Are Recent Shootings A Sign of Things To Come or an Aberration

Share:
landy_blackEarly this past week, Davis Police Officers responded to a request to provide emergency back up for a Yolo County Sheriff’s Deputy responding to a situation on Hanover Drive.  A Sheriff’s deputy was at an apartment complex on Hanover Drive enforcing an eviction order on a resident in the complex.

According to reports from Davis Police, the deputy made contact with the resident at the front door of the apartment.  The deputy was confronted by the resident who was wielding a knife and the deputy shot the resident.

Davis Police Officers arrived and found the resident injured but still in possession of a knife.  The resident refused officers’ orders to drop the knife and subsequently threw the knife at one of the officers from a second story balcony, striking him in the head.

The resident was eventually taken into custody and transported to the UC Davis Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

In most town, this would not be much more than a footnote of a story, but in Davis, it is rare that shots are fired during an incident, particularly an eviction order. 

However, something is going on in Davis.  On August 8, someone shot into an occupied apartment on the 1100 block of J Street.  There were neither injuries nor arrests in that case.

On September 13, police responded to an individual shooting at another individual in the downtown after a large fight had been broken up.  Again no injuries and no arrests.

Then on September 26, four adults were arrested at an apartment complex on Cantrill Drive.

The suspects became involved in an argument at a party in one of the apartment units at around 1 a.m. A woman left the party and returned about an hour later with her brother and two male friends, attempting to push through the front door using baseball bats and striking one of the male partygoers.  One of the male suspects fired four shots at the apartment and the bullets also hit an adjacent unit.  These suspects were caught trying to flee, but no injuries were reported.

What is going on in Davis?  Are we seeing a changing demographic?  Is it a bunch of isolated incidents that just happen to be occurring in less than two months?  Is it a sign of things to come?

The issue caught the attention this past week of Councilmember Stephen Souza who asked for an informational item from the Police Chief who was not at the last council meeting. 

While it is unclear if having more police officers would make any difference, given the type of incidents and their scattered nature, one thing that is a concern is that the city is not in the fiscal condition to add resources at this time.  This has been one of the primary reasons, that we have been pushing for more fiscal discipline and looking at ways to reduce spending.

We hear a lot of talk about public safety when it comes to the fire department, their continued pursuit of the battalion chief model.  However, we note that the police department actually saw staffing cuts in the past budget negotiation.  Yes, these staffing cuts took the form of a loss of a traffic enforcement officer and the professional standards sergeant, however, the fire department who have received much higher pay hikes over the past five years were largely unscathed in the budget cuts.

In the past, we have shown a relationship between the political activism of the fire department, their large amounts of campaign expenditures compared to their police counterparts, and the larger employee salary increases.

And yet now if there is a threat to the city, it’s not from an increased fire danger, as we have modern buildings with excellent construction standards that do not generally lead to structure fires.  However, as we have seen, the biggest threat to public safety is probably twofold.

First, the lack of resources to make infrastructure upgrades.

Second, the threat of increased crime in part due to the economic downturn and both the need for some to resort to extralegal means to survive, which has manifest itself in a possible increase in property crime in Davis.  At the same time, there is a level of frustration about diminished prospects that may lend itself to more violent crimes.

Again one of the biggest concerns with the budget situation is that the city may find itself without the available resources to deal with these kinds of problems.

The Public CEO on Saturday made reference to an article in the Redding Spotlight Record. 

“Redding firefighters have agreed to wage concessions that will prevent the closure of a fire station on Westside Road in south Redding, the layoff of six firefighters and the demotion of six others.  The concessions, announced Friday, represent about a 12.4 percent pay cut for the 71 fire department workers represented by the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1934.”

The chief motivation was to avoid the inevitable service cuts that would have resulted from the closure of a station and the layoff of personnel.

Unfortunately right now Davis is not following this type of models.  We need to look for ways that we can avoid service cuts to the Davis residents.  We need to remember that service cuts take many different forms and some of these cuts may make it more difficult for us to respond to new types of threats in the city.  If we lock in these higher salaries because things do not look *that* bad at present, we may be looking at further service cuts down the road when we have to respond to public safety threats whether it be increased crime or crumbling infrastructure.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

Share:

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.

