News

In the wake of protests, Mountain View residents demand police reform

Protesters marched from Los Altos High School into Downtown Los Altos on June 5. Photo by Adam Pardee.

A coalition of Mountain View residents are demanding that the city take action to reform the Mountain View Police Department, ending what they describe as unjust law enforcement activities and a culture of systemic racism.

Dozens of residents, many identifying themselves as members of the Mountain View Coalition for Police Reform and Accountability, urged the City Council on Tuesday to take steps to hold its own police department accountable when it comes to use of force and racial inequities in policing.

Throughout the marathon meeting that extended past 3 a.m., speakers called for stronger community oversight of police misconduct, a complete review and revision of use of force policies and a scaling back of the police department's nearly $45 million budget. A flurry of close to 160 emails rolled in as the council discussed the upcoming budget, many advocating for cuts to law enforcement spending.

"Don't wait for a horrific event to put Mountain View front and center in the national news," said resident Molly Carlson. "We need to review, and reform when necessary, our police policies now."

The calls for change come in the wake of numerous protests in Mountain View and neighboring cities over the last two weeks, sparked by the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. The protests have largely been in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, and have increasingly focused on policy changes aimed at curbing police violence that disproportionately targets people of color.

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In light of the protests and civil unrest, Mountain View Police Chief Max Bosel presented at the meeting with a conciliatory message — that racial equality and equal justice under the law is a goal shared by everyone, and that the department will strive to improve through collaboration, outreach and compassionate policing.

"We are not perfect," Bosel said. "We are human, we make mistakes and we need to constantly strive to do better."

Bosel pointed to the department's track record as proof of its restraint, noting that fewer than 30 out of 36,000 calls for service in 2019 resulted in use of force. Although neighboring law enforcement agencies have been roiled in controversy for officer-involved shootings in recent years, Mountain View has quietly avoided discharging a firearm for 19 straight years, according to the department.

But many speakers bristled at comments by Bosel and council members suggesting that the police department was somehow immune from the problems of police brutality, discrimination and bias. Bosel also drew fiery criticism when, during his presentation, he drew a similarity between racial bias and the negativity faced by police officers.

"This is a difficult time to be on the front line," Bosel said. "To be painted with a broad brush, the men and women in our community who volunteer in a career to protect and serve, and a prolific negativity bias — really in some cases a hate for all police officers — which is a phobia that I suggest is as unjust and misplaced as other biases."

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One speaker called the connection "abhorrent" and "unacceptable," while Mountain View resident Eva Tang said the negativity officers face is hardly the same thing as racial discrimination.

"With all due respect, being judged for being a police officer is nothing like being murdered for being black," Tang said. "You can take that uniform off when you get home, black people cannot take their skin off."

Other speakers were taken aback by comments from councilwoman Lisa Matichak, who said she has attended ride alongs and other police events and has "never once" doubted the department and its "wonderful group of caring, compassionate professionals," and councilman John McAlister, who also heaped praise on the department.

"No one has ever said that their department was perfect, but boy I tell you, Mountain View is pretty much there," he said.

Police officers are going to be on their best behaviors in front of council members, argued Mountain View resident Caitlin Neiman, giving them a warped perspective that has put them out of touch.

"What about talking to people who have made complaints against officers — particularly from Latinx, black and other minorities who live and work in Mountain View? I suspect that their perspectives might be a little different."

Several speakers pointed to the department's own data showing that Latino residents make up just 21.7% of the population in Mountain View, but make up 42% of the suspects and 47.9% of the arrests. Black people make up 2.2% of the city's population, but 12.3% of the suspects and 10.6% of the arrests. The numbers are fairly similar to other law enforcement agencies in the region, but Ting argues that's not a good enough justification.

"It's not enough to say that our racial statistics are on par with other police departments. we need to do better than what is on par," she said.

Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga suggested that the council create a subcommittee to continue the dialogue between the community and the police department and determine next steps, while members of the city's Human Relations Commission have already launched its own, similar effort last week.

Calls for new police policies

Members of Mountain View's police reform coalition repeatedly pushed Tuesday for what they describe as data-driven policy changes that can bring down police violence, outlined in what has been dubbed the "8 Can't Wait" campaign.

The eight policies, if adopted, would prohibit officers from using chokeholds or strangleholds or shooting at a moving vehicle, and would require officers to give a verbal warning before using deadly force. It would also require officers to report any incidents in which they used force or threatened to use force.

Ellie Greene, a member of the coalition, told the Voice that the city has only adopted a few of the campaign's policies to date, including verbal warnings before shooting and the ban on chokeholds, but that many remain missing. What's more, she said Mountain View's "duty to intervene" policy — the requirement that police intervene to stop excessive force used by a fellow officer — is poorly written and relies solely on the judgment of an officer.

"These are all proven measures to reduce violence from the police force," Greene said.

Police officials contend that the department follows "the spirit" of the 8 Can't Wait campaign with its policies already on the books, and that the department's leadership will "discuss potential changes in verbiage" to more closely align with the campaign's recommendations.

