Category Archives: Those Who Matter

The real San Mateo County.

By Michael G. Stogner

Chinedu Valentine Okobi R.I.P.

Yesterday July 20, 2020, 21 months after Six San Mateo County Sheriff Employees Killed 36 year old Chinedu V. Okobi on El Camino Real in Millbrae/San Bruno The Supervisors discussed in Closed Session the progress of the two Civil Lawsuits that the relatives have brought against San Mateo County and a long list of Employees who were involved in the Misinformation aka Lying to the Residents of SMC about what actually occurred on October 3, 2018.

This happens every time Law Enforcement in San Mateo County kills a man or woman. The San Mateo County Media, San Mateo County Counsel, and San Mateo County Supervisors join in the character assassination of the DECEASED.

In Chinedu’s case everyone knows by now that the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office has No Plan in place on how to make a Pedestrian Stop. Thats right Chinedu Okobi was simply walking down the sidewalk while Black when Sheriff Deputy Joshua Wang spotted him while he was traveling northbound in his patrol car. He activated his lights which activated his dashboard video camera which shows him making a U-turn.

Within 8 minutes Chinedu was Tased 7 times, struck with extended baton, Dogpiled by SIX SMC Employees and sprayed with O.C. spray in the face at close range while being handcuffed where he died. From that moment on San Mateo County started to promote the false story of “He was breathing and had a pulse when the Sheriff’s Office Employees turn him over to the AMR people.”

Nothing could be further from the Truth.

There is NO EVIDENCE that any of the Six Employees checked Chinedu Okobi’s pulse or provided ANY Life Saving measures after he was handcuffed and approximately 9:30 minutes passed before ARM people touched him.

How much Taxpayer Money has SMC Supervisors approved for this legal action? How much have they spent to date?

Today 9:00 AM U.S. Court for the 2 Civil cases

U.S. Court Calenda

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HMB Council Meeting June 15, 2021, The Jimenez-Rarback Report Item 3A.

By Michael G. Stogner

For meeting of: June 15, 2021

From City Manager Bob Nesbit.

RECOMMENDATION:

Receive a presentation on the report from Councilmembers Jimenez and Rarback, receive public comment, discuss the report, and provide further direction as necessary.

FISCAL IMPACT:

There is no fiscal impact from receiving this presentation. However, the report is comprehensive and would have fiscal impacts on the City if implemented.

STRATEGIC ELEMENT:

This action supports the Healthy Communities and Public Safety elements of the Strategic Plan.

BACKGROUND:

On May 28, 2021, the City Council received a report from resident David Eblovi entitled The Jimenez-Rarback Report on Policing and Public Safety in Half Moon Bay. At its June 1, 2021, Council meeting, Council directed staff to agendize an item for the June 15, 2021 meeting to receive a presentation on the report.

DISCUSSION:

Two guest speakers have been invited by Councilmembers Jimenez and Rarback to discuss the Report and add their voices to the general conversation about public safety in Half Moon Bay. Dr. Greg Woods will focus comments on ethics and accountability in policing, and Sergeant Carl Tennenbaum SFPD (Ret.), will focus comments on the benefits of civilian responders to low-risk calls. Their bios have been provided to the Council under separate cover and are on file with the City Clerk.

At the beginning of the item, staff recommends that the mayor present protocols and an agenda for how the item will go including approximate times for various sections. The item will conclude with Council deliberation and direction.

ATTACHMENT: The Jimenez-Rarback Report on Policing and Public Safety in Half Moon Bay

Thank You Harvey Rarback and Joaquin Jimenez for getting this Important Conversation on the Agenda. It should have been on in 2014 when Yanira Serrano Garcia was killed by a San Mateo Cpinty Sheriff Deputy within 20 seconds of him exiting his patrol vehicle. He had ZERO Plan, He Tampered with the Evidence. That is exactly what happened at the Sandra Lee Harmon Homicide May 5, 2020, NO PLAN and Tampering with the Evidence.

Two Council Members are finally doing what every Elected Official in SMC should have been doing for years.

