with force escalating or des slating from one level of force to another.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2011 @ 11:14 am

Yet more bullshit.

I said post inks, not your selective redacted blurbs that contain no absolutely details of the cases in question.

You clearly looked these up. Now simply show us the links to your supposed proof (undoubtedly bogus, which is why you -didn't- just post the links).

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 25, 2011 @ 11:53 am

I think Guest's summary of the cases is fair though I would offer a different summary. Here's a case to check out:

Headwaters Forest Defense v. County of Humboldt, 276 F. 3d 1125 (2002)

A link (if you're not lazy you can just use google scholar and plug in the case name and/or cite:

Here's an excerpt:
"During three nonviolent protests against the logging of ancient redwood trees in the Headwaters Forest, plaintiffs-appellants ('protestors') linked themselves together with self-releasing lock-down devices known as 'black bears.' A 'black bear' is a cylinder with a rod or post welded into the center" (at p. 1127) ...."Beginning in the fall of 1997, defendants [Sheriffs] began using olesoresin capsicum aerosol ('OC' or 'pepper spray') to cause the protestors to release themselves from the 'black bears.' The use of pepper spray under these circumstances was entirely unprecedented: in California, its use was 'limited to controlling hostile or violent subjects' and it had never been used in Humboldt County, the State of California, or anywhere in the country against nonviolent protestors" (at p. 1128)..."Characterizing the protestors' activities as "active resistance" is contrary to the facts of the case, viewing them, as we must, in the light most favorable to the protestors[because of the procedural posture of the case]: the protestors were sitting peacefully, were easily moved by the police, and did not threaten or harm the officers. In sum, it would be clear to a reasonable officer that it was excessive to use pepper spray against the non-violent protestors under these circumstances." (at p. 1130).

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

The case quote you posted makes clear that it is excessive to use pepper spray, and by extension other violence toward peaceful protesters. Are you saying that the other cases our red neck 'Guest' cited likewise show that such force used on peaceful protesters is excessive?

I remember the Headwaters case well because I was a forest protection and restoration activist when that unprecedented police attack happened. In 2005 a jury found that those cops were indeed guilty of using excessive force in merely applying pepper spray with a q-tip to the eyes of peaceful protesters.

As your note states, that case set the precedent in California.

Hence, what the cops did in Davis, was blatantly excessive force, and therefore patently illegal.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 25, 2011 @ 9:21 pm

GFirst, I think you should take the Sheriff up on his offer so you have a better understanding of what Police have to deal with. Second, the cases quoted by Guest are the current case law in play as it relates to Use of Force. The reason it is allowed is;

Police had to come up with "Less than Lethal" means of dealing with people. It used to be police had, verbal, hands on, batons, & guns. Which one worked on protesters at that time? Now we have less than lethal, tazer, O.C Spray, Bean Bag, rubber bullets...

With your Davis students, they were given a LAWFUL dispersal order. Those who stayed are now criminals arrestable for multiple violations. Lets see some possibilities. 50 ofcrs move in & are attacked by 200 protesters. Shots fired and many die. Next, ofcrs go hands on & a few switch from passive to resistance. Panick sets in once some fights break out & an ofcr perceives an attck and shots fired, people die. Next, ofcrs go hands on and everyone stays calm, but some lock arms. Police play tug of war and several severe injuries like dislocations, broken bones, torn muscles...Etc. now pay lawsuits, medical bills, & some new ofcrs are hurt beyond being cops anymore and have to be paid medical pensions for life Bcuz of protests declared unlawful. No other options exist without less lethal.

Now, officers use O.C. Spray. Most leave due to the known pain. Some stay but now wont fight Bcuz of pain and blindness & are easily removed. Next, ofcrs begin tazing one by one. People hear the pain is causes and most leave. A few are incapacitated but easily moved. Next, ofcrs move in and begin to bean bag a few at a time. These cause great pain & some injury. Most leave and the few left are incapacitated and easy to move.

Your the Chief, in charge of all of this and have to move the law violators. What will you do?

Posted by Peace Officer on Nov. 26, 2011 @ 11:32 am

Total nonsense.

The horror scenarios that you raised simply never happen in peaceful protests like this. Your scenarios are laughable.

And the 2005 jury verdict on pepper spray use in the Headwaters case clearly shows that you are wrong.

Doesn't it..

As to what I would do..

I would of course, not stupidly give a dispersal order in the first place, and would simply let the protesters, protest, as is their right under the Constitution.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 26, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

The scenarios I listed are true case you dope. I have been dealing with protesters for 15 yrs and this ALWAYS happens. As for the case you quote, you should try reading it before you make a fool of yourself. The reason the case was reversed to the plaintiffs was because the court decided that the protesters were already incapacitated by using the Black Bear contraptions. The protesters were incapable of resistance and by the officers own addmissions, they grabbed the FOUR protesters and moved them. And another thing, when a court case regarding civil rights violations happens, it doesnt change the law overnight. What happens when the supreme court reverses it? You seem like a grumpy old man set in his ways and when someone shows you evidence, you still cling to your beliefs. Those scenarios especially. They have happened and thats why police are using more less than lethal so we don't hurt people by breaking their arms, clubbing their heads, and so forth. As for you being chief and doing nothing, what a joke you are. They broke the law by staying where the law said they couldnt. They can protest all they want as long as no laws are violated. Or they get a permit when they intend to break the law. How do you think the KKK gets to walk down the middle of the street and scream hate messages? They apply for a permit that allows them to violate the law for a specific time frame. If the occupy movement want to break the laws, then apply for the permit. Yelling that I'm a protester doesn't give you the right to break the law. If that worked, I might as well hold up Bank of America but make sure I tell everyone that I'm stealing this money in protest of the 1%.