Other speakers criticized the city for outsourcing the policy-writing process to an outside, for-profit company, pointing out that the department's policy manual has largely been written by the company Lexipol. Molly Carlson, also a member of the coalition, said Lexipol has crafted its policies to the benefit of the police, with plenty of loopholes protecting them from being held accountable.

Lexipol also reportedly uses an indemnity clause in its contracts with local police departments, meaning that if the policy is deemed faulty and leads to illegal activity by officers, all legal liability and settlement costs fall to the law enforcement agency.

Police budget mostly unscathed, with some items deferred

While council members were supportive Tuesday night of fostering a long-term dialogue about cultural and policy changes to the Mountain View Police Department, they were reluctant to take up a line-by-line review of the police department's budget just weeks before approving the 2020-21 budget that had been in the works for months.

The idea of "defunding the police" has gained considerable attention in recent weeks as protesters, incensed over repeated high-profile killings of unarmed black men and women by police, have argued that divesting from law enforcement and re-routing the funds to social and mental health services would be a better use of money in the long run. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced last week he intends to cut the Los Angeles Police Department budget by as much as $150 million this year, giving the movement significant traction in California.

Speakers at the Mountain View council meeting said the city should follow suit, and reject the staff recommendation to boost police funding from $43 million last year to $44.8 million this year. They hammered proposals to spend money upgrading police vehicles ($159,000), buying 30 new patrol rifles ($52,500) and spending further funding on police drones ($12,900).

Councilman Chris Clark said he wanted to have a dialogue with the public about what policing and public safety looks like in 2020 and beyond, but that he was unwilling to make sweeping changes to the police budget at this juncture. While residents were calling for a public hearing on the police budget by June 23, he said it simply wasn't reasonable.

"There is no way we can schedule a public hearing in 13 days to have a conversation about this and modify a budget that's been in process since October and November," he said.

In a last-minute amendment, councilwoman Alison Hicks requested that the council defer the funding for drone equipment, patrol rifles and a boost in spending for parking enforcement and RV towing, at least until February, granting additional time to consider the expenditures.

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In the wake of protests, Mountain View residents demand police reform

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Wed, Jun 10, 2020, 1:06 pm

A coalition of Mountain View residents are demanding that the city take action to reform the Mountain View Police Department, ending what they describe as unjust law enforcement activities and a culture of systemic racism.

Dozens of residents, many identifying themselves as members of the Mountain View Coalition for Police Reform and Accountability, urged the City Council on Tuesday to take steps to hold its own police department accountable when it comes to use of force and racial inequities in policing.

Throughout the marathon meeting that extended past 3 a.m., speakers called for stronger community oversight of police misconduct, a complete review and revision of use of force policies and a scaling back of the police department's nearly $45 million budget. A flurry of close to 160 emails rolled in as the council discussed the upcoming budget, many advocating for cuts to law enforcement spending.

"Don't wait for a horrific event to put Mountain View front and center in the national news," said resident Molly Carlson. "We need to review, and reform when necessary, our police policies now."

The calls for change come in the wake of numerous protests in Mountain View and neighboring cities over the last two weeks, sparked by the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. The protests have largely been in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, and have increasingly focused on policy changes aimed at curbing police violence that disproportionately targets people of color.

In light of the protests and civil unrest, Mountain View Police Chief Max Bosel presented at the meeting with a conciliatory message — that racial equality and equal justice under the law is a goal shared by everyone, and that the department will strive to improve through collaboration, outreach and compassionate policing.

"We are not perfect," Bosel said. "We are human, we make mistakes and we need to constantly strive to do better."

Bosel pointed to the department's track record as proof of its restraint, noting that fewer than 30 out of 36,000 calls for service in 2019 resulted in use of force. Although neighboring law enforcement agencies have been roiled in controversy for officer-involved shootings in recent years, Mountain View has quietly avoided discharging a firearm for 19 straight years, according to the department.

But many speakers bristled at comments by Bosel and council members suggesting that the police department was somehow immune from the problems of police brutality, discrimination and bias. Bosel also drew fiery criticism when, during his presentation, he drew a similarity between racial bias and the negativity faced by police officers.

"This is a difficult time to be on the front line," Bosel said. "To be painted with a broad brush, the men and women in our community who volunteer in a career to protect and serve, and a prolific negativity bias — really in some cases a hate for all police officers — which is a phobia that I suggest is as unjust and misplaced as other biases."

One speaker called the connection "abhorrent" and "unacceptable," while Mountain View resident Eva Tang said the negativity officers face is hardly the same thing as racial discrimination.

"With all due respect, being judged for being a police officer is nothing like being murdered for being black," Tang said. "You can take that uniform off when you get home, black people cannot take their skin off."

Other speakers were taken aback by comments from councilwoman Lisa Matichak, who said she has attended ride alongs and other police events and has "never once" doubted the department and its "wonderful group of caring, compassionate professionals," and councilman John McAlister, who also heaped praise on the department.

"No one has ever said that their department was perfect, but boy I tell you, Mountain View is pretty much there," he said.

Police officers are going to be on their best behaviors in front of council members, argued Mountain View resident Caitlin Neiman, giving them a warped perspective that has put them out of touch.

