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EPA mayor requests formal apology, reprimand

Original post made on Nov 3, 2008

East Palo Alto Mayor Pat Foster sent a letter Friday to Palo Alto Mayor Larry Klein protesting remarks Palo Alto Police Chief Lynne Johnson made during and after a community meeting Thursday night when Johnson said that Palo Alto officers should stop and question African Americans because of a recent wave of street robberies.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, November 3, 2008, 7:42 AM

Comments (63)

Posted by Ugh
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2008 at 10:02 am

Oh pulleaze. Isn't that like the burglar who gets hurt on someone else's property while stealing and then sues the owner?

Posted by Replace Johnson
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 3, 2008 at 10:07 am

No, it is not Ugh. In less you consider all african-americans to be criminals and therefore it is perfectly okay to stop them at any time. Maybe you should apply for a job as assistant to the police chief

Posted by R Wray
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 3, 2008 at 10:31 am

When is the EPA mayor going to issue a formal apology for violating state law in harassing Woodland Park Management Co.?

Posted by Observer
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2008 at 11:17 am

Why couldn't PAPD just quietly go about detaining those who match the physical description? Beyond being black, there is gender, size & age range. Finding bad guys isn't a racist pursuit, but it has to be done in a professional manner by officers not into harassment, but into arresting the right perps. This is basic stuff, people. Why is it always such a darn big deal in PA? While MPPD has had divisive, harmful racial issues among police personnel, PA is always getting into hot water for alleged racial profiling. If they search correctly for the suspects, it's not racial profiling, it's bad guy profiling - which is a simple step in helping catch the bad guys.

Posted by Replace Johnson
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 3, 2008 at 11:23 am

Observer--you are correct. They should be looking for the perps based on description. However, even though some of the perps are white--Johnson said that all blacks should be stopped and she did not qualify that by saying if they matched a description. Maybe to Johnson, all african-americans look alike.
Anyway, her time is past--she is unfit to be police chief and should step down now

Posted by Carl
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2008 at 11:30 am

Shouldn't Foster apologize to Palo Alto for exporting many of the criminals that have wreaked havoc here for years?

Posted by PA To New Orleans
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 3, 2008 at 11:33 am

I think its funny that these are this is a newsworthy problem in PA. I remember when PAUSD's biggest dilemma was where to put a donated Media Center...\

Come to New Orleans. Or better, send your extra money to New Orleans. We clearly need it here more than you do there.

Posted by Beena
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2008 at 11:39 am

When Palo Alto begins sending our criminals over to EPA to mug people, we will owe them an apology. Until then, I lock my car doors when going near EPA, and I rarely go there with my children in the car. How dare the mayor pick on us rather than engage the town of EPA and all its resources in finding and stopping these people if they are in that town? I await your apology, Mayor.

Posted by Josh
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2008 at 11:40 am

In her letter to Klein, Foster said it is not her intent to "intervene in your city's affairs."

Oh please, there is a direct involvement in our affairs because EPA residents ARE commiting crimes in our area. Instead of asking for an apology take some accountability for getting your city crime rate under control. This letter sends a loud message that she does not care that people living in EPA are committing so many crimes only that her residents are being targeted. Maybe she can send Palo Alto an apology letter for the EPA resident that burned down Walgreens.

Posted by Liz
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 3, 2008 at 11:42 am

I SOOOO agree with Beena.

Posted by Replace Johnson
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 3, 2008 at 11:43 am

Josh--since apparently the PAPD has not been able to catch whoever is committing these robberies, isn't it a bit early to say that they are EPA residents?

Posted by Josh
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2008 at 11:47 am

Replace Johnson,

Just read the Palo Alto Online articles and you can go back many years of criminal activity in Palo Alto from EPA residents. The articles are endless. I'm talking about all crimes and the not just the recent robberies. This issue is not only a current one it has it's history.

Posted by Replace Johnson
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 3, 2008 at 11:52 am

Josh--is there anywhere were can find info on crimes committed in PA and the breakdown of where perps live?
It seems to me that major crimes, like murder, have been committed by PA residents in recent years.

Posted by Josh
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2008 at 12:29 pm

Replace Johnson,

If you go to the search on Palo Alto Online, or even Google, you can find all sorts of articles on EPA crimes committed in Palo Alto. Be sure to read the article where EPA announced a "state of emergency" on crime. My opinions come from 10 years of reading these articles and reading the crime reports. To me, the recent robberies is not the big picture. It's not ok to racial profile but it's not ok to accept what is going on and to ignore the bigger problem like the EPA mayor seems to be doing when asking for a letter of apology.

