How Does the Current Crop of Cop Capers Compare to the Scandals of the San Diego Police Department of the Past? – Part 1

by on May 19, 2011 · 28 comments

in History, Popular, San Diego

Old San Diego Police Headquarters is dwarfed by today's downtown.

It’s been a week now since  San Diego Police Chief  William Lansdowne went before the TV cameras and other reporters last Wednesday, May 9th, and stated:

“I want to personally apologize to every citizen of the city of San Diego, as this behavior is not expected, nor condoned, by me or anyone in the San Diego Police Department.”

San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne

He was referring, of course, to the recent spate of allegations – he called it a “unprecedented spike” – of officer misconduct involving nine individuals from his police force, just within the last several months.  Eye brows were raising all over town each time the media reported another cop arrested.  There had been arrests for DUI, domestic violence, rape, excessive force, stalking, and sexual assaults. Many of the officers have been placed on administrative duty while investigations into their conduct continue, whereas some resigned and some were fired.  Here’s a list of the allegations and police officers involved: check out this U-T article.

During the press conference, Chief Lansdowne offered up a seven-point plan to deal with the misconduct, implying also that the increased stress suffered by today’s officers was leading to all of this.

The very next day after the press conference, another officer was arrested, this time on very serious accusations of kidnapping and raping a 34-year-old woman while on duty.  After hearing about this latest arrest in the morning paper, my partner blurted out that “cops have always been fucking women they stop, they just weren’t getting caught.”

Yet, ten San Diego cops caught in just a few months. It all seemed too much for San Diego’s image of being a clean and tidy city. There has been plenty of hand-wringing among city officials and civic boosters. Voice of San Diego reporter Keegan Kyle has punched out post after post about this police mess, deliberating following the growing scandal – and providing excellent coverage.  We have found out that Chief Lansdowne had disbanded an anti-corruption unit within the Department years ago. And KPBS reporter Maureen Cavanaugh interviewed Norm Stamper, past deputy chief here in San Diego and former Seattle police chief for his insights.  Norm Stamper thinks that unit – a Professional Standards Unit – should be reinstated.  Stamper made a name for himself while in San Diego in community policing and efforts to “humanize” the police.

Stamper, who has a reputation for being liberally outspoken, an advocate for marijuana legalization – he’s a member of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) -,  said in the  interview that his initial reaction to all the allegations of police misconduct was that it is “very damaging to the reputation of a very fine police department. No question that the department has been damaged.”

Norm Stamper - today.

Stamper, who left San Diego in 1994 when he was passed over for chief, does see a pattern of “systematic problems,”  and called San Diego “dangerously under-policed,” in that the city with 400 square miles has a very small department. He did lay some of the blame on the economic stress felt by officers – some have lost their homes to foreclosure – but said that it doesn’t excuse the behavior, as lots of people are suffering economically.  “It’s a mistake to lay the blame on the economy,” he said.

With 28 years as a police officer under his belt, Stamper concluded that this was about serious misconduct, that the criminal behavior of the cops on the job was for personal gain. This is not really corruption, he said.

Even the great Los Angeles Times weighed in on the so-called “unprecedented spike” in accusations of police misconduct here in San Diego, comparing them to their own LAPD Ramparts scandal and scandals involving other large city departments.  The Times‘ conclusion?

The cases do not appear to have the elements that often lead to long-lasting controversy at big-city police departments. There are no accusations involving racial or ethnic bias; there is no evidence of a cover-up among police officials; the allegations do not seem to point to one particular station house or division.

Former DA Paul Pfingst

The Times reporter contacted former San Diego DA Paul Pfingst, who confirmed the tone of the article – that the current mess did not amount to a full-fledged scandal.  Pfingst said:

The L.A. brutality [cases], New Orleans theft and excessive force [cases], and NYPD corruption scandals are of a very different character and seriousness than the San Diego cases.

The Times quoted Pfingst that he sees this current crop of cop capers as “individual, unrelated acts as opposed to a pattern of similar behavior engaged in and explicitly or tacitly approved by colleagues.

