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Audit scrutinizes complaint against Palo Alto officer over 'race card' comment

Original post made on Sep 21, 2022

Palo Alto's independent police auditor took issue with the department's response to an officer who reportedly joked about arresting a victim advocate during a sexual assault investigation.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 21, 2022, 8:45 AM

Comments (12)

Posted by peppered
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 21, 2022 at 10:24 am

peppered is a registered user.

This so-called "response" and the auditor's very biased attitude in favor of the officer are completely unacceptable.

That officer needs to be reprimanded, get remedial training and a suspension.
He should be required to go back and offer a personal apology to the victime advocate.


Posted by Paly02
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 21, 2022 at 12:57 pm

Paly02 is a registered user.

Wait, what? An officer threatened to arrest a victim advocate who was just doing her job? What in heaven....


Posted by Tony Montoya
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 21, 2022 at 1:02 pm

Tony Montoya is a registered user.

As much as I hate to admit it, the police auditor was correct in his/her evaluations as the PAPD officers did nothing inflammatory nor harmful to those they encountered.

Levity is not a crime and with the possible exception of the victims advocate, the troubled individuals with whom the PAPD intervened were mentally disturbed and not fully cognizant of the real world anyway.

So how could any of these alleged 'police improprieties' be deemed hurtful or damaging?


Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of another community
on Sep 21, 2022 at 1:05 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

The only thing missing is "the officers said they have (xxx fill in the protected class of your choice) friends and they would never be mean to any (xxx)".

As for the use of force in injecting someone with a sedative, that is completely beyond the pale. I have numerous medication allergies, and most sedatives are among them, and an injection administered by ANYONE needs to be checked against my known drug allergies. Of course this didn't happen to me but what if it did? What if the way they were trying to subdue me sent me into an immediate seizure culminating in rapid onset of asphyxia?

All OIG staff need to be removed from their jobs, let the slate be wiped clean, and start over with people who have a minimum level of cultural competence.

Or are these just more examples of "Well, that's Palo Alto"? Racism and potential bioterrorism against people with suspected mental illness is OK? And their advocates? When, if ever, would a "joke" be appropriate in a situation where advocates are trying to protect civil rights?

As for slinging poo and spitting, the mental health team should have been able to do something to help that individual; the report doesn't said what they did or didn't do, other than fail to help the person.

And the last case, it's not illegal to talk to yourself, out loud, on a busy street. It may be impolite, but it's not a crime warranting multiple officers and EMTs to subdue that voice. He may be annoying but it didn't sound to me like he was a danger to himself or others until the police came on the scene. I hope as soon as the dope wore off, he called a lawyer to file suit against the City.

If the auditors are looking for body-work camera coverage, it doesn't exist. But it does make for a fun time imagining how that faux pas got into publication. I know there are no proofreaders left here in the US, maybe someone could volunteer as tribute to take on the job?


Posted by Paly02
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 21, 2022 at 1:44 pm

Paly02 is a registered user.

@MyFeelz, I'm having trouble knowing what "in the middle of a busy street" means. Does that mean in traffic, or on the sidewalk? If it's in traffic, I don't think the reason they came was because he was talking to himself. If he was just on the sidewalk, though, then I agree he should just be left to his own devices.


Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Sep 21, 2022 at 2:04 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

Paly02, the middle wasn't defined. Usually on busy streets, there's a median. He could have been standing on a median. If, as the article states, the man was then brought to the ground by an officer, if he was in fact in the middle of traffic, the police further endangered his life by bringing him to the ground in the middle of a busy street. But it says, "After officers walked him to the bench" ... "the" bench is not on the street, it's on the sidewalk. So I am making an assumption that he was on the sidewalk the whole time. There's not enough information to make an informed decision -- but this is just what the public receives. If the auditor is making an assessment using the exact same information we're getting, we have a bigger problem. Since there was no body-work camera footage, it's anybody's guess.


Posted by Wei Zhao
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 22, 2022 at 10:05 am

Wei Zhao is a registered user.

"...it's not illegal to talk to yourself, out loud, on a busy street."

^ Sometimes people are talking on their cellphones via Bluetooth and ear pods.

"As for slinging poo and spitting, the mental health team should have been able to do something to help that individual;"

^ Slinging poo is not normal human behavior. I once saw this happening but it was at a zoo.


Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of another community
on Sep 24, 2022 at 11:54 am

MyFeelz is a registered user.

@Wei Zhao are you saying we should also make it illegal to talk on the cell phone near a busy street? Hm. And the slinger was not the same person as the loud talker. The slinger had previously been given care by the Mental Health Team, but the article says they couldn't do anything to help him. Which makes me wonder -- ARE WE PAYING FOR THIS? Ineffective agencies that walk away from the people they are supposed to help? How much is it costing us?


Posted by Kerry Campbell
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 24, 2022 at 2:10 pm

Kerry Campbell is a registered user.

If the State of California were to re-establish its former mental health facilities, the confirmed mentally ill could simply be rounded up in paddy wagons and dropped off at these sanitariums for extended sequestering and observation.

The state could then petition for long-term guardianship and oula...no more mentally ill transients on the streets.


Posted by Larry Berg
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 24, 2022 at 3:04 pm

Larry Berg is a registered user.

"As for slinging poo and spitting, the mental health team should have been able to do something to help that individual; the report doesn't said what they did or didn't do, other than fail to help the person.

^ It is very difficult to reason with a person slinging poo.

"And the last case, it's not illegal to talk to yourself, out loud, on a busy street...I hope as soon as the dope wore off, he called a lawyer to file suit against the City."

^People on dope are usually incoherent and IMO have no justification filing suit against the city or PAPD in most instances.

Instead, they should be hauled away for observation and sedated if necessary to protect themselves and others from harm.


Posted by Paly02
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 24, 2022 at 7:29 pm

Paly02 is a registered user.

It was the case a long time ago that we hid people away from the world in facilities but that was rife with abuse was not helpful for the well-being of the people inside. We have learned that it is better to use outpatient care when possible. Unfortunately, no one wants to fund the outpatient care. So, instead of requesting that we lock people up, it is both more effective and more humane to lobby for more funding for mental health outpatient facilities.


Posted by Mike Taylor
a resident of another community
on Sep 25, 2022 at 9:45 am

Mike Taylor is a registered user.

In some ways, American society is getting way too politically correct and overly sensitive about certain remarks made in jest.

Taking offense to nearly everything is counterproductive and the progressives are to blame along with ultra-liberal sociology types who condemn the use of negative stereotypes while categorizing and exalting what they perceive to be positive characteristics.

One cannot have it both ways.


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