"What about talking to people who have made complaints against officers — particularly from Latinx, black and other minorities who live and work in Mountain View? I suspect that their perspectives might be a little different."

Several speakers pointed to the department's own data showing that Latino residents make up just 21.7% of the population in Mountain View, but make up 42% of the suspects and 47.9% of the arrests. Black people make up 2.2% of the city's population, but 12.3% of the suspects and 10.6% of the arrests. The numbers are fairly similar to other law enforcement agencies in the region, but Ting argues that's not a good enough justification.

"It's not enough to say that our racial statistics are on par with other police departments. we need to do better than what is on par," she said.

Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga suggested that the council create a subcommittee to continue the dialogue between the community and the police department and determine next steps, while members of the city's Human Relations Commission have already launched its own, similar effort last week.

Calls for new police policies

Members of Mountain View's police reform coalition repeatedly pushed Tuesday for what they describe as data-driven policy changes that can bring down police violence, outlined in what has been dubbed the "8 Can't Wait" campaign.

The eight policies, if adopted, would prohibit officers from using chokeholds or strangleholds or shooting at a moving vehicle, and would require officers to give a verbal warning before using deadly force. It would also require officers to report any incidents in which they used force or threatened to use force.

Ellie Greene, a member of the coalition, told the Voice that the city has only adopted a few of the campaign's policies to date, including verbal warnings before shooting and the ban on chokeholds, but that many remain missing. What's more, she said Mountain View's "duty to intervene" policy — the requirement that police intervene to stop excessive force used by a fellow officer — is poorly written and relies solely on the judgment of an officer.

"These are all proven measures to reduce violence from the police force," Greene said.

Police officials contend that the department follows "the spirit" of the 8 Can't Wait campaign with its policies already on the books, and that the department's leadership will "discuss potential changes in verbiage" to more closely align with the campaign's recommendations.

Other speakers criticized the city for outsourcing the policy-writing process to an outside, for-profit company, pointing out that the department's policy manual has largely been written by the company Lexipol. Molly Carlson, also a member of the coalition, said Lexipol has crafted its policies to the benefit of the police, with plenty of loopholes protecting them from being held accountable.

Lexipol also reportedly uses an indemnity clause in its contracts with local police departments, meaning that if the policy is deemed faulty and leads to illegal activity by officers, all legal liability and settlement costs fall to the law enforcement agency.

Police budget mostly unscathed, with some items deferred

While council members were supportive Tuesday night of fostering a long-term dialogue about cultural and policy changes to the Mountain View Police Department, they were reluctant to take up a line-by-line review of the police department's budget just weeks before approving the 2020-21 budget that had been in the works for months.

The idea of "defunding the police" has gained considerable attention in recent weeks as protesters, incensed over repeated high-profile killings of unarmed black men and women by police, have argued that divesting from law enforcement and re-routing the funds to social and mental health services would be a better use of money in the long run. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced last week he intends to cut the Los Angeles Police Department budget by as much as $150 million this year, giving the movement significant traction in California.

Speakers at the Mountain View council meeting said the city should follow suit, and reject the staff recommendation to boost police funding from $43 million last year to $44.8 million this year. They hammered proposals to spend money upgrading police vehicles ($159,000), buying 30 new patrol rifles ($52,500) and spending further funding on police drones ($12,900).

Councilman Chris Clark said he wanted to have a dialogue with the public about what policing and public safety looks like in 2020 and beyond, but that he was unwilling to make sweeping changes to the police budget at this juncture. While residents were calling for a public hearing on the police budget by June 23, he said it simply wasn't reasonable.

"There is no way we can schedule a public hearing in 13 days to have a conversation about this and modify a budget that's been in process since October and November," he said.

In a last-minute amendment, councilwoman Alison Hicks requested that the council defer the funding for drone equipment, patrol rifles and a boost in spending for parking enforcement and RV towing, at least until February, granting additional time to consider the expenditures.

Comments

Militarized
Old Mountain View
on Jun 10, 2020 at 2:05 pm
Militarized, Old Mountain View
on Jun 10, 2020 at 2:05 pm
43 people like this

I still don't know why the Mountain View police need dozens of AR-15's and multiple armored vehicles that are basically tanks. We need a community-oriented police force, not a military equipped for a war zone.


Dave Himmelblau
North Whisman
on Jun 10, 2020 at 2:16 pm
Dave Himmelblau, North Whisman
on Jun 10, 2020 at 2:16 pm
13 people like this

Isn't it a pity that so many people can't take 'no' for an answer?


SC Parent
Cuesta Park
on Jun 10, 2020 at 2:31 pm
SC Parent, Cuesta Park
on Jun 10, 2020 at 2:31 pm
31 people like this

What does withholding funding for "parking enforcement and RV towing" have to do with concerns about bias and excessive force?


Christopher Chiang
North Bayshore
on Jun 10, 2020 at 2:33 pm
Christopher Chiang, North Bayshore
on Jun 10, 2020 at 2:33 pm
29 people like this

The Mountain View Police Department is ahead of most, and if advocates of reform can't get very far if they can't spot progress and allies.

