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Residents say Menlo police raided wrong house

Original post made on May 18, 2011

Two East Palo Alto addresses differed only by a single number, but that number led Menlo Park police to raid the wrong house, according to a claim filed against both cities by the home's residents.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 5:15 PM

Comments (67)

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Posted by stunned
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on May 18, 2011 at 5:32 pm

This police brutality is getting a little out of hand wouldn't you say?


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 18, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Stunned:

you're hearing one side. Of course they make it sound like the police were brutal barbarians. Having served my share of search warrants, knowing, that I don't know what was on the other side of the door, and knowing, that until everyone inside the residence is secured I was at risk, what may be viewed as brutallity is a method of making sure that I got to go home to my family at the end of the day. These officers didn't know they were at the wrong address. Until they did, it needed to be treated as the incredibly dangerous threat they thought is was. Until you have had training in buiilding entry you have NO idea how dangerous it can be.

It's unfortunate, but mistakes happen. The police are people too. You've never made a mistake?


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 18, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Menlo Voter, your posts are generally very informative, balanced and cogent. However, your post on this topic left me w/a dropped jaw. Yeah, we all make mistakes. There are mistakes & there are MISTAKES. Did you ever do something that the victims cited in the article? Raid the wrong house?

I understand, more than most civilians, the pressing need for LE to remain safe while doing their job. That doesn't preclude, however, that their staying safe while injuring others physically & emotionally means they are immune from repercussions. *If* what the victims endured is an accurate portrayal, I hope both our cities pay something out. It is one way that our communities can hold the police accountable for abusive behavior - via our complaints when our coffers are hard hit when the police hit hard - & wrongly.

Menlo PD has a shaky rep re brutality as well as still having morale problems within. This appears to be more evidence of that.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 18, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Hmmm:

fortunately, no, I never raided the wrong house. Had I done so, however, I would have "raided" it exactly as I would have raided any other house for which I had a warrant. You do not know what you are facing on the other side of the door before you enter and after you make entry. Once the scene is secure you can figure out what you have.

That is not to minimize what the people that experienced this went through, but it was still a MISTAKE. I'm sorry, but you can not expect perfection from human beings. I feel badly for the people that ended up being "raided" but I also know that the officers that served that warrant thought they were at the right address and acted accordingly. I can assure you that once the officers that served that warrant found out they went to the wrong address they felt terribly about it. Police officers are interested in getting the "bad guys" not going into the wrong house. Not to mention the fact that they don't get anything out of serving search warrants on the wrong address.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 18, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Thanks for your input, Menlo Voter -as always, you're a class act. Speaking of acting, I'm acting on not enough info in forming my opinion. I understand the safety needs & advocate for them. However, my cynicism towards MPPD is coloring my pov due to their recent past problems. That's why mistakes have to be paid for - if indeed things happened like the victims said, & there's real PTSD happening, the cops should be held accountable & the cities involved.

I also am not surprised at the sloppy police work - a cop once spotlighted my place & when I walked outside to see what he needed, he was convinced he was at the right address. He wasn't - but he admitted to me that he "inverted numbers a lot" - but since he knew it, he was at least double-checking himself!

You seem like the type to check & double-check as well. It's easy for the cops to get lazy here in the 'hood & many MP PD officers do NOT like EPA residents - for good or bad. At least we, um, keep them on their toes ;-)


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 18, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Not clear from the story if the issued warrant had the wrong address or the warrant had the correct address and the police went to the wrong address??


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Posted by concerned
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 18, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Sounds like Newark NJ with all of their brutality lawsuits ! Were these "Knock" or No Knock" warrants ?? Probably won't have happened
in west menlo !


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Posted by Citizen
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 19, 2011 at 11:30 am

This was a mistake, a costly one. Next time they will make sure they enter the right home before attacking its residents.


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Posted by SF Res
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2011 at 12:23 pm

To Menlo Voter and Hmmmmm, I read opinion posts a lot, and I find it extremely refreshing to see people with somewhat differing viewpoints and different backgrounds have a grown up conversation. You both are staying open minded, saying what you feel, and still commenting with respect for one another. Cheers to you for bringing some class to the discussions!


