Militarization of San Diego Police Bubbles Up in Mayoral Race

by on June 6, 2016 · 3 comments

in Civil Rights, Politics, San Diego

Mel Roark flier ed harisEd Harris Criticizes Police Management for Ordering “Storm-troopers” to March into Barrio Logan

The race for San Diego’s mayor just became a little more relevant and interesting over the weekend – mere days before the California Primary.

In a debate Friday night on NBC San Diego, mayoral candidate Ed Harris made comments critical of the way San Diego Police were utilized after the anti-Trump protests on May 27th at the Convention Center.  Police with riot gear were ordered into Barrio Logan and made over 30 arrests in a massive display of militarization. Many have criticized this action by police and Chief Zimmerman – including this writer.

During the debate, Harris said:

“It’s not responsible, it’s not respectful marching into Barrio Logan when people come out of their house because they hear the storm troopers coming down the street.”

By Sunday, the San Diego Police Officers Association was fuming and called on Harris for an apology in referring to their members as “storm troopers”.  The POA in a statement said:

“This term villainizes our officers and belittles the sacrifices they make to keep the public safe. In addition, a mayoral candidate disparaging our officers will only make it more difficult to attract quality police officers who have a desire to serve their fellow citizens.”

“We ask that Mr. Harris apologize for his statement and urge all candidates to refrain from such irresponsible rhetoric in the future.”

“We believe our police department correctly followed standard procedures for an event like this and that our officers balanced the protesters rights of free speech and assembly with the protection of property and physical safety of community members.”

The Police Officers Association has endorsed incumbent Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

Then, in response, Harris called his own press conference. He told the media:

“As a public safety officer, I have the utmost respect for our men and women in the San Diego Police Department.

My reference was solely aimed at the poor management decision to send armored police and vehicles into the Barrio Logan neighborhood — a mile away from the protest.”

“It is the mayor who owes an apology to the residents of the Barrio Logan neighborhood.”

Democrat Harris, along with independent Lori Saldana, are challenging Mayor Kevin Faulconer – a Republican.

News source: Times of San Diego

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

kh June 6, 2016 at 2:22 pm

This article needs a photo of marching storm troopers and marching sdpd in full riot gear. Then the reader can properly evaluate the merits of Mr Harris’ remarks!

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie June 6, 2016 at 7:36 pm

The links within the article are to articles with those photos.

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dewbert June 7, 2016 at 12:10 am

Compare San Diego to San Jose. I think Storm Troopers were warranted.

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