Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 19, 2011

Clarifications from the Chief

Filed under: Alameda, Public Resources — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

I wanted to draw attention to this for folks who may not have seen this.   Here’s the backstory.   About a week or so ago, commenter Denise Shelton wrote about an incident that happened involving her son’s young friend and the Alameda Police Department:

 From time to time, someone accuses the Alameda police for unfairly targeting black people. Singling them out to question because of their color. When I heard about these incidents, I always thought there must have been some reasonable explanation and that the race card was being played unfairly. Not anymore. My son attends Oakland School for the Arts. One of his best friends is a classmate who hails from Richmond and is black. This kid is skinny, good-looking, soft-spoken, unfailingly polite (he calls my husband “Sir”), and has the entire soundtrack to “Glee” on his Ipod. He dresses fashionably but not “ghetto”– his pants fit and are not around his knees. Now my son has previously roamed the streets of Alameda, alone and with other friends, sometimes late at night and never once had he been stopped for any reason. A couple of months ago, my son and this friend from school were walking along Fernside about 10 at night. They were detained by the police, questioned as to why they were there and what they were doing, had their names run through the computer and were released. They were told there had been burglaries in the area and they had to check everybody out. Okay. The boys were really upset but I told them the police were just doing their jobs, no harm done, calm down. Fine. This weekend, my son’s friend who has been a house guest of ours off and on over the summer was returning alone from a party late at night. He had a key to our house and had just inserted it in the lock when he was ordered to lie face down on the ground and handcuffed. The police said the car that was dropping him off looked like one that belonged to people who had been in a fight in the Lucky 13. He was detained until they could bring a witness to say he had not been involved. Now the biggest threat to society this kid poses is his love of show tunes and he’s handcuffed on the ground in front of my house with enough “5-0″ action to summon some of the neighbors. I was mortified that a guest in my home was subjected to this. The party he had been attending was a family and friends event, a send off to a classmate who was leaving to study dance in England. My son’s friend was not drunk or high. One of the reasons he hangs out here so much is because it’s not safe to walk the streets in many parts of Richmond, especially not for a kid who prefers Kristen Chenowith to Notorious BIG. Guess some people can’t feel safe anywhere, huh?

Definitely a troubling story, but about a week later, she posted this update after being contacted by a representative of APD:

Update on the incident I described above.  The fight was apparently at La Penca Azul not Lucky 13. A representative of the police department called me today to explain what happened from their perspective, and I’m pretty well convinced that my son’s friend was just super unlucky that night. He and his friends matched the description of those who attacked employees at the restaurant (three black males in a white car). I still think the handcuffs were a bit over the top, and the white officer was being over-zealous but they were apparently within protocol when a felony battery has occurred. The officer also tells me he enjoys reading our comments on this blog (and others) and recognized my name. (We are not unknown to them – apparently Adam has made an especially big impression). The chief heard the department was being accused of profiling and was anxious to nip that idea in the bud…

And then a few days ago, the Chief of Police, Mike Noonan, popped in to further clarify:

…I would like to address response #14, posted by Ms. Denise Shelton. After reading her post, we have received emails about the perception painted that the Alameda Police Department profiles citizens. I, too, found this insinuation troubling and have looked into the matter. After reviewing the events of that evening, and having my command staff speak with Ms. Shelton, I feel compelled to respond to the post. I think you and your readers deserve to know all the specifics of the incident to which Ms. Shelton was referring.

On August 8, 2011, at 2:43 AM, our police officers responded to calls of an Assault with a Deadly Weapon at a restaurant on Park Street. Officers arrived on scene at 2:44 AM and found that employees of the restaurant had been attacked by a group of four or five individuals and were assaulted with chairs and bottles. Witnesses advised that the suspects left the scene towards Broadway in a white vehicle.

At approximately 2:47 AM, one of our officers spotted a vehicle matching the suspect vehicle only a few blocks away from the crime. The vehicle was parked in the middle of a residential street with no lights on. As the officer turned on his spot light and pointed it at the car, one of the occupants exited the car and ran towards a house. The occupants were similar in description to the suspects in the assault.

Ms. Shelton is correct that the officers did stop the young man in question as he was at the front door of the house. However, this was only after he got out of the vehicle and ran towards the house as the vehicle was stopped by the police. Witnesses were brought to the scene for a possible identification and it was determined that vehicle’s occupants were not involved assault from Park Street. The handcuffs were immediately taken off. Officers explained to the people detained why they were stopped and what was happening. This entire incident was over within approximately 11 minutes.

