Disparate Treatment by the DA’s Office

We have spent much time talking about both the Davis Police Department and Yolo County District Attorney’s Office’s over-pursuit of relatively minor cases and prosecution to the point of almost absurdity. In some of these cases, we have evidence that the deputy district attorney assigned to the case actually thought it better that the case be dropped rather than charges followed and was told that they not only had to pursue the case but obtain a conviction. These type of cases are pursued generally against people in a lower socio-economic class and minority defendants.

However, increasingly I have learned about the opposite problem–the failure of the Davis Police Department and the Yolo County District Attorney’s office to pursue charges and a case against “upscale” and “affluent” defendants involved in a variety of what appear to be much more serious crimes.

While most of these stories only represent anecdotal evidence, An old professor of mine used to say data is actually many anecdotes when put together that form a systematic pattern.

A reader relates a case of road rage that happened several years ago where an individual, also a Davis resident, ended up following the person home, seeing where they lived and then speeding off. However, later that night they returned dumping a can or two of gasoline on the garage and setting the house on fire.

Only quick action by a neighbor helped alert the family to the fire and prevented it from becoming bigger and it ended up only causing superficial damage to the garage and the front of the home.

The individual described the man and his case to the police, but very little happened for over a year. Finally they had arrested a suspect. Apparently he had bragged to a friend about what he’d done, and the friend turned him in. It also turned out that he was not a nice guy. At the time of his arrest, he was on probation for having beaten up his girlfriend, and I was told by the police that he was also suspected of torching another man’s car.

So of course the District Attorney’s Office aggressively pursued this case like they did Buzayan’s or Khalid Berny’s, right? Wrong!

On the contrary, the District Attorney’s office moved on this case at a glacial pace. Court dates were scheduled, subpoenas sent, vacation time from work arranged, only to have delays and postponements time after time. The Deputy District Attorney left the department and a new one took over. Shortly thereafter, the defendant pled guilty to reduced charges. Then for another eight months, the same sort of postponements and delays happened with the sentencing hearing.

Why is there such disparate treatment? Why is a person with a history and a record allowed to skate? Well, for starters, he’s the member of a very wealthy and influential El Macero family.

So why is it then that the District Attorney’s Office pursues some cases to the teeth–minor cases such as a man who allegedly allows his goats to run at large or a small parking lot accident resulting in $800 damage to the vehicle, but will not pursue a case of road rage that leads to arson against a perpetrator who has a history of this sort of violence? In fact, this case seems very close to the firebombing case involving another family in Davis–who happen to be gay–that the police perhaps haven’t aggressively pursued.

A few years back there was a vandalism crime against a gay individual in Davis, he had eggs thrown at his vehicle and another black family’s home. This was in October of 2003. By August of 2004, hate crime charges were dropped.

According to the August 18, 2004 Davis Enterprise:

“Yolo County District Attorney David Henderson appeared in court Tuesday to formally drop hate crime enhancement charges against a Davis youth accused of vandalizing the car of a local gay man and the home of a black family in an October incident.
Henderson cited insufficient evidence to prosecute the case with the hate crime enhancement. The 17-year-old still faces one felony count and five misdemeanor counts of vandalism.

Four youths reportedly shouted racist and bigoted remarks as they threw more than 120 eggs at five vehicles and one house in the early morning hours of Oct. 26. One car was owned by… an openly gay UC Davis lab assistant; another vehicle is owned by a black family. The house is owned by a black family.”

A little further back from that, I know of an individual who was allegedly supplying minors, often as young as junior high school age (if not younger) with marijuana out of their home and the police would not follow through on repeated complaints from residents.

For whatever reason, the District Attorney’s office over-pursues and over-prosecutes some crime but not others. This inconsistency is a bit perplexing in light of their overall refusal to drop charges in cases that clearly did not warrant charges to begin with, while failing to pursue cases that do. We have heard of cases, and in fact seen it in writing, where the District Attorney’s Office or their deputy acknowledges that the reason for prosecution is because of an impending lawsuit. And yet, we also see now where the District Attorney’s office fails to follow through on other seemingly more serious cases when the individuals involved may be influential citizens or the children of influential citizens. This county deserves more consistent and more common-sense law enforcement than it is getting.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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96 thoughts on “Disparate Treatment by the DA’s Office”

  1. Davisite

    Money and its ability to pay the hourly lawyer’s fees to slow down the legal process certainly also plays a role in the often glacial pace of legal proceedings involving well-connected defendants.

  2. Davisite

    Money and its ability to pay the hourly lawyer’s fees to slow down the legal process certainly also plays a role in the often glacial pace of legal proceedings involving well-connected defendants.

  3. Davisite

    Money and its ability to pay the hourly lawyer’s fees to slow down the legal process certainly also plays a role in the often glacial pace of legal proceedings involving well-connected defendants.

  4. Davisite

    Money and its ability to pay the hourly lawyer’s fees to slow down the legal process certainly also plays a role in the often glacial pace of legal proceedings involving well-connected defendants.

  5. Anonymous

    Egg Throwing Case

    As I recall the crime happened about one week prior to holloween -I mention that because that is a number of teenagers make it a habit of throwing eggs.

    I know this will ignite controversy, but I have it from a very reliable source that the teenagers who threw the eggs did not make any racial or homophobic comments during the event. Furthermore the same teenagers unleashed many dozens of eggs all over town that night and randomly picked their targets. I was not there so I do not know for sure, but I have great respect for my source and I am certain he told me the truth. The DPD did a shoddy investigation and then intentionally led the HRC down the wrong path. The community response trampled on due process and therefore was wrong.

    As I recall, at least one of the teengers was convicted for damaging the car, as he should have.SAH

  6. Anonymous

    Egg Throwing Case

    As I recall the crime happened about one week prior to holloween -I mention that because that is a number of teenagers make it a habit of throwing eggs.

    I know this will ignite controversy, but I have it from a very reliable source that the teenagers who threw the eggs did not make any racial or homophobic comments during the event. Furthermore the same teenagers unleashed many dozens of eggs all over town that night and randomly picked their targets. I was not there so I do not know for sure, but I have great respect for my source and I am certain he told me the truth. The DPD did a shoddy investigation and then intentionally led the HRC down the wrong path. The community response trampled on due process and therefore was wrong.

    As I recall, at least one of the teengers was convicted for damaging the car, as he should have.SAH

  7. Anonymous

    Egg Throwing Case

    As I recall the crime happened about one week prior to holloween -I mention that because that is a number of teenagers make it a habit of throwing eggs.

    I know this will ignite controversy, but I have it from a very reliable source that the teenagers who threw the eggs did not make any racial or homophobic comments during the event. Furthermore the same teenagers unleashed many dozens of eggs all over town that night and randomly picked their targets. I was not there so I do not know for sure, but I have great respect for my source and I am certain he told me the truth. The DPD did a shoddy investigation and then intentionally led the HRC down the wrong path. The community response trampled on due process and therefore was wrong.

    As I recall, at least one of the teengers was convicted for damaging the car, as he should have.SAH

  8. Anonymous

    Egg Throwing Case

    As I recall the crime happened about one week prior to holloween -I mention that because that is a number of teenagers make it a habit of throwing eggs.

    I know this will ignite controversy, but I have it from a very reliable source that the teenagers who threw the eggs did not make any racial or homophobic comments during the event. Furthermore the same teenagers unleashed many dozens of eggs all over town that night and randomly picked their targets. I was not there so I do not know for sure, but I have great respect for my source and I am certain he told me the truth. The DPD did a shoddy investigation and then intentionally led the HRC down the wrong path. The community response trampled on due process and therefore was wrong.

