Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Nov 20, 2008 at 4:45 pm
I feel very sorry to see her go. I think she had been forced into a corner due to circumstances and the remark she made was obviously interrupting her own thoughts and shows that you can never have a moment's lapse when involved with the public.
It is a shame that she was in this corner, but at least she can put the recent arrests as a positive in the last few weeks of her service rather than going out without any of these recent crimes being solved.
Posted by anonymous, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Nov 20, 2008 at 4:47 pm
I don't blame the chief for retiring after numerous people such as certain local politicians who are looking to get ahead, "community leaders," and poorly-trained TV news reporters capitalized on her mis-speaking on one occasion. Sure, it is unfortunate that she mis-spoke. Funny: when others in the public eye mis-speak nothing particular of consequence happens and they go on their merry ways...Bill Clinton (I did not have sex with that woman), Jesse Jackson (who crosses the street when he sees a black person) - these people maintain their public standing.
I do want to thank the chief for her many years of professional service.
I followed the TV news stories closely and some young, inexperienced news reporters were light on content and detail and extremely high on sensationalism when "reporting" on this story. It is not surprising that many people have now over-reacted.
The city of Palo Alto does not do racial profiling.
Posted by Lt. Sandra Brown, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Nov 20, 2008 at 5:00 pm
I have been a proud member of this police department for over 20 years. I appreciate the service that Chief Lynne Johnson has given to this community and this agency for over 34 years. I wish her good luck and good times in her retirement.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Nov 20, 2008 at 5:13 pm
What a pathetic community reward for years of service. Every once and a while, when I get all warm and fuzzy, comes another reminder that I am IN Palo Alto, but not OF Palo Alto. Emulate Benest and Ulrich and enjoy your good life spreading the word about how THERE Palo Alto is, but do what the normal responsibilities of management require and the trip wires get you.
Chief, we don't deserve you. Be happy. Carmel is nice.
Posted by JustMe, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Nov 20, 2008 at 5:22 pm
She had a slip of the tongue, and this is the consequence. It's very sad to think one little slip could derail a carreer like this.
If you think she deserved this, I have to ask if you have ever made a similar mistake, but were lucky enough not to have the severe consequences. If you tell me you have never had a similar slip, you are either 3 years old or you are lying.
Lynne, we are going to miss you. However, rest assured that whenever I see your officers drive past my house, I will continue to wave cheerfully. They are the best, and you put them there.
Posted by KTG, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Nov 20, 2008 at 5:44 pm
What a bunch of losers that pushed this to happen. Seriously. She will be SOOOO much happier than any of us to get the hell out of this cesspool of a town. Boy, this really IS the year for the bleeding heart radical Liberals isn't it? *shrug* I'm still just sittin' back and waiting for them to have there ass handed to them. It's inevitable.
I talked to Lynn Johnson personally on the phone after all of this crap started and she gave me her personal commitment that her team would continue to do their job and not be swayed by the chaos. She personally returned my call. Sorry to see you go Lynn. Have a great life, void of the sheep of Palo Alto.
The crime here will continue & the intelligent people of this town will continue to be aware and leary of the descriptions given of the criminals. I for one will not think twice about political correctness when it comes to my safety or the safety of my family.
Posted by JustMe, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Nov 20, 2008 at 6:07 pm
There are three ways of being "correct". Morally correct, legally correct, and politically correct. Note that “legally correct” tries to match “morally correct”, but it is hard to do. “Politically correct” is even farther removed from “morally correct” than “legally correct”.
I agree, there is too much political correctness around here.
Posted by pepperspray, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Nov 20, 2008 at 6:17 pm
I was pulling for the chief to hang in there. The media spun this their way. I am a woman who can't walk outside with a purse or backpack without looking over my shoulder for the black man in the police sketch who might throw me down as he did ten other PA women. The chief simply showed the sketch (rightly so) and was slammed with racism. Now I have to look out for myself due to P.C./multicultural mania. Thanks chief for protecting me while you could and for releasing the sketch. Funny how only one media outlet showed it back in Oct.
Posted by Chief Johnson supporter, a resident of the Southgate neighborhood, on Nov 20, 2008 at 6:28 pm
Chief Johnson, I wish you the very, very best. You've given Palo Alto a reputation for fairness and equanimity that made Palo Alto policing a model for many communities, putting the lie to those who would profit politically and professionally by their opportunistic grandstanding on trumped-up issues guaranteed to gain press attention, or sell papers. ##### I choose to believe that you're leaving because the time is right for you, and not because you've been forced out. 34 years of service is a long, long time - in police years. Policing is a far more stressful occupation than anyone who has not been there, personally - day in and day out, for years - can ever imagine. You have earned a well-deserved retirement. ####
Posted by lifelong palo alto resident, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Nov 20, 2008 at 6:30 pm
thanks chief and remember "Be careful out there" The department needs a new attitude and you could not do that for them. The Police need to remember who they work for, who pays the bills, who is the servant and who are the public. I have on numerous occasions be treated with a poor attitude by the department and that needs to change. When i pay a lot for a service i expect that service to be good. I did not ask to be protected from the children's theatre staff, but i did expect to be protected from a mugger with a room temperature IQ. my thanks go out to the eyewitness that solved the mugging spree for the police.
Posted by FORSHAMEPALOALTO, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Nov 20, 2008 at 6:44 pm
A day in the life in Palo Alto of the silent minority:
Chugging along in my old V-8. Pull up next to a Prius. Look over to smile. Prius driver meets my smile with a self righteous glare. Then, as I watch, snuffs out their cigarette and throws it out the drivers side window.
Election coming. Put a few signs out. Everyone else has them. I wish to express my choice for a candidate. Come out the next morning. Signs gone, or vandalized, along with house, and car. Look around, signs for left candidate still there. Look fine. So does THAT house, their cars.
Tooling along another evening, mom in the car. Decide to see what's up downtown. Pull up in the middle of a riot. Well, a riot, Palo Alto style. 'Anarchists' throwing objects, yelling invectives, screaming about capitalism. This, while wearing Doc Martens, clutching Coach purses and wearing Citizens and the very best in eyewear. Yup, capitalism bad. Hypocrisy, good.
Doorbell chimes, open to find someone stumping for their Democratic candidate. Politely inform them I am not interested. Now, have to endure this person getting in my face, invading my space, attempting to "EDUCATE" me. Educate me? Really? YOU? I don't THINK so.
Driving down Alma, doing the speed limit. A car whizzes by, doing about 60. Ultimately we both get caught at the same light. That car has a bumper sticker. What does it say? Oh! It says 'I drive slowly in my Palo Alto neighborhood'. Uh huh. Do you? Do you REALLY?
Chug up in front of a local eatery. Leave the engine running to grab a paper. Right there, a quick grab. No fumes, no smoke, yet some self righteous women wave the air in front of their faces, grimace, then get up and icily inform me that my car is ruining their dining experience. Fouling the very air they breathe! They close the door of the restaurant then go back to pick up their martini's and stuff down their alfredo.
Volunteer at Paly. Work side by side with other parents on some project. Other parent, what college is your son attending? Well, actually, my son is in the Marines, volunteered. Is in Iraq. Now, must endure an offended stare, supercilious sniff, and a question, 'how COULD you allow your son to do that'? As if he had come out as the new leader of NAMBLA. I wonder, what's YOUR son doing? Cowering under his bed, spine curved like a giant prawn while eschewing the entire Military? Hm. MY son is making it ok for YOUR son to do nothing.
No, that's ok, no thanks needed.
At a school sporting event. Asked for whom I am voting? I reply. Oh no! Not the 'popular' candidate. Encounter aghast stares, then supercilious smug assertions that I will eventually learn how very wrong I am, that someday I will 'get' it. Apparently at this point, I should hang my head in shame and renounce my poor judgement.
Read the paper I picked up. See there was a strong arm robbery in midtown. Not the recent one, but a while back. Look it up on line, see blog after blog of people SCREAMING about the lack of police response. We need more cops! We need more cameras! We need a cop on EVERY corner! How DARE they put Palo Altans at risk with their blatant incompetence? Then, a cop steps up and tries to do the right thing, and there is a MARCH. And calls for a firing. Now that Chief is leaving.
As the person above said, petty demagogues standing up calling for the head of the ONE person who dared to speak the truth. FOR SHAME PALO ALTO.