Yes, the occupants were detained and handcuffed for a very short period of time. This is unfortunate. But it is also important to look at things from an officer safety perspective. First, a violent felony had just occurred. Second, once the vehicle was stopped, one of the occupants exited the car and ran towards the house. This action may have been innocent, but it was unusual and reasonably raised suspicion by the officers.  As soon as it was determined there was no involvement in the crime, the car’s occupants were sent on their way after an explanation as to what had occurred.

Although Ms. Shelton did not use the term “profiling,” the suggestion was clearly there. Ms. Shelton seemed to be satisfied with our response and explanation of what occurred that night.   She later posted comments to this effect and we are grateful that she did. We also offered to meet with the young man in question.

The vehicle and its occupants were not stopped for who they were. They were stopped because the vehicle and occupants matched the description of a vehicle that had just been used in a violent felony in that immediate area.

The Alameda Police Department is not perfect. However, profiling of any kind is not used, taught, or tolerated in this organization. This is not who we are. People who have heard me speak know I have high expectations of my officers and that I am constantly preaching the value of developing partnerships with the community. Regardless of the situation, I expect my officers to be professional and courteous.

Always I am happy to sit down with any Alameda resident, or business person, who has concerns about their interactions with the Alameda Police Department. Our door is always open to new ideas or ways of bettering our relationship with the community.

I think its great that Denise S.’s concerns were addressed in such a thorough manner and it’s great that the new Police Chief readily clarified the record on the dreaded “blogs.”   Since it’s topical, let me say that I really enjoyed the Alameda Patch video interview of Police Chief Mike Noonan, I found his answers to be very candid and open which isn’t necessarily typical for command level staff who are generally very careful about public communication.



  1. As a former member of the Mayor’s commission convened to look into the rather shocking events many years ago when officers were using their car computers to make racist remarks and were doing some pretty overtly discriminatory stuff, I have been proud to see the police force take our recommendations and become much more professional and community oriented in their approach to law enforcement. It was a very hard thing to interview dozens of folks (from the janitors all the way up to the Chief) and find that there were pervasive attitudes of “us” and “them” that the then leadership was reinforcing – not to mention having to bring in a finding that there appeared to be institutional racism in our police department and we needed to do some actions to turn the situation around. However, it is a very pleasing thing to see how far we have come when the City decided that change was needed. I have gotten to know a few of our officers personally and have seen them do good work in the community – done quietly and professionally.

    I think it is important, as former sheriff Charlie Plummer often said, to reinforce “zero tolerance” for police personnel behavior that is outside of the new norm of firm and fair treatment of all our residents. That’s the best insurance for keeping the remarkable gains we have made in good community policing.

    Comment by Kate Quick. — August 19, 2011 @ 6:47 am

  2. When your teenager is out at 2:47 AM parked in a darkened car with multiple occupants and suddenly runs when the police put the spotlight on the car (no matter what color he is), then you can reasonably expect the police to respond. The chief sounds like he means what he says.

    However, I doubt if any African- American would agree that the police do not engage in covert or overt racial profiling. Our island is right next to a major crime venue, and many people arrested here do not live here. To suggest that police do not take this into account is somewhat disingenuous regardless of it’s illegality.

    Comment by really? — August 19, 2011 @ 7:55 am

  3. Truly a refreshing comment from the Chief. Thanks!

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 19, 2011 @ 9:07 am

  4. “I have been proud to see the police force take our recommendations and become much more professional and community oriented in their approach to law enforcement.”

    Thanks for pointing out this article is all about you Kate and how you Turned this City Around. I hope you never run out of your batteries for your self back patting machine.

    Comment by John — August 19, 2011 @ 9:07 am

  5. Jack the great thing about it he walks the talk..Instead of reading from script and doing exact the opposite . Yes very refreshing!

    Comment by John — August 19, 2011 @ 9:17 am

  6. 2. My son’s friend was being dropped off and “running to the house” would consist of a few brisk steps from the sidewalk since my house is not set back. Whenever I’m dropped off late at night, I hurry inside so that the person giving me a ride knows I’m okay and doesn’t have to wait any longer than necessary. Under the circumstances, I can see where that might seem suspicious but your remark implies that they should have known their actions were outside the norm and I have to disagree. I don’t know the other boys involved, so I can’t say why the car lights were off, unless they were talking for a few minutes and did not want to disturb the neighbors. In any case, innocent people don’t regularly concern themselves with whether or not they look suspicious.

