A Couple of Police Incidents at UC Davis Last Week

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In a story that made the news across the region, a student in possession of a replica rifle led to lockdown of Dutton Hall last Thursday.

What is interesting about this incident is that the first person questioned was an African-American man, however when detained by police it was discovered that he had no weapon on him–so they quickly released him.

Shortly thereafter there was another call in the same building and another situation. This time the person was a white man and he was carrying a rifle. They determined it was a replica and fined him $100 and released him.

Now a number of students are openly questioning how they could mistake a black man for a white man or if they simply jumped to conclusions based on racial stereotypes. We shall see how this situation develops and if there is an investigation.

Meanwhile there was another incident earlier in the week.

The other incident was reported in the Cal Aggie on Thursday it involved a graduate student who was stopped on his bicycle.

He was pulled over for a failure to stop at a stop sign.

Upon being asked to produce an ID, he claimed he did not have it.

At this point, he was placed in handcuffs and claims he was shoved to the ground and searched.

He further refused to sign the ticket. At which point he was told he had to sign the ticket or be arrested. He then proceeded to sign the ticket but has since filed a formal complaint against the police department.

This is a difficult case to try to examine, particularly based on the story that appeared in the paper.

But a few observations.

First, if a police officer stops an individual for a valid violation, according to the vehicle code, the individual is required to show an ID. Our reading of the vehicle code previously determined that without an actual violation, the officer cannot simply request identification. However, that was not the case here. Even in that case, it is recommended that anyone asked to show ID complies with the officer’s request and they can sort out any problems later.

So that is the first thing the defendant did wrong in this case.

The second thing that the individual did wrong is to fail to sign the ticket. Signing the ticket is not an admission of guilt, however, failure to sign the ticket can get you arrested.

However, the police may have erred in this case as well. And I stress may. I have had a number of long discussions about cases where the subject is verbally resisting the officer’s commands, particularly in light of what happened at UCLA. Clearly, it is not the best time to confront an officer and there are other means of redress (although they do require at times the ability to have the resources to fight erroneous charges–however the bottom line and I’ve told a number of individuals this–you are not going to win at the scene when the officer has determined you have done something wrong).

The question is how should the officer respond to verbal resistance. And this brings us back to the UCLA situation where the police clearly escalated a minor problem way out of all proportions by responding excessively and disproportionate to the threat posed by the verbal resistance.

This is another potential case where the police may have taken a minor situation and blown it out of proportions. The officers according again the defendant (and again it is tough to judge based only on his side of the story), escalated the situation first by placing him in handcuffs and then by physically forcing him to the ground.

One question that we must ask and will be sought in the internal review (or at least should be) was did the subject present any sort of danger to the police officers or were they simply impatient.

The subject clearly would have made this easier on himself by simply complying, but there are questions to be determined in the conduct of the law enforcement officer starting with a determination of the actual threat presented by the subject and the need to escalate rather than deescalate the resulting conflict.

Regardless this appears to be another good time to suggest people if they haven’t already read this video from the ACLU about knowing your rights when confronted by the police:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NmC5wHfCdM

–Doug Paul Davis reporting

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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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72 thoughts on “A Couple of Police Incidents at UC Davis Last Week”

  1. Rich Rifkin

    “What is interesting about this incident is that the first person questioned was an African-American man, however when detained by police it was discovered that he had no weapon on him–so they quickly released him.”

    It’s bogus to blithely through out there the implication that the cops may have been racists and that led them to mistakenly arrest the person at Student Judicial Affairs.

    That kind of rhetoric, so well known by your friends on the HRC, is poisonous. It destroys people and it destroys our community.

    Perhaps you have much more evidence than you have reported here. And if so, I apologize. But if not, I think your implication is terribly unfair.

    I strongly advise everyone to use caution not only in making charges that someone is a racist, but also in questioning their motives as being “possibly” racist, unless you have definitive evidence to back up your allegation.

    If the cops in this case had used racially derogatory language, or had a demonstrable history of making this same type of mistake, or if the student detained demonstrably did not in any way match the description given to the cops, then the allegation may have merit. But otherwise, David, stop throwing out so much dirt on people who have a very difficult and dangerous job.

    From everything reported in The Enterprise, this person met the description that the cops were given. The Enterprise story does not mention the race of either the ROTC guy with the rubber gun or the guy who was mistakenly detained by police at the SJA.

    That story does say this:

    “A short time later, police received additional information that a person matching that person’s description had a scheduled meeting that morning with Student Judicial Affairs, the disciplinary system for alleged student misconduct.”

  2. Rich Rifkin

    “What is interesting about this incident is that the first person questioned was an African-American man, however when detained by police it was discovered that he had no weapon on him–so they quickly released him.”

    It’s bogus to blithely through out there the implication that the cops may have been racists and that led them to mistakenly arrest the person at Student Judicial Affairs.

    That kind of rhetoric, so well known by your friends on the HRC, is poisonous. It destroys people and it destroys our community.

    Perhaps you have much more evidence than you have reported here. And if so, I apologize. But if not, I think your implication is terribly unfair.

    I strongly advise everyone to use caution not only in making charges that someone is a racist, but also in questioning their motives as being “possibly” racist, unless you have definitive evidence to back up your allegation.