Posted by Agent Duane Tannock, a resident of another community, on Nov 20, 2008 at 6:57 pm
I have had the honor of working for Chief Johnson for the last 20 years of my life. I hope that she has a great retirement. Chief Johnson has given 34 years out of her life to this Community and she has loved serving all of you. Bless you Chief, live in good health and enjoy the golf courses. drano
Posted by FORSHAMEPALOALTO, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Nov 20, 2008 at 6:57 pm
The City accept and forgive her? The liberals only PREACH forgiveness, talking it out, and making it work 'together'. They don't actually PRACTICE that. Why don't you get it? It's all about appearances, not substance.
Posted by FORSHAMEPALOALTO, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Nov 20, 2008 at 7:08 pm
A 'witch' hunt is when you are accusing someone of being what they are not. The Chief described suspects of a certain race and appearance. The suspects arrested fit the descriptions. So, whose bad is that? Hers? Or theirs?
Posted by bk1234, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Nov 20, 2008 at 7:36 pm
The article says that Chief Johnson said she had instructed officers to make "consensual contact" with black men who match the description of a man who was targeting women walking alone and stealing their purses.
If she had said the exact same thing, except taken the word "black" out, there would have been no problem at all. It makes perfect sense. All reports of the crime had said that the assailant was black. If she had said "all hooded men" who match the description, would she have been accused of profiling then, too?
People lost their minds over this, and it is a shame. Chief Johnson obviously has done a great job. Palo Alto should stand by her and keep their heads while all those around are losing theirs.
Posted by anne, a resident of another community, on Nov 20, 2008 at 7:55 pm
thank goodness i don't live in palo alto, the mayor and the papers are idiots. she has done more than you ever have. shame on you. pathetic. she deserves the best. black is black. green is green. don't be stupid.
Posted by Kathy, a resident of the Evergreen Park neighborhood, on Nov 20, 2008 at 7:59 pm
Thank you Chief Johnson, for 34 years of dedicated and tireless service. That your career ends among such controversy is sad, sad, sad, and extremely short-sighted.
Kudos to you, the Palo Alto Police and the Menlo Park Police for finally capturing the person likely responsible for the recent muggings that have taken place near California Ave. & Downtown Caltrain stations, Alma @ Loma Verde, and Midtown. The description of the perpetrator, in all instances, was of a 30-something black man driving and older white sedan. Once a license plate numbered was obtained by a witness, the person captured was a 38 year-old black man driving an older, white Toyoya Camry sedan. It wasn't racial profiling; it was following the clues given by the victims.
I feel like I can walk more safely in my neighborhood once again. Thank you.
Posted by For all, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Nov 20, 2008 at 8:11 pm
Unfortunately the radical so-called "anti-racists" wont't quit or be fired. I find the anti-racists the worst racist of them all. They profile against ALL races besides their own. Shame on you.
I hope the next Chief will continue what Chief Johnson has built and take on the "anti-racists" and clear them from our city so we can get back to business and catch crooks....regardless of their skin color.
Posted by XOXOX, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Nov 20, 2008 at 8:12 pm
I just hope that she is retiring so she can actually say "F U" to a few people a blanket "F U" to all of the mentally ill Libs in this town who marched around like fools. What a joke, seriously. The thing is, she's going to be better off than any of us while she lives a work free life and just enjoys each day. Joke is on YOU Liberals. Just like the joke will be on you after a few years of Obama.
The criminals that were committing these crimes were BLACK. She did not say anything wrong whatsoever. It is just that certain types of people ALWAYS need a reason to be a victim. That is all this was. Plus there were a few people that had a vendetta against her and set her up for all of this.
Posted by Sergeant Steve Herrera, a resident of another community, on Nov 20, 2008 at 8:35 pm
I have worked for Chief Johnson for 23 years. I have found her to be a fair and impartial Chief who has supported me in both good and bad times. She has praised me when I have done a good job and kicked me in the butt when I have not. She is a compassionate person who genuinely cares about each and every person who works for her and for those she works for. She can proudly retire after 34 years of service and I am a better person for knowing and working for her.
Posted by FORSHAMEPALOALTO, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Nov 20, 2008 at 9:34 pm
They are not embarrassed. They are gratified. Their behavior throughout this entire debacle shows where their loyalties lie.
Not in Palo Alto.
There are reasons for their actions. Dig deep Palo Alto, before the next election. You may not like what you find out. If I were the Chief and were no longer bound by worrying about my thankless job, I would start blabbing and never stop. Wanna bet she knows where the skeletons lie? People with something to hide act against their own.
Posted by tom, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Nov 20, 2008 at 10:30 pm
Mayor Klein and Council Member Burt saw fit to join the hysteria and criticize Lynne vehemently. I think it was political grandstanding. Shame on them. As others said, she made a minor mistake in describing what the police are to do when looking for the bad guys.
I hope everyone saw a Santa Clara Deputy District Attorney's Letter to the Editor in the Nov. 14, issue of the Weekly - "Let police do their job". She described clearly what the facts are when the police do that job and contact, in the legal sense, a citizen.
Thank those of you who clearly saw the correctness of Lynne's efforts and supported her. I believe you're in the vast majority if the comments above are a reasonable sampling of public opinion.
Posted by Your Mother, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 7:01 am
I am sad that the chief is leaving. She is an amazing officer who said what needed to be said to address the city's rising crime trends. She never once used the phrase "racial profile" during her speeches. She never condoned that practice and never encouraged that kind of behavior. She just instructed officers to do what they are paid to do. CATCH CROOKS AND PUT THEM IN JAIL!!!!
I blame the media, the vocal minorities such as Aram James, and Mark Pederson Perez, for spinning a minor misstatement from the chief into a tornado of destruction. I hope YOU people feel good about bringing to end the career of an exceptional police administrator.
Posted by narnia, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 10:09 am
I, for one am glad that Chief Johnson seems to have understood that her declarations would foster a climate not conducive to good policing or good police moral. Hers was
the right decision in face of the facts. I say thank you for her service (though 34 years
in one place would make most rather complacent and too comfortable to reengage a police department) and wish her well.
About 1/3 of all crimes in palo alto are committed by caucasians
and most homicides in the last few years were committed by white residents.
Chief Johnson did not direct her officers to approach anyone of a suspect's race on
what she calls (lol) "consensual contact" to see who they are.
It's only when they are black that she proposed the practice. Whites do not get indiscriminately "consensually stopped" when a suspect is white. How would you like
to be stopped just because the color of your ski? How would you like to feel under suspicion all the time because of the color of your skin ( or indeed any other reason
for which you have no control)? People of good will and decent morals can disagree on was constitutes a reasonable response to crime, but surely such people would not say that
treating citizens differently just because of the color of their skin is fine.
I believe that what she proposed is unlawful and wrong unless she and her supporters want to go back to Jim Crow and declare one side of the freeway for whites and another for colored (unless they are servants, of course...) . That was Chief Johnson's message.
It's high time for her to leave the position. She is free to seek other police employment were the practices she advocates are tolerated. She may have a hard time. The last thing most PD's want is somebody who makes inflammatory comments (independently of the merits).
Mayor Klein, and the city manager understood the potential harm of the Chief's proposed directives. So did Chief Johnson apparently, finally.
Posted by Wow, a resident of Stanford, on Nov 21, 2008 at 10:10 am
I'm on vacation in Arizona and can't believe what I'm reading. I'm very disappointed that something so minor was blown way out of proportion by politicians with questionable motives. What a loss. Thank you for your service, Chief.
Posted by maditalian, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 10:26 am
I'm very sorry to see Chief Johnson retire. I believe she had a deep respect and commitment to her officers and the community and should not have been pilloried as she was.
My worry now is that the department will become a San Francisco Police Department clone, where the officers will be hamstrung by pc leaders and overly sensitive critics, resulting in low morale. Please don't let that happen.
I am just sorry that there is not more widespread and vocal outcry from the citizens who support the police department.
My respects to you Chief Johnson, and thanks to the officers of the Palo Alto Police Department. You have a tough job, and it's only getting tougher.
Posted by Resident, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 10:37 am
Thank you Chief Johnson for your service to our community. The PAPD deserves more of the community's support. Would any one of us put our life on the line everyday to do their job? They are all very brave and I and my family appreciate their service very much.
Posted by narnia, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 11:00 am
Some posters equate supporting the PAPD with supporting the declarations and directives of Chief Johnson. Supporting the mission and objectives of the police force is indeed what we do when we justly criticize the directives of the Chief made in her capacity of police Chief. I do not know her personally and I do not care what her beliefs or what she is as a person outside her job as Chief of PAPD. I do know that her directives were inflammatory and that someone in her position has to have more sense than making public remarks that on their face value are potentially harmful/unlawful and then not do anything else immediately to dispel misunderstandings if she felt that way. That is performance unbecoming a police Chief. This has absolutely NOTHING with supporting the department. Those who confuse support with endorsement of policies may reflect that blindly supporting policies has produced many of the horrors we saw in the 20th century.