Posted by PaloAltoWantsAnApologyToo
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2008 at 12:55 pm


You have demanded an apology of our Chief of Police based on what you perceive to be 'racial profiling'. Fine. Then I would like an apology made to me, and yes, the Citizens of Palo Alto based on what I perceive to be VICTIM TARGETING.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by EPA resident
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2008 at 1:04 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Real Estate Agent
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 3, 2008 at 1:04 pm

Josh & Replace Johnson,
You can get those stats straight from the police department. Just talk to their crime analyst, that person keeps track of the crimes and trends in the city and have access to all that information.
I know as an agent I have gotten info from the analyst. It's our right to know.

Posted by Observer
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2008 at 1:14 pm

The majority of backs in EPA I deal with are not criminals. As a white person who's lived in EPA many years, I am constantly racially profiled there, mostly by blacks.

Perhaps Palo Alto should thank EPA for supplying their town w/local house & groundskeeping talent, nannies, store clerks, hospital/clinic staff, bank employees, etc.

The police morale in PA is really low & Johnson is not a good leader. She has repeatedly put her foot in her mouth, but the comments aren't always reported.

If Johnson had balanced the criminal profiles of the armed robbers w/cool-headed comments reflecting intelligence, she wouldn't have to have made provocative comments.

It's a lot of work to track down these thugs, especially when the suspects match a highly populated ethnic group in the area where the crimes are happening - for ex, the white male perps. Years ago, I was stopped a lot in EPA before I was a resident, as I'm white - they thought I was there to buy drugs. Racial profiling, or smart policing? It didn't matter much to me because I am largely of a privileged race & of gender that cops rarely beat up. So maybe if I'd been an innocent man of color in white neighborhood, I would've been more disturbed or fearful. Instead, I was impressed by the cops being observant. A lot of this profiling brouhaha is in how it's carried out by the cop & experienced by the person being detained.

Posted by Anne
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2008 at 2:32 pm

Here is the source of and solution to the crime problem, if you look at the crime statistics of PA and EPA here Web Link

Then the solution stares you in the face

Posted by Jack
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2008 at 2:38 pm

Observer (resident of East Palo Alto),

Regarding your comment on white privilege, read Bill Cosby's new book called "Come on, People: On the Path from Victims to Victors". Cosby defines the problem as "not white privilege, but black irresponsibility." It all starts in the home and how our children are being raised.

Posted by Me____
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2008 at 3:03 pm

This is a palo alto issue and EPA mayor should have kept her mouth shut. Its upto PA politicians to adress, not EPA. Just do her own job in EPA........ Its ok to complain to PA politicians as a Citizen But not as a Public Official.....


Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2008 at 3:09 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by WOW
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2008 at 3:10 pm

If you had any common sense you in the closet racist who believe what the PA police chief did was justfiable would understand what it is the mayor of EPA is really asking for. She's not saying that there may not be guilty parties residing in EPA. What she is saying is regardless of what you feel or think there are plenty of law abiding, tax paying citizens in EPA. I am one. I go to work every day, single mother of two young sons that are being steered in the right direction, shown unconditional love and support. I love and respect my family, friends and co-workers. I do not break the law. Am I proud of the negative things that come from EPA? No, but I'm proud to say I am from there because it shows that not ALL BLACKS or EPA residents are bad people! I make no excuses for anyone that isn't doing anything positive or constructive with their lives but stop bashing the entire city because of a few bad apples. I mean should we go around trying to retaliate against ALL white people for the actions of the great slave masters?

A few years ago Palo Alto was plagued with vandalism and you assumed it was going to be a resident of EPA that would be held accountable for those crimes. HA! Wrong it was some of your own bored to death children with nothing better to do! [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Anne
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2008 at 3:15 pm

Here is the Reality

Latest 2006 Crimes per 100,000 People:
Palo Alto, CA East Palo Alto, CA National

Murder: 0 18.4 7
Forcible Rape: 1.74 67.63 32.2
Robbery: 55.7 371.9 205.8
Assault: 50.4 442.6 336.5
Burglary: 694 1051.3 813.2
Larceny Theft: 2318.5 1229.6 2601.7
Vehicle Theft: 241.8 1026.7 501.5

What is the mayor EPA doing about that?, she should just go now.

