San Diego Police Sided With Pro-Trump Supporters During Clash in Pacific Beach on Saturday

by on January 12, 2021 · 21 comments

in Election, Ocean Beach, San Diego

Counter-demonstrators and Pro-Trump supporters clashed on Mission Blvd in PB on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021.

Some observers questions whether police showed bias in the way they responded to Trump supporters versus counterprotesters, some of whom identified as anti-fascist

By David Hernandez / San Diego Union-Tribune / Jan. 11, 2021

When San Diego police declared an unlawful assembly during dueling protests in Pacific Beach on Saturday, Trump supporters stood on one side of a line of officers. Counterprotesters, some of whom identified as anti-fascist, stood on the other side of the police formation.

The Union-Tribune reported that both sides had skirmished quite a bit that day.

But it turns out the order to disperse applied only to one side — the group of counterprotesters, some of whom threw bottles, rocks and eggs at officers, a police spokesman said Monday.

Three counterprotesters were arrested: two adults who police said failed to disperse and a juvenile accused of assaulting an officer.

The police response to the two demonstrations raised questions among some observers about whether police showed bias based on race and/or ideology.

NAACP San Diego Branch President Francine Maxwell said she received calls from community members who “felt some of the officers were favoring one side over the other.”

Police spokesman Lt. Shawn Takeuchi said: “The goal of the department was to maintain peace regardless of ideology and belief.” In an email, he added that officers respond to demonstrations based on the actions of the protesters they encounter.

“We understand community members want their voices heard and the First Amendment protects this right,” Takeuchi said in the email. “However, when a group begins exhibiting violent behavior such as throwing eggs, rocks and bottles, we will take steps to stop the violence. The behavior of the crowd dictates our actions.”

He said the crowd of Trump supporters didn’t throw items at counterprotesters or officers.

Kylee Belanger, director of the San Diego National Lawyers Guild Legal Observer Program, who documented Saturday’s police response, said she believes the Police Department showed clear bias. She said the “combat” on both sides of the protests appeared mutual but police didn’t deal with Trump supporters in the same way they policed counterprotesters.

She said Trump supporters walked around a line of officers to the side where counterprotesters were and heckled them. She pointed to an instance in which she said a Trump supporter walked up to a woman writing with chalk on the road in front of a line of officers and pushed her down. Officers “let him go back through their line without repercussions,” Belanger said.

“I strongly believe that not declaring unlawful assembly for both sides was clear bias,” Belanger said.

The tense encounter between Trump supporters and counterprotesters, who included Black Lives Matter supporters and self-described anti-fascists, began about 1 p.m. near Crystal Pier. The counterprotesters held signs that denounced President Donald Trump, as well as one that said, “No Nazis in PB.”

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Chris January 12, 2021 at 11:03 am

I wasn’t there so I don’t know. The question is, did the counter protestors throw rocks, bottles and eggs because they were being disproportionately harassed by the police or were they being harassed because of throwing those items? Regardless, throwing s**t at the police they should expect to get arrested. Those being on the good side (against Trump) doesn’t change that. From a couple news clips I saw it seems they were also screaming and yelling at some passerbys who were just walking along and were not part of the protest on either side. Both sides were pepper spraying each other and throwing punches each other.

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Avatar Nancy January 12, 2021 at 2:20 pm

Hi Chris, I see you started off with I wasn’t there and then made the speculation that the counter protesters were at fault by stating Regardless, throwing s**t at the police they should expect to get arrested.

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Avatar Chris January 12, 2021 at 7:33 pm

I didn’t say anything to the effect of who started what and/or who’s at fault. If the counter protesters did actually throw things at the police (which has been all over the news) then of course they would expect to get arrested for doing so. If the Trumpers did as well then it goes without saying they should be arrested.
Since both sides were pepper spraying and punching each other (also all over the news) then people on both sides should expect consequences. If the police were favoring the Trump side over the anti Trumps side then yeah that’s an issue. But regardless of that, anyone who was throwing stuff at the cops what were they expecting to happen? But again my question is, were they throwing stuff at the cops because they were being disproportionately singled out or were the cops clamping down on them for throwing s**t? Were the Trump supporters also throwing things at the cops?