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Posted by OBSERVER
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2011 at 12:55 pm

It is so civilized to hear all of the comments being so congratulatory to one another back and forth and going on for just days! To me, I think this is an example of how people on one very important subject can walk away without discussing the possibilities of the repurcussions that could have resulted in spite of the "Cheers" and almost a lovefest which makes me want to weep for this Norman Rockwell kind of neighborliness.
However, if it were any other department besides the Police, wouldn't the tone be a LOT different? After all, this could have been a costly mistake which could have cost a lot of money to the ever aggressive attorneys lying in wait for a case against any crime
whether voluntary or involuntary, and yes, WE ALL DO MAKE MISTAKES; but is that band aid of an answer enough to wipe the entire mess off the boards?
I think not.
When I hear words like "brutal barbarians" I tend to agree with the poster "Hmmm" who says it all quite honestly and does not let it go when the PD is involved that has had an unimpressive past dealing with the same problem.
I disavow any kind of forgiveness for sloppy work and condemn those who panic thinking this might be a situation where money is involved and especially dealing with the Menlo Park police; during these difficult times. I would prefer a public apology or even a statement in the papers.
And what if the snitch "Mischievious" who intimates that there is a place growing something which sounds illegal and even giving the street name? That sounds like someone to congratulate if the police were to follow that lead, via online info, and then arrest a possible gang of dope fiends?
I fail to see all this false dignity in "class" behavior by the "SF res" commentor and think this entire page is a waste of time and stick to the subject that the police raided the wrong house.
That is annoying as hell if it were my estate, and I would not treat the officers like heroes or victims of faulty judgement.
I would bounce their butts back to the academy for further training.
As usual, the same old buzzards circle the subject and contribute nothing but a Gladys Kravitz air of interest.
MISTAKE is really not a get out of jail free card.


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Posted by BarneyFife
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on May 19, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Why would violence be necessary when people comply and yet are thrown to the ground and brutalized any how? I wonder if the police spoke the same language as the residents? Who wouldn't resist when one is protecting their family? Police are trained and held to a higher standard so MISTAKES don't happen. Their excuses are their own.


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Posted by no mistake
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 19, 2011 at 1:37 pm

According to the article, the police have continued to harass Nava, and is there ever any reason to point a gun at a baby? What crime had the objects of the search allegedly committed that would warrant this treatment?

I had a gentle, law-abiding friend brutalized by a police officer in a nearby city. He later testified in a trial in which another victim successfully brought charges against the police. If it could happen to him, it could happen to you or to me.

I appreciate the police putting their lives on the line, but you cannot deny the "power corrups" effect that toting a gun and wearing a badge confers on some of the officers. The line is too often breached, and unless we want a police state, we need to push back.


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Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 19, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Cops: When you raid a house you should realize that the suspects are innocent until convicted and thus should be treated with respect as they you are a public servant for them.


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Posted by Conflict Criminologist
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on May 19, 2011 at 2:53 pm

The "dangers" of police work (which doesn't even rank in the top 10 most fatal professions of the US) are often cited as an excuse for grown men with months of training and years of experience to charge in and act like Rambo, and not coincidentally in poor and minority neighborhoods.

If the police deserve any respect from the general citizenry for their "service" to the public then they should damn well act like they're public servants. You don't get to claim righteousness and glory when you're acting like a brutal thug. The police are servants of the government and the law, and their monopoly on legitimate force should be a reason to hold them to HIGHER standards than any profession that doesn't get to carry guns and legally fire them at other people. "It was a mistake, haven't you ever made one?" has little legitimacy when it's said from a man with a gun to a man with a keyboard.


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Posted by Magnus
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2011 at 4:45 pm

@ Menlo Voter
The mistakes I make don't violate anyone's God given Rights. They don't terrorize a family and they don't endanger innocent lives. The "well make mistakes" angle is wholly inadequate.

And I find the argument that in order for you to go home safely to your family, you need to terrorize your neighbor's family, a scary argument to make.

The truth is the vast majority of these violent raids on our homes are not to bring dangerous felons to justice, but rather to serve warrants for petty, victimless crimes. Call me crazy, but head to toe body armor, full auto rifles, military tactics and trashing the 4th Amendment, in order to enforce a law no one cares about is a bit much.

But that's just me...


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Thanks, SF Res! Menlo Voter & I may have more in common than is obvious, even though I suspect we differ in age & gender. However, I am a native of this area, have worked w/a lot of law enforcement & have friends in that profession.