For the complete LA Times story, click here.

Well, you might say, this is all very comforting.  We don’t really have a police scandal on our hands after all if you compare our mess with recent scandals of other large cities.

But what about San Diego itself? Has this city had any other large scandals within or because of the police department?  Have there been any other instances or patterns of corruption over the decades? And if so, how does this current pattern of police misconduct compare with these other instances of yesteryear?

Now, as we attempt to address these questions, we’re not trying to embarrass anyone, we’re not trying to denigrate the police department, individual police officers or departments. We’re not debating that we need police departments. We’re just trying – in the vernacular of our time – to tell it like it is, and laying out important history that makes up our city. And it’s not news that our police department – or any police department for that matter – can stand to undergo reform and be humanized.  But right now, in this city’s history, the police department, like all city departments, have been forced to undergo budget cut-backs. The reality of the moment is the cut-backs today were the reforms of yesterday. Police officers, like all public workers, are under attack across the nation by politicians and movements that want to  fill the gaps of municipal budgets by privatization and sacrifices by these public workers.

Any review – no matter how brief – into the history of police corruption in this town – must be grounded with the realization that whatever is going on with the police department reflects and represents whatever is going on within city government and with the elites who run the town. The context of any era, and of any instance or pattern of police corruption here within the boundaries of our paradise by the sea is tied to and reflects the state of corruption within the City of San Diego at large.

And if there’s anybody who has taken more than a glance at San Diego’s history of corruption, it’s been Mike Davis, author, sociologist, architectural and social critic extraordinaire – and local. In his mesmerizing piece about the sordid history of our fair city, “The Next Little Dollar” – part of a 2003 anthology on San Diego with Kelly Mayhew and Jim Miller called “Under the Perfect Sun – The San Diego Tourists Never See” –  Davis illuminates this history of corruption.

Along with his narrative on the outrageous behavior and “misconduct” of our business and civic leaders over the decades, Davis does touch on the corruption of the police department itself. In his introduction, he instructs:

“Wall Street aside, San Diego is arguably the nation’s capital of white collar crime, specializing in Ponzi schemes …. It is also the seat of chronic municipal corruption …. Two of its modern mayors have been hauled off in handcuffs, while another escaped a grand jury indictment by the skin of her teeth. A score more of council members, police chiefs, planning directors, judges, and commissioners over the last thirty years have been charged with perjury, bribe taking, or the illegal use of funds – a record unequaled by any other large city on the West Coast.” [Davis – pg. 19.] (My emphasis.)

(This was even written before the resignation of Mayor Murphy.)

A Very Short History of (Some) San Diego Police Scandals Over the Years

Perusing Davis and Miller, coupled with common knowledge of these last 40 years or so, we can compile a short history – a very short history – of San Diego police corruption and scandal – in order to compare it with today’s “unprecedented spike”.

In order to do this, we are skipping (for today) the use of the local police force as a repressive political instrument, as for example, was illustrated by the thuggery employed by San Diego police in 1911 against the Wobblies and others during San Diego’s Free Speech Fight. Nor will we discuss the use of the notorious Red Squad and police during the thirties against union activists and during the seventies against anti-Vietnam War activists.

There was the Memorial Day “massacre” of 1933 in downtown San Diego, for example, where police charged into a marching crowd of labor advocates at New Town Park with billy clubs flying. Thirty marchers – and 10 cops – were injured. [Miller, pg. 205.]

Police attack peaceful crowd at Collier Park in OB, March 28, 1971.

And of course, nearly forty years later there was the police attack against peaceful OBcians and other anti-war activists at Collier Park in late March of 1971. Fifty people were arrested and many injured.

In our review, we are deliberating glossing over the use of the SDPD to suppress the cultural and political expressions of minority communities – let’s just say -over the last 50 years. We won’t go into, for instance, how the police were used to enforce the dominant Jim Crow attitudes. Or the fact that during the late 1960’s the San Diego chapter of the Black Panthers was forced to go “underground” because of the intense pressure, intimidation, and harassment they received  at the hands of our brown-suited gendarmes. And the story of how the police were repressively used in the Mexican-American / Chicano communities could fill volumes just on its own during that same period.

