Supervisor Rexroad Criticizes Cruz Reynoso and Civil Rights Commission

cruz_3_with_gutierrez.jpg

While I have often defended Supervisor Matt Rexroad, even as I frequently disagree with him, I find his comments posted yesterday to be out of line and out of character for him.  Some will say that they told me so, that this represents the real Matt Rexroad.  Maybe so, but it is not the Matt Rexroad that I have come to know over the last few years.

He writes:

“So I heard all about the nut jobs forming their own investigation panel yesterday at the Capitol.  Good for them.

Then just now I look over at the Daily Democrat website and it all became clear that these people are not qualified to investigate anything.”

He continues:

“They are at a press conference with a guy that got tossed off the State Supreme County by the voters of California. They are forming their own panel to investigate — and what do they bring to hold up?  Signs that say “Federal Investigation Now”.

So they have their independent investigation with the State AG.  Then they get the federal investigation with the FBI.  So then they form their own group to investigate and then show up with sings (SIC) from the second round of demands.  Rocket scientists — all of them.

Let them investigate.  They might discover the world is round.”

Let me start with a simple point, the District Attorney’s office sent out the press release announcing that there was a federal investigation underway just before 1 pm on Tuesday and this event was schedule for 2 pm.  No one was informed that there was a federal investigation prior to that.  In fact, they may not have known that there was one if I had not called some of the organizers when I got the press release to let them know.

By that point they had their signs and did not have time to change them.  When they found out, everyone seemed appreciative of the fact that Mr. Reisig had indeed done that.  Most believed that he would not have without the consistent pressure.

Cruz Reynoso was guardedly optimistic saying, “I applaud the DA for doing that.”

He was also still a bit leery about it:

“Nonetheless, we know that the DA’s have to work closely with the police department.   Sometimes they’re a little bit constrained in terms of what they can say.   I’d be very interested in reading that report as soon as it goes public, but it does not at all restrain the value at citizens looking into what happened.”

Unlike a lot of people, Cruz Reynoso who served for 12 years on the US Commission for Civil Rights was able to speak first hand to why he was a bit leery of such a move.

As he mentioned in his comments about why he accepted the position,

“I’m influenced in terms of accepting this assignment by the fact that I served on the US Commission for Civil Rights for twelve years and I have seen the value that is contained from independent citizens looking into a situation without the pressures that government officials have.”

I am actually far more appalled by how dismissive Supervisor Rexroad was of the former Justice of the Supreme Court.  So is Mr. Rexroad saying that everyone who loses reelection is ineligible to be appointed to commissions or perhaps serve in Presidential Administrations?  I think that’s a pretty narrow view of things.  Presidents have often named defeated Governors and Senators to their cabinet, often at high level positions.  Sometimes these become good appointments, sometimes not so good.

We all know what happened in November 1986 when Reynoso along with Chief Justice Rose Bird and Joseph Grodin.  That should disqualify Reynoso from serving on a Yolo County Independent Commission? 

In the nearly quarter century since 1986, Mr. Reynoso was named by President Clinton to the US Commission on Civil Rights where he would serve a term as Vice Chair during his twelve year tenure.  He would win the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor.  He would serve as an esteemed professor of Law at UC Davis’ King Hall. 

Last year, then President-elect Obama named Cruz Reynoso to Obama’s Justice and Civil Rights Agency Review Team. Reynoso also helped lead a review of key federal departments, agencies and commissions, as well as the White House. The review provided the Obama-Biden Transition Team with information needed to make policy, budgetary and personnel decisions prior to Obama’s Jan. 20 inauguration.

I mean what a bunch of nut jobs to name a man who is intimitely connected to this county and who marched with Cesar Chavez, named by two Democratic Presidents to prestigious positions, to head up a civil rights commission.  What are they thinking?

Yes, Cruz Reynoso was tossed out in the virtual palace coup against the liberal Supreme Court back in the mid 1980s, but since then he has held down a number of pretty important positions and I cannot possibly think of person better qualified that Mr. Reynoso to lead up this effort.

I wonder if Mr. Rexroad bothered to call Cruz Reynoso and talk to him.  I spoke with Reynoso at some length on Tuesday.

He told me that he wants to find out what happened, that he has concerns about what he has heard and wants to get at the truth and inform the public as to what that truth is.  He wants to involve law enforcement to the extent that they are willing to be involved.

He also told me flat out that he does not want this to become a witch hunt.

I simply do not understand the need for Mr. Rexroad to be so dismissive of this process.  It is clear that there is a segment of the population unhappy with how this has been handled, if done well and involves a diverse group of people this could be a very positive step forward.  Instead Mr. Rexroad dimisses the process as being coordinated by a bunch of “nut jobs” and dismisses a man of the caliber of Cruz Reynoso because he was tossed out of office a quarter-century ago for political reasons.

—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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44 Comments

  1. Patricia Lenzi

    Thank you for addressing Supervisor Rexroad’s rude and immature response to citizens taking serious steps to provide for an independent investigation. These citizens thought long and hard before beginning this process and sought a credible panel of professionals to look into the facts. I believe that every government official should welcome independent open investigations by the citizens whom that government official serves. Other elected officials should likewise strive to encourage open government, and likewise be open and responsive to the citizens he or she serves.

  2. Politics as Usual

    Rexroad is in Reisig’s pocket and they want each other to endorse each other in their next election. I hope voters take note on who supports Reisig’s horrible leadership of the DA’s office and all the problems that have occurred under his watch. The thousands of tax dollars wasted on his politics and all the court decisions against him, his own senior career police offices publicly denouncing his unethical behavior, his failed gang injunction and others failures. Reisig has far too much dirt around him and anyone that condones it, supports it or stands by him is very suspect and must be involved or they would be, at the very least, distancing themselves from him. In Rexroad’s case it appears to be the opposite. The more Reisig’s lies catch up to him, the more Rexroad supports him.