I certainly support the PAPD but not the directives of the Chief. One of my brothers is in law enforcement and so was my grandfather. I always remember how difficult a job that is. But I think Johnson's retirement is in the best interests of Palo Alto and its P D. I wish her well.
Posted by Palo Alto Pride, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 11:16 am
The bastion of social liberalism & homelessness, better know as Palo Alto.
When will we exactly learn and stop handing over the keys to our City to a bunch of left wing liberals that under the guise of humanitarian BS, allow hordes of low lives to migrate to our city, use our resources, and then be given a carte blanche to rob us blind, while we place blame on the PAPD for the audacity of trying to protect us against the very things they were hired to do; All in the name of political correctness.
The African American, Jeffrey Smith, the thief behind the strong arm robberies, in broad daylight on city streets, came to Palo Alto from Daytona Beach, FL only a few short months ago. We laid out a red carpet for him and spent our city's valuable resources on him. Why?because we are a generous, kind-hearted community. He has certainly exhibited his gratitude, don't you think?
We, as this community's citizens, need to band together and recall this sham of city government and council who act only for their political gain with their self-righteous attitude.
Posted by George, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 11:18 am
Chief Johnson listened to her constituents' complaints and questions. She was trying to reassure her constituents that the PD was doing all they could to make our streets safe. She didn't complete her sentence. If you think she's a racist then lets fire the entire police force, because none of them have compliained about Chief Johnson's racism after 34 years. That condemns all of the police force.
Please idiots, there's no logic in forcing out Chief Johnson.
The mayor and council are a joke. The PC residents that live in Palo Alto deserve to have these idiots running the show. We're looking more like Bezerkely every day.
Let's move to Los Altos Hills and get away from the nut bag liberals.
Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 11:18 am
I saw the video of the chief's comments (as regards profiling controversy). My take is that she just mis-spoke and was not really advocating profiling. Just that, given the descriptions of the suspects,....
But Palo Alto has a history of racial profiling back in the 70's and 80's it was really bad. I know the daughter of Rapp's Jeweler's and know of many tales. I remember things back from the 80's quite well and that will color any perspective.
But still it was not done well. And this coming after the whole Children's Theatre issue. I claim no special insight or attach to any camp on that issue. But no doubt this all adds up.
Posted by JustMe, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 11:32 am
Hmmm, looks like Mr. Smith was not satisfied with the level of help he was given and decided to increase his level of support by taking donations from passing women.
Is it possible that the ones crying the loudest about Lynne Johnson's remarks might be the ones who feared her the most? Looks like the wrong element won this round, point for the muggers. Shall we allow then to win another round by hamstringing the next police chief?
Posted by Sherry, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 11:36 am
Honorable Chief Johnson,
I will personally hang a flag at half mast today in your honor and that of the department that you built.
You have handled this entire "frame job" with the same level of professionalism and grace that we have come to expect of you in this community.
It is indeed a sad day, a disgraceful turn of events and I personally can not thank you enough for your decades of self-less service, integrity and dedication.
The only hope for restoration of the PAPD is to quietly hand the reins over to Dennis Burns so that with his leadership, the department can carryout the legacy of decency and service that was instilled by Chief Johnson.
Palo Alto residents, it is imperative that we advocate for the retention & maintenance of the current department and demand a seamless transition.
Posted by George, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 11:38 am
Hey A Noun Ea Mus,
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Perhaps that murder wouldn't have happened if we had more police officers on the street, perhaps just walking into the station. Do you know that we have a shortage of police officers in Palo Alto?
When we try to hire police officers, do you think that they want to work in cities where the average citizen supports the police force when a mistake is made? Or, do you think that they want to work in a city where the chief is forced out for not completing her sentence?
I guess you don't make mistakes. That's nice for you. Try setting foot in a church and learning about forgiveness.
It's no surprise that Palo Alto's churches are empty on Sundays. There are lessons to be learned there.
Posted by resident, a resident of the Green Acres neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 11:57 am
Palo Alto has been the target of sensationalized and irresponsible media reporting before. This is now different. The chief should have been judged on what was happening in the city, not by what some sensationalized account.
Also, in this day and age with the changing nature of media, someone writes one story and it just gets repeated and magnified in other outlets from that original source. This is distorting media coverage in a way that no one seems to be coming to terms with.
Thank you for your service, Chief Johnson. I wish you would reconsider.
Posted by narnia, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 12:31 pm
"Just that, given the descriptions of the suspects,...."
What do you mean? When the suspect is white (About 1/3 of all crimes in palo alto are committed by caucasians and most homicides in the last few years were committed by white residents) did the Chief direct that officers make "consensual contact" with with whites? Some are "more equal than others"?
This is not a matter of the Chief being racist or not - I don't know and I don't care. She maybe a wonderful person. It is a matter that the directive is inflammatory besides other attributes and not conducive to good police work. It is unbecoming a police Chief in my opinion.
Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 12:32 pm
Ugh George, read the post above where I said I thought it was unfortunate about her leaving. But she is a public official and made a guffaw, one which piled on top of other recent issues.
Amazing how the spin is that I'd enjoy a murder! Can anyone prove that any shortage of police officers is because of some public perception of non-support? This is all just bizarre speculation and spin. My guess is that, if I were a police academy graduate it would be a choice of ..the pay is relatively good but my experience fighting real crime will be laughed at if I ever move to Baltimore......I can't afford to buy a house on the Peninsula so I have a big commute....I will be detaining/questioning/arresting people who can afford Johnnie Cochran level attorney teams and do I want that headache? ......
Those are probably the real hurdles. Not something like "I channel Rush Limbaugh and this is a liberal town".
My PERSONAL attitude, based on video and all, is that it is too bad the chief is leaving. I don't claim to know the facts behind the scenes, how it played out, as regards the decision(s) for her to leave. I don't fee jubilant at all, sad really. It just saddens me further that her leaving is being used for the continue drone about PA for those who really would be happier in Oklahoma.
I should have clarified. I don't mean that ALL Chief Johnson's supporters are whacked. Just the majority of the rabid ones here.
And what does churches being empty have to do with anything? (or will I be sorry I asked?).
Posted by Faith, a resident of another community, on Nov 21, 2008 at 1:12 pm
There is no mis-speaking after 34 years on the job. There is no slip of the tongue [portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff]. This wasn't the first time she said this and why after numerous attempts to get her to 'clarify' her comments she didn't. Get it through your heads you apologists and excusers: she meant what she said. As the Head Police Officer in Charge it's up to her to set the tone and policy of her Dept. She represents ALL citizens not just the ones she feels comfortable with. You sound just like people who make excusers for child molesters: oh they were abused, oh they were tempted, oh it was a slip-up. IT WAS A CHOICE! She needs to OWN UP TO IT. Now the question is where does the police dept go from here? The problem with crime has not been resolved, the destruction of the relationships between the police and the community they are SUPPOSED to PROTECT is almost complete. All of you who wish to pat her on the back need to get out there and mend fences!
Posted by Faith, a resident of another community, on Nov 21, 2008 at 1:13 pm
There is no mis-speaking after 34 years on the job. There is no slip of the tongue for a woman with a history of raciallized bigotry that is well documented. This wasn't the first time she said this and why after numerous attempts to get her to 'clarify' her comments she didn't. Get it through your heads you apologists and excusers: she meant what she said. As the Head Police Officer in Charge it's up to her to set the tone and policy of her Dept. She represents ALL citizens not just the ones she feels comfortable with.
You sound just like people who make excuses for child molesters: oh they were abused, oh they were tempted, oh it was a slip-up. IT WAS A CHOICE! She needs to OWN UP TO IT. Now the question is where does the police dept go from here? Condoning her behavior does nothing. The problem with crime has not been resolved, the destruction of the relationships between the police and the community they are SUPPOSED to PROTECT is almost complete. All of you who wish to pat her on the back need to get out there and mend fences!
Posted by Cecily, a resident of another community, on Nov 21, 2008 at 1:18 pm
I've known Lynne Johnson for over 20 years. She is one of the finest people I have ever known, and was dedicated to her job. I've never heard her make a comment that could even remotely be construed as racist. This is truly a sad outcome to what sounds to be an hysterical, irresponsible, and unfair political episode.
Posted by Mo, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 1:26 pm
> most homicides in the last few years were committed by white
> residents) did the Chief direct that officers make
> "consensual contact" with with whites?