    If the cops in this case had used racially derogatory language, or had a demonstrable history of making this same type of mistake, or if the student detained demonstrably did not in any way match the description given to the cops, then the allegation may have merit. But otherwise, David, stop throwing out so much dirt on people who have a very difficult and dangerous job.

    From everything reported in The Enterprise, this person met the description that the cops were given. The Enterprise story does not mention the race of either the ROTC guy with the rubber gun or the guy who was mistakenly detained by police at the SJA.

    That story does say this:

    “A short time later, police received additional information that a person matching that person’s description had a scheduled meeting that morning with Student Judicial Affairs, the disciplinary system for alleged student misconduct.”

  3. Rich Rifkin

    “What is interesting about this incident is that the first person questioned was an African-American man, however when detained by police it was discovered that he had no weapon on him–so they quickly released him.”

    It’s bogus to blithely through out there the implication that the cops may have been racists and that led them to mistakenly arrest the person at Student Judicial Affairs.

    That kind of rhetoric, so well known by your friends on the HRC, is poisonous. It destroys people and it destroys our community.

    Perhaps you have much more evidence than you have reported here. And if so, I apologize. But if not, I think your implication is terribly unfair.

    I strongly advise everyone to use caution not only in making charges that someone is a racist, but also in questioning their motives as being “possibly” racist, unless you have definitive evidence to back up your allegation.

    If the cops in this case had used racially derogatory language, or had a demonstrable history of making this same type of mistake, or if the student detained demonstrably did not in any way match the description given to the cops, then the allegation may have merit. But otherwise, David, stop throwing out so much dirt on people who have a very difficult and dangerous job.

    From everything reported in The Enterprise, this person met the description that the cops were given. The Enterprise story does not mention the race of either the ROTC guy with the rubber gun or the guy who was mistakenly detained by police at the SJA.

    That story does say this:

    “A short time later, police received additional information that a person matching that person’s description had a scheduled meeting that morning with Student Judicial Affairs, the disciplinary system for alleged student misconduct.”

  4. Rich Rifkin

    “What is interesting about this incident is that the first person questioned was an African-American man, however when detained by police it was discovered that he had no weapon on him–so they quickly released him.”

    It’s bogus to blithely through out there the implication that the cops may have been racists and that led them to mistakenly arrest the person at Student Judicial Affairs.

    That kind of rhetoric, so well known by your friends on the HRC, is poisonous. It destroys people and it destroys our community.

    Perhaps you have much more evidence than you have reported here. And if so, I apologize. But if not, I think your implication is terribly unfair.

    I strongly advise everyone to use caution not only in making charges that someone is a racist, but also in questioning their motives as being “possibly” racist, unless you have definitive evidence to back up your allegation.

    If the cops in this case had used racially derogatory language, or had a demonstrable history of making this same type of mistake, or if the student detained demonstrably did not in any way match the description given to the cops, then the allegation may have merit. But otherwise, David, stop throwing out so much dirt on people who have a very difficult and dangerous job.

    From everything reported in The Enterprise, this person met the description that the cops were given. The Enterprise story does not mention the race of either the ROTC guy with the rubber gun or the guy who was mistakenly detained by police at the SJA.

    That story does say this:

    “A short time later, police received additional information that a person matching that person’s description had a scheduled meeting that morning with Student Judicial Affairs, the disciplinary system for alleged student misconduct.”

  5. 無名 - wu ming

    are you contesting his point that the first person questioned was black, rifkin? because if it was indeed the case that the kid in SJA was black, and the ROTC kid was white, that would have been a detail that both the aggie and the enterprise erred in not reporting.

    as for destroying our communty, one would think that systematically harassing black members of our community over the years would be a bertter candidate for the use of that phrase than merely talking about it in public. i suppose what mattters is who we mean when we say “community.”

  6. 無名 - wu ming

    are you contesting his point that the first person questioned was black, rifkin? because if it was indeed the case that the kid in SJA was black, and the ROTC kid was white, that would have been a detail that both the aggie and the enterprise erred in not reporting.

    as for destroying our communty, one would think that systematically harassing black members of our community over the years would be a bertter candidate for the use of that phrase than merely talking about it in public. i suppose what mattters is who we mean when we say “community.”

  7. 無名 - wu ming

    are you contesting his point that the first person questioned was black, rifkin? because if it was indeed the case that the kid in SJA was black, and the ROTC kid was white, that would have been a detail that both the aggie and the enterprise erred in not reporting.

    as for destroying our communty, one would think that systematically harassing black members of our community over the years would be a bertter candidate for the use of that phrase than merely talking about it in public. i suppose what mattters is who we mean when we say “community.”

  8. 無名 - wu ming

    are you contesting his point that the first person questioned was black, rifkin? because if it was indeed the case that the kid in SJA was black, and the ROTC kid was white, that would have been a detail that both the aggie and the enterprise erred in not reporting.

    as for destroying our communty, one would think that systematically harassing black members of our community over the years would be a bertter candidate for the use of that phrase than merely talking about it in public. i suppose what mattters is who we mean when we say “community.”

  9. Anonymous

    From what I have read/heard, the campus police seem to act much more responsibly than the DPD officers. Therefore, I would cut them some slack. I can understand that they might make mistakes as they look for a person with a gun. They are in a hurry and have not taken the time to fully process the details.