    With all the scandal with so many “politicians” nation wide, is is any wonder why the same people keep getting elected. For just his reason, they support parties, they support people who support them and the people are fooled to vote incumbent. I say “ONE” Term limits. DO not vote for career politicians. As soon as they figure out they only get one term, maybe they will start working at doing what is right and stop working on getting reelected.

    And I hope they start with Reisig!

  3. Greg Kuperberg

    Rude? Yes. Immature? Actually, it isn’t as immature as it reads.

    I wouldn’t call any of these people “nut jobs”. That’s not reasonable. Where Matt is right is that this self-appointed commission (which is what “independent” means here as far as I know) looks highly ideological. Yes, Reynoso brings prestige and qualifications. That’s fine, but it’s not the same as common sense and even-handedness.

    I know many people in academia who have tons of prestige and qualifications, but who I wouldn’t trust to sign a receipt. Admittedly, even the world’s most biased and ideological people are still often right. That’s one reason that prestigious people can still be biased.

    However, I have to admire a guy like Jeff Reisig, someone with an unpretentious resume and a record of competence (despite what the Vanguard says about it), for facing down people who are soaked with prestige. Even if I don’t particularly agree with Reisig’s politics.

  4. Whats the truth?

    That is what a Grand Jury is. When they report on something, we still need more. What difference will this independent body do? None. At least a Grand jury has some subpoena power. The DA, Police and FBI cannot divulge any information about the case. So who are they going to talk to? Answer: disgruntled people who have no real knowledge, just opinions.

  5. Rich Rifkin

    LENZI: [i]”Thank you for addressing Supervisor Rexroad’s rude and immature response to citizens taking serious steps to provide for an [u]independent[/u] investigation.”[/i]

    In the sense that it is unofficial, the Reynoso group’s investigation may be called independent. However, what troubles me — and apparently does not bother Ms. Lenzi or David Greenwald or their crowd of Reisigophobes — is that the friends, family and acquaintances of Mr. Gutierrez who hired Cruz Reynoso to lead yet another investigation asppear to have a predetermined outcome in mind which they want Mr. Reynoso to “discover.” That is, they clearly believe already that the police were unjustified in shooting Mr. Gutierrez and they want an “independent” analyst to prove what they already believe.

    The Gutierrez group is not alone in being biased. Yolo County law enforcement and law enforcement affiliated actors (like the DA’s office) also have a bias going in to this case. It is for that reason that the state AG (or the FBI to be redundant) conduct an impartial investigation.

    But because the FBI is doing an investigation and because the state AG is, too, it is worse than pointless to have Mr. Reynoso conduct a biased inquery. We know what he will find: exactly what the group which hired him wants to be found.

    LENZI: [i]”These citizens thought long and hard before beginning this process and sought a credible panel of professionals to look into the facts.”[/i]

    I hope Ms. Lenzi is not so self-deluded to actually believe what she is saying here. I realize that she is very bitter at Mr. Reisig for a number of reasons, not least of which his defeating her for public office. To anyone looking at this matter fairly, it is patently obvious that the Reynoso panel is not “a credible panel of professionals.” It’s a group hand-picked to confirm an outcome the hand-pickers wanted.

    LENZI: [i]”I believe that every government official should welcome independent open investigations by the citizens whom that government official serves.”[/i]

    No, Pat. Not if the investigation is not designed to be fair and unbiased. When you put together a group of activists with an agenda and have them do an investigation, you get a disaster. That is just what happened in Davis when a group of activists politicized its bogus investigations of the Davis Police Department by way of the Davis Human Relations Commission. Except for those who were actively involved in that witchhunt, or those who have intimate ties to those involved, it was obvious all along that the DHRC was not about “fair investigations.” This Reynoso panel is a repeat of that kind of unfair nonsense and it’s a shame that a former candidate for DA in Yolo County does not have the common sense to understand that.

  6. David M. Greenwald

    I don’t think they “hired” Reynoso.

    “is that the friends, family and acquaintances of Mr. Gutierrez who hired Cruz Reynoso to lead yet another investigation asppear to have a predetermined outcome in mind which they want Mr. Reynoso to “discover.””

  7. E Roberts Musser

    I am glad the CA Attorney General and FBI are looking at this heartbreaking case for all concerned. I am troubled by the police procedure of having undercover officers out of uniform and/or dressed in gang paraphenalia engaged in stopping citizens. Common sense would dictate such a procedure is going to be fraught with problems, since the potential suspect is not going to necessarily know if they are being officially and appropriately stopped by members of law enforcement, or are being attacked by gang members using a ruse.

    What I hope comes out of all this is a change in police procedure for the better – no matter who is the catalyst for reform. If I am incorrect in my logic about the question of whether stops by undercover police officers is advisable, would a knowledgeable police officer please step forward and set me straight. This is NOT a snipe at law enforcement – there is always room for improvement in every profession. It is striking the delicate balance between keeping law and order on our streets versus the importance of individual rights – a fine line to walk.

  8. Frankly

    Admittedly, even the world’s most biased and ideological people are still often right.

    I think you meant to say they are still often left.

    Sorry, I could’t resist.

