UCD Police Release Redacted Police Report on 24-Hour Reading Room Incident

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Following a request from the Vanguard, UC Davis Police Chief Matt Carmichael has released a redacted police report from the August 26, 2015, arrest of Fayia Sellu, a former UC Davis student who spoke with the Vanguard last week and filed a formal complaint regarding his treatment in the incident.

Officer Guerrero wrote of the incident that occurred at 0130 hours which was called in at approximately at 0013. “On the above date and time, I, OFC M Guerrero responded to Shields Library (24 Hour Reading Room) on a reported suspicious (redacted) who had entered without the use of a card key. Upon arrival subject (redacted) was located inside the 24 hour reading room. We asked (redacted) to step outside after determining that (redacted) did not had (sic) an access card to the room and (redacted).”

Officer Guerrero writes, “I explained to (redacted) that (redacted) was not allowed to use the facility as (redacted)… argued about it but eventually decided to leave the campus.”

Mr. Sellu was cited under Penal Code section 626.6(a), which is “If a person who is not a student, officer or employee of a college or university… is committing any act likely to interfere with the peaceful conduct of the activities of the campus or facility, or has entered the campus or facility for the purpose of committing any such act, the chief administrative officer or his or her designee may direct the person to leave the campus or facility. If that person fails to do so or if the person willfully and knowingly reenters upon the campus or facility within seven days after being directed to leave, he or she is guilty of a misdemeanor…”

As indicated, he was “contacted as a result of a complaint” about accessing the 24-hour room. He allegedly “gained access to the building as a student left.” They say he had an old dorm card in his possession and it did not work. He “refused to leave building when asked by (Officers) Sheffield and Guerrero.” He was escorted out and issued the section 626 Penal Code violation. He was then released at the scene.

Chief Carmichael explained to the Vanguard, “All complaints related to police misconduct are investigated outside of the police department by the Office of Compliance. Furthermore, once the investigation is complete it is forwarded to the UC Davis Police Accountability Board for review and recommendation to the Chief of Police. From this process an annual report will be published detailing the entire process including information about the complaints received.”

The chief confirmed that this particular complaint was forwarded to the process some time ago.

Mr. Sellu told the Vanguard that, as a former student, he has often utilized the 24-hour reading room on the side of Shields Library to do late night reading and studying. He told the Vanguard he had seen the two officers enter the reading area, but thought nothing about it as he was soon absorbed in his reading – when he discovered the two officers were standing directly over him.

The officers said he refused to leave, but Mr. Sellu told the Vanguard that when the officers approached they asked for identification and that when he reached into his pocket to get that identification, they asked him to go outside rather than attempt to resolve the situation inside.

He told the Vanguard that he willingly went outside in order to clear up the matter. However, at this point, the demeanor of the officers changed. There was no mention in either report about the manner or speed of the arrest.

“On approach of the lobby, Officer Sheffield dashed for my right armed and twisted it in a motion as to get me face down. Two other officers waiting in the wings of the lobby joined in and handcuffed me with no apparent tussle,” he said.

He said, “I was told among other things that my student ID had expired, hence, terminating my access to the study lounge. I accepted that.”

We are still left with the puzzle as to why the police were called in the first place. His bigger complaint, however, is the treatment by officers once they confronted him. Here, there is nothing in the police report to guide us.

Mr. Sellu told the Vanguard, “What baffled me however, and SHOOK me violently both physically and psychologically, is the over-zealousness with which the detention was carried out. I stepped out of the building I used to occupy as a student fairly recently, in handcuffs, to face four police escort SUVs parked at the curb outside.”

Again, Mr. Sellu has filed a formal complaint and that complaint will go through the formal complaint process.

—David M. Greenwald 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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143 thoughts on “UCD Police Release Redacted Police Report on 24-Hour Reading Room Incident”

  1. Tia Will

    David

    Thank you for the follow up. The two issues that remain in question are as you have stated, why the police were involved in the first place given the cited regulation “If a person who is not a student, officer or employee of a college or university… is committing any act likely to interfere with the peaceful conduct of the activities of the campus or facility, or has entered the campus or facility for the purpose of committing any such act”. It would appear that neither Mr. Sellu’s nor the police account gives any indication that he was doing anything other than reading in an area to which he did not have access by card. However, reading could hardly be interpreted as “an activity likely to interfere with the peaceful conduct of the activities of the campus or faculty”.

    Which brings me to a second question.  Noting that the regulation cited was not trespass and since he does not appear to have been in breach of the regulation cited, why was he even asked to leave ? And why was any force needed ?  With questioning as to his activity ( reading ) concluded, why was he simply not allowed to continue reading ?

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      It seems like they are saying he was technically trespassing on university property.  Why they suspected him in the first place is part of this story and then the other part is his allegation of excessive force.  Unfortunately unless this was captured on video, I suspect it will remain unresolved.

      1. zaqzaq

        So he was “technically” committing a crime, was detained and given a warning and not arrested.  Because he is black you now assume a racist motive.  It would be interesting to see what, if any, crime reports have been made about that reading room.

      2. sisterhood

        Tia wrote “And why was any force needed?