Posted by To Jack
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2008 at 3:15 pm

Thank you for the suggestion! I have read it & found it valuable. But, I stand by my comments because no matter the origins of the problems, compared to many in this world, even though I've been low income a good many years, I have a lot of white privilege. I honestly don't spend too much time noticing it or worrying about it, but when I hear about the types of things that the police chief said & the mayor requested, I take a moment to realize that I'm not in a group targeted by the cops. I have never worried about getting harassed or mistreated by authorities due to my gender & race. Everyone is more vulnerable sometimes than at other times, depending on circumstances/environment. However, the only times I've noticeably undergone mistreatment for being white was by black men & a few times by black women. They may treat me in a racist manner, but I don't return the behavior.

Posted by Anne
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2008 at 3:18 pm

Latest 2006 Crimes per 100,000 People: Web Link
Palo Alto, CA East Palo Alto, CA

Murder: 0 18.4 7

Forcible Rape: 1.74 67.63

Robbery: 55.7 371.9

Assault: 50.4 442.6

Burglary: 694 1051.3

Larceny Theft: 2318.5 1229.6

Vehicle Theft: 241.8 1026.7

Posted by To Anne
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2008 at 3:19 pm

Are these stats for both PA & EPA? Hard to tell by the title. It says nothing of the ethnic backgrounds of the criminals.

There are few people "innocently" shot or killed in EPA. There are innocent victims of burglaries, robberies, all types of assaults, child abuse, elder abuse & sex crimes. It's a lot of thugs on thug crime, to be totally honest.

Foster has a pretty good background. Some of the people involved in the politics there have criminal backgrounds.

Posted by tj
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2008 at 3:22 pm

regarding statistics

50% of Black male gays/bisexuals have HIV/AIDS

Is that the fault of non Blacks racism?

The days of white guilt are over for good, get over it!

Posted by Joanne
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 3, 2008 at 3:29 pm

Thank you ME____ a resident of East Palo Alto for not trying to defend your city at all cost and posting honestly.

Posted by Anne
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2008 at 3:34 pm

To Anne

If you go to the web site Web Link

You can compare the crime rates between any two communities in the USA.

Obviously EPA is out of control in terms of violent crimes.

EPA is predominantly Hispanic, Black and Pacific Islander.

Palo Alto is predominantly Euro American and Asian American.

If the police use logic, reason and fairness rather then prejudice then they must suspect people who comes from out of control violent crime areas.

In addition by getting violent criminals off the streets both communities EPA and PA benefit.
The PAPD are doing the job that the mayor of EPA is unwilling or unable to do.
Either way she is clearly not doing her job and should be replaced by someone who is competent in fighting violent crime.

If you look at the statistics the case is obvious.

Posted by I was at the meeting
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2008 at 3:34 pm

I am sorry residents of Palo Alto, but your comments are exactly why the chief's statements are a problem. You now blatantly exclaim that residents of EPA and that African Americans in general are criminals or have criminal connections. The statements have bred continued fear about a particular culture of people. The shameful part is that most residents of EPA and most African Americans are law abiding concerned well meaning citizens, but you continue to label us, as whole, second class felonious citizens. It the same story we get every time there is a spree of muggings of Stanford students. Only to find's Stanford's students...most recently a crime gang of Asians....not that Asians are criminals as people, but it does go to show that stereotyping by skin color is wrong morally and logically. How funny the only credible suspect in custody is not African American, but Latino. People commit crimes regardless of skin color and people are victims of crimes regardless of skin color. I spoke the chief personally and I believe she is contrite and genuinely sorry for what has happened. I pray for her now everyday, but the bell has been rung and my children and people and suffered irreparable harm from this.

Specifically to PaloAltansDemandAnApology … the crime of which you were a victim was not committed based on the fact that the person was a resident of a particular city or cultural background. If you want an apology get it from the person who perpetuated the crime against you. I have not committed a crime or done anything to harm anyone especially in the city of Palo Alto yet, my skin color is now just cause to detain me and my children who may be simply walking down the street. That’s unjust and unconstitutional, it’s just wrong. And I don’t care what your family looks like. You can’t feel or know what it’s like to be black until you’re black. When you have the best education, the best skills as determined by objective testing, yet you still didn’t get the job. When you get not robbed just assaulted because somebody doesn’t want niggers at their school or workplace; when you are beaten, by a group of white people and spat on because, they don’t want your “kind” here. Or when the police, with shaky hands point their weapons at you, because you fit the description (never mind the fact that description is white or Latin male mid thirties to mid forties 200lbs at 5’6 and you are 20 years old 6 foot and weigh 160lbs. and your black.) that’s not what happened to my family that’s what happened to me. And will continue to happen as long as comments that make being African American synonymous with being a criminal are made. I would never wish, even with as much as I have been through, harm on anyone, but you and many of your fellow bloggers ail to see the harm this has done to me.