    Getting real serious and somber now… I keep thinking about the 2006 statistic of 180 officers dying in the line of duty and 460 committing suicide and wonder how much the stress of the constant challenge from political activists contributes. Cops are fallible because they are human. Also, as humans they are subject to a level of work stress that exceeds all but a few professions. Consider the pump of adrenalin each time a cop approaches a subject fitting the profile or circumstances that spell danger. Then consider that the subject does something unexpected but matching the profile for the expectation of danger. We see this over and over again… otherwise good cops with spotless records being involved in the beating or death of a subject then in retrospect it appears that the response was too extreme. The common thread is usually that the subject was uncooperative, unreasonable or unpredictable.

    I think Mr. Cruz Reynoso would provide a much more valuable public service meeting with school children and other young men in high risk groups to explain the need for respectful and predictable behavior when confronted by police. That of course assumes his interest is the prevention of unnecessary loss of life, and not advocacy to advance a political agenda or career.

  9. David M. Greenwald

    ” otherwise good cops with spotless records being involved in the beating or death of a subject then in retrospect it appears that the response was too extreme”

    Jeff: I think you raise good points. From my standpoint, and I think it has been bolstered more from my experiences in the last three years, good officers can make mistakes. Good departments can make mistakes. But good departments find a way to handle them in ways that do not end up blowing up in their faces. When I first got involved here in Davis, I saw a lot of great examples of how not to handle these situations. In the last two years, I’ve seen a lot of great examples of how to handle these situations.

    I’ll give you a simple example, on Wednesday September 9, the DA’s office announced there would has been an FBI investigation into the Gutierrez matter since last month–that could be August 1 or August 31, perhaps somewhere in the middle. The incident occurred on April 30. So it’s been almost month and a half months.

    What if he and Prieto had come out on May 5 and said we understand there is concern, we are going to have the Woodland PD conduct the initial investigation and then turn it over to the AG’s office and FBI for further examination. What if the Sheriff’s Department had simply not released the reports that they did, citing an ongoing investigation?

    Would people still be angry? Probably. Would they have formed a separate committee? Probably not. Things could have been differently in this case, in the public handling of it, that could have calmed things down more than they have been.

    It’s mostly about how you handle it and you have to know that an officer involved killing is going to spark concerns, there are ways to handle things and ways not to. This was not handled very smoothly. They have probably gotten to the right place, but they could have saved the trouble and gone there immediately.

  10. C. Rodriguez

    The fact of the matter is that people are concerned about the way the Sheriff’s office handled the Gutierrez death. I see no problem with bringing the FBI to Woodland, How is that bad? I believe Woodland has nothing to hide.

    Now, it is a shame Rexroad has resorted to such low standards of public service. Constant insults directed at people who disagree with him, and even at Artemio Pimentel, need to stop.

    Reisig’s, and Rexroad’s re-election campaign are being jeopardized.

    “Jeff Reisig, someone with an unpretentious resume and a record of competence”

    Please do research on Reisig; It seems as though opposition toward the public request is less about Justice and more about opposing Latinos in general.

  11. Patricia Lenzi

    Mr. Rifkin:

    I do not know you, so I assume you do not know me. Therefore, I will respond so as to inform you rather than leaving you to speculate.

    It is my understanding that no one HIRED Cruz Reynoso. He volunteered when asked. I also personally know former Justice Reynoso well enough, in both personal and professional settings, to know that he absolutely does not have a pre-determined outcome in mind. I feel comfortable calling this an “independent investigation” because it is independent of the entities already involved in investigating this incident. I feel that the concerns of the citizens asking for an independent investigation will be addressed even if the conclusion is exactly the same as the conclusion that seems to have been reached by the Sheriff’s Department (since the officers involved are back on active duty), and likely the same conclusion that will be announced by Mr. Reisig once the FBI, AG and any others finish with their respective investigations.

    I also consider former Justice Reynoso a credible professional. I hope that the others on this panel are equally professional and credible. The group putting this together worked hard, I am sure, to find credible professionals.

    When citizens do not have faith in the justice system, or in its governmental officials, I believe that this great nation of ours is founded upon a principle that the citizenry can and should take action to ensure government officials are responsive to the people they serve. No, I am not advocating mob rule or something akin to it as you seem so ready to imply. I am stating a fact: government officials should be responsive to the citizens they serve.

    You state that law enforcement is biased in this investigation.
    Yolo County law enforcement and law enforcement affiliated actors (like the DA’s office) also have a bias going in to this case. It is precisely for that reason that an INDEPENDENT investigation may help restore faith in Yolo County law enforcement. An impartial investigation by outside agencies is also welcome. Why can’t both occur?

    CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION
    ARTICLE 2 VOTING, INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM, AND RECALL
    SECTION 1. All political power is inherent in the people.
    Government is instituted for their protection, security, and benefit,
    and they have the right to alter or reform it when the public good
    may require.

    This is merely a time when certain citizens have decided it is time to ensure exercise of their inherent power.

    There are significant legal limitations on the Reynoso investigation, of course. However, it still has value if it is conducted in an appropriate manner. I believe that former Justice Reynoso will conduct it in an appropriate manner. I presume he will review any public information from the DA, AG, FBI or Sheriff’s department regarding their respective conclusions, as well as listening to voices that feel they are not being heard at present. Who is to say what additional valid information may come to light as a result? I do not know, nor do you, Mr. Rifkin.

    I am pleased that Mr. Reisig has decided to ask for the FBI and AG to review the matter. That action may help assuage the concerns of the citizens who seem to currently have little or no faith in the Yolo County justice system. That, in my opinion, [u]is[/u] a government official acting in a manner that is responsive to the community he serves.

