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While walking back from work and towards her home a few blocks away, "Jane" a single mom in her fifties, crossed the street. Before reaching the other side, a police car pulled up on the sidewalk in front of her and two officers emerged. As they approached they said something to the effect of "it's illegal to cross the street there where there is no sidewalk, do you have ID?". Jane said "I don't have ID on me", at which time, without further words or any struggle, she was turned around and her hands were cuffed behind her back and she was put inside the patrol car. For several minutes, as they drove her further away from home and out of the area she asked several times "Where are you taking me?". She only got mocking laughter from one of the officers in response.

She was taken to a station, booked, slammed against a wall, and generally roughed up a bit, leaving her with bruises (I have asked her to take photos). She was held for 12 hours, with no phone call, no lawyer, no nothing. Finally, just before 5am, she got home after a horrific night, with a charge of PC148(a)(1) of obstruction/resisting and her promise to appear to face that charge in court in a few weeks.

If you're poor and don't speak good English, jaywalking can land you in jail for 12 hours, with your family frantically searching for you, while you are roughed up and then released with trumped up charges.

I'm furious and I'm not letting them get away with it.

[EDIT UPDATE: 12pm PT Sunday:

Some information in response to comments:

* Important detail: There are NO other charges as far as I know. Just obstruction/resisting.
* There is no media story (yet). I am a friend of the family, this happened 24 hours ago
* The lady is white. She is an immigrant from Eastern Europe.
* The area is industrial (SFO airport vicinity), which is why it is cheap to rent and full of poor immigrants. There are few cars, few sidewalks and few pedestrians.

I have no further information or knowledge about the case for now. As many have pointed out, there may be many additional facts not know. What I know so far stinks of injustice.

Originally posted to marvinborg on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 12:08 AM PDT.

Also republished by Police Accountability Group.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (138+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dlemex, RamblinDave, susakinovember, webranding, Jane Lew, BvueDem, Mother Mags, hannah, Chaddiwicker, bluedust, WakeUpNeo, Tinfoil Hat, ladybug53, Leslie Salzillo, luckylizard, bigjacbigjacbigjac, Horace Boothroyd III, kurt, Cassandra Waites, COwoman, DRo, glitterlust, DefendOurConstitution, JonBarleycorn, Ducktape, Carol in San Antonio, Chi, progdog, JDWolverton, third Party please, Matilda, Texknight, Russ Jarmusch, fixxit, bronte17, tapestry, Brooke In Seattle, eeff, Debs2, offred, sb, Overseas, fallina7, OldSoldier99, zerelda, viral, Preston S, bewild, Sun Tzu, Kingsmeg, GeorgeXVIII, enhydra lutris, lcrp, Bisbonian, Geenius at Wrok, sawgrass727, joanbrooker, Shockwave, DvCM, Liberal Thinking, StrayCat, xynz, WI Deadhead, midnight lurker, mconvente, Hirodog, Lily O Lady, freeport beach PA, BusyinCA, NancyWH, markdd, snoopydawg, harlinchi, psnyder, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, eyesoars, Youffraita, yet another liberal, shortgirl, No one gets out alive, WFBMM, commonmass, Mentatmark, freesia, elwior, bleeding blue, Caddis Fly, GAS, timethief, petulans, tofumagoo, One Pissed Off Liberal, linkage, MadRuth, dotsright, Joieau, armadillo, mkoz, kbman, Nebraskablue, rasbobbo, GANJA, Skennet Boch, susans, pcl07, cyncynical, Bridge Master, RagingGurrl, Calamity Jean, Tool, bloomer 101, madhaus, irishwitch, Stwriley, MNGlasnant, Naniboujou, TheMeansAreTheEnd, pat bunny, absdoggy, Hubbard Squash, TracieLynn, white blitz, YellerDog, Metalgirl, isabelle hayes, OldDragon, trumpeter, a2nite, boatjones, reflectionsv37, doinaheckuvanutjob, mjshep, BlackSheep1, 2020adam, chimene, boudi08, Dodgerdog1, Aaa T Tudeattack
  •  That Is Stunning If True (24+ / 0-)

    a few years ago I wanted to do away with my car. I use mass transit, walk, or most days on my bike. I break the "jay walking" law everyday. Heck when I come to the one stop light in my town I don't wait for it to turn green for me. If there are no cars I ride through. Cops where I live have no desire to arrest me. None. That these folks did is telling in an of itself.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 12:24:51 AM PDT