The homicides committed by whites "in the last few years" we all committed by people who were either spouces of the murder victim, or known by the murder victim (for the most part). So, the police did not have far to look. David Kay's murder, on a downtown street, was by non-whites. The murder of the young woman standing on Alma in front of the Q-Cafe was never solved, so no one can speculate on the race of the murderer. A man was killed not far from the Q-Cafe on Alma, a victim of a hit-and-run. Again, no one has any idea of the race of the murderer.
With 0-3 homicides a year in Palo Alto, suggesting that the police need to initiate "consenual contact" with any race shows how little this poster understand police procedure, or crime in Palo Alto.
Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 2:24 pm
Speaking of the shooting of the Asian woman on Alma--- in front of the Q Cafe....I have always wondered if it had anything to do with the finding of a bunch of anti-Asian hate literature at the library on Hamilton?
Posted by George, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 2:54 pm
A Noun Ea Mus,
Aparently you're unfamiliar with satire. Of course you didn't enjoy the murder and it didn't make you feel safe.
Have you ever talked to a member of the Palo Alto police force? Perhaps you should get some facts instead of guessing. One of the recruiting issues that the Palo Alto police force contends with is playing out here. When something contravsial happens, the council and community turn against the police very quickly. I've spoken directly with members of the force that have confirmed this.
The lack of trust dates back to a case of alleged police brutality by two Palo Alto cops. The "victim" aparently started a fight with one of the officers that asked him for a driver's license. They were INSTANTLY thrown under the bus by the mayor at the time, Dena Mossar.
The trial ended in a hung jury. The officers pleaded guilty to fighting in public. The DA decided not to pursue the case in a second trial.
I am not guessing about my facts. I talk to members of the police force.
Forgiveness...Apology...Christianity...Church...Empty Churches in Palo Alto...Unforging Community Members - If you can't connect those dots as to how that relates to someone that made a mistake, apologized, asked to be forgiven, and then was publicly "stoned" by a mob then I'm not sure that I can help you.
OK, on to Faith. I like your attempt to take the personal responsibility argument and turn it back on us. Nice try, really.
Think about what happened here. Chief Johnson said that the officers should have consenual contact with African Americans, and left of the clause, that meet the description of the suspect, which she used earlier in the meeting. She didn't suggest that her officers beat anyone up. She suggested that they talk to people! Her mistake is that she didn't add a qualifier that she clearly had used earlier in the same conversation.
Faith, I'm happy that there's a record of Chief Johnson's "history of raciallized bigotry that is well documented". Would you mind sharing that well documented record? Do you for one second expect us to beleive that Chief Johnson was able to be a member of the Palo Alto Police force for 34 years as a bigot? Are you kidding me? That'd be one HECK of a conspiracy for a 100 person department that includes African Americans.
Chief Johnson and I don't have much in common. I'm pretty sure that our politics do not line up. However, what we do have in common is a desire to have a safe community. She was dedicated to her job and she took her responsibilities seriously. Was she perfect in her role? No. Did she make some mistakes? Yes. But, you're going to fire her after describing the methods of searching for the suspect incorrectly? Come on.
With the exception of Larry Klein, the 50 people marching down University Avenue can't know Chief Johnson, her record, or her efforts to make sure that the races of the people pulled over in Palo Alto were tracked in order to avoid racial profiling.
Some poorly informed people caught a mistake, smelled blood, bit down, and didn't let go. The town council is a weak crew of fools.
Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 2:57 pm
FORSHAMEPALOALTO, posted a long diatribe which I will respond in kind..
"A day in the life in Palo Alto of the silent minority:
Chugging along in my old V-8. Pull up next to a Prius. Look over to smile. Prius driver meets my smile with a self righteous glare. Then, as I watch, snuffs out their cigarette and throws it out the drivers side window."
Well it could be as you portray it. An elitist smug in her Prius looks at the "good ole boy" in the V8 and gives a "self righteous glare. Or it could be that she thought you were just another driver trying to "hey babe" her. But it reads like something from Reader's Digest "Help I Live Among Liberals!" ghost written by Ann Coultier. There are tons liberal people living in places like Oklahoma who have a lot more to contend with than just glares. What are you whining about? Glares?
"Election coming. Put a few signs out. Everyone else has them. I wish to express my choice for a candidate. Come out the next morning. Signs gone, or vandalized, along with house, and car. Look around, signs for left candidate still there. Look fine. So does THAT house, their cars."
If it was pro Prop 8 signs it seems a few over zealous people have taken Pro 8 to be advocating a hate crime. I disagree with their perspective. But, again, there may be someone in Oklahoma with a Pro Abortion Rights sign which got vandalized. The divide in this country has gotten deep and wide. I don't know of any left/liberal pundits or commentators who regularly lambast conservatives as people. But Rush Limbaugh, Mike Savage, Ann Coultier, etc., have cultivated a mindset that liberals AS PEOPLE need to be countered, lambasted, maligned, etc. What goes around comes around. Not to sound like a 1st grader...but..."you guys started it".
"Tooling along another evening, mom in the car. Decide to see what's up downtown. Pull up in the middle of a riot. Well, a riot, Palo Alto style. 'Anarchists' throwing objects, yelling invectives, screaming about capitalism. This, while wearing Doc Martens, clutching Coach purses and wearing Citizens and the very best in eyewear. Yup, capitalism bad. Hypocrisy, good."
So first you are chuggin' and now you are toolin' around. Note the repeated twist of arrogant Prius drivers and Guchi wearin' protestors contrasted with those who chug and tool. Pretty good, keep at it and you may land a job writing script for Rush or Ann.
"Doorbell chimes, open to find someone stumping for their Democratic candidate. Politely inform them I am not interested. Now, have to endure this person getting in my face, invading my space, attempting to "EDUCATE" me. Educate me? Really? YOU? I don't THINK so.'
Again, what is with the whining? Just put a "NO SOLICITORS" sign up. My brother moved from California to Oklahoma years ago. They regularly get lambasted and stumped by a deluge of religious fanatics. And you only have a tale of one Democratic canvasser?
"Driving down Alma, doing the speed limit. A car whizzes by, doing about 60. Ultimately we both get caught at the same light. That car has a bumper sticker. What does it say? Oh! It says 'I drive slowly in my Palo Alto neighborhood'. Uh huh. Do you? Do you REALLY?"
Ahhh now the chugger and tooler is just driving. Hey that person with the bumper sticker might be another hypocritical liberal! Ya think? Or they might be a member of the Latter Day John Birch Society. We'll never know. But I'm sure you have your bets down.
"Chug up in front of a local eatery. Leave the engine running to grab a paper. Right there, a quick grab. No fumes, no smoke, yet some self righteous women wave the air in front of their faces, grimace, then get up and icily inform me that my car is ruining their dining experience. Fouling the very air they breathe! They close the door of the restaurant then go back to pick up their martini's and stuff down their alfredo."
Back to chuggin'? OK now first when you were "tooling" the woman gave a glare at your "V8" or you. Again note the "martini's" and "alfredo's". The repeated contrasting of those who chug in their V8's with the elitist liberals. Gee, ya think that maybe your car is emitting a bit of smoke from time to time? I suspect you actually enjoy rubbing it in people's faces. But I have a tip for you. First, buy a car that the effete liberals would actually like to own themselves (or already do). A super expensive Lexus, Mercedes, Maserati, Jaguar. Then jack it up on Monster Wheels and put a big gun rack on the back. Strap a recently killed deer on top and ride through downtown Palo Alto. Don't just sit at home and type predictable narratives of chuggin, and toolin', and drivin' (it won't get you under their skin)...
"Volunteer at Paly. Work side by side with other parents on some project. Other parent, what college is your son attending? Well, actually, my son is in the Marines, volunteered. Is in Iraq. Now, must endure an offended stare, supercilious sniff, and a question, 'how COULD you allow your son to do that'? As if he had come out as the new leader of NAMBLA. I wonder, what's YOUR son doing? Cowering under his bed, spine curved like a giant prawn while eschewing the entire Military? Hm. MY son is making it ok for YOUR son to do nothing.
No, that's ok, no thanks needed."
Well that is TOO BAD your son, or anyone else for that matter, got sent to that absurd war in Iraq. None of them are fighting for any freedom. The whole thing was a crime. Bush, Cheney, etc. should actually be charged with murder (and get sentence and punishment as Timothy McVeigh) because they knowingly lied and schemed to start a war based on a series of calculated lies. Over 4,000 of our soldiers have died for a lie and a crime. The criminals should be bought to justice. It is not just in Palo Alto that you will find this sentiment. Over half the population thinks the war is a sham.