    Mr. Rexroad’s comments seemed the antithesis of responsiveness to citizens in the community he serves that have voiced some of these same complaints. It is both rude and immature to label former Justice Reynoso and concerned constituents of Mr. Rexroad’s “nutbags” and suggest they will find little more than the fact that the world is round. I expect more of Mr. Rexroad and am disappointed by his frivolous choice of words.

    I tend to say very little regarding Mr. Reisig’s actions in office because there are so many people who do not know me, as in your case, or who supported Mr. Reisig’s candidacy, both of whom are quick to assume I am bitter about an election that took place over three years ago. I have moved on in my life long ago. I wish the same for those who opposed my candidacy.

  12. Looking for Answers

    An investigative panel is needed for more than just the Guitterez case (although I agree that an independent investigation is needed in this case). At the August 22nd demonstration there were six different groups represented that wanted an investigation into Reisig’s DA office. Between these six cases and Reisig’s own employees calling foul, something is amiss. Where there is smoke….there is fire.

    If you want to hear more reasons why a civil rights commission is needed, please go to the VanGuard Radio show from this past Wednesday night at http://kdrt.org/station/archives/115 to hear how Reisig’s DA office’s tactics obstructed justice in the Ajay Dev case.

  13. Ms. Lenzi sounds reasonsable

    Good response by Ms. Lenzi. I did not vote for her but after seeing what Mr. Reisig has done with that office, I wish I would have. Every thing that is happening is related to and or caused by Reisig’s inability to run the DA’s office openly, fairly and above reproach. Reisig’s actions have created this deep distrust and now everyone who supports Reisig wants to blame every other person who is trying to do something to fix it.

    It is not only our right to questions our elected leaders, It is our responsibility. And the more people like Reisig try and stop the citizens from doing this, the more it screams of corruptness and dirty dealings.

  14. Get Real

    Typical David Greenwald world view:

    When the people of California exercise their democrat rights and vote out a judge, that is inappropriate.

    “Cruz Reynoso was tossed out in the virtual palace coup”

    But a self-chosen investigative committee, not voted for, not appointed by elected officials, is both appropriate and to be respected.

  15. Rich Rifkin

    [quote]It is my understanding that no one HIRED Cruz Reynoso. He volunteered when asked.[/quote]I retract the word “hired.” I should have said “gave the job to.”

    From reading about this in the Daily Democrat ([url]http://www.dailydemocrat.com/ci_13306156?source=most_viewed[/url]), it is my understanding that the group led by Eric Alfaro, Yolo Justice Coalition, was the partial organization which chose Mr. Reynoso. Although I have met Mr. Reynoso (I interviewed him once in his office at the law school at UCD) and found him amiable, I don’t think it is a stretch to presume why he was selected. And I continue to maintain that it really does not help to have a biased investigation by a group which believes going in that Mr. Gutierrez was killed because of racial profiling (even if it turns out they were right).

    I think what is needed is a professional investigation. The only reason that the Yolo County officials cannot conduct an unbiased investigation — much like the Davis Police Department has trouble investigating its own officers — is because Yolo County law enforcement were involved in this case. Yolo investigators will inherently be prone to see things in the best possible light of their friends. That does not serve justice.

    However, I do not believe that the FBI or other outside law officers (who don’t know or work with the parties involved) cannot conduct an honest investigation. I am confident the FBI can and will. Also, it is my understanding that the Calif. AG’s office will not [i]investigate[/i] this matter, as such, but they will review the work done by Reisig and his subordinates. I presume that if General Brown finds something amiss, he will take appropriate action.

    [i]”I am not advocating mob rule or something akin to it as you seem so ready to imply.”[/i]

    I never said anything about mob rule or anything even close to that. I’m shocked you would make such a wildly unsupported claim. If you are aware of what took place in Davis, when a biased group of citizens, the DHRC, investigated the Davis Police Department over citizen allegations of misconduct, you would understand how dangerous a biased investigation can be. The findings of that group were terribly unfair to the people being investigated. In my opinion, the reason that group went so far off the rails was because they had prejudged each case they were looking at. The “facts” took them just where they hoped to go. And thus, if the partial analysts led by Reynoso are determined to prove what they already believe to be the case, they, too, will go off the tracks and disserve our community.

  16. Sorry you are mistaken

    You are incorrect that the FBI does not have the same bias as other Yolo Law enforcement. The Yolo DA has cops assigned to a joint task force and works together with the FBI. In fact many of the DA Investigators are Dep FBI agents that assist and work FBI cases under the direction of the FBI, so there is a close relationship between the two.

    So if you believe that other local law enforcement would be bias, the same bias is present with the FBI. In fact Naliboff and Gore were both sworn federal agents and part of this FBI team and we all know those two investigators see things very differently.

    Anyone that thinks this “so-called” outside investigation is somehow non involved, disinterested or non-bias does not know the inner workings of the DA’s Office and the close working relationship of the FBI and the DA’s Office. Reisig is not stupid and knows who to keep close to him to support and cover his ‘indiscretions’. He picks his friends for specific reasons such as political connections, race, positions held, investigative power over him and other tactical reason.

    So people speaking about what they hear or what the paper says does not make it fact. Until you are on the inside and actually see the inside of the DA’s Office, then you do not and can not realize what goes on behind those walls under the despicable leadership (I use that word loosely) of Mr. Reisig.

  17. Rich Rifkin

    [quote]You are incorrect that the FBI does not have the same bias as other Yolo Law enforcement. The Yolo DA has cops assigned to a joint task force and works together with the FBI. In fact many of the DA Investigators are Dep FBI agents that assist and work FBI cases under the direction of the FBI, so there is a close relationship between the two.
    [/quote]This is just silly, if you really believe what you are saying. The FBI agents who will investigate the Yolo County task force won’t be agents with ties to the task force. They will be as impartial as any investigators could be.

