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Anaheim Insider here.

In a condescending, inaccurate mailer funded by the Tait Family Trust, Mayor Tait accuses council women Gail Eastman and Kris Murray of giving a “sweetheart” deal to the city’s public employee unions. The mailer is covered with feminine touches such as hearts, lipstick marks and pink-colored lettering. The Tait family’s mail consultant must have been in a hurry because the tea doilies and aprons were left out.

2nd CHA hit on Kris and Gail 10-16-14_Page_1

The Tait camp might want to consider that more than a few women voters are more likely to be offended by the mailer’s chauvinistic tone, which is quite out of place considering the reason Tait’s hand-picked candidate Doug Pettibone dropped out of the race (or rather, was thrown under the bus by the Mayor).

If Murray and Eastman were men, does anyone think the mailer would have looked like this?

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Anti-police graffiti spray-painted on Anaheim City Hall by protester.

Anti-police graffiti spray-painted on Anaheim City Hall by protester.

The OC Register has a few photos from yesterday’s anti-police protest in front of Anaheim City hall and the Anaheim Police Department.

It’s amazing (but not really surprising) how the OCR managed to almost completely avoid posting pictures of the red flags emblazoned with the likeness of the murderous Communist thug Che Guevara; the plenitude of signs (often carried by children) calling the police (Anaheim and otherwise) murderers and racists or the many placards supplied by the Party for Socialism and Liberation; or even a single photo of the omnipresent platoon of National Brown Berets, who seemed to be function as protest security.

Instead, the OC Register article by Jessica Terrell described the scene this way:

Carrying signs with words like “We are not anti police, we are anti police brutality” and “protect and serve, not attack and kill,” local protesters said they hoped the event would raise awareness about police tactics and inspire more residents to attend council meetings and become politically active in the city.

Was Ms. Terrell at the same protest I was? You really had to make to make an effort to cherry pick out such atypically milquetoast placards from the more typical ones like “APD Are Known To Murder Young Fathers.”

Click on this link to the AnaheimBlog’s Flickr photostream and view photos I took at the protest, which will provide you with a much more complete and truthful portrait of the nature of yesterday’s protest – which may have been mostly peaceful in terms of violent or belligerent behavior (excluding the incident where one of the protesters grabbed my iPhone and threatened to fight me for it), it was definitely not peaceable in attitude.

Durham LopezI spotted this ringing endorsement for adding a fifth layer of Anaheim Police Department oversight in the form of a civilian police oversight board: the Freedom Socialist Party!

The Freedom Socialist Party presidential ticket of Stephen Durham and Christina Lopez seized on the issue last year:

The weekend of July 21 saw another chapter in the long history of racist police violence in Southern California, with Anaheim police shooting to death two young Latino men. The Freedom Socialist Party campaign of Stephen Durham for president and Christina López for vice president condemns the extreme abuses of police power that ended the lives of Manuel Diaz and Joel Acevedo. The brutal abuse continued with police reaction to protests of the killings, starting immediately after the shooting of the unarmed Diaz

The Freedom Socialist ticket takes the idea a step further and calls for the oversight board to be elected, have investigators, subpoena power – even a prosecutor:

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anaheim-demoRadicals, working with Genevieve Huizar and Donna Acevedo, are planning a long-hot summer for the good people of Anaheim. This is from the website of Answer – LA, a radical left-wing organization, and was e-mailed out last week to left-wingers around SoCal:

A letter from the mothers of Manuel Diaz and Joel Acevedo, murdered by Anaheim P.D.
Call to action on the anniversary of their sons’ murders

May 23, 2013

The following is a personal appeal from the mothers of Manuel Diaz and Joel Acevedo, the two men murdered on July 21 and 22 by Anaheim police which sparked the historic community mobilizations against the scourge of police brutality. They are joining with other family members who’s loved ones are victims of police brutality, the ANSWER Coalition and other community groups for a Southern California Unity March Against Police Brutality on the 1 year anniversary of the events. We urge everyone to read their letter below, and learn more about march by clicking here.

To the people of Southern California:

Our names are Genevieve Huizar and Donna Michelle Castro and we are writing to you and all organizations concerned with fighting police brutality and racism. Our sons were murdered on July 21 and July 22 of last year in the city of Anaheim, sparking weeks of rebellion and resistance to the epidemic of police violence that is affecting communities throughout Southern California and beyond.

These mass protests were made possible through the broad unity of local communities and activist organizations. We call on all of you, from Bakersfield to San Diego, to converge in Anaheim again, on the one year anniversary of those dramatic events. We will march united, in the name of our fallen sons, Manuel Diaz and Joel Acevedo, to demand an end to police brutality throughout the region.

Our demands for the July 21 march, which are our points of unity, have come from our experiences for the past year as steadfast activists in the police brutality movement throughout Southern California, fighting alongside countless grieving mothers.

We demand:

  • Justice for Manuel Diaz, Joel Acevedo and all victims of police violence!
  • Jail all killer cops! Fire the Los Angeles and Orange County District Attorneys!
  • End racial profiling, gang injunctions and police checkpoints!
  • Community control over all police and prison guards!