        David wrote  “Why they suspected him in the first place is part of this story and then the other part is his allegation of excessive force. ”

        Thank you, David, for this article. I appreciate the PD’s redactions. I guess we may never know all the details re: why the cops were called.

        Upon reflection, I’d like to redact my earlier comment that the police handcuffs (plastic) really hurt me when I was handcuffed several years ago. I believe the plastic handcuffs they used perhaps did not hurt me physically as much as I was emotionally hurt. I don’t know why Mr. Sellu was pushed to the ground. (Years ago, I was handcuffed in my nightshirt and I did not make any sudden moves.) I was an older woman so perhaps that was a factor. I don’t know what happened in this reported incident. I do appreciate the police redactions. Thank you for the update.

    2. Topcat

      Why they suspected him in the first place is part of this story

      I’m just speculating here, but perhaps the initial call to the police was from the student who left and saw Mr. Sellu enter before the door closed. It was obvious that Mr. Sellu was not authorized to enter and was doing so illegally.

      1. David Greenwald Post author

        One of the things I am wondering is if I entered in that matter as a 42 year old ex-student with a graying beard, would they have called the police on me? My guess is no, but that’s only a guess.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            No. But this incident does as at least lend itself to asking the question: Do you believe I would have been treated the same as he was in that situation? I don’t believe I would have even if I was reluctant to leave the library. I certainly don’t think even if I flat out refused to leave, I would have been arrested in that manner. So no, every time time someone of color is stopped does not make it a racial issue, but the specifics of this case, lead to those questions.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            It just seems like you don’t want to ask those questions because you are afraid of what you might find. Shouldn’t we ask if people are getting equal treatment under the law? Isn’t that a paramount part of our constitutional protection? The question I have is why wouldn’t you ask those questions?

        1. Topcat

          do you believe that a white person would have been treated the same?

          Yes, I believe the police response to a report of a trespasser would be, and should be the same regardless of race, age, or appearance of the trespasser.

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          David, that is a false analogy, and you know it.

          The question is whether a similarly aged other-student entered, would another patron (we’re guessing here) call it in?

          The next question is would that person give the police a hard time when they knew they entered and were using the facilities illegally?

          You also gloss over the time. It was 1 AM, not 1 PM. A 1 PM call would be handled 100% different. I’ve heard police refer to the 12 – 3 AM time frame as the “bewitching hour”, and also heard them say “nothing good happens after 12 midnight”.

      2. Topcat

        One of the things I am wondering is if I entered in that matter as a 42 year old ex-student with a graying beard, would they have called the police on me?

        If I were the student who was exiting and I saw you enter illegally before the door closed, I might be inclined to call the police.  The issue has NOTHING to do with race, age, or appearance.  The issue is that this is a controlled environment and it is illegal for those without authorization to enter.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          Disagree with you.  I believe I could pull that ten out of ten times and never have the police even called.  I believe absolutely that the only reason the police were called was it was a black man entering the library.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            BTW, that is not necessarily on the police The Eli Davis matter for example – mowing while black – was just as much on the vague and presumptuous report by a citizen as the mishandling of it by the police office. The citizen saw a black man who was evidently a sales person and presumed they were there for the purpose of burglarizing a residence and then gave a vague description to the police.

        2. Topcat

          I believe absolutely that the only reason the police were called was it was a black man entering the library.

          The reason that the police were called was because a person had entered the reading room without authorization.  The police response should be the same regardless of the race, age or appearance of the trespasser. I hope that ALL trespassers are reported to police regardless of whether they are black, brown, green, blue, or white.

          Mr. Sellu should have reported to you that he had entered the facility illegally before you wrote the initial article.  He undermines his credibility with his failure to accurately report this fact.

        3. Adam Smith

          Disagree with you.  I believe I could pull that ten out of ten times and never have the police even called.  I believe absolutely that the only reason the police were called was it was a black man entering the library.

          You might be able to pull it off ten out of ten, but over a longer period of time,  eventually someone would call you on it.    How  many times do you think Mr. Sellu pulled it off before someone called him on it?  Your initial story states that he has frequently used this room, presumably gaining entry in some illegal fashion.     This just happened to be Mr. Sellu’s bad luck day.

        4. TrueBlueDevil

          I used facilities at another college without official campus ID. The library staff questioned me two times, and I had security “check in” on me several times when I was using campus facilties for research.

          But there is a difference on how I reacted compared to this individual. I was polite, deferential, and followed requests 100% to the “T”. I would then explain my connection to the campus, and they generally bought it, although a few times there were questions and they made me jump through hoops – and I am not black. So there goes your theory.

          I think I was primarily questioned late at night, often after midnight, by security, which makes perfect sense. Young males late at night are seen as potential criminals, and young females potential victims.

  2. Barack Palin

    He “refused to leave building when asked by (Officers) Sheffield and Guerrero.” 

    There’s the problem.  He entered the building illegally then refused to leave.

  3. Topcat

    He “refused to leave building when asked by (Officers) Sheffield and Guerrero.”

    Mr Sellu was clearly in the wrong here. If he had been compliant with the officers and left the building as requested, he probably would not have been handled roughly nor handcuffed.