    As I’m sure you also know, the FBI routinely investigates cases where local police need to be investigated. There is a widley publicized case ([url]http://rawstory.com/08/news/2009/08/18/minnesota-police-beating/[/url]) in Minneapolis currently, where local cops reportedly beat up a guy who was pulled over for speeding. The FBI is now investigating that. There are a couple of other California cases where the FBI is currently investigating the police. One is in El Monte ([url]http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local-beat/FBI-Investigates-El-Monte-Police-After-Officer-Kicks-Suspects-Head-.html[/url]) and the other is in Inglewood ([url]http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/07/fbi-investigates-fatal-shooting-by-inglewood-police.html[/url]), where the IPD fatally shot a suspect.

    If you contend that the FBI agents are human beings capable of screwing up their investigations, I would concede that point. However, it is not the case that the FBI routinely whitewashes the crimes of local police. There are countless examples of the FBI finding local cops in the wrong when the cops have been wrong. A few well known examples are the FBI’s investigation of the LAPD in the Rampart Scandal and the Eppolito and Caracappa mafia-cops case in New York a couple of years ago.

  18. jake wallace

    There is no reason to have faith in the Sacramento regional FBI office.
    I spoke with special agent, Hernandez, who refused to identify himself but was careless enough to have his ID dangling in front me. (2007)

    Special agent, Hernandez, didn’t know nor care that the FBI’s fourth priority is public corruption, the FBI stated that no offense is too big nor small, but special agent, Hernandez, stonewalled the complaints that are cited in CV06-581 that Presiding Judge Donna M. Petre, Judge Steve Basha, Assemblywomen, Mariko Yamada and DA Jeff Reisig, obstructed, on behalf of now Sacramento chief probation officer, Don Meyer, over foster youth abuse allegations.

    Visit the Sacramento FBI yourself and get the great oppressive experience of exercising your constitutional rights.

    Rexroad is just another Woodland Gang member whose gum’s are flapping and the rest of the gang is cringing.

  19. C. Rodriguez

    For Rich Rifkin,

    The Justice Coalition did not choose Reynoso. The membership of the Organization does not include the influential individuals that could easily “tap” people of Reynoso’s caliber.

    What you are witnessing is something uniquely organic. I’m surprised a Davis Enterprise columnist lacks sufficient research abilities to accurately map out a holistic picture of what is going on.

    Let me help you out,

    Cruz Reynoso is no stranger to Yolo County, or to civil rights issues in our area-for that matter. A while back, you may remember, Reynoso helped a group of women who were being sexually harassed at the Blue Diamond plant in Sacramento.

    Who called him there? The Coalition, God? You see, when you jump to conclusions you completely bury your legitimacy as an intelligent columnist. Reynoso has a record of helping those in need, those without the means to get good legal help.

    Now, I don’t know if you are purposely defending and misleading with logically flawed arguments–but i’ll keep it at, “you were confused”.

    [u]Quick Recap:[/u]

    1. Reynoso was not, “called by the Coalition”
    –The undertone that a Hispanic judge would be called in by Hispanics is bordering racism… Do you think Reynoso’s Hispanic background makes him susceptible to bias? (regardless of his many merits)

    2. Reynoso has a record of helping Americans without a formal invitation from any group.

    3. I cannot but help noticing a conservative slant on your statements.
    –That’s fine, but it will undoubtedly eliminate your hopes of sounding objective

    4. For some reason you feel that the members of the coalition are activist. Let me make it a bit clear–members in the coalition are very well educated from prestigious universities, with post-graduate degrees or with plans of pursuing post graduate degrees.

    Sometimes, people from Woodland study and come back to help. You should really stop labeling the members as activist. It would be like me saying you are a reactionary or bigot….not very polite.

    Hoped you enjoyed.

  20. john smith

    Ms. Lenzi,

    Remember you were once a DDA in both Sacramento and Yolo County. I hope you are just as supportive if these officers are proven innocent. I would imagine you had to know these officers if you did any legal or criminal investigations. I wonder why you haven’t offered any support to them or acknowledge that there is a gang problem within Yolo County. Did CHP Officer Stevens die by a gang member? I think he did according to press releases. Didn’t Deputy Antonio Diaz die by an alleged gang member. According to news reports this is the case so far. I truly am wondering if you do support law enforcement or if you are still bitter.

  21. David M. Greenwald

    I can only speak for myself, not Pat, but for me, I hope that the officers acted appropriately in this case. I have concerns about that based on what I’ve heard. I think most officers are good people trying to do their jobs properly, I hope that is the case here. I think everyone is concerned and want to find out the truth about what happened.

  22. Rich Rifkin

    [quote]The undertone that a Hispanic judge would be called in by Hispanics is bordering racism… Do you think Reynoso’s Hispanic background makes him susceptible to bias? [/quote]This is total nonsense. I never mentioned anyone’s ethnic heritage and for you to say that is the “undertone” of my comments is absurd, offensive and brutally dishonest. If you have any integrity at all, you will retract your mean-spirited attack and apologize to me at once.

  23. john smith

    Sir,

    You still avoid the topic. If these officer’s are found to be innocent will you write something positive or continue to stir the pot. Will you acknowledge that there is a significant gang problem and help the community. Please tell us what you have heard. Share this information with the community. Do you have facts or is it journalistic fiction? Do you have a panel of experts giving information. Who are these people I would like to know. The more knowledge the better we as a community can feel.