    I want to make it clear that I understand that innocent bystanders sometimes need to be questioned. What I objected to was the actions of the white officer who reportedly was so amped up, he eventually retreated to the car and did not join his fellow in apologizing when it was he who shouted obscenities and repeatedly interjected accusatory remarks. The other officer, who happened to be Asian, behaved in a thoroughly professional and respectful manner, according to my son’s friend. This officer should be commended for his cool head under pressure. The other officer’s behavior, though perhaps not outside the allowable, is the type of behavior that inspires the kind of speculation this incident has generated. I’m glad the chief stepped forward to explain the situation. It’s important that APD is aware that even though its officers act within the law, their actions can be misinterpreted and that those interpretations are burdened by past misdeeds. It’s good to know the person in charge has chosen to address this rather than sweep it under the carpet.

    By the way, my family and I we were dining at La Penca Azul yesterday and asked the manager (I think) about the incident. He told us the suspects were sitting on top of a table and were repeatedly asked to sit in their seats, then when they failed to comply, were asked to leave. At this point, the suspects assaulted some of the employees, while someone stole some bottles of tequila from the bar. There is some speculation that the incident was contrived to provide a distraction for the thief. In speaking to the police as well as to another long time Park Street merchant, I’ve come to realize that Alameda is not as safe as we might imagine. A lot goes on out there that we never hear about. I guess Cinderella’s not the only one who should try to make it home by midnight.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — August 19, 2011 @ 9:27 am

  7. Were the actual perpetrators ever caught??

    Comment by A.M-L — August 19, 2011 @ 9:34 am

  8. If it’s 2:47 am and your parked in a car that is similar to one that was just idenified as being involved in a Felony and you have your lights shutoff and someone dases from the car your not wondering does that kid have ” Glee” Showtunes on his Ipad. He might have bad taste in Music but you are trying to apprehend a group that has committed a Felony. I think the police acted very professional all the way thru on this incident.

    Comment by John — August 19, 2011 @ 9:51 am

  9. I just want to say thanks to the APD for patrolling up and down Santa Clara Ave more often. I now see them alot more and feel better in our neighborhood!

    Comment by DB — August 19, 2011 @ 10:41 am

  10. The response times in the chief’s notes are not only impressive, they are the norm for Alameda’s public safety. Enjoy them while you have them, they’re going way up in 3 years.

    Comment by dave — August 19, 2011 @ 10:46 am

  11. As Noonan mentioned in his video interview on Patch, “you get what you pay for.”

    Comment by Dan — August 19, 2011 @ 10:54 am

  12. 6.
    Would it have made you feel better if the “white officer” who was “so amped up” was black? If not, why do you inject skin color in your narrative?

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 19, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

  13. #4. Oh so quick to see something I wanted to be positive as a negative and say something snarky about it. I said “we” and I meant “we”. Alameda was in a sad place at the time and I am glad that I was a very small part in seeing it get turned around. It is not at all me, but the fact that Bill Withrow, the mayor at the time, had the political courage to form the commission and he and the council paid attention to what the citizens had to say after their hard work to find out what was going on. I served with many others and it was a collective effort. I felt I could speak to the matter credibly since I had some small involvement in it. The point is, when the residents pay attention, the work of our public safety folks is made far better. Sorry if that offends you.

    Comment by Kate Quick. — August 19, 2011 @ 12:11 pm

  14. 6 “…according to my son’s friend.” so this all hearsay?

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 19, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