I hope the police and city absorb this community concern by proactively modifying the existing spirit of police safety rules to reflect concerns brought by the community groups, including a ban of the use of tear gas and rubber bullets (never has been used in MV thanks to MVPD's proactive community policing). Given the police already agrees with the spirit of the requests, an easy victory can be achieved if all sides can put aside their emotional defenses, and sync their statutory language and safety commitments.

Thank you Council Member Hicks for seeking a delay, it may very well be that with time and internal reflection by the MVPD, it itself may find things closer to their existing community policing that need funding more than more guns. The police follow the goals of the city, so a directive by the city council to the police to find more ways to invest in community policing would be welcome.

I hope those who attended city council for the first time yesterday understand that the best way to influence city policies are via elections, rather than brutal activism that relies on intimidation. The very culture you seek the police to eliminate is the same culture activists must not themselves project.


Jake O.
Rex Manor
on Jun 10, 2020 at 2:53 pm
Jake O., Rex Manor
on Jun 10, 2020 at 2:53 pm
66 people like this

I fully support the MVPD and their budget. There is a reason why MV has some of the best officers in the state and that is because we can afford them.

To respond to "militarized" questions, they need dozens of AR-15's because they have dozens of officers. Imagine only a select few being able to go into a situation that require them because there aren't enough to go around. That's like playing football with only 8 players because there isn't enough helmets. The other answer regarding the departments "tanks", they are in no way tanks since they do not have cannon. Best to call them a shield as that is what they are used for. Unlike in the movies, bullets go thru things like car doors.

Why defund a department that has a good relationship with the community? It is as if your car insurance went up because your neighbor was in an accident.

KEEP OUR OFFICERS FUNDED SO THEY CAN STAY SAFE AND GO HOME AT NIGHT


TT
Slater
on Jun 10, 2020 at 3:21 pm
TT, Slater
on Jun 10, 2020 at 3:21 pm
25 people like this

"Mountain View has quietly avoided discharging a firearm for 19 straight years" answers the question that MVPD does not need dozens of AR-15s.


@TT
North Whisman
on Jun 10, 2020 at 3:29 pm
@TT, North Whisman
on Jun 10, 2020 at 3:29 pm
21 people like this

we should get rid of our fire extinguishers too!


TT
Slater
on Jun 10, 2020 at 3:29 pm
TT, Slater
on Jun 10, 2020 at 3:29 pm
12 people like this

If council members are unwilling to do their job and are "reluctant to take up a line-by-line review of the police department's budget just weeks before approving the 2020-21 budget that had been in the works for months" they should resign. These are not small issues or even purely financial issues they are life and death issues. Fix it.


@@TT
Slater
on Jun 10, 2020 at 3:32 pm
@@TT, Slater
on Jun 10, 2020 at 3:32 pm
4 people like this

If you are buying 15 fire extinguishers I would say yes you should reconsider.


Dan Waylonis
Jackson Park
on Jun 10, 2020 at 3:32 pm
Dan Waylonis, Jackson Park
on Jun 10, 2020 at 3:32 pm
18 people like this

A perfect opportunity to also change to a defined contribution benefit plan (like a 401(k) that we all have) for all of the public safety officers to reduce costs.


Policeman's Son
Old Mountain View
on Jun 10, 2020 at 3:35 pm
Policeman's Son, Old Mountain View
on Jun 10, 2020 at 3:35 pm
22 people like this

I agree with Jake O.'s comments. We need to make sure that our police need to be able to protect us and themselves against criminals that are heavily armed.

More training and accountability are what is needed, not restraints. If you limit legally how the police are allowed to do their job, then you should also write a law that says that the criminal needs to give up when caught. No more resisting arrest, fighting to get away or firing weapons at our officers. Have you ever thought about what criminals do in prison? Not much, except to work out and lift weights, probably to be able to defend themselves while in prison. Now, when they get out of prison, our police have to deal with them so that we don't have to. I don't care to try to legislate them at that moment.
Mountain View police have a great record, as do most of our country's forces. Take away the immunity clauses from their contracts and make them accountable for their actions. Make prison time for them a reality if they mess up. Don't lessen their effectiveness to where we as citizens need to come up with other means of protection. Hello 2nd Amendment?


@TT
North Whisman
on Jun 10, 2020 at 3:35 pm
@TT, North Whisman
on Jun 10, 2020 at 3:35 pm
8 people like this

So with a police force of 100, slightly less here in MV but lets say 100, how many AR's should the department have?


Lenny Siegel
Old Mountain View
on Jun 10, 2020 at 3:37 pm
Lenny Siegel, Old Mountain View
on Jun 10, 2020 at 3:37 pm
17 people like this

I just sent the following to the Mountain View Voices for Peace and Justice discussion list.

The national uprising for racial justice and against violent policing is heartwarming, promising, and long overdue. It’s exciting to see so many people locally, particularly young people, taking to the streets in protest. But what’s next?

Many people are suggesting cutting the Mountain View Police budget and adding “8 Can’t Wait” principles to the Department’s policies. Those ideas are worthy of consideration.

