Multiplicity of Crises, Years of Police Brutality Stoked Anger Over George Floyd’s Killing

As the nation erupted in protests against police violence, one name on the list of battlegrounds proved surprising: a city known for its prosperous economy, low crime rate and relative tolerance. Locked down by curfew after five days of confrontation, with boarded-up shops, the smell of tear gas and sound of helicopters overhead, Northern California’s biggest city more resembled a war zone than the capital of Silicon Valley.

It wasn’t for lack of good intentions, or empathetic messaging. San Jose’s top cop became the nation’s first to denounce the killing of an unarmed black man by police. “Not going to hide behind ‘not being there,’” SJPD Chief Eddie Garcia tweeted on May 27. “I’d be one of the first to condemn anyone had I seen similar happen to one of my brother/sister officers. What I saw happen to George Floyd disturbed me and is not consistent with the goal of our mission. The act of one, impacts us all.”

“These types of incidents are the reason why, particularly communities of color, lack a lot of trust in law enforcement,” he told KTVU in a segment that aired on May 29.

In a video uploaded to YouTube a day later, Garcia told a roomful of recruits how footage of Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin squeezing the dying breaths from Floyd shook him to the core and brought back memories of Rodney King. “What happened there was inexcusable,” he told the academy class No. 37.

Never before had San Jose Independent Police Auditor (IPA) Shivaun Nurre seen a law enforcement leader so promptly break the code of silence.

“I was surprised—in a good way—that not only our local leader, but national leaders were so willing to condemn the action itself and the action of the officer,” she says. “I was surprised by how quickly that came down. It was exceedingly swift.”

Mayor Sam Liccardo echoed the chief with a characteristically well-polished statement sent to reporters and posted to his official social media accounts.

“Anger and peaceful protest will always be appropriate responses to injustice; violence will never be,” the pronouncement read. “San Jose is united in outrage over the atrocious crime committed in Minneapolis.”

Knowing full well that words would do nothing to quell an uprising in his own city, Liccardo promised that police in San Jose, at least, would “take a measured approach” to facilitate peaceful protest. “But there will be no tolerance of violence to our people,” he added, “or damage to our city.”

Those affirmations set a high bar for the rank-and-file as they stared down, from behind face shields, thousands of people enraged by the brutality that seems inextricably linked to American law enforcement.

As hundreds of protesters descended on City Hall and marched through downtown over the next several days, SJPD responded with gas canisters, flash-bangs and rubber bullets.

In just the first few days of demonstrations, police made more than 150 arrests and marked an untold number of people with florid welts from batons and projectiles. The crude and clumsy use of force did not take surgical aim at provocateurs or criminals.

Police detained National Lawyers Guild–certified legal observers, a state Assembly candidate and two journalists. They knocked down a San Jose planning commissioner and pelted his thigh within 20 minutes of him stepping out to observe the first day of demonstrations. With truncheons held horizontally, they shoved a woman trying to navigate her bike through a throng of marchers.

In videos that have since gone internationally viral, a six-year cop named Jared Yuen—who the police chief later described as “a good kid”—curses and smirks at protesters, rocking on his feet like he’s itching for a fight.

Other clips—including an aerial shot from ABC7—show a man in a black shirt filming a line of police on East Santa Clara Street before getting jumped and pounded by a crush of riot-gear-clad officers. When asked about the incident, Liccardo and Garcia alike said the footage was selectively edited by leaving out what happened seconds before. However, San Jose Inside correspondent Kyle Martin witnessed and photographically documented that same moment from several feet away. The man spent the next three days in the hospital after undergoing knee surgery from his injuries.

Two days later, a motorcycle cop barreled into protesters, knocking over a couple in an aggressive effort to enforce a hastily imposed curfew.

To those who showed up to march or simply watch, SJPD’s response on the ground undermined the sympathetic rhetoric of city leaders.

“People came to protest police brutality and the response was police brutality,” says Daniel Mayfield, a 41-year criminal defense attorney who personally observed the demonstrations that played out on a daily basis all week.

Yet Mayor Liccardo and Chief Garcia saw the same things everyone else did—or, at least footage of it, since neither attended the marches—and came to a radically different conclusion. Sure, both men disavowed the conduct of one officer after he disgraced the city nationally as a model of bad police behavior. But they called him an exception to the department’s otherwise justifiable conduct.

“We had hundreds of officers in an incredibly intense, adverse environment,” Liccardo says, “and I thought they behaved with considerable restraint.”

In some ways, it seemed like SJPD acted more like counter-protesters than peace officers. (Photo by Kyle Martin)

Crowd Control

The first of what would become daily protests began at 2pm on Friday, May 29. Upward of 1,000 people converged at City Hall. An apparently spontaneous event, there were no speakers to kick things off or itinerary to guide the assembly.

Over the next two hours, the mass of people holding signs decrying police abuse and mourning Floyd’s death peacefully marched the 20-or-so blocks to Highway 101. Some turned back while others walked onto the freeway, where they blocked most lanes, allowing some cars to pass on the left shoulder.

The vast majority of participants remained peaceful. Some of the motorists even stepped out of their cars to briefly join them. Others honked in support.

However, a few people took the occasion to escalate the situation into shows of force. One young man bashed in a car window. A young woman walked up to another vehicle and kicked the door. TV news focused overwhelmingly on the violent outliers. As the protesters disembarked down the offramp, they left in their wake a couple police SUVs vandalized with messages such as “stop killing.”