"At a school sporting event. Asked for whom I am voting? I reply. Oh no! Not the 'popular' candidate. Encounter aghast stares, then supercilious smug assertions that I will eventually learn how very wrong I am, that someday I will 'get' it. Apparently at this point, I should hang my head in shame and renounce my poor judgement."
Again there is your reciprocal in some place like Orange County, Oklahoma, etc. Ye reap what ye sow.
"Read the paper I picked up. See there was a strong arm robbery in midtown. Not the recent one, but a while back. Look it up on line, see blog after blog of people SCREAMING about the lack of police response. We need more cops! We need more cameras! We need a cop on EVERY corner! How DARE they put Palo Altans at risk with their blatant incompetence? Then, a cop steps up and tries to do the right thing, and there is a MARCH. And calls for a firing. Now that Chief is leaving."
If making a public guffaw and seeming to advocate racial profiling is "doing the right thing"...but wait, many people here actually are racists and ....it makes bizarre sense now. She didn't mispeak but the cops should be targeting minorities.
Posted by YouShouldKnow, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 3:06 pm
No misspeaking after 34 years? Wow, there's the judmental b.s.for which Liberals are so well known. You have never phrased something poorly? The Chief was putting out a fact in cop speak, not worrying about politically correct glib double speak. She was TRAINED first and foremost as a cop. Not a politician.
I don't want a politico as my police Chief.
That Reverand involved in the March who has known Chief Johnson for many years stated publicly that she "doesn't have a racist bone in her body", of course he promptly turned around and called for her resignation. Loser. Another demagogue.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
I'm sorry this happened to the Chief. I have seen her around since she first came on patrol. Had her as responding officer on a few calls. She was professional, even when I didn't agree with her assessment. I respect a person who can maintain their professionalism around people who are in an emotional state.
Bye Chief Johnson. In time you won't miss Palo Alto at all.
Posted by fireman, a resident of another community, on Nov 21, 2008 at 3:17 pm
She is not going for what she said.
She is going for what she did, what she did not do. And how the Palo Alto Police are performing. It is an out of control,misguided group.With poor leadership. Like most departments in Palo Alto. MOST not all.
Rate the performance of the PAPD,Not very good. Period. Do I want to see her fired. not really
Do I want to see her treated like the Employees or anyone else that has a problem with the leaders of the CITY of Palo Alto.
Yes, what would the city do to an average employee, Fire Them, ask Brandon Porter.
There is a huge double standard in the CPA. Keene just sat there and did nothing? Now that is leadership? The palo alto way.
Posted by Mo, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 3:27 pm
Someone wrote --
If it was pro Prop 8 signs it seems a few over zealous people have taken Pro 8 to be advocating a hate crime. I disagree with their perspective. But, again, there may be someone in Oklahoma with a Pro Abortion Rights sign which got vandalized. The divide in this country has gotten deep and wide. I don't know of any left/liberal pundits or commentators who regularly lambast conservatives as people. But Rush Limbaugh, Mike Savage, Ann Coultier, etc., have cultivated a mindset that liberals AS PEOPLE need to be countered, lambasted, maligned, etc. What goes around comes around. Not to sound like a 1st grader...but..."you guys started it".
Really? Ever hear of Saul Alinski? If anyone "started" it .. it was good ole Saul.
There is NO EXCUSE for stealing election signs--even though this poster seems to be wholeheartedly endorsing taking Prop 8 signs.
When has Rush, or Anne or Mike ever said: "Go out and steal the other guy's signs?" When?
Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 4:21 pm
Here is what I said about the (purported) sign taking.
"If it was pro Prop 8 signs it seems a few over zealous people have taken Pro 8 to be advocating a hate crime. I disagree with their perspective...."
I did not advocate the stealing of signs. I actually have to wonder at the mentality of anyone motivated to steal a sign----be it from the right or the left. Is anyone really motivated to vote one way or the other based on a sign? OK maybe for some little mentioned Judge or DA...if I saw a sign on the same lawn as (for instance) Obama I might vote for that person (fill in with McCain for the opposite). But on issues or national or state import? All putting up a sign does is kind of "mark the territory". I find it actually pathetic that anyone would be motivated to tear down or deface any sign--especially if put up on someone's yard or fence. OK, let's imagine that there was a statewide referendum on "Most Cherished Person of the Millenium"--where people could vote for whatever person since 1 AD. If I had a sign up advocating Adolf Hitler that would probably not go down so well and I imagine it would be defaced, etc. But that isn't because anyone really thinks one sign is going to get the vote swayed that way. But rather because they find it so obnoxious. The divide in this country has gotten about to that level.
Which brings me to Sal Alinski. I have been left/liberal now for many years. I have hardly ever heard of him. I did once speak to Fred Ross, one of his supposed "disciples" (UFW). I have never heard of anything he said, or any other left/liberal commentator, writer, etc., that comes close to Coltier's "How to Talk to A Liberal". Rush, Ann, and Mike have cultivated a climate where many right wingers feel that liberals themselves are personally contemptible and bear personal responsibility/blame for a host of social evils. They have even fostered a belief that liberals are treasonous. This despite the fact that it was Nixon who extended the Vietnam War by going back around to Thieu and getting him to stall in negotiations--costing many more thousands of US and Vietnamese lives before the inevitable Vietnamese victory. And then there was Reagan and his most valuable campaign workers---the Iranian Hostages kept for months longer so their release wouldn't facilitate Carter's re-election. If anything the liberals should be charging the right with base treason. Now at least with murder for Bush and Cheney as per Bugliosi's (DA who prosectuted Manson family) recommendations.
But yeah, focus on Sal. It is part of the "Malign Barac" mantra.
No they never said "go steal other people's signs". But it would have been nice if that was all they said and cast.
Next we'll hear that Bill Ayers is paying black people from EPA to come over and rob in PA.
Saul Alinsky died in 1972. He was a Marxist grassroots organizer who spent much of his life organizing rent strikes and protesting conditions of the poor in Chicago in the 1930s. However, unlike Christian socialist and activist for the poor Dorothy Day, Alinsky's real claim to fame was as strategist for anti-establishment '60s radicals and revolutionaries.
Indeed, Alinsky wrote the rule book for '60s radicals like Bill and Hillary Clinton, George Miller and Nancy Pelosi. He considered Hillary Rodham to be one of his better students and asked her to join him in his efforts as an organizer of radical leftist causes. But Hillary had other fish to fry on her climb to national prominence.
>Bill Ayers ..
You do know he was a member of the group that was involved in bombing the pentagon?
Posted by fact check, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 4:52 pm
The stealing of signs is against the law and is considered theft. I read a chat session that my middle school aged child had with a friend of hers where he was telling her that him and his friends were running around the neighborhood stealing and ripping up YES ON 8 signs. He was encouraging my child to do this and told her that he was instructed to do this by his parents. I tell you, the people of this town are SICK!!!! It does not matter what your opinions or beliefs are, you DO NOT violate other people's property let alone encourage your child to commit criminal behavior. I had a Bush / Cheny sticker on my car back in 2004 and I was in the Cowper parking lot sitting in my car on the phone with a friend. A grown woman walked by my car and smacked her hand on the sticker and kicked my car. She had no idea I was in the car, she did not see me. I got out and stopped her. She was with her husband & another couple. I asked her who the hell she thought she was & she became very embarrassed because noone else saw her do this, but me. A few weeks later, I was driving down Middlefield with my then 7 year old in the backseat and a grown woman in a mini-van pulled up next to me, rolled down her window and started yelling f**k YOU! f**k Bush!! Over and over again and flipping me off. She had small children strapped in the back. I made a great example of this to my Daughter. I told her that that is one example of the difference between Liberals and Conservatives. It all comes down to class. Liberals have none.
Posted by Laurie Wykoff former employee, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 5:03 pm
I am proud to have worked for Chief Johnson for nearly 10 years and have nothing but respect for her dedication and hard work for the city and it's officers. It's a tough job and the city is fortunate to have a team of dedicated, ethical management.
Posted by Hulkamania, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 5:40 pm
No good deed goes unpunished. You and your force caught the guy but you're paying the price for telling the truth. Take some time off and then get a consulting gig. You'll really make some money and you can work whenever you feel like.
Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 6:06 pm
So the taking down of signs was done by middle school kids. I have profound doubts that any parent really instructed their kid to go out and do this. You seem quick to believe it, so go right ahead.
As far as the other persons you described....I bet you could go to some Red State bastion and find plenty of examples where far more than "kicking" or "slapping" a car or sign was involved.
Imagine a red state in which a abortion rights proposition is on the ballot. Would it surprise anyone that right wing religious fanatics would be exhorting their followers to any and all acts in order to stop what they consider wholesale murder? With God on their side!