    As I recall, at least one of the teengers was convicted for damaging the car, as he should have.SAH

  9. Davisite

    Vincente… I thought that the first half of Doug’s article does focus on the “glacial” pace of well-connected defendant cases. I don’t think that anyone disputes the fact that Justice is not really blind and it is only with persistent public scrutiny(Vanguard?) that her “scales” can be directed towards equal due process for all.

  10. Davisite

    Vincente… I thought that the first half of Doug’s article does focus on the “glacial” pace of well-connected defendant cases. I don’t think that anyone disputes the fact that Justice is not really blind and it is only with persistent public scrutiny(Vanguard?) that her “scales” can be directed towards equal due process for all.

  11. Davisite

    Vincente… I thought that the first half of Doug’s article does focus on the “glacial” pace of well-connected defendant cases. I don’t think that anyone disputes the fact that Justice is not really blind and it is only with persistent public scrutiny(Vanguard?) that her “scales” can be directed towards equal due process for all.

  12. Davisite

    Vincente… I thought that the first half of Doug’s article does focus on the “glacial” pace of well-connected defendant cases. I don’t think that anyone disputes the fact that Justice is not really blind and it is only with persistent public scrutiny(Vanguard?) that her “scales” can be directed towards equal due process for all.

  13. 無名 - wu ming

    the andrew mockus murder case proved that to me beyond a doubt. the two out of town kids got scapegoated and thrown in jail, and josh bettencourt, the one local kid with connections, got a slap on the wrist. he eventually got busted a couple of years later for shooting someone.

  14. 無名 - wu ming

    the andrew mockus murder case proved that to me beyond a doubt. the two out of town kids got scapegoated and thrown in jail, and josh bettencourt, the one local kid with connections, got a slap on the wrist. he eventually got busted a couple of years later for shooting someone.

  15. 無名 - wu ming

    the andrew mockus murder case proved that to me beyond a doubt. the two out of town kids got scapegoated and thrown in jail, and josh bettencourt, the one local kid with connections, got a slap on the wrist. he eventually got busted a couple of years later for shooting someone.

  16. 無名 - wu ming

    the andrew mockus murder case proved that to me beyond a doubt. the two out of town kids got scapegoated and thrown in jail, and josh bettencourt, the one local kid with connections, got a slap on the wrist. he eventually got busted a couple of years later for shooting someone.

  17. Anonymous

    The attorney for the wealthy arsonist was the same attorney who represented the “al Quaeda” suspects from Lodi. The lawyer asked for, and received, every single continuance he asked for because of his “scheduling conflicts” with federal court. If it wasn’t his lawyer’s excuse, it was the arsonist’s excuse why he needed to delay the case.

    The original DDA asked to keep the arsonist in custody with “no bail” but the judge lowered the bail and as we all know, a wealthy family can pay any amount. The original DDA argued about the defendant being on probation and not deserving bail but the judge lowered it anyway, letting him out.

    The DDA argued to keep the defendant in this county, but the judge let him go to weddings and other events out of county whenever his attorney asked. Even Yolo county probation officers left this guy alone during the years this case was out there.

    The DDA charged him with attempted murder, but the judge dismissed that charge saying it was not proven, and in an effort to settle the case.

    The defendant and his wealthy family kept this case dragging on for YEARS even though the DDA opposed every continuance.

    The original DDA always sought state prison for the defendant. That never changed, even when the DDA changed.

    Money delays cases.

  18. Anonymous

    The attorney for the wealthy arsonist was the same attorney who represented the “al Quaeda” suspects from Lodi. The lawyer asked for, and received, every single continuance he asked for because of his “scheduling conflicts” with federal court. If it wasn’t his lawyer’s excuse, it was the arsonist’s excuse why he needed to delay the case.

    The original DDA asked to keep the arsonist in custody with “no bail” but the judge lowered the bail and as we all know, a wealthy family can pay any amount. The original DDA argued about the defendant being on probation and not deserving bail but the judge lowered it anyway, letting him out.

    The DDA argued to keep the defendant in this county, but the judge let him go to weddings and other events out of county whenever his attorney asked. Even Yolo county probation officers left this guy alone during the years this case was out there.

    The DDA charged him with attempted murder, but the judge dismissed that charge saying it was not proven, and in an effort to settle the case.

    The defendant and his wealthy family kept this case dragging on for YEARS even though the DDA opposed every continuance.

    The original DDA always sought state prison for the defendant. That never changed, even when the DDA changed.

    Money delays cases.

  19. Anonymous

    The attorney for the wealthy arsonist was the same attorney who represented the “al Quaeda” suspects from Lodi. The lawyer asked for, and received, every single continuance he asked for because of his “scheduling conflicts” with federal court. If it wasn’t his lawyer’s excuse, it was the arsonist’s excuse why he needed to delay the case.

    The original DDA asked to keep the arsonist in custody with “no bail” but the judge lowered the bail and as we all know, a wealthy family can pay any amount. The original DDA argued about the defendant being on probation and not deserving bail but the judge lowered it anyway, letting him out.

    The DDA argued to keep the defendant in this county, but the judge let him go to weddings and other events out of county whenever his attorney asked. Even Yolo county probation officers left this guy alone during the years this case was out there.

    The DDA charged him with attempted murder, but the judge dismissed that charge saying it was not proven, and in an effort to settle the case.

    The defendant and his wealthy family kept this case dragging on for YEARS even though the DDA opposed every continuance.

    The original DDA always sought state prison for the defendant. That never changed, even when the DDA changed.

    Money delays cases.

  20. Anonymous

    The attorney for the wealthy arsonist was the same attorney who represented the “al Quaeda” suspects from Lodi. The lawyer asked for, and received, every single continuance he asked for because of his “scheduling conflicts” with federal court. If it wasn’t his lawyer’s excuse, it was the arsonist’s excuse why he needed to delay the case.

    The original DDA asked to keep the arsonist in custody with “no bail” but the judge lowered the bail and as we all know, a wealthy family can pay any amount. The original DDA argued about the defendant being on probation and not deserving bail but the judge lowered it anyway, letting him out.

    The DDA argued to keep the defendant in this county, but the judge let him go to weddings and other events out of county whenever his attorney asked. Even Yolo county probation officers left this guy alone during the years this case was out there.

    The DDA charged him with attempted murder, but the judge dismissed that charge saying it was not proven, and in an effort to settle the case.

    The defendant and his wealthy family kept this case dragging on for YEARS even though the DDA opposed every continuance.

    The original DDA always sought state prison for the defendant. That never changed, even when the DDA changed.

    Money delays cases.

  21. Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald

    SAH –

    I’m sure your source believes that he/she is correct; however, the victim himself spoke to neighbors (more than just the African American neighbors who were also targeted)who heard the homophobic and racist comments being lashed out by the teenagers.

    Furthermore, the officers assigned to the case:

    1) failed to thoroughly question those who heard what was said by the teenagers;

    2) failed to pick up the receipts that were left by the kids who bought their eggs at the West Davis Safeway;

    3) failed to obtain a copy of the store video showing the kids buying the eggs; etc., etc…

    These are only a few examples of the poor investigation that was done.

    The HRC did do the proper thing. They were well within their mission.