    •  It's the culture of obedience. (35+ / 0-)

      The law is seen as an instrument of coercion, not as a prohibition of certain socially harmful acts. The concept that individual behavior is presumably good, until proven otherwise (innocent until guilty), has been reduced to the starting point of a trial. Our agents of law enforcement are not being taught to be polite to the public; nor that they are public servants. The are being trained to be obedient and, since that's an abusive situation, they pass it on. Imposing obedience on others is their reward for subordinating themselves to their higher-ups. It's an organizational problem. It may be a consequence of the fact that incompetent people are being promoted into positions of authority. Just look at that emergency manager in Detroit who doesn't know how to keep his own accounts and has liens for unpaid taxes filed against him, four times.

      When they get into legislative bodies, these good talkers, who manage to talk themselves out of trouble, are scofflaws. They pass laws so they can scoff at people who obey the irrational restrictions they impose.

      Perambulation is one of the basic human rights because it is derived from an intrinsic function. Since it isn't mentioned in the Constitution, the culture of obedience violates it with impunity. Also, the law enforcers are parsing when an arrest occurs to avoid having to comply with the obligation to respect rights. That's why the victim of this assault was only detained, as are the foreigners without papers who are being rounded up for deportation and as are the captives in Guantanamo. The rationale seems to be that individuals have no rights until they are arrested. So, let's not arrest them.
      The main body of the Constitution is written up as a directive -- what agents of government may and must do. There was some concern about appending prohibitions, which is what the first ten amendments are, probably because of the human proclivity, when confronted with prohibitions, to find exceptions. Indeed, exceptions are written in. "You can't do a search except when warranted." So, for example, they routinely search people they stop (arrest, technically) because a fear for their safety warrants it. Finally, the law considers simple assault a misdemeanor, even though it violates bodily integrity -- more evidence that human rights, to which persons are entitled by virtue of being natural persons, are not a top priority. Humans exist to be exploited by their own kind is the belief that is in basic conflict with the commitment to human rights. At present, the authoritarians are in a hunt for some population they can exploit with impunity. "Immigrants" are a nice target because they have no obvious identifiers, so anybody could be one and all the law enforcers need is suspicion. Perambulators or pedestrians are all suspect. Bicyclists too, but they are harder to catch by cops in their cages on wheels.
      Why do caged cops want to put people in cages? They're under restraints, why shouldn't everyone else be, as well?

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 12:59:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  just hope you don't get an eager beaver (5+ / 0-)

      chief or some shiny new recruits who are just itching to "clean up" crime in your town

    •  Please be very careful (5+ / 0-)

      As someone who has to drive in a city from time to time, it's extremely nerve-wracking when a pedestrian appears out of nowhere in front of you. Many simply do not pay attention, and that is extremely dangerous. I can't tell you how many close calls I've had from people popping out into the street from behind a parked SUV. I simply cannot see them in time in that situation. Bikes are even more at risk since they move faster and provide drivers even less time to react. Going through a red light on a bike in a dense city is both illegal and recklessly dangerous.  I implore you, be very very careful when doing this. For not only your sake but to prevent someone from having to call in, say they hit someone, and then having to go through the pain of an investigation and potential charges from these same officers.

      While what these officers did to this lady is inexcusable, and many laugh at the idea of jaywalking being an offense, on dense city streets it can be quite dangerous. Pedestrians and bike riders are better for the planet than car drivers, this is true, but the Newtonian court of law is extremely strict and harsh when applying the rule 'F = ma', and going "green" grants no protections from that.

      The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them. - Albert Einstein.

      by Cvstos on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 08:11:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but when you don't obstruct traffic, (5+ / 0-)

        or interfere with its flow, then you should be able to cross where you can safely cross.  There's a big difference between jaywalking and obstructing traffic.  That said, if this is true, the cops should be fired and sent to school crossing-guard duty.