    If this had been me, I would have apologized to the officers, and left the building as requested. It baffles me why some people think they can defy law enforcement officer’s instructions without incurring negative consequences.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      Is he clearly in the wrong? He told me that he was reaching for his wallet and they asked him to go outside to handle the situation. The police says he refused to leave. We don’t know which version is accurate.

      1. Topcat

        Is he clearly in the wrong?

        Yes, he knew that this is a controlled access facility and he did not have authorization to enter.  He entered illegally, so he was in the wrong in this regard.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          I question that as well. If he believed he was entitled to use of the facility as an alum and his card wasn’t working properly, he may well not have knowingly illegally entered. This is based on what he told me.

        2. Topcat

          If he believed he was entitled to use of the facility as an alum and his card wasn’t working properly, he may well not have knowingly illegally entered. This is based on what he told me.

          If he wanted to have access to the controlled access facility and his card was not working, he should have gone to the appropriate office during business hours to get the issue resolved.  Sneaking in when someone else opens the door is clearly NOT allowed.

          In the initial article on this incident, the Vanguard should have reported  that Mr. Sellu accessed the facility illegally.

      2. ryankelly

        If no longer has a key, because he is no longer a student and doesn’t have a current ID that would grant access, then he needs to use the library during public hours.  The late night study area is just a room available to students to study.  There is no reason for general public to be there.

        1. Topcat

          I wouldn’t have known that alumni weren’t permitted in there.

          If you don’t have a key card that gives you access, that’s a pretty good indication that you don’t belong there.

          If I wanted to use the facility at night, I would go to the appropriate office during business hours and talk with the administrative staff to get proper authorization and a key card that works.  This is what Mr Sellu should have done.

    2. Cathy

      I have used the library after hours, expecting my alumni association card to work…finding that it hasn’t, have utilized either a student exiting or entering – to which no one seemed appalled.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          But if he went on to stab or rape someone, David would be writing a scathing series of articles about how the DPD is lax and unprofessional, allowing an illegal entrant to camp out in the campus library without approval.

          FYI, some libraries refer to these individuals as “lurkers”.

        1. Miller

          Library policy is very clear and any former UC Davis student (or current UC Berkeley graduate student, as Sellu apparently is) would know this: “Access to the room is for registered students only”. The author of the original article might have checked the the website at https://www.lib.ucdavis.edu/ul/libcoll/shields-services.php. On campus or in student housing complexes, it’s not OK to sneak through a locked (card key) door when someone else enter or exits. Staff and students are instructed to report this behavior. Young undergraduates (some under 18) use the 24 hour study rooms; their security is important. The campus is charged with protecting them. Ryankelly is right that safety concerns are heightened after hours. If Sellu was noticed (whereas others slip through) because he’s a person of color, or treated with force while being nonviolent, that’s a separate problem and definitely worth complaining about. But please let’s not justify his presence in that specific room.  Access to Shields library during the daytime is not restricted. Access to a 24-hour study room is.

        2. Topcat

          On campus or in student housing complexes, it’s not OK to sneak through a locked (card key) door when someone else enter or exits. Staff and students are instructed to report this behavior.

          Yes, this is the issue here.  Mr. Sellu was not authorized to be in this facility.  He did not have a key card that gave him access and he knew this.

          To make matters worse for himself, Mr. Sellu failed to tell David that he had entered the facility illegally and that he was not authorized to be there, thus leading to the initial article about this incident failing to report these facts.

          The safety and security of students and staff are very important and I would hope and expect that the UC Police will continue to enforce the access rules and eject trespassers.

        3. Topcat

           if you read the comments by sellou, he acknowledges that he shouldn’t have been there.  his complaint was his treatment by the police.

          Yes, Mr Sellu had accessed a controlled access facility without authorization. He acknowledges that and he knew he was there illegally.

          When the police asked him to leave, he should have politely acknowledged that he was wrong and left the facility quietly and without objection.  Had he done so, I do not believe that he would have been treated roughly nor handcuffed.

          There is no reason to believe that the police are lying about Mr Sellu refusing to leave the building.  In fact, the police are trained extensively in how to handle these situations safely and with least chance of harm to themselves or anyone else.  In addition, the police are legally obligated to report the facts accurately in their reports.  If they fail to do so, they could face very dire consequences, so they have every incentive to be truthful in their reports.

  4. Tia Will

    Topcat

    Mr Sellu was clearly in the wrong here. If he had been compliant with the officers and left the building as requested, he probably would not have been handled roughly nor handcuffed.”

    Your first assertion is correct in so far as an interpretation of trespass if that is indeed what they are saying since that is not included in the exact wording of the regulation as quoted. Your second assertion ….”if he had been compliant..” is pure speculation on your part. We have no idea what action or lack of action on his part or in the interpretation of the officers led to the alleged use of excessive force. And as David has said, probably never will since the incident was not taped making it a “he said….he said” situation which can be interpreted in favor of Mr. Sellu or in favor of the police in accordance with one’s own pre-existing bias, not know fact.