We know that the people hold the power to stop police violence and that this change can only come from our collective, direct action. We will gather at Little People’s Park in remembrance of the 1978 uprising against racist Anaheim police violence. We will march on Disneyland, a world icon of Southern California, and expose the real life experience of working people that are pushed outside the bounds of Southern California tourism and affluence.

Join us in the streets on July 21st! Please endorse and/or RSVP by clicking here.

In solidarity,

Genevieve Huizar Donna Michelle Castro
Unity March inititated by:
Family of Manuel Diaz (murdered by police in Anaheim on July 21, 2012);
Family of Joel Acevedo (murdered by police in Anaheim on July 22, 2012);
Family of Martin Angel Hernandez (murdered by police in Anaheim on Mar. 6, 2012);
Family of Jose de la Trinidad (murdered by police in Willowbrook on Nov. 10, 2012);
Family & friends of Mike Nida (murdered by Downey police on Oct. 22, 2011);
Elizabeth Bustamante and John Cabrera (shot by Long Beach police on May 14, 2011);
Family of Andres Avila (murdered by Pomona police on Oct. 16, 2011);
Family of Caesar Ray Cruz (murdered by police in Fullerton on Dec. 11, 2009);
ANSWER Los Angeles; United Survivors of Anaheim; Nida’s Rydas; Jeremy Marks Defense Committee; Long Beach Campaign to Stop Police Violence, Women Organized to Resist and Defend (WORD); KmB Pro-People Youth; March Forward!; Party for Socialism and Liberation; Worker Student Alliance (UC Irvine); and more (Click here to endorse)

Get involved!

Click here for the event information. Please share widely!
Click here to endorse and/or RSVP to the July 21 march as an individual or organization.
Click here to make a donation to help build this action.

Where to start?

I don’t know if Huizar and Castro-Acevedo actually wrote this letter or if they read, approved and signed it. Given the revolutionary, the-oppressive-power-structure-is-racist tenor, it sounds like it was written by a Chicano Studies student (pardon me – Chicano/a Studies. Mustn’t be politically incorrect).

This letter is not reasonable. It is not a tempered call for reform. It is not kind. It is devoid of goodwill and charity. Huizar’s and Acevedo/Castro’s screed is the rhetorical clenched fist of the revolutionary. It’s oozes the radical’s impulse to smash.

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Rioters of the World, Unite!

Rioters of the World, Unite!

The weekend incident between Donna Castro and the Anaheim police is a vivid illustration at how differently political progressives view the issue of crime.

This screed by Vern Nelson on Orange Juice Blog is a good example. Every death from an officer-involved shooting is termed a “murder.” The criminality of those shot by the Anaheim police is glossed over. Nelson paints a Manichean picture of trigger-happy rogue cops recklessly blasting away at young Latino males who are minding their own business.

Nelson also lauds the rowdy crowd that quickly gathered around the scene where Anaheim police officer Kelly Phillips ticketed Castro for impeding traffic – although he fails to mention the mob taunted the police and angrily pelted them with bottles and eggs.

Members of the mob took videos and uploaded them to Ustream – a tactic Nelson salutes and encourages. You don’t see much of the police, but you do get an earful of obscenity-laden threats and hectoring of the police. [It’s interesting how the witnesses who claim to see all manner of Anaheim police misbehavior never have any pictures or video to back up their claims, despite the ubiquity of camera phones.]

What’s instructive is this behavior strikes Vern Nelson and other progressives as a good and worthy. Progressives tend to be romantics, inclined to see behavior like that in the videos — or last summer’s “unrest” — as more akin to the Parisian workers manning the Commune barricades than what it is: an unruly mob trying to provoke the police.

A riot isn’t a riot – it’s “civil unrest.” When the woman on the video screams, “Keep Kelly Phillips off of our street! This is what you’ll have to deal with every time. We’re all going to come out here, and we’re all going to protest your asses,” the progressive ear hears the thrilling opening chords of an uprising against The Man. It’s exciting.

The average Anaheim resident on the other hand, viewing civic life through the lens of ordered liberty and placing due value on tranquility and lawfulness, is more likely to react very differently to scenes like that in the Ustream video. This is precisely the kind of disorderly conduct and incipient lawlessness they don’t want in their neighborhoods, let alone in their city.

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Anaheim rioter meme 1I encourage you to read today’s Voice of OC article on last night’s forum organized by the East Street Community Renewal Initiative (ESCRI), a project of former (and potentially future) Councilwoman Lorri Galloway.

It contains many jewels. Let’s start with this one:

“The consensus from the forum attendees was clear – the police department is still racist, and city government still can’t be depended on for services.”

What a shock that would be the “consensus” at a forum organized by this group.

If the Republican Party of Orange County organized a community forum on “Obamacare: Three Years Later,” the consensus of forum attendees would be that it’s an unconstitutional monstrosity that ought to be repealed. If the Democratic Party of OC organized a form on the same question, the “consensus” would be that at long last, the Americans’ right to access to health care is guaranteed for all.

