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Posted on May 18 at 8:23 a.m.
It appears the probation/parole route is the most effective and cost effective tool we can use to deal with those involved in gang activities. What strength or authority will a gang injunction have that a Judge cannot impose on the criminal as a term and condition of probation or parole? I believe we've overlooked the fact that the "tools" are already in place in the judicial system to deal with the gang bangers. Enforce the laws, prosecute and impose the greatest sentence possible in all cases.
On Heated Debate Over Gang Injunction
Posted on May 16 at 5:10 p.m.
I agree Ken, there are many different races involved. My question is, which race of people have the highest percentage of involvement in gang activity? Based on my experience I will guess it's the Latino's and specifically the Mexicans. Same with drug issues.
Regarding the woman whose husband was incarcerated and wrote the letter "explaining how he's changed." I believe there are some, very few, but some criminals that make a positive change in prison. I suspect the numbers aren't very high.
To add another twist to a person changing while incarcerated and educating our children. Schools and prisons are both government institutions. Strange that our children can't read the bible in our schools, but reading of the bible and learning about religion is encouraged in prisons?
Never too late for that "come to Jesus moment" but I wonder how much difference some religious education at an earlier age might help in avoiding the gang problem.
Posted on May 16 at 3:54 p.m.
Police officers are not required to have "probable cause" in order to stop and talk to any person. Always nice to have a valid explanation if challenged but no specific reason for a contact is required.
Eliminating gang activity isn't going to happen any more than wasting millions of dollars fighting a "drug war" is going to eliminate drug use. You can't eliminate "stupid;" and there are too many stupid people in our city from various backgrounds that choose to involve themselves in both drug and gang activities.
Quote from the article: "young Latino males claiming they’re already profiled and stopped by police with no probable cause." If Latino's are the primary race of person(s) involved in gang activity in this city, doesn't it make sense that police will be stopping people of this race they are concerned about? I suspect if the little Latino morons involved in gang activity were to discontinue this type of activity, police contact with Latino's would drop significantly.
What percent of gang related crimes involve Latino's in this city? What's the percentage of blacks involved in gang activity, how about orientals?
Police picking on Latino's? I seriously doubt it. For the most part, police deal with the people (whatever they are) presenting the problems. If many Latino's are whining about the police I suspect it is because many Latino's are likely a problem for the citizens of this city and the police. Will a gang injunction will slow down the gang problem? Maybe, but I wouldn't bet on it. Like the chief said, "it's a tool." It will help but it won't solve the problem.
Quote from the article: "why young people join gangs — poverty, educational inequities, lack of opportunity." What a crock of BS! A person may be poor but that does not prevent them from receiving a decent education (if they perform as expected in school); and for the most part we all have the same opportunities in this country. Why are so many entering our country, legally and illegally? Don't see many people swimming east across the Rio Grande! Are there not Americans that are required to pay higher tuition fees at some colleges than some "illegals" pay? I didn't read much about the parents role in dealing with their children? Aren't the parents suppose to be setting the standard for the children to follow, imposing discipline as needed?
Wow. A Harvard educated, activist UCSB professor getting involved. If he is as educated as Obama you might want to try reaching out to someone else.
Posted on April 27 at 8:14 a.m.
An article posted 4-26 at 11:33PM on the KEYT website indicates a private citizen will file a complaint with the PD against the officer involved. Is it permissible to file a complaint with the County Grand Jury to initiate an investigation into the Cox incident?
The KEYT article states, in part, "the officer was on a break when she saw what she thought was Cox trying to break into a car." As I recall initial reports indicated Cox was "peering" into a car. Did she see any force being applied against the car? What exactly did the officer observe that led her to believe Cox was " - trying to break into a car?" Did the officer observe damage to the car when contacting Cox or see any tools in his possession (she was threatened by) or in the area that would lead her to believe he was trying to gain access to a car?
After the officer contacted Cox; when he did not comply with her orders, did she advise him that he was under arrest? Or, after Cox did not comply with her orders did she use the taser and then advise him of his arrest? Cox reportedly walks away from the officer and refused to cooperate. How can this officer, in any way, justify use of a taser against this person? It would be interesting to learn how much time elapsed between the initial contact with Cox and the use of the taser.
Quoting from the KEYT article: "It''s (sp) important for both darts to hit the target to complete the electrical circuit for the device to work. So if only one hit Mr. Cox, it would have been impossible for him to feel the effects of the taser," explained Sgt. Riley Harwood, of the Santa Barbara Police Department.
Is the department issuing defective equipment to its officers? Or, was their too much distance between the officer and Cox for both darts to deploy and strike accurately?
The concern is not so much the equipment may have been defective. The concern is WHY the officer believed this was her only way to resolve this situation? Did Cox do something more than simply walk away (if he did) to warrant being shot by a taser?
On Man Tased After Acting Suspiciously Near Own Car
Posted on April 25 at 7:24 p.m.
Darryl - Your concern is exactly what I was sitting and thinking about before I returned to read the current comments. Officers have been involved in too many incidents that have placed themselves and citizens of our city in jeopardy. As far as I know not one officer has been held accountable. Or have they?
Sooner or later, unfortunately, the odds are going to catch up and either an officer or a citizen could be injured in a significant way, or worse. Like you, I hope I am wrong.