I'm not always that nice in my posts, because now having lived in EPA for many years, I see a lot of blathering bias not based on fact get promulgated on these forums against EPA.

I don't think it's wise for posters here to go after Menlo Voter's opinion here because it's not relevant to the overall discussion, imo. What is relevant is what happened & frankly, this story doesn't have enough info. I still am upset by what reportedly happened to this family. I also agree it's much less likely to happen in many areas of the peninsula, but it happened in EPA. We have some stone hard criminals here, serious bad apples I'd like to see gone, so I understand the need to stay safe. However...the facts aren't all in & MPPD currently has a yucky rep due to these types of behaviors.

I actually do recall a case, now that I think about it, that MPPD got into trouble for how they treated a west MP resident, this was in the last 5 years.

Bottom line for me: I really like Menlo Voter's thoughtful input, even when I don't agree. Because of that, I felt I could be honest about how surprised I was at MV's reaction to this. More importantly, I want more info about this case & look forward to some good reporting by this publication. It involves my town & my native town.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm

SF Res.:

thank you. I try, but I don't always succeed.


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Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

It appears that the warrant had the correct address but that the police, under the direction of EPA PD, went to the wrong address.
Menlo PD was not the agency in charge but what assisting EPA PD.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Observer:

your post sounds like R Gordon posting under one of his many pseudonyms so I won't bother posting a response to the content of your post.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Conflict:

the problem with giving your kind of "respect" is that it gets police officers killed. When serving a warrant you have no idea who or what is on the other side of the door. It could be nothing more than an unarmed nobody or abunch of well armed gang bangers that have no compunction about shooting a police officer. Now if you are going to go through that door are you ging to ASSUME everything will be hunky dory or are you going to take precaustions for the worst case scenario. Keep in mind the worst case scenario invoves you geting your brains blown out.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Yeah, but if MPPD ducked fup in their treatment at wrong address, they're still on the hook. Good, our PD also needs to be held accountable.

Peter, can you tell us where you got that info? Thanks for sharing.

Yeah, EPA can be very hardcore so I get where Menlo Voter is coming from. It's not easy to balance all the time, but that problem is why there are so many lawsuits against cops. Many of us have the privilege of being white & just that keeps us pretty safe when dealing w/the police.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Magnus:

"The mistakes I make don't violate anyone's God given Rights. They don't terrorize a family and they don't endanger innocent lives."

For your sake I'm glad they don't. The unfortunate fact is that police mistakes some times violate peoples rights. It's not an excuse it's just a fact. Unfortunately, until we can come up with robots to be our police officers, mistakes are going to happen.

" And I find the argument that in order for you to go home safely to your family, you need to terrorize your neighbor's family, a scary argument to make."

Please don't twist my words. That's not what I said and you know it.

"The truth is the vast majority of these violent raids on our homes are not to bring dangerous felons to justice, but rather to serve warrants for petty, victimless crimes. Call me crazy, but head to toe body armor, full auto rifles, military tactics and trashing the 4th Amendment, in order to enforce a law no one cares about is a bit much. "

You undermine your own argument here. No violation of the fourth amendment exists if a warrant has been issued. The officers are serving a lawful order of the court. I have gone through the process of obtaining warrants. Believe me, it is not a simple process and it is not a "rubber stamp." At least in my experience. I had better have had damn good probable cause or I wasn't getting a warrant. This is exactly what the fourth amendment requires.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 19, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Conflict:

one other thing. Are you aware that there was a 37% increase in police officer deaths last year? And that's given an over all DECLINE in the violent crime rate. Wonder why they take precautions to try and mitigate the danger on the other side of that door?


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 19, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Hmmm:

I appreciate your words and your point of view. I agree that if, as appears likely, one or both of the PD's screwed up there should be concequenses. My point of view is of one who has been on the outside of the door of a "bad guy." I stood honor guard at too many police funerals in my time in law enforcement. I believe the police erring on the side of caution is appropriate.


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Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 19, 2011 at 6:50 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

"Peter, can you tell us where you got that info?"

From a very reliable source whom I trust.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Thank you, Peter, I grok you ;-)

Menlo Voter, I do understand. We are lucky that we can be Monday morning QBs or whatever the saying is.

I know there's a way to stay safe & reduce the amount of trauma experienced by civilians - cops do it all the time.

