Civil Liberties

Jan 212015
Prominent San Leandro Citizen Speaks Out Against BEARCAT

This is the letter that Tim Holmes, a prominent San Leandro citizen and community activist, sent the San Leandro City Council. You can also read my own message to the SLPD on this matter. To the members of the San Leandro City Council: I attended the recent community meeting regarding the plans to obtain a Bearcat, I wasn’t able to complete my comments in the time allotted, so I’m including them in full here. I am asking you vote no and to NOT accept this vehicle. Tools only seem neutral. You pick one up, you use it and put it [Continue Reading]

Jan 102015
My Message to the SLPD: The Bearcat is Not a Good Idea

This was my speech at the “community meeting” on the SLPD‘s planned acquisition of a Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck (Bearcat).  I addressed my comments to the SLPD, as the City Council has made it clear that their role is simply to rubber stamp any proposal brought by the Police. In other words, we officially have a police state in San Leandro. You can find Tim Holmes remarks here. While it may seem hard to believe, I appreciate our police officers.    Every single SLPD officer I have met, has treated me with politeness, courtesy and professionalism.  I think [Continue Reading]

Jan 052015
ACLU to Look at SLPD's Use of Social Media to  Spy on San Leandro Students

A lawyer from the ACLU has contacted a member of SAFE and explained that they are starting a review process on the tracking of kids’ online activities and the keeping of records on kids through graduation.   At their last City Council meeting, the Council approved a grant that will provide the San Leandro Police Department with resources to spy on students using social media and to maintain a database of any student behavior that could label a child as being “at risk,” this starting in elementary school. The ACLU is working to determine if the SLPD’s proposed tracking and [Continue Reading]

Dec 082014
SLPD Shoot at Fleeing Suspects Twice in 3 Days

Over the last three days, we’ve had two shootings of women  driving allegedly stolen cars by San Leandro Police Department officers.  One of them is in critical condition.   Police missed the other, a 16 year-old girl, though one bullet wheezed past a bystander and another hit a parked car a block away.  Fortunately, nobody was reportedly injured in that incident.  Shooting at a fleeing subject who is not a threat to the life of others is against the law. There is no doubt that moral blame lies on the officers who did shoot. But the real culprits, the ones [Continue Reading]

Oct 312014
A Quick Primer on San Leandro Candidates' Attitudes Towards Civil Liberties

  The positions below are based on candidates’ answers to questionnaires and to questions asked at candidate fora and on other public statements from the candidates. * While the candidate currently holds that position, s/he might consider voting differently. ? The candidate has not indicated their position on this issue.   Mayoral Candidates  Is in Favor of:  Diana Souza   Pauline Cutter   Dan Dillman   Gregg Daly (write in)   Red Light Cameras   Y  N  N  N  Surveillance Cameras  Y  Y  N  N  Long Term Retention & Sharing of License Plate Reader Data  Y  Y*  N  N  SLPD Armored Personnel Carrier  Y  Y*  N  N  SLPD searching [Continue Reading]