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Former San Mateo County Sheriff Activity League Director (SAL) Barbara Bonilla in Court Today.

By Michael G. Stogner

Barbara Bonilla

Update: Next Court Dates are July 21, 2021 @ 1:30 PM and September 21, 2021 @ 9:00 AM

If you would like to listen you can call 1-206-279-9589 Code 599028 at 1:30 PM.

You may recall Barbara Bonilla was much more than just the Execute Director of San Mateo County Sheriff Activities League when she was escorted out of her Office on February 10, 2020.

She was the Campaign Manager for Carlos G. Bolanos for Sheriff 2018. She also worked at Redwood City Police Department for Carlos G. Bolanos when he was the Police Chief there.

She was a:

San Mateo County Sheriff Employee

San Mateo County Parks & Recreation Committee, Commissioner

Redwood City Rotary Member

California PAL and National PAL Board Member.

How is the SMC Sheriff Activities League a 501 C?

What Has the SMC Sheriff Activities League done to make sure this NEVER happens again, since the Embezzlement and Money Laundering Investigation by the State of California Attorney General and the San Mateo County Sheriff Office, which any reasonable person would know was an obvious Conflict of Interest.

Here is a short list of who knew about the Embezzlement and Money Laundering Investigation.

Bill Nicolet, Assistant Sheriff Gregory Rothaus, Coastside Lutheran Church, Correctional Medical Group, Dani Gasparini & Alyn Beals, David Amann, Donald Hack, Greg Munks, Henry Gaw, Jeff Ira, Kiwoba Allaire, Lori & Eric Lochtefeld, Jim Hartnett & Rosanne Foust, Assistant Sheriff John Munsey, Maloney & Associates, Marshall Realty, Jonathan Shipman, Neil & Kate Layton,Pete Liebengood & Alicia Aguirre, Phillip Raiser, Sheriff Carlos Bolanos, Steve Wagstaffe, Trisha Sanchez, Warren Slocum, Don Horsley. Adam Alberti.

San Mateo County News.com was the first News Media to write about Barbara Bonilla being on Administrative Leave from Sheriff Activities League Headquarters in Redwood City.

February 28, 2020 Article

How is that possible? With all those people who had knowledge about Barbara Bonilla, that Not One of the SEVEN Print Media in San Mateo County wrote an article about it in January or February?

The California State Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting Barbara Bonilla, What have you heard from them about this case? How did they come up with these charges? Is Barbara Bonilla really the only person involved?

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San Mateo County Information Services Department (ISD). CIO is Gone.

By Michael G. Stogner

Update: 5/21/2021 9:15 AM I check County Website and Jon Walton has been removed.

Website

This is kind of a Big Deal, Jon Walton is not and has not been with San Mateo County since March 2021. Why is he gone?

Think about all of the Data Bases and Information this position has access to. Medical and Editing for example.

This is from this morning on the County’s Website. Maybe the new guy County Manager Mike Callagy appointed and has all the confidence in can update the County’s Website today.

JON WALTON 

Photo of Jon Walton
Jon Walton

Chief Information Officer

Jon Walton brings over 25 years of experience in the field of Information Technology and has a diverse background in both public and private sectors, setting innovative technology standards and providing visionary leadership for numerous organizations.

Currently as Chief Information Officer for the County of San Mateo, Jon manages a team of highly skilled professionals committed to delivering a variety of services including Public Safety Radios, Data Center & Infrastructure, Countywide Enterprise Applications, Strategic Planning, Open Data, and much more.

Under his leadership, San Mateo County (SMC) implemented a countywide shared digital public safety radio system, a hyper-converged SDN datacenter, a multi-jurisdictional high-speed fiber network, and the migration of key enterprise applications to the Cloud. In addition, he oversaw the launch of SMC Public WiFi to help bridge the digital divide within the County.