No, let’s just focus on corruption per se and on the scandals from corruption.

The Influence of Gambling and Vice

For starters, for at least the last hundred years, San Diego’s proximity to Tijuana has placed it to be a jumping off point for gringos going south  for gambling, alcohol, and other earthy pleasures.  Most of the bordellos and casinos were owned by American citizens sitting in San Diego. The relationship that developed between the Tijuana kings of vice and businesses across the border was a deeply corrupting one.  During the thirties, a former local newspaper, the San Diego Herald, reported that San Diego businessmen and boosters were upset and were complaining about how the vice and gambling interests – dominated by the owners of the Tijuana casinos – were taking over the city. [Davis, pg. 57.]

Mayor Percy Benbough.

A June 10, 1935, Time magazine article described a friendly meeting between then San Diego Mayor Percy Benbough – himself a former police chief – with a local business association made up of bookmakers, peep show operators, and salon owners. Mayor Benbough, using cloaked words, urged the assembled low-end merchants to not give bribes to Chief Sears, the head of the police department – who apparently was well-known for his income on the side. Four years later, Benbough fired Sears and the City Manager in a move to clean house, or at least make it look that way.

But by time World War Two engulfed the city, things went back to normal, and the police “resumed their traditional grafting from bookmakers and pimps.” [Davis.]

C. Arnholt Smith, the Alessios, and the Police

Forward to the mid-sixties. Davis continues:

State and federal investigations, initiated in 1966-67, revealed evidence that the San Diego police department’s intelligence unit as well as its vice and pawnshop were little more than subsidiaries of the Alessio gambling network and their alleged mob allies. Russel Alessio, the brother who oversaw the books, was, according to [journalist] Harold Keen, a “sacred cow to local law enforcement” as well as to District Attorney Keller. When the corruption of the vice squad was revealed in 1962, it was quickly covered up and the paperwork destroyed. Indeed, the San Diego police department’s reputation was so notorious that other agencies refused to share sensitive information with it and eventually ousted it from the national Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit. [Davis, pg. 94.]

During later investigations into police corruption in 1968, a vice sergeant by the name of  Russ Ormbsy admitted that he routinely accepted bribes back prior to 1961 while he worked for his commander, Wesley Sharp, before  Sharp became police chief. [Davis footnote 182.]

Mr. San Diego himself, C. Arnholt Smith.

Now, the Alessios were not just a well-connected outlaw local cartel – they were friends, allies, and business associates of C. Arnholt Smith, “Mr. San Diego” of 1960.  Smith was  a kingpin, banker, an all around oligarch with his fingers in just about everything making tourist dollars.  As one of the grand masters of our local ruling elite, he had set up the Alessio brothers to run the Caliente race track in Tijuana, and they came to own a number of San Diego landmarks, such as the Hotel del Coronado. In the meantime, Smith was fraudulently and illegally borrowing millions from his own bank. The Alessios and Smith were eventually brought down – but not before their collapse was temporarily halted by intervention from the Nixon White House.

When DA Keller retired, he did so “amid accusations that he had covered for the police while they, in turn, covered for Smith and the Alessios.” [Davis, pg. 95] When Police Chief Sharp retired in early 1968, he was given a brand new luxurious Impala by San Diego Yellow Cab, one of Smith’s subsidiaries. This led to an investigation that uncovered a bribery scandal behind a City Council vote that granted Yellow Cab a 22% fare increase, and led to the indictment for conspiracy and bribery of Mayor Frank Curran and all but one member of the City Council.

Go to Part 2.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar wendy May 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm

“…we are deliberating glossing over the use of the SDPD to suppress the cultural and political expressions of minority communities – let’s just say -over the last 50 years.”

As usual, corruption doesn’t count as long as it is only being inflicted against communities that are not white. As soon as the corruption begins to affect the white community, it is no longer seen as “normal” and now we are going to talk about how bad it is.