    I do agree that everyone should view the ACLU video. I wish the University would require some of this training during orientation. Most new students do not know how to react to police because they are young and have never faced police officers before.

    As part of the training the students must learn to deal with some of the “bullying” tactics used by police officers. For example, the bike incident was probably inflamed by the way the officer reacted. The Officer could have reduced the tension by simply explaining the situation in a mature/straight forward manner-

    You ran a stop sight.
    That is against the law and I need to cite you.
    Part of the process is that I need to see your license and run the license number through the system.
    The law requires you to give me your license and you are reuired to sign the citation – otherwise I am required to detain you.

    Many police officers do not explain things very well and instead escalate the situation by getting physical. Students need to understand that.SAH

  10. Anonymous

    From what I have read/heard, the campus police seem to act much more responsibly than the DPD officers. Therefore, I would cut them some slack. I can understand that they might make mistakes as they look for a person with a gun. They are in a hurry and have not taken the time to fully process the details.

    I do agree that everyone should view the ACLU video. I wish the University would require some of this training during orientation. Most new students do not know how to react to police because they are young and have never faced police officers before.

    As part of the training the students must learn to deal with some of the “bullying” tactics used by police officers. For example, the bike incident was probably inflamed by the way the officer reacted. The Officer could have reduced the tension by simply explaining the situation in a mature/straight forward manner-

    You ran a stop sight.
    That is against the law and I need to cite you.
    Part of the process is that I need to see your license and run the license number through the system.
    The law requires you to give me your license and you are reuired to sign the citation – otherwise I am required to detain you.

    Many police officers do not explain things very well and instead escalate the situation by getting physical. Students need to understand that.SAH

  11. Anonymous

    From what I have read/heard, the campus police seem to act much more responsibly than the DPD officers. Therefore, I would cut them some slack. I can understand that they might make mistakes as they look for a person with a gun. They are in a hurry and have not taken the time to fully process the details.

    I do agree that everyone should view the ACLU video. I wish the University would require some of this training during orientation. Most new students do not know how to react to police because they are young and have never faced police officers before.

    As part of the training the students must learn to deal with some of the “bullying” tactics used by police officers. For example, the bike incident was probably inflamed by the way the officer reacted. The Officer could have reduced the tension by simply explaining the situation in a mature/straight forward manner-

    You ran a stop sight.
    That is against the law and I need to cite you.
    Part of the process is that I need to see your license and run the license number through the system.
    The law requires you to give me your license and you are reuired to sign the citation – otherwise I am required to detain you.

    Many police officers do not explain things very well and instead escalate the situation by getting physical. Students need to understand that.SAH

  12. Anonymous

    From what I have read/heard, the campus police seem to act much more responsibly than the DPD officers. Therefore, I would cut them some slack. I can understand that they might make mistakes as they look for a person with a gun. They are in a hurry and have not taken the time to fully process the details.

    I do agree that everyone should view the ACLU video. I wish the University would require some of this training during orientation. Most new students do not know how to react to police because they are young and have never faced police officers before.

    As part of the training the students must learn to deal with some of the “bullying” tactics used by police officers. For example, the bike incident was probably inflamed by the way the officer reacted. The Officer could have reduced the tension by simply explaining the situation in a mature/straight forward manner-

    You ran a stop sight.
    That is against the law and I need to cite you.
    Part of the process is that I need to see your license and run the license number through the system.
    The law requires you to give me your license and you are reuired to sign the citation – otherwise I am required to detain you.

    Many police officers do not explain things very well and instead escalate the situation by getting physical. Students need to understand that.SAH

  13. Doug Paul Davis

    I was informed by someone familiar with the matter that the first individual was an African American student.

    This is from the Davis Enterprise article:

    “The student who had been detained at Dutton Hall was said to be upset and angered by the incident. Souza said she apologized to the man, but explained that officers had no choice but to fully investigate the weapon reports.

    “It was a public safety issue, and we had to confirm he was not involved,” she said. “Public safety takes a priority over anybody’s embarrassment or civil liberties. We had to take the action.”

    Nonetheless, the man indicated he plans to file a complaint with campus police, Souza said.”

    The reason he is filing a complaint is that he’s black and doesn’t understand how he could have been mistaken for a the white guy.

    As far I can tell neither paper has reported on this version of the story. As I pointedly said, we shall see how this story develops. There is reason from what I’ve heard from people within the university to ask questions at this point, there is not reason based on what I’ve heard to cast aspersions and I think I was careful not to do so.

  14. Doug Paul Davis

    I was informed by someone familiar with the matter that the first individual was an African American student.

    This is from the Davis Enterprise article:

    “The student who had been detained at Dutton Hall was said to be upset and angered by the incident. Souza said she apologized to the man, but explained that officers had no choice but to fully investigate the weapon reports.

    “It was a public safety issue, and we had to confirm he was not involved,” she said. “Public safety takes a priority over anybody’s embarrassment or civil liberties. We had to take the action.”

    Nonetheless, the man indicated he plans to file a complaint with campus police, Souza said.”

    The reason he is filing a complaint is that he’s black and doesn’t understand how he could have been mistaken for a the white guy.

    As far I can tell neither paper has reported on this version of the story. As I pointedly said, we shall see how this story develops. There is reason from what I’ve heard from people within the university to ask questions at this point, there is not reason based on what I’ve heard to cast aspersions and I think I was careful not to do so.