     

  5. ryankelly

    My guess is that someone alerted the police that he entered without an ID card.  My guess is that he was asked to step outside so as not to have the conversation disturb others in that quiet room.  He was tresspassing and was busted.  The only thing at issue is whether the officers used force and why.  The report says he argued with the officers about his right to be there.

    Late night security on campus is a real issue. Students are given limited access, but doors are locked for the security of the buildings and also to keep the students inside safe.  Police are called to remove people from buildings all the time.  During the day there is more judgement. Someone needing to use a bathroom or resting in a lobby is OK.  Someone bathing in the bathroom or behaving in a way that is disturbing classes or people working is not.  You get the idea.   At night, this changes. If you don’t have permission to enter (a key card or a key or accompanied by someone who does) then it is tresspassing.  This is a very bright line.

    1. Anon

      My guess is that someone alerted the police that he entered without an ID card.  My guess is that he was asked to step outside so as not to have the conversation disturb others in that quiet room.  He was tresspassing and was busted.  The only thing at issue is whether the officers used force and why.  The report says he argued with the officers about his right to be there.

      Late night security on campus is a real issue. Students are given limited access, but doors are locked for the security of the buildings and also to keep the students inside safe.  Police are called to remove people from buildings all the time…

      I think your assessment sounds pretty reasonable/logical.  My other thought is: I wonder if this is the first time Mr. Sellu sneaked in, knowing he was not permitted to be there because he didn’t have the requisite key/card – therefore has to wait until he could slip in behind a student legally permitted to be there.

      1. hpierce

        Well, if he was a former student, and ‘taught’ that he needed to protect it (the access card) like a key, not keep dorm access doors propped open (for his safety and that of others), same for other buildings that required key-card access, I just can’t get to believing that he “innocently” thought it was OK to enter the reading room, where at that time, the key-card was required for access.  The key card system provides the ability to provide security for those with valid rights to be there, and can provide a record of who entered a facility, and at what time.

        His story sounds like a fiction.

    2. sisterhood

      ryan kelly, Your 8:00 a.m. comment makes sense: Especially, “During the day there is more judgement….At night, this changes. If you don’t have permission to enter (a key card or a key or accompanied by someone who does) then it is trespassing.  This is a very bright line.”

      Thank you.

  6. Davis Progressive

    i think the focus here is on the wrong thing.

    the issue is not whether mr. sellou was justifyied in being in the reading room, it is whether a white non-student would have generated a police call and whether he was subjected to excessive forc.  the calling of the police is on the caller not the officers, the response by the officers however is also in question.  i don’t understand people’s refusal to see that a white non-student would haave been treated differently.

    1. Topcat

      the issue is not whether mr. sellou was justifyied in being in the reading room

      The issue is that Mr Sellu was trespassing in a controlled access facility that he was not authorized to use. Anyone, regardless of race, age, or appearance, doing the same thing should be ejected by the police.

  7. zaqzaq

    Is there a clearly posted sign at the entrance indicating that the reading room is closed to the public and only open for use by students with access cards.  Some posting would inform this trespasser that he was not allowed to use the room.

    1. Davis Progressive

      i think that’s really a side issue.  let’s accept that a former student shouldn’t have been there – was he treated differently both in the call and the handling of his arrest than a white former student?

      1. Anon

        No, that is not a “side issue”, especially if he repeatedly used the library knowing he was not supposed to. In fact, it very will might explain why library staff felt it necessary to call police.

      2. Topcat

        i think that’s really a side issue.  let’s accept that a former student shouldn’t have been there…

        It’s not a side issue; it is THE ISSUE.  Mr Sellu was NOT authorized to be in the facility.  He accessed it illegally and he knew it by the fact that he did not have a key card that gave him access.

        The police should treat all trespassers in the same manner, regardless of race, age, or appearance.  Mr. Sellu’s big mistake was in refusing to leave building when requested by the officers. Had he complied with the legitimate request of the officers he would most likely not have been treated roughly nor handcuffed.

        1. Topcat

          key word in your comment is “should” rather than “do” you seem to be forgeting that.

          Yes, I did use the word “Should” because I believe in a society where we aspire to treating everyone according to the same rules.  I know that this does not always happen.  I do believe that the UC Police are highly trained and are very aware of the need to treat everyone by the same rules.  I also believe that they would have treated anyone in this situation the same way, given the same behavior.

        2. Davis Progressive

          i agree, we should aspire, but that’s not the issue in question.  you’ve just admitted that they don’t always treat all equally which negates your argument from below that you can assert that race played no role in this incident.  i don’t believe a white person would have been arrested, i don’t believe the police would have been called, and i don’t believe force would have been used.

        3. Topcat

           i don’t believe a white person would have been arrested, i don’t believe the police would have been called, and i don’t believe force would have been used.

          Since neither of us can know what might have happened were Mr Sellu white, I guess we’ll just have to disagree about what we believe.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            But you unequivocally stated that race was not a factor, you seem to now be backing off that.

        4. Topcat

          But you unequivocally stated that race was not a factor, you seem to now be backing off that.

          I believe that race was not a factor here and Davis Progressive believes that it was a factor.  Since neither of us can prove it either way, I’m saying that we will just have to respectfully disagree.