Jon has won numerous accolades for technology excellence and leadership, including awards in government television programming, web services, and open data platforms, providing unparalleled levels of government transparency, engagement and accountability.  Specifically in San Mateo County, Jon launched an Open Data Program to allow citizens to see performance metrics for all activities of County government.  In the City and County of San Francisco, Jon pioneered the local government use of social media platforms, enabling citizens to report neighborhood blight, promote city services, and to further civic engagement.

Jon continues to collaborate with governments, non-profits, and other community stakeholders in an effort to bolster the quality of life of County citizens through technology. Jon is a member of the Dell CIO Advisory Board of Directors, Co-Chair of the Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network (JVSV) Wireless Initiative, and Co-Chair the Global Cities Super Cluster initiative. He is also a member of the San Mateo County Telecommunications Authority (SAMCAT), where he holds the position of Treasurer.

Jon is a long-time California resident and lives in the Monterey Peninsula with his family and dreams of spending more time at local automobile race tracks.Email Address: jwalton@smcgov.orgSocial Media: Twitter: @SanMateoCIO

Not the first time Top Staff of ISD have bailed time for an Audit.

SMCN.com Article about ISD

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East Palo Alto is having Emergency/Special Closed Meeting tonight at 5:30 PM

By Michael G. Stogner

No matter what it is called it is a Closed Session Meeting but that doesn’t mean you can’t comment on it before it starts.

Subject Matter is the Termination of the City Attorney

What caused this to be an Emergency later reduced to a Special Closed Session in the first place?

City Attorneys and City Managers serve at the pleasure of the City Council and can be terminated anytime.

If you would like to speak at this meeting the City is asking you to sign up in advance link below.

Emergency/Special Closed Session TONIGHT

As an example the City of Daly City should be having this conversation about Terminating their City Attorney and City Manager for the No Body Worn Camera’s and the Roger Allen Homicide by the Daly City Police Officers on April 7, 2021. They have refused to identify the Police Officer who killed Roger Allen, Why?

Update: May 20, 2021 4:15 PM

Thursday May 20, 2021                                         From: Ruben Abrica, resident and Vice Mayor

Regarding:  Open and Transparent Government versus Secret and Private abuse of power by officials

TO:  Residents of East Palo Alto:

Today, a rushed and imposed closed session meeting of the City Council is scheduled for 5:30 pm, with barely 24 hours notice to the public.  Before going into closed session, the public has the right to make comments or ask questions, including elected officials if they wish to inform and explain their views.

I, for one, will not be silent nor complicit in what I see as an attempt by three councilmembers to bypass our legal and ethical responsibilities to be open and honest with the public and protect the City from potential  liability, legal and financial.  I therefore want to comment and ask questions as part of the public process.

A. Emails by public officials in relation to city government are public not private

1.  In an email sent late Tuesday May 18 by Council Member Lopez and also representing Council Members Wallace-Jones and Gauthier there is a call for an emergency meeting of the City Council with the topic of

‘Termination –City Attorney’.   A second email is then sent cleaning up the first one stating that it’s a ‘special’ meeting and now omitting the reference to ‘Termination –City Attorney’.  If you notice the published agenda cites the vague and general category of  ‘Public employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release’ (Agenda Item 3.1)

2.  Whether a meeting is called by the Mayor, as is the normal procedure, or imposed by three members as is the case here, the matter should be approached with respect for the public to be notified with plenty of time so they may comment or ask questions about any potential major decisions.  For today, barely 24 hours notice was given and the purpose of the closed session is now hidden from the public.

3.  Did three council members already discuss privately the termination of the city attorney?

Did three council members already reach a decision?  Both would be a violation of the Brown Act

What is the ‘emergency’ alluded to and then backtracked?  What’s behind this power move?

B. Let’s not attack the messenger because the message makes officials uncomfortable 

1.  Why is the Office of the City Attorney being attacked and ambushed with such speed?

2.  Whenever city government personnel investigations are conducted as a result of complaints, and including investigations involving elected officials, the best practice has been to retain an independent investigator and not an employee of the city to perform timely investigations of personnel matters.  This is what the City Attorney has done and in my opinion correctly so.  And the City Manager as part of his job responsibilities is then expected to take action as deemed necessary.  I, as one of five people who supervise the City Manager expect him to bring timely closure on all personnel cases so as not expose the City to legal and/or financial liabilities.  The public’s money should never be put at risk by negligence or politicking.