As the crowd re-entered the city’s jurisdiction and began the long trek back to the civic center, officers switched on a loudspeaker and declared the assembly unlawful. Over the chants and conversations in the middle of the march, the announcement was barely audible. But it marked a turning point. By deeming the gathering “unlawful,” SJPD changed the rules of engagement from facilitating the public’s First Amendment rights to dispersing a mass of agitators.

Alex Lee, a 24-year-old state Assembly hopeful, recalls hearing the declaration in the distance, from “a 50-vehicle armada” of police cars behind the crowd. “I thought that because we diffused the situation, we left the freeway, that police would be hands-off and continue to watch,” he says. “So, we walked back toward City Hall. Everything was peaceful. People were chanting and singing. The police kept their distance.”

As the protest approached the starting point, however, police brought their vehicles from the back to the very front of the march. “Instead of letting us keep walking,” Lee says, “they created a confrontation. It wasn’t us, it was police who escalated to violence.”

Alex Jordan Caraballo, an electrician and union organizer who found himself on the same side as Lee during the standoff, recounted the moment on Facebook, describing how SJPD’s militaristic blockade at Sixth and Santa Clara led to an “inevitable shitstorm.”

“What do you think is gonna happen when [an] unstoppable force of hundreds of years of grief meets the immovable object of oppression?” he wondered.

What happened, of course, played out in full view of reporters and the public. While San Jose didn’t summon military backup like other cities (at least not in the first few days of the marches), it met protesters with the force of a small army. A phalanx of officers decked out as if spoiling for combat stopped the procession in its path and tried to divert people down Seventh Street. While officers later said protesters instigated the violence by throwing water bottles their way, from this news outlet’s vantage point, it appeared that cops fired the first non-lethal projectiles, seemingly at random.

The next several hours unfolded in a fog of noxious gas and hail of rubber. Sound cannons punctuated shouts and screams. Taggers scrawled various anti-police epithets on boarded-up shops. Some broke ranks to vandalize restaurants and stores.

Liccardo says he emerged from an afternoon of back-to-back meetings at around 4pm that day, long after police had declared the assembly unlawful, and watched the battle play out several-hundred feet below his 18th-floor office.

“I saw there were more than 300 police officers, vastly outnumbered, having bottles thrown at their heads, having fireworks thrown at them, other objects being hurled and, in some cases, direct assault,” the mayor recalled in a phone call Monday. “Obviously, from an overhead view, I wasn’t able to see everything that was happening.”

Though he calls some of what he saw on social media and read about in news reports “undoubtedly troubling and worthy of investigation,” Liccardo says the city will make sure the officers involved are held accountable.

It took a couple days before Liccardo engaged with demonstrators and it marked a shift in tone from his previous messages, which lamented the property damage without acknowledging how many people were physically battered by his city’s police.

Late afternoon Sunday, at about 4pm, he finally descended from the top floor of City Hall, walked up to the front line of protesters and told them he wanted to listen. Hundreds of people who had been chanting at police officers to “take a knee” redirected their plea at Liccardo, who stood on the side of East Santa Clara Street facing the civic center plaza. After exchanging some words drowned out by the din of the crowd, one of the organizers, two-time Olympic sprinter Alvin Harrison, convinced the mayor to heed their demands with that one symbolic gesture.

“We’ve been asking them,” one woman said, gesturing toward the row of armed-to-the-hilt officers, “but they’ll listen to you.”

“That’s all we want!” a man shouted into a megaphone. “One knee!”

A fellow protester snatched away the loudspeaker to quell the tension, handing it to Harrison, who announced that Liccardo would oblige.

“The mayor has agreed to take a knee with me right now in support of George Floyd,” Harrison said. Amid more chants and a swell of cheers, he added: “Just for five minutes, take a knee with us so that we know you stand with us in solidarity.”

And he did. With his back toward a row of battle-ready police, the mayor strapped on his San Jose–branded face mask, lowered his right knee to the asphalt, placed his hands on his left thigh and bowed his head. A woman in a black-and-white striped dress knelt in front of him and repeatedly told him to not worry about the cops. Harrison knelt beside the mayor, draped an arm over his shoulders and whispered something in his ear.

Minutes later, the mayor stood up and returned to his top-floor lair to prepare for a press conference announcing an 8:30pm citywide curfew.

To Harrison, the moment seemed genuine. “At least he tried,” agreed Maliesha Akins, the woman in the striped dress. “That counts for something.”

To others, it felt more like a photo op—especially in light of his comments the next day about SJPD’s “remarkable restraint,” and the fact that he signed off on a curfew that was used hours later as a pretext to arrest people.

Chief Garcia echoed the mayor’s message.

“I’m extremely proud of the work our men and women have done in a very chaotic situation,” he says. “Our men and women do not want San Jose to become what we’ve seen in other cities in this country. But because this situation turned into a riot, they had to act appropriately—they couldn’t turn a blind eye to any of it.”

Garcia says he recognizes and respects the public’s anger, but his officers can’t excuse violence, vandalism and theft.

“I think these protests have started peacefully enough,” he says. “But they devolved into non-peaceful, criminal activity, and when assemblies turn violent, when they stop being peaceful, you start seeing property damage. Windows got blown out of police cars—our cars got spray-painted, vandalized. It became clear that this was no longer a peaceful event and that we had to do what we could to keep the city safe.”