Remember the federal raid on the EPA gang a couple of years ago? I recall being shocked at the level of denial of some of my community at follow up meetings after that raid. Their refusal to acknowledge gang activity, to not accept the legal definition of a gang, just basic stuff, was awesomely, willfully ignorant. SO of course there are often complaints against LE that are just utterly ridiculous. I will stayed tuned on this one, because it involves both of our towns. Sheesh, how ironic would it be if that cop that "inverted numbers" in my town was involved?


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 19, 2011 at 7:40 pm

" I grok you "

That's one I haven't heard in a long time.

You've prompted me to go back and read Stranger in a Strange Land again. ;-)


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Menlo Voter, that's such a great book! Loved it & Heinlein is missed.

In retrospect, if what Peter says is true, why the headlines pointing the finger at MP PD if EPA got it wrong Menlo was just assisting? Again, more info needed. Doesn't sound right to me that MP was assisting at an EPA warrant serve unless warrants for both cities? If Peter's info is correct but MP PD were the major aggressors & that's why the articles are written this way? Maybe I am just overthinking. Maybe it's time to reread some good Sci Fi.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 19, 2011 at 9:18 pm

The fingers are pointing at MPPD in this case, I think, becasue they are the ones that actually served the warrant. If EPAPD gave them a bad address it is too bad, but those serving the warrant are supposed to have a hard copy in hand. If they did, somoeone should have caught the discreancy. But, again, humans are human.


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Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Menlo Voter:
If cops don't go in, they won't be killed. Comon, its not like they are having a hard time serving warrants by profiling cars and waiting for them to make a traffic violation.


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Posted by Conflict Criminologist
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on May 20, 2011 at 1:43 am

Astonishingly, one will note that a higher percentage of police officers are armed with deadly weapons than ordinary citizens. Given that the potential existence of "a bunch of well-armed gang-bangers with no compunctions against shooting a police officer" are reasons to apparently draw weapons on citizens who have done absolutely nothing except live in the "wrong" neighborhood, why exactly should citizens not respond with violent force to police officers? In 2004 (the last year I can find numbers for both), 15 law enforcement officers were killed in California; 13 people were killed by LEOs or died in LE custody.
As far as I can see, our "guardians" aren't doing much to merit their position. But feel free to ask Oscar Grant's family.


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Posted by Jon Buckheit
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on May 20, 2011 at 8:27 am

Citizens should not respond with violent force against police officers because it's wrong, against the law, and suggestions that they should create the best argument for why the police complaint/review process is less transparent and accountable than it should be. If a police officer makes a mistake that is either intentional or one that indicates s/he does not have the judgment to hold that position, we need processes that ensure a fair determination is made of this and accountability is enforced. The current processes in California are closed, confidential, and performed (in the absence of any citizen review) solely by other police officers. A complainant won't even receive an explanation as to why his or her complant was determined to be unfounded. In my view this inevitably leads to accountability measures that are quite different than the expectations of the community. I believe this needs to change, but suggesting that citizens who feel aggrieved should responded violently really buttresses the argument that only police can understand police issues and the process needs to remain as it is.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 20, 2011 at 8:44 am

Sad:

if the evidence is in the house, the house has to be entered to obtain it. It's really not that hard to understand is it?


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 20, 2011 at 8:48 am

Conflict:

apples and oranges. 15 LEO's were killed DOING THERE JOB. 13 civilians were killed or died in police custody, in most cases, because they did something like point a gun or shot at an officer. You can't possibly compare the two. The Oscar Grant case was an aberation. You will also note the officer is in prison for it.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 20, 2011 at 8:50 am

Well said Jon. If people really think the police are out there pointing guns at people for fun they should arrange to go on a ride along and see what they are really dealing with.


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Posted by Inspector Closeau
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 20, 2011 at 9:30 am

[Post removed; knock it off already]


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Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 20, 2011 at 10:16 am

Menlo Voter, if they have to enter a house, they have to realize the cost of raiding an innocent house. Sometimes the evidence is not worth obtaining. The risk of harming (and yes, being rough with them is harming) innocent people is too much.


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Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 20, 2011 at 10:20 am

Going around being rough with civilians will only foster a negative relationship between the police and the community -> then the law will lose credibility in the eyes of the community and hence we won't think that committing a crime is wrong. Haven't you guys figured out why there is more crime where there is more police? The causal effect is the other way around from what most of you believe.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 20, 2011 at 10:36 am

Sad:

sorry, but you have it backward. The police are there in response to crime, they don't cause it.