Related posts

28 thoughts on “Are Recent Shootings A Sign of Things To Come or an Aberration”

  1. color blind

    Davis is being invaded. Talk to the DPD, talk to the UCDPD, read the Enterprise, see it for yourself. Solano County, Sacramento, Woodland and Oakland have discovered our little town so proud of unlocked doors. We have enough police that are more than capable of dealing with the problem, except for one little problem. The people doing the crimes are “of color”… Are the police allowed to notice?

    Think about the shooting on E Street last month. There was a crowd of at least 100 African Americans. Ford Escalades full of young black men rolled by. Someone then emptied a .40 caliber automatic into the crowd. It was fortunate no one was killed, this time.

    The bank robberies that have become commonplace in Davis- young black men from out of town. The frequent assaults at night, young black and Hispanic men from out of town. Young black men knocking on doors selling fake newspaper subscriptions are usually just testing the door knob- and this has led to a huge spike in burglaries. Many of the violent assaults in Davis are coming from Asian gangs from the east bay. The police see this, they are well aware of the problem and could easily predict who is going to cause an incident, but that would be “racial profiling” wouldn’t it?

  2. Come on

    “The people doing the crimes are “of color”… Are the police allowed to notice?”

    How about they just arrest the people who commit the crimes without profiling based on race?

  3. Greg Kuperberg

    [i]However, as we have seen, the biggest threat to public safety is probably twofold.[/i]

    Actually, the biggest threat to public safety in Davis is motor vehicle accidents.

  4. Anon

    Gangs/thieves have found our town, and find it a target rich environment. Many do not lock their doors, including car doors, walk/jog/bicycle at night, not taking normal precautions city dwellers do. Also, university towns invite trouble, with parties, drinking and carousing – providing venues for robbery and rape. Citizens need to wise up, and stop looking at Davis as if it were “safe”. Lock your doors (including car doors), don’t have huge open parties where anyone can come, get to know your neighbors, don’t walk late at night. Renters need to check out who is renting from them, and avoid renting to those w criminal records – Topete (the killer of a law enforcement officer) lived right in West Davis. Gang members are hiding out here. I have heard there is a contingent of skinheads who hide out on the UCD campus.

  5. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”The deputy was confronted by the resident who was wielding a knife and the deputy shot the resident.”[/i]

    I would not be surprised to find the woman with the knife has some serious mental illness issues. If so, that’s not an aberration. That simply reflects our stupid societal attitude toward the mentally ill — we pretend that they can take care of themselves, in spite of all evidence to the contrary. Conservatives do this because they think it will save them from paying more in taxes; liberals go along because they think we have to protect civil rights.

    [i]”On August 8, someone shot into an occupied apartment on the 1100 block of J Street.”[/i]

    If the victims of this shooting don’t know why this occurred — perhaps they do — then you have to chalk this one up to aberration. Even in a Davis 5 times as large as it was in my childhood, random shootings into occupied homes are not the norm.

    [i]”On September 13, police responded to an individual shooting at another individual in the downtown after a large fight had been broken up.”[/i]

    The shooting makes this one different, but large fights at the start fo the UCD school year were more common a few years back.

    [i]”Then on September 26, four adults were arrested at an apartment complex on Cantrill Drive. … One of the male suspects fired four shots at the apartment and the bullets also hit an adjacent unit.”[/i]

    For what it’s worth, the suspects in this case were from Woodland. I was told the shooter has a long rap sheet.

    [i]”What is going on in Davis? Are we seeing a changing demographic? Is it a bunch of isolated incidents that just happen to be occurring in less than two months? Is it a sign of things to come?”[/i]

    It’s probably all of those things.

    Davis is still generally a safe community. However, there are some pockets of crime, particularly juvenile crime. And if the actual numbers of rapes against women at UC Davis are true (as opposed to the trumped up numbers reported by the lady in charge of the sex-crimes prevention program), then we have a far more serious issue of that sort of assault than we have with instances of gunfire.