    To give teenagers the old “kids will be kids” excuse and allow them to get away with thousands of dollars worth of damage – not to mention court costs to the victim(s) – is called selective prosecution.

    This needs to be addressed.

  22. Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald

    SAH –

    I’m sure your source believes that he/she is correct; however, the victim himself spoke to neighbors (more than just the African American neighbors who were also targeted)who heard the homophobic and racist comments being lashed out by the teenagers.

    Furthermore, the officers assigned to the case:

    1) failed to thoroughly question those who heard what was said by the teenagers;

    2) failed to pick up the receipts that were left by the kids who bought their eggs at the West Davis Safeway;

    3) failed to obtain a copy of the store video showing the kids buying the eggs; etc., etc…

    These are only a few examples of the poor investigation that was done.

    The HRC did do the proper thing. They were well within their mission.

    To give teenagers the old “kids will be kids” excuse and allow them to get away with thousands of dollars worth of damage – not to mention court costs to the victim(s) – is called selective prosecution.

    This needs to be addressed.

  23. Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald

    SAH –

    I’m sure your source believes that he/she is correct; however, the victim himself spoke to neighbors (more than just the African American neighbors who were also targeted)who heard the homophobic and racist comments being lashed out by the teenagers.

    Furthermore, the officers assigned to the case:

    1) failed to thoroughly question those who heard what was said by the teenagers;

    2) failed to pick up the receipts that were left by the kids who bought their eggs at the West Davis Safeway;

    3) failed to obtain a copy of the store video showing the kids buying the eggs; etc., etc…

    These are only a few examples of the poor investigation that was done.

    The HRC did do the proper thing. They were well within their mission.

    To give teenagers the old “kids will be kids” excuse and allow them to get away with thousands of dollars worth of damage – not to mention court costs to the victim(s) – is called selective prosecution.

    This needs to be addressed.

  24. Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald

    SAH –

    I’m sure your source believes that he/she is correct; however, the victim himself spoke to neighbors (more than just the African American neighbors who were also targeted)who heard the homophobic and racist comments being lashed out by the teenagers.

    Furthermore, the officers assigned to the case:

    1) failed to thoroughly question those who heard what was said by the teenagers;

    2) failed to pick up the receipts that were left by the kids who bought their eggs at the West Davis Safeway;

    3) failed to obtain a copy of the store video showing the kids buying the eggs; etc., etc…

    These are only a few examples of the poor investigation that was done.

    The HRC did do the proper thing. They were well within their mission.

    To give teenagers the old “kids will be kids” excuse and allow them to get away with thousands of dollars worth of damage – not to mention court costs to the victim(s) – is called selective prosecution.

    This needs to be addressed.

  25. Anonymous

    Cecilia

    I am sure we will never agree on the egg throwing case, but I honestly believe the HRCwas led went down a path based on information from one side of the case and therefore prejudged the case. I think we need to hear from both sides before judging anything.

    My understanding is that restitution as paid for the damage to the car. I never undersood why the victim felt compelled to have court costs – he could have gone to civil court to recoup those if the charges had any validity.

    One thing we completely agree on – the DPD did a lousy investigation. SAH

  26. Anonymous

    Cecilia

    I am sure we will never agree on the egg throwing case, but I honestly believe the HRCwas led went down a path based on information from one side of the case and therefore prejudged the case. I think we need to hear from both sides before judging anything.

    My understanding is that restitution as paid for the damage to the car. I never undersood why the victim felt compelled to have court costs – he could have gone to civil court to recoup those if the charges had any validity.

    One thing we completely agree on – the DPD did a lousy investigation. SAH

  27. Anonymous

    Cecilia

    I am sure we will never agree on the egg throwing case, but I honestly believe the HRCwas led went down a path based on information from one side of the case and therefore prejudged the case. I think we need to hear from both sides before judging anything.

    My understanding is that restitution as paid for the damage to the car. I never undersood why the victim felt compelled to have court costs – he could have gone to civil court to recoup those if the charges had any validity.

    One thing we completely agree on – the DPD did a lousy investigation. SAH

  28. Anonymous

    Cecilia

    I am sure we will never agree on the egg throwing case, but I honestly believe the HRCwas led went down a path based on information from one side of the case and therefore prejudged the case. I think we need to hear from both sides before judging anything.

    My understanding is that restitution as paid for the damage to the car. I never undersood why the victim felt compelled to have court costs – he could have gone to civil court to recoup those if the charges had any validity.

    One thing we completely agree on – the DPD did a lousy investigation. SAH

  29. Rich Rifkin

    “While most of these stories only represent anecdotal evidence, an old professor of mine used to say data is actually many anecdotes when put together that form a systematic pattern.”

    Time to put that old professor out to pasture. He’s just wrong. The problem with anecdotal “evidence” is that it is not pursued blindly. Anecdotes that fit the pattern one is looking for are focused on; facts that don’t are ignored. The “systemic pattern” was thus foreordained.

    Ironically, you try to make the case here that wealthy or well-connected defendants are treated with more lenience than poor ones are, and then you cite the case of the Buzayans:

    “So of course the District Attorney’s Office aggressively pursued this case like they did Buzayan’s…”

    Am I wrong to understand that the Buzayan family is one of the wealthiest families in Davis? That South Davis mansion that Ly Peng entered when he investigated the hit-and-run wasn’t exactly skid row. That San Francisco law firm that Mr. Buzayan hired was not working pro bono.

    While I think you are unfairly attacking the practices of the Yolo County DA’s office, here, it’s pretty obvious (and not at all original) to say that it helps to have a lot of money if you’ve been charged with a crime. Not only are you able to hire more experienced attorneys for your defense, but you can also afford independent investigations and a number of other perks (jury consultants, etc.) which improve your chances in court or even in getting charges dropped.

    Nonetheless, having money is no certainty of getting away with crimes. Wealthy, well-connected criminals sometimes go to jail, too. But the preponderance of the evidence is that wealthier people are better served by our criminal justice system than poor people are. (I would guess that is true the world over.)

  30. Rich Rifkin

    “While most of these stories only represent anecdotal evidence, an old professor of mine used to say data is actually many anecdotes when put together that form a systematic pattern.”

    Time to put that old professor out to pasture. He’s just wrong. The problem with anecdotal “evidence” is that it is not pursued blindly. Anecdotes that fit the pattern one is looking for are focused on; facts that don’t are ignored. The “systemic pattern” was thus foreordained.

    Ironically, you try to make the case here that wealthy or well-connected defendants are treated with more lenience than poor ones are, and then you cite the case of the Buzayans:

    “So of course the District Attorney’s Office aggressively pursued this case like they did Buzayan’s…”

    Am I wrong to understand that the Buzayan family is one of the wealthiest families in Davis? That South Davis mansion that Ly Peng entered when he investigated the hit-and-run wasn’t exactly skid row. That San Francisco law firm that Mr. Buzayan hired was not working pro bono.

    While I think you are unfairly attacking the practices of the Yolo County DA’s office, here, it’s pretty obvious (and not at all original) to say that it helps to have a lot of money if you’ve been charged with a crime. Not only are you able to hire more experienced attorneys for your defense, but you can also afford independent investigations and a number of other perks (jury consultants, etc.) which improve your chances in court or even in getting charges dropped.

    Nonetheless, having money is no certainty of getting away with crimes. Wealthy, well-connected criminals sometimes go to jail, too. But the preponderance of the evidence is that wealthier people are better served by our criminal justice system than poor people are. (I would guess that is true the world over.)