    1. Topcat

      If he was twenty years-old and white he would have gone unnoticed, but we all know that, so why pretend otherwise?

      Every trespasser should be reported and ejected regardless of age, race, or appearance.  There are legitimate reasons to have controlled access and the rules should be enforced for everyone.

  8. Frankly

    i don’t understand people’s refusal to see that a white non-student would haave been treated differently.

    There are three things I don’t understand about this claim:

    1. You have absolutely no proof of it.

    2. You are basically calling someone a racist, an extremely hurtful and hateful label that should not be used lightly.  Yet, you seem completely comfortable delivering this label without sufficient proof.

    3. The stories that you and others tend to jump on to claim racism are generally ALWAYS those that involve the claimed victim to have broken the law and then behaved badly when questioned.

    I believe there is some psychological dysfunction at play here. The consistent visceral reactions coming from you and David for these types of stories are really stunningly extreme.  Over the years reading and posting on related topics, I have come to the conclusion that some have an uncontrollable bias against the police and this, as much as anything, is driving their “cops are racist” agenda.  The view is stubbornly held and wound up like a spring that cannot be controlled when there is even a de minimis opportunity to have it validated.

    It is not an attractive feature.

    It hangs out there like an exposed booger that the owner cannot see, but everyone else can.

    What liability and wrath would the school have faced allowing an unauthorized person into the study room and that person then harms another?

    1. Topcat

      Yes, Frankly.  You have it exactly right.  The issue here has absolutely nothing to do with race.  As you said, it has to do with an unauthorized person knowingly accessing a controlled access facility.  I believe the police should and would treat anyone in this situation in the same way, given the same behavior.

      1. Davis Progressive

        you don’t know that this issue has nothing to do with race.  and the issue isn’t the police on that end, it’s the person that would call the police.  you said above they “should” treat people the exact same way, but offered no evidence that they do.  and you ignore as well the issue of the excessive force – once again.

      2. Topcat

        and you ignore as well the issue of the excessive force – once again.

        The police are highly trained in the use of force.  They know that they need to use enough force to get situations under control quickly and safely. Since Mr Sellu refused to leave the building (as stated in the police report) the police did need to resort to some use of force to get him under control. I doubt that the force they used could be called “excessive” in this case as Mr. Sellu did not report any physical injuries.

        1. Topcat

          Why are you assuming he refused to leave?

          That’s what the police report states. Why are you assuming that the police are lying and who are the supposed witnesses?

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            Because I believe that Sellu is telling the truth. The witnesses are people that were in the reading room. I’m also learning more about the reputations about the officers involved, and one of them has a history of excessive force.

        2. Tia Will

          Topcat

          The police are highly trained in the use of force”

          You have stated this repeatedly, and yet it was this same police force which used canisters of pepper spray on seated, non violent students. Canisters of a type in the use of which they were not trained and were never intended for use in the way in which they were in fact utilized. I believe that this undermines your argument that the “highly trained” nature of the campus police means that they do not employ excessive or inappropriate use of force in some situations.

        3. Topcat

          The witnesses are people that were in the reading room. I’m also learning more about the reputations about the officers involved, and one of them has a history of excessive force.

          I hope you will be able to post some specific information that will give us a better idea of  what actually happened.  This case is one where it would have been very helpful if the officers had body cameras that recoded what actually happened and what was said.

    2. Davis Progressive

      two things in response…  there is absolutely no proof?  there may not be “proof” but there is certainly some evidence that suggests that a white person is less likely to have undergone such treatment.

      actually basically saying that people harbor unconscious – which in fact they do – so that’s not exactly a revelation.

    3. Adam Smith

      This is not the first time Mr. Sellu entered the library illegally.  He told David that he had done it many times, proving that many times no one  reported him for his illegal entry.    On this day, some one did.  Instead of all this conjecture and wasted energy and time, maybe the question you guys should be asking is whether there have been police calls because a white person entered the library illegally.

  9. Biddlin

    “1. You have absolutely no proof of it.”

    300 years of history are sufficient proof to the oppressed.

    It is not an attractive feature.

    It hangs out there like an exposed booger that the owner cannot see, but everyone else can.”

    “I believe there is some psychological dysfunction at play here.”

    Check out a mirror.

    ;>)/

    1. Frankly

      The statute of limitations for pulling the slavery card has expired Biddlin.   Otherwise I am a victim too from England’s poor treatment of my Scottish and Irish ancestors.

      Did you notice the black President we have?  How does that match with your tired, old “300- years” ago template?  How about even 60 years ago?

      Progress is hard for a progressive to accept because criticism of the present is his stock and trade.  And so in his determination to hold on to the criticism, he goes hysterically historical.

      1. Biddlin

        Have you noticed how middle aged white conservatives always point to the POTUS as proof of the end of racism, just before making a totally unfounded and obviously hate generated comment?

        ;>)/

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Yes. I think because they’d rather argue that than facts or economics … I mean, Obamanomics is a disaster. We spent $6 Trillion in hot checks, and a $900 Billion stimulus, and still our economy struggles.