I think we all make a grave error when we believe that our political (or religious) beliefs necessarily bestows on us any elevated cultural or behavioral standards---or that the opposite beliefs in others confers anything necessarily negative either. But to believe in such narrow minded nonsense is the first step in creating a very divisive society. And it has been helped greatly along by the conservative pundits, authors, commentators.
I fully believe that there are very conservative people---ones who I would not see eye-to-eye with on a variety of issues---who, when faced with an "on the ground" situation would exhibit a good moral compass. Likewise I believe there are very liberal/left people in whom the opposite would be the case. But NOT because of any substance arising from within the belief structure. But others NEED to feel otherwise by demonizing the very persons with whom they disagree. Or by wholesale stereo-typing and juxta-positioning ("I tooling along in my V8 and they with their Martini's and Afredo").
When I see a local car with a McCain/Palin bumper sticker affixed I actually feel empathy for them in that it must be hard for them to live around here. But them is the breaks, the reciprocal is in other areas (imagine being a liberal working class person in Republican wealthy Orange County).
And as for Mo and the "Pathetic" as regards Sal Alinski. Yes I heard some about him. But he just isn't written about, his books aren't being discussed much. But suddenly, now that Obama arises out of being a "Community Organizer" (say it like it's describing vermin now), it's something and somebody to be Swift Boated. Like Bill Ayers.
But, whatever merits or demerits may rightfully be bestowed on Sal Alinski, he has not had any role in successfully instilling some default perspective on left/liberal people that any and all conservative people are, by default, worthy of contempt and disdain on a personal level. Just ain't so.
Bill Ayers? Yes I know full well about his role in SDS/RYM 1/ Weather Underground. I was just suggesting that, as long as you're bringing up Sal Alinski, you might want to tie Bill Ayers into the firing of Chief Johnson.
But why not just cut to the chase. You guys are going to have to whip up wholesale and unmitigated racism in order to recapture power in the future---after all wasn't it all those blacks and hispanics who got Obama elected? You are going to have to do everything in your power to demonize and disenfranchise as much as possible.
Posted by FORSHAMEPALOALTO, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 6:09 pm
A Noun: In your case, one may safely say that ASSumption is the Mother of all Donkey's. Do you pull the cart or merely follow it?
You ASSumed many things about my post which are untrue.
First, I am a woman...babe. Even if I were gay, I doubt I would be so neanderthal as to use the 'hey babe' approach. You can keep that all for yourself. Bit sexist, ain't it? Well, some women like trogoldytes.
My V-8? Perfectly in tune, thanks. 'Chugging' was used more as alliteration than fact. One of my V-8's IS actually a Mercedes. Others were right, apparently understanding satire is not your strong suit.
A gun rack? Killing deer? Wow is that an elitist ASSumption or what? Hmmm, what liberal running for President recently commented on bitter right wingers clinging to their religion and guns....would you be inferring that may be me? Spewing 'facts' without any personal knowledge of the situation. Check.
My Signs? Immediately you go straight to Prop8. I was actually referring to Schwartzenegger, and more recently, McCain. Even so, if I were a proponent of Prop 8, you would immediately label me a homophobe and whatever ridiculous other attribute you could come up with, not knowing that perhaps some people have a different take on that Prop for entirely different reasons than the one's that haters like you are screeching about. Regardless, I should have the RIGHT to have my own sign outside without it being stolen, or my property vandalized. Too bad, it's AMERICA, and I have as much a right to display my candidate as you do. It has never crossed my mind to take someone elses sign, and I don't understand the losers who do that.
Now I am chugging and toolin...in my V-8 American car or Mercedes, and noticing the Anarchists. Yes, I may drive an 'elitist' vehicle, but the difference is, I don't go about screaming at others reviling capitalistic greed while driving a vehicle which epitomizes success. That was my point about their attire and hypocricy.
About Iraq? I don't give a damn what your opinion is, it's yours and you are entitled to it. My point there was, give me the same respect that I accord to you. As much as you are entitled to your opinion, so am I. Again, I keep mine to myself unless asked. That is the difference.
So, because I mentioned that I was treated like an outcast at a school sporting event because I wanted to vote McCain, that now means, in YOUR book, that I should MOVE? Really? And not only should I move, but you have already picked out my new county and state? Wow, thanks. If that isn't PROFILING I don't know what is.
So I am not allowed to reside in Palo Alto if I have a different point of view than YOURS? Oh hell, excuse me, my bad. I didn't check to see if there is a little handbook of 'Preferred Palo Alto Residents'. Would I get that at the Chamber of Commerce, or your house?
I didn't realize that if I wished to vote my choice I had to move where others thought exactly like myself. Good to know. Bad for you though, because others DO reside here who may think (and I hope they do) differently than you.
Last, the Chief didn't call for racial profiling. That is what the media and local trouble makers called it. Use all that extra energy of yours to google hard vs. soft profiling and educate yourself. Take some time to read books on law enforcement, investigative techniques and criminal procedure. I have read over 5000 case studies, have YOU?
The woman is being forced out of her job by a bunch of idiots making a gaffe out to be the racial affront of the century. I wonder how YOU would feel if you were forced out of YOUR job by the same unfair and overblown tactics? I bet you would be singing a different tune.
Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 6:30 pm
There is nothing in what I replied to you which in any way said you should move, or suggested such. I merely pointed out that your pathetic whining about living in Palo Alto has it's reciprocal in other areas where the "aggrieved" is left/liberal.
So you are female and driving a Mercedes. The tone and tenor of your original post seemed to paint a different picture. But I don't wonder you didn't describe your car as a Mercedes, as opposed to just a "V8". It wouldn't contrast as well with Martini's and Alfredo's otherwise.
I merely made a suggestion that you could up the contrasting ante by buying a car (such as a Mercedes) and changing it as I described. It might not play so well in Palo Alto. But you could post it in some other area (by email...not suggesting you should move there).
So you don't care what I think about Iraq? Well, then if we ever meet at a Paly function and you tell me that don't be surprised, or whine later about it, if I stare at you with a look on my face akin to a trout that just realized he had swam upstream into a sewer system. Your original post was full of anger, angst, and indignation because some of us don't think the criminal act of "our" President putting your son in harm's way constitutes fighting for our freedom.
When I was a teenager, young twenties, I watched and protested while over 50,000 people were sent to their death in another war based on lies and genocide (Gulf of Tonkin). I had thought that one way we could view them as not totally dying both in vain and for, well the wrong side, was to believe that their deaths would have prevented their future nephews from being cast into a similar fate. But history has repeated itself and this time it's a mix of farce and tragedy. I have a nephew who got gravely wounded while stationed in Iraq (basically recalled at the last minute after finishing a whole service tour already).
Posted by FORSHAMEPALOALTO, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 7:02 pm
It's 'ForShame' NOT 'ForShadow' and if you again, read carefully, you will see that I mentioned TWO V-8's. If truth be told, I actually have three. One German, two American. V-8's are considered to be socially irresponsible. But, they are what I have, they are paid for and we cannot afford anything else right now.
What I was attempting to illustrate is that unless provoked, I do not go about throwing stones, and I do not wish for any to be throwing them at me. Not one person in this City is perfect, not a one. Not me, not you.
If we meet at a Paly function, why don't we simply be there for the event and the kids involved, not to discuss our political differences?
My original post about the woman's attitude about a kid being in the Marines had NOTHING to do with the people in power and the governments decision about the war, that was made without our input...what it had to do with IT WAS HIS DECISION TO GO AND HIS RIGHT TO MAKE THAT DECISION. Regardless of what anyone feels about the war. It doesn't make him any less a person than the son who did nothing, the son who went to college, or the son who joined the workforce. The point is, that woman made him out to be less, and subsequently me as a parent to be less because I didn't somehow didn't make him do otherwise. That is MY issue, and thus, my anger. Those kids over there are ensuring your and my right to post on this forum. When I meet someone who has served, I say THANK YOU. I know I am too gutless to do something like that. Most of us are.
Yeah I have anger. I have anger at the patent disgust exhibited to those of us whom are more conservative in this City. I have anger at those who make trouble for others merely to serve their own agenda, not because they really give a damn.
Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 7:20 pm
Escorted out by the PAPD?
I don't hang out at the library. Not me you are thinking of.
This thread started out with a notice Chief Johnson is leaving.
IF any of you will actually read what I wrote..