  31. Rich Rifkin

    “While most of these stories only represent anecdotal evidence, an old professor of mine used to say data is actually many anecdotes when put together that form a systematic pattern.”

    Time to put that old professor out to pasture. He’s just wrong. The problem with anecdotal “evidence” is that it is not pursued blindly. Anecdotes that fit the pattern one is looking for are focused on; facts that don’t are ignored. The “systemic pattern” was thus foreordained.

    Ironically, you try to make the case here that wealthy or well-connected defendants are treated with more lenience than poor ones are, and then you cite the case of the Buzayans:

    “So of course the District Attorney’s Office aggressively pursued this case like they did Buzayan’s…”

    Am I wrong to understand that the Buzayan family is one of the wealthiest families in Davis? That South Davis mansion that Ly Peng entered when he investigated the hit-and-run wasn’t exactly skid row. That San Francisco law firm that Mr. Buzayan hired was not working pro bono.

    While I think you are unfairly attacking the practices of the Yolo County DA’s office, here, it’s pretty obvious (and not at all original) to say that it helps to have a lot of money if you’ve been charged with a crime. Not only are you able to hire more experienced attorneys for your defense, but you can also afford independent investigations and a number of other perks (jury consultants, etc.) which improve your chances in court or even in getting charges dropped.

    Nonetheless, having money is no certainty of getting away with crimes. Wealthy, well-connected criminals sometimes go to jail, too. But the preponderance of the evidence is that wealthier people are better served by our criminal justice system than poor people are. (I would guess that is true the world over.)

  32. Rich Rifkin

    “While most of these stories only represent anecdotal evidence, an old professor of mine used to say data is actually many anecdotes when put together that form a systematic pattern.”

    Time to put that old professor out to pasture. He’s just wrong. The problem with anecdotal “evidence” is that it is not pursued blindly. Anecdotes that fit the pattern one is looking for are focused on; facts that don’t are ignored. The “systemic pattern” was thus foreordained.

    Ironically, you try to make the case here that wealthy or well-connected defendants are treated with more lenience than poor ones are, and then you cite the case of the Buzayans:

    “So of course the District Attorney’s Office aggressively pursued this case like they did Buzayan’s…”

    Am I wrong to understand that the Buzayan family is one of the wealthiest families in Davis? That South Davis mansion that Ly Peng entered when he investigated the hit-and-run wasn’t exactly skid row. That San Francisco law firm that Mr. Buzayan hired was not working pro bono.

    While I think you are unfairly attacking the practices of the Yolo County DA’s office, here, it’s pretty obvious (and not at all original) to say that it helps to have a lot of money if you’ve been charged with a crime. Not only are you able to hire more experienced attorneys for your defense, but you can also afford independent investigations and a number of other perks (jury consultants, etc.) which improve your chances in court or even in getting charges dropped.

    Nonetheless, having money is no certainty of getting away with crimes. Wealthy, well-connected criminals sometimes go to jail, too. But the preponderance of the evidence is that wealthier people are better served by our criminal justice system than poor people are. (I would guess that is true the world over.)

  33. Vincente

    I think the point being made here is that wealth and wealth alone is not the only kind of advantage in this process. Mr. Buzayan is the wrong kind of wealthy man–namely a Muslim immigrant.

  34. Vincente

    I think the point being made here is that wealth and wealth alone is not the only kind of advantage in this process. Mr. Buzayan is the wrong kind of wealthy man–namely a Muslim immigrant.

  35. Vincente

    I think the point being made here is that wealth and wealth alone is not the only kind of advantage in this process. Mr. Buzayan is the wrong kind of wealthy man–namely a Muslim immigrant.

  36. Vincente

    I think the point being made here is that wealth and wealth alone is not the only kind of advantage in this process. Mr. Buzayan is the wrong kind of wealthy man–namely a Muslim immigrant.

  37. Anonymous

    Egg Throwing Case

    Actually, the home of the Black family that was hit in the teenage egging case was mine.

    I was renting to a black family at the time. The black family never received compensation that I know of. I never received compensation for the damage caused by egging and the damage is still there today (faint but easily detectable discoloring on the outside walls, both on the front and back of the townhouse where the eggers missed the windows and hit the walls of the house. The Davis Police never contacted me as the landlord and owner of the property and I still don’t know who is responsible for the damage. I was never even asked to file a claim on what it would take to fix the damage.

    It would have been nice if the kids families could have covered the cost of the damage. Also I think it would have been great if the kids were made to come over and repaint the damaged walls of my house as part of their sentence.

    But, I do not believe that my house was targeted randomly. The kids had to have picked it out and then gotten out of their car to have hit both the front and back of the townhouse. This was not a drive-by egging.

    Sharla Cheney Harrington

  38. Anonymous

    Egg Throwing Case

    Actually, the home of the Black family that was hit in the teenage egging case was mine.

    I was renting to a black family at the time. The black family never received compensation that I know of. I never received compensation for the damage caused by egging and the damage is still there today (faint but easily detectable discoloring on the outside walls, both on the front and back of the townhouse where the eggers missed the windows and hit the walls of the house. The Davis Police never contacted me as the landlord and owner of the property and I still don’t know who is responsible for the damage. I was never even asked to file a claim on what it would take to fix the damage.

    It would have been nice if the kids families could have covered the cost of the damage. Also I think it would have been great if the kids were made to come over and repaint the damaged walls of my house as part of their sentence.

    But, I do not believe that my house was targeted randomly. The kids had to have picked it out and then gotten out of their car to have hit both the front and back of the townhouse. This was not a drive-by egging.

    Sharla Cheney Harrington

  39. Anonymous

    Egg Throwing Case

    Actually, the home of the Black family that was hit in the teenage egging case was mine.

    I was renting to a black family at the time. The black family never received compensation that I know of. I never received compensation for the damage caused by egging and the damage is still there today (faint but easily detectable discoloring on the outside walls, both on the front and back of the townhouse where the eggers missed the windows and hit the walls of the house. The Davis Police never contacted me as the landlord and owner of the property and I still don’t know who is responsible for the damage. I was never even asked to file a claim on what it would take to fix the damage.

    It would have been nice if the kids families could have covered the cost of the damage. Also I think it would have been great if the kids were made to come over and repaint the damaged walls of my house as part of their sentence.

    But, I do not believe that my house was targeted randomly. The kids had to have picked it out and then gotten out of their car to have hit both the front and back of the townhouse. This was not a drive-by egging.

    Sharla Cheney Harrington

  40. Anonymous

    Egg Throwing Case

    Actually, the home of the Black family that was hit in the teenage egging case was mine.

    I was renting to a black family at the time. The black family never received compensation that I know of. I never received compensation for the damage caused by egging and the damage is still there today (faint but easily detectable discoloring on the outside walls, both on the front and back of the townhouse where the eggers missed the windows and hit the walls of the house. The Davis Police never contacted me as the landlord and owner of the property and I still don’t know who is responsible for the damage. I was never even asked to file a claim on what it would take to fix the damage.

    It would have been nice if the kids families could have covered the cost of the damage. Also I think it would have been great if the kids were made to come over and repaint the damaged walls of my house as part of their sentence.

    But, I do not believe that my house was targeted randomly. The kids had to have picked it out and then gotten out of their car to have hit both the front and back of the townhouse. This was not a drive-by egging.