In other words, the “consensus” is virtually pre-determined, given the nature of the organizing group and who it consequently invites.

Look at the VOC headline:

“Anaheim Residents Still Frustrated Nearly A Year After Unrest.” 

Really? All Anaheim residents are frustrated? It’s a fair bet that the 50 or so rounded up by ESCRI feel that way, but a headline claiming that is a widespread feeling? “Some Anaheim Residents…” would be accurate.

I liked this one:

“Tensions continued to escalate until three days later when about 1,000 demonstrators were denied access to a City Council meeting.”

“Denied access”? The council chambers were already full – there was no way to fit them in. That’s like someone trying to buy a ticket to a sold-out movie and then complaining about being “denied access” to the show.

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Earlier this month, Jason Young — wedding videographer by trade, deceptive gadfly blogger by choice — posted this video on his SaveAnaheim.com blog:

Young is very excited because the 4-member panel on a PBS show supports the idea of a civilian police review to duplicate the existing layers of police oversight.

On the other hand, Young must not have liked what panelist Mike Capaldi had to say about last summer’s Manuel Diaz shooting, since he editing that part of the video out. Here’s the complete exchange:

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Welcome to Anaheim!

Welcome to Anaheim!

Yesterday, the OC District Attorney cleared Anaheim Police Officer Nick Bennallack of any wrong-doing in the July 2012 shooting of gang member Manuel “Stomper” Diaz.

The OC Register reports:

Officer Nick Bennallack was on a gang-enforcement patrol in the Anna Drive neighborhood on the afternoon of July 21 when he pulled up to a small group of men. Manuel Diaz, 25, a convicted gang member, ran, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office concluded.

The officers gave chase, down an alley and into the front yard of an apartment house. There, Bennallack fired two shots, one hitting Diaz in the back-right side of his head, the other hitting him in his right buttock, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said.

The police association said shortly after the shooting that officers saw Diaz pull something from his waistband and turn. Diaz was found to be unarmed; investigators found a cellphone registered to Diaz, as well as the two spent ammunition cartridges from Bennallack’s gun and a drug pipe at the scene, the District Attorney’s Office said.

You can read the letter from the D.A. office here.

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Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray

This came over the transom this morning from Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray:

Response to Recent Inquiries about Proposed Citizen Oversight Committee

Over the past few weeks, my office has received inquiries about Mayor Tait’s proposed Citizen Oversight Committee.

Let me begin by saying, Anaheim is one of the safest cities of its size in California. I believe this is due to the professionalism of our law enforcement officers and personnel. However, we are not without our challenges. That is why public safety and security of our neighborhoods will continue to be my top priorities.

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The Anaheim Police Association blasted out this e-mail this morning, asking for recipients to e-mail the Anaheim City Council to express their opposition to Mayor Tom Tait’s proposal for a citizens police oversight commission:

Support Your Anaheim Police!

Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait and his supporters are attempting to weaken our police force by implementing policies and police review procedures that could jeopardize the safety of Anaheim’s families. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the Office of Independent Review already perform independent and objective reviews of officer-involved incidents.

Don’t let the Mayor’s hand-picked cronies and City politics get in the way of our public safety. As citizens of Anaheim, it’s time to take a stand for safer streets, schools and homes.

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Remember the notorious incident last July that took place on Anaheim’s gang-ridden Anna Drive when Anaheim police jousted with residents in the wake of the shooting of fleeing gang member Manuel Diaz?

As if we could forget.

Well, eight residents of Anna Drive have filed claims against Anaheim citing, according to the OC Register, “physical injuries, emotional trauma, violations of constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure and other damages.”

The claimants want the city to cut them each a check for $500,000. For those not doing the math, that is $4 million tax dollars. There goes the Neighborhood Improvement Fund (what percentage of annual TOT revenue is $4 million?)!

This isn’t surprising. After all, we live in a litigious society, and suing the police is a cottage industry. The Anna Drive incident represents an opportunity for some to cash in and get out of Anna Drive, and with sympathetic media coverage to boot.

Yes, I am commenting on the claims on after seeing only the spare description in the OC Register article. At the same time, let us recall that when police arrived in force following the shooting in order to secure the crime scene — and remember that what prompted the initial police intervention was a gang-conducted sale of illegal guns — a number of residents responded by bringing their young children and babies out to watch the fun. Not exactly behavior you would find in a handbook on responsible parenting.

Then there was the throwing of rocks and bottles at police.

The attorney representing the claimants claims her clients were not among the misbehavers. I don’t know whether that is true. It may be. What is clear to me is the police were operating in a confusing, chaotic and dangerous situation made more confusing, chaotic and dangerous by the bellicosity of a number of Anna Drive residents.

In my opinion, the police were trying to do their job, which is protecting the lives, liberty and property of Anaheim residents – including those of Anna Drive, which is beset by criminal gangs. These claims are more properly lodged against the gangs terrorizing Anna Drive, but the reality is gang members’ response would – unlike the city’s — would be lethal.

That is the reality we should bear in mind as this claim-soon-to-be-lawsuit moves along.

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