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Avatar Jeremy January 13, 2021 at 10:36 am

I was actually there as a spectator near the middle but more on the counter-protester side. Before police arrived there was a clash between the two groups with pepper spray, rocks, etc. Once police got there, they formed two rows, one facing the trump protesters and one facing the counter-protesters. It was then at this time that the counter-protesters threw eggs at them. It’s unclear if they were aiming at the trump people on the other side or the police themselves, because they were in the middle, but nonetheless the police then started to push them further back as a result. This formed the new conflict that spiraled between the counter-protesters and the police. I also really wish the counter-protesters hadn’t bashed the nearby Sketcher’s store window, as it did not help with the ‘rioter’ or ‘looter’ stereotype. The whole thing was a mess and an utter failure.

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Avatar Chris January 13, 2021 at 2:10 pm

People hate the “both sides do it” argument but often that really is the case. Thank you for posting this.

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Avatar triggerfinger January 12, 2021 at 9:01 pm

They should just set up a cage and let em go at it.

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sealintheSelkirks sealintheSelkirks January 13, 2021 at 1:07 pm

In this county, and across the country, a vast majority of cops are Trump voters and/or Rethuglicans. They are the public face of a Police State/Security State, and they obviously take their jobs seriously. Been there done that as I’ve written about in the Rag beforeThe kid that murdered protesters in Kenosha was ignored, the Adam Lanza (sp?) mass killer was taken to Burger King because ‘he was hungry?’ There are too many of these verified stories of cops supporting the bad guys, and they’ve always been the enforcers of the status quo-what the wealthy want-throughout history. Read up about the beginnings of the ‘po-lice’ in the US; Runaway Slave Police in the Deep South and violent thugs hired by industries to break labor strikes in the North. They’ve never been on the side of ‘peaceful protests’ or, to be blunt, the ‘good guys.’

Ask Philando Castile about having a conceal/carry permit and telling a cop who pulled him over for a broken tail-light when asked if he had a weapon in the cary about how fair & balanced they are in their treatment of AR15-carrying Fascist militia members…and black guys who legally carry. In this extremely red county I’d be willing to be EVERY sheriff deputy and local town clown voted for the Dictator… Somehow I doubt my hometown of San Diego is any different in that respect.

As an aside, can anybody tell me why these self-labeled ‘patriots’ wave flags of the avowed but defeated-in-war enemies of the United States? I mean, waving Confederate flags and Nazi swastikas and other symbols just don’t strike me as being all that patriotic…or all that intelligent for that matter but that’s just me…

sealintheSelkirks

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Peter Peter from South O January 13, 2021 at 3:08 pm

“a vast majority of cops are Trump voters” is a statement unsubstantiated by facts, but your use of it as an opening statement demonstrates a technique often used by someone trying to establish a bias prior to discussing random stuff that the first statement colors.

I have read you for a while and do not suspect you of being duplicitous . . .
. . . but others do and use this ploy.

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Avatar Guy January 13, 2021 at 7:30 pm

Still can’t get ANTIFA…they are supposedly against Nazis…yet their logo, dress, and actions are straight out of Adolph’s playbook. Videos I saw they were extremely aggressive to everyone in the area. Not sure their motive – but it ain’t a positive one.

Also, find it funny, that it took all year for San Diego to finally get their 12 antifa and 12 trumpers to egg each other. what a time to be alive! Not like we as a society have bigger problems or anything.

Enough extremism, enough denying we all live in the most prosperous society in the history of the world. The privilege of being American can be blinding.

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sealintheSelkirks sealintheSelkirks January 15, 2021 at 2:03 am

Peter:

The profession is extremely conservative by definition, you don’t become a cop if you aren’t and those that do who are, shall we say, uncomfortable with that underlying reality don’t last or become whistleblowers if they’re brave enough to stand up to their bosses and all the rest… Take the police unions, a million cops in this country and look at the behavior and vicious attacks perpetrated by the unions on the innocent victims of cop violence that time after time decade after decade continue to get away with it all. Conservative in the extreme. You did read that post I put up a while back by a 10 year veteran of a big city police force who said he was one of them when his conscience got the best of him and he quit then whistleblew? That was pretty much an eye-opener for a lot of people I sent it to.