  6. resident

    …I think ‘anon’ and ‘come on’ have brought up some important issues. I have had personal negative experiences from both hispanic and black davisites.
    However, there is another issue that is not addressed here. We are an agricultural community. Much farm labor includes hispanics from all over just trying to work and support their families…many undocumented. They tend to mind their own business, and NOT report any crimes that they may be aware of due to their immigration status. I’ve seen other immigrant cultures, also be very hesitant to report threats from offending factions.

    Due to many apartment owners located out of the community…they have very little concern regarding screening applicants for any area other than ‘can you pay the rent.’

    As for one of my own neg. ex. When reported to the police, NOT ONE thing was done to the person involved, even though the police tracked done the person guilty. This was regarding a repeated break-in to my home, and a suspected stalking of my teenage daughter. One much question police protection.

  7. Bear-ack!

    From first comment above: Ford Escalades full of young black men rolled by. Someone then emptied a .40 caliber automatic into the crowd.**********
    Semi-auto or fully auto?? Just an oversight, I assume or does anyone know for sure? Thanks.

  8. BB Rebozo

    Gun violence in Davis. Expect more of it to come. The cause, learned behavior from movies, video and popular music, then add in gangs like that DC gang led by Scalia with an assist from the NRA. It could be a new reality or an bunch of coincidences but either way this is learned behavior.

  9. anon2

    First, there are and have long been skinheads in Davis. Ask the Yolo County DA’s office, which has tried and convicted a number of skinheads over the last few years for very violent crimes. I don’t believe thy were “hiding out on the UC campus.” As I recall, they were living in town as long-time Davisites and DHS grads. (Not that DHS grads are skinheads. My point is simply that extremists come from all walks of life and live among us.)
    Second, ditto with gangs. They’re here. They’re real. Deal with it.
    Third, times are tough. My friends and neighbors seem divided into two camps: the ostriches (“Davis is safe – there’s no real crime here”) and the pragmatic, who lock their doors just as they did when they lived in Sac or SF or New York or LA.

    stats – real data – shows that we are no longer a small town, there is real crime here, including gangs and parolees and sex offenders and all the the attributes of a city. We are a CITY folks, not a little village, and this is par for the course. So lock your doors, do what you can. watch your neighborhood, and get on with your life and don’t worry about it too much.

    But don’t for one minute think that there is no real crime in Davis. Don’t be an ostrich.

  10. Brian K

    John Riggins and Sabrina Gonzales. Many Davisites recognize the names. After their murders in December, 1980, Davis was forever changed. It was no longer a small town inhabited by a community of innocent individuals. Thereafter, modern corporate forces and anonymous strangers moved in fast and hard, encouraged by massive, subsequent development.

    From Amazon.com about “Justice Waits” an account of the tragedy:
    “The murders remain the most shocking crime in the history of Davis and profoundly influenced the lives of hundreds of people. In this gripping, multilayered work, the horrifying crime and the end of innocence for a generation of Davisites is intimately explored. The lack of an apparent motive that for years baffled investigators, the strange and unusual history of the evidence, the questionable and expensive arrest and prosecution of four suspects in 1989, the unraveling of the case after DNA evidence was discovered in 1992, the author’s investigation that prompted the long-dormant case to be reopened with startling results in 2002, and the considerable legacy left by John and Sabrina. “Justice Waits: The UC Davis Sweetheart Murders” is a poignant collage of intrigue and remembrance.”

  11. Frankly

    We have enough police that are more than capable of dealing with the problem, except for one little problem. The people doing the crimes are “of color”… Are the police allowed to notice?

    Although this previous post makes me cringe, it brings to mind a question: Has David and his activist friends, through their work to label the Davis PD a racist organization and demand a more sensitive style of policing, made Davis a more attractive and friendly place for the bad guys?