  15. Doug Paul Davis

    I was informed by someone familiar with the matter that the first individual was an African American student.

    This is from the Davis Enterprise article:

    “The student who had been detained at Dutton Hall was said to be upset and angered by the incident. Souza said she apologized to the man, but explained that officers had no choice but to fully investigate the weapon reports.

    “It was a public safety issue, and we had to confirm he was not involved,” she said. “Public safety takes a priority over anybody’s embarrassment or civil liberties. We had to take the action.”

    Nonetheless, the man indicated he plans to file a complaint with campus police, Souza said.”

    The reason he is filing a complaint is that he’s black and doesn’t understand how he could have been mistaken for a the white guy.

    As far I can tell neither paper has reported on this version of the story. As I pointedly said, we shall see how this story develops. There is reason from what I’ve heard from people within the university to ask questions at this point, there is not reason based on what I’ve heard to cast aspersions and I think I was careful not to do so.

  16. Doug Paul Davis

    I was informed by someone familiar with the matter that the first individual was an African American student.

    This is from the Davis Enterprise article:

    “The student who had been detained at Dutton Hall was said to be upset and angered by the incident. Souza said she apologized to the man, but explained that officers had no choice but to fully investigate the weapon reports.

    “It was a public safety issue, and we had to confirm he was not involved,” she said. “Public safety takes a priority over anybody’s embarrassment or civil liberties. We had to take the action.”

    Nonetheless, the man indicated he plans to file a complaint with campus police, Souza said.”

    The reason he is filing a complaint is that he’s black and doesn’t understand how he could have been mistaken for a the white guy.

    As far I can tell neither paper has reported on this version of the story. As I pointedly said, we shall see how this story develops. There is reason from what I’ve heard from people within the university to ask questions at this point, there is not reason based on what I’ve heard to cast aspersions and I think I was careful not to do so.

  17. davisite

    HEEEEEE…..’S BACK!!

    I see nowhere in the article where racism is mentioned. Just keeping the spotlight of public scrutiny on this subject serves a valuable preventative community function as abuses( no claim of abuse is made here; only questions raised) can only thrive out of public view. This is all that I read into this narrative.

  18. davisite

    HEEEEEE…..’S BACK!!

    I see nowhere in the article where racism is mentioned. Just keeping the spotlight of public scrutiny on this subject serves a valuable preventative community function as abuses( no claim of abuse is made here; only questions raised) can only thrive out of public view. This is all that I read into this narrative.

  19. davisite

    HEEEEEE…..’S BACK!!

    I see nowhere in the article where racism is mentioned. Just keeping the spotlight of public scrutiny on this subject serves a valuable preventative community function as abuses( no claim of abuse is made here; only questions raised) can only thrive out of public view. This is all that I read into this narrative.

  20. davisite

    HEEEEEE…..’S BACK!!

    I see nowhere in the article where racism is mentioned. Just keeping the spotlight of public scrutiny on this subject serves a valuable preventative community function as abuses( no claim of abuse is made here; only questions raised) can only thrive out of public view. This is all that I read into this narrative.

  21. Rich Rifkin

    “are you contesting his point that the first person questioned was black, rifkin?”

    Wu,

    No. I have no reason to disbelieve Greenwald’s report, which is the only place I know of that reported that the first person detained was black, while the person with the gun turned out to be white.

    “… because if it was indeed the case that the kid in SJA was black, and the ROTC kid was white, that would have been a detail that both the aggie and the enterprise erred in not reporting.”

    Agreed. I have not seen the Aggie’s story. The Enterprise article never mentioned the race of anyone, including the officers, suspects, etc.

    What I don’t know — and I think it is an important consideration in this case — is what the actual description of the person at Student Judicial Affairs was.

    If the cops were told, for example, that it was “a 6 foot tall man with a blue shirt,” that may have been a match with both people.

    If, however, they were told something like this: “the suspect is a 6’6″ heavyset, white male, blond hair, fair skin” and then they detained at SJA a person who was a dark-skinned, short, thin black man, that is a definite problem.

    Again, I have no idea what they were told to look for. The Enterprise story makes it sound like they got one description for someone at SJA on the 3rd floor (where they detained the African-American guy) and a different description for the person with the rubber gun, who they arrested on the second floor.

    Without knowing what the police were told, I continue to maintain that Greenwald shows poor judgment here in suggesting that racism or racial profiling may have been a motivating factor.

    One final — and somewhat offpoint — thought on this: race can be a vague notion at times. We use the terms “black” and “white” as if they are so terribly different. But the so-called white race runs along a wide continuum from very light skinned people with straight hair and fair skin to quite dark-skinned people with black and kinky hair. The so-called black race, particularly as it regards African-Americans, is even more diverse, as their heritage is very often mixed racially. So some people who call themselves “black” look pretty much like others who say they are “white.” And, of course, more and more people come from racially mixed families, where they may have some blood from just about every so-called race. For shorthand, cops are given descriptions like “black male, 6 feet tall, medium build.” But such a person could describe individuals who look nothing like each other. And the person in question just may have been someone from Persia, who considers himself a Caucasian.

  22. Rich Rifkin

    “are you contesting his point that the first person questioned was black, rifkin?”