3.  Why was council member Lopez  at the Tuesday May 18 meeting questioning the continuation of an independent personnel investigator as proposed by the City Attorney? (Item 3.8 of the agenda) 

C. Full Disclosure.  No Hiding.  No Cover Ups. Correct Mistakes, Serve the People 

1.  As a founding member of the City Government of East Palo Alto, I am, at this moment , remembering people not with us anymore who sacrificed so much so that our community could learn to exercise self-government and self-determination.  Let’s honor them by practicing honest and transparent government. 

2. This closed session meeting is a very troubling example of secrecy and underhanded tactics to avoid facing the public.  It’s an assault on our local institution of government , intended to democratically serve the people not the egos of politicians.  I, for one, will not participate in this farce of a ‘closed’ session.  There are real urgent needs of the community to be addressed instead of this destructive power game playing.

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Half Moon Bay Police Reform Ordinance is Appropriate.

By Michael G. Stogner

City of Half Moon Bay May 18, 2021 Meeting 7:00 PM

Once again the City of Half Moon Bay Council Members are leading San Mateo County Elected Officials & Staff.

The proposed ordinance, which was co-written by councilmembers Harvey Rarback and Joaquin Jimenez with the help of resident David Eblovi, states that a law enforcement officer could not stop a car for failing to signal a turn, having expired license tags, or having a defective tail light. In terms of restraining suspects, the ordinance would ban the use of Tasers, chokeholds and prohibit officers from placing people in a prone position while handcuffed. It would require them to be moved on their side immediately if necessary.

The ordinance would also mandate that when dealing with someone who is a threat to themselves or others, officers must wait for backup from another officer or a mental health professional before initiating contact. In addition, officers would also be required to retreat and take cover before firing at an individual. Jimenez noted that public input on this ordinance should be encouraged and that dialogue with law enforcement would be key to making substantial changes happen.

I asked Mark Melville Candidate for Sheriff 2022 for his opinion, here it is.

First and foremost, Mr. Jiminez is correct in that the public and Council need to meet and discuss what is in the best interest of all city residents, inclusive of public safety services.  I read the proposed ordinance and find it appropriate. There is nothing in the ordinance that prevents the Sheriff’s Office from doing their job. The Council is looking for the betterment of how people are treated once they are in contact with law enforcement, nothing wrong with that. I’m not sure where the Sheriff is coming from when he says the ordinance wouldn’t improve public safety..?  I think the ordinance is actually in favor of policing, in the way the City wants to see it done.  In addition, I believe specific deputies should be assigned to the City for a long period of time. This would allow them to become part of the community and they would clearly understand the community’s expectations. In doing this, it would eliminate the Sheriff’s concern of having deputies working in different jurisdictions operating under different operating procedures.

   
The Sheriff’s statement, “It’s my understanding their ordinance will have no legal basis on our services, nor on the contract, it’s basically unenforceable,”  which in my opinion is very condescending.  The Sheriff is saying we are going to provide the service to the City the way we see fit, and there is nothing you can do about it, oh until the contract ends in 2022.  In my opinion, the Sheriff should be at the forefront of drafting said ordinance with the city Council, because it’s for the betterment of the community..!!  I’m wishing the City success in achieving the services they desire for their community.  

Every City and Town that receives it’s Law Enforcement Services from the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office should be on this ZOOM Meeting Tonight.

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Half Moon Bay Police Reform Zoom Meeting May 18, 2021 Item 3D

By Michael G. Stogner

Making Half Moon Bay safe for it’s residents.

Great work Half Moon Bay City Council and Resident David Eblovi, Thank You for leading the entire County in Law Enforcement reform. If it turns out that the only resistance is from Sheriff Bolanos and San Mateo County Counsel David Silberman don’t worry both of those obstacles can be gone with the election of Mark Melville for Sheriff in 2022. That’s 18 months from now.