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Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 20, 2011 at 11:20 am

what is the evidence for that? I believe that in the long term, it does cause crime because it damages the credibility of the law in the eyes of the community.


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Posted by oops
a resident of another community
on May 20, 2011 at 11:54 am

Menlo Voter,

the people in the house were not the ones named as having committed a crime, therefore your explanations are off base. I understand police work as a citizen and I understand the danger and the procedures, but if a mistake was made those who made it institutionally should have to pay for it. If I make an innocent mistake while driving or even if I cause an accident without a mistake (sudden sun glare, for example) I will have to pay for it. A mistake just means that there are no criminal charges, not that its consequences don't have to be payed for...OOPS is not adequate payment.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 20, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Oops:

I've never said they shouldn't have to pay for their mistake. I simply addressed why search warrants are handled the way they are. Cops are human. They make mistakes and trust me these guys are going to pay for it as will Menlo Park and East Palo Alto.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 20, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Sad:

If you honestly believe that having police around causes crime then you shouldn't mind disbanding EPAPD, direct all other law enforcement agencies and the CHP to stay out of EPA right? No cops, no crime right? Let me know how that works out for you. Oh that's right, when EPA didn't have their own PD one year they had the highest murder rate in the country. Ya, the cops bring crime. Somehow I don't think the residents of EPA would agree.


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Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 20, 2011 at 4:13 pm

mv: my take on this is that the short term effect of having no cops would be a spike in crime, but the long term result would be a dramatic decrease in crime.


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Posted by What?
a resident of another community
on May 20, 2011 at 4:42 pm

For what its worth many of the posters here seem to be having a good discussion. Some, understandibly, seem to be a little misinformed and may be basing opinion on what they want to believe or the movies I don't know. Some come to a judgement way too fast. What I do know is this..
1. The article is what...1000 words?
2. There is no comment from the police.
3. The people that were raided are the only ones quoted. (one side?)
4. The article does not say what the warrant was for or some of the details involved!
5. @Peter you are now in a position of public trust. Are you sure its proper commenting on an issue in a public forum that you don't have first hand knowledge of? And most important,the person you trustI presume has first hand knowledge. Now if they are in a public position then they should not be discussing it with you. Assuming they are right with their facts. Tell your friend that its rumor not fact when its not transperent.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm

I have no official role in this matter, i.e. I am not in "a position of public trust".

My source is also not in a public position.


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Posted by what?
a resident of another community
on May 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Peter your on the fire board. Really?
Peter time and again you get on forums and rake muck push some agenda and in general act as if you know all. What Im telling you is that when you say stuff that may not be true you are the problem and not the solution. Your position on the fire board puts you in a different catagory than the rest of us and you should take care in your comments. No one is calling you out on this but I am. I know you will spin it when you reply as you do and try to sound resonable but the fact is you are not a private citizen making forum comments. You are the establishment


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Posted by Centarl Menlo
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 20, 2011 at 5:22 pm

In response to What?

The world was once flat, and now scientists are telling us that time doesn't really exist (it's just another dimension that is a useful concept for tracking the order of things). So we don't really know what is fact or fiction. But sometimes rumors are true. Ok, whatever.

My point is that we all know this is a public forum, full of facts, opinions, rumors, truths and falsehoods. Understanding that, I for one, appreciate Peter Carpenter's contribution...and realize it was not stated as fact, but as something he was told, from someone he trusts. From this POV, that's worth repeating.

That the article is "one-sided" doesn't mean it shouldn't have been published...just as a reliable-but-not-absolute source can be trusted to repeat. Not to say we shouldn't want to hear the other side, or confirm facts.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 20, 2011 at 5:23 pm

What - go fly a kite; there is no way that some anonymous person has any standing to "call me out".

What puts me in a different category is that, other than Jon Buckheit, I am the only person posting on this thread under my real name.


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Posted by what ?
a resident of another community
on May 20, 2011 at 5:46 pm

So peter I win this round you answed none of my questions. Peter you are not man enough to have a discussion? Im not going to cuss or carry on and no Im not going to go fly a kite. Ill take your school yard response as a typical knee jerk reaction from a rear guard guy drinking soda while real men go out and do the work.