    Please don’t speak for Ms. Lenzi because you did. I have yet to hear her speak out on the gang issues in this community. I have only heard her speak of support for activists. This is fine and if she chooses this I am ok with it. I don’t have to agree with it. She was a former DDA and probably still has ambitions of being a DA again. I hope she remembers the sacrifices of both Officer Stevens and Deputy Diaz. And maybe she should also support these three officers.

  24. Patricia Lenzi

    Mr. “Smith”

    This is a bit tiring. I certainly understand that there is a segment of people, who still consider themselves political opponents of mine, who relish in the opportunity to once again sling innuendo and falsehoods regarding my “support” for law enforcement and claim falsely that I am bitter. I understand that those folks, like you, will never believe me to be supportive of law enforcement no matter what I do or say, nor believe anything I say regarding an election three years ago that is long since over. Even so, I will try to answer you in a way you may understand.

    The officers don’t have to be “proven innocent” as you well know, and also never will be “proven innocent.” Even criminal defendants do not get “proven innocent” under U.S. law; they are merely “found not guilty.” Therefore, you are misstating the law. I have no knowledge of the facts of this case other than that disclosed in news accounts. I will wait to see what all of these investgations conclude.

    Have the names of the officers involved been released to the public? How would you know whether I know them or not unless you are in law enforcement in Yolo County and are privy to information that allows you to know their names? I do not have inside access as you seem to have.

    I have not expressed any opinion regarding the lawfulness of the shooting itself in this case. What I have done? I have addressed the rights of citizens to take actions within the bounds of law and constitutional rights of theirs to ensure that government officials serve them. I hope that the citizens expressing concerns regarding Yolo County law enforcement have their faith restored in the justice system after the investigations are all completed and findings of each investigation are disclosed to the public.

    I certainly hope that any law enforcement officer here, or anywhere, who is involved in a fatal shooting acts within the bounds of law. Just as many do, some do not. The DA in Alameda County concluded that the shooting at the BART station by an officer was murder and charged the officer with that crime. That case is not resolved yet. Is that DA not meeting your standard of “supportive of law enforcement?” Should citizens, prosecutors, DAs and other law enforcement blindly support officers whether or not the officers have acted within the bounds of law? Perhaps you think that all of us in law enforcement should act in lock step.

    You seem to know the facts regarding the murders of Deputy Diaz and Officer Stevens. You cite “press releases,” not news accounts. Interesting. Perhaps you know, and perhaps you do not know, that “press releases” come directly from the law enforcement agencies involved. They are not filtered in any way by the newspapers, tv news, other journalists, or anyone else. In point of fact, I have never read a police report or seen court testimony regarding either of these crimes. I have read news accounts and have no more specific information on either matter than any average community member.

    Violent gang members are dangerous. Violent criminals that are not in gangs are dangerous. As you know, I prosecuted many violent criminals, some of whom were gang members and many of whom were not. I personally prosecuted many violent offenders who victimized children and women.

    I hope YOU are as concerned about child molestation victims, domestic violence victims, elder abuse victims, victims of non-gang members, non-law enforcement victims, victims who are police officers who are killed or injured by non-gang members (often in domestic violence calls), as you are with both Officer Stevens and Deputy Diaz.

    Sadly, you will continue to wonder if I support law enforcement and will wonder if I am bitter. I can’t and won’t change your mind, and we both know that.

    This article, however, is about Supervisor Rexroad’s inappropriate choice of language, and derisive reaction to community members questioning the actions of their public servants. Try to keep to the topic.

  25. C.Rodriguez

    [quote]I never mentioned anyone’s ethnic heritage and for you to say that is the “undertone” of my comments is absurd, offensive and brutally dishonest. If you have any integrity at all, you will retract your mean-spirited attack and apologize to me at once.[/quote]

    An undertone means you did not mention it directly-if you would have mentioned someones ethnicity– it wouldn’t be an undertone. I am a life long Woodland Resident, and have established myself in Woodland politics for many years now. I will not appologize, and for you to call me “mean spirited” is hiprocritical.

    [quote]their crowd of Reisigophobes — is that the friends, family and acquaintances of Mr. Gutierrez who hired Cruz Reynoso to lead yet another investigation asppear to have a predetermined outcome in mind which they want Mr. Reynoso to “discover.”[/quote]

    Why do you think the friends and family of Gutierrez would elicit illegal activities from Cruz Reynoso? Hispanic undertones… I am not going to go as far as saying that you are being racist, because that is not accurate- but I will say that you seem to have a bias either against Hispanics, or in unbending support for Reisig and Matt Rexroad.

    Please, reevaluate your comments and your position. Dismissing my claims as absurd does not change the fact that you are constantly scolding concerned Americans and then taking the Defensive position as the victim of unfounded critique.

  26. C.Rodriguez

    To add to my comment. Rich Rifkin completely ignored my statements that showed that his bias accusations against Cruz Reynoso’s motives were unfounded.

    Let’s have an intelligent discussion, no need for petty attempts at misleading people. We are both educated, lets keep that in mind.