“It’s my understanding their ordinance will have no legal basis on our services, nor on the contract,” Bolanos said. “It’s basically unenforceable.”

Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos finds those restrictions “problematic” and unenforceable.

Even if the ordinance is approved by the council, it likely wouldn’t have any bearing on the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, said Sheriff Carlos Bolanos. Because of the county’s contract with Half Moon Bay, the city can’t legislate changes until the contract is up for renegotiation, Bolanos said. The Sheriff’s Office’s contract with the city doesn’t expire until July 2022

How difficult could it possibly be, HMB has only 2 Deputies on duty per shift.

The proposed ordinance, which was co-written by councilmembers Harvey Rarback and Joaquin Jimenez with the help of resident David Eblovi, states that a law enforcement officer could not stop a car for failing to signal a turn, having expired license tags, or having a defective tail light. In terms of restraining suspects, the ordinance would ban the use of Tasers, chokeholds and prohibit officers from placing people in a prone position while handcuffed. It would require them to be moved on their side immediately if necessary.

The ordinance would also mandate that when dealing with someone who is a threat to themselves or others, officers must wait for backup from another officer or a mental health professional before initiating contact. In addition, officers would also be required to retreat and take cover before firing at an individual. Jimenez noted that public input on this ordinance should be encouraged and that dialogue with law enforcement would be key to making substantial changes happen.

“It’s in our best interest to listen to our community, to see what is going on and if there has to be any kind of changes to make our community safer,” Jimenez said.

While this ordinance would restrict the actions of law enforcement, Rarback believes it would instead give deputies


ORDINANCE NO. C-2021-_______
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF HALF MOON BAY

CALIFORNIA AMENDING CHAPTER 2.33, SPECIFIC POLICING POLICIES

THE CITY COUNCIL OF HALF MOON BAY DOES ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1. Findings: The City Council finds and declares as follows:

(a) The municipal code of the City of Half Moon Bay requires periodic updates to reflect current information and changes in law, to provide clarification to the community, and to provide for improved customer service and administration of City business.

(b) Setting a clear understanding for the behavior of law enforcement and peace officers serving the Half Moon Bay community is critical to building and maintaining trust between the community and the City’s law enforcement providers.

(c) Protecting law enforcement officers and the community from undue risk of harm as a result of unnecessary interactions or escalations between armed officers and the public is critical to protecting the public safety of all of Half Moon Bay’s residents, and especially those who may be at statistically high risk of a negative outcome due to mental illness, substance abuse issues, race, housing status, or immigration status.

(d) There is no statutory requirement that the City of Half Moon Bay enforce California Vehicle Code. Therefore the City may, and should, selectively enforce CA Vehicle Code if it results in less pervasive fear or a better standard of living for its people.

(e) It is in the interests of the City of Half Moon Bay for peace officers to have operable and operating video and sound recording devices at all times that they are in public or are engaging in policing activities.

(f) A significant portion of the at-risk population of Half Moon Bay lives in reasonable fear of encounters with law enforcement providers. These fears are justified by the fact that the current law enforcement agency serving greater Half Moon Bay has had numerous recent fatal encounters with individuals who suffered from mental health issues. Therefore, it is in the interests of the public and the officers who serve here to minimize the number and types of such interactions, and when interactions do occur for the City to insure that the interests of all parties are protected to the extent possible.

Section 2. Municipal Code Update (Specific Policing Policies) including revisions to Chapter 2.33 of the Half Moon Bay Municipal Code is adopted as set forth in Exhibit “A” to this Ordinance shown for introduction as deletions in strike through and additions in underline.

Section 3Severability. If any section, sentence, clause or phrase of this Ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this Ordinance. The City Council herby declares that it would have passed this Ordinance and adopted this Ordinance and each section, sentence, clause or phrase thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more section, subsections, sentences, clauses or phrases be declared invalid or unconstitutional.