    Wu,

    No. I have no reason to disbelieve Greenwald’s report, which is the only place I know of that reported that the first person detained was black, while the person with the gun turned out to be white.

    “… because if it was indeed the case that the kid in SJA was black, and the ROTC kid was white, that would have been a detail that both the aggie and the enterprise erred in not reporting.”

    Agreed. I have not seen the Aggie’s story. The Enterprise article never mentioned the race of anyone, including the officers, suspects, etc.

    What I don’t know — and I think it is an important consideration in this case — is what the actual description of the person at Student Judicial Affairs was.

    If the cops were told, for example, that it was “a 6 foot tall man with a blue shirt,” that may have been a match with both people.

    If, however, they were told something like this: “the suspect is a 6’6″ heavyset, white male, blond hair, fair skin” and then they detained at SJA a person who was a dark-skinned, short, thin black man, that is a definite problem.

    Again, I have no idea what they were told to look for. The Enterprise story makes it sound like they got one description for someone at SJA on the 3rd floor (where they detained the African-American guy) and a different description for the person with the rubber gun, who they arrested on the second floor.

    Without knowing what the police were told, I continue to maintain that Greenwald shows poor judgment here in suggesting that racism or racial profiling may have been a motivating factor.

    One final — and somewhat offpoint — thought on this: race can be a vague notion at times. We use the terms “black” and “white” as if they are so terribly different. But the so-called white race runs along a wide continuum from very light skinned people with straight hair and fair skin to quite dark-skinned people with black and kinky hair. The so-called black race, particularly as it regards African-Americans, is even more diverse, as their heritage is very often mixed racially. So some people who call themselves “black” look pretty much like others who say they are “white.” And, of course, more and more people come from racially mixed families, where they may have some blood from just about every so-called race. For shorthand, cops are given descriptions like “black male, 6 feet tall, medium build.” But such a person could describe individuals who look nothing like each other. And the person in question just may have been someone from Persia, who considers himself a Caucasian.

  23. Rich Rifkin

    “are you contesting his point that the first person questioned was black, rifkin?”

    Wu,

    No. I have no reason to disbelieve Greenwald’s report, which is the only place I know of that reported that the first person detained was black, while the person with the gun turned out to be white.

    “… because if it was indeed the case that the kid in SJA was black, and the ROTC kid was white, that would have been a detail that both the aggie and the enterprise erred in not reporting.”

    Agreed. I have not seen the Aggie’s story. The Enterprise article never mentioned the race of anyone, including the officers, suspects, etc.

    What I don’t know — and I think it is an important consideration in this case — is what the actual description of the person at Student Judicial Affairs was.

    If the cops were told, for example, that it was “a 6 foot tall man with a blue shirt,” that may have been a match with both people.

    If, however, they were told something like this: “the suspect is a 6’6″ heavyset, white male, blond hair, fair skin” and then they detained at SJA a person who was a dark-skinned, short, thin black man, that is a definite problem.

    Again, I have no idea what they were told to look for. The Enterprise story makes it sound like they got one description for someone at SJA on the 3rd floor (where they detained the African-American guy) and a different description for the person with the rubber gun, who they arrested on the second floor.

    Without knowing what the police were told, I continue to maintain that Greenwald shows poor judgment here in suggesting that racism or racial profiling may have been a motivating factor.

    One final — and somewhat offpoint — thought on this: race can be a vague notion at times. We use the terms “black” and “white” as if they are so terribly different. But the so-called white race runs along a wide continuum from very light skinned people with straight hair and fair skin to quite dark-skinned people with black and kinky hair. The so-called black race, particularly as it regards African-Americans, is even more diverse, as their heritage is very often mixed racially. So some people who call themselves “black” look pretty much like others who say they are “white.” And, of course, more and more people come from racially mixed families, where they may have some blood from just about every so-called race. For shorthand, cops are given descriptions like “black male, 6 feet tall, medium build.” But such a person could describe individuals who look nothing like each other. And the person in question just may have been someone from Persia, who considers himself a Caucasian.

  24. Rich Rifkin

    “are you contesting his point that the first person questioned was black, rifkin?”

    Wu,

    No. I have no reason to disbelieve Greenwald’s report, which is the only place I know of that reported that the first person detained was black, while the person with the gun turned out to be white.

    “… because if it was indeed the case that the kid in SJA was black, and the ROTC kid was white, that would have been a detail that both the aggie and the enterprise erred in not reporting.”

    Agreed. I have not seen the Aggie’s story. The Enterprise article never mentioned the race of anyone, including the officers, suspects, etc.

    What I don’t know — and I think it is an important consideration in this case — is what the actual description of the person at Student Judicial Affairs was.

    If the cops were told, for example, that it was “a 6 foot tall man with a blue shirt,” that may have been a match with both people.

    If, however, they were told something like this: “the suspect is a 6’6″ heavyset, white male, blond hair, fair skin” and then they detained at SJA a person who was a dark-skinned, short, thin black man, that is a definite problem.

    Again, I have no idea what they were told to look for. The Enterprise story makes it sound like they got one description for someone at SJA on the 3rd floor (where they detained the African-American guy) and a different description for the person with the rubber gun, who they arrested on the second floor.

    Without knowing what the police were told, I continue to maintain that Greenwald shows poor judgment here in suggesting that racism or racial profiling may have been a motivating factor.