To Palo Alto community as a whole…. Contact your local churches…black and white and organize a neighborhood watch that includes the Caltrain station and surrounding downtown areas. Work with local businesses and community leaders as a partnership with the police department and the city. This will help to prevent crime and foster a deeper community connection. Because as someone who shops and works and worships in the Palo Alto Community, I can work in or visit where crimes again humanity are tolerated in a failed attempt to solve crimes against persons or property.

Posted by Samuel
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 3, 2008 at 3:52 pm

I agree White guilt is over,Who has the responsibility to stop the plague of violent crime in EPA which is spilling over into Palo Alto .

The mayor of EPA and that community has the responsibility, if they do not do it soon the National Guard must go in and put a stop to it.

The issue is not race it is violent crime and it must be stopped by the National Guard if the mayor and people of EPA cannot or will not face their responsibility.

Whining racism is a pathetic and contemptible excuse to avoid responsibility, Sorry buddy, white guilt is over!

Posted by Replace Johnson
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 3, 2008 at 3:56 pm


please provide some real proof that the perps are from EPA. Not just your gut feeling.

Posted by Samuel
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 3, 2008 at 4:08 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by PaloAltansDemandAnApology
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2008 at 4:59 pm

WOW: Slavery? White masters? ARE YOU FREAKIN SERIOUS? A black man is about to take the White House. Can the whining and live up to his standards. Understand what he has accomplished MEANS to everyone.

We are talking here and now.

I was at the meeting? You have actually come the closest to recognizing that my letter was in part, irony. I was being facetious because I think that letter was inflammatory and out of bounds. You are absolutely correct. THE PERSONS WHO CAUSED ME DAMAGE SHOULD BE THE ONES APOLOGIZING.

That is how I felt when I read the letter from your Mayor. I feel it was an ill advised self aggrandizing attempt to win popularity in your community and cause dissension in mine. Most of the actual use of the word 'racial profiling' has come from these community blogs, NOT from the City itself.

When 'soft' profiling is discussed, it is not a firm directive to stop all people of a particular race. It is instead, using the victim report to pin point a certain type of person (regardless of race) and to stop people of that description whom are already acting in a suspicious manner or are out of place.

Simply stopping all black people regardless of descriptors is wrong, and we all know it. I believe Chief Johnson knows this too, that she probably just didn't express herself very well. If she didn't know it on a personal basis, I am sure she knows it on a professional one. This has been an issue in Palo Alto before, it's already been done to death.

I like your posting, but please don't assume you know the color of my skin or of anyone's close to me. I have chosen to keep that part out of this discussion. I have long hosted disgust for DWB stops, as well as increased security at stores etc simply because an African American customer enters and a thousand other little nuances that an average black person must endure in a day.

Again though, there is irony, because some of these very same acts will be applied to other races in a black community, and are often accompanied by some form of violence.

It's all in what a person does that will draw the attention of the police. I know sometimes the innocent are stopped and questioned. It happens to people of every race and culture. It is not only a problem in your community. It is just more prevalent there.

In every crime, from Murder to 'white' collar crime (a term which applies to business dress but many convert to mean a Caucasian crime), to serial killing to petty theft, there will statistically be a predominant group responsible. That's the reality. The only way to prevent/solve these crimes is to accept the FACTS as they are and utilize them in coming up with ways to apprehend those whom are responsible.

Reality, NOT racism.

Posted by Interesting
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 3, 2008 at 5:07 pm

Samuel: interesting table. The theft ratio on that table is particularly interesting because of something I experienced in the late sixties and early seventies. We used to play in the creek dividing Paly and East Paly. In that creek we would often find household objects that certainly didn't belong there and were not of the type that would be thrown away because they were old and useless. We found tv's, silverware, some valuable things! Later, I was a volunteer in creek cleanup and learned that a lot of those objects were dropped by clumsy or fleeing burglars. The stuff was stolen from a Palo Alto residence so you can figure what direction the suspect was fleeing. As some other people on here have said, facts not racism.