Section 4Publication. The City Clerk of the City of Half Moon Bay is hereby directed to publish this Ordinance, or the title hereof as a summary, pursuant to Government Code Section 36933, once within fifteen (15) days after its passage in the Half Moon Bay Review, a newspaper of general circulation published in the City of Half Moon Bay.

Section 5Effective date. This Ordinance shall take effect and be in force on the thirtieth (30th) day from and after its final passage.

INTRODUCED at a regular meeting of the City Council of the City of Half Moon Bay, California,

Held on the 18th day of May, 2021, by the following vote:
Ayes, Councilmembers: __________________________________
Noes, Councilmembers: __________________________________
Absent, Councilmembers: __________________________________
Abstain, Councilmembers: __________________________________
ATTEST:
___________________________ _______________________ Jessica Blair, City Clerk Robert Brownstone, Mayor

City of Half Moon Bay May 18, 2021 Meeting

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Anne Oliva’s Fundraiser for Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos. Why?

By Michael G. Stogner

Chinedu V. Okobi R.I.P. was a large well educated Black Man walking on the sidewalk southbound on El Camino Real in Millbrae on October 3, 2018. Anne Oliva was a Millbrae City council member that day, and has been Silent all this time. He was not running in and out of traffic like Sheriff Bolanos said he was. He did Not Immediately assault Sheriff Deputy Wang after exiting his patrol vehicle like Sheriff Bolanos said he was.

Chinedu V. Okobi was San Mateo County’s George Floyd.

Anne Oliva

How can anybody support Law Enforcement in San Mateo County that Lies to the Public? Ask Anne Oliva

No mention of being tased 7 times and the weight of 6 bodies on top of Chinedu Okobi, O.C. spray to face. Okobi was dead on El Camino in Millbrae the day. Bolanos knew all of this when he issued this Release.
Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos leaves out one name. CSO Joseph Gonzales the 6th Sheriff Employee Involved. Why?

It’s not surprising that San Mateo County Community Leaders support this Dishonest behavior. The question is Why?

Welcome to San Mateo County

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SAL “Building the bond between cops and kids.” A bad Idea.

By Michael G. Stogner

Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos

San Mateo County Elected Officials and Staff aka “Those Who Matter” have always shown the ability to ignore the Obvious.

Notice the date of this announcement. June 8, 2020 less than 120 days after Barbara Bonilla is REMOVED.

Bond between Sheriff Deputies and Kids

I was the first reporter to report Barbara Bonilla was gone. How is that possible look at how many Elected Officials, Staff, and Community Members knew she was gone and why?

SMCN.com Feb. 28, 2020 Article

Does anybody really think it is a good idea to have children bonding with an Organization that is top heavy (45) men who share Porn and Violent Rape Videos on San Mateo County Computers at the Sheriff’s Office. I don’t

Porn and Violent Rape Video Shared with Top 45 Sheriff Employees

Anne Oliva

Millbrae City Councilperson Anne Oliva is Hosting a Fundraiser for the re-elect Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos 2022 at her home this Wednesday at 4:30 PM.

Barbara Bonilla the former Campaign manager for Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos and Executive Director of the Sheriff’s Activity League who is being criminally charged by the Attorney Generals Office, donated to Anne’s Senate campaign.

Welcome to San Mateo County

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Daly City Manager Shawnna Maltbie Look how it’s done. S.F. Police Chief Apologizes

My Michael G. Stogner

City of Daly City Manager Shawnna Maltbie

City of Daly City Manager Shawnna Maltbie has kept a tight lid on any and all information regarding the April 7, 2021 Homicide of Roger Allen R.I.P. by somebody from her Police Department. Here is what we know for sure Roger Allen is dead, that’s about it. We don’t know who shot him or why 4 DCPD Officers were at a disabled truck with a flat time in the first place.

Who’s gun fired shots? See how simple this is? An examination of the officer’s gun showed that a single round was fired.

Why would Daly City Elected Officials and Staff go the opposite way of America in 2021. I would guess it’s simple Math. They are betting this will settle with a payment of Taxpayer money and Never get to a Jury trial. That way a NDA will be signed and No more information will be made public then we know today.