        •  Jaywalking is dangerous, and in many cities (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bleeding blue, dfe, mkoz, irishwitch, Stwriley

          illegal. So is crossing where there is no crosswalk. Like I said upthread, what happened to this lady is totally abhorrent. I would NOT be upset, however, if she'd gotten a ticket.

          One of the things that keeps our small city traffic tidy and courteous in an almost Canadian way (I don't think I've ever seen a jaywalker in a Canadian city) is a great deal of respect for "don't walk" signs, and the threat of a ticket.

          What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

          by commonmass on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 10:16:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  sorry, can't agree (4+ / 0-)

            I know it's anathema to the majority assumption that automobiles trump everything else, but there's something downright authoritarian about ticketing people for walking. Call me a utopian anarchist, but I don't like it.

            •  I see where you're coming from, but imagine (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Swill to Power, Stwriley

              the chaos and danger if everyone simply crosses the street whenever and wherever they want to in a city? No matter how careful and obedient of traffic rules a motorist may be--including stopping for those pedestrians WHEN they can be seen--the number of fatalities and injuries would far outweigh the utopian anarchism.

              Just because we have traffic and pedestrian laws does not necessarily make us authoritarians. Now, what those cops did to the woman who is the subject of this diary, THAT was authoritarianism run amok.

              What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

              by commonmass on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 12:17:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I guess I object to a series of assumptions (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                "What if everybody just ran out into the street in front of traffic?" Well, note that everybody doesn't run wildly into traffic; nor does the fact that everybody doesn't run out into traffic rely upon financial sanctions, a pervasive police presence, or deep respect for the sacred rule of law.

                On the other hand, twist your "what if" scenario slightly: what if cities were designed for the comfort and convenience of people rather than for the (seemingly) inefficient comfort of the private automobile? Now, I understand that most American cities are not designed this way (they used to be more so, but that's another story). But the first step to dislodging habitual thinking is to entertain the seemingly unrealistic in its pragmatic implications; my argument is that we're so accustomed to being herded, thwarted, sanctioned, intimidated, and ruled that we've lost sight of some things that used to be pretty common sense.

                Incidentally, I don't really believe in national characteristics, but I do believe in observing norms. If you want a glimpse into how little Americans actually value individual conscience, freedom of decision, etc., remain seated during the national anthem at a ball game sometime and listen to what people say. If you want a glimpse into what many people would view as a long-standing quality of Germans, cross a totally empty street against the "Don't Walk" signal.

                So yeah, I kind of went Godwin with the last line, but it's also true.  

                •  I tend to agree with you, on the other hand, (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Swill to Power, Cvstos

                  I guess I just don't feel oppressed by common-sense rules for navigating congested streets down which potential death-machines in the form of cars, busses and streetcars travel. Or maybe I lived in Austria for too long. ;)

                  As far as the National Anthem is concerned, I used to be a shcoolteacher in public school and I neither recited nor compelled my students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance on the grounds that I find loyalty oaths to be abhorrent AND many in the class were not citizens. This was in Texas. I am very well aware of the herd mentality. It's just that I think when it comes to city streets, if there were ever a place for herding (or at least obeying walk/don't walk lights), city streets is it.

                  What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

                  by commonmass on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 02:27:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Many streets have no crosswalk (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass, Sam Berdoux, a2nite

            It is usually legal to cross at a corner. There are neighborhoods where there are no sidewalks, yet people must cross the street. Commonsense should rule.

          •  Those laws are also pretty universally not (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marvinborg, doinaheckuvanutjob

            enforced, and the woman was not charged with jaywalking.

            Whatever this woman was arrested for, it was not jaywalking.  Either the cop was having a bad day, or was low on quota.  If this was in part of the 0.001% of the US where jaywalking laws are actually enforced, it may have been because a cop with a severe anger management problem viewed not having an ID as giving him lip, and he has learned over the years that he can get away with being an abusive thug when he feels like it.

            Regardless of how you look at it, there's no way any of this makes sense.  There's no law requiring people carry ID.  IMHO resistance and obstruction charges should not exist when there are no other charges, or all other charges are dropped.

          •  I understand and agree with you, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            but one other example that happens all the time.  You find a parking space in the middle of the block, and your destination is across the street.  If there is no traffic, you should be able to cross where without fear of a ticket.  I don't need government to hold my hand to cross the street.  If I interfere with traffic however, then I deserve the ticket.  