Grow the hell up!

Posted by Peace Officer on Nov. 27, 2011 @ 11:08 pm

Even though I despise most dirt eating druid liberals, I want to say thanks for protesting. I made a ton of money in overtime and will enjoy spending it at the large corporations and buying things for my kids this Christmas. Please feel free to protest and riot, especially on my day off.

Merry Christmas

Posted by Guest 1 on Nov. 25, 2011 @ 5:57 pm

It is mind boggling how much hatred, disrespect and contempt for the Constitution and Bill of Rights is expressed by some of the anonymous guests here. It is not surprising that we have so many 'enemies' in the world, except of course for the corrupt regimes of the1% and their stooges, who we have been enabling for decades.
There is very little distinction except in degree - so far at least - in the repressive tactics being employed here at home and abroad. We are struggling to conserve what is left of our democracy, I would remind those of you who appear to be in favor of a fascist corporate police state that "This Is Still America Godamnit - Love It Or Leave It"
http://www.aljazeera.com/Services/ArticleTools/Send2Friends.aspx?GUID=20...
If that link works I'm applying for a job as a stenographer!!

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 25, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

I find it amazing that you start out with a statement about the Constitution and Bill of Rights; and then talk about how people have come to hate our Democracy.
R.N.? Really... I guess you don't need a history class to get a degree nowadays...
We are not a DEMOCRACY.. We are a REPUBLIC! As stated in our Constitution. The difference you ask?? Simple: In a Democracy; the ruling party can change any and all laws and rights the people have. In a Republic; citizens have unalienable rights which may not be taken away without just cause, no matter who is in charge.
The Right to Peacefully Protest is a Right. Once a Legal Order to Disperse is given by Law Enforcement; and protestors remain, it is no longer "peaceful". It doesn't matter if they just sit and sing or if they curse and throw rocks. I have protested on several occassions, and the police have never bothered me. Probalby because I know the Law. Once the Order to Disperse is given, the protest is no longer protected as a Right since it violates the Rule of Law. In other protests I was smart enough to leave as soon as I saw others damaging property or actively rebelling against the police. Once that crap starts, you defeat the purpose of having a right to peacefully protest and you're basically spitting on our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
I love this country and the rights we are blessed with. But when I see protestors actively resisting; vandalizing property and throwing things a police; I side with the 98% of other Americans who think their acts are dispicable.

Posted by Guest Legal Standpoint on Nov. 26, 2011 @ 6:24 pm

I stand corrected, on some points, and appreciate the reminders. It does tend to get confusing when so many of the justifications given by our beloved leaders over the years to rationalize our foreign adventurism and empire building is that we are 'spreading democracy'. I basically agree that vandalism and destruction of property is not only unlawful, but also counter productive. However, given the increased militarization of our law enforcement agencies; the ever encroaching 'police state' we are living in; the questionable 'validity' of many of our comparatively recent laws, especially **The Patriot Act; the radical right wing activism of the Supreme Court; the corporate control of all three branches of government, etc; I'm afraid the time may be fast approaching when some kind of 'confrontation' might be required in order to retain any semblance of 'unalienable rights'. As you know the law I would be interested to read your take on S.1253.
PS. It was definitely not easy going back to school and getting a degree at 50 years of age, fortunately History was not one of the pre-requisites, but if it had been, who's version of 'history' would have been required?

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 26, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

Motionless protesters sitting peacefully on the ground do not suddenly and magically become violent because you have given them an order to disperse and they, without the slightest change in their behavior, do not comply.

Your idiotic claim is by far one of the most ridiculous things that I have ever heard in my life.

Assault is implicit in the definition of violence, and your joke criterion does not meet that standard.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 26, 2011 @ 10:04 pm
Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 25, 2011 @ 8:43 pm

Interesting, not a single solitary person, replying to the Sheriff's message, is taking him up on his offer: Go to their training and learn about their procedures. The man gave an open invitation, for ANYONE to attend their trainings, ask questions, and get answers. NONE of you will, because YOUR minds are made up. You THINK you have the right to do anything you want. You don't.

And I, personally, applaud the Sheriff for standing up for his department and his people. A rare thing in this politically charged, left wing liberal ass Alameda County. My hat is off to you sir.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2011 @ 9:58 pm

...which of these hats are you doffing in respect.
http://www.stahlhelms.com/wwii_german_peaked_hats.htm

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 25, 2011 @ 11:08 pm

all of u get over yourselves. go get a job and thank law enforcement that they are still there to protect you after all the negativity they receive. just because there is one officer that is bad out of thousands does not mean all of them should be punished

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2011 @ 4:19 pm