I suggest, however, that we start with a thorough, independent fact-finding review of Mountain View’s police practices. Our police department appears to have a record, better than most, of not using unnecessary force. Yet there are complaints, many of which have not surfaced because people are afraid to step forward. We need to know what has really been happening.
Rather than create a new body to launch such an investigation, I propose that the Human Relations Commission be empowered and funded to carry out such a review, complete with opportunities for public testimony, with the goal of issuing a report this fall.

Furthermore, while the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have elevated policing to the top of the racial justice agenda, it’s important not to take our eyes off of the broad spectrum of injustice, including income and wealth inequality, health injustice (manifest in the disproportionate impact of COVID-19), climate and environmental injustice, and perhaps most significant locally, housing injustice.

Lenny
lennysiegel@sonic.net


concerned resident
Rex Manor
on Jun 10, 2020 at 5:53 pm
concerned resident , Rex Manor
on Jun 10, 2020 at 5:53 pm
15 people like this

Why hasn’t the MVPD stop racial profiling? How are they addressing the harassment of minorities in the community? Why is that the council members refuse to hear the concerns of the community? Change is coming and if you don’t want to be in the right side of history get out of the way. We voted you in we can vote you out.


Elen Marty
Old Mountain View
on Jun 10, 2020 at 6:16 pm
Elen Marty, Old Mountain View
on Jun 10, 2020 at 6:16 pm
33 people like this

I fully support the MVPD and their budget. MVPD is awesome!


Heidi
Willowgate
on Jun 10, 2020 at 6:25 pm
Heidi, Willowgate
on Jun 10, 2020 at 6:25 pm
13 people like this

Max Bosel’s comment about police “volunteering” is disingenuous. People choose to be and train (for far too little of a time) to become police officers. We are seeing that police are very well compensated in California. People volunteer for the PTA—not to be police.

His comments about how hard it is to be a police officer explain why there is still racial profiling by MVPD.

The fact that a firearm hasn’t been discharged is reason enough to not fund more firearms for MVPD.

It is exactly the time for elected officials to take this on. We can’t wait to demilitarize the police. Anyone who is acting as if we have crime riddled streets is following Bosel’s disingenuous tone. MV is one of the safest places and it’s not because of police thwarting violence. It’s because it is an expensive suburb with relatively little crime.

Our tax dollars would be better utilized increasing mental health, homelessness, and other social services. Invest in people, not police. End the racist profiling of Black and Latinx residents. And end the MVPD practice of using an external vendor like Lexipol.

While 8 Can’t Wait sounds like a great framework, it would actually increase the police budget. We can imagine better. 8 to Abolition is there for anyone who imagines defunding the police.


Gary
Sylvan Park
on Jun 10, 2020 at 8:47 pm
Gary, Sylvan Park
on Jun 10, 2020 at 8:47 pm
15 people like this

Great that protesters are turning to specifics and looking at local departments. Local police unions endorse candidates that support the police - including higher compensation and maintaining the lack of oversight. Not many officers across the country would engage in misconduct in front of a ride-along on or running for City Council. As to the case of George Floyd, wow, there are some amazing stories about the 19-year veteran officer who killed him. They knew each other. Stay tuned.


Dr. Jordan A. Moller
Old Mountain View
on Jun 10, 2020 at 10:57 pm
Dr. Jordan A. Moller, Old Mountain View
on Jun 10, 2020 at 10:57 pm
20 people like this

Soooo glad we moved out of that "woke" MV cesspool in 2012, to the East Bay.


Robyn
another community
on Jun 11, 2020 at 8:02 am
Robyn, another community
on Jun 11, 2020 at 8:02 am
Like this comment

How many of the suspects and arrestees end up being convicted of crimes? And then, what sort of crimes, ie. drunk in public, theft, rape, murder? These are relevant numbers not simple suspects and arrestees.
Perhaps rather than defunding additional training and tools could be deployed.


Bill
Rengstorff Park
on Jun 11, 2020 at 9:01 am
Bill, Rengstorff Park
on Jun 11, 2020 at 9:01 am
3 people like this

I'm impressed by the progress with the MVPD, and I think MV should continue to lead the way in public safety and emergency response. But, police are called in to deal with a diversity of situations that might be better addressed with CSA and other social workers with more appropriate training and tools. Excessive policing and regressive fines can harm the most vulnerable among us and make a hard life harder.

Can MV be one of the communities that leads the nation with innovative solutions, here going into the 2020's? By 2030, could MVPD be one of the examples that people cite as "here's how you do even better for the community *than just not shooting people* " ?

Can MV lead?

Oh, and #8cantwait isn't the solution, these policies are barely correlated. The 72% figure is statistical malfeasance. The better correlate of killings is arrest numbers, suggesting that reducing policing would reduce the chance of unfortunate escalation. Web Link


Steve
Old Mountain View
on Jun 11, 2020 at 12:04 pm
Steve, Old Mountain View
on Jun 11, 2020 at 12:04 pm
8 people like this

While I think all the talk of police reform is good, and I fully support it; however, it is still only targeting the symptoms of the disease which is generational racism and white privilege. Until we solve those issues with tangible action, we will remain in an endless loop.