While I agree with your thinking I believe the first part of the problem is with the hiring process. Is the department hiring the best qualified candidates? Are thorough background checks being conducted of each applicant by investigators that know what they are doing?
Once hired, based on the recent incidents, it would appear proper training is lacking. Why do similar negative incidents continue to occur if these officers are continually and properly trained? Regarding the Cox incident. I'm told it may have been better for the officer to report their observations, move additional personnel into the area and wait to see if a crime was in fact committed. But, maybe the officer didn't have the time or there weren't additional personnel available at that time.
Once we get past the hiring and training concerns I wonder if we have experienced and seasoned personnel in supervisory positions? Or, are there too many police supervisors in positions for which they are not qualified? If the supervisors didn't really know how to perform well on the street and elsewhere before they are promoted, how are they going to be able to lead officers for whom they are responsible?
Posted on April 24 at 4 p.m.
Need more facts to know whether or not to be concerned about this police incident. What were the suspicious acts? Is there a law against peering into car windows on a public street?
Once again, a citizen does not comply with an officers request and an incident ensued. Based on the minimal identified circumstances, would it have been better for the officer to continue watching this "suspect" and hopefully observe him commit a crime before they initiated any contact?
Posted on April 19 at 4:47 p.m.
khigler - had the police done a "proper job," i.e., handled this traffic stop as trained, this would not have become an issue for discussion.
Police must be intelligent and as important they must use common sense and discipline in their daily contacts. As demonstrated in the Denunzio case, it is not always "safer for Police Officers to act as they see fit." Look at the video and justify how the officer saw fit to approach Denunzio; and, without provocation, except for reportedly not obeying Tudor's command to get back into his car, initiate an unnecessary physical contact? Did Denunzio do something other than (not obey) the officer? Grabbing Denunzio's arm is one issue but the excessive force began with the leg sweep by the officer. What is the officers explanation, "he didn't listen to my command." The old "contempt of cop" violation.
Yes, it might have been better for Denunzio to get back into his car, but, could the officer have placed himself in jeopardy (considering the circumstances up to that point)? At this point, what law did Denunzio violate by not gettting back into his car? What if there was an accessible weapon on the front seat of the car? Once a suspect is out of their car or home isn't it safer to keep them out until an issue has been resolved?
I suggest the officer was equally responsible for having an "attitude." Simply because a traffic violator does not respond to an officers command, their badge does not give them the authority to use unwarranted and excessive force. Why couldn't the officer talk with Denunzio without putting his hands on him? How many times during an officers career do you believe they will encounter people that will not respond as requested or ordered? Once or a hundred times doesn't really matter. What matters is the ability of the officer to "act" in a disciplined & professional manner based on the circumstances they encounter. In viewing the video I did not see Denunzio make any moves against the officer that would warrant the officers use of any force, much less excessive force.
There are people that don't like police but why suggest they move to Mexico or anywhere else?. If you, or other officer's can't handle the aholes you contact on a daily basis you might consider another profession. If you or other officer's worry too much about going to work where "people try to kill you," perhaps it would be in your best interest and that of your fellow officers; and the citizens you are hired "To Protect & To Serve" to look for another job. An officer with an attitude places themselves, the public and officers they work with in jeopardy. The officers apparent negative attitude, lack of discipline and lack of professionalism allowed a minor traffic stop to develop into a major incident!
What did I miss? What did Denunzio do that warranted the force exhibited? Unfortunately, I disagree the officer did a "proper" job in the Denunzio case.
On DA Dismisses DUI Case Against Tony Denunzio
Posted on April 18 at 7:21 a.m.
Why is the PD "just now" starting an investigation into Tudor's actions against Denunzio? Did the chief, and others, defend the officer simply because they believed what he reported? How can anyone adequately defend Tudor and justify their support if they did not investigate, learn all the facts and review all the evidence in advance?
Posted on April 16 at 5:36 p.m.
Binky - are you suggesting carrying a concealed weapon would have prevented Denunzio from the beating he suffered at the hands of an incompetent officer? The tape is evidence of excessive force by Tudor as he initiated the initial physical, and excessive use of unnecessary force against Denunzio.
Posted on March 20 at 9:09 a.m.
lawdy - "noscams" statement is relevant as police credibility is an issue that is involved in the DeNunzio case and other recent cases handled by the PD. Lawdy's statement is relevant as she is another person in an unfortunately long line of people that have issues with the PD similar to the type identified with DeNunzio in his contact with the PD.
Credibility, especially for an officer, is the foundation of their work. Who are you going to believe? If police are known to lie why should any of them be believed? If it is continually reported various officers have not been truthful in their statements why should we believe any officer on the PD? They all receive the same training. Goes back to the thought that one bad apple spoils the whole barrel.
I have no doubt the majority of officers on the PD are dedicated, competent and are an asset to the department. But, you get a few a$$holes past the hiring process and they will continue to undermine this department and leave a negative opinion of all officers on the department. Based on the identified issues I believe it could honestly be stated there are a number of persons in supervisory and staff positions at the PD that give meaning to the "peter principle."
Probably a good time for rank and file officers to consider having a heart-to-heart discussion with those officers they know (and they do know) that are creating problems for the department. The PD doesn't appear to have the leaders in place to handle this issue.
On Mistrial Declared in Tony Denunzio DUI Case
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