Letter & Public Records Act Demand to Santa Cruz Mayor on the Stay-Away Order Law Inbox x



I suggest you withdraw your proposed decorum amendments and simply remove the“unattended audio devices” ‘rule’ entirely. It has never prompted any disruption at City Council other than that evoked by the Mayor.

I also suggest withdrawing the stuff about “obstructing aisles” and “furniture” since those issues would be gone once you remove the “unattended audio devices”. It’s pretty clear that this is a direct attempt to maintain a rule without good reason.

Or perhaps you have a reason for making it a potential crime to leave an “unattended audio device”? I’d be interested in knowing your reasoning.

I also recommend withdrawing your new definition of “disruption” as being “when a mayor insists on imposing a rule and has to stop the meeting to do so”. It flies in the face of the 9th Circuit’s opinion in my case that “disruption” means disruption, not imagined disruption, or the violation of some rule.

Responding to legitimate protest with harsher restrictions is in my view unwise and will ultimately cost the city administration as well as the rest of us. 

Please postpone Council consideration of these changes until you sit down with some of the activists to discuss your specific concerns and how they can be equitably met.

I would hope we could discuss this matter and come up with a solution that meets everyone’s concerns. I think that would save all of us lots of time and trouble.


P.S. In the meantime please make available any documents that involve complaints, concerns, or documents regarding the new decorum rule changes you’re proposing. This would include any documents referencing obstructing city council aisles, furniture, recording devices in the chamber, and/or concerns about Council “disruption”.

New Mayor Responds to Public Outrage With Crackdown Measures


Council Armors Up
by Robert Norse
Friday Jan 9th, 2015 8:56 AM

City Council (through Mayor Don Lane) and the City Administration behind it (i.e. the Martin Bernal, the City Manager, and his staff) will be voting on more repressive decorum rules as the first order of business in the afternoon session of the January 13th City Council meeting this Tuesday. This is apparently their response to the public outrage at the December 9th meeting over the SCPD’s sneak rush of the quarter-of-a-million-buck BEARCAT armored personnel “rescue’ vehicle. Lane has also placed the wildly-unconstitutional and explosive Stay-Away law to the end of the evening agenda.

I suspect the decorum change and Stay-Away order scheduling at the end of the meeting  are specifically designed to shrink, cool, and discourage protest.

The staff report and other documents regarding the decorum rule changes are attached and also available on the City’s website at http://scsire.cityofsantacruz.com/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=622&doctype=AGENDA under Item #12.

Scheduled protests:

Stop the Bearcat at 2 PM http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/01/03/18766326.php
Protest New Anti-Homeless Law and Urban Assault Vehicle at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/12/13/18765514.php
A HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) protest at times to be announced.

The City has also adopted a new, less publicly accessible means, of responding to Public Records Act requests. The SCPD no longer takes such requests directly, but routes them through Nydia Patino at City Hall. More importantly, the requests are being responded to in hard copy letters (usually rejection or restriction) from the City Attorney’s answer.

It has still not responded to my request of weeks ago to see documentation that confirms the exact date and the real deadline for accepting the BEARCAT vehicle.

§The Councilmember’s Handbook as Lane Would Like It

by Robert Norse Friday Jan 9th, 2015 8:56 AM

Lane has given no explanation as to why leaving an “unattended” recording device creates any problem. So if you sit in your seat and want to leave it turned on, that would be cause for Council harassment if no one is “attending” it unless you put it in a special spot.

His new definition of “disruption” is “whenever a rule is broken and a Mayor is ‘forced’ to stop the meeting”. So whenever a Mayor disrupts his own meeting, this becomes the fault of the public. So, if you turn your back on the Council while speaking and there’s a rule against doing so (which there arguably now is–that’s an additional change), you are “disrupting” the meeting. This flies in the face of the 9th Circuit Court ruling that states a “disruption” can only be an actual disruption not a potential one or one created by the Council’s have a “hissy fit”.

§Current Rules

by Robert Norse Friday Jan 9th, 2015 8:56 AM

Bad enough as they are–as folks attending the December 9th meeting saw and experienced.

§Resolution Amending the Current Rules

by Robert Norse Friday Jan 9th, 2015 8:56 AM

The technical resolution that changes the rules, I presume.

§Proposed Escalated Stay-Away Order Law

by Robert Norse Friday Jan 9th, 2015 8:56 AM

Somewhere between 500 and 1500 people have already gotten one-day Stay-Away orders. They will be subject to the week, month, 6 month, and year orders in ever-expanding areas. Careful examination of the infraction tickets given with these orders show they are overwhelming used to punish sleeping, camping, simply being in a closed area, or smoking. It also seems they are overwhelmingly being given to homeless people.