What this means is that we have to address some of the critical issues in communities of color including: poor education, poverty, and the lack of opportunity.

One of the biggest issues is that white privilege is propagated generationally. Specifically, white families are able to provide their children with the best educational and life opportunities, and on top of that, they can pass on their privilege to the children through inheritance.

But why should children receive the gains earned through their parent's privilege without having done anything to earn it except being born into the privilege?

Contrast this to a family of color, where in many instances the children don't get anywhere near the same opportunities, nor do they get any form of meaningful inheritance.

A tangible way in which we can even the playing field is to end this generational propagation of privilege by imposing a 100% inheritance tax assets above a certain amount e.g. $500,000 (rules could be developed around exempting small family business etc.)

The proceeds would go towards funding opportunities in more impoverished communities through improving education, providing for broadband connectivity, building infrastructure etc.

This would achieve two goals: 1) It would tangibly improve the lives of the less privileged (2) It would even the playing field.

I suspect, this will be extremely unpopular because it actually means putting skin in the game. After all it is easy to make a sign and march in support of racial equality before going home to a multi-million dollar home in Los Altos. It's another to actually make a sacrifice to make it a reality

P.S. An even more radical proposal would be to impose a 25% wealth tax on all wealth above a certain amount e.g. $5,000,000. But I know that would be a non-starter!




Ok
Sylvan Park
on Jun 11, 2020 at 3:08 pm
Ok, Sylvan Park
on Jun 11, 2020 at 3:08 pm
10 people like this

Steve, what generational racism and white privilege in our area are you talking about?
Silicon Valley is not white and, for example, in my department we are all the first generation immigrants.
On other point I agree, income inequality is the real reason people are pissed off. There should not be such a huge difference between low and high paying jobs.
And corporations all are posting 'Black live matters' signs instead of increasing salaries for their workers, because it is much cheaper for them.


Minority Vet
Castro City
on Jun 11, 2020 at 4:43 pm
Minority Vet, Castro City
on Jun 11, 2020 at 4:43 pm
6 people like this

Want to reform MVPD? Remove some of the sources of their power and arrogance that fuel their egos. Light Blue uniforms with pink neckties. No crew cuts. No sunglasses when talking to citizens, small caliber weapons in neon orange for starters. Get rid of some of the militant leadership like Jaegar and Canfield. Put the rest of the leadership on weight control since, I'm sorry, most honestly don't appear to in any sort of shape to justify all the equipment they think they need to fight crime if they can't ever chase down a suspect.


Steve
Old Mountain View
on Jun 11, 2020 at 8:07 pm
Steve, Old Mountain View
on Jun 11, 2020 at 8:07 pm
2 people like this

@OK, Visit East Palo Alto sometime. I was also speaking of it on a nationwide level vs just locally.

I would still argue that inheritance tax should be at 100% above a modest amount.

Advantage should not be passed on intergenerationally. It leads to disparity based solely on the achievements of the parents. It concentrates wealth and privilege, and results in an unequal society


Steve
Old Mountain View
on Jun 11, 2020 at 8:13 pm
Steve, Old Mountain View
on Jun 11, 2020 at 8:13 pm
4 people like this

@minority vet, I’m assuming you’re being tongue in cheek with the uniforms etc. But more seriously, the city really doesn’t need the number of police (or fire for that matter) officers.

Just about all the crime is property crime, and quite honestly there’s no need for a substantial police force for that.

We most definitely don’t need a SWAT unit - when was the last time a legitimate SWAT call out happened?

In fact, why doesn’t the city just contract with the county for it’s Law Enforcement needs just like Cupertino and Los Altos hills do? A few deputies should be more than enough for our needs


Steve
Old Mountain View
on Jun 11, 2020 at 8:17 pm
Steve, Old Mountain View
on Jun 11, 2020 at 8:17 pm
2 people like this

@OK also Oakland, Richmond, and parts of San Francisco in addition to EPA. Then visit Los Altos, Hillsboro, Los Altos Hills, Pacific Heights, etc and tell me there’s no white privilege


Ok
Sylvan Park
on Jun 11, 2020 at 8:35 pm
Ok, Sylvan Park
on Jun 11, 2020 at 8:35 pm
5 people like this

Steve, go to any European or Asian country and you’ll find high concentration of rich in one ares and poor in other areas. And they will have the same skin color. This is not a race inequality, this is class inequality.


Steve
Old Mountain View
on Jun 11, 2020 at 10:43 pm
Steve, Old Mountain View
on Jun 11, 2020 at 10:43 pm
4 people like this

I have spent an extensive amount of time in Europe, and what you say is simply not true. Be it the West Indians in the UK, or North Africans in France, Italy, and Spain, it is people of colour who are by far and away stuck in poverty due to institutional racism and white privilege. The Europeans committed acts of atrocities against black slaves that makes slavery in the USA pale in comparison, and we know how bad it was here.

Your point that poverty being a key issue is correct. My point is that that poverty is disproportionately born by the black and other communities of color even in the Bay area. The reason for this is due to institutional racism that is exemplified by white generational privilege that is still being propagated today.

