Friday, November 21, 2008

Palo Alto Police Chief Resigns

My, my, my what a turn of events. Chief Lynne Johnson is out! I've discussed this ongoing inflammatory situation with the Head Officer in Charge who in late October said every Black man in the vicinity was subject to search by the police because there was an increase in crime. 
"When our officers are out there and they see an African American you know, in a, in a congenial way, we want them to find out who they are. The one suspect was wearing a doo-rag. We, my officers see an African American who has a do-rag on his head, absolutely we will be, the officers will be stopping and trying to find out who that person is."
She said this during a public meeting and was given every opportunity to 'clarify' what she 'actually meant'.  She stood by what she said. That is, until the public outcry. By the way, the police have not put out an APB for head gear: they've been harassing innocent civilians since. She still claims she "mis-spoke", but she offered an oops.  

This isn't an offer of praise to the City of Palo Alto for decrying racism and racial profiling as the usual suspects of apologists and excusers are out in full force. Also she wasn't officially fired. She is retiring however, and I hope they do a complete overhaul of their procedures. Apparently 34 years on the force didn't teach her how to get rid of her prejudice. Crime stats don't support the profiling incidents - but one can always find a way to put a spin on things. You can follow my previous posts here and here

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As a side note I will offer another take on this. There are crimes being committed and those perpetrators should be held accountable, but the focus should not be on some vs. others. Assuming everyone and no one being guilty based solely on skin tone is just lousy police work.

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2 comments:

Miriam said...

Well I'm glad the police dept. at least pretend like they are not about racism.

Faith said...

Sort of. The media coverage has been interesting. One station leaned towards condemnation. One was a little more neutral leaning towards favoring the Police Chief and another was totally trying to downplay the racism as an anomaly. It's only because I went searching the internet that I found she had encouraged and supported racial profiling and aggressiveness against Blacks specifically in a number of correspondence for years that I don't by her BS excuses. I'm very glad she'll be leaving and I'm really glad the people took action.