    Another consideration is the population growth of the cities that surround Davis – especially on the I-80 corridor. Given the type of humanity living in Parts of Sacramento, Woodland, Vacaville and Fairfield; I would rather our Davis police have a reputation for high levels of suspicion and intolerance toward lawlessness. I would rather have a larger and tougher police force, and suffer the liability of harsher treatments than to bend so far the other way to pacify liberal sensitivity.

  12. Rich Rifkin

    Brian: [i]”John Riggins and Sabrina Gonzales. Many Davisites recognize the names. After their murders in December, 1980, Davis was forever changed.”[/i]

    If you know me — I’m not sure who Brian K is — you know John Riggins was a friend of mine ([url]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_-iCrgpX1jNM/SsoO0vkoEaI/AAAAAAAAAMg/iWWwiW4fho0/s1600-h/John+Riggins.jpg[/url]). We grew up a block from each other. His sister, Carrie, was in my class in school.

    His and Sabrina’s deaths were indeed a huge shock to all of Davis. However, looking back, I don’t know if that isolated crime, as horrifying as it was, really changed Davis in the way you suggest. Davis did change later in the 1980s. But that change was largely just through its and the university’s growth: more housing, more people, more stores, more roads, more wealth, Dave Rosenberg, new highways, etc.

  13. Anon

    “That said, I think you are being overly dramatic Anon”

    What, are you stuck on stupid? We just had a rash of shootings! You can’t make them somehow “go away”. Sticking your head in the sand, and pretending we don’t have a problem in Davis is EXACTLY WHY WE DO HAVE A PROBLEM IN DAVIS!

  14. Anon

    “Davis is still generally a safe community.”

    Another one that wants to stick his head in the sand! Wake up and smell the coffee. The police will tell you the Enterprise has hugely underreported crime in this town. Topete lived in West Davis. At night, I have run across cars containing crack smokers (4 of them). A gang used to headquarter out of a pizza parlor in West Davis when my son went to DHS about ten years ago. This has been going on for a long time, and is continuing, but probably getting worse bc of people who won’t take the proper precautions. Just recently we had a rash of car breakins, bc people were not locking their cars! Geeeeeeze, Louieeeeeeze!

  15. Steve Hayes

    “…….What is going on in Davis? Are we seeing a changing demographic? Is it a bunch of isolated incidents that just happen to be occurring in less than two months?………”

    What is going on in downtown Davis is the explosion of daytime eateries being converted to nighttime bars and clubs. These clubs play on well into the night, long after the traditional businesses of Davis have closed. These clubs also come fully equipped with the following:sad:1) burly bouncers; (2) extremely loud music; (3) long lines of students and out of town visitors waiting to get in; and,(4) late-night roving bands of youths “on the hunt”.

    Maybe during the day we can still lie to ourselves and claim to be an ecucation and family oriented community. However, at night, we must “wake up and smell the booze”. Of course these activities spill over to the Davis community at large! This is why the character of our town has changed!

  16. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”The police will tell you the Enterprise has hugely underreported crime in this town.”[/i]

    That may be true. I don’t know. However, when I look at the daily police reports, which you can read here ([url]http://cityofdavis.org/police/log/[/url]), not too much surprises me. There seem to be a lot of calls for noise complaints, 911 hangups, false burglary alarms and family problems (including missing elderly persons and juvenile runaways). Yesterday’s report ([url]http://cityofdavis.org/police/log/bulletin.cfm?bulletin=03D713EBC2400DB72E5FB6C7C0688482[/url]), for example, included only 3 arrests: 2 for drunk in public; and 1 for marijuana possession. There was a report taken for a “sexual assault” on Russell Blvd. That’s quite serious. But most of the police activities listed in this and other crime reports strike me as rather tame.

  17. Brian K

    Rich,
    I don’t know you either, except from your posts here and Enterprise column.
    The point is, the Riggins-Gonzales tragedy marked a turning point, where such events became “thinkable” in Davis. After 1980, Davis began losing many aspects of its character and started becoming bland on the surface.
    I’m not saying there was a cause-and-effect, but I’m also not saying the tragedy and subsequent fast and hard arrivals of waves of strangers capable of who knows what was entirely a coincidence either.