  27. Rich Rifkin

    [quote]Why do you think the friends and family of Gutierrez would elicit illegal activities from Cruz Reynoso? Hispanic undertones…[/quote]Now I get it. You are just a bully, who thinks calling an innocent person a racist, or couching that in “undertones” of racism, is perfectly reasonable dialog. It’s not. It’s uncivil of you and terribly damaging rhetoric. If that is your tactic and your thought process, you are sadly mistaken to think that I won’t react harshly to your brutal and unfair mischaracterization of my words. [quote] I am not going to go as far as saying that you are being racist, because that is not accurate …”[/quote] Oh, I see, you can call me a racist by saying I have “undertones” of racism, but you think that is not calling me a racist? How daft are you, sir? [quote]… but I will say that you seem to have a bias either against Hispanics …[/quote] Having a bias against a group essentially is racism, Rodriguez. You are surely not so dim that you don’t understand that. And the fact is, I never mentioned or implied anything about anyone’s heritage. Therefore, for you to conclude that I have a bias against Hispanics — you should mention this to my family in Mexico, by the way; or to all the friends of mine in Guadalajara, where I taught English at the Catholic University of Guadalajara, that you sense I have “undertones” of racism against Hispanics — is completely and totally ridiculous on your part. [quote]… or in unbending support for Reisig and Matt Rexroad. [/quote] I don’t know Mr. Reisig and have no strong feelings for him one way or the other. I am not a political partisan in any sense and am willing to judge Reisig or Rexroad on a case by case basis. Your accusing me (with no evidence) of “unbending support” for these two German-Americans is wholly unfounded.

    I won’t, however, accuse you of Teutonophobia. I don’t play the game of attacking people falsely, as you obviously do.

  28. David M. Greenwald

    “If these officer’s are found to be innocent will you write something positive or continue to stir the pot.”

    What would you like me to right that is positive about a shooting?

    “Will you acknowledge that there is a significant gang problem and help the community.”

    Does the actions of these officers have to do with whether or not there is significant gang problem? I view those are completely independent issues.

  29. C. Rodriguez

    I find it hilarious that you label me as a “bully” because I choose to stand up to false commentary.

    [quote]If you are aware of what took place in Davis, when a biased group of citizens, the DHRC, investigated the Davis Police Department over citizen allegations of misconduct, you would understand how dangerous a biased investigation can be.[/quote]

    Woodland is not davis. A difference in socio-economic and racial environments will obviously not produce the same outcomes. This is not a spur of the moment thing–it is the culmination of years of work done by many individuals in the City of Woodland.

    [quote]Therefore, for you to conclude that I have a bias against Hispanics — you should mention this to my family in Mexico, by the way; or to all the friends of mine in Guadalajara, where I taught English at the Catholic University of Guadalajara, that you sense I have “undertones” of racism against Hispanics — is completely and totally ridiculous on your part.[/quote]

    If my accusation are unfounded why must you make a point to “prove” that you are not biased against Hispanics?

    You label Woodlander’s as activist, accuse Reynoso of being biased, accuse the Gutierrez family of somehow strategically fabricating an investigation. You sir are the bully. How is that reasonable dialogue? Do as I say, not as I do, will not work.

    Lets be smart about this. Jerry Brown is most likely running for Governor, he cannot jeopardize his position with the police agencies and unions by running the risk of discovering gross mismanagement on the part of the Yolo sheriffs office.

    As for Reisig, tell me this is not strange. Pedroia gets less than a year in county jail for admitting to molesting a child (for obvious reasons, he did not get anytime in state prison), while others get a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 300+.

    How about when the Deputy D.A’s son was arrested in Woodland for Drunk Driving but the D.A’s office dropped all charges. While many other young kids without prior criminal records easily get a “Gang Specialist” from the D.A to testify to gang affiliation.

    You see, this is the culmination of many many concerns. Take a holistic view of the situation–you would be surprised.

    Cheers,

  30. ricardo flores magon

    Who is C. Rodriguez? There are several Rodriguez persons with the initial C. It would be nice to know the first name so that we would no confuse such a person.

  31. Rich Rifkin

    [quote]If my accusation are unfounded why must you make a point to “prove” that you are not biased against Hispanics? [/quote]You are just burying yourself in the illogic of your charges. You falsely accuse me of being a racist (saying I have racist undertones). I defend myself and assert your charge is unfounded — which it is — and false — which it is — and when I do so, you question “why I must make a point to prove I am not biased against Hispanics”?

    If you think you are being in the least bit reasonable or civil toward me, you have no idea what it means to be reasonable or civil. You come across as a misguided prosecutor in an Arthur Koestler novel. Perhaps your calling was not to be a finder of the truth, but rather a lackey running a show trial?

  32. Rich Rifkin

    [quote]You label Woodlander’s as activist, accuse Reynoso of being biased, accuse the Gutierrez family of somehow strategically fabricating an investigation. [/quote]Quit lying, Rodriguez. It’s unbecoming of you as my accuser.

    I never mentioned “Woodlander’s” or “activists,” so this falls as yet another of your fabrications, on the heels of your invention that I have an anti-Hispanic bias. Further, I never mentioned the Gutierrez family; so this is yet a third lie of yours.

    It’s sad to see that you think you will win friends and influence people by starting your entire argument by bullying your critics and then lying about them when your bullying tactics fall flat. It’s a shame that the dead man — who may well have been a victim of police misconduct for all I know — has the misfortune of having obtuse calumniators like you on his side. Your unfounded attacks against innocents will make it harder for the full truth to emerge.