I still ask you: why should the wealth of wealthy parents be passed onto their offspring when they have done nothing to earn it, and doesn’t that propagation of inter generational wealth lead to a concentration of privilege?


Ok
Sylvan Park
on Jun 12, 2020 at 12:19 am
Ok, Sylvan Park
on Jun 12, 2020 at 12:19 am
8 people like this

Web Link
Steve, simply not true? Indians are doing better than “Other white” (not native English, e.g. Poles) in UK.


Steve
Old Mountain View
on Jun 12, 2020 at 7:56 am
Steve , Old Mountain View
on Jun 12, 2020 at 7:56 am
Like this comment

@OK, we are straying a little off topic here speaking about the UK, but this from a conservative UK news source:

Web Link

So we don’t completely hijack this thread, I suggest we respectfully agree that poverty is a root cause but disagree as to the reasons behind that poverty


Mountain View is a racist town
Old Mountain View
on Jun 12, 2020 at 7:30 pm
Mountain View is a racist town, Old Mountain View
on Jun 12, 2020 at 7:30 pm
Like this comment

The racial demographics of Mountain View are such that 85% of the population are white and Asian and only 2% are African American - so these statistics from MVPD are quite telling about the type of anti-Black community that Mountain View is:
"MVPD reports show that you are 5 times more likely to get stopped by MV police if you are Black than if you are white. Black residents are 9.2 times more likely to be arrested."

Truly disgusting and all white and Asian residents of Mountain View should feel shame about these statistics.

There was even this account of the racism in Mountain View reported in a USA Today article in November 2018 from a Black employee at Facebook who lived in Mountain View:
"Living in nearby Mountain View compounded his feelings of malaise. He endured racist confrontations with neighbors. Twice the police were called on him."
Web Link

Mountain View is a racist town.


Creature Features
Rex Manor
on Jun 13, 2020 at 2:35 am
Creature Features, Rex Manor
on Jun 13, 2020 at 2:35 am
11 people like this

@Steve
"I would still argue that inheritance tax should be at 100% above a modest amount."

So, my wife and I worked our tails off to pay our own way to college.
We have each worked for 40+ years.
Paid all our taxes.
Made various donations when we could.
We lived as cheaply as we could and saved our hard-earned money.
We bought an 800 sqft house to raise our child in.
Paid even more taxes for that.
We have managed to NOT commit crimes, NOT victimize others and NOT get arrested.
And when my wife and I die, YOU would take away our house.
YOU would give it to the government so we cannot leave it to our child who grew up in that house that we worked so hard for and paid so many taxes for?

"Advantage should not be passed on intergenerationally."

I see, so not only would you STEAL our house from our child, but YOU would also DENY us the ability to even pay for our child to go to college, because that would be an "advantage passed on intergenerationally".

"It leads to disparity based solely on the achievements of the parents."

So, WHY EXACTLY should I and my wife (or ANYONE for that matter) have bothered to work our tails off to afford college, worked for 40+ years each, paid all our taxes, obeyed the laws, etc?
Why shouldn't we have just sat back and let the government feed and clothed and housed us?
Why shouldn't we have become criminals attacking innocent people to steal from them?

"It concentrates wealth and privilege, and results in an unequal society"

The true meaning of "diversity" is that it takes all kinds to make a world and not everyone is the same, nor does everyone have the same abilities, nor does everyone behave the same, nor does everyone make the same choices in life.

Just because a person has inherited money or property from their parents does NOT mean that person wont just lose it all or even donate the bulk of it to worthy causes or spend their lives doing good works? Or maybe a wealthy person might just use their money to create JOBS so people have opportunity to EARN their way out of poverty.

In my family and my wife's family going back at least 4 generations, none of them ever actually owned a house until my wife and I. Our parents gave us nothing beyond basic parenting and a set of values and expectations about our behavior in society. Yes, I do realize that PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for our own actions is no longer a politically correct concept.

Our ancestors were poor uneducated laborers who came to the USA between 1880-1920 and I am not aware of any of them who were criminals either.

We EARNED everything we have by our own efforts, what justifies the stealing away a lifetime of hard work, paying taxes and living within the laws?


Creature Features
Rex Manor
on Jun 13, 2020 at 3:40 am
Creature Features, Rex Manor
on Jun 13, 2020 at 3:40 am
8 people like this

@ @TT
"... police ... here in MV ... how many AR's should the department have?"

Firearms are a deterrent to violent behavior, fired or not.
Total AR-15's should be:
#officers (+ some for repairs) at maximum or one in every police car at minimum.

Police have AR-15's for the same reason they have handguns.
To convince people not to get violent or to stop being violent.
The AR-15 is useful at longer ranges and is a more convincing psychological deterrent.

The popular media has drastically exagerrated the "power" of an AR-15, it's the lowest powered rifle ever deployed for police or military anywhere in the world.

The MVPD not shooting in 19 years, means 2 things:
First, our cops have good enough training and equipment to deal with everything they have faced without the need to shoot.
Second it means the people who find themselves faced with an MVPD officer don't behave in a way that gets them shot.