Could police have de-escalated? Could Garcia have ventured away from his command post to talk face to face with protesters? Could he have taken a cue from his counterpart in Santa Cruz by kneeling alongside them?

“It was too volatile,” Garcia insists. “Even when the mayor went out, our officers were starting to get encircled.”

What about his officers—could they have kneeled to assuage the crowd?

“It’s not against the rules,” he offers. “But … that’s up to them.”

On Sunday, a female deputy from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office—one of the agencies that helped SJPD police the protests—took a knee, eliciting applause from onlookers. When she lifted herself back up, a supervisor promptly pulled her away from the line of officers extending from Fourth to Sixth streets.

Mayor Sam Liccardo stepped out from City Hall for a photo op with protesters on Sunday. (Photo by Jennifer Wadsworth)

Police State 

Compared to many big-city police departments, San Jose’s is progressive.

Under Chief Garcia’s watch, SJPD has lessened the severity of force during arrests. According to a newly released study, it also brought racial disparities in enforcement to within a tenth of a deviation of what’s considered even-handed.

In the past year, SJPD became one of the first law-enforcement agencies in the country to teach new recruits about the discriminatory history of American law and order. San Jose State professor Greg Woods, who developed the curriculum focused on policing in today’s social climate, commended Garcia for openly reckoning with the complicated legacy of his chosen profession, which traces its roots back to slave patrols and went on to become an instrument of racial segregation.

“Many departments may have done as much, but not more than what we have done,” he says. “I was the first chief to institute training that confronts the original sin we’re born with in this job, and I want to continue that dialogue with my community. It saddens me that we’re not perfect but recognize these facts and we are trying to get better.”

In a public hearing on Tuesday, Garcia hit some of the same notes, commending his department for “moving the needle” on curbing inequities.

Yet in a country of yawning divisions—urban and rural, rich and poor, red and blue, white and black—there’s a growing sense that reform’s too incremental and contrition too cheap. Black Lives Matter coalesced in the Obama years as police misconduct and militarization came to the fore in cellphone videos, forcing the broader public to confront the ferocity disproportionately meted out against black and brown people.

To quell the outrage, police throughout the U.S. agreed to wear body cameras and undergo training to recognize their underlying biases.

But the killings continued. Eric Garner. Laquan McDonald. Tamir Rice. Walter Scott. Freddie Gray. Philando Castile. Stephon Clark. Ahmaud Arbery.

In San Jose, police killed Jacob Dominguez, Rudy Cardenas, Thompson Nguyen, Joseph Tourino, Diana Showman. In SJSU jurisdiction, Antonio Guzman Lopez. The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office—tasked with investigating every time an officer takes someone’s life in the line of duty—inevitably, invariably declared each killing lawful.

Hope waned. The death toll mounted. Rising anxiety, deepening despair and an economy-crippling pandemic became kindling for a fire sparked by Floyd’s killing.

While SJPD diversified the force, however, its union—the San Jose Police Officers’ Association—led an aggressive campaign to oust IPA Aaron Zisser in 2018 after less than a year on the job. Another activist predecessor, Barbara Attard, had been hounded from the same role a decade earlier.

The public drama derailed activists’ push for a ballot measure to expand IPA authority—a resounding defeat enabled by a City Council unwilling to oppose the politically powerful POA. One of the measure’ s key backers, Silicon Valley De-Bug—a nonprofit representing families that lost loved ones to police killings—threw up its hands in exasperation.

De-Bug and other grassroots reformers began doubling down on decarceration efforts instead, deciding that the system’s too broken to fix. On Tuesday, for the first time in generations, residents urged the city’s electeds to defund the police.

“I think people are tired of these issues being studied and they want to see more meaningful change,” Nurre, the city’s police watchdog, acknowledges. “It’s great that we’ve focused on studies and collecting data and identifying racial inequities in the system, but people want action.”

After years of waiting, however, the mayor’s announcement this week that he’ll revive efforts to expand IPA powers rings hollow.

The 1993 creation of the Independent Police Auditor—which has not proved to be independent of union and political pressure—was itself a compromise to community calls for a citizen review board. In the decades to follow, city leaders promised time and again to bolster oversight but never mustered the will to do so.

Meanwhile, it’s hard to square how city leaders could watch recent events and defend the management of the crisis when so many others who witnessed the confrontations reached the opposite conclusion. In San Jose, as in many other cities, demonstrators saw police acting more like counter-protesters than peace officers. And when the City Council questioned Garcia on Tuesday about the apparent lack of de-escalation, he argued that tear gas (a chemical weapon illegal in wartime) and projectiles are de-escalation tactics because they allow officers to keep their distance.

Clearly, the displays of force are a kind of Rorschach test, with Liccardo and Garcia seeing a measured response and virtually everyone else seeing the kind of violent suppression Americans roundly condemn when it happens in other countries.

“I guess it comes down to what you think is the role of police in society,” Mayfield says. “Should they serve and protect? Or are they here to dominate?”

Police arrested scores of people on each day of the protests. (Photo by Kyle Martin)

Jennifer Wadsworth is the news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth. Or, click here to sign up for text updates about what she’s working on.

75 Comments

  1. I’m “everyone else” and I certainly don’t see “the kind of violent suppression Americans roundly condemn”,
    so please don’t speak for me. I have my own opinions and can express them without you.

    In fact, you an I seem to be in the same theater and watching two different movies. The movie I am watching showed the police RE-acting to a violent mob. Police are people too, it’s only a Job, you cannot expect them to not be scared, or angry, or react when provoked in a situation like that no matter how much training.