As a white mother, of a black son who gets pulled over regularly (weekly) by the San Diego police, I am outraged by the conduct of the San Diego police department, that tells my son (who has never been involved in any criminal activity) that the car he is driving looks like a “gang” car (it is MY black sedan, and I never get pulled over), and has done illegal searches of his car and person. Blatant racial profiling occurs on a daily basis by the San Diego police. But all of this is “okay” because it doesn’t affect the white community.

How pathetic that you deliberately “gloss over” the blatant use of a police state against our African and Mexican communities.


avatar Frank Gormlie May 19, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Wendy, this is a series on police corruption per se. I don’t think it’s “pathetic” of me to state this up front and let the reader know we’re aware of police suppression of “the cultural and political expressions of minority communities ….” I guess you could have waited for Part 2 before you started slinging stones at me. I’ve also “glossed” over the assaults by police against the Wobblies, union activists, and anti-Vietnam war activists – most of whom were/ are white.


avatar Patty Jones May 19, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Wendy, it is outrageous the way the police target people, no doubt about that. I have been in the same situation that you have, and it’s not just the SDPD, but the Sheriff, La Mesa and El Cajon PD’s too.

Maybe Frank’s choice of words, “glossing over”, didn’t come across the way he meant it to. He wasn’t trying to hide these facts, but instead to state them briefly in his post because, as he said, they could fill volumes.


avatar Abby May 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Wendy: They pull this crap with white people too. I’ve experienced it first hand.

I have to say, I lived in NYC for 14 years, and only had one negative experience with the police. I’ve been here 4 years and lost count. I’ve seen them harass people for driving too nice a car through a bad neighborhood, pull people over and then look for a reason to give them a ticket, lie on the stand about events I witnessed, and worst of all, be unwilling or unable to tell me what the law was when directly asked.

I have also met some very nice, professional officers, but here they sem the exception rather than the norm.


avatar JEC May 20, 2011 at 8:12 am

Some years ago I met officers from NYC at a Criminology conference – they said if officers in New York City behaved like officers in Southern California they would be gone – one way or the other. Always found that tidbit an interesting observation on police alienation from neighborhoods. Footnote – 85% of the LAPD does not live in the city of Los Angeles. Out here few officers live in the communities they police.


avatar anon May 27, 2011 at 1:54 pm

My 17 yr old has been harassed and bullied by police quite a few times and he is white. But he dresses like a skater. If he were walking down street in a polo shirt and bermuda shorts, he would be ignored. He was in OB this week and was accused of drinking. He had not. He was really upset and the female cop was backing the kids, but the male cop was threatening them with juvenille hall over and over. Scared my son to death. Bottom line was he told him several times, if you deny it , I will take you to jail, if you say another word to me, I will take you to jail etc. My son said the female and other’s indicated that they never saw him drink (didnt have anything in his possession either). And the guy cited him with an infraction I am told. I am waiting for something to show up in the mail apparently. My son, who’s uncle is a SDPD gang unit , no longer wants to become a cop because this isn’t the first time something like this has happened to him. I would rather do without their ‘justice’ and take my chances.


avatar annagrace May 19, 2011 at 1:01 pm

The bad cop flavor of the month is heavily tilted toward violence against women- rape, sexual assaults, domestic violence and stalking. For former DA Fingst to downplay this kind of violence as not a full fledged scandal goes to show the degree that crimes against women aren’t viewed as real crimes. Wow.
The police department needs some serious retooling if it expects me to feel “protected and served.”


avatar Outlaw May 19, 2011 at 3:52 pm

We need cops like the ones on Magnum Force.


avatar bodysurferbob May 19, 2011 at 10:26 pm

seeing the photo of the ancient police station on harbor drive reminded me of that old tv series from the 50’s about san diego police. the opening scene – which i’ll always remember – was of cop cars coming up a ramp out of the station. does anyone remember what the name of the show was or who was in it?


