Editor’s note: Mason Harry came by the Vanguard office on Tuesday and showed me a four-year-old video of a routine traffic stop – and by routine, it was as routine as it could get. He was pulled over for making some sort of illegal turn, and he said it ended up getting dismissed by the courts. He was a bit reluctant to open the window which convinced the officer to have him step outside of the vehicle, but the officer was professional and the situation resolved itself quickly.
Unfortunately, the incident became a reason for denying Mr. Harry a chance to do a ride along.
Mason Harry went to the council on Tuesday evening and delivered the following comments.
I’ve come here to ask the council why it is acceptable for the police department to deny a ride along to an innocent man.
I had a ride along scheduled Saturday and when I arrived Watch Commander Kim stated that due to my “criminal background,” a term used to describe someone who, again, has yet to be convicted of so much as a parking ticket in Davis, the police quote was they “don’t feel comfortable having me in the car,”
Now she cited two incidents. Both ending in dropped charges and occurring over four years ago, so why are they grounds for disqualification now?
Well let’s address the elephant in the room, last time I was here, in a long scientific way I stated that essentially government is pointless because what happened to Officer Corona can happen to anyone in this room or outside of it any day, and no amount of laws, taxes or boots on the ground will change that reality and that we all, government and citizens alike, are essentially sacrificing our freedom and desire for nothing.
Now I’m not the only person in opposition of the police. The last one as we all know chose to use violence, and the others choose to only speak from their own safe spaces and echo chambers with covered ears.
But I scheduled the ride along to not only give them a chance to rebut my claims and tell their side of the story but to show me the errors of my way.
Yet in these times of division they slapped my olive branch to the ground.
But I can’t blame them, because I do sound a bit like a mad ideologue with a personal vendetta.
But I am no ideologue, I’m a scientist.
And in that spirit I have not come here for rhetoric, I’ve come for results.
I don’t not want an apology, written or verbal, from any member of the Davis government.
The beauty of science is that it is not the business of making requests, it is the business of making examples. And the best examples make themselves.
I have spoken to the press about my non-existent criminal background – the biggest impact is on the other side. The police’s actions have shown that they are only willing to engage in dialogue on their own terms, adding fuel to the fire for the PR struggle they’re going through.
While I purposefully reached out to them first, it’s time to reach out to the other side. In time, I will extend the same olive branch again.
In the meantime we get to see DPD’s true colors.
Will they jam me up and harass me for opposing them, or will they give me the results I desire and work with me to bring together a divided community?
But either way, I hope the lesson is learned that when someone who opposes you gives you an opportunity to have a dialogue, you take it.