    So when the police inform you the gathering is now illegal and you need to disperse you can solve ALL of this by dispersing. You could have fixed it all. But no, you trash the city, hurt people and cops, and then blame the cops because HOW they stopped you from breaking the law. Just follow the law in the first place and we would have these problems.

    The problem is YOU in this instance, not the cops.

  2. Jennifer, what a great write up, thank you. A lot of what you’re writing about is cognitive dissonance. The leaders see one thing but believe something different. This might be a trait that’s required to serve in public office.

    It’s unfortunate that the office of the Independent Police Auditor is as toothless as it is. We as local residents need to push our leaders to instill/install some backbone into the IPA.

    At the same time, defunding the SJPD is a good approach. What kinds of weapons and tactics do they really possess? Has any of it ever been put on public display so we, the citizens that they are entrusted to protect, can inspect what will eventually be used against us, not in a court of law, but on the streets of SJ? First step would be to remove any military style equipment; that’s not needed for a respectable organization of ‘peace’ officers.

    I recently received a mailing from Paul Kelly, President of the San Jose Peace Officers Charitable Foundation, asking for donations. After what we’ve seen this week, I’ll take those funds and send them to BlackLivesMatter instead.

    • Defunding the police dept is a good approach? Yes please donate to BLM and call them for help when you’re a victim of a violent crime. I’m sure they’ll rush right over to help you.

    • “First step would be to remove any military style equipment; that’s not needed for a respectable organization of ‘peace’ officers.”

      Whoopsie 1 – they did almost 6 years ago. https://staging.sanjoseinside.com/news/san-jose-police-to-return-military-grade-armored-vehicle/

      “unfortunate that the office of the Independent Police Auditor is as toothless as it is”

      Whoopsie 2 – Actually more powerful than the civil grand jury if measured by adopted recommendations. Easily verified – ready the easily discovered outcomes. Not to mention the 21 members of the Blue Ribbon panel that investigated jail deaths. I attended all but one.

      “need to push our leaders to instill/install some backbone into the IPA”

      Whoopsie 3 – Previous 2 IPA heads are black. One a retired judge, the other an attorney that previously headed LA’s department. Current head is a female attorney. She is passionate about the cause of justice as is everyone in the unit. I know many.

      Yes, sadly all lack backbone – nor posses klan robes to conduct midnight cop lynchings because ‘due process’ perpetuates a corrupt system.

      3 Strikes, SCC. Please up your game – surely you can do better.

      • Correction: Walter Katz is black and from LA. Seemed like an effective head. Ex-Chicagoan and wanted to return.

        Aaron Zisser sowed massive disharmony as did Attard. Both seemed intent on advancing their profiles rather than acting as unbiased professionals.

      • Hey Taxpayer, one of those, retired Black judge, is Cordell. Thus these people do not audit the police; they own them. Friends cannot supervise or audit friends. Cordell does not care about the disadvantaged. She cares about the judges and attorneys with “stellar” careers…Sorry FOR you Cordell, Persky is out and you too!

        • I’ve filed 2 IPA complaints and felt the process worked. The complaints were minor compared to behaviors I’ve seen in East coast cities. Fundamentally, I wanted to test the system.

          Cordell was retired when taking the IPA gig. A double-dipper getting two generous public pensions. I’d argue she was a perfect example of reverse discrimination. And masterfully exploited her triple play “oppressed” status: black, female, lesbian.

          Made it tough to show her the door since any criticism was of course, due to her minority status. What other motivation could possibly exist?

          I well remember when she plastered VTA buses with signs urging complaints to the IPA office. Really no different than ambulance chasing lawyers that advertise.

          Certainly it got much more visibility than the Police Athletic League’s sports programs for kids, Coffee With A Cop, SJPD community meetings, or other SJPD initiatives to foster better community relations.

          And the silicone IPA wrist bands Cordell gleefully handed out. “Leave one on your dashboard to avoid a parking ticket” she urged at a meeting as the featured speaker. I was astounded.

          In the same talk, she mentioned spotting drug dealers “every day” at St. James Park on her noon walks. Now deeply regret not asking why she didn’t report it to SJPD. Or make a citizens arrest.

          It was abundantly clear she suffered from the same aggressive anti-police bias as Zisser. Both were poor choices, but easier to dump a biased male Jew than a biased black, female lesbian. I remain curious as to her judicial reputation, but never motivated to research it.

          My lawyer friends believed Persky was a very fair, competent judge, and opposed his recall. Nevertheless, I voted to remove him as a reminder to elected officials about who they serve.

          • Thank you for your vote Taxpayer and for your rational about it. My friends think I am virgin Marry. Am I?

      • There was one military truck that was returned. Back in 2014. What else has SJPD accepted and still have? How about that open house of acquired military equipment in the SJPD arsenal?

        Your game is pretty narrow, TP.

        • Agree that the research scope could be greater; wish more time was available. And unlike you, I endeavor to check facts, own goofs, and abhor spreading fake news.

          SJPD military gear? Try asking. Usually works, if not there’s CA GOVERNMENT CODE, TITLE 1, DIVISION 7, CHAPTER 3.5. Ever used it?

          SJPD does have questionable expenses. The Bomb Squad is one IMO. SCC Sheriff in a much better position to handle.