avatar oBak May 19, 2011 at 11:30 pm

COronado 9 with Rod Cameron?


avatar wendy May 19, 2011 at 11:33 pm

@Frank I just find it offensive to gloss over the systematic abuses to those who are not white, setting it aside as if it is less important. I will wait for your next installment.
@Abby, what happens to white people is not systematic, it’s individual. You cannot compare the training, philosophy and strategies used against African and other non white communities by the police to incidental harassment by police towards whites. The new Jim Crow is the police state against African and Mexican communities and filling our prisons with slave labor that is primarily African and Mexican. The 14th amendment did not outlaw slavery, just made it ok to criminalize certain behaviors and convict non whites disproportionately. Check Wall Street, every time a 3 strikes law passes, the stock goes up for the Corrections Corporation of America…


avatar Goatskull May 20, 2011 at 7:46 am

While I’m very sorry about the experiences going on with your son, the simple fact is that not all police officers act that way and I don’t believe you believe that either. First off, there are plenty of police officers who are not white themselves, or at least I seem to see a lot of them. As a matter of fact, when I first moved to San Diego in 1986, I was struck in the face by a Hispanic officer for doing nothing more than drinking on the beach at a bonfire party with my Navy buddies. Also, know lots of non white people who’ve lived in San Diego for decades and never once got pulled over or had any problems. Not trying to rub salt in the wounds but the fact is not every non white is experiencing racism by the local police.


avatar Frank Gormlie May 20, 2011 at 8:39 am

Wendy, I think no matter what I write, it’s going to be disappointing to you. This is your first series of visits here to our website – which is the most progressive online mass-read publication in San Diego – and we’ve now been up for 3 1/2 years. Many of our older writers come from a history of battling this city / county over the decades, attempting to combat and chronicle the racist, corrupt legacy that our region represents. My series here is quite limiting, and is not meant to be all encompassing. I just ask you to understand that. Check out some of our archives. And come back often.


avatar Abby May 22, 2011 at 1:05 am

So you are saying that my experiences are somehow less important due to the color of my skin? I think there is a word for that….


avatar wendy May 22, 2011 at 8:22 am

How you may have inferred that, I am not sure. It’s not a comparison. All I am saying is by virtue of your white skin, you wake up with at least 40 daily privileges due to white power that an African could only dream of.


avatar Frank Gormlie May 22, 2011 at 10:36 am

The obvious response, when, Wendy, did you wake up to all of this?


avatar wendy May 23, 2011 at 4:08 pm

I have always known on a gut level even as a child. I went through a master’s degree program that dealt with social justice so that was my first educational intro. I now work with the Uhuru Solidarity Movement which is a groups of whites who do work for African liberation and reparations, but ONLY UNDER THE DIRECTION OF AFRICANS. I emphasize this because self-determination is essential and as whites, no matter how progressive we may be, we ultimately work in out own interests. By working under an African-led organization, the interests can only be for them; which ultimately means humanity for all. I am not a progressive because progressives still tend to work within this system of capitalism which, because it accumulated its wealth from slavery and genocide, and still continues to exploit oppressed people to continue its wealth, cannot be redeemed. if you want to understand more.

I simply think that for us as whites, we ignore the conditions faced by African and other non white communities by the police and everything else, until those conditions seep into the white community. The police issues currently being discussed are old news for most people who are not white. I’m not trying to be combative, I just wish we would wake up as white people and rejoin humanity. Most of the world is non white and facing the most oppressive conditions imaginable; but we ignore it, as if the privileges we enjoy are deserving of us because of our white skin. Read Penny Hess’ “Overturning the Culture of Violence” for a good understanding of what I am talking about. I appreciate your conversation.


avatar Patty Jones May 23, 2011 at 4:56 pm

wendy, you said, “I just wish we would wake up as white people and rejoin humanity.

I don’t think you will find many here (I won’t say any because I cannot speak for those the folks that cruise by to comment) that disagree with that statement.