            Either way, I won't receive a ticket in my college town because that doesn't seem to attract the attention of our local police.  The natural outgrowth is the students never follow that law.  When passing the college, students cross against the light and REALLY interfere wiith traffic.  This gives me confidence I won't be ticketed.  

      •  So slow down and look for people. (0+ / 0-)

        Pedestrians rarely come out of nowhere. Drivers, on the other hand, frequently charge through intersections and crosswalks completely heedless of anyone who may be on foot. Slow down and look for others.

        Where was Jeff Gannon on Pretzel Day?

        by Sam Berdoux on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 11:38:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am a very careful driver (0+ / 0-)

          Knock on wood, ZERO tickets, ZERO at-fault accidents. Ask any of my friends, they'll tell you I'm the most careful driver out of all of them by a very wide margin.

          And I don't mean just zero points on my license or zero tickets that stuck. I mean I have never even been issued a ticket, not even as a teenager.

          And I'm thirty years old, and have been driving for fourteen.

          I've only been in ONE accident, and for that one I was sitting still at a red stoplight when I got rear-ended. Naturally, I was NOT ticketed. (Side note: The guy that hit me was a teenager, and I honestly don't blame him a bit. The weather was god-awful, some of the worst I've ever seen, and the road super-slick. He was moving slow and STILL slid out of control it was so bad. I harbor no ill will, and the impact was only a few MPH. Only my bumper got damaged, no worries.)

          And pedestrians DO appear out of nowhere. Try driving in downtown Chicago sometime. I try to stay in slower lanes because I'm not a fast driver. Of course, this means that I have to be extra-careful when passing any larger vehicle (I drive a compact car) parked on the side. Any vehicle large enough to obscure an adult pedestrian (read: most any SUV) is one they're likely to decide to emerge from behind, without even slowing down.

          It's the worst in the Loop itself. I can remember driving down next to the Sears Tower, and the pedestrians there would manage to jaywalk at INTERSECTIONS. How? Well, the light is green for me, would be green for quite some time to come, and they still cross anyway. Despite having the "do not cross" light on for them.

          Despite the fact that I'm coming at them in my car. My BLUE, daytime-running-lights-equipped car. In which I then get stuck in the middle of the intersection, honking like crazy so I can try and fail to be able to proceed.

          Through the STILL green light.

          And when I honk? They don't rush back to where they were or even just stop where they are to let me through.

          They speed up to try to get across.

          I have to creep up to the edge of the crossing and honk THERE to get them to stop, and then proceed through the again STILL green light.

          Yes, there are pedestrians out there that do incredibly stupid things. It's not the car driver that's always at fault, but I'm willing to bet it would be hard to convince a judge or jury of that fact.

          In theory at least, this is why they have jaywalking laws. I rather wish they'd be enforced more.

          As I said, going to court for a jaywalking ticket is a lot less painful than going to the Newtonian court of law and paying the penalty for an 'F = ma' ticket.

          The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them. - Albert Einstein.

          by Cvstos on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:08:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I had a similar accident (0+ / 0-)

            Stopped at a red light a woman slammed into me pushed
            me in a Aveo half way through the intersection.   Neck injury which is aching now.  Restarting physical therapy
            and fighting their insurance.  
              I paint for a living so it aggravates it.  And i just now got a mri. which indeed shows a messed up neck.  

            Politics is a contact sport

            by boudi08 on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 06:13:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  No, it's not stunning. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, elwior, a2nite

      It's becoming common.

      "We refuse to fight in a war started by men who refused to fight in a war." -freewayblogger

      by Bisbonian on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 08:25:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's one thing if no one is coming, but (6+ / 0-)

      please do not walk against the light in cities. In cities like Boston, it's done all the time and the result is chaos. People on foot should wait their turn just like cyclists and motorists. It's only common sense. Here in Portland ME you're likely to get a jaywalking ticket.

      That being said, what happened to this lady is appalling. A ticket is one thing, being arrested is totally unacceptable.