    One final — and somewhat offpoint — thought on this: race can be a vague notion at times. We use the terms “black” and “white” as if they are so terribly different. But the so-called white race runs along a wide continuum from very light skinned people with straight hair and fair skin to quite dark-skinned people with black and kinky hair. The so-called black race, particularly as it regards African-Americans, is even more diverse, as their heritage is very often mixed racially. So some people who call themselves “black” look pretty much like others who say they are “white.” And, of course, more and more people come from racially mixed families, where they may have some blood from just about every so-called race. For shorthand, cops are given descriptions like “black male, 6 feet tall, medium build.” But such a person could describe individuals who look nothing like each other. And the person in question just may have been someone from Persia, who considers himself a Caucasian.

  25. Doug Paul Davis

    All valid points. At this point, I don’t know anything further other than there is some concern about this incident that was reported to me yesterday from a very reliable source.

  26. Doug Paul Davis

    All valid points. At this point, I don’t know anything further other than there is some concern about this incident that was reported to me yesterday from a very reliable source.

  27. Doug Paul Davis

    All valid points. At this point, I don’t know anything further other than there is some concern about this incident that was reported to me yesterday from a very reliable source.

  28. Doug Paul Davis

    All valid points. At this point, I don’t know anything further other than there is some concern about this incident that was reported to me yesterday from a very reliable source.

  29. Anonymous

    I think that the public safety issue would make people more tolerant of the police response.

    Consider the timing of the incident – it is right after the end of the Fall quarter when students with poor grades are learning about their academic status, fees for the Winter quarter are due, holds for non-payment are being applied which causes automatic drops from registered classes, students are trying and failing to get into impacted classes, it is mid-Winter and really cold, etc. This is a really stressful time for students.
    Now, combine this with a report the a student is seen with a gun! I think cooperation is the way to go here.

  30. Anonymous

    I think that the public safety issue would make people more tolerant of the police response.

    Consider the timing of the incident – it is right after the end of the Fall quarter when students with poor grades are learning about their academic status, fees for the Winter quarter are due, holds for non-payment are being applied which causes automatic drops from registered classes, students are trying and failing to get into impacted classes, it is mid-Winter and really cold, etc. This is a really stressful time for students.
    Now, combine this with a report the a student is seen with a gun! I think cooperation is the way to go here.

  31. Anonymous

    I think that the public safety issue would make people more tolerant of the police response.

    Consider the timing of the incident – it is right after the end of the Fall quarter when students with poor grades are learning about their academic status, fees for the Winter quarter are due, holds for non-payment are being applied which causes automatic drops from registered classes, students are trying and failing to get into impacted classes, it is mid-Winter and really cold, etc. This is a really stressful time for students.
    Now, combine this with a report the a student is seen with a gun! I think cooperation is the way to go here.

  32. Anonymous

    I think that the public safety issue would make people more tolerant of the police response.

    Consider the timing of the incident – it is right after the end of the Fall quarter when students with poor grades are learning about their academic status, fees for the Winter quarter are due, holds for non-payment are being applied which causes automatic drops from registered classes, students are trying and failing to get into impacted classes, it is mid-Winter and really cold, etc. This is a really stressful time for students.
    Now, combine this with a report the a student is seen with a gun! I think cooperation is the way to go here.

  33. Anonymous

    Doug, you seem to be saying that it is wrong or illegal to ride a bike without some form of identification. That doesn’t seem right to me. For example, kids can ride bikes.

    The person said he didn’t have his license with him, so how can you say he was wrong not to show it?

    Are you assuming he was lying, or are you saying he was wrong to ride without a license in the first place?

  34. Anonymous

    Doug, you seem to be saying that it is wrong or illegal to ride a bike without some form of identification. That doesn’t seem right to me. For example, kids can ride bikes.

    The person said he didn’t have his license with him, so how can you say he was wrong not to show it?

    Are you assuming he was lying, or are you saying he was wrong to ride without a license in the first place?

  35. Anonymous

    Doug, you seem to be saying that it is wrong or illegal to ride a bike without some form of identification. That doesn’t seem right to me. For example, kids can ride bikes.

    The person said he didn’t have his license with him, so how can you say he was wrong not to show it?

    Are you assuming he was lying, or are you saying he was wrong to ride without a license in the first place?

  36. Anonymous

    Doug, you seem to be saying that it is wrong or illegal to ride a bike without some form of identification. That doesn’t seem right to me. For example, kids can ride bikes.

    The person said he didn’t have his license with him, so how can you say he was wrong not to show it?

    Are you assuming he was lying, or are you saying he was wrong to ride without a license in the first place?

  37. Doug Paul Davis

    Technically, I believe that you need to wear your identification at all times whether you bike or walk. Now, children don’t have the same rules.

    According to the report, the police knocked the guy to the ground, fished out his license from his wallet. So he did have his wallet on him.

  38. Doug Paul Davis

    Technically, I believe that you need to wear your identification at all times whether you bike or walk. Now, children don’t have the same rules.

    According to the report, the police knocked the guy to the ground, fished out his license from his wallet. So he did have his wallet on him.

  39. Doug Paul Davis

    Technically, I believe that you need to wear your identification at all times whether you bike or walk. Now, children don’t have the same rules.