Jeff Regan has it right: Why do voters put up with this? You can’t recall a city manager, but you can recall a city council.

Jeff ReganMay 11, 2021 at 8:34 amEdit

Public comment about any subject should be at the beginning of city council meetings. Then, public comment for each agendized item. Daly City not having body and dash cameras, their lack of transparency regarding a police homicide and making residents wait several hours for public comment are done intentionally to thwart democracy and the rights of the citizens who pay the salaries of city staff, and police department personnel. Where is the council oversight? Why do voters put up with this? You can’t recall a city manager, but you can recall a city council.

Just north of Daly City, San Francisco Police shot a man on May 7, 2021, He wasn’t killed but here is what happened the Police Chief Identified the Officer who shot him and he Apologized to the public.

LATIMES Article

San Francisco police chief apologizes for officer shooting
Bullet struck burglary suspect in the wrist during scuffle on May 7
POLICE CHIEF William Scott says the shooting of Xavier Pittman “simply should not have happened.” (Justin Sullivan Getty Images)
By Lila Seidman and Richard Winton
San Francisco Police Chief William “Bill” Scott has offered a rare public apology for an officer’s recent shooting of an unarmed car burglary suspect.
Xavier Pittman Jr., 23, was shot in the wrist by plainclothes Officer Zachary McAuliffe as he was being arrested May 7. Pittman is a suspect in a series of car burglaries.
He was treated at a hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening, officials said. An examination of the officer’s gun showed that a single round was fired.
“The shooting of Mr. Pittman quite simply should not have happened,” Scott said during an online town hall on Thursday. “I’m deeply sorry that Mr. Pittman was shot during this incident, and I would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to Mr. Pittman, his family and his friends.”
Scott added a wider public apology, saying, “We know you expect us to get this right, and we know how traumatic it is to see these types of incidents — especially when they should not have happened.”
The chief said the shooting remains under investigation. He said plainclothes officers are exempt from wearing body cameras, but that video surveillance from a nearby business recorded the shooting.
The incident began when police received 911 calls that several suspects in a silver Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross were breaking into vehicles all over the city, from Golden Gate Park to Fisherman’s Wharf.
Shortly after noon, U.S. Park Police spotted the Mitsubishi in the Presidio area of San Francisco and tried to stop it, but the vehicle sped away.
McAuliffe and a colleague found the vehicle and the suspects at Jack London Alley and Varney Place, police said. As some suspects fled in the Mitsubishi, the officers apprehended Pittman and the shot was fired.
Video footage shows two officers running in the alley toward Pittman with their guns drawn.
“Plainclothes officer No. 1 grabbed Mr. Pittman, and both fell to the ground,” a San Francisco police commander said during the town hall.
In the scuffle, he said, the officer’s handgun fired and struck Pittman “in the left wrist area.”
According to the video, one officer can be heard yelling: “Police Department! Police!” Immediately afterward, a gunshot is heard.
Pittman, who was unarmed, is heard saying he has been shot and requests an ambulance.
McAuliffe “did not intend for his firearm to go off,” his attorney Mike Hinckley said. “He sincerely apologizes to Mr. Pitman and wishes him a full speedy recovery.”
Pittman’s attorney, Adante Pointer, said it is “unclear whether it was an accidental discharge or intentional, as the video is not terribly clear.”
He said his client did not do anything to warrant deadly force being used against him. He said the officer was acting recklessly.
“For safety reasons, officers are trained not to have their gun in hand when they go hands on with a person in order to prevent this very thing or something worse from happening,” he said. “This could have easily been a fatal shooting of my client or of another person in the vicinity.”
The Police Department has yet to determine whether the gunshot was intended. The San Francisco district attorney will decide whether the officer involved will face criminal charges.
Pittman was arrested on suspicion of second-degree car burglary, conspiracy, possession of stolen property and committing a felony while on release.
Police said the other suspects remain at large. The Mitsubishi was found abandoned in Oakland. Investigators also recovered a large amount of stolen property from the auto burglaries.

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