Posted by Anne
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2008 at 5:26 pm

Does any one have the statistics on violent crime committed by different racial groups in the USA.

If one group has a very high rate of violent crime then it is rational for the PAPD to take this into account when attempting to get to know people in Palo Alto with a view to solving and preventing violent crime in Palo Alto.

For example old ladies like myself commit a tiny tiny fraction of violent crime, why would the PAPD waste their time asking me why I am in an alley downtown?

If their are disproportionate violent crime rates among certain groups then members of those groups are responsible for putting a stop to it.

For example, I am an American of Chinese descent, when I lived in San Francisco we had a terrible problem with Chinese Tong gangs, the American Chinese community worked with the SFPD to inform on such gangsters and they were arrested or driven out of town real fast as a result.

Is there the same citizenship by other ethic groups?

If Not Why Not?

Posted by sara brown
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2008 at 5:54 pm

The National Guard should take over in EPA for both administration and law enforcement.

The mayor office operates like a third world regime

Posted by NothingNew
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2008 at 7:18 pm

First of all, I would like to say that the fact Chief Johnson made her statements in public does not mean that the PAPD do not or did not enforce this kind of profiling already. Every time I drive into Palo Alto I am always looking out for police because of the simple fact that I have been pulled over so many times for NO good reason. I am a law abiding citizen, I have never comitted a crime yet every chance they get PAPD seem to categorize me as a criminal (and this includes MPPD as well).
Second, even while walking (in highly trafficked areas like downtown for example and not a secluded residential area) I seem to get negative attention and I don't wear a hooded sweatshirt like Chief Johnson said criminals wear.
The fact remains that EPA is a city with a lot of crime and yes everyone knows that crime is bound to spill in to Palo Alto, but I know for certain that police harrassment and discriminatory profiling will not make the situation any better. This should not be an Us vs Them situation, because it will only create tension.
If everyone were profiled we would only end up not trusting anyone because criminals fit all profiles. Dear bloggers just think about it first. No one feels being profiled is so wrong until they stand on the receiving end of the deal.

Posted by OPinion
a resident of Ohlone School
on Nov 3, 2008 at 7:42 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by PaloAltansDemandAnApology
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2008 at 9:19 pm

Well I can see that Big Brother is once again at work suppressing my right to Freedom of Speech. There was absolutely NOTHING in my Open Letter to the Mayor of EPA that demanded removal. No obscenity no racial slurs, no direct attacks on any groups.

This just shows the liberal bent of the left wing press and goes to the very core of the reason we cannot get anything accomplished in our City while the crime rate continues to grow.

Unless you have something negative to say about our City Police or something politically correct to the World According to Liberal Left Wing Rhetoric your posts get deleted!

Posted by joe
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2008 at 11:00 pm

I have now heard it all. The crux of the entire crime problem is due to the inept leadership of E. PA and I also assess blame to the County of San Mateo. They have not risen to the occasion leading to the facts that E. PA is amongst the highest crime rates of the entire nation (at one point being the number murder rate per capita). We, the people, are absolutely tired of the complete lack of effectiveness of the leaders of E. PA in managing the crime of their people. These diversionary tactics are a waste of everyone's time esp the law abiding citizens who have to live amongst the criminals in their own backyard. To the E. PA Mayor, please focus on your own problems and don't waste our time.

Posted by frank
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2008 at 11:02 pm

To Sara Brown:

Many people in PA agree with your thinking. Ed Koch solved the crime problem in NYC by using s similar, ultimately, well received approach.

Posted by Jane
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2008 at 1:02 am

It is the job of the police to try to protect us.
A segment of African-American youth is responsible for much of the crime in our midst.

No matter how you put it, the police has to be wary of those who look and act like the criminals, to protect us (not ALL African-Americans, but those who look and act like the criminals).

Instead of demanding apologies, the general African-American community needs to straighten out those responsible among them. When the responsible youth stops terrorizing others, then they will no longer be watched and feared.