  15. #11=interesting observation, since Noonan, @$340,142=2010 Earnings & Benefits, makes approx TWICE what the previous Chief of Police, Walt Tibbet, @ $175K, made in 2010! Now if only Chief Noonan would make a contact email address available, perhaps in this blog’s space, so unconnected citizens like me COULD actually contact him. Especially about the theft of insured motor vehicles properly parked in the owner’s driveway & photographed by a police technician who then perjured herself in Alameda County Superior Court to obtain an illegal warrant alleging “abatement”, & Sgt. Steve Deutsche improperly serving the warrant simultaneous w/the “abatement”. “Planned Nonoperation” is a legitimate form of California registration. It does NOT make a vehicle “inoperable”, or Jay Leno would have a yard full of junk cars. APD has been abusing this similarity in terms & violating the 4th & 5th Amendment US Constitutional property rights of Alamedans for years! I did not realize how bad these abuses were till I was able to research my own case online earlier this year. CURRENT paid-up auto insurance is the best indicator of whether a motor vehicle, locked & Clubbed, legally parked in the driveway of the residence address where it has been continuously registered since purchased NEW, & showing NO signs of being an attractive nuisance, is “abandoned”. In Alameda, simply put, if medical events or travel prevent you from driving vehicles you own & insure & park properly in your driveway, you risk losing them to improper actions of the APD. Good luck trying to redress these grievances. I haven’t had any! You cannot simply call the APD & get Chief Noonan on the phone. And, no thank you, I would not like to be “visited” on its own terms by an APD Representative. Things don’t always go well for the visitee. Thank you for the opportunity to warn others & to describe this event in a place where APD would actually READ it.

    Comment by vigi — August 19, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

  16. I can be reached via email at I would be more than happy to meet with you about your concerns. Either email or call and we can set up an appointment. Thanks…Mike Noonan

    Comment by Mike Noonan — August 19, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

  17. Vigi, shhhhhhhh, don’t tell anyone, but because I am super super connected, I can give you not only Chief Noonan’s email address, but his phone number as well: Mike Noonan Police Chief (510) 337-8340. What makes me so connected is this amazing invention called the internets. If you go through the tubes you can get to a place called a website (I don’t know why they call it that, since it doesn’t have spiders), and even better if you do something called google (don’t worry, its not dangerous) you can find a specific website called “the City of Alameda”. They have this special decoding thingee called “contacts” if you click on that (I apologize if clicking is beyond your skill level)you will get all these names and email addresses, and phone numbers – keep it a secret though!!!

    The more you know

    You dolt

    Comment by notadave — August 19, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

  18. post# 4 John, can you refer us to anything that you have ever volunteered to do in Alameda. Perhaps you have worked on a committee or volunteered your time at a non-profit. I’m just wondering if you have ever done anything that we could pat you in the back for. Please let us know so we won’t think that the only thing you do is criticize other people who do actually work in the community.

    Comment by John P. — August 19, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

  19. It’s a bit of an apples to oranges comparison when you attempt to compare one employee’s base salary with someone’s entire compensation package.

    Comment by Lauren Do — August 19, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

  20. Thanks Kate, your work does not go unappreciated. I remember those days and remember wondering if I should leave Alameda, but I’m glad I chose to stay. Alameda is a wonderful place to live.

    And thanks Denise Shelton for your courage to question what happened to your son’s friend. The handcuffing and/or jailing of an innocent person can have a damaging effect on a person, especially if that person is a child. Your acknowledging what happened and supporting him will make a big difference in his life.

    I understand the challenges the police face in protecting our neighborhoods, and I count myself fortunate to live in a community where the police response time is so short. I’m also happy to see Police Chief Noonan’s response to Denise’s complaint. His response shows an understanding of racial profiling issues and a willingness to work with the community to make it a better place to live for everyone

    Comment by Karen Bey — August 19, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

  21. John P I will answer this only if you can maintain your high level of respect you have shown me since I first posted on this forum trying to get information regarding measure A and you and Brown 25 started throwing rocks at me.

    I run a Memorial Golf Tournament that Benefits Youth Sports . I also was part of Special Olympics have done alot for MS being that it affected our family and our family donated a large portion of property in Park City Utah to the Foundation. When I was in the Food and Beverage Industry I donated to every Charity and Event I possibly could. At Christmas I donated a few truckloads of food to Cecil Williams Glide Church and encouraged others in the food industry to send anything going out of date at warehouses to send their way. I do some other stuff but besides that Im a AH .

    Comment by John — August 19, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

  22. John, I have no idea who Brown 25 is. I’ll take you at your word that you have done these things, so my question is why would you attack Kate for working in the community. She has the same interests in her community as you do. I also don’t understand why folks like yourself don’t want to stand behind your opinions, and use your name. I know that we just differ on that issue, but look at Jack, he expresses views that I totally disagree with sometimes and we have sat and talked to each other without any problem. Even though I know he is wrong and I’am right. Jack this doesn’t require an answer.