      What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

      by commonmass on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 10:12:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't be proud of jay walking (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      akeitz, Stwriley

      If you are crossing major streets it is not a great idea. Just because you think it is clear, doesn't mean it actually is. Several times a month I come very close to hitting pedestrians  or bicyclists who I am quite sure mistakenly thought they were good to go. I also live in an area where this are sidewalks and bike lanes on both sides of the street with frequent on demand crosswalks so there is no reason to jay walk.

      That said, a ticket is generally the extent of punishment most jay walking incidents deserve.

      •  Crosswalks aren't safe (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stwriley, snazzzybird

        I work in a Northern California suburb that is crisscrossed by "city streets" that function more like major expressways. I like to get out of the office and walk somewhere for lunch, so I have to cross at least one of these 40+ MPH rivers of death each day.

        The problem now is that traffic is moving so fast that people waiting to make a right turn are deathly afraid of getting by hit a car coming from the left. So, they have learned to wait until the "walk" signal comes on to let them know that it is safe to turn onto the expressway. They generally do not feel any obligation to wait for me, even when they have taken the time to look for me in the first place. By the time all of them are through, the "don't walk" signal is usually flashing. So if I wait until there are no cars to step off the curb, am I jaywalking? According to the law I am, even if the light is still green.

        I never step off the curb at a crosswalk until I have the light, yet I rarely make it to lunch and back without having to jump back from a car. It is far, far safer to walk to the middle of the block, wait for a big gap in traffic, and sprint across than it is to use the crosswalk. I guess this would be First Degree jaywalking, but it really is safer, especially on those streets that have a landscaped median separating the lanes. So please don't tell me not to jaywalk as long as drivers fail to yield to pedestrians with such impunity. I will do it because it is a rational choice.

        Where was Jeff Gannon on Pretzel Day?

        by Sam Berdoux on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 12:21:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hell, if you're poor and don't speak English here (36+ / 0-)

    in Arizona, you can end up in Joe Arpaio's gulag for 12 months (not to minimize this woman's experience). At least she was walking home from work and not to work, although now she'll probably have to take a day off from work to fight this damn thing. Best of luck to you.

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 01:01:48 AM PDT

  •  good for you for supporting her (19+ / 0-)

    and to add, if you had no family or no one missing you
    you could be lost in the bowels of the system forever.

    Even if you speak good English. I am sure they would not listen.

    Not relevent to your immediate need, but I think of it for myself. They could do whatever they wanted to me and I'd be powerless even with a phone call. I don't have anyone to call that I'd likely reach (no family or SO) and many are in my shoes.

    Glad she wasn't injured. If they even jerked my arms up as they do when they cuff you I'd be in agony...I have rotator cuff tears in both shoulders.

    It's sad that I don't fear being mugged or raped, I fear the dealing with the police more in a power play sort of way. I see them go there so easily.
    Best wishes to your friend.

  •  This is one of those days when I ask, (15+ / 0-)

    What the f*ck kind of world are we living in?

    Yes, of course there are much worse things happening out there. But this is where it starts --with ignorance, hate, prejudice, and control.

    Thank you for taking action. We need more like you.

    "When faced with darkness, be the light.

    by Leslie Salzillo on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 03:39:59 AM PDT

  •  question: if you cannot cross the road where there (25+ / 0-)

    is no sidewalk, where is the nearest pavement and now far would she have had to walk to get to that pavement in order to cross.  If that law (municipal, county, or state?) were in effect here, I would have to walk 15 miles to get to a sidewalk in order to cross the road to get to my mailbox.

    I am reminded of a local speed trap which had one speed limit (25 mph) entering town and another (45 mph) leaving town (with a large welcome sign for the cops to hide behind)  A guy finally won his case when he asserted that a highway could not have separate and distinct speed limits for each lane of an undivided road, particularly a gap of 20 mph.  He won his case.

    I would suggest reviewing the jaywalking statutes and see if the laws even apply to the area where the arrest was made.  Cops sometimes get a little "law happy" and start applying inapplicable statutes  

    •  Perhaps it should be “crosswalk” ?? /nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sawgrass727, elwior
    •  Nowhere in SM County (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, GAS, madhaus

      Is distance to a paved crosswalk an issue.  This is a fully urbanized area in the SF Bay Area.