I don't dispute that the article should not be written and I never said that.
Im just stating that, like others have, that there is not a whole lot of info and Im waiting for more info. I agree rumaors get posted and so on but PETER CARPENTER IS THE ESTABLISHMENT AND SHOULD BE A PROFESSIONAL!


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 20, 2011 at 5:51 pm

"you answed(sic) none of my questions" Why in the world would I answer questions like yours from someone who is afraid to even use his/her real name? So quit trying to pick a fight and throwing dirt and get back on topic.

I am very comfortable standing on the record of all of my postings on this Forum.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 20, 2011 at 7:20 pm

sadf, you are wrong about no cops = no crime. Ludicrous.

Menlo Voter, I do believe the infamous year we had the highest murder rate per capita we did have a police dept; that crime year was early 90s, dept. started in mid 80s.

We simply need more info on this case before we can cast further judgement. I agree that likely both cities will pay the price, which means those of us in those cities will pay & those of us who are here legally will pay more because that's the way it works.

When EPA PD has lacked credibility in the past, the costs were huge in every way, incl amongst their own. Those were difficult, terrible, deadly times. We must not, absolutely must not return to those times.

I agree that a lack of credibility likely does drive up crime, but that doesn't mean get rid of the PD, but it means hold them accountable, get rid of the bad ones, get a new chief - whatever is necessary to make improvements.

From a street pov, sometimes thug cops are needed...I can't believe I'm actually posting that, but well, there's a good argument for thug cops - if they can be kept on a leash. But that doesn't mean siccing them on non-thugs.

Anyway, in this case thus far, it's MP PD cops on the hook for the brutality - we'll see what comes out in the near future.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 20, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Hmmm:

I'm sorry, but there is never a need for "thug cops." They accomplish very little and they degrade the police community relationship. Like any other kind of bully they are not truly feared and their tactics make life for good, honest cops miserable not to mention more dangerous.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 20, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Yeah, I was wobbling on what I wrote - have def seen the down side of it, have seen some of the good that came from it, too, but you're right. It's short-lived good & I was bottom feeding in thinking that way. It's a slippery slope & can be a way to excuse psychopathy, among other things.

Was just thinking on the EPA PD history of badness: cop who sold weapons out of the trunk of his patrol car (love that one), cop who actually went to prison because he beat someone so bad, ex cop who trained police in Iraq, wrote a bs book about it & got arrested recently for stalking, cop who couldn't testify any longer for pleading 5th...on & on & on. The majority of folks here deserve better than that & it has gotten better. If what happened w/Nava & family is accurate, it's highly disturbing that such an avoidable mistake was made, but moreover, that he was harassed post-raid.

Thank you for all of your insightful comments on this; for me, it's been helpful.


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Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 20, 2011 at 8:50 pm

hmmmmL Look at the stats: the places with less cops over the long term have less crime. Why not test it out to see if its causal?


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 20, 2011 at 10:48 pm

sadsf is a victim of sad logic. Cause does not necessarily equal effect.

Communities with fewer police may have less crime because they are more affluent, less dense or because they have less crime.

Places with fewer banks have fewer bank robberies, too. That doesn't mean that reducing the number of banks PREVENTS robberies.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 20, 2011 at 11:33 pm

sad, what stats would those be? I seriously doubt there are real data to support your pov. I also don't expect crime to be solely the concern of the cops; it involves all aspects of community.


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Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 21, 2011 at 1:17 am

I merely hypothesized causality. They should at least try it, shut down the police in EPA and Oakland for 50 years and see what happens. I bet crime would go way down.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 21, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Sad:

if you really don't think police have an effect on crime you might want to check out this link: Web Link

A report by the US Department of Justice

Some notable quotes:

"The problem-oriented policing strategy resulted in significant reductions in calls for service and total crime incidents, as well as varying reductions in all subcategories of crime types."

"The Jersey City DMAP program found that well-planned crackdowns in in street level drug markets followed by patrol maintenance resulted in significant reductions in disorder calls for service."

"The results of this systemic review support the assertion that focusing police efforts on high-activity crime places can be used to good effect in preventing crime."