Posted by Replace Johnson
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 4, 2008 at 7:29 am

Clearly Johnson could have avoided this whole mess by saying they will stop all men (African-american and Caucasian) who match the description and since the perps have been both African-american and Caucasian, that would have put the matter to rest. Instead, Johnson, stated that she will have her police stop all African-american men--therein lies the problem--she did not distinguish between those that match the description and all African-american men. All this arguing about crime in EPA etc is irrelevant. She stupidly said what she said. Also, you have to understand the history and in many cases the continuing saga of how african-americans are treated in the US--like it or not they are profiled and stopped by police for no their reason then the color of their skin
Johnson showed poor judgement--she has been a poor police chief and should step down

Posted by East Palo Altan
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 4, 2008 at 7:44 am

There arent many blacks left in EPA??? They moved to the East Bay/Oakland Area.

Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 4, 2008 at 8:48 am

Replace Johnson has a point - the chief did not speak in the best of taste. Police should stick directly to the facts. Surely that serves the public interest. They are entitled to issue exact descriptions, including complexion or race. They should not add gratuitous statements or statements subject to interpretation/possible insult. The idea of stopping any Black person, for example, to sort of check them out, is preposterous.

Posted by Next!
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Nov 4, 2008 at 8:54 am

I agree. The main issue is that a chief needs to know how to be politically correct in statements since he/she will be called upon by the media.

The policeman who gave me a traffic ticket around Jordan a few months ago was polite and articulate and I have met others around town who would seem to be good choices for replacement.

Posted by WOW
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 4, 2008 at 10:11 am

Demand An Apology:
I do in part agree with what you have to say, however, "slaves" & "white masters" were me making the same attempt at being facetious. I was merely making a point. Do I dislike white people or blame all white people for the way their incestors treated mine. Of course not! I would be nothing more then the people that get on these blogs and ridicule ALL of East Palo Alto. My point being is regardless of how many statistics and numbers you or anyone else decides to throw out into the air, it's still not 100% of all EPA residents. So again STOP putting us all under one hat. If you have a criminal from EPA discuss that idiot and not everyone else in the community. If your next door neighbor walked into my child's school today and shot and killed 20 people, I am NOT going to get on this board and say it's Palo Alto's fault, those people in that community! So please listen to what it is I am saying. I agree there are criminals in EPA, I am far from stupid or naive, I was born and raised there for 34 years. So I will be the first to admit that, however I get tired of you all throwing us all under a bus!

So yes something does need to happen to curb the crime but the sooner people stop fingerpointing and offer and implement some solutions and assistance to people who are underprivileged and impoverished may be WE as a COMPLETE society can make some changes!

Posted by To Anne
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 4, 2008 at 11:35 am

There are a lot more of use white folks in EPA than you think! Get your stats straight, honey.

Posted by More whites than blacks in EPA
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 4, 2008 at 11:54 am

EPA is 27% white, 23% black & has been that way for quite some time.

Posted by Johnson: Foot in Mouth Disease!
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 4, 2008 at 11:57 am

Now that she has to put out the fires she caused by stupidly flapping her ignorant lips, the department and city leaders have to clean up a new mess. Instead, they should be focusing on catching the bad guys, and the city leaders focusing on the issues under their purview.

But noooooooo...w/the US perhaps electing it's first black president, on the eve of the election, PA's power brokers have to wrestle with its latest faux pas. Ironic, pathetic and predicable.

Posted by Tracy C.
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 4, 2008 at 7:23 pm

Obviously there is still a lot of hate and racism in Palo Alto/E. Palo Alto. We all know that it has been there lying dormant waiting for the chance to pounce on the right prey, people of color. We have been separatist for a long time, by race, culture, county, state. If it weren't for the bounderies, maybe the Mayors could work together to come up with problem solving solutions instead of finger pointing, statistics, rage, chaos, and "you owe us an apology first". People have become desensitized to others feelings. We all want to be accepted, not judged or categorized. There is so much pain and fear. People of Palo Alto seem to live in fear of everything, especially of people that don't resemble themselves. Their comfort zone has been rattled and so someone must pay. Should a whole city have to pay for one's individual decision to commit a crime? Or the color of one's skin to condemn a whole city? This is all so childish! Harsh comments back and forth won't catch the criminal/s or convert the Chief's diseased mind. We are the United States of American; yet so damn separate. We need positive solutions. Quiet frankly if you have to ask a perpetrator for an apology, most likely it isn't going to be sincere anyway. It is what it is!! And yes I'm a African American wife, mother, daughter, sister, and neighbor.

Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 4, 2008 at 9:18 pm

Mayor of EPA, tend to your own business, we have no need for your input here. Your own City is a disaster, fix that.

