His darling officers, who never identified themselves as police as required by law, pointed their loaded weapons at people after getting into a melle with the crowd. Brown said “(The officer) told me he didn’t know if he was going to make it out alive. They were outnumbered, they were assaulted, and at that point, two officers were not going to be able to arrest 30 or 40 or 50 individuals… I am very much sensitive to how disturbing it is when a weapon is drawn, and I don’t take these matters lightly at all. At the same time, we have to understand these officers were under attack.”
On his website, Brown gives a personal messge to visitors: “Golden Gate Division has a diverse workforce with an approximate strength of 1,250 peace officers and 200 civilian members. Every member is dedicated and responsible to providing the highest level of safety, service, and security to our citizens, businesses, and visitors. Department personnel are paramount assets and through them we strive for excellence and professionalism through interdependent partnerships with our community of citizens, government officials and our agency. We are developing and participating in proactive community based strategies in order to promote and support safe, vital, and healthy communities. You have entrusted us with the education of traffic safety issues, enforcement of laws and regulations regarding those issues, and additional programs. We wanted to prove we deserved your trust. Whether you are traveling the busy freeways of San Jose or touring the Napa Valley, CHP officers are on patrol 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We seek your comments and concerns. You can contact us through the Public Information Unit at Golden Gate Division.”
ABC News reported:
“We’re looking into the use of force,” Browne said, adding the report that the officers prepared about the incident will go to the district attorney. “We understand that it’s upsetting, it’s disturbing any time a weapon is displayed, so we look into those situations very carefully.” Browne said the officers had been following the protesters for some time in an unmarked police car to gather intelligence on whether the group planned to take the highways as they have in previous nights, or whether they were carrying weapons or planning to vandalize property. The officers were joined by plain-clothes police from other agencies as well, Browne said. …CHP officers arrested one man for public intoxication and another for felony assault on a police officer, he said. Questions about CHP’s use of plain-clothes officers come at a time when the law enforcement agency is also under scrutiny for firing less-than-lethal projectiles at demonstrators Tuesday night. Browne defended the department’s use of the weapons and said the officers were “very discrete as to who they were firing on.” One demonstrator at the scene, Dylan, who declined to give his last name, said he pulled off one of the officer’s bandanas. At no time did the officers identify themselves as police, Dylan said.
In February 2013 during the multi-agency manhunt for ex-LAPD cop Chris Dorner, out-of-control police pointed loaded guns at reporters, bicyclists, pedestrians and bystanders in California. In addition to that, the trigger happy cops in L.A. shot up the vehicles of a 71 year-old hispanic woman and skinny white guy, purportedly in their zeal to catch the hulking, black Dorner. Legal scholar Jonathan Turley pointed out “The officers said that they thought the women’s royal blue Toyota Tacoma matched Dorner’s dark-colored Nissan pickup truck. Of course, under any interpretation of Tennessee v. Garner, that would not constitute a justified basis to open fire.”
Astonishingly, just like Chief Avery Browne, Torrance Police Chief John J. Neu at the time of the Dorner incident “said he could not say his officer was wrong for shooting at Perdue” (the skinny white surfer) and blamed “anxiety within our department” for the shooting. An earlier statement issued by the Torrance PD regarding the shooting stated that “the action was appropriate”, but a press release currently posted in their archives omits such a reference. Neu, who was appointed Chief in 2006, lists an official bio on the city website which states “Chief Neu holds numerous training certificates and awards in law enforcement including recognition from the United States Department of Justice Organized Crime Bureau, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the United States Attorney’s Office. Chief Neu has testified before the U.S. Congress on issues relating to Homeland Security and Domestic Terrorism.” Numerous Federal Civil Rights lawsuits have been filed against John Neu and the City of Torrance in recent years.
An internet search for police policy of pointing loaded gun nets five million results of countless arrests of people who needlessly point loaded weapons at others. People who point guns at police, if theyre lucky enough not to immediately get their head blown off, are often charged with “menacing” or other such crimes and will go to prison for an extremely long time. Police are supposed to follow very specific rules regarding handling of weapons while on the job, such as outlined in this Detroit Police Department Training Manual. Experts who train police consistently point out that officers should not point their weapon at anyone whom they’re “not willing to destroy”.
In the 2009 Indiana court case Baird v. Renbarger, officer John Renbarger with the Shelbyville Police Department “decided to wield a 9-millimeter submachine gun, which he used to detain various people” during a criminal investigation. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals stated “pointing a gun at a compliant adult in a non-threatening situation, as in this case, can also constitute excessive force.”
The court also noted
“We have found similar uses of force unreasonable in other cases. For example, we held that gun pointing when an individual presents no danger is unreasonable and violates the Fourth Amendment. See Jacobs v. City of Chicago, 215 F.3d 758, 773-74 (7th Cir.2000) (pointing a gun at an elderly man’s head for ten minutes even after realizing that he is not the desired suspect and when he presents no resistance is “out of proportion to any danger that Jacobs could possibly have posed to the officers or any other member of the community”); McDonald v. Haskins, 966 F.2d 292, 294-95 (7th Cir.1992) (pointing a gun at a nine-year-old child during a search and threatening to pull the trigger was “objectively unreasonable”). In a slightly different context, we observed that “police officers do not have the right to shove, push, or otherwise assault innocent citizens without any provocation whatsoever.” Clash v. Beatty, 77 F.3d 1045, 1048 (7th Cir.1996).”
The Constitution and proper protocol should not go out the window during a criminal investigation, even if it’s police officers who were the victim of a crime. Violating people’s rights and menacing people with weapons under the color of law, is not granted because you wear a costume and a badge.
The contact information for the CHP Golden Gate Division is below in the pink box, if you want to ask them why it’s okay for plain-clothed cops to point guns at protesters. Their Twitter account is here.