    Comment by John P. — August 19, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

  23. John, please recognize that you’re asking for a “high level of respect” and ” no rock throwing”, while at the same time you’re disrespecting Kate Quick and throwing rocks at her.

    Comment by Karen Bey — August 19, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

  24. Kate, re. # 15, better start rounding up your commissioners again.

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 19, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

  25. Having spoken with Chief Noonan on several occasions I am not surprised by his responsiveness to Denise Shelton’s posts and her questions about police behavior. I am also pleased to see his post #16 today and am glad he is reading and responding to this small but active corner of Alameda.

    And Kate and Karen Bey are correct: this community has come a long way since the early 1990s. I am grateful to all of the people who substantially improved the conditions here before I arrived in 1997. I hope we can all work together to make additional improvements in the face of our current challenges – a civility gap sometimes being one of them…

    Comment by Jon Spangler — August 19, 2011 @ 4:42 pm

  26. #17; Doltin’ Dave: The most acerbic advice always comes from those who have never taken it themselves. My last email to Public Works was responded to w/: “Once again, thank you for taking the time to send an e-mail, please be assured, we take your concerns seriously.” Too much talk, not enough action. I also have 10 volunteer acacia trees sprouting on my front lawn from a city tree in the neighbors’ strip. You & Denise Lai doubtless think it’s my fault. Well, some of us are handicapped, but that hasn’t stopped sanctimonious comments like yours.

    Comment by vigi — August 19, 2011 @ 4:46 pm

  27. 25
    We were just fine in the 60’s, 70’s 80’s, 90’s without the do-gooders, Jon…in fact we were better!

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 19, 2011 @ 5:26 pm

  28. Sorry Jack, there were do-gooders in the 60’s 70’s and right on up till now. Some of them are still around and still filling needs. Some of them don’t get much recognition, but have done untold “good” in our community and are continuing their work into their retirements. Nick Cabral comes to mind, along with Lois Pryor, Barbara Kahn, Ginny Kruitileck and a legion of others who have worked hard for fair housing, better schools, improved library services, and services for children and youth. The ladies of the Alameda Welfare Council, the St. Vincent de Paul folks, the Elks, the venerable Navy League – there are those who have stepped in to raise money and give support to a lot of families and individuals who were having hard times. I think it is answering the call to “feed the hungry; clothe the naked, visit the prisioner. . .” Since people find it fashionable to revile those we are called to help these days, and “kick ’em while their down” seems to be popular, we need to be redoubling our efforts.

    Comment by Kate Quick. — August 19, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

  29. I rest my case.

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 19, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

  30. When I first visited Alameda back in 1979, my sister lived on Sherman St a block away from Central and the Gold Coast….being a small town guy…I was scared to death in this town…after driving though the Webster Tube and down that street…once I arrived I would literally run to her door….either things have changed or I have…most likely both….although her car was broken into several times living there.

    Comment by Joe — August 19, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

  31. #26. Acacias can be extremely invasive. Most likely your neighbors tree was a volunteer also as I don’t think they are part of the city tree program. A 40′ volunteer in my neighbors back yard created volunteer sprouts for 50′ across my yard. After I finally induced them to take it out the sprouts continued to come up fpr at least 5 years.

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — August 19, 2011 @ 7:45 pm

  32. 27 and 29

    Jack you have such fabulous wit always bring great belly laughs to this forum. But your Girlfriend sets you up better than Gracie did for George Burns. You fly so many 747’s over their heads they are clueless.

    Comment by John — August 20, 2011 @ 12:36 am

  33. Kate Quick has launched so many grenades up my arse since day one just trying to get information about the Schools and possible solutions to its financial problems you would of thought I was Ivan the Terrible or Hitler just for questioning their information and strategy on the Election.

    If Kate or Jon supports anything my BS sensors start ringing. The misinformation she has presented and her lack of class in attack mode does not deserve respect.

    This town would be so much better off without the mindsets of a Kate Quick or Jon Spangler.

    Comment by John — August 20, 2011 @ 12:49 am

  34. 23

    Karen I’m not asking for any High Level of Respect. I’m just another Citizen in Alameda. No More No Less. Were all in this together and hopefully a few might get it.

    No one on this forum is going to change the way I live my life or change my moral values or character. It’s not what your labeled or called, It’s what you answer too. I answer to alot higher calling .