§Current Law

by Robert Norse Friday Jan 9th, 2015 8:56 AM

The current Parks and Recreation laws allow designation of “closed areas” at any time at the whim Parks and Recs Czarina Dannettee Shoemaker. They also prescribe a high penalty for violating the “Stay Away” orders (up to a year in jail and $1000 fine).

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SCPD Stonewalling & Cold Weather Callousness at HUFF Meet 11 AM 1-7 Wed Sub Rosa

Downing cups of hot fluid to stay awake and comfy, we’ll be engaging in the usual circular firing squad activity with your suggestions and some of these on the agenda:  Prep for the 2 PM  Cop Corner Protest Demanding an End to Racial and Homeless Profiling in Santa Cruz; Confronting New Stonewalling by the City on Public Records; First Reports on Downtown Performance Pens; Prep for the Upcoming First City Council Meeting of the Year.

Come if you can.  Help from a distance if you can’t.

Back to Cop Corner: Police Abuse Protest Resumes in Santa Cruz 1-7 2 PM

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The Official Google BlogHallo, hola, olá to the new, more powerful Google Translate app20 hours ago
to HUFF, Kevin, City, Jim


Title: “Poor People Matter!”: Round Four at Cop Corner
START DATE: Wednesday January 07
TIME: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location Details:
Sidewalk outside the Santa Cruz Police Station at Center and Laurel along Laurel St. across from the Louden Nelson Center
Event Type: Protest
For those who have suffered and don’t want to suffer again the experience or the sight of over-policing, racial and class profiling, militarization, abusive threats and use of force downtown and elsewhere in town–

For those who want to show solidarity with the national movement against police brutality generally.

For those who are tired of the passivity and silence of local organizations who receive complaints, but do nothing.

This is the 4th in a series of public protests demanding radical reform in the Santa Cruz Police Department and calling the community to speak out about the encounters they’ve had with the armed and uniformed “protect and serve”–ers of Santa Cruz.

The SCPD has still not made available the racial ticketing record of Officer Bill Azua, as repeatedly requested under the Public Records Act Though required by law, Azua’s arrest and citation record has been stripped of any information regarding the race of those he cited.

It took months to get the record of Officer Bradly Barnett. When we looked it over, we found he was citing African-Americans at 7 times their rate in the population. (See Barnett’s complete record of Racial Citations at http://www.indybay.org/uploads/2014/10/21/barnett_cites_including_race.pdf )

An earlier protest on December 17 made this same demand along with other long-standing concerns. Like letting the public know which officers have been using tasers, choke-holds (allowed in Santa Cruz, banned in New York City), pain compliance holds, weapon draws, baton strikes, and so forth.
See “Keeping Up the Pressure: Wednesday Protest at Cop Corner ” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/12/13/18765489.php .

For more info and a peek at the last protest, see “”Homeless People Matter” Protest Gets Honks, Volunteers, at Cop Corner” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/12/22/18765911.php

SCPD Abuses Under the Microscope in Santa Cruz

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[huffsantacruz] SCPD Abuses Under the Microscope in Santa Cruz


Robert rnorse3@hotmail.com [huffsantacruz] <huffsantacruz-noreply@yahoogroups.com>


Santa Cruz Police Department: Political Smears, Unfair Profiling, and Harassment
by via Steve Schnaar
Sunday Dec 28th, 2014 11:54 AM

There are numerous cases in which Santa Cruz Police Department leaders have strayed from their role as law enforcers, instead engaging in political smears and unfair profiling and harassment. This makes it more difficult to trust in their objectivity and commitment to serve everyone, and fosters an adversarial rather than cooperative relationship with many community members.



[ Santa Cruz Police Department spying and infiltration of private planning meetings for the 2005 Last Night DIY Parade were exposed by various community members, including Santa Cruz Indymedia. ]

As outrage erupts across the nation over the perception that police officers are considered to be above the law, it seems appropriate for us to consider issues of police-community relations in our own town. Here as elsewhere, the most successful policing comes through building trusting and respectful relations with the community.

Unfortunately, there are numerous cases in which Santa Cruz Police Department leaders have strayed from their role as law enforcers, instead engaging in political smears and unfair profiling and harassment. This makes it more difficult to trust in their objectivity and commitment to serve everyone, and fosters an adversarial rather than cooperative relationship with many community members.