      •  It must have gotten better in last 5 years (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tofumagoo, susans, Calamity Jean, madhaus

        Dangerous by Design

        When Adrienne Leigh first moved into suburban Hillsborough in 1997, she was expecting all the benefits of a small town nestled in the hills halfway between San Francisco and San Jose: open space, friendly neighbors and quiet streets. After a few weeks, however, Adrienne, her husband and two small children soon realized that life in Hillsborough was going to be more difficult than they thought. Even though the public elementary school that Adrienne's children attended was a mere two and a half blocks away, she began driving them because walking to school without sidewalks was far more difficult than she expected.

        "I live in a beautiful community but everyone drives everywhere. Kids are completely dependent on parents to get where they need to go," explains Leigh. "People speed through the streets, the same streets that kids have to walk in because we have no usable bike paths or sidewalks." After finding that she wasn’t alone in her dilemma, Leigh decided to join her school's safety committee. But after local officials and city engineers repeatedly denied requests from committee members to undertake a proactive pedestrian safety effort, she and another mom soon went on to form their own organization. "Safe Paths of Hillsborough" is stumping for safer places for kids to walk and bike, especially around schools and parks. "We went and bought books on traffic engineering, street design, and pedestrian safety because we needed to learn what could be done within traffic engineering standards," says Leigh. "We found that there was indeed lots you could do to improve pedestrian safety. But nothing seemed to be happening, There was a lot of sentiment to just preserve the status quo."

        Leigh notes that after more than a year of meetings, rallies and city council hearings, the group is growing and winning support. "At first we thought the effort would just attract parents, but we've appealed to a lot of seniors and empty nesters too. They used to be able to walk around the community but now it's too dangerous so they want to get involved."

        And in recent months, local officials have begun to respond. Hillsborough recently hired a new city engineer, launched a comprehensive pedestrian safety study around schools, approved its first bike lane, and increased enforcement efforts evidenced by a 400 percent increase in moving violations issued within the last twelve months. "I walk my kids to school now. There still aren't any dedicated sidewalks, but hopefully that'll change soon," says Leigh. "More kids walking means fewer parents driving and less traffic, hopefully that's reason enough for the city and school district to start paying attention."

        It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

        by se portland on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 10:42:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I remember (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          madhaus, se portland

          in the mid-60's when I tried to take the bus and walk to a classmate's home in Hillsborough from mine in San Mateo. The distance was not unreasonable, but the logistics of a hilly area with no sidewalks defeated me. I was so accustomed to having sidewalks in San Mateo that it didn't occur to me that an affluent community would not have them. I guess they wanted to discourage the pedestrian riff-raff from visiting their demesnes. Nowadays, places like Hillsborough are gated communities.

        •  The OP (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Didn't say Hillsborough.

          Hillsborough is a minuscule town up in tbe hills of the county.  Wealthy, but almost nobody in the county lives there.

          •  Über-wealthy, and the complete opposite of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            se portland

            the description of where the woman in the diary got arrested (industrial zone near the airport).

            For some reason, several of the wealthier cities here don't want sidewalks.  I live near Los Altos, which, away from their commercial zones, not only have no sidewalks but also no street lights.

  •  Clearly it was the woman's own fault ... (11+ / 0-)

    if she had instead left a gun where a toddler could have shot himself then it would have been called "accidental" and police would just look the other way, but poor, not speaking good English, and jaywalking now that is a THREAT!


    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 06:23:30 AM PDT

  •  CAUTION: there's likely more to story... (4+ / 0-)

    than the account you've heard from the woman who's the apparent victim in the story.  DON'T GET ME WRONG: the probabilities indeed are that the cops used abysmally poor judgment and discretion and handled the situation in an unacceptable manner.  However, it will also likely turn out that she probably didn't react to their initial approach to her in the sort of prudently respectful manner that communicates to police officers that she is not going to be a problematic sort of person to deal with.  Again, that doesn't excuse the police from abusively over-reacting here, but something about her set off their perp-radar, even though it obviously turned out to be a totally false reading.