          SJPD’s toy ~$7,000 drone (easily twice when all costs were included) is one. AFAIK, not used – and the technology has vastly increased since purchased. The number of bomb squad incidents can be counted on 1 hand…for the entire county over the past 5 years.

          • After 9-11 the federal government was passing out money to every police dept. that asked for it. All over the country they were like a flock of pigeons rushing toward the man tossing bread crumbs in the park. SJPD made a request, got some money and a decommissioned vehicle that looked like something you’d see in Baghdad. There was a big outcry, and as I recall it was returned. The money was use it or lose it, so I am sure that there were all sorts of ridiculous and unnecessary purchases nationwide.

    • > After what we’ve seen this week, I’ll take those funds and send them to BlackLivesMatter instead.

      Good.

      BLM is probably just an alias for AntiFA.

      AntiFA, Black Lives Matter, Silcon Valley d-Bug are likely all the same people.

      President Trump has finally declared AntiFA to be a terrorist organization. That probably means he’s going to be taking a deep dive into their donors.

      Hopefully, you’ll be getting some federal attention.

      I will alert the feds that they should anticipate that you might resist arrest and prepare accordingly.

      • Do you even know what AntiFa means? It literally means anti-fascist. If you’re anti-AntiFa it means you’re pro-fascist. Way to go!

        • Uh, great, another uninformed opinion. The Antifa organization is not against Fascism! It is anti Capitalism. But when have incorrectly defined words gotten in the way of Progressive Socialists (yeah, in reality, that is redundant!)

          Let me go just a step further, Antifa is not pro-working class or pro-black or pro any-other minority. In reality they are anti-black pro-socialism just like their brown-shirt origins in Nazism (national socialist party of which the only difference between German Nazism and Russian Communism was the guy at the head of each—don’t argue with fact)

          • Antifa isn’t even an organization. Just a bunch of black clad individuals out looking to punch Nazis and other people of hate. If you’re not anti fascism, that does pretty much make you pro fascism, and by extension, pro hate.

            As George Bush Junior and his cronies said at the start of his family’s wars, you’re either with us or against us.

          • I’m against you and Antifa SCC. But I’m not pro fascist nor pro hate. How do you reconcile that?
            And by the way, Antifa is a lot more than a bunch of looser kids in black PJ’s. You’ll see for yourself in the near future.

          • Isn’t it frightening to see/view/read comments made by those who don’t know history OR from those who would like to take down our country?? I’m dumbstruck at all of the sheep approaching the cliffs without realizing it….or do they?

          • To paraphrase NPR: major funding for Antifa is provided by billionaire George Soros, who is committed to destroying the capitalism that made him a billionaire, and who strives for a more chaotic, socialist, and less verdant world.

    • “ At the same time, defunding the SJPD is a good approach.“. My God!! WHAT has this city come to?? What would be the replacement for SJPD?? The military??? Nothing?? I’m becoming WAY more afraid of your proposal than ANY SJPD officer! I’m rarely speechless, but you succeeded.

    • Defunding police is a good approach? Get back to me on that after you or a family member is raped, or your house is broken into, or you are mugged and robbed at an ATM.

  3. I’m still trying to understand how rioting solves the police brutality problem. As the comment by WORK90 states, rioting only invites a stronger, justifiable police reaction. If the issue is police brutality then rioters have derailed the conversation.

    And I also agree that I don’t see the violent suppression, nor the racism. If anything, our society bends over backwards to avoid racism. The recent firing of Sacramento Kings announcer for simply tweeting “All Lives Matter” is just one instance of extreme accommodation for black people in today’s world. Even hinting that a black person might be wrong about something draws outrage from all directions, as though one single race is beyond any sort of criticism.

    I’m sorry, but people who expect this sort of society do not live in the real world. Every race has both good people and bad people. Unless we can talk realistically about all races, we are just pretending to play with the truth in a world that is rapidly becoming more and more complex.

  4. “And I also agree that I don’t see the violent suppression, nor the racism…extreme accommodation for black people in today’s world.”

    Dude, one, it’s Black, with a capital B. Two, we write warning labels like “do not use in bathtub” for people like you.

  5. Eddie Garcia is the first to call out police brutality when he sees it, unless it is in his own department that he owns.
    What a hypocrite! Was this the same brave police chief that had his officers stand down while Trump supporters were attacked by a mob during a rally three years ago?
    I find it amusing that both Liccardo and Garcia are all in favor of denying the 2nd Amendment to their constituents, yet freely admit that law enforcement has a long history of racism and brutality.

  6. Off the clock, gonna give my two cents. Today I covered the Los Gatos protests. This is a small white upscale community in the heart of Silicon Valley. The police handled the protest exactly as they should have. I did not call the cops, but Karen did after a man was very disrespectful. Disrespect is not unlawful. It is even protected under the First Amendment. However, it should not be tolerated in our police officers. As the world focuses on the death of George Floyd, we will continue to focus on the police culture in our community. Chief Cena, and his political protector Barbara Spector, Eddie Garcia and his political protector Sam Liccardo really aren’t going to be spared by a shameless photo op when we start talking about the culture they created in our county. SJSU police officer Jonathan Silva was found to have used excessive force in 2016. He was then hired by the LG police in 2018 and had another excessive force case. Our corrupt DA, Jeff Rosen , did NOTHING about either. We will keep pulling back the curtain! As long as voters continue to elect these folks, they are endorsing the culture. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkAPWL6SgoQ&t=600s

    • > we will continue to focus on the police culture in our community.