    My tolarance for BS and bad Sales Pitches not being backed by real world facts and twisted numbers in favor of a few to BK all doesn’t give me warm fuzzies about the so Called Do Gooders.

    If I can make a few more aware of what’s happening maybe we can have change.

    To see how the Kevins were treated by our Mayor and Council and City Manager sickens me. These guys have SKIN in the Game.

    If they can’t respect these guys opinion and passion and love for this City its hard for me to Drink the Fireman Red Koolaid From The Kates and Jon Spanglers and Mayor and Council and New CM…

    Comment by John — August 20, 2011 @ 1:41 am

  35. 23

    Karen I was making a joke by asking for the same high level of respect I recieved when first posting here. I got hammered by the usual suspects just trying to get information to make a Educated Vote on Measure A.

    MI AKA Brown 25
    Jon S
    John P

    What a frkn hornets nest AUSD is……What the hell are they hiding.

    Comment by John — August 20, 2011 @ 2:38 am

  36. 12. Jack, the reason I put skin color into the narrative is because 1- I do not know the officer’s names or badge numbers so this was the only way I had of distinquishing them for the inquiring officer. This was the description my son’s friend gave me. (in my conversation with him the APD rep joined me in using this as an an identifier) 2 – If the officer I believe acted inappropriately was black, it’s less likely anyone would have attributed his behavior to racism although they still might call his actions into question. I’m not even saying his is racist. All I’m saying is that his behavior reinforced the stereotype of the racist cop, just as the boys’ behavior (lights off, running to the house) reinforced the idea that they were guilty of something. Also, my friend’s son tells me that they saw the officers stopping other people on the street, so they did not immediately realize that they were the focus of the investigation until aggressively confronted. He says they were not told why they were being stopped until after the handcuffs went on. Again, this is not me trying to prove that the police actions were illegal, I don’t believe they were, just that the perceptions of both parties were fueled by all the other junk that’s floating around in our minds about “us” and “them”. Beliefs can persist even in light of conflicting facts. The chief obviously gets this, to his credit. I’d also like to point out that Chief Noonan expresses himself exceedingly well. It is this ability that no doubt gives him the confidence to address citizen concerns in a public arena. When information does not flow from the powers that be freely, it often is because the person in charge is afraid of being misunderstood or saying something that will only make things worse, so they say nothing. Excellent communication skills are essential for people in positions such as his these days. The overall dialog between APD and the public can only be well served by the chief’s superior ability to get his point across. It’s also critical in his role of leadership in the department.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — August 20, 2011 @ 8:56 am

  37. Gee John, your making me tear up with your back patting, thank goodness Alameda has you to protect it. Your right about one thing you won’t change anybody s mind on this site and I’m sure that they won’t change your mind.

    I do have to say that the majority of people who voted in the last election don’t agree with you. Post 32 quit sucking up to Jack, just try to emulate him more.

    Comment by John P. — August 20, 2011 @ 9:20 am

  38. It is not all about you, John. Ask your questions; demand your answers. That’s civic engagement . It is a good thing. Frankly, I don’t give a rat’s behind about your questioning, although it can be repititious and boring when it is restated ten thousand times, and you seem to single out individuals for your scorn, which is not helpful. I am not “up your ass”, I really don’t care for your methods and feel that we can get somewhere working together instead of with such rancor and negativity, but you have every right to ask and be persistent in getting the answers you are seeking.

    Comment by Kate Quick. — August 20, 2011 @ 9:53 am

  39. Let me put that on my list of things that I need to do to Make John P happy.

    It’s just below in pile of things I could give a flying F about.

    Comment by John — August 20, 2011 @ 9:54 am

  40. 38
    And I’ll bet your not my Gracie either. Girlfriend…now that’s another matter.

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 20, 2011 @ 1:24 pm

  41. John. obviously you care about what we all think otherwise you wouldn’t be on this site day and night.

    Do I have to remind you again to try and be more like Jack, he’s such a man.

    Comment by John P. — August 20, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

  42. I meant such a”nice man”

    Comment by John P. — August 20, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

  43. 36 Denise,

    It’s a very delicate situation when police detain a citizen who knows he has done nothing illegal. The fourth, fifth and sixth amendments ensure (or should -see vigi’s-) that it will also be a delicate situation for the police when detaining a citizen for questioning in relation to, as the Chief says “…an Assault with a Deadly Weapon at a restaurant on Park Street.”.