        2. Davis Progressive

          what i have noticed is that you conservatives don’t want to differentiate between a racist act and an act based on implicit bias.  i don’t see most of this stuff as racist on a conscious level.  but i believe subconsciously that when someone sees a black man, they see a greater threat for the same action than a white person would be perceived and they act accordingly.  most people probably don’t even know they are doing it.  that actually makes it more difficult to deal with.

  10. Napoleon Pig IV

    Redaction is the technique used by those in authority to prevent those not in authority from discovering the truth. The technique of redaction is not about protecting the rights of the innocent. Oink!

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      In this case it looked to be redacting the name of the subject and pronouns – which seems a little odd given that I requested the police report by name but I don’t think critical information was withheld.

    2. Frankly

      The technique of redaction is not about protecting the rights of the innocent.

      That would be only part of the reason.  Innocent until provide guilty, and so apply some sensitivity to the release of information to mitigate harm to the accused from the court of public opinion.  Also, with all the sue-happy ACLU activist lawyers, there is a need to control communication.

      Obviously what was released did not stop David and other racial justice crusaders from jumping on it as evidence of racial injustice.  So I fail to see where the redacting in this case is material.

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        Interesting that David jumps on the racial issue here for what some call a trivial item, but when six alleged Nortenos gang members allegedly kill an innocent man, he neglects to mention their Latino gang affiliation.

        1. Davis Progressive

          i don’t find it interesting.  he posted a police report that stated that there were gang charges, most of the arrested had latino names, why the need to call it out explicitly?  and why do you believe a person arrested for potentially racially based reasons (at least in terms of the call to the police) is parallel to a gang crime?

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          I believe his long article today about not “overreacting” omits the gang affiliation of the suspects, and omits the specific Nortenos street gang affiliation.

  11. Anon

    I am really confused by some of the above comments.  Are some of you saying because this guy was black, he should have been permitted to continually use the library illegally?  If this guy was a repeat offender, which it appears by his own admission he was, I can understand and appreciate the library staff or any student legally there finally calling the police in regard to this guy.  Whether the police handled the matter appropriately is a completely separate issue.

    1. Davis Progressive

      hopefully i can clear up my perspective…

      ” Are some of you saying because this guy was black, he should have been permitted to continually use the library illegally?”

      no.  like david, i question whether the police would have been called, but i am not arguing he should be able to use the library improperly.

      “If this guy was a repeat offender, which it appears by his own admission he was, I can understand and appreciate the library staff or any student legally there finally calling the police in regard to this guy”

      how would somebody know?  does the library even staff the 24 hour reading room?

      “Whether the police handled the matter appropriately is a completely separate issue.”

      at least for me that is the issue – how the police handled the matter and whether they treated him differently due to race.  this is not a claim that he was entitled to use the library, it was a complaint about his treatment by police

  12. WesC

    This morning at about 5:00 I was at the corner of Sycamore and Russell and and saw a young white male sitting on the curb in front of the university apartments surrounded by about 5 officers with 2 police SUVs and 1 squad car parked on the road. He looked scared, seemed to be young enough to be a student and did not appear to be dressed like a homeless person.  It looked like his girlfriend was also standing nearby.
    I think whenever possible the police seem to respond with an overwhelming  show of force, perhaps so as to make the subject think twice about doing anything stupid. This is probably what they did when they got the library call.
     

     

     

    1. hpierce

      5 PM or AM?  The context is different for those two times…  5 AM makes me think about after effects of ‘partying’… 5 PM, not so much (except on Picnic Day).

      “Show of force” may be dependent on many things, including, but not necessarily limited to, time, date, number of ‘callers’, and what the callers were saying when they called dispatch.  It could have been an appropriate response, an ‘over-the-top’ response, or a marginally inadequate response.

  13. Topcat

    Are some of you saying because this guy was black, he should have been permitted to continually use the library illegally?

    I think that his race doesn’t matter at all.  Regardless of whether he was black, brown, white, green or blue, he was not authorized to use the reading room and ejecting him was the right thing to do.

  14. tribeUSA

    I guess the two points in the story which some might attribute to racism are:

    (1) The initial call to the police–why someone would call the police over such a minor infraction as a former student using the reading room; which should not be crowded this time of year (during finals week, it may be)–are we sure that librarian staff were not contacted first; and then perhaps the library staff member called the police? In any case, as long as he wasn’t disturbing other patrons, a call to police seems unnecessary; unless the reading room was very crowded–was this racism; or just another symptom of our increased bureaucritization of society, with tiny rules for everything, which must be enforced; a consciousness that is seeping into the undergraduates in the reading room?

    (2) Re: the forcible handcuff arrest: “He “refused to leave building when asked by (Officers) Sheffield and Guerrero.” If this statement by the police is accurate, forcible detention may be warranted. If this statement is false and the alleged victim was fully cooperative at all times, then a forcible detention with handcuffs does seem excessive.