    Every lawyer who practices criminal defense law learns (often naively the hard way) how important it is to take your client's account of events with several grains of skeptical salt, even the ones who likely are innocent.  If you don't, you'll serve your client poorly by failing to anticipate and discover some huge potential potholes in the path of their case that often can be successfully navigated past or around with proper preparation.  Which to return to the main initial point of this thread, a little cynicism by this woman's advocates might in the end serve the cause of her case better than blind acceptance of her version of what happened as the "whole" gospel truth.

    •  "something about her set off their perp-radar" (6+ / 0-)

      Couldn't possibly be that she was a woman of color, right? She must have done something wrong, evil jaywalker sans ID. All hail the wondrous police!

      Prudently respectful? Problematic sort of person? As if any citizen who doesn't offer to wash an officer's feet is unworthy of respect.

      "...we can all shut-up and go back to our caves." - Leonard Bernstein

      by progdog on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 06:48:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Said by way of explanation, not justification. (0+ / 0-)

        Observing a fact by explanation is not at all the same as citing it as justification.  I agree that the probability is strong that on balance, the police were vastly more out of line in the way they reacted to and handled the situation than anything the woman did.  The police tend to see things according to patterned categories of experience, sometimes quite incorrectly and even abusively.  They were probably primed to treat this woman poorly by the last dozen difficult encounters they'd had with sketchy street people, falsely viewing her as someone in this category.  Racism might, but not at all necessarily does, have anything to do with their reaction.

    •  We are NOT obligated to kneel before cops! (11+ / 0-)

      We can say ant fucking thing we want to them. Except threats of assault and similar things.

      We are under no obligation to show any submission to police officers whatsoever. That does not mean not follow their orders. But being arrested for not speaking to them with proper deference is not acceptable in any sense.

      "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

      by Horace Boothroyd III on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 07:55:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is a downright stupid attitude... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ZenTrainer, dfe, CJ WIHorse, KJB Oregon, a2nite

        When stopped by a police officer, I agree you have neither obligation nor advantage from being obsequiously deferential, but OTOH it's simply prudently wise to present yourself as respectful and unthreatening to the officer, someone who is not going to make this encounter needlessly difficult.  Being respectful and nonthreatening does NOT of course mean you are under any obligation to give consent to searches or waive your privilige not to be interrogated beyond giving them your name and id.

        If you don't understand the difference between treating an officer with personal respect for his office versus obsequious deference, you're in for some needlessly hard times when you get stopped.  My brother-in-law is a former highway patrolman, and I learned a good deal about police perspectives when they stop someone from him.  They deal far too often with difficult, even dangerous bona fide assholes, and the sooner you come across as at worst an ordinary citizen who oopsed up about something, the easier and better the encounter will likely go.

        •  Here's to stupid people! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hubbard Squash, reflectionsv37

          If everyone would just be smart and do what the man says, do you think we'd live in a better world? What Rosa Parks did was "stupid" but I'm sure glad she did it.

          Senate rules which prevent any reform of the filibuster are unconstitutional. Therefore, we can rein in the filibuster tomorrow with 51 votes.

          by homunq on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 11:39:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Are you a criminal defense attourney? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hubbard Squash

      If not why are you bringing up their perspective?

      This is a fact based community. Second hand analogies are not fact.

       And neither are made up stories with a conveniently authoritative speaker.

      "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

      by Horace Boothroyd III on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 07:58:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've been one in the past for several years (6+ / 0-)

        ...anyone who does criminal defense work who is not prudently skeptical of BOTH the police version of events and their clients is severely handicapped by naivete, and not even serving their own client well.

      •  Agree but do we have all the facts? (0+ / 0-)

        I usually and heartily agree 100% with your diaries and comments but I endorse cmoreNC's comment on this one.  

        But when it comes to knowing the facts, this story itself is a 2nd hand or perhaps even 3rd hand story itself.  

        I believe you've seen far more than a fair share of police and authoritarian over-reaction and suppression of constitutional rights, and cmoreNC is agreeing that that's probably the case here.

        I think cmoreNC's reserved caution is well-stated and prudent advice.  The police behavior is inexcusable but its aberration is peculiar for mere jaywalking.  The diary implies she was poor and speaks English poorly but was it a casual factor? Neither are facts that we know.

        Hopefully, marvinborg's efforts will bring light and justice to this matter.  