I’ve never known a ‘liberal’ cop, nobody I have ever talked with who had relatives or spouses of relatives who were cops have said anything different, and everything I read-history to current events-from non-corporate news sources leads me to believe there is not much of a chance of my being incorrect in my summation. All cops will go beat unarmed peaceful protesters if they are ordered to. That is about as rightwing as you can get…but they are NOT willing to go beat violent armed neo-Nazi white nationalist guys? The history of the FBI, the history of the anti-War movement, the history of desegregation, the history of Runaway Slave Police and the Police of the Northern industrialists goon squads attacking unionizers…naw, there’s nothing progressive about becoming a cop. They’ve always been the frontline shock troops to uphold the wealthy status quo. Remember, it wasn’t the Gestapo who put the 6 million Jews and 6 million other people onto those concentration and extermination camp trains…it was the local cops, the smiling faces of ‘your neighborhood’ policeman.

I’m willing to put money that EVERY single sheriff’s deputy in this county voted for Trump. And I’d bet the odds are that I’d win that bet in my home town of San Diego for that matter, too. It would be different odds if there were a LOT more people coming out telling the truth about what goes on behind that Blue Line of the biggest gang in the country…but one doesn’t go against the hand that signs the paycheck now do they? At least not very often.

And now we find out that there were cops involved in the Fascist insurrection in DC ranging from Seattle to New York’s finest, and we are supposed to think that their co-cops had no idea so they didn’t ‘report’ what was widely publicized the white nationalists were going to do in DC?? That the FBI has already arrested a few is surprising…but it isn’t surprising that there were off-duty cops rioters. Imagine if they were BLACK how many would have been shot down? Or longhair hippy types? Or masses of homeless poor people? Those same cops would have launched a bloodbath in the streets. Think OccupyWallSt, think the Vietnam protest cop riots, lots of history to choose from and none of it good or ‘progressive’ that cops have ever done.

Guy: Antifa…let’s stop the use of that word. Let us say Anti-Fascist because it has much more impact to it, or at least to those that had grandparents that fought the Fascists in WWII (that have mostly died off now). Both my WWII combat vet granddads would be horrified by what Trump has brought out into the open because that generation bled and died fighting the scummy F**KS like these. People are scared and tired of being threatened with beatings and knifing and assh**es carrying guns to protests and that’s how the dissent was shut down in the 30s and 40s, by fear of being attacked by these types. My grandpops both said that the only way they could defeat Fascism was by killing every single one of them…which obviously they didn’t manage to do because here they are again popping up like cockroaches. And people I know up here were afraid to put political signs on their lawns or a bumper sticker on their car because these cockroaches are following the Mein Kampf playbook that was alluded to be the only book on Trump’s nightstand by a former wife. They’ll burn your house down, slice the tires of your car, attack you in a mob with clubs and knives or run you over with their car…fear works but you can’t give in because there has to be a point where you fight back. And when the ‘law enforcers’ visibly side with the bad guys…they become the enemy, too, and rightly so.

Interesting to note that the corporate media keeps blaring about how ‘unprepared’ the DC cops were, how they didn’t know what was coming…in the most policed city in the country that has proven just how insidiously informed they are when it comes to left wing protesters because they’re ALWAYS ready for them even when they aren’t openly announcing what they are going to be doing. Funny how that is, eh? And we’re supposed to believe that?

sealintheSelkirks

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Peter Peter from South O January 15, 2021 at 9:13 am

That’s an awfully long diatribe that avoids my point: the unsupported by data statement that you started your (shorter, mercifully) previous comment with and the deceptive technique it is an example of.

And you can rationalize your OPINION of how many law enforcement personnel are party advocates of one sort or another (personally I know three Oceanside cops, and they all identify as independent), but you cannot establish it as a fact.

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Avatar Mervie January 15, 2021 at 2:12 pm

Hi Peter, just wanted to chime in and say that being independent or belonging to a 3rd party says nothing about political leanings. The Libertarian Party can be even more conservative than the Republican party and Trump himself was both a member of the Independence Party (who supported Rudy Giuliani for mayor in NY) and was an independent between flip-flopping between Democrat and Republican.

The truth is police unions all over the country endorsed Trump for re-election and amidst cries of “defund the police” they felt threatened and voted for the candidate who claimed he would protect “law and order.” Of course, a large majority followed their peers and leaders and voted for that clown.

Although I agree that absolutes are problematic, the police were politicized in 2020 to an extent not seen in my lifetime and they played a role in the events of last week. So far 9 law enforcement officers or officials are suspected of participating in President Trump’s Jan. 6 rally, and/or joining the crowds storming the U.S. Capitol. The amount of ex-military members is also concerning and needs to be addressed.

By saying that “you know 3 Oceanside cops” as evidence against “not all cops are bad” you are deflecting, not providing any real evidence. ACAB because they work for a fundamentally flawed institution and they are complicit in the actions done by other police officers. SDPD is fairly progressive but they still are part of the problem.