    Sharla Cheney Harrington

  41. Vincente

    Man I love this blog for the very reason of Sharla’s post. In communities like this, there should be no way that the truth should not be able to come out through discussion and discourse.

  42. Vincente

    Man I love this blog for the very reason of Sharla’s post. In communities like this, there should be no way that the truth should not be able to come out through discussion and discourse.

  43. Vincente

    Man I love this blog for the very reason of Sharla’s post. In communities like this, there should be no way that the truth should not be able to come out through discussion and discourse.

  44. Vincente

    Man I love this blog for the very reason of Sharla’s post. In communities like this, there should be no way that the truth should not be able to come out through discussion and discourse.

  45. Anonymous

    There is enough anecdotal evidence that the DDA seems to prosecute everything they get. Also, it is a fact that the DA’s office does not reject any police reports (and, it is assumed, probation reports). The average rejection rate for other juristictions is around 20%.

    The goat man case could have been better handled if the DDA had rejected the charges of 1 million goat escapes and sent it back to the officer for clarification (two goat escapes of one goat herd with the cost of the damage paid by the goatman, etc.). Then the DDA would have better information to go on. Same with the Buzayan case.

    The unwillingness to reject some reports may be due to an unwillingness to seem like they are not backing up or supporting the law enforcement folks. But the DA’s office keeps looking really silly and petty over their handling of these small cases which would be better dealt with in small claims court.

    From what I hear, the Court is working on dealing with a number of backlogged cases – some pretty serious (murder, rape, violent offenses) or critical (hopelessly addicted drug users, kids in true crisis, mentally ill). I just don’t believe that they have a lot of time to spend on these cases. The jail is crowded. I wonder how many are just waiting for their case to be heard.

  46. Anonymous

    There is enough anecdotal evidence that the DDA seems to prosecute everything they get. Also, it is a fact that the DA’s office does not reject any police reports (and, it is assumed, probation reports). The average rejection rate for other juristictions is around 20%.

    The goat man case could have been better handled if the DDA had rejected the charges of 1 million goat escapes and sent it back to the officer for clarification (two goat escapes of one goat herd with the cost of the damage paid by the goatman, etc.). Then the DDA would have better information to go on. Same with the Buzayan case.

    The unwillingness to reject some reports may be due to an unwillingness to seem like they are not backing up or supporting the law enforcement folks. But the DA’s office keeps looking really silly and petty over their handling of these small cases which would be better dealt with in small claims court.

    From what I hear, the Court is working on dealing with a number of backlogged cases – some pretty serious (murder, rape, violent offenses) or critical (hopelessly addicted drug users, kids in true crisis, mentally ill). I just don’t believe that they have a lot of time to spend on these cases. The jail is crowded. I wonder how many are just waiting for their case to be heard.

  47. Anonymous

    There is enough anecdotal evidence that the DDA seems to prosecute everything they get. Also, it is a fact that the DA’s office does not reject any police reports (and, it is assumed, probation reports). The average rejection rate for other juristictions is around 20%.

    The goat man case could have been better handled if the DDA had rejected the charges of 1 million goat escapes and sent it back to the officer for clarification (two goat escapes of one goat herd with the cost of the damage paid by the goatman, etc.). Then the DDA would have better information to go on. Same with the Buzayan case.

    The unwillingness to reject some reports may be due to an unwillingness to seem like they are not backing up or supporting the law enforcement folks. But the DA’s office keeps looking really silly and petty over their handling of these small cases which would be better dealt with in small claims court.

    From what I hear, the Court is working on dealing with a number of backlogged cases – some pretty serious (murder, rape, violent offenses) or critical (hopelessly addicted drug users, kids in true crisis, mentally ill). I just don’t believe that they have a lot of time to spend on these cases. The jail is crowded. I wonder how many are just waiting for their case to be heard.

  48. Anonymous

    There is enough anecdotal evidence that the DDA seems to prosecute everything they get. Also, it is a fact that the DA’s office does not reject any police reports (and, it is assumed, probation reports). The average rejection rate for other juristictions is around 20%.

    The goat man case could have been better handled if the DDA had rejected the charges of 1 million goat escapes and sent it back to the officer for clarification (two goat escapes of one goat herd with the cost of the damage paid by the goatman, etc.). Then the DDA would have better information to go on. Same with the Buzayan case.

    The unwillingness to reject some reports may be due to an unwillingness to seem like they are not backing up or supporting the law enforcement folks. But the DA’s office keeps looking really silly and petty over their handling of these small cases which would be better dealt with in small claims court.

    From what I hear, the Court is working on dealing with a number of backlogged cases – some pretty serious (murder, rape, violent offenses) or critical (hopelessly addicted drug users, kids in true crisis, mentally ill). I just don’t believe that they have a lot of time to spend on these cases. The jail is crowded. I wonder how many are just waiting for their case to be heard.

  49. Richard

    Rich, you are creating an opposition where none exists.

    The Buzayans have been treated the way that they have because they are Muslim, and it has been acknowledged by many, since the case’s inception, that if the family had not been wealthy, they would have found themselves pressured to accept diversion for Halima, as Yolo County attorneys encouraged it to do.

    But, fortunately, they did have money, and once Gonzalez and Leigh jumped into the case, they had some attorneys willing to resist what the Davis Police Department, the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office and the Davis Enterprise were doing to them.

    There’s nothing to prevent people and institutions being hostile to both poor people, people of color and people that practice non-Christian religions, even wealthy ones, and, in fact, American history is replete with numerous examples of it.

    –Richard Estes

  50. Richard

    Rich, you are creating an opposition where none exists.

    The Buzayans have been treated the way that they have because they are Muslim, and it has been acknowledged by many, since the case’s inception, that if the family had not been wealthy, they would have found themselves pressured to accept diversion for Halima, as Yolo County attorneys encouraged it to do.

    But, fortunately, they did have money, and once Gonzalez and Leigh jumped into the case, they had some attorneys willing to resist what the Davis Police Department, the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office and the Davis Enterprise were doing to them.

    There’s nothing to prevent people and institutions being hostile to both poor people, people of color and people that practice non-Christian religions, even wealthy ones, and, in fact, American history is replete with numerous examples of it.

    –Richard Estes

  51. Richard

    Rich, you are creating an opposition where none exists.

    The Buzayans have been treated the way that they have because they are Muslim, and it has been acknowledged by many, since the case’s inception, that if the family had not been wealthy, they would have found themselves pressured to accept diversion for Halima, as Yolo County attorneys encouraged it to do.

    But, fortunately, they did have money, and once Gonzalez and Leigh jumped into the case, they had some attorneys willing to resist what the Davis Police Department, the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office and the Davis Enterprise were doing to them.

    There’s nothing to prevent people and institutions being hostile to both poor people, people of color and people that practice non-Christian religions, even wealthy ones, and, in fact, American history is replete with numerous examples of it.

    –Richard Estes

  52. Richard

    Rich, you are creating an opposition where none exists.

    The Buzayans have been treated the way that they have because they are Muslim, and it has been acknowledged by many, since the case’s inception, that if the family had not been wealthy, they would have found themselves pressured to accept diversion for Halima, as Yolo County attorneys encouraged it to do.

    But, fortunately, they did have money, and once Gonzalez and Leigh jumped into the case, they had some attorneys willing to resist what the Davis Police Department, the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office and the Davis Enterprise were doing to them.

