National Media Picks-up Sheriff’s Mistreatment of Occupy San Diego Arrestees

by on November 11, 2011 · 8 comments

in Civil Rights, Economy, Media, Popular, San Diego

Check out this photo that the Washington Post ran with its article about the Sheriff mistreatment of arrestees at Occupy San Diego. This photo itself is newsworth. Here is the original caption: San Diego police officers haul off Occupy San Diego protesters as they remove tents and structures from the Civic Center Plaza, Oct. 14. (Gregory Bull/AP)

The Washington Post has picked up the story about how our local Sheriff mistreated those arrested during the October 28th raids on the Occupy San Diego sites. This report at the venerable DC daily  – although only on their blog column – has been nearly the only national attention that San Diego’s movement has received.

The Sheriff has admitted that dozens of arrestees were left in vans and a bus after the raids for many hours with no access to restroom facilities or water. Reports from those arrested have said that they were held from four to eight hours or even as much as twelve hours before they were processed at a detention center.

Dave Maass at San Diego City Beat reported:

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has ordered a formal internal review of its involvement in the mass arrest of 51 Occupy San Diego activists on Oct. 28, particularly in regards to detainees who had no choice but to urinate and defecate while detained in county buses and vans.  …   In a statement provided to CityBeat …, the Sheriff’s Department acknowledges the veracity of some of the complaints, calling them “unusual” and “unfortunate.” The statement also explains that the sheriff plans to conduct a critical incident review and hold a debriefing with the San Diego Police Department about the operation.

Thanks to City Beat, here is more of the Sheriff’s statement on this matter:

On October 28th between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. the Sheriff’s department provided a bus and two vans for prisoners arrested at the Civic Center by the San Diego Police Department. During that time 51 individuals were taken into custody, 36 men and 14 women. The men were placed in a Sheriff’s bus and the women were put in Sheriff’s vans to be transported to the Vista Jail and Los Colinas Detention Facility for booking.

 During that time there were no restroom facilities available for arrestees, forcing some of them to relieve themselves as they sat on the bus or van. For the Sheriff’s Department to provide mutual aid in this kind of mass arrest circumstance is not unusual; this unfortunate result is very unusual and it is currently being reviewed. The Sheriff has directed that a Critical Incident Review be conducted internally. Also, the Sheriff’s Department and the Police Department will conduct a mutual debrief to examine in detail how the operation was handled. From those reviews we will determine how to improve our practices to assure that this does not happen again.

Here is the full post at the Washington Post blog about San Diego (although it is incorrect in terms of the numbers camped out):

Compared with many of the other Occupy protests around the country, the Occupy San Diego protest has been a small, under-noticed outlier of only a few dozen people camped out in the downtown area. Little national attention went to the arrests in October of 51 men and women after the encampment was raided and torn down.

That may change. The sherrif’s department acknowledged that while in custody, some of the protesters had to relieve themselves — on themselves. The San Diego City Beat reports that the sherrif’s department released a statement saying that after the arrests on Oct. 28, protesters were detained in a police vans with no access to the bathrooms. The statement said, “This unfortunate result is very unusual and it is currently being reviewed.”

In an earlier report on San Diego City Beat, the arrestees said that they were held in the vans from four to eight hours and that the police told them to relieve themselves on the bus.

Hat tip to Voice of San Diego for picking this up in their Morning Report.

The quality of this video is lousy, but the audio says it all. Thanks for speaking out Kali.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Tortured November 11, 2011 at 12:53 pm

San Diego’s dirty little secret is coming out. The jails are filled beyond capacity, creating conditions similar to what you would find in a slaughter house. Inmates that are being processed at the San Diego central jail are in for a punishment that in most cases is more severe then their crime. While I do not ask that inmates be put up at the Holiday Inn. I find crowding 20 to 30 men in a space of about 15×15 for the first 48 hours to be torture. These men share one toilet and have only the clothes on their back to provide them comfort during the first 48 hours as they sleep on the concrete. This seems to be all part of the lets make a deal the District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has put in place. While most people including myself are arrested for the violation of a law. The system is set up so that after they deprive you of sleep for a few days and overcharge you for your violation, you think taking the plea deal is well worth it to get out of this torture. The public defender in my case was all to happy to tell me about how she was going to get the felony reduced to a misdemeanor for me. I think she was surprised to find out I had a attorney and would prefer my day in court. The percentage of those who had an attorney was less then five percent.


avatar Mark November 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Did you happen to notice the uniforms in the photograph knuckleheads. They don’t look like Sheriff’s unfiorms to me. That doesn’t matter to the media. They just want to soin everyone up!


avatar Frank Gormlie November 11, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Mark – the article is about the Sheriffs and the photo shows San Diego police officers. Watch that typing dude – we missed a word.


avatar jonnyQ November 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm

read the caption under the photo, it SAYS they are SD cops, the OB Rag is not the media you are generalizing it as.


avatar Nat November 11, 2011 at 2:33 pm

The lie of “Land of the Free” is being exposed. We are becoming a police state at the whims of the elite (once again). Revolution.


avatar Larissa November 11, 2011 at 9:57 pm

I will attest to the fact that SDPD does, in fact, leave their ‘arrestees’ handcuffed and locked in vehicles for hours on end. I was arrested on trumped-up charges, and held in the back of a cruiser for five hours on a hot day with no windows rolled down and no access to a bathroom or water. This is not rare. I’m suspecting this is a quite common practice among the SDPD.


avatar Daddy November 12, 2011 at 1:55 pm

It’s spelled sheriff. And 36 men and 14 women does not equal 51


avatar Jimmy November 16, 2011 at 11:03 pm

The girl in the video complained about the Sheriff’s Department being so overwhelmed with prisoners that the girls couldn’t take a potty break. She took some actions that caused the cops to be overwhelmed. What were the cops supposed to do; let each girl out of the van and send them off to a restroom on the honor system? “Young lady, please come back as soon as you’re done so we can take you to jail.”
Honey, you got arrested! That means you loose your freedom and you will be treated like a criminal. If you’re smart you will avoid the inconvenience by listening when the cops tell everyone to leave. Just walk away and you won’t get arrested. If you think you have the “right” to occupy someplace, go to court and get a judge to issue an order to allow it. That’s what its all about in a democracy with respect for everyone’s rights! Not just what you think are your rights.


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