    I suspect the alleged victim was a little miffed about being ejected from the reading room and not being able to use it any more; and is handling it by attributing it to racism–I would suggest he consider it as part of his education into adult society, where unfortunately there are a small number of people that are absolute sticklers for even the smallest rules and want to enforce them even when no harm is being done–white people suffer from the actions of such sticklers as well. The event merits an eyeroll by the victim, but perhaps not lifelong trauma as a victim of a racist oppressive society (dilbertized oppressive society might be a little more accurate…)

    1. hpierce

      Going back to the mid-seventies, (yeah, a dinosaur), there WAS NO STAFF in the reading room.  Do not know what it is today.

      So many missing pieces.  David, this story was not ready for ‘prime time’ for a reporter.  But I’m starting to realize the full difference between ‘reporter’ and ‘blogger’.

       

    2. Topcat

      TribeUSA:  Yes, I think you have presented a very good summation of this event.  In the big scheme of things, this event is pretty trivial and no real harm was done to anyone.  I especially like your comment that “I would suggest he consider it as part of his education into adult society.”

        1. hpierce

          IF that is what actually happened… no corroborating witnesses, no camera footage, no mention in police report (actually, no surprise there).

          BTW do you actually mean “slammed”, or just “dropped”? Evidence of even minor injuries?

        2. hpierce

          You say you are trying to contact witnesses… what makes you think there are any?  No indication of such in your writings so far (except the officers, “victim”)

        3. Topcat

          Probably easy to say when it’s not you being pulled out of the room by police, slammed to the ground and put in cuffs.

          If I had illegally gotten into a controlled access facility that I knew I was not authorized to access and was then ejected by the police, I would have been very contrite and I would have accepted the fact that I had made a mistake and done something I should not have done.  I certainly would not have run to the Vanguard claiming unfair treatment or use of “excessive” force.

        4. Davis Progressive

          what race are you?  would you have been singled out by race or behavior?  would you have been potentially subjected to excessive force?  i find it difficult to believe that if you had been arrested under the circumstances here you would have just shut up and taken it.  nor do i think you should have.

  15. Tia Will

    BP

    Give it up David, you’re trying to make a mountain out of a molehill.”

    Clearly this is a molehill for you, to whom it has not happened. It would appear to be of significantly  more importance to Mr.Sellu. Some other factors that we have no way of knowing is how many times instances which he ( not you ) might perceive as having racist overtones have occurred to Mr. Sellu.

    We also have no way of knowing whether this particular instance had racist overtones. We just don’t know. And yet while accusing David of making up racist concerns, you and other commenters are equally guilty of making assumptions leading you to the conclusion that race was not involved.

    The heart of empathy is attempting to see an event from another’s point of view, not immediately attempting to discredit their experience. I guess that I would like to see a little more empathy in our society.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      I guess this could be Latino officer on black racism, but I just don’t see those facts.

      We do know from Mr. Sellu’s Facebook account that he is obsessed with race.

      1. Davis Progressive

        other than the excessive force, the racial issue here is probably more on the reporting party.  although the officer reaction to the call is important.  i think you make a mistake in believing that a minority police officer isn’t capable of harboring the same implicit bias as white officers.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Alleged use of excessive force. Does this individual have a doctor’s exam we can review or a broken arm?

          You can discuss Latino-on-black racism all you want, have at it. This apparently is a large problem in Los Angeles and in prisons.

        2. Davis Progressive

          “Alleged use of excessive force. Does this individual have a doctor’s exam we can review or a broken arm?”

          it’s not excessive force if there are no injuries or the victim didn’t go to the doctor?

        3. Barack Palin

          I see the old and tired “implicit bias” rendering its ugly head again.

          Why don’t you wait for a case of real bias instead of trumping up incidents through implicit bias?

        4. Barack Palin

          So are you going to go around in life crying about how someone might of been treated differently in every situation because of their color or implicit bias when you don’t know if race had anything to do with it at all?  I feel sad for you.

        5. Davis Progressive

          you said: “Why don’t you wait for a case of real bias instead of trumping up incidents through implicit bias?”

          i responded: “how do you know that this person was treated the same as a white person in the exact same situation?”

          you responded: “So are you going to go around in life crying about how someone might of been treated differently in every situation because of their color or implicit bias when you don’t know if race had anything to do with it at all?  I feel sad for you.”

          you first argue that i should wait for a case of real bias, and then when i point out that you have failed to prove that this person wasn’t treated the same as anyone else, you respond as you did.  my point is very simple, i don’t believe a white person would have had the police called on him in this circumstance and if the police were called it would have been handled very different.  you have never addressed this point and instead continue to try to obfuscate through the use of sarcasm.  this is real bias and these types of incidents are why black people and minorities do not trust the police.  it’s also why white liberals like myself who see a lot more than you do through our professional capacity feel the same and are skeptical when these incidents happen over and over again.  you guys are in denial, you want a freaking officer in a kkk robe before you’re willing to calling it racism, but that’s not the reality of 2015.

  16. MrsW

    Interested in exploring the idea of appropriate responses of people in power to rule breaking.

    Imagine my two nieces came to visit me.  They are sharing a room with twin beds and a nightstand.  The night stand is an antique.  One rule for staying at my house is this:  They are not allowed to put their water cups directly on the night stand because it will make a ring in the finish.