One recent example was Deputy Chief Steve Clark’s attack on City Council candidate Leonie Sherman, labeling her as an anarchist for participating in non-violent protests like hanging a banner opposing the World Trade Organization, and suggesting that she is a danger to the community and to local businesses. A few weeks later, when an anonymous emailer threatened mass shooting at Santa Cruz High, Clark again strayed from the facts, using the fear of violence to smear unrelated political activists, stating, “These kind of incidents rally the hacktivist crowd.” In both cases it seems clear that Clark was not basing his comments on fact, but rather abusing his position to smear those he perceives as political enemies.

Back in the ‘90s Clark harassed activist John Malkin who was serving on the Citizen Police Review Board, making false statements about him, investigating his political work (without any suspicion of criminal wrongdoing), and later threatening to publicize embarrassing information. A formal complaint on the matter was never investigated. This was after Clark tried to intimidate the City Council into not setting up the Review Board in the first place, stating at a Council meeting, “If you do this, I am going to hold each and every one of you personally responsible.”

Such incidents have a long history at the SCPD, and are not limited to Clark. When activists organized a fun, family-friendly New Year’s Parade in 2005, the police spied on them with undercover officers, leading to a small scandal for the department. In 2010, a handful of masked rioters smashed windows downtown. Although no one knows who committed the vandalism, the SCPD used the opportunity to smear the SubRosa Café, with Deputy Chief Rick Martinez claiming that the police had raided SubRosa, including kicking in their door. In fact, no such raid ever happened, nor was SubRosa nor any of its members ever investigated or charged with a crime. Again in 2012, the SCPD used smear tactics against Occupy Santa Cruz, spreading false rumors about ringworm and scabies outbreaks in the camp.

These attacks on political activists have no place in a free society. As with the Red Scares of times past, the SCPD has used false information and association to portray lawful dissenting voices in a bad light. It is especially troubling to know that the person responsible for many of these smears — Steve Clark, the Department’s official spokesperson —is also in charge of the SCPD’s program of mass surveillance: the use of automated license plate readers, which our local ACLU chapter has denounced as an invasion of privacy.

When repeated actions on the part of police managers violate the trust of the community, it undermines faith in law enforcement and government as a whole. For the benefit of the community and the department itself, the city should help rebuild that trust by holding the police accountable. One aspect of that must be disciplining officers who abuse their authority, including Deputy Chief Clark.

Steve Schnaar lives in Santa Cruz.

Some of the Comments at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/12/28/18766107.php?show_comments=1#18766209  

by G  Monday Dec 29th, 2014 5:38 AM
City Council? When Clark appeared to threatened them with ICE-ish powers, “If you do this, I am going to hold each and every one of you personally responsible.”, Council members failed to act?

SCPD Chief? When Clark appeared to engage in election tampering, the Chief failed to act?

According to broken windows theory, allowing a scofflaw to go unpunished encourages more and greater violations. Who can stop ‘bad apples’ like Clark? Is the entire barrel rotten?

by Razer Ray  Monday Dec 29th, 2014 10:41 AM



I’ve had few personal problems in my (more than occasional) dealings with the SCPD over the few years for a very simple reason. They’ve outsourced the harassment and intimidation of their displaced workers to a blackshirt operation called 1st Alarm, coordinated with the SCPD’s Community “Service” officers.

I had to dial 911 a few months ago after being surrounded by three of them while sitting in the side window of the “Ritt” after I told the first one who arrived to tell me I couldn’t sit there that I didn’t agree with his interpretation of the Muni code and neither did most courts hearing cases about public seating.

When the community service officer arrived and I pressed her to write a ticket because “We REALLY need to see a judge about this…” she categorically refused to cite me, with the words “I certainly WILL NOT!” … because quite simply she couldn’t.

You read that right.

I was surrounded by three 1st Alarm Blackshirts for about ten minutes (me sitting in the window ledge and they within arms reach) only to be informed that there would be no citation. They had detained me extralegally, if detained IS the correct word because they HAVE NO RIGHT to detain ANYONE for an infraction.

When the city first hired these thugs I spoke to the council about it requesting TWO SIMPLE THINGS.

1> Get these cretins on the same page as the SCPD about the meaning and intent of the law.

It’s become quite obvious to me the city had no intention of doing so because, simply, 1st Alarm was apparently hired to give extralegal interpretations of laws they know nothing about to targeted people as a harassment-intimidation tactic because the SCPD can not. Once SCPD occifers have been briefed at their musters or meetings by legal staff about legal issues they lose the the ability to apply previously used tactics to dissuade people and convince them to comply with offen illegitimate-under-state-law or otherwise constitutionally forbidden ‘ordinances’. But the 1st Alarm thugs are under no such constraints.