  33. C. Rodriguez

    [quote]No, Pat. Not if the investigation is not designed to be fair and unbiased. When you put together a group of activists with an agenda and have them do an investigation, you get a disaster. That is just what happened in Davis when a group of activists politicized its bogus investigations of the Davis Police Department by way of the Davis Human Relations Commission. Except for those who were actively involved in that witchhunt, or those who have intimate ties to those involved, it was obvious all along that the DHRC was not about “fair investigations.” This Reynoso panel is a repeat of that kind of unfair nonsense and it’s a shame that a former candidate for DA in Yolo County does not have the common sense to understand that.[/quote]

    Lets review. When referring to Davis you state:

    [quote]When you put together a group of activists with an agenda and have them do an investigation, you get a disaster.[/quote]

    You call the people involved in Davis who wanted an investigation “activist”

    Now, take a look at this.
    [img]
    This Reynoso panel is a repeat of that kind of unfair nonsense and it’s a shame that a former candidate for DA in Yolo County does not have the common sense to understand that.[/img]

    WHY DO YOU LIE?

    So, you make foolish accusation, then claim you are non-partisan.
    [img]
    I am not a political partisan in any sense [/img]

    Really?

    [u]Let me break down your lies[/u]
    1. You DID refer to the reynoso group as Activist, when comparing them to the “activist” that made a complete “disaster” in Davis (according to you).

    2. You DID mention the Gutierrz’s.

    [quote]The Gutierrez group is not alone in being biased. Yolo County law enforcement and law enforcement affiliated actors (like the DA’s office) also have a bias going in to this case. It is for that reason that the state AG (or the FBI to be redundant) conduct an impartial investigation.[/quote]

    3. You might not be anti-Hispanic. I have to be honest, no real proof supports the claim. But personally, you’re not convincing me.

    Please stop twisting words, fabricating accusations, and trying to play the victim after you make vicious attacks.

  34. C. Rodriguez

    (note: this is after “Now, take a look at this”)

    [img]This Reynoso panel is a repeat of that kind of unfair nonsense and it’s a shame that a former candidate for DA in Yolo County does not have the common sense to understand that.[/img]

  35. David M. Greenwald

    I find it interesting that Rich argues against this body when multiple times in the past on these pages he’s advocated for a similar body in Davis. Here’s one example I found from November 2006:

    “The Human Relations Commission ought to have been made into a private group, one which selects its own membership, one which decides what it would like to investigate, and one that could issue reports on whatever it likes. If any funding was necessary, such a group could have appealed to like-minded citizens across town and even beyond. It doesn’t serve much purpose to have a Human Relations Commission which has been neutered and reigned in by the city council. Nor does it make sense to have an independent and unelected HRC, paid for by public funds and made official by the city council, which pursues an agenda that contradicts the wishes of the democratically elected council and the majority of people in Davis. A private entity could hold forums, speak as a group, issue reports, address the council, and in every other way try to sway public opinion. They could even, much as the ACLU does, file lawsuits against the city of Davis or other actors who they believe have violated the rights of certain individuals or groups, if they believe the city and others are not responding to their citations in good faith.”

    This is exactly what is happening now at the county level but Rich doesn’t appear to like that.

  36. Rich Rifkin

    [quote]I find it interesting that Rich argues against this body when multiple times in the past on these pages he’s advocated for a similar body in Davis. [/quote] On the face of it, that quote, which is accurate, appears to contradict what I’ve said here. However, I think it answers a different question.

    The question back then was, if you are going to have a politicized group carry on a politicized agenda against the wishes of the elected body politic and most of the voters, is it wise to have that politicized group be an official city body funded and supported by the taxpayers? In my response which you quote, I said no, it does not “make sense to have an independent and unelected HRC, paid for by public funds and made official by the city council, which pursues an agenda that contradicts the wishes of the democratically elected council and the majority of people in Davis.”

    Given that, let the group be a private political party “which decides what it would like to investigate, and one that could issue reports on whatever it likes.”

    However, here the question is, are such politicized investigations good for the commonweal? Do such preconceived studies help our society arrive at the truth? Or do they serve to divide us by innuendo, false conclusions or half-truths? My suspicion is that politicized investigations, even those carried out by private actors, are not helpful. Yet private actors, like the Reynoso group, certainly have every right to investigate whatever they want and issue any reports of findings they want.

  37. C. Rodriguez

    To Rifkin:

    [quote]However, here the question is, are such politicized investigations good for the commonweal? Do such preconceived studies help our society arrive at the truth? Or do they serve to divide us by innuendo, false conclusions or half-truths?[/quote]

    You seem to be missing the point completely.

    You assume that the Woodland organization is somehow politically motivated.

    You also assume that the motivations of the members are so strong, that they will undoubtedly result in half truths and false conclusions.

    Lastly, you assume that the Justice Coalition is investigating. That is not true.

    I dont know if it is dimwittedness, or simply honest confusion; but your whole approach in logic is very backwards.

    Do you consider the Chamber of Commerce a politicized organization? Because they are, and are also involved in local politics. Do they pose a danger to the commonwealth as well?

    I think I understand what you are getting at. You fear “lobbying” groups are no good for society as a whole. That argument was pushed by our forefather James Madison when he said in the Federalist No.10, [quote]“A pure democracy can admit no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will be felt by a majority, and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party. Hence it is, that democracies have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”[/quote]

    Special interest do pose a problem, regardless of whether the interest are noble or based on petty careerism. But just as Madison discovered, I believe that, the more groups/factions we have,the better they will all check themselves in the long run.

    We have had a untouchable faction in Woodland and Yolo County. Certain prominent individuals, the District Attorney, and the Yolo County sheriff have personified Madison’s fear that one faction would undermine society. But the Justice Coalition, and those types of groups offer the fragmentary force that can check,unchecked groups and agencies.

  38. Anon

    “On the face of it, that quote, which is accurate, appears to contradict what I’ve said here. However, I think it answers a different question.”

    Nice try and saving face, but it comes off weak IMHO. I see it as convenient flip-flopping…when it suits your purpose.

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