  18. David M. Greenwald

    “Has David and his activist friends, through their work to label the Davis PD a racist organization and demand a more sensitive style of policing, made Davis a more attractive and friendly place for the bad guys?”

    Jeff:

    I think you’re giving me too much credit in a backhanded way. First of all, and you can check this blog, I’ve never called the Davis PD a racist organization. I don’t believe it is racist and I don’t think either under Hyde it was racist. There were problems in the leadership in the organization, I think many of those have been address.

    The larger issue is that a lot of people of color do have stories to tell about Davis and even many who have not lived in Davis have heard stories. The result though is that people of color that I have spoken to, generally avoid Davis.

    The simpler answer is in order for this. Davis is a city where a lot of people feel safe and thus do not take precautions to protect their property. There are neighborhoods right off the highway that are easy to hit and they get hit. That’s a point that has been made to me every time I have gone on a ridealong.

  19. David M. Greenwald

    Anon:

    With all due respect, I think there is a way not to put ones head in the sand in terms of the potential dangers without leaping into hysteria about gangs and others things. I’m going to look closer at crime stats, but I suspect this is mainly a reaction to the current economic crisis in this state.

  20. Brian K

    So, does this mean Davis is no longer a safe city?

    “The simpler answer is in order for this. Davis is a city where a lot of people feel safe and thus do not take precautions to protect their property. There are neighborhoods right off the highway that are easy to hit and they get hit. That’s a point that has been made to me every time I have gone on a ridealong,” David Greenwald

  21. Frankly

    I think you’re giving me too much credit in a backhanded way. First of all, and you can check this blog, I’ve never called the Davis PD a racist organization. I don’t believe it is racist and I don’t think either under Hyde it was racist. There were problems in the leadership in the organization, I think many of those have been address.

    David:

    Sorry, after rereading what I wrote, my comment was a bit off the mark and crude. I think the Human Relations Commission, your wife, and you, have given a lot of support to people that have attempted to label the police department under Chief Hyde as racist… at least that has been the inference and the message. I know that your intentions have been good despite being associate with these people (I call them activists) that really seem to dislike and distrust the police. Chief Black is a good guy and a better leader of the Davis PD. I don’t dispute that there have been improvements.

    My point was/is that Davis, with a hyper-observed police department, may be seen by bad guys as a safer place to commit crimes. I think it is great when the David police treat potential thugs, rapists and thieves with respect. However, I think they should be able to pull over and question anybody they suspect of criminal activity. I have talked to a lot of cops that second guess their instincts because of the fear they might offend a person in some protected group. I agree with your point in the article that Davis should have more patrol officers and spend less on our fire fighters (possibly two separate issues, but of course, connected through our city budget challenges). However, a less frequent and less overly-sensitive claim of racial profiling would also help.

  22. David M. Greenwald

    Jeff:

    I appreciate your revised comments. In retrospect things could have been handled differently. In hindsight, it is pretty clear to me what happened, but at the time, it was less so.

    “I have talked to a lot of cops that second guess their instincts because of the fear they might offend a person in some protected group.”

    I think this is an issue that can be resolved and worked through both through better community outreach and training. There is a trust issue that needs to be rebuilt and through trust there will be a greater benefit of the doubt. It’s of course not that simple, but you have to start somewhere.

  23. Anon

    DPD: “Anon: With all due respect, I think there is a way not to put ones head in the sand in terms of the potential dangers without leaping into hysteria about gangs and others things. I’m going to look closer at crime stats, but I suspect this is mainly a reaction to the current economic crisis in this state.”