Thank you the book recommendation, I will request the title from the library. I would also recommended Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow : mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness. One of the issues she addresses is the attitude by many whites that because the war on drugs has incarcerated whites also, it must be proof that we as a people are largely colorblind.

If we are colorblind it is only because we can’t, or don’t want to, see how we are still treated differently because of our color or station.

We appreciate the conversation too!


avatar Frank Gormlie May 23, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Wendy, that’s cool. You probably have heard of the African People’s Socialist Party, and such groups. Personally, I’m from that part of the new left that was most deeply affected by the Black power struggle. Part of the problem is that there are many Black and African-American groups that vie for the support of the masses of Black people in this country. For example, most Blacks voted for Barack Obama. And for you – or me – or any white person for that matter, to pick and choose which Black group to do solidarity work with undercuts what most Blacks want right now. If the group you work with does not have 1000s of African-Americans supporting it and within it, then it appears that you are telling the masses of Blacks in this country which group they should follow and support – which follows a pattern of whites trumping Blacks, an old, old pattern.


avatar wendy May 23, 2011 at 7:50 pm

I do work under the African People’s Socialist Party. But my work as a white person is explicitly not to work with Africans; it is to work with White people. So in that sense there is no ability for me to “tell” Africans who they should support and I have no power to trump them. I think that is why the work is effective. In addition, the Party recognizes that there are so many black groups doing revolutionary work (and that is very different work from following Obama and remaining united under imperialism and colonialism; the Party correctly identified him as White power in a black face and ran a campaign challenging Obama to address the needs of the black community) and has formed the Black is Back Coalition that brings all the differing ideologies of black power groups together to unite for core commonalities. They have run some very effective campaigns in the US, UK and Bahamas.
@Patty Jones, I don’t think Michelle Alexander’s book goes far enough. The incarceration of Africans far outstrips that of whites, and there are many laws specifically targeting the black community (the sentence for crack cocaine vs powder cocaine is an example). Further, the US imposes an illegal drug economy on African communities and then creates laws to incarcerate them for engaging in the drug economy (while at the same time blocking legal employment opportunities), while giving whites much lighter sentences for the same crimes. So again, the effect on whites is incidental, it wasn’t aimed at them, but inevitably some get caught in the loop.

So, I am committed to solidarity work and I urge anyone who is interested to contact me, as I will be having a meeting next Saturday to introduce whites to the work of solidarity under African leadership. Again, I appreciate the discussion.


avatar Frank Gormlie May 23, 2011 at 8:31 pm

I am totally familiar with these kind of politics that you are citing and promoting – and good luck to you – and we’re in solidarity. And in the spirit of solidarity, I would like to further this discussion. You did, however, make the choice of working with the APSP – and not with the masses of Black people. You made an ideological choice that says ‘as a white person, I know the best group for African-Americans and it’s this group I work ‘under’.’

By not expressly working “with” Black people, and not encouraging and supporting other whites to work “with” African-Americans, you end up undoing the very solidarity that we need to develop – in our struggle against fascism that has a white supremacist edge.

What is your sense of fascism in America these days, anyhow? My sense is that there is a fascist movement, much of it racist and in the tea parties (but also within the militias and extremist think tanks and ruling elites like the Koch brothers). The APSP has been around now for 30 years. I wonder if they have changed their positions at all. Calling Obama a corporate hack does disservice to the very anti-fascist coalition that we must build, nurture, and support.


avatar wendy May 23, 2011 at 9:38 pm

I do work with Africans, but I do not direct their work. Nor would I tell them the best organization to work with. So it would be more correct for me to say I work under African leadership. APSP does work with the masses: through InPDUM, through the African Socialist International, through the Black is Back Coalition. In fact they have done a tremendous job in uniting many black organizations together through BiB. So I am not clear how I have made a choice NOT to work with the masses: that is the core of APSP and the African People’s Solidarity Committee that works under the direction of APSP. I have made an ideological choice to unite with a scientific analysis of the conditions of Africans in the US and around the world; I have yet to find a more thorough and correct analysis by any other group.