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Peter Peter from South O January 15, 2021 at 3:11 pm

Still all various opinions, not facts, which was my point (and which everyone decided to avoid instead being triggered by my example.
There is absolutely no evidence that proves that the majority of police officers voted Republican. Rational deductive reasoning would lead anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of statistics to that conclusion .
Independents, Republicans, Democrats, Green . . . all beside the point.

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Avatar Chris January 15, 2021 at 10:01 am

I’ve never known a ‘liberal’ cop, nobody I have ever talked with who had relatives or spouses of relatives who were cops have said anything different,”
You are a liar, and a pretty bad one at that. I don’t know the full political leaning makeup of police or sheriff departments around the country, but that fact is there are plenty of liberal leaning officers and I will be so bold as to say you HAVE known some in your lifetime. So seriously, just stop.

“I’m willing to put money that EVERY single sheriff’s deputy in this county voted for Trump.”
Again, give it up. There’s no way you walk and breath air and really belive that.

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Avatar Geoff Page January 15, 2021 at 10:42 am

I agree with Chris. Yes, as a group, they are conservative but to make such a blanket judgment of a whole group of people is ridiculous.

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Avatar Chris January 15, 2021 at 10:49 am

Thanks Geoff. What he said is like saying all members of the military are right wing conservatives. Just not true.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie January 15, 2021 at 10:50 am

Seal is talking about his county, way up north. But it is a blanket statement. Using trumpworld as a reference, I’ve known liberal police officers.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie January 15, 2021 at 10:55 am

Here’s the thing; we didn’t stop and ask what political affiliation he had when the police officer who got in the waters off Sunset Cliffs and saved those two kids and their screwed up dad. Same thing with the alert officers who caught the serial killer and the Point Loma navy man who killed his wife, and the guy who murdered the Incense man of OB.

Yet when things like this as described in the article happen, we do have to sit up and take notice. And ask questions.

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sealintheSelkirks sealintheSelkirks January 16, 2021 at 4:03 am

Chris: I have NEVER known a truly progressive cop, just a few so-called Blue Dog Liberals or Libertarians which are both just a synonym for Conservative Republican-lite, and that is starting from back in the anti-Vietnam war protest era that my stepmom and I were part of when I was a young teen in the 60s. Period. Ain’t no lie there, just personal experience. So you can retract your accusation at anytime.

I wrote a little about that in my Summer of ’67 piece for the Rag…witnessing violence by cops as a kid on the beaches of OB and MB. I didn’t get into describing the police riots I was in when up in San Francisco where she was born & raised when on vacations during the summer anti-war protests she was involved in being a Peace & Freedom Party activist…experiences that were extremely enlightening to this young surfer kid.

You ever get beat by a cop for existing? For doing exactly nothing wrong or illegal? Or watched it happen to people all around you who also weren’t doing anything illegal? Blood spraying through the air, the smell, the screaming, the running in all directions trying to get away, experiencing the gut-clenching fear as you duck under a 4-D Cell cop flashlight aimed at your face? Probably not. Those experiences definitely change ones perspective in a big way.

Wouldn’t one expect that the cop unions to be based on the ethical and political orientation of their members? Otherwise why would people who were against what they stood for join them? I certainly wouldn’t. But that’s just me.

The interesting thing I find about the entire de-fund the police efforts is how much is NOT being said. Lying by omission. De-fund means far more money would be available to HELP people, for professionals to be there for interventions that don’t beat and kill people but to implement other strategies that invest in a healthier overall society. When a relative calls because one of their family members is having a mental health breakdown and immediately the driveway fills will adrenaline-steroid raging cops instead of medical professionals, and within seconds of arriving they first shoot the family dog then the human? I mean, really, there was NO OTHER WAY to deal with that? When everything is a nail…and that’s what’s coming out of police academies; militarized hammers with ‘surplus’ war weapons to use on a civilian population. There are websites devoted to detailing the thousands of these acts of violence every year…but not on mainstream corporate media. Free Thought Project comes to mind along with, of course, the ACLU. There are a number of them to read into. Not fun reading by any stretch of the imagination.