2> CITY OVERSIGHT of their operations. No Blackwater Santa Cruz overseeing itself.

Recently a friend told me she called 1st Alarm to complain about the older thug at the public library, who called her a ‘bitch’. She told me the 1st Alarm staffer she spoke to on the phone offered to retaliate by filing a restraining order preventing her from using the library and was otherwise uncooperative.

Ps. One of these freaks is continuing to stalk and harass me by calling me by name every time I walk by. Seeing me riding my bike and shouting “Be sure to obey the traffic laws (followed by my name) despite the fact I had not violated any traffic law (again, that he has no right to enforce), and otherwise following me as if he expects me to commit some criminal act besides existing as a displaced Santa Cruz worker..

One evening, after observing a friend and I discussing things in front of New Leaf he later walked by my friend and whispered at him as he went by “I love you…” because my friend is perhaps a little effeminate and this freak, 1st Alarm employee Robert Caposio, thought he was Gay.

Pps. Last night I was outside a downtown parking garage on Front street smoking a cigarette and observed 2 hoodied Chicano guys in their 20s TOTALLY tag up a 1st Alarm truck sitting unattended next to the Palomar Arcade’s wall by Front.

I’d go to jail before I’d ID those guys…. even if I could.

by furlough them all  Monday Dec 29th, 2014 2:14 PM
a council majority can fire the city manager and replace him with someone who will cut the pigs weekly hours. it is extremely difficult to actually fire a pig.
but can we trust a new council and city manager to do that?
i doubt it.
judges and juries are usually pig lovers, so lawsuits rarely pay off.
breaking windows leads to more pigs not less, as we saw in 2010.
ballot initiatives with binding terms that automatically discipline outlaw officers like clark might work – if you can get the votes.
in the meantime, the best thing we can all do to protect our community from the pigs is to video them in copwatch actions, they hate that.

by Robert Norse  Wednesday Dec 31st, 2014 6:17 AM
Smirkin’ Steve Clark has a nasty history of hardball abuse against the homeless and using his police position for pushing a political agenda.

See “Police Officer’s Confrontational History With Homeless People In S.C” at http://www.huffsantacruz.org/StreetSpiritSantaCruz/232.Assaulted%20And%20Arrested%20For%20Speaking%20Out%20At%20City%20Hall=7-2005.pdf
> > & http://www.huffsantacruz.org/StreetSpiritSantaCruz/233.Assaulted%20And%20Arrested%28cont.%29=7-2005.jpg

In my long history of critical writing & public protest about the SCPD, Steve Clark is the only officer who has ever used physical violence against me personally (as outlined in the above article).

Becky Johnson described some of Clark’s record at http://www.huffsantacruz.org/StreetSpiritSantaCruz/234.Police%20Officer%27s%20Confrontational%20History%20With%20Homeless%20People%20In%20S.C.=7-2005.pdf

The SCPD’s own racist and homeless-targeting record is beginning to be documented as the police–under public pressure–slowly begin to release the records. See “”Homeless People Matter” Protest Gets Honks, Volunteers, at Cop Corner” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/12/22/18765911.php .

My thanks to Steve Schnaar for having the courage to name names. We are dealing with armed and powerful officials in a time when it’s clear police power in different cities has suborned murder and gotten away with it.

Protests and publicity have impact. Across the country in the last half year we have seen the most continuous series of local and national protests against police in decades. See http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/12/28/ferguson-spokesman-on-leave-after-calling-memorial-trash/20976367/ And they aren’t over: http://fergusonresponse.tumblr.com/ .

The corrupt leadership of the SCPD is important to expose.

Equally important is to end its policies creating unaccountable militarized and massive overpolicing. See “SCPD No Disclosure of When People were PepperSprayed, Choked, Tasered, Gun-Bullied or Shot” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/12/04/18765028.php and “Make Cops Accountable” at http://www.indybay.org/uploads/2014/12/13/flyer__for__12-17.pdf .

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Shaming Out the Old Year, Dancing in the New: HUFF back at Sub Rosa 11 AM December 31st

HUFF –unapologetic in its disdain for holiday breaks–will be back at its old meeting place Wednesday morning with the usual bubbling pot of reports, recriminations, and restlessness.  Upcoming:  Prep for the DIY New Year’s parade Wednesday night (at 5 PM or so), Disability Two-Step at the City Attorney’s?,  Zapping Officer Bill Azua:  Scanning his Many Citations for Evidence of Bias; Strategies for De-Militarizing the SCPD–the January 13th Council meeting and the Bearcat Acquisition;  Warming Center Worries; and whatever winter winds blow in…  We got coffee; you bring what you got.