    According to the report, the police knocked the guy to the ground, fished out his license from his wallet. So he did have his wallet on him.

  40. Doug Paul Davis

    Technically, I believe that you need to wear your identification at all times whether you bike or walk. Now, children don’t have the same rules.

    According to the report, the police knocked the guy to the ground, fished out his license from his wallet. So he did have his wallet on him.

  41. Anonymous

    Per the story in the Aggie, after the guy said he didn’t have his ID, the officer asked him for his name and the guy refused to respond. This was obviously a wrong move. When the officer searched him, he found the guy’s ID. So him saying that he didn’t have one on him was a lie. Even then, the officer only wrote him a ticket for going through a stop sign on his bike. But then the guy refused to sign the ticket. To get him to sign it, the officer had to threaten to arrest him. The only thing the guy did do wrong was to try to run away.

    All the guy needed to do was identify himself so the officer could write the ticket, politely sign the ticket, and he’d be on his way. He must have been having a very bad day.

  42. Anonymous

    Per the story in the Aggie, after the guy said he didn’t have his ID, the officer asked him for his name and the guy refused to respond. This was obviously a wrong move. When the officer searched him, he found the guy’s ID. So him saying that he didn’t have one on him was a lie. Even then, the officer only wrote him a ticket for going through a stop sign on his bike. But then the guy refused to sign the ticket. To get him to sign it, the officer had to threaten to arrest him. The only thing the guy did do wrong was to try to run away.

    All the guy needed to do was identify himself so the officer could write the ticket, politely sign the ticket, and he’d be on his way. He must have been having a very bad day.

  43. Anonymous

    Per the story in the Aggie, after the guy said he didn’t have his ID, the officer asked him for his name and the guy refused to respond. This was obviously a wrong move. When the officer searched him, he found the guy’s ID. So him saying that he didn’t have one on him was a lie. Even then, the officer only wrote him a ticket for going through a stop sign on his bike. But then the guy refused to sign the ticket. To get him to sign it, the officer had to threaten to arrest him. The only thing the guy did do wrong was to try to run away.

    All the guy needed to do was identify himself so the officer could write the ticket, politely sign the ticket, and he’d be on his way. He must have been having a very bad day.

  44. Anonymous

    Per the story in the Aggie, after the guy said he didn’t have his ID, the officer asked him for his name and the guy refused to respond. This was obviously a wrong move. When the officer searched him, he found the guy’s ID. So him saying that he didn’t have one on him was a lie. Even then, the officer only wrote him a ticket for going through a stop sign on his bike. But then the guy refused to sign the ticket. To get him to sign it, the officer had to threaten to arrest him. The only thing the guy did do wrong was to try to run away.

    All the guy needed to do was identify himself so the officer could write the ticket, politely sign the ticket, and he’d be on his way. He must have been having a very bad day.

  45. Doug Paul Davis

    I agree the guy handled the situation completely wrong and that’s one of the reasons I did this write up. People need to know the proper way to respond to police officers.

    I still think the police made some mistakes here, but that’s part of a larger debate over what police officers should do with subjects who are verbally non-cooperative but not physically a threat to them. The best example of such a situation was the UCLA incident.

  46. Doug Paul Davis

    I agree the guy handled the situation completely wrong and that’s one of the reasons I did this write up. People need to know the proper way to respond to police officers.

    I still think the police made some mistakes here, but that’s part of a larger debate over what police officers should do with subjects who are verbally non-cooperative but not physically a threat to them. The best example of such a situation was the UCLA incident.

  47. Doug Paul Davis

    I agree the guy handled the situation completely wrong and that’s one of the reasons I did this write up. People need to know the proper way to respond to police officers.

    I still think the police made some mistakes here, but that’s part of a larger debate over what police officers should do with subjects who are verbally non-cooperative but not physically a threat to them. The best example of such a situation was the UCLA incident.

  48. Doug Paul Davis

    I agree the guy handled the situation completely wrong and that’s one of the reasons I did this write up. People need to know the proper way to respond to police officers.

    I still think the police made some mistakes here, but that’s part of a larger debate over what police officers should do with subjects who are verbally non-cooperative but not physically a threat to them. The best example of such a situation was the UCLA incident.

  49. Anonymous

    Okay, thanks. So he was lying.

    Interesting. I didn’t know the law says you must carry your “papers” with you at all times. Is that a state or federal law? I’m surprised I have never heard of that because it seems pretty extreme.

  50. Anonymous

    Okay, thanks. So he was lying.

    Interesting. I didn’t know the law says you must carry your “papers” with you at all times. Is that a state or federal law? I’m surprised I have never heard of that because it seems pretty extreme.

  51. Anonymous

    Okay, thanks. So he was lying.

    Interesting. I didn’t know the law says you must carry your “papers” with you at all times. Is that a state or federal law? I’m surprised I have never heard of that because it seems pretty extreme.

  52. Anonymous

    Okay, thanks. So he was lying.

    Interesting. I didn’t know the law says you must carry your “papers” with you at all times. Is that a state or federal law? I’m surprised I have never heard of that because it seems pretty extreme.

  53. Doug Paul Davis

    I was trying to find the exact law. I know in the vehicle code, you are required to be able to show your papers when there was a valid stop. The key is determining the valid stop. But most states require you to carry ID and some increased those requirements following 9/11.