    It’s good for the city you placed your description of the encounter in the public’s light. And it’s testament to leadership and character that the Chief quickly responded…here, on this blog. However, I’m not sure if it was your description of the encounter made public or because of this,”… we have received emails about the perception painted that the Alameda Police Department profiles citizens.”, that caused the Chief to respond on this blog:

    Regardless of the motivation of the Chief, it was refreshing.

    Having genuflected appropriately, there are a couple things that were not clear to me in your description of the encounter…or maybe I didn’t read correctly (if this whole thing is getting dreary and you’d rather forget it, please ignore everything I write)

    #1- Did you or your neighbors witness the encounter in its entirety or any part of it,

    # 2- Did your son’s friend ask the officer(s) if he was free to leave at any time, ie, was your son’s friend placed under arrest? Did he willfully respond to the officers questions?

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 20, 2011 @ 3:12 pm

  44. John P, many question #42, some question #41 (prostate surgery)

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 20, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

  45. Jack,

    Yes, it is getting dreary but I’ll answer anyway because you’re such a nice man :).

    1. Yes, but I have not spoken to them about it.
    2. The boys were not placed under arrest. The first incident I mentioned, the one with my son on Fernside, the boys did ask if they could go and were allowed to. This time, I kinda think the handcuffs made it pretty clear they weren’t free to go so they didn’t ask. As to responding to the officers, his only hesitancy was in lying on the ground because he was wearing my husband’s jacket. He asked if he could just sink to his knees instead because the jacket wasn’t his but was told to shut up and do as he was told. They did try to explain themselves but they had to wait until the witnesses were brought by to clear them. I guess the technical term would be detained rather than arrested.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — August 20, 2011 @ 7:29 pm

  46. The police were conducting a search of the area for a felony assault with a deadly weapon. They come across a similar vehicle, shines a spotlight into it, and an occupant bolts from the car. As this kid is running up to the house, he takes a key out of his pocket and is stopped before entering the house. As the police must control this evolving and potentially dangerous situation, detains the young man and handcuffs him. In the time this young man exited the vehicle, he probably didn’t obey the verbal commands of the officer observing him running to the door. Then as noted in #45 – this young man exhibits some hesitancy to obey a command to lie on the ground because he was wearing someone else’s clothing. You don’t negotiate sinking to your knees when the officer commands you to lie face down! Handcuffing someone in such circumstances is proper police procedure – as it protects everyone. An officer will not stand there and explain what’s going on and then place handcuffs on someone. The officer wants to control the situation by neutralizing any threats by securing the person. When the witnesses arrived and did not ID the young man as the culprit, he was released. Okay, boys and girls, we’re lucky this didn’t end up with a tragic ending. Even in Alameda at 2:45AM – we’re not in Kansas, Toto.

    Comment by Basel — August 20, 2011 @ 11:42 pm

  47. Considering Alameda Police’s reputation, real or perceived, for racial profiling – one that was well deserved, considering the early 1990s incidents on the computers and at Johnny B. Goode’s, as well as the World War II-era as documented in “Second Gold Rush” – does the Department keep data on the demographics of the humans they “contact?”

    Comment by Reginald James — August 21, 2011 @ 8:11 am

  48. 35. spam boy, RLOL, surely you jest. you didn’t get hammered just for asking to be educated on Measure A. You have been a stone thrower from day one. an obnoxious prick who gets away with reveling in it because of your anonymity, which to me also makes you a rank coward. What the hell are we hiding? I’m hiding absolutely nothing, least of all my contempt for you, you asshole. You whine about having the rocks you launched back at you cause like you don’t know you live in a glass house. Of course it a “virtual” glass house so nobody can actually do any harm.

    Comment by M.I. — August 21, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

  49. RLOL..Brown 25 never disappoints.

    Comment by John — August 21, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

  50. Calm down , M.I., or you’ll have one! [an MI, that is. Maybe even a STEMI.] I’m afraid just using your initials doesn’t tell us anything about you, either, so quit yer bitchin’ abt “anonymity”. You liberals never have much of a sense of humor!
    #31 (Kevis) I don’t think my neighbors’ acacia is a volunteer, b/c it showed up in the city strip in almost exactly the same spot the previous tree had been years before & was halfway to full grown when it arrived. My neighbors said they didn’t order it nor did they know where it came from. 20 years ago, the previous neighbor killed the filthy City-planted maple like I had in front of my house & their strip was pleasantly covered w/grass until the acacia was planted. [My maple was there till thankfully a car hit it & it died. Took City more than 5 years to remove the stump] I once went to Public Works to select a different tree, non-deciduous, that wouldn’t be such a nuisance, but a Mr. Pye came up w/1 reason after another why it couldn’t be planted. I don’t know why he even let me look @the City’s rather large tree catalog.