There are cops that whistleblow on the criminal actions committed by their fellow officers, so yes a blanket statement without the caveat that it was a generalization based on my own experiences could have been better worded. But what happens to them afterwards isn’t much talked about as they are the…enemy on the wrong side of that Blue Line from then on. But those truth-tellers are far and few between as the vast majority DON’T snitch. They go along to get along, don’t rock the boat, don’t risk your paycheck, get that retirement and keep the bills paid. Bluntly, we are being told by our government that ‘if we see something, say something’ but that just doesn’t work when one wants to report on crimes of the government. Think the book Serpico or the movie made about him, and modern day whistleblowers. Look at Drake, Kirakou, Manning, Snowden, Assange who absolutely proved government agents criminal acts and war crimes but who goes to jail? The whistleblowers! That Blue Line extends all through the government (cops are, after all, just agents of the government). By example we are being told to never tell the truth and laws are not for everybody to follow.

Bottom line is that if a cop turns a blind eye and does NOT report criminal acts by other cops, he is NOT a good guy he’s a bad guy. Right? Isn’t that what the ‘See something’ government program is all about? Or is that just for the rest of us to have to obey?

And yes Frank, up here it’s so overwhelmingly scary red militia 3% Oath Keeper Nazis who keep voting in Cathy McMorris-Rogers (look her up) who SUPPORTS the attack in DC. And these voters keep putting the psycho bitch into office! I am surrounded by people wearing pistols on their waists, including friends of mine, in grocery stores and NAPA auto parts etc etc, and I would guess that I hear gunfire/target shooting an average of 150 days a year in one direction or another if not more. But being in the mountains the sound carries a lot farther.

And not just during regular hunting season times of deer, bear, turkey, elk, moose, etc etc. You don’t own a dog in this extremely rural mountain county that is gun shy. I had one that ate a door in half to be able to hide in the toolshed one fine summer day. Who also ate through a closet door in the house to find a place on another occasion. You get used to hearing 15 round pistol magazines going off or 30 round AR15 & other assault rifles being fired, not just the bigger boom of hunting rifles. I can now tell the difference between a .40 caliber and a .223 and a 30/30 and a 30.06 and a 9mm.

I reiterate, I bet not a single cop in this county voted for Biden though I have no idea how to prove it.

sealintheSelkirks

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Avatar Chris January 16, 2021 at 4:11 pm

Seal, I will not retract my statement because quite simply I still don’t belive you. I am not by any stretch a blue line flag waving fan of the cops. And yes I have in my lifetime I have been harassed by them simply for existing. I never said there aren’t lots right wing racist cops or even cops who are just plain thugs (racist or not). But I have known plenty of good cops too and if you’re a California surfer kid, so have you. A friend of my mom’s retired from the SDPD a couple years ago, and she’s LGBT and has been very active in BLM, is very active in gun control activism, climate change marches, pretty much every progressive cause you can think of. And she is not a rare exception. All the examples you gave do not change that. And BTW, when you say “this county”, don’t assume everyone reading your post knows you’re talking about somewhere out of state. What ever and wherever that is you chose to move there for whatever reason. Just because the populace and cops of that area are like that doesn’t mean the whole country.

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Avatar retired botanist January 16, 2021 at 6:35 pm

ok, so generalizations can always be countered, and Seal expressed a few in his comments. But c’mon people, anyone over 50 who has lived through the anti-Vietnam war years, nevermind the appalling subsequent decades of law-enforcement discrimination against Black (and other minority) Americans, should understand that a few good “surfer cops” or “lgbt cops” or whoever you are choosing to poster your argument, is NOT a template for the national industry of law enforcement. While, understandably, the composition of local law enforcement will definitely reflect the local culture from which its derived- this should NOT be the case. Like military duty, it shouldn’t matter from whence/where?one arrives, the mission is to uphold law and order, wherever, regardless of instigator.
I’m currently still wondering how the Capitol was breached. My tax dollar (a lot of it) pays for the DC police. With so many law enforcement agencies: Metropolitan police, Park police, Capitol police, National Guard-really? No one knew? No one suspected, anticipated the upheaval? Why? Because it was always the liberal Antifa, that no one has demonstrated is an actual entity? Compared to the Proud Boys? 10%ers? Wolves? Qanon?
Generalizations or not, I side with Seal on this. In some ways, I wish I DID have some friend who’s a cop- maybe that would temper my opinion, but sadly, at 7 decades now, and as a life-long liberal, I don’t know any cops.
So, if you want to counter commentary, pick something more persuasive than the length of Seal’s commentary or the fact that he’s used some generalities, b/c that’s just nit-picking at the tail of the elephant.

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