    After they go to bed, I hear one of my nieces scream at her sister.  I go to the room, but whatever had bothered her is over.  Then I see it!  There is a water class on the antique night stand!

    Here is my question of all of you.  What is an appropriate LEVEL of response to my niece who did not follow my house rule? Should I consider preserving my relationship with her and her father, my brother, when I choose my response?

    1. hpierce

      Or, in this case, had you heard the scream, investigated, and then (facts disputed as to your reaction), and the ‘bad’ niece told your brother that you took her from the room, slammed her to the floor, restrained her, then then told her to leave the house, and based on your niece’s account, your brother ‘calls you to account’ on his Facebook page,  how should your other brother judge your squabble?

      Actually, liked your analogy, but think you should have played it out a bit further, more in line with the story we’ve been presented with.

      1. MrsW

        I think I’m in the roll of the police.  I have the authority.  I am also older. [Disclosure: am not professionally trained or paid to be an aunt.]

        My “good niece” is the one who yelled. She is not arguing with her sister anymore and I don’t “have her side” of the story at all.

        My “bad niece” is the one who did something “bad” that may or may not be related to why her sister was yelling. However, when I got to the room, I could observe with my own eyes, that my rule was broken.

      2. MrsW

        how should your other brother judge your squabble?

        I hope my other brother recognizes that my niece and his sister (me) have different levels of Power in this interaction.

        Also, I hope that my other brother uses any influence he has, to help keep our family together.

    2. Topcat

      Interested in exploring the idea of appropriate responses of people in power to rule breaking.

      Here’s another scenario: What if Mr Sellu had gotten in to the Vanguard office in the middle of the night and spent time there reading.  Someone called the police and reported a possible intruder.  They respond the same way that the UCD police did here.

      Would Davis respond the same way and focus only on the supposed “racism” and “excessive” use of force?  Would David completely ignore the fact of the illegal access to the office?

      1. Davis Progressive

        you would change the crime from a misdomeanor 626a to a felony burglary.  you would change the nature of the police call from that of an unauthorized person to that of a single individual known to not have access to the office.  so you would completely change the facts surrounding the incident.

        1. Topcat

          …so you would completely change the facts surrounding the incident.

          Granted that the situation is a bit different, but would David be complaining about racism and excessive force, and ignoring the fact of entry into the office without permission or authorization?

  17. Anon

    “Topcat 

    September 28, 2015 at 7:52 am

    Probably easy to say when it’s not you being pulled out of the room by police, slammed to the ground and put in cuffs.

    If I had illegally gotten into a controlled access facility that I knew I was not authorized to access and was then ejected by the police, I would have been very contrite and I would have accepted the fact that I had made a mistake and done something I should not have done.  I certainly would not have run to the Vanguard claiming unfair treatment or use of “excessive” force.”

    SPOT ON!

    1. MrsW

       I would have been very contrite and I would have accepted the fact that I had made a mistake…

      Me, too.

       I certainly would not have run to the Vanguard claiming unfair treatment or use of “excessive” force.”

      I would not accuse the police or any other government representative of abusing their power, if I didn’t have a case.  I would not go to the press, if I trusted the government institutions.  I would not put myself or my family through such a terrible negative experience, if I didn’t think I was doing the right thing for future generations and my whole community, i.e. anyone who might encounter a policeman abusing his/her power.

    2. Tia Will

      Topcat

      I certainly would not have run to the Vanguard claiming unfair treatment or use of “excessive” force.”

      Unless of course, excessive force was actually used despite your contrition and compliance with the police requests in which I case I feel that you have a responsibility to protest and make public the use of excessive force whether you choose to use the Vanguard or another public news distributor as your venue.

  18. Tia Will

    Another note on differential treatment based on bias, in this case, social standing.

    As part of my job, I used to be called in at all hours of the day and night for emergency room coverage. I had a card that when swiped through the entrance gate control would allow access to the ER docs parking lot. The problem was that the card didn’t always work. I had two choices. Park in the quite distant ( about a two block walk) at the Morse Ave facility in Sacramento, or use the Emergency Parking lot reserved for visitors where I knew that I was not allowed to park. On several occasions, I chose to ignore the regulation and park where I did not belong in order to get to my patient sooner and not put myself at risk in an area where there had been several attempted assaults.

    I knew I was breaking the rule. I felt that my reasons were justifiable. But the key is that as a 40-50 year old Caucasian female I was waved through by security, when they did see me, on the strength of my appearance and assertion that I was a doctor only. I was not asked for my badge, nor was anyone called to verify that I was who I claimed to be. This is a clear breech of security and yet they let me pass without so much as a word about getting my card updated. I cannot help but wonder if a male, non Caucasian, of similar age and appearance ( in scrubs with a hooded T shirt over) would have received the same treatment ? I am especially interested in the opinions of those of you who seem to believe that the police ( or security) act in a completely unbiased manner as we all agree that they should.

    1. Barack Palin

      I got a seatbelt ticket about a year ago from a bike cop in Davis.  I’m a caucasion male and just can’t help thinking that if I were black that maybe the cop would’ve looked the other way because he didn’t want to be accused of being racist, biased or even implicitly biased.

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