I expressed personal sorrow for her and I think much extra was made of her guffaw. But I merely pointed out that, IMO, this is probably the icing on the cake (Children's Theatre, actual racist profiling history from at least the 80's, etc.). I am not at all jubilant that she is leaving. But others--right wingers in a fashion befitting a flock of vultures---have descended on this issue to once again bash liberal Palo Alto and whine about their existence here.
I also have not expressed support for anyone destroying anyone's political signs. But others just have to think I have. In fact the opposite.
I also didn't say anyone should move. I might have suggested that, if people are so UNHAPPY here, that they consider moving to one of the many other places where their perspective is widespread. Just as I might if, after listening to an unhappy liberal in a Red State nightmare, suggest they consider moving to another area. But knowing that there may be reasons for them to do otherwise.
Posted by Della Joplin, a resident of another community, on Nov 21, 2008 at 7:30 pm
I am far away, but do love to visit the SF Bay area, especially Palo Alto. This sounds like knee-jerk PC to me! Even if the chief misspoke, her great service, should put this in perspective. I know I have enjoyed the benefits of a safe Palo Alto and must give the chief credit. I may need to reconsider my planned visit next year.
Posted by Rebecca, a resident of the Green Acres neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 8:24 pm
I think this is rather another sexist reaction from the city, the police department and whomever else involved in helping her make this premature decision. Would the punishment have been so hard if a male officer had made the same comment? Hum...I wonder...
Bravo to Lynn for the time she was given to be in a position of authority.
I was proud to have a police department administered by a woman!
Posted by anon, a resident of the Adobe-Meadows neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 8:47 pm
This is more about the hatred for law enforcement rather than a sexist issue. It wouldn't have made a difference if the chief was male or female. It was the comment that sparked and snowballed this ludicrous witchhunt.
Posted by Michael Slack, a resident of the Charleston Meadows neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 9:04 pm
I want to thank you, chief, for your many years of hard work. I think that this is a case of the press looking for a story, and jumping on a single insensitive remark. They do that. While I appreciate their work, I have been a part of the press corps, and, sadly, know that we are not very deep.
You have done a wonderful job. Don't let it get you down. Go further with your career and life into the endeavors you wish.
Posted by What the...?, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 9:10 pm
It is disturbing to see that the article about the arrest of the robber has "disappeared" from the main page of this website. We can't have the fact that the police department is being productive and that the Chief got hung out to dry on the same site. Instead lets feel bad from the crook. This just goes to show the mentality of this city.
What officer wants to end up torn apart on the front page for doing his/her job? The Mayor should give crooks a get out of jail card.
Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community, on Nov 21, 2008 at 9:10 pm
You've hit on half of the irony here. Let me express the other half.
Political correctness compelled Benest to (your quote) "have a police department administered by a woman"
And Political correctness forced her out.....
At least that's the general tone of this thread.
That's not my opinion though, I think Keene's decision to force her out is based on PAPD history under her watch, not on this single "racial profiling" gaff. While the "racial profiling" may have been "the straw that broke the camels back", history like Albert Hopkins, Jorge Hernandez and Pat Briggs speak much more to the true nature of PAPD under Johnson's watch.
Posted by lmao, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Nov 21, 2008 at 9:22 pm
Political correctness stifles law enforcement from doing their jobs!
What next...law enforcement will only be able to profile a suspected criminal if it complies with Government Codes §§11135-11139 prohibiting discrimination based on ethnic group identification, religion, age, sex, color, or physical or mental disability.
Can you imagine watching the media reporting: "Two suspects were seen robbing a bank in Palo Alto on Middlefield. We cannot report to you a complete description of the suspects at large since it may violate the Government Codes on Discrimination.
The media may be next...stifling the media (hmm, who could imagine?)
Posted by Stewart, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Nov 22, 2008 at 8:31 am
It was bitter sweet to see in the paper yesterday, on the same page even, that Chief Johnson was stepping down, and further down the page, that a suspect who may be the cause of many of the recent muggings was caught.
First off, Chief Johnson deserves our thanks and respect for more years of service than most Palo Alto citizens have lived in this community.
What a shame that she is going, and what a wrong message this sends to the rest of law enforcement. Why?
The Chief said two things that the public seems to mis-interpreted and blown out of proportion. Let's break them down:
1) The Chief said that, among other characteristics, the suspect for the muggings was black. Is this becoming taboo to mention race or ethnicity when describing a suspect? She didn't say that ALL blacks would be examined, or even worse, that blacks were going to be examined ONLY because of their skin color. I sure it remains ok to mention all the characteristics of a suspect, if not it would certainly prevent our law enforcement from doing their job efficiently.
2) The Chief also said that her staff would be making consensual contact. Is this no longer acceptable? She didn't say persons matching the profile would be detained, arrested, proven guilty before a chance to prove their innocence, or anything the like. Does law enforcement need to witness in broad daylight a crime before going up to someone and asking some questions?
Apparently the African American community and other activists have a problem of the Chief asking the force to be on the look out for persons matching the profile of the mugger. The mugger happened to be African American, so that is of course part of the description. If the description included the mugger wearing a San Francisco 49ers baseball hat, and the Chief mentioned that, would we see 49er fans protesting?
I might encourage African American Community and other ask why their seems to be a disproportionate number of crimes (relative to the population) committed by such persons. And why might there be a disproportionate number of suspects that are of such descent. These are the questions that need dialogue.
Palo Altans, crime is now officially an issue in our lovely community- wake up and smell the Peet's. We are not talking about the LA police force that seems to abuse thier power- the first time an official in Palo Alto steps over the line, I am sure the community (appropriately) will let them know. The Chief did nothing wrong- morally or legally- now let's offer her our thanks and let the force do its challenging work, always within the spirit and leffer of the law.
Posted by Deep Throat, a resident of another community, on Nov 22, 2008 at 3:16 pm
I miss the days when I could provide information to the press in parking garages, but now the police have cameras in the Civic Center garage, so I have to use this forum.
The story that has been spun so far is that Police Chief Lynne Johnson was forced to retire by people alleging police racial profiling after comments by Johnson on October 30, 2008.
This weekend's lead story in the Daily Post provides some clues for another interpretation of what happened.
Although the story on page one quotes Johnson as saying that controversy about alleged racial profiling was "very definitely" and "certainly" a factor in her decision to retire, the rest of the story on page fourteen includes the following:
"Keene said Johnson told him on Monday [November 17] that she planned to retire, though the decision was kept quiet until yesterday [Thursday, November 20], even from members of the City Council. ... Keene said it was well known among city leaders that she planned to retire next year."
Monday, November 17 was a City Council meeting that ended late in the evening. How could Johnson have told Keene on Monday that she planned to retire unless it was before the Council meeting?
Yet here is what Keene told the Council during the meeting:
"Two weeks ago when Chief Johnson appeared before the Council, publicly in addition to the apology she made to the Council, she indicated that she would be working on some community outreach plans and other initiatives over the next two weeks and come back to Council. She is not here tonight. ... Between the need, I think, to put more definition to what she is working on, what the department is working on, and the fact that I am in the process of trying to put together the scope of services to bring back to the Council for the independent Police Auditor review, we thought we'd be better to push this off for a couple of weeks. So we'll hopefully be back at the December 1st meeting of the Council with a report on that."
It seems more likely to me that Johnson told Keene of her decision to announce her retirement before Keene's comments to the Council and that Keene did tell the Council of the scheduled public retirement announcement, but that Keene's comments to the Council were for public consumption, since I believe at the time Keene made his comments the Council knew Johnson would be making an announcement in a few days about her retirement.
But when the Daily Post reported that "Keene said it was well known among city leaders that she [Johnson] planned to retire next year", it is reasonable to conclude that Keene was talking about a decision Johnson made to retire next year before she made her controversial comments on October 30.
So why did Mayor Klein and Council Member Burt make such a big deal about Johnson's comments when they must have been among the "city leaders" who knew before October 30 that Johnson planned to retire next year?
The Palo Alto Weekly editorial of November 7 calling for Johnson to step down may offer a clue to Klein's and Burt's motivation:
"The year-long saga of the police investigation of the Children's Theatre, which ultimately resulted in no prosecutions, could be a textbook case at police chief school as to how poor communication with the public can lead to rampant speculation, innocent victims and unintended consequences. On several occasions, Chief Johnson had to be persuaded by others, including the Weekly, that she owed the public an explanation and progress report on the investigation."
"And when she finally announced that no charges would be filed (after the district attorney's office declined to prosecute), she shocked everyone by laying out the allegations she would have made in a prosecution — when those accused could never defend themselves in court."
The Weekly framed the issue as a communication issue, but considering the key people involved, it may be described more accurately as a Children's Theatre issue.