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Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 21, 2011 at 11:23 pm

i'm talking the long term effect, i.e. a couple decades. I do concede that in the short term, police presence will result in a reduction of crime, and this is usually due to the intimidating nature of law enforcement, but for the long term safety of the community it actually has a deleterious effect. police presence usually leads to a poisonous relationship between the community and the police, and we can see this phenomenon in east menlo, east palo alto, oakland ,etc. People follow their community's values and if their community condones illegal behavior, they will do it. And if the police continue to disrespect community values, they will distrust the law even more. This vicious cycle is what is happening in many "high crime" neighborhoods in the US. Instead of continuing the using intimidation and harassment as a law enforcement policy, why do you police BACK OFF for a few decades and see how we can work together?


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 22, 2011 at 8:32 am

Sad:

we are a nation of LAWS not of community attitudes. We should disregard the law because your community thinks it's OK to break the law? Sorry, that's the road to anarchy. How many murders in Oakland so far this year? That's not a function of the police, it's a function of a community that stands by and lets it happen. Of course, that same community, you know the one that condones illegal behavior, screams to high heavens that the police aren't doing enough to stop it. What a bunch of hypocrites.


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Posted by oops
a resident of another community
on May 22, 2011 at 11:32 am

There is unlawfulness and there is unlawfulness. For many years (decades as I remember it) police disregarded some laws and quite rightly so. Those laws were so absurd that later on they were revised.
Sometimes the law is disregarded because enforcing it would result in a disproportionate harm to those who break it or the unjustifiable use of resources with much return on that investment.
Police should concentrate on some priorities. For menlo voter info in some big cities even the mayors disregard some laws sometimes and say so publicly. So, relax Menlo voter. I am writing this in one of the largest cities in America- here the cops have to prioritize. And so do menlo Park ones- I've seen them ignoring what looked like a business transaction amongst well to do kids in a parking lot, presumably because they had better things to do for the community.
There is no anarchy, only good judgment. And please spare us " it's the community's fault... Was it the community's fault that lead the cops to the wrong address? Rigidity in thought or application of the law only results in lack of respect for law enforcement. I want law enforcement to be respect and smart in their difficult service to all of us and I heap praise on them . Someone made a mistake in the raid- wrong address. Now admit it, pay for it and let this be a lesson. I also pity those who make the mistake- it's a very tough job to be a cop. it's an easy one to be a poster on a forum.


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Posted by oops
a resident of another community
on May 22, 2011 at 11:34 am

From my (above) post

".....use of resources with much return on that investment."

I meant (of course)

"....use of resources without much return on that investment."


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 22, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Oops:

I am ex-law enforcement so I am fully aware of what is involved in law enforcement. I worked for a large metro PD. I am fully aware of priorities. I am also aware of some communities appalling lack of respect for the law. They are usually pretty crummy neighborhoods as a result.

I never claimed it was the community's fault the police raided the wrong address. Go back and read my previous posts. The PD screwed up pure and simple. My remarks were directed to sad who seems to think we could just do away with the police and everything would be great.

From experience I know this to be false. Police resources are allocated based on calls for service. No calls for service, fewer police allocated. They don't put higher police presence into Belle Haven just for the hell of it, they do so because the people living there have frequent need of their presence as witnessed by a higher level of callls for service than in other parts of town.


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Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 23, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Menlo Voter: laws not community attitudes? what happened to the prohibition? Or lax enforcement of crimes such as driving 75mph on the freeway? Or not paying taxes on out of state internet purchases? In the long term, law enforcement is sustained by community attitudes, it's just that you guys bring your west menlo community attitudes to belle haven and epa and expect us to welcome you with open arms. Most of us in Belle Haven do not want police. A bunch of trolls calling the police are ruining it for us. time to charge them with PC 653y, not bothering the core of our community by acting all tough on us. Why not have a referendum in our community to see if we should allow police here? You will see what we really want.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 23, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Well Sad, as I said, if the folks in your community weren't calling the police they wouldn't be there. Perhaps you can convince your fellow east menlo residents to stop calling and then you won't have to deal with those awful police in your neighborhood. You going to call when your car gets stolen or your house gets burgalarized? Seems the rest of the residents of your part of town do.


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Posted by East Palo Alto resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jul 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm

I'v lived in East Palo Alto for since 1990 and presume living there. It's sad to say I'v below asalted by more police then gang members, drug dealers. Or just plane bullies my hole life living there. It's great to have law enforcement. But not cowboys with badges.


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