    There’s nothing to prevent people and institutions being hostile to both poor people, people of color and people that practice non-Christian religions, even wealthy ones, and, in fact, American history is replete with numerous examples of it.

    –Richard Estes

  53. tansey thomas

    Richard, come on, before 9/11 the only Muslims being attacked was Min. Farakhan’s group, the Nation of Islam aka Black Muslims. The bias against the rest changed overnight.

  54. tansey thomas

    Richard, come on, before 9/11 the only Muslims being attacked was Min. Farakhan’s group, the Nation of Islam aka Black Muslims. The bias against the rest changed overnight.

  55. tansey thomas

    Richard, come on, before 9/11 the only Muslims being attacked was Min. Farakhan’s group, the Nation of Islam aka Black Muslims. The bias against the rest changed overnight.

  56. tansey thomas

    Richard, come on, before 9/11 the only Muslims being attacked was Min. Farakhan’s group, the Nation of Islam aka Black Muslims. The bias against the rest changed overnight.

  57. 無名 - wu ming

    are you serious, tansey? there have been hate crimes against muslims for decades in this country, peaking every time there’s an event like a war in the middle east, or an oil crisis. the bias against muslims goes a lot further back than 9/11.

  58. 無名 - wu ming

    are you serious, tansey? there have been hate crimes against muslims for decades in this country, peaking every time there’s an event like a war in the middle east, or an oil crisis. the bias against muslims goes a lot further back than 9/11.

  59. 無名 - wu ming

    are you serious, tansey? there have been hate crimes against muslims for decades in this country, peaking every time there’s an event like a war in the middle east, or an oil crisis. the bias against muslims goes a lot further back than 9/11.

  60. 無名 - wu ming

    are you serious, tansey? there have been hate crimes against muslims for decades in this country, peaking every time there’s an event like a war in the middle east, or an oil crisis. the bias against muslims goes a lot further back than 9/11.

  61. Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald

    SAH –

    Thank you so much for your input. It really helps me (us-those who aided this gentleman with this hate crime)to see where/why people may have been mislead by whomever provided you mis-information.

    You said: “I think we need to hear from both sides before judging anything.”

    The fact is that 2 homes were egged and a vehicle was completely totaled(paint and engine). This costs were over $4,000 for the vehicle alone (more for the engine)more for the homes. Those costs were not recovered.

    Let’s put aside the property damage for a moment. We aided this gentleman and the horrific, hateful things that were stated to him and his neighbor, threatening their lives and safety should not be taken lightly. We’ve read stories where teens have grouped together to commit hateful acts against people.

    They teenagers were never even made to apologize and speak to the victims.

    In the end, it was a lose/lose situation all the way around:

    1) The victim(s) were re-victimized over and over by a defunct DA’s office in Yolo County; and

    2) This could have been a learning opportunity for the youths. They could have learned that just because they don’t like someone’s race, sexual orientation, gender, disability, etc. it does not give them the right to cause harm to them.

    Unfortunately, that teaching moment was lost.

  62. Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald

    SAH –

    Thank you so much for your input. It really helps me (us-those who aided this gentleman with this hate crime)to see where/why people may have been mislead by whomever provided you mis-information.

    You said: “I think we need to hear from both sides before judging anything.”

    The fact is that 2 homes were egged and a vehicle was completely totaled(paint and engine). This costs were over $4,000 for the vehicle alone (more for the engine)more for the homes. Those costs were not recovered.

    Let’s put aside the property damage for a moment. We aided this gentleman and the horrific, hateful things that were stated to him and his neighbor, threatening their lives and safety should not be taken lightly. We’ve read stories where teens have grouped together to commit hateful acts against people.

    They teenagers were never even made to apologize and speak to the victims.

    In the end, it was a lose/lose situation all the way around:

    1) The victim(s) were re-victimized over and over by a defunct DA’s office in Yolo County; and

    2) This could have been a learning opportunity for the youths. They could have learned that just because they don’t like someone’s race, sexual orientation, gender, disability, etc. it does not give them the right to cause harm to them.

    Unfortunately, that teaching moment was lost.

  63. Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald

    SAH –

    Thank you so much for your input. It really helps me (us-those who aided this gentleman with this hate crime)to see where/why people may have been mislead by whomever provided you mis-information.

    You said: “I think we need to hear from both sides before judging anything.”

    The fact is that 2 homes were egged and a vehicle was completely totaled(paint and engine). This costs were over $4,000 for the vehicle alone (more for the engine)more for the homes. Those costs were not recovered.

    Let’s put aside the property damage for a moment. We aided this gentleman and the horrific, hateful things that were stated to him and his neighbor, threatening their lives and safety should not be taken lightly. We’ve read stories where teens have grouped together to commit hateful acts against people.

    They teenagers were never even made to apologize and speak to the victims.

    In the end, it was a lose/lose situation all the way around:

    1) The victim(s) were re-victimized over and over by a defunct DA’s office in Yolo County; and

    2) This could have been a learning opportunity for the youths. They could have learned that just because they don’t like someone’s race, sexual orientation, gender, disability, etc. it does not give them the right to cause harm to them.

    Unfortunately, that teaching moment was lost.

  64. Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald

    SAH –

    Thank you so much for your input. It really helps me (us-those who aided this gentleman with this hate crime)to see where/why people may have been mislead by whomever provided you mis-information.

    You said: “I think we need to hear from both sides before judging anything.”

    The fact is that 2 homes were egged and a vehicle was completely totaled(paint and engine). This costs were over $4,000 for the vehicle alone (more for the engine)more for the homes. Those costs were not recovered.

    Let’s put aside the property damage for a moment. We aided this gentleman and the horrific, hateful things that were stated to him and his neighbor, threatening their lives and safety should not be taken lightly. We’ve read stories where teens have grouped together to commit hateful acts against people.

    They teenagers were never even made to apologize and speak to the victims.

    In the end, it was a lose/lose situation all the way around:

    1) The victim(s) were re-victimized over and over by a defunct DA’s office in Yolo County; and

    2) This could have been a learning opportunity for the youths. They could have learned that just because they don’t like someone’s race, sexual orientation, gender, disability, etc. it does not give them the right to cause harm to them.

    Unfortunately, that teaching moment was lost.

  65. Rich Rifkin

    Vincente alleges: “Mr. Buzayan is the wrong kind of wealthy man–namely a Muslim immigrant.”

    And Richard Estes claims: “The Buzayans have been treated the way that they have because they are Muslim.”

    On both counts, I say, where is your evidence?

    Even David Greenwald has said that he does not think the religion of the Buzayans had anything to do with the actions of the Davis Police Department in this case.

    But with no evidence at all, Richard Estes and Vincente are defaming the police and the DA’s, alleging that their (now failed) prosecution of the Buzayans was due to religious bigotry.

    Unless you can come up with some evidence, I think you should be terribly ashamed of yourselves. You not only are acting irresponsibly here, but you are hurting the cause of true victims of religious intolerance, an issue to which I, as a religious minority, am particularly sensitive to. I suspect that if the individuals who are so callously charging other people with bigotry were themselves relgious minorities or had experience with this real issue, they would not be so flippant in tossing around such very serious charges.

  66. Rich Rifkin

    Vincente alleges: “Mr. Buzayan is the wrong kind of wealthy man–namely a Muslim immigrant.”

    And Richard Estes claims: “The Buzayans have been treated the way that they have because they are Muslim.”

    On both counts, I say, where is your evidence?