The MVPD cop that pulled his gun out on me, several years ago, had very good reason to come in "hot" and ready to shoot, but my behavior quickly convinced the cop he had been misinformed about what was going on.

When I saw him with his gun out coming at me, I just froze with both my hands in plain sight and waited motionless until he realized there was nothing wrong and put his gun away.
If I had run away, or reached for something, I assume he would have shot me, given the nature of the 911 call that sent him there.

Various people make various choices and get various results.


stealing
Cuesta Park
on Jun 13, 2020 at 10:34 am
stealing, Cuesta Park
on Jun 13, 2020 at 10:34 am
4 people like this

What did your child do to earn that house? How is it stealing from them when they have done nothing to earn that house?


UrMajestic
Cuesta Park
on Jun 13, 2020 at 11:48 pm
UrMajestic, Cuesta Park
on Jun 13, 2020 at 11:48 pm
Like this comment

Y’all are really on drugs if y’all think the police budget of 30% (an increase of 5% in comparison to last year’s) is justifiable during A PANDEMIC.

In the town y’all so claimed to be safe and civil, it is because most of y’all are willfully ignorant to the suffering and strife of many working families who have to deal with the increase of gentrification of housing AND business. To approve a budget increase during a time of great peril for the most vulnerable populations (low-income, brown and black, houseless, essential workers, etc.) is to imply that people are going to do crime and instead of addressing their needs, you approve the keeping of order over compassion.

There has been no shooting in Mountain View for years and there is no need for new AR-15s when the ones that needed to be replaced is, Bosel said, “old because lack of use.”

Take a budget cut with dignity like teachers always do, and if you want the people to trust you then redistribute the wealth to the people who needs it most. Find education and accessible social services.

Keep guns and police off of school campus.


Gary
Sylvan Park
on Jun 14, 2020 at 11:09 am
Gary, Sylvan Park
on Jun 14, 2020 at 11:09 am
4 people like this

The best way to not need police or guns on school campuses is remote learning - which can involve groups of students at houses or apts of parents. Less risk of traffic collisions and criminals and terrorists and coronavirus. But back to rules for police. On body cams, the November 30, 2016 article in the Voice I mentioned above had police reporting six complaints with only one acknowledged to have been captured on tape. That one tape cleared the police of any wrongdoing. That one. But all of the information was and is coming from the police department. A better way to complain is to the city council. That way, the police will need to respond and know that complaints may not always be "managed" in-house. The added benefit is that the city council then gets some direct information about incidents and concerns. Some councilmembers may not want to know anything. But they should find other work.


Grace Moore
Gemello
on Jun 14, 2020 at 12:33 pm
Grace Moore, Gemello
on Jun 14, 2020 at 12:33 pm
Like this comment

I turn to a vampire any time i want to, i become a vampire because of how people treat me, this world is a wicked world and not fair to anybody. At the snack of my finger things are made to happen, am now a powerful man and no one steps on me without an apology. I turn to human beings also at any time i want to, and am one of the most dreaded men in my country. I became a vampire through the help of my friend who introduced me into a vampire kingdom by giving me their email. if you want to become a powerful vampire kindly contact the vampire kingdom on their email worldofvampir@hotmail.com


Gary
Sylvan Park
on Jun 14, 2020 at 7:57 pm
Gary , Sylvan Park
on Jun 14, 2020 at 7:57 pm
2 people like this

@Grace. This article and thread is about racism and excessive force by police. Vampires are another creature: bats. I don't see the connection - unless you are also a police officer!


Cfrink
Willowgate
on Jun 21, 2020 at 12:04 pm
Cfrink, Willowgate
on Jun 21, 2020 at 12:04 pm
6 people like this

Police departments have to prepare for the world that exists, not the one that we wish it to be. The reality is that things like AR-15s are essential in this day and age. In my hometown in Florida, in the late 80s a man showed up at a grocery store at 5pmish with a semi automatic rifle and killed several people. He shot women, men, and a few cops. In those days, cops in many jurisdictions were still wearing 6 shot revolvers as was the case in my town. One of the police officers killed that day, was taking cover behind his car, trying reload his firearm and the assailant walked around the car and surprised him. He didn't have a chance. So the debate about what tools the police need to do their jobs should be left with the people who actually do that job.

As a black man, I have always had positive interactions with MVPD. I don't always agree with everything that they do and these officers are humans so they're not perfect, but they are extremely well trained. In fact, this department consults with many other departments around the nation. I agree that the best tool we can give our officers is more training. I think we can also spend more time talking to the PD about what we want them to do in our communities and how we'd like for them to do it. I think that's fair, having the department respond to the needs and wants of the community (within reason).

I'd also add that Capt. Saul Jaeger is a shining example of why our MVPD is one of the best departments anywhere in the country. He's a fine man, a great officer, and a fantastic resource to this community and we are all lucky to have such a person working on our behalf.


@Cleave
Willowgate
on Jun 21, 2020 at 12:34 pm
@Cleave, Willowgate
on Jun 21, 2020 at 12:34 pm
2 people like this

Cleave, thank you for removing all doubt that you worship authority and the status quo. As if your endorsement of Measure D left any doubt about that...


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