It looks to me that people who were upset at the police investigation of the Children's Theatre already knew Johnson planned to retire next year, but they considered her comments on October 30 as a way to have her retirement be viewed as being precipitated by what she said then, although it was the direct result of the pressure applied by Council Members and editorial writers who didn't like what the police did in the Children's Theatre investigation.
I wonder what Pat Briggs thinks about Chief Johnson's retirement and the public perception of why she decided to retire.
Posted by pcpolice, a resident of the St. Claire Gardens neighborhood, on Nov 22, 2008 at 6:25 pm
Outside Observer..."Emily....forced out in disgrace months ago, and now the same for Lynn....."
This doesn't go with the facts, but considering the source of the posting..... :-)
That's your perception Bud. Emily has a great job and is making real contributions to our County in a way that she would never have been permitted in Palo Alto. Lynn will go on to help other police forces stem the problem of racial profiling - as she did here. They are both making more money, will be more welcome, and be happier away from Palo Alto. They won, you lose.
Posted by YouShouldKnow, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Nov 22, 2008 at 9:23 pm
Lesley has every right to be upset. She is on point in her description of how ardently Conservatives are reviled around here.
Day after day over the last 8 years we have had to listen to the hatred infused commentary of the likes of Joy Behar. Rosie O'Donnel. Alec Baldwin. Bruce Springsteen. Susan Sarandon. Tim Robbins. Whoopie Goldberg. Madonna. Gwyneth Paltrow. Chris Matthews. John Stewart. Michael Moore. The media.
These may be celebrities or reps of the left leaning media machine but they are also accurate representations of the views of the majority of Palo Altans.
All the daily invectives we had to bear. Wishing our President dead. You can dislike George Bush and totally disapprove of his performance as our President, but wish him dead? That's just reprehensible. Talk about ugly and irrational! If someone wished that on Obama thousands of hysterical lemmings would implode. They would call us neo-con guntoting bigoted right wing religious zealots.
So after YEARS of this rampant bashing of anyone with a different opinion than the group think of Palo Alto, you think taking a walk will ease the pain? You think WE sound hateful? Yeah. Let me remember that next time I have to place an insurance claim because my car was keyed because some left wing dolt didn't care for my Republican candidate's bumper sticker..
Posted by FORSHAMEPALOALTO, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Nov 22, 2008 at 10:19 pm
Well, it's what, about four more days until Thanksgiving, and for the first time in 34 years, I am not buying anything to donate to any program in East Palo Alto. It's weird, I actually feel sad, and guilty. Giving and rallying othes to donate to your community has been a regular part of my life for so many years.
Yet I feel I have to put my actions behind my words. You protested MY community, now I protest YOU. Since you represent your community, they lose through attrition.
Posted by huh?, a resident of another community, on Nov 22, 2008 at 10:20 pm
I think all of the folks you listed are pretty interesting and gutty to speak out...even when I don't agree with them. They're entitled to an opinion despite being celebrities. None of those people speak as viciously as you. None uses language like "whackjobs" (!!) or ever talked of wishing Bush physical harm.
What in the world are you talking about? How did you get so angry and ugly?
Clearly the election shows that the country is tired of anger and is looking for hope. The majority rejected the low-level Karl Rove/Ann Coulter type of public discourse....but you seem to revel in it.
Get with the program, we're all Americans. Disagree but be civil.
Posted by lesley from colorado, a resident of another community, on Nov 22, 2008 at 10:22 pm
"Posted by stunned, a resident of another community, 3 hours ago
Lesley and the other hysterics....Calm Down. Go take a walk. Try to get a little perspective.
You sound irrational...and hateful. It's pretty awful. Your attitude toward people with political differences is ugly and irrational.
How about respecting the right to disagree -- isn't that an American value? "
Are you serious? How bout YOU take a walk while the rest of us try to salvage our country. Hate? ya kidding right? No, HATE is the gay millitant anarchists interrupting Christian church services to spew their BS and trying to overturn the Vote of the people in court while Americans look the other way and it takes over a WEEK to get on Fox, forget about mainstream media. Hate is the idiots in America who blame 9/11 on us the horrid 'imperial america' and the president. Hate is the idiots on Maui with KILL BUSH bumper stickers which I have had to look at for the last ten years. yeah that's lib tolerance and LOVE for ya.
Posted by huh, a resident of another community, on Nov 23, 2008 at 10:17 am
TO: FOR SHAME PALO ALTO: Yes the forum is always interesting. We live in an area where people are educated and have a wide range of opinions. But educated people are not free of irrationality, and seething hostility.
Posted by YouShouldKnow, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Nov 23, 2008 at 12:35 pm
Huh? Again with the direct namecalling. The most vituperative name calling comes from the left, no contest. You prove the point that I and others are making when you directly call ME a 'fool' instead of addressing an issue in generalization. This now makes you the very thing you have called us.
I notice you didn't address a single fact I posted above. Just as well. If went incident to incident we would need a much larger forum than this. Someone stated early in this discussion, liberals have no class. I actually believe they possess no logic. Lack common sense. If they used logic what started this topic, the Chiefs resignation, would not have happened. All lofty ideals.So much more enlightened than the rest of us 'fools'. Yeah. Until someone disagrees with you.
Janet, would you care to discuss the Sarah Palin hung in effigy down in L.A.? Or the fact that whites are discriminated against in black communities as much as they feel they are in ours? Again, TWO sides to explore. Not one.
There is ugliness on both sides, and most conservatives are quick to renounce those who veer over the edge; but as evidenced here and clearly with remarks like 'huh?'s, it becomes apparent that the other side of the coin believes they are above reproach.
Thus, the clearly illustrated frustration you can see above.
Posted by profiled, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Nov 23, 2008 at 1:16 pm
theyre still profiling a person whos race is nobodys business,was stared at by palo alto cop.he slowed his car down to stare at the minority person,even though they allegedly have perpetrator of recentv ''crimes'' they are NOT letting up!
Posted by Shoe on Other Foot, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Nov 23, 2008 at 3:59 pm
If the SUSPECT WERE A WHITE MALE and the POLICE CHIEF A BLACK WOMAN and she had instructed officers to do the same... make CONCENTUAL CONTACT with WHITE MEN who match the description, what would the response be from the community? Will there have been protests in the streets? Would our ethnically diverse community who stand against racial profiling be "equally" outraged? If so, the consistency in equality would be commendable.
As a resident of Palo Alto, I would want to know if an attacker at large is white, black, brown, African American, Hispanic, Asian, along with any other pertinent information.
When we can come together for a greater cause to fight crime, without killing the messenger, progress can be made. Remember, we all want to live in a safe neighborhood. Let's stand up to FIGHT CRIME, not each other, not the messenger, and not law enforcement.
Posted by bruce k, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Nov 24, 2008 at 10:06 pm
It is hard to weigh in on the police chief's remarks in a vacuum. The Palo Alto Police have seemed to do a reasonable job in the last decade. I have lived in Palo Alto mostly since 1969.
I think the remarks however expressed were fare. I drive the streets of this city and I see what the traffic problems and crime problems are myself mostly. To call that racial profiling is just wrong.
I am sorry for people who have similar traits in whatever way as many people who are associated with crime because they too get associated with those crimes, but trying to ignore that, or to call the observance of it, or pretend statistical evidence does not exist is as wrong as the racism of blaming groups without such evidence.
There is such a thing as racism, and abuse of power, but I see nothing of the sort in the police chief's remarks. I would like someone to explain to me what I am missing that is unfair to whatever group.
I'd like to see the reporters of some local paper go out randomly and drive around Palo Alto filming, for a few days or a week and then then report what they saw, and then discuss it in an article that Palo Altans could them discuss.
Posted by Andrew L. Freedman, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Nov 25, 2008 at 8:15 am
As a lifelong Palo Alto resident who can recall the police chiefs spanning back to Chief Cahill in the ‘60s, to me, Lynne Johnson is a good person and a good chief.
Police work is probably the damned hardest job there is. And not just the job, a police officer will have to change their “body clocks” a dozen or more times during their career. Unlike other jobs, they have to work the graveyard shift and PM shift. And that’s just the start.
They put on their uniforms, badges and gun everyday and, whether or not we’ve experienced it, they will be the ones to help us if we’re caught up in a life or death situation. They have to work in a military-like atmosphere, and as a former Marine, I don’t think I would want to do that for 20 or 30 years.
Lynne Johnson climbed through the ranks and got the top job, and not by accident, but by very hard work.
I believe the city of Palo Alto got much more than their money’s worth out of Lynne’s many years with the police.
Lynne deserves to retire under the most honorable conditions which the city leaders and citizenry should support.