If you look at the work of whites working with Blacks, whites continue to change the agenda; inevitably we continue to work in our own self-interests. It happened with SNCC which is why SNCC finally had to ask whites to leave the organization. The Party struggled for 20 years with the African People’s Solidarity Committee as the whites in that organization continued to put their own self-interests first; for example, co-opting businesses of the Party they were supposed to be running as reparations work. What is remarkable is the patience of the Party as they continued to work with whites, and that we are now in a place today to play an important and critical role in the Party’s work. However, we cannot say we work together equally as yet when we are not treated equally and we do share equal power in the current system. Inevitably white interests will prevail and water down the agenda necessary to African Liberation. So I unite with the very disciplined stance I have to take in doing this work and am deeply respectful of the analysis of the Chairman. I believe in a Black national identity; whites certainly have a white national identity and it would be hypocritical to deny this for Africans.

The Party has certainly evolved over the past 30 years and the Chairman’s latest book One People! One Party! One Destiny! gives a good analysis of the work of the Party and how to proceed.

I don’t believe I have ever heard anyone in the Party call Obama a corporate hack. It is what I said earlier; a black man representing white interests. I unite with the theory of African internationalism and do not believe the current system in the United States will ever be reformed, what is borne of slavery, genocide and exploitation cannot be redeemed because that is how it continues to exist. So I do not waste my time trying to work within the current system. I believe in revolution that puts forth the interests of the African working class first; by doing so, the world will be a humane place for everyone.

Racism is a social construction that arose out of colonialism; therefore I also don’t try to fight racism. I fight against colonialism because once that is gone, racism will cease to be an issue. I believe our government is fascist as it is; the Tea Party is just a more extreme example. But in the end, democrats and Republicans are the same in that they are still upholding an imperialism that stomps on the rests of the world without regard for humanity.


avatar RB May 24, 2011 at 6:55 am

I think when you capitalize ‘Black’ and not ‘white’ you are showing us too much of of your Freudian slip.

avatar wendy May 25, 2011 at 10:24 am


Capitalizing Black symbolizes giving power where due. Not capitalizing white signifies there is enough power there. Not a Freudian slip. :)

avatar mr.rick May 20, 2011 at 9:11 am

Any one growing up in OB knows that the treatment of the local populace is systematic in nature. You see Wendy, although most of us are white skinned, the powers that be don,t consider us that way. I’m sure you could scrub us uand put us in nice clothes and pass us off as white but that isn’t how it goes in San Diego. It’s more about where we live, and how we think.


avatar James Stacy May 20, 2011 at 1:06 pm

This pattern of corruption is no surprise to me. The leadership of the Police and DA’s office is one of ignoring laws they do not like, falsifying evidence, lying about the law.
So why would the feet on the ground think that they should follow the law instead of doing what they want? Chief Lansdowne said when he took office that he would not work with the DEA against medical marijuana and he has allowed the NTF to cross swear as Federal agents. Then paid for and conducted investigations and turned them over to the DEA. When the Police chief is a liar what do you expect. Our DA is so curupt that she is getting sued for falsifying evidence in the Cynthia Sommer case. If we want this to stop we need a change in leadership, NOW!


avatar nunya May 23, 2011 at 11:15 am


I knew that when the war started we were going to have problems with “rogue” cops all over the US because police departments recruit heavily from ex-military. A kid told me that the only reason he joined the service was so he could go back home and be a cop after his enlistment was finished. You can’t keep sending them into a war zone and not expect to have problems with a few of them in the civilian world.
Also, I was born and raised here, but the Davis, Mayhew, Miller book really opened my eyes.


avatar nancy May 30, 2015 at 2:06 pm

Our police department are an embarrassment to the whole city. They target young people. Do not know the laws . They set up people. They ignore important crimes and set up young people for failure. frankly after having my fifth car impounded for no reason I do not even want to call them because they are uneducated and do nothing and are nothing but a good ole boys club. They target whites as much as blacks and also Jewish people. They are capable of making criminals out of potentially good kids. Close the club go back to self protection. They are idiots


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