      Susan:

      Your credibility has taken a huge nosedive.

      A “bad cop” is not the same thing as “bad cops”.

      Because socialist hunter-gatherers don’t understand the concept of private property, cops are ESSENTIAL to protect private property, and private property is essential to civilization.

      It’s not clear that you’re essential.

      Focus on civilization and beating back the barbarians.

  7. I can not believe the logic.

    The blog writes article after article pushing the community to give more and more power to the city, county, state, and federal governments. Relentlessly attacking first, second, fourth, fifth, eighth, tenth amendments, overpowering the Executive Branch, attempting to dismantle the Legislative Branch, and bloat the size of the Supreme Court to suite the Progressive Agenda.

    And now you are surprised that same government administers a beat down when you speak up against it, now that you have thrown away all your power?

    No one hates authoritarianism more that me, I still write in Ron Paul on almost every ballot. But the only way to not be a slave to the government is to own property and the fruits of your labor, and the only way I am not shooting anyone who tries to take it my property, is law enforcement.

    So given the alternative, we need cops. But the entire progressive agenda is predicated on the state enforcing what it deems as “fairness”, especially when it comes to expropriating property and dealing with thought crimes. The more you win your political battles (which you win almost all of them), the more power you give the state, the deeper the bruises and cuts they will reign down on you.

    Don’t you get it?

    • > So given the alternative, we need cops. But the entire progressive agenda is predicated on the state enforcing what it deems as “fairness”, especially when it comes to expropriating property and dealing with thought crimes.

      “Progressives” are fundamentally tribalists, and “the state” is just a placeholder for their tribal shaman.

      Good hearted libertarians allowed unqualified progressive monkeys into the universities out of pity and in the interests of “diversity”, and the monkeys took over and granted tenure to all their tribal cronies.

      • true,

        interesting I am reading Thomas Sowell talking about the limits of intellectuals as I read through this column and comments

        oddly enough, it seems the more this BS spreads those spreading it and those they are trying to help are getting worse outcomes, but I am getting more rich and free as each day passes…

        the worst part of my day is reading this stuff and arguing against it, hoping they see all this only help the super rich get richer

        what are you gonna do?

        I guess read books, hike in the Rockies, and collect rent

        • > interesting I am reading Thomas Sowell talking about the limits of intellectuals as I read through this column and comments

          Thomas Sowell’s books about “Conflict of Visions” and “Visions of the Anointed” got me to thinking about the “what” and the “why” of the differing visions.

          Sowell did a good job of documenting the “what”, but I don’t think got to the “why”. He mostly explained it in abstract intellectual terms. I think it’s more basic: “tribalism”.

          A lot of deep thinkers seem to sort of undertand there might be a cultural basis of some sort but really haven’t explained it.

    • The evolution of what we used to call liberals into what they now call progressives has been accomplished over two generations of increasingly homogenized and intolerant public HS teachers and public and private university professors who have indoctrinated students to the view that we must have equal outcomes regardless of ability. They have taught their students what to think, not how to think. Thus we have a nation of kids who got participation trophies and degrees in such things as ethnic studies, women’s studies, fine arts, etc., all of whom wonder why they cannot get a high paying job.

  8. So it is OK to concentrate on a bad person who happens to be a cop, but it is somehow wrong to single out demonstrators to who turn vicious and begin breaking car windows and damaging blocked cars???

  9. The medical examiner said George Floyd had meth and fentanyl in his system. People with such narcotics are unpredictable. Last time I checked 100s have been killed in Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans. St Louis. Every City with high African American population has high rates of crime. Policing is not perfect. so is heart surgery. The looting speaks for itself.

    • Willow, your comment is stupid and ignorant. Even if he had all the drugs in his system, the video did not show any behavior that merits for a police officer to press his knee on his neck. He kept the knee on his neck even when she was not moving. We are not talking here about not perfect policing. We are talking about criminal policing and murder.

      • Fexxnist,
        I think your implicit bias led you to misinterpret Willow’s point. Drugs are killing more people in this country than the police ever will. Was Derek Chauvin’s conduct reprehensible and should he be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law? Yes. Was George Floyd’s criminal conduct (using counterfeit currency) and his drug abuse problem okay? No. If you’re going to denounce bad behavior and “systemic problems” start with substance abuse, you’ll get a lot further.

      • Fixxnist, I will not fault you for being naive . Criminals now are emboldened and some of them taunt and refuse police commands. Every drug addict, uneducated and unemployed now doesn’t mind cashing in if someone takes a video. If someone is 6 ‘ 6″ refuses commands sometimes police lose their temper, whether black or white. We are all a product of our experiences. Police deal with very mean people, Monday night quarterbacking is easy. 500 people dying in Chicago and no one gives a crap because it doesn’t serve their agenda. Maybe you should visit Zimbabwe, South Africa and other countries in that continent and see how the white farmers are being treated. Do you really think if any other race other than European settled here this country will be as great ? Just look to the south of the border.

        • > Maybe you should visit Zimbabwe, South Africa and other countries in that continent and see how the white farmers are being treated.

          Or visit Rwanda and Burndi and see how the Hutus treated the Tutsis.

          https://www.thoughtco.com/location-of-conflict-tutsis-and-hutus-3554918

          “Why Is There Conflict Between Hutus and Tutsis?”

          Class Warfare
          Generally, the Hutu-Tutsi strife stems from class warfare, with the Tutsis perceived to have greater wealth and social status (as well as favoring cattle ranching over what is seen as the lower-class farming of the Hutus).