    •  prudently respectful? (2+ / 0-)

      respect is earned not granted. pigs deserve no respect. one should not have to now-tow to authority in order to not be arrested.

    •  Didn't grovel quickly and enthusiasticly enough? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hubbard Squash, a2nite
      However, it will also likely turn out that she probably didn't react to their initial approach to her in the sort of prudently respectful manner that communicates to police officers that she is not going to be a problematic sort of person to deal with.

      Renewable energy brings national global security.     

      by Calamity Jean on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 12:06:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

      I don't know the whole story.

      There could be more going on.

      I have seen the phrase "video contradicted officer testimony" enough to not believe the police 100% or even 60%.

      You are correct to keep a critical mind on this. People have reasons to lie even to their own family.

      However, everything I know so far seems contradictory.

      My experience of this family is that of hard working, honest people. They are extremely deferential to authority. They both respect police and authority (far more that I do) and fear them because of experiences in Eastern Europe.

      If this was "failure to identify" it is excessive and worthy of backlash.

      If there are other facts they will come out soon enough, I hope.

  •  Do yo have a link for this story? nt (7+ / 0-)

    Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

    by Mike S on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 07:25:30 AM PDT

  •  It probably wasn't legally jaywalking anyway. (6+ / 0-)

    You can "jaywalk" legally under tons of circumstances, and in an area without sidewalks one or more is likely to apply.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 08:17:56 AM PDT

  •  Racism undoubtedly (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, a2nite, reflectionsv37

    She didn't speak English well...that tells me all I need.

    These cops are a complete waste of money.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 08:55:16 AM PDT

  •  You Don't Need to Be in a Crosswalk (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tofumagoo, Stwriley

    It is not illegal to cross the street where there's no crosswalk. Where there are control points you have to cross at a street crossing, but unless it is specifically posted as illegal, you can cross at any point where there is a cross street.

    I refer you to Mr. Roadshow, who covered this fine point some years ago in the Mercury News.

    That doesn't mean that she wasn't jaywalking, but their stated reason for stopping her isn't correct.

    While the SCOTUS has ruled that you have to show ID to the police, this is frankly contrary to the Constitution, which says that they need a reason to search you. IMO, asking for ID is a search. They didn't need an ID to arrest her, so they didn't have a reason.

    While I don't suggest telling this to the cops, it goes to show how far away from the law The Law has moved in this country. But I think I would push back on this point in court because I think we should always question, in an appropriate way, this kind of assumption.

    I guess the police in San Mateo need to have someone explain the law to them. Perhaps a judge will do that.

    In any case, look both ways before you cross the street, and make sure you don't see any fuzz!

    •  One More Thing (0+ / 0-)

      Inasmuch as this was in California, I would really question their right to demand ID. The California constitution explicitly guarantees citizens a right to privacy. I suggest this means they would need a pretty good reason to demand ID. They could maybe demand it during booking, perhaps.

      I wouldn't make a federal case out of it. I'd make a state case.

  •  I live in San Mateo. How can I find out more (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    about this incident?

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam> "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Edna St.V. Millay

    by slouching on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 10:17:08 AM PDT

  •  How do I contribute? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Info please! Thanks!

  •  Gloria Allred comes to mind immediately. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Start with a hefty law suit & I'm guessing whatever charges have been filed against her wither & go away. Haven't seen Ms Allred's well coiffed visage on my television lately.

    Who cares what banks may fail in Yonkers. Long as you've got a kiss that conquers.

    by rasbobbo on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 11:26:41 AM PDT

  •  Our local PD (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    did a "demonstration" last weekend, targeting jaywalkers and other 'pedestrian crimes' to show that people walking are subject to rules, too.

    It is apparently a trend, and not one I like at all.

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 02:19:47 PM PDT

  •  The only reason there is a jaywalking law is to (0+ / 0-)

    define who is legally responsible if a vehicle hits the pedestrian.

    If you cross in the middle of the street, as we all do occasionally, or cross on a green light you,  the pedestrian, assume the risk.

    All other instances it is the motorist's responsibility to not run over the pedestrian.

  •  I was Terry-stopped for jaywalking (0+ / 0-)

    in Fargo, ND in 1989.  Strange but true.

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