    Even David Greenwald has said that he does not think the religion of the Buzayans had anything to do with the actions of the Davis Police Department in this case.

    But with no evidence at all, Richard Estes and Vincente are defaming the police and the DA’s, alleging that their (now failed) prosecution of the Buzayans was due to religious bigotry.

    Unless you can come up with some evidence, I think you should be terribly ashamed of yourselves. You not only are acting irresponsibly here, but you are hurting the cause of true victims of religious intolerance, an issue to which I, as a religious minority, am particularly sensitive to. I suspect that if the individuals who are so callously charging other people with bigotry were themselves relgious minorities or had experience with this real issue, they would not be so flippant in tossing around such very serious charges.

  67. Rich Rifkin

    Vincente alleges: “Mr. Buzayan is the wrong kind of wealthy man–namely a Muslim immigrant.”

    And Richard Estes claims: “The Buzayans have been treated the way that they have because they are Muslim.”

    On both counts, I say, where is your evidence?

    Even David Greenwald has said that he does not think the religion of the Buzayans had anything to do with the actions of the Davis Police Department in this case.

    But with no evidence at all, Richard Estes and Vincente are defaming the police and the DA’s, alleging that their (now failed) prosecution of the Buzayans was due to religious bigotry.

    Unless you can come up with some evidence, I think you should be terribly ashamed of yourselves. You not only are acting irresponsibly here, but you are hurting the cause of true victims of religious intolerance, an issue to which I, as a religious minority, am particularly sensitive to. I suspect that if the individuals who are so callously charging other people with bigotry were themselves relgious minorities or had experience with this real issue, they would not be so flippant in tossing around such very serious charges.

  68. Rich Rifkin

    Vincente alleges: “Mr. Buzayan is the wrong kind of wealthy man–namely a Muslim immigrant.”

    And Richard Estes claims: “The Buzayans have been treated the way that they have because they are Muslim.”

    On both counts, I say, where is your evidence?

    Even David Greenwald has said that he does not think the religion of the Buzayans had anything to do with the actions of the Davis Police Department in this case.

    But with no evidence at all, Richard Estes and Vincente are defaming the police and the DA’s, alleging that their (now failed) prosecution of the Buzayans was due to religious bigotry.

    Unless you can come up with some evidence, I think you should be terribly ashamed of yourselves. You not only are acting irresponsibly here, but you are hurting the cause of true victims of religious intolerance, an issue to which I, as a religious minority, am particularly sensitive to. I suspect that if the individuals who are so callously charging other people with bigotry were themselves relgious minorities or had experience with this real issue, they would not be so flippant in tossing around such very serious charges.

  69. Vincente

    Even David Greenwald? Oh my gosh, like David is such a radical or something.

    MR. Rifkin–in your estimation did the DA and/ or PD make mistakes in the Buzayan case?

  70. Vincente

    Even David Greenwald? Oh my gosh, like David is such a radical or something.

    MR. Rifkin–in your estimation did the DA and/ or PD make mistakes in the Buzayan case?

  71. Vincente

    Even David Greenwald? Oh my gosh, like David is such a radical or something.

    MR. Rifkin–in your estimation did the DA and/ or PD make mistakes in the Buzayan case?

  72. Vincente

    Even David Greenwald? Oh my gosh, like David is such a radical or something.

    MR. Rifkin–in your estimation did the DA and/ or PD make mistakes in the Buzayan case?

  73. Davisite

    We will never know what was in Officer Ly’s “heart” when he went to Halema’s home that evening. The issue is whether he violated the Buzayan’s civil rights as well as established Davis Police Department protocols. This will be fully examined in the upcoming civil trial. We depend upon the law to protect us from abuse by those who wield power over us, not their good intentions.

  74. Davisite

    We will never know what was in Officer Ly’s “heart” when he went to Halema’s home that evening. The issue is whether he violated the Buzayan’s civil rights as well as established Davis Police Department protocols. This will be fully examined in the upcoming civil trial. We depend upon the law to protect us from abuse by those who wield power over us, not their good intentions.

  75. Davisite

    We will never know what was in Officer Ly’s “heart” when he went to Halema’s home that evening. The issue is whether he violated the Buzayan’s civil rights as well as established Davis Police Department protocols. This will be fully examined in the upcoming civil trial. We depend upon the law to protect us from abuse by those who wield power over us, not their good intentions.

  76. Davisite

    We will never know what was in Officer Ly’s “heart” when he went to Halema’s home that evening. The issue is whether he violated the Buzayan’s civil rights as well as established Davis Police Department protocols. This will be fully examined in the upcoming civil trial. We depend upon the law to protect us from abuse by those who wield power over us, not their good intentions.

  77. Rich Rifkin

    “Mr. Rifkin–in your estimation did the DA and/ or PD make mistakes in the Buzayan case?”

    Because the charges were immediately excused by the juvenile court judge, they likely did do something wrong. I am not a lawyer, so I hesitate to get into the debate that played out in The Enterprise between Bob Dunning and the ACLU attorneys. (Bob, it should be noted, has a law school education and did consult with attorneys who specialize in this area. Of course the ACLU lawyers also have expertise in this aspect of the law.)

    All that said, I haven’t seen anything from my layman’s position that would indicate that the Buzayans were mistreated because they were Muslims or came from an Islamic culture. If I were mistreated by the police, that would not be an instance of anti-Semitism just because I am a Jew. Same if a black person were mistreated by the police, it’s not necessarily due to racism. It’s much more likely, in the Buzayan case and the other hypotheticals, a problem of incompetence or of misguided policy. (I tend to think the problem, if there is one, is more likely of the former variety, and I sense that David Greenwald — whose opinion should matter to you, as he is the author of this blog — feels that it is more the latter.)

    Davisite writes: “We will never know what was in Officer Ly’s “heart” when he went to Halema’s home that evening.”

    This is probably true. However, unless there is a pattern of Ly mistreating Muslims or some other evidence that he harbors a prejudice against the Islamic faith and/or culture, I think he should be given the benefit of the doubt: that he was doing his job honestly, whether he made a mistake or not.

    “The issue is whether he violated the Buzayan’s civil rights as well as established Davis Police Department protocols. This will be fully examined in the upcoming civil trial. We depend upon the law to protect us from abuse by those who wield power over us, not their good intentions.”

    I not only agree with Davisite here, but I think he says it very well.

    I believe, by the way, that the Buzayans are claiming that religious prejudice was a motivator of the Davis Police Department in their case. They have good reason to not expose their evidence on this yet. But if they have any, it will be shown in trial, and after it is shown, then the jury in the courtroom and the larger public can judge it one way or the other. Until that evidence, or any evidence, is presented which demonstrates religious bias, I find it highly irresponsible to cast about this charge as if it is true. (I don’t really feel that the Buyzayans’ lawyers are being irresponsible in making this charge, unless they truly believe it is bogus, because their lawyers have the responsibility of making the best court case that they can.)

  78. Rich Rifkin

    “Mr. Rifkin–in your estimation did the DA and/ or PD make mistakes in the Buzayan case?”

    Because the charges were immediately excused by the juvenile court judge, they likely did do something wrong. I am not a lawyer, so I hesitate to get into the debate that played out in The Enterprise between Bob Dunning and the ACLU attorneys. (Bob, it should be noted, has a law school education and did consult with attorneys who specialize in this area. Of course the ACLU lawyers also have expertise in this aspect of the law.)