      • George Floyd did not deserve to die because he was high on fentanyl and meth. But he is not a hero, either. He should not be the poster child for reform. In addition to his condition on that day, Floyd did five stints in Texas prisons. Who knows how many other crimes he got away with? His last prison stint was five years for holding a gun to a pregnant black woman’s abdomen in her own home as four of his homies stole everything they could carry. The reaction of a large number of those “honoring” his death was to steal everything they could carry from businesses who had nothing to do with his death, break windows, burn and deface buildings and cop cars.

        • > Floyd did five stints in Texas prisons. Who knows how many other crimes he got away with? His last prison stint was five years for holding a gun to a pregnant black woman’s abdomen in her own home as four of his homies stole everything they could carry. The reaction of a large number of those “honoring” his death was to steal everything they could carry from businesses who had nothing to do with his death, break windows, burn and deface buildings and cop cars.

          What?

          Are you sure about this?

          Everything I’ve seen in the media says he was an innocent victim of racism, as well as being a model citizen.

          His brother says he was a really fun, likable guy.

          • The liberal media never print the entire truth about their oftentimes poorly chosen poster children. I heard about the real George Floyd on a Vlog by a 32 year old black conservative name of Candace Owens. She published an 18 minute video on her Facebook page decrying how the black community always seems to choose ne’er do wells as their heroes. And the white guilt gulliberals eat it up. She used Floyd’s life as her prime example.

  10. “As hundreds of protesters descended on City Hall and marched through downtown over the next several days, SJPD responded with gas canisters, flash-bangs and rubber bullets.”.. UMMM? WHY?? (See below..)

    Huh??? Jennifer, you contradict the above shortly after with, “As the crowd re-entered the city’s jurisdiction… officers switched on a loudspeaker and declared the assembly unlawful.”

    Once it’s no longer a peaceful assembly, it’s UNLAWFUL!! Everyone has to leave.. there’s no wiggle room.. the peaceful protestors need to hold their criminal rioters accountable instead of blaming the police for making everyone leave to prevent exactly what happened, millions of dollars in damages and hundreds of people being injured.

    “But the killings continued. Eric Garner. Laquan McDonald. Tamir Rice. Walter Scott. Freddie Gray. Philando Castile. Stephon Clark. AHMAUD ARBERY.” – THE POLICE KILLED AHMAUD ARBERY???? I suggest you fix that ERROR!

    No one seems to be denying that the police in this country can do better, but as long as the lie is perpetuated that police are hunting down people of color and killing them, we’re going to have people enraged by their own ignorance. If one was to do theirself a favor and go research this topic by the numbers and compare police killings by race and murder rate by race (non police related), it would be clear to see that this is a societal and cultural issue.. NOT a policing issue.

    Jennifer, you appear to be a biased radical, masquerading as an impartial journalist. You’re either blatantly overlooking the law regarding unlawful assemblies, or you’re not educated on it. It would be worth your time to go look up a young journalist by the name of Jorge Ventura so you can see what real, modern progressive journalism looks like. I fully support you having your own opinion, but label your article’s as op-eds if that’s what you’re doing.

  11. Jennifer,
    Unfortunately, your *news article* is filled so much with your own anti police hyperbole that it lacks journalistic credibility. If not for SJPD, and the help of other agencies, our downtown would have been destroyed, along with livelihoods, like in so many other cities.

    Of course today you would be singing a different tune if the rioters had burned down the offices of San Jose inside.

    • Observation: It must be disheartening for the opinion writers of SJI to see that the vast majority of people who post on SJI disagree with their editorial narrative that they still try to pretend is reporting.
      But to be fair, there is no journalistic integrity any longer. No one reports fairly and honestly. It is all opinion, either blatant, or colored by what facts they leave out because they contradict the writer’s narrative. That is true of left and right leaning media types.

  12. Wadsworth and SJI have clean hands reporting on this. One blogger in the South Bay and Related lobbyist Jude Barry were paid thousands by cop unions and Barry has used racist techniques to darken the color of candidates so BLM should head over to Related Santa Clara.

  13. Those who; loot, steal, burn, destroy another’s personal property, throw any and all objects towards a Police Officer should be shot dead where they stand.
    David S. Wall

    • > Those who; loot, steal, burn, destroy another’s personal property, throw any and all objects towards a Police Officer should be shot dead where they stand.

      Whoa! David!

      That’s pretty stern.

      Joe Biden would only shoot them in the leg.

      I’m just guessing, but I assume if the perp were armed, Joe would also shoot the gun out of his hand.

    • I think Joe shot Tara in the leg. His trigger was itchy and she wouldn’t surrender. The officeholder’s response was justified, measured and contained. It was by the book.

    • SJPD spends way too much time glaring at the peaceful protesters while letting the rioters and looters do their thing with near impunity. The rules of engagement need to concentrate on the lawbreakers. They need to leave people alone as long as they are walking or milling around doing no harm.
      SJPD should have several units of 10-12 cops who respond as a unit directly against looters and window breakers. They should form a skirmish line, surround or pin down the looters, and fire those hockey puck-like rubber bullets in unison against these looters and window breakers. No multiple warnings, no “stop or we’ll shoot”, just nail the bas*ards. It’s non-lethal, but would definitely leave an impression on the little pr*cks.
      Banning those rubber bullets is coming up for discussion next Tuesday at the SJ city council meeting. It’s a bad idea to ban them, because it takes a non lethal tool out of the cops’ tool box. Just make it clear in the duty manual that those bullets are not to be deployed against people who aren’t doing any damage. And discipline any cop who violates that prohibition. Suspensions without pay is an incentive to toe the line.