Thanks to all of you squawkers, we will see a rise in the crime rate. The people screaming for Johnson's resignation/firing have seen to that. What you people fail to realize as you sit on your elevated thrones of deep socially conscious thought is that a cop is trained to focus on the facts. The Chief gave out the facts as she knew them. She is obviously not a political animal, or she would have used more glib double speak. You have effectively handcuffed our police department. I am so disgusted with this whole situation that if I see something suspicious going down I won't even bother to pick up the phone to report it. I won't lift a finger to help anyone anymore. You asked for this, you got it Palo Alto. Enjoy.

And by the way? With our new President elect? Race card CANCELED. Pulled from the deck.

Posted by Jim
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 5, 2008 at 7:18 am

Mind your own business,EPA mayor. Using the old blame switch will not work here. Your city is a mess, you are incapable of fixing it, and are taking a cheap shot at your neighbor who bails you out half the time. Get lost.

Posted by Jim's right
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 5, 2008 at 9:39 am

The mayor of EPA needs to do a little police work in his own city and clean it up rather than spend time on cheap public relations to get his name in the news.

Posted by Get your facts straight
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 5, 2008 at 11:00 am

Pat Foster is female. She is not responsible for all the problems in EPA, including crime. PA's police chief is responsible for stopping crime in HER town. She is doing a poor job AND is demonstrating racial bias & now has to clean up HER mess, wasting YOUR time, energy & tax dollars in so doing.

Posted by Potsots at EPA Mayor Racism?
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 5, 2008 at 5:06 pm

I gotta wonder how many of these negative remarks about Mayor Patricia Foster are veiled racist, classist comments, with little regard given to what's coming out of the commenter's mouths?

If the EPA PD chief makes similar comments about white PA residents, I think an apology and reprimand would be in order. A police chief needs to be an effective leader, a clear communicator and a community-builder.

EPA/PA have a reciprocal relationship and people are conveniently ignoring that.

Posted by Racial Profiling?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2008 at 5:21 pm

A Palo Altan woke up from a nap and found a burglar in his house. He was an African-American wearing a doo rag. What do you all say now? Coincidence?

Web Link

Posted by Joking
a resident of another community
on Nov 6, 2008 at 10:31 am

Of course EPA will protest PA challenging criminals, it is a matter of protecting a revenue stream.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2008 at 5:18 pm

And in the meantime, there has been another daytime mugging!

Posted by Concerned East Palo Alto Resident
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 7, 2008 at 5:58 pm

Being an East Palo Alto native, I am absolutely disgusted with the commesnts posted in this thread. People seem to forget the social issues that would implore one to commit crimes. No - I am not justifying it, I just ask that people look to its origins. People do not commit crimes for the sake of commiting crimes.

Why is it wrong for EPA Mayor to ask for an apology? Does her past somehow invalidate her right to do so? And as far as I am concerned, the crime in East Palo Alto has decreased dramatically.

What the Palo Alto police chief said was plain WRONG and she should apologize and be reprimanded. If you disagree with this statement, I feel sorry for you. No need to blow this out of proportion!

Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 9, 2008 at 1:37 am

I can't believe it. A crime (yes "ANOTHER ONE!!!") is apparently committed by someone described as an African American and someone posts a "See!" link. It's evidence of what? That the police need to regard any and all black people as worthy of stopping and detaining?

The PA Police Chief apparently made some remarks that were at best another in a series of public relations guffaws. At worst they were comments related to the unrelenting and credible tales by many law abiding African Americans (from both Palo Alto, EPA, and visitors) detailing constantly being stopped and suspected. I doubt that, other than race itself, there was often any justification for stopping them.

Imagine we could somehow replace EPA with Antioch (LOTS of white criminals reside there---I've seen and talked with them). If now the perps were white can everyone imagine how taking the racial dynamic out of the equation would change things.

And now people from EPA are planning a peaceful march. People are talking on this forum of going there with cameras AND guns.

But now PA residents apparently think EPA is "exporting crime" and somehow they need to control it (give them the names of the Israeli contractors who built the wall to separate the Palestinians!).

They should march over here just based on the racist hysteria I can read on these pages.

Hey for Martin Luther King Day I have a suggestion. Instead of ranting about the violence of kids shows like the Power Rangers.....why not advocate integrating EPA and Palo Alto Schools. While the school districts are separate, those kids have to ride a long ways to Menlo Park Schools.

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