    All that said, I haven’t seen anything from my layman’s position that would indicate that the Buzayans were mistreated because they were Muslims or came from an Islamic culture. If I were mistreated by the police, that would not be an instance of anti-Semitism just because I am a Jew. Same if a black person were mistreated by the police, it’s not necessarily due to racism. It’s much more likely, in the Buzayan case and the other hypotheticals, a problem of incompetence or of misguided policy. (I tend to think the problem, if there is one, is more likely of the former variety, and I sense that David Greenwald — whose opinion should matter to you, as he is the author of this blog — feels that it is more the latter.)

    Davisite writes: “We will never know what was in Officer Ly’s “heart” when he went to Halema’s home that evening.”

    This is probably true. However, unless there is a pattern of Ly mistreating Muslims or some other evidence that he harbors a prejudice against the Islamic faith and/or culture, I think he should be given the benefit of the doubt: that he was doing his job honestly, whether he made a mistake or not.

    “The issue is whether he violated the Buzayan’s civil rights as well as established Davis Police Department protocols. This will be fully examined in the upcoming civil trial. We depend upon the law to protect us from abuse by those who wield power over us, not their good intentions.”

    I not only agree with Davisite here, but I think he says it very well.

    I believe, by the way, that the Buzayans are claiming that religious prejudice was a motivator of the Davis Police Department in their case. They have good reason to not expose their evidence on this yet. But if they have any, it will be shown in trial, and after it is shown, then the jury in the courtroom and the larger public can judge it one way or the other. Until that evidence, or any evidence, is presented which demonstrates religious bias, I find it highly irresponsible to cast about this charge as if it is true. (I don’t really feel that the Buyzayans’ lawyers are being irresponsible in making this charge, unless they truly believe it is bogus, because their lawyers have the responsibility of making the best court case that they can.)

  79. Rich Rifkin

    “Mr. Rifkin–in your estimation did the DA and/ or PD make mistakes in the Buzayan case?”

    Because the charges were immediately excused by the juvenile court judge, they likely did do something wrong. I am not a lawyer, so I hesitate to get into the debate that played out in The Enterprise between Bob Dunning and the ACLU attorneys. (Bob, it should be noted, has a law school education and did consult with attorneys who specialize in this area. Of course the ACLU lawyers also have expertise in this aspect of the law.)

    All that said, I haven’t seen anything from my layman’s position that would indicate that the Buzayans were mistreated because they were Muslims or came from an Islamic culture. If I were mistreated by the police, that would not be an instance of anti-Semitism just because I am a Jew. Same if a black person were mistreated by the police, it’s not necessarily due to racism. It’s much more likely, in the Buzayan case and the other hypotheticals, a problem of incompetence or of misguided policy. (I tend to think the problem, if there is one, is more likely of the former variety, and I sense that David Greenwald — whose opinion should matter to you, as he is the author of this blog — feels that it is more the latter.)

    Davisite writes: “We will never know what was in Officer Ly’s “heart” when he went to Halema’s home that evening.”

    This is probably true. However, unless there is a pattern of Ly mistreating Muslims or some other evidence that he harbors a prejudice against the Islamic faith and/or culture, I think he should be given the benefit of the doubt: that he was doing his job honestly, whether he made a mistake or not.

    “The issue is whether he violated the Buzayan’s civil rights as well as established Davis Police Department protocols. This will be fully examined in the upcoming civil trial. We depend upon the law to protect us from abuse by those who wield power over us, not their good intentions.”

    I not only agree with Davisite here, but I think he says it very well.

    I believe, by the way, that the Buzayans are claiming that religious prejudice was a motivator of the Davis Police Department in their case. They have good reason to not expose their evidence on this yet. But if they have any, it will be shown in trial, and after it is shown, then the jury in the courtroom and the larger public can judge it one way or the other. Until that evidence, or any evidence, is presented which demonstrates religious bias, I find it highly irresponsible to cast about this charge as if it is true. (I don’t really feel that the Buyzayans’ lawyers are being irresponsible in making this charge, unless they truly believe it is bogus, because their lawyers have the responsibility of making the best court case that they can.)

  80. Rich Rifkin

    “Mr. Rifkin–in your estimation did the DA and/ or PD make mistakes in the Buzayan case?”

    Because the charges were immediately excused by the juvenile court judge, they likely did do something wrong. I am not a lawyer, so I hesitate to get into the debate that played out in The Enterprise between Bob Dunning and the ACLU attorneys. (Bob, it should be noted, has a law school education and did consult with attorneys who specialize in this area. Of course the ACLU lawyers also have expertise in this aspect of the law.)

    All that said, I haven’t seen anything from my layman’s position that would indicate that the Buzayans were mistreated because they were Muslims or came from an Islamic culture. If I were mistreated by the police, that would not be an instance of anti-Semitism just because I am a Jew. Same if a black person were mistreated by the police, it’s not necessarily due to racism. It’s much more likely, in the Buzayan case and the other hypotheticals, a problem of incompetence or of misguided policy. (I tend to think the problem, if there is one, is more likely of the former variety, and I sense that David Greenwald — whose opinion should matter to you, as he is the author of this blog — feels that it is more the latter.)

    Davisite writes: “We will never know what was in Officer Ly’s “heart” when he went to Halema’s home that evening.”

    This is probably true. However, unless there is a pattern of Ly mistreating Muslims or some other evidence that he harbors a prejudice against the Islamic faith and/or culture, I think he should be given the benefit of the doubt: that he was doing his job honestly, whether he made a mistake or not.

    “The issue is whether he violated the Buzayan’s civil rights as well as established Davis Police Department protocols. This will be fully examined in the upcoming civil trial. We depend upon the law to protect us from abuse by those who wield power over us, not their good intentions.”

    I not only agree with Davisite here, but I think he says it very well.

    I believe, by the way, that the Buzayans are claiming that religious prejudice was a motivator of the Davis Police Department in their case. They have good reason to not expose their evidence on this yet. But if they have any, it will be shown in trial, and after it is shown, then the jury in the courtroom and the larger public can judge it one way or the other. Until that evidence, or any evidence, is presented which demonstrates religious bias, I find it highly irresponsible to cast about this charge as if it is true. (I don’t really feel that the Buyzayans’ lawyers are being irresponsible in making this charge, unless they truly believe it is bogus, because their lawyers have the responsibility of making the best court case that they can.)

  81. Davisite

    The upcoming Buzayan civil suit with its potential payout by the city’s liability insurance pool of over a million dollars is the result of failure of leadership by our X- police chief, X- city manager and X- councilman Puntillo plus the current council majority. There’s obviously more council “house cleaning” to be done in 2008

  82. Davisite

    The upcoming Buzayan civil suit with its potential payout by the city’s liability insurance pool of over a million dollars is the result of failure of leadership by our X- police chief, X- city manager and X- councilman Puntillo plus the current council majority. There’s obviously more council “house cleaning” to be done in 2008

  83. Davisite

    The upcoming Buzayan civil suit with its potential payout by the city’s liability insurance pool of over a million dollars is the result of failure of leadership by our X- police chief, X- city manager and X- councilman Puntillo plus the current council majority. There’s obviously more council “house cleaning” to be done in 2008

  84. Davisite

    The upcoming Buzayan civil suit with its potential payout by the city’s liability insurance pool of over a million dollars is the result of failure of leadership by our X- police chief, X- city manager and X- councilman Puntillo plus the current council majority. There’s obviously more council “house cleaning” to be done in 2008

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