  14. Find it interesting that the normal comment section on pieces related to SJPD are stacked with complaints. It’s until the piece is about how they mishandle race and socioeconomics that all the same haters evangelize into warriors and philosophers who see their individual preferences in the nuance of all things policing.

  15. So much white guilt and loathing in this hit piece. Ill leave it at that. The elephant in the room is that blacks account for a higher percentage of crime based off of their population. The MSM cant get themselves to ever say that out loud. Nice work Jennifer I knew you wouldnt let us down.

    • Any unjustified homicide of anyone, black or white, by a cop is tragic. However, more black men are shot and killed by other black men in Chicago on a three day holiday weekend than are shot and killed by white cops in an entire year in the entire country. But the black community simply accpts it. They don’t riot and burn and loot in the Southside. The gulliberal press never reports on the massive black-by-black deaths. The black community should spend more time cleaning up its own house. Some white guilt gulliberal is sure to brand me a racist. But the Department of Justice data backs me up.

  16. > If you’re not anti fascism, that does pretty much make you pro fascism, and by extension, pro hate.

    What if we decide you don’t know what the hell your talking about and don’t know the meanings of the words you using.

    No one is bound by your ignorance.

  17. > But I’m not pro fascist nor pro hate. How do you reconcile that?

    Mr. WORK90:

    It’s safe to ignore malignant morons.

    The late Democrat con man Lyndon Baines Johnson once admitted that he would say ugly things about his opponents”just to make them deny it”.

    My advice is: “if you can’t say anything bad about a malignant moron, don’t say anything at all”.

  18. > BLAH BLAH BLAH protesters BLAH BLAH protesters BLAH BLAH protesters BLAH BLAH
    > BLAH BLAH protesters BLAH BLAH protesters BLAH BLAH protesters BLAH BLAH BLAH
    > BLAH BLAH BLAH protesters BLAH BLAH protesters BLAH BLAH protesters BLAH BLAH
    > BLAH BLAH protesters BLAH BLAH protesters BLAH BLAH protesters BLAH BLAH BLAH
    – – – – – –
    > San Jose deploys curfews, helicopters, tear gas, explosives and rubber bullets to quell protests and vandalism,

    > As the protesters disembarked down the offramp, they left in their wake a couple police SUVs vandalized with messages such as “stop killing.

    > Some broke ranks to vandalize restaurants and stores.

    > … but his officers can’t excuse violence, vandalism and theft.

    > Windows got blown out of police cars—our cars got spray-painted, vandalized.

    AntiFA — 0
    Black Lives Matter — 0
    d-Bug — 0

  19. Hey, I just noticed that the last photo Jenn included was of Galt’s favorite protester getting popped.

  20. > She published an 18 minute video on her Facebook page decrying how the black community always seems to choose ne’er do wells as their heroes.

    I think one of the very legitimate complaints that blacks have is that their leaders and heroes are chosen FOR them by people and institutions that are not authentically of the black community.

    There are LOT of fundamentally “progressive” or “left wing” people or groups who claim the right to speak for blacks but who really have no charter to do so:

    The NAACP (founded by white people)
    Black Lives Matter (founded by a white guy — Shaun King)
    The Southern Poverty Law Center – (a sleazy, money grubbing fundraising scam orchestrated by the very NON-BLACK, Morris Dees)
    The ACLU – (founded by white commie – Roger Baldwin)
    Planned Parenthood (founded by contemptuous, black hating, genocidalist Margaret Sanger)

    For almost all of the last century, since Franklin D. Roosevelt found blacks to be politically useful, blacks have just been used as pathetic tokens to justify sluicing BILLIONS AND BILLIONS of government dollars through poverty agencies, foundations, FAKE eduction programs – aka “public schools”, abortion mills, etc. to provide dubious “services” that blacks have been told they “need” but can’t provide for themselves — the “soft bigotry of low expectations”.

    • The persistent theme of the Democrats starting with FDR is to keep black people dependent and on the plantation. Starting with AFDC black women have been trained that having kids gets them money. So, we have a situation now where 70% of black births are to single moms. The fathers of these kids are never never around, held to account and the moms and their children depend upon the government to feed and clothe them. Malcolm X told everyone who would listen back in the 60’s that the greatest enemies of black people were the white liberals. He understood what was going on, but that part of his message was lost in the noise of his other rhetoric. The subtle message of affirmative action is that black people aren’t smart enough to make it on their own, so they get extra points in college acceptance and the hiring process just for being black.

      COVID has given the government the opportunity to put everyone on the plantation. A huge portion of the work force has been deemed non-essential. The government is doling out taxpayer money to keep the unemployed barely alive.The next wave of foreclosures is not that far off. Democrats in Congress are proposing that everyone over the age of 16 get a government check for $2,000 every month just for having a pulse. Millions will take that check and not even think about working.

      If this trend continues, bye bye America.

  21. CNN and the New York Times single narrative press are not “the media”. Floyds criminal record is all over the place including transcripts. There has been no denials that I know of. The drugs in his system are from the coroner. Inconvenient truths are relevant to the discerning. A bunch of ranting and raving youth who will go home later and jump on the social media for more righteous indignation will not change anything.

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