    NO FRIGGIN’ WAY! With all due respect, I have lived in this town since 1987, and seen a lot go on. I will repeat:
    1) About 10 years ago there was a teen gang operating out of a West Davis pizza parlor, that terrorized students. Members ended up in jail for assaulting drunk college students and my son, who was coming out of a grocery store with a gallon of milk. This gang was well known to many parents of DHS students, bc the leader of the gang was living with the Vice Principal of DHS.
    2)Topete, who killed a police officer recently, lived in West Davis. He was a gang banger, and very dangerous. Drug dealing goes on in the park near what was his house (West Manor). I have walked by cars full of crack smoke so thick it was difficult to see the occupants. The police will tell you that many gang members hide out in Davis as good cover – think of it as “house laundering”. Just a few years ago, there was a massive FBI/state/local law enforcement investigation, that netted gang murderers from the Woodland, Dixon, Fairfield triangle. It is not a stretch to think gang members might choose to hide out in nearby Davis – and they clearly do (Topete).
    3) Steve Hayes makes a good point. Too many late night bars open until the wee hours of the morning, public partying going on where anyone and everyone can drop in, that is enticing a bad element to come to Davis.
    4) The police have been complaining for years that the Davis Enterprise underreports crime in this town.
    5) It is well known by police of a skin-head contingent that hides out in Davis/UCD. This fact is talked about by police in seminars given to students. Look at the graffiti in the bathrooms.
    6) It is no coincidence we have had a rash of shootings. This sort of thing happens like clockwork. A couple of years ago we had a rash of armed robberies in two weeks (5 I think). Just recently there was a series of laptop computer thefts on the UCD campus. Not that long ago school buildings were tagged with gang graffiti. If criminals get the message that residents of a sleepy little college town don’t take proper precautions, it makes for a target rich environment.

    I am not being “hysterical” as you put it, and I suspect Police Chief Landy Black would not think my comments were of someone “hysterical” either. What I have clearly said is that to pretend this town is safe, and not take proper precautions is INVITING CRIMINALS TO COME HERE. There are gang members living here among us, criminals see this town as a target rich environment of very naive citizens who don’t take simple precautions – there is a failure to lock house and car doors, leave laptop computers unattended, young girls jogging late at night. Stupid, stupid, stupid. THAT IS NOT BEING HYSTERICAL! IT IS STATING FACTS, AND PRACTICING SIMPLE LOGICAL PRECAUTIONS.

  24. Marvin K

    What all these incidents have in common is that the victims and suspects are not what I would call true long time involved Davisites or they simply do not live here thus they have no link to the community and do not care about it and feel better about being able to not be identified and therefore get away. Remember the Cantrill riot? Same principles. When I say true long term involved resident, I mean they are living here short term (students for example) or are from outside of Davis.

    Davis is known by criminals (they do talk to one another and share information just like the cops and you and I) for the LOW number of police (usually just 4-5 officers and 1 supervisor on duty at any given time) and for the HIGH number of high value targets (nice cars thanks to the college students, unlocked car AND house doors thanks to naive residents, etc.) As (dare I say) Chief Hyde said once, at any given time of the day or night, the citizens of Davis can be assured that there are more sleeping (and higher paid) Davis firefighters than Davis police officers patrolling the streets and making sure they can sleep as safely as the firefighters. Well I added in some extras but you get the point- 3 fire stations times 4 man crew = 12 firemen vs. 4 cops and 1 supervisor.

    Regarding commenter “color blind”‘s comments: Someone has finally spoken what many have been thinking but were afraid to say. (Of course it had to be done anonymously.) When you get a chance, look up the term “depolicing” and that is what is happening in Davis along with many other parts of the country. Many cops are afraid to do their jobs (stop cars for traffic infractions, arrest law breakers, ask accusatory questions of suspects, etc.) for fear of being labeled certain terms or having a march or protest done in their name or the incident in which they were involved in.

    I was amazed at how quickly the DPD came out after the shooting on Hanover Drive to make it very clear that it was NOT them who had shot a black woman but the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department. They ONLY responded as “emergency backup” after a call for help. I’m sure the DPD brass were breathing a big sigh of relief. The last thing they want is one of his officers being involved in a shooting or any critical incident with a minority because even if it is ultimately determined to be justified (which it almost always is), the stigma, questions, “what if’s”, doubters, race mongers and uninformed posters will always be there.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for