  54. Doug Paul Davis

    I was trying to find the exact law. I know in the vehicle code, you are required to be able to show your papers when there was a valid stop. The key is determining the valid stop. But most states require you to carry ID and some increased those requirements following 9/11.

  55. Doug Paul Davis

    I was trying to find the exact law. I know in the vehicle code, you are required to be able to show your papers when there was a valid stop. The key is determining the valid stop. But most states require you to carry ID and some increased those requirements following 9/11.

  56. Doug Paul Davis

    I was trying to find the exact law. I know in the vehicle code, you are required to be able to show your papers when there was a valid stop. The key is determining the valid stop. But most states require you to carry ID and some increased those requirements following 9/11.

  57. Anonymous

    Doug, I’m not sure about your statement that you need to carry ID with you at all times.

    These aren’t primary sources, but FlexYourRights.org (the source for the video you recommend) says this:

    ‘As a general principle, citizens who are minding their own business are not obligated to “show their papers” to police. In fact, there is no law requiring citizens to carry identification of any kind.’

    And Wikipedia says this:

    ‘Although most American adults carry their driver’s license at all times when they are outside their homes, there is no legal requirement that they must be carrying their license when not operating a vehicle. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states are permitted to require people to say their name when a police officer asks them.’

    The thing about other states seems to be about identifying yourself by saying your name and not about mandatory ID-carrying.

  58. Anonymous

    Doug, I’m not sure about your statement that you need to carry ID with you at all times.

    These aren’t primary sources, but FlexYourRights.org (the source for the video you recommend) says this:

    ‘As a general principle, citizens who are minding their own business are not obligated to “show their papers” to police. In fact, there is no law requiring citizens to carry identification of any kind.’

    And Wikipedia says this:

    ‘Although most American adults carry their driver’s license at all times when they are outside their homes, there is no legal requirement that they must be carrying their license when not operating a vehicle. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states are permitted to require people to say their name when a police officer asks them.’

    The thing about other states seems to be about identifying yourself by saying your name and not about mandatory ID-carrying.

  59. Anonymous

    Doug, I’m not sure about your statement that you need to carry ID with you at all times.

    These aren’t primary sources, but FlexYourRights.org (the source for the video you recommend) says this:

    ‘As a general principle, citizens who are minding their own business are not obligated to “show their papers” to police. In fact, there is no law requiring citizens to carry identification of any kind.’

    And Wikipedia says this:

    ‘Although most American adults carry their driver’s license at all times when they are outside their homes, there is no legal requirement that they must be carrying their license when not operating a vehicle. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states are permitted to require people to say their name when a police officer asks them.’

    The thing about other states seems to be about identifying yourself by saying your name and not about mandatory ID-carrying.

  60. Anonymous

    Doug, I’m not sure about your statement that you need to carry ID with you at all times.

    These aren’t primary sources, but FlexYourRights.org (the source for the video you recommend) says this:

    ‘As a general principle, citizens who are minding their own business are not obligated to “show their papers” to police. In fact, there is no law requiring citizens to carry identification of any kind.’

    And Wikipedia says this:

    ‘Although most American adults carry their driver’s license at all times when they are outside their homes, there is no legal requirement that they must be carrying their license when not operating a vehicle. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states are permitted to require people to say their name when a police officer asks them.’

    The thing about other states seems to be about identifying yourself by saying your name and not about mandatory ID-carrying.

  61. Anonymous

    Wikipedia also says this:

    ‘”Stop and Identify” statutes are a breed of laws in the United States that require persons, stopped under certain circumstances, to reveal their name under the penalty of law.

    ….

    If there is a law requiring release of a name, the person is still not obligated to provide any tangible identification card. In this case, to satisfy the minimum duty, the suspect may politely announce his name and may then refuse to answer any additional questions. At this time, it is still believed that laws requiring more than a simple announcement of a name are unconstitutional.’

  62. Anonymous

    Wikipedia also says this:

    ‘”Stop and Identify” statutes are a breed of laws in the United States that require persons, stopped under certain circumstances, to reveal their name under the penalty of law.

    ….

    If there is a law requiring release of a name, the person is still not obligated to provide any tangible identification card. In this case, to satisfy the minimum duty, the suspect may politely announce his name and may then refuse to answer any additional questions. At this time, it is still believed that laws requiring more than a simple announcement of a name are unconstitutional.’

  63. Anonymous

    Wikipedia also says this:

    ‘”Stop and Identify” statutes are a breed of laws in the United States that require persons, stopped under certain circumstances, to reveal their name under the penalty of law.

    ….

    If there is a law requiring release of a name, the person is still not obligated to provide any tangible identification card. In this case, to satisfy the minimum duty, the suspect may politely announce his name and may then refuse to answer any additional questions. At this time, it is still believed that laws requiring more than a simple announcement of a name are unconstitutional.’

  64. Anonymous

    Wikipedia also says this:

    ‘”Stop and Identify” statutes are a breed of laws in the United States that require persons, stopped under certain circumstances, to reveal their name under the penalty of law.

    ….

    If there is a law requiring release of a name, the person is still not obligated to provide any tangible identification card. In this case, to satisfy the minimum duty, the suspect may politely announce his name and may then refuse to answer any additional questions. At this time, it is still believed that laws requiring more than a simple announcement of a name are unconstitutional.’

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