The Public Forum . . . . El Foro Público
Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox
City Council Members
This correspondence is on behalf of some of your Chula Vista constituents, and residents concerning “police brutality” and yours and the city councils’ nationwide search and interviews for the appointment of a new police chief. After 18 years of the bankrupt administration of retired Chief of Police Rick Emerson it is obvious and apparent that much has to be done regarding the selection of a new police chief. Recently (July 23, 2009) President Obama stated, that the arrest of noted African-American Harvard Scholar, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., for attempting to enter his own home after showing I.D., and after being charged with disorderly conduct (charge dropped) that the Cambridge police acted “stupidly.” President Obama went on to state that, “while we’ve made progress in the country, race still haunts us.”
Question to you and the City Council, as you interview and select a new police chief; what is the difference with President Obama’s above statement, and recent past actions by the Chula Vista Police Department?
For the record… approximately one year ago (8-08-08) our organization warned you, and the City Council that Chula Vista (CV) had a police brutality community/police problem due to the changing demographers of Chula Vista. The United African-American Ministerial Action Council Chairman, Reverend Ikenna A. Kokayi (aka Robert C. Ard) at the time also corresponded with San Diego District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis and requested her office implement an investigation into police brutality in Chula Vista.
The issue that prompted both of our organizations to raise the matter of “police brutality” on behalf of the community was the brutal beating of an innocent young high school senior who was blatantly criminally assaulted, had his civil rights violated by a Chula Vista Police Officer (Rodriquez), and then subjected to acts of terrorism by four CVPD officers who STALKED and HARRASED him under the color of authority. The City of Chula Vista without any comment ultimately paid the young man $400,000 of taxpayers monies to settle the lawsuit.
At the time, yours and the city councils’ response to policy violations raised was to turn a blind eye, doing little, nothing, and then hide behind the bogus shield that, “ peace officer personal matters are by law, confidential, I cannot discuss details of the incident or the investigation that followed.” Shamefully, joining you and the city council in tacitly condoning the above issue of “police brutality” was a local CV Hispanic organization that allowed themselves to be used by the Chula Vista Police Department, and whose only solutions were to propose nonsensical solution such as the establishment of a website, protocols for review of complaints against police, etc.
With President Obama’s statement, and the recent filing (SD Union, 07-06-09) of a $5 million lawsuit against Chula Vista, alleging “police brutality,” negligent hiring practices, training deficiencies, false arrest, etc. The question for you, city council and City Manager Jim Sandoval is; what are you going to do to insure that the next Chula Vista Chief of Police selected, corrects and changes retired Chief of Police Emerson’s bankrupt police/community policies?
Herman Baca, President
Committee on Chicano Rights