    Comment by vigi — August 21, 2011 @ 4:06 pm

  51. Only a lunatic would call a maple tree filthy. Maybe you should consider moving to Death Valley.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — August 21, 2011 @ 4:46 pm

  52. Jack, post #44 referring to post#41 yea I had radical, what a bitch.

    maybe John needs one to make him as nice as us.

    Comment by John P. — August 21, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

  53. Never thought about of it making me mellow. Actually, I had the best surgeon in the world ( Dr. Paul Edison Li) at Kaiser Oakland. I cannot say enough good things about him.

    Before I went into surgery (radical retropubic prostatectomy) he asked if I wanted him to save the nerve bundle. Duh…I asked, does a bear make dirty in the woods? So he did and everything’s fine now, even
    better…less messy.

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 21, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

  54. TMI, Jack. TMI.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — August 21, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

  55. In fact, thinking about the good things in a bad situation, I fell in love with my catheter. What a nice invention. Allowed me to drink beer after beer and never get up to go pee.

    Though, I dreaded the thought of having it taken out, you know, premonitions of pain and discomfort. Turns out it was more fun having it withdrawn than put in..and I was out cold when it was inserted…but a real chick (and an actual Doctor, not a nurse) took it out. Felt like asking her if she could put it in again to see if the nerve bundle was still intact.

    I know nobody wants to hear this stuff, but after #48 above…jeez!

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 21, 2011 @ 6:12 pm

  56. TMI…WTF

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 21, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

  57. 54
    Fact is, Denise, I was asked to talk with prostate cancer stricken men after my episode and attempt to communicate to them their world is not ending because of their condition.

    I apologize for bringing the subject up here. You’re right, perhaps this isn’t the proper arena.

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 21, 2011 @ 6:33 pm

  58. WTF seriously. By the way, more fun info on our beloved county officials sweet compensation deals in the paper today. It’s getting to the point where I’d rather not know. Hang the rich. Whatever happened to the notion that civil service as a career was for those so devoted to the public interest they were content with modest salaries? No wonder we make the property tax check out directly to Donald R. White. He’s keeping a lot of it.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — August 21, 2011 @ 6:40 pm

  59. Clarifications…

    Reviewing this post and the comments here and those last week concerning Denise’s account of her son’s best friend’s incident with APD leads to some conclusions that beg clarification.

    We read of two separate incidents concerning citizen encounters with APD, one from Denise which generated many comments and one from vigi which generated few. One incident concerned a logical easily understood reasonable response by APD to an immediate felonious assault.

    —(The only other person I read of running to get in a house was Jon into his aunt’s house on Sherman St…before he made the city safe. What he was trying to escape from was left unstated)—

    The other incident described by vigi begs further analysis:

    “…about the theft of insured motor vehicles properly parked in the owner’s driveway & photographed by a police technician who then perjured herself in Alameda County Superior Court to obtain an illegal warrant alleging “abatement”, & Sgt. Steve Deutsche improperly serving the warrant simultaneous w/the “abatement”. “Planned Nonoperation” is a legitimate form of California registration. It does NOT make a vehicle “inoperable”, or Jay Leno would have a yard full of junk cars. APD has been abusing this similarity in terms & violating the 4th & 5th Amendment US Constitutional property rights of Alamedans for years! I did not realize how bad these abuses were till I was able to research my own case online earlier this year. CURRENT paid-up auto insurance is the best indicator of whether a motor vehicle, locked & Clubbed, legally parked in the driveway of the residence address where it has been continuously registered since purchased NEW, & showing NO signs of being an attractive nuisance, is “abandoned”.

    Of the two described incidents the one above, in my view, is far more serious than the restraint and questioning of a person who’s actions a reasonable person would consider needed questioning.

    The other is not so clear cut. The allegations beg an answer from whomever in the city justified and ordered this action. Under what guise of community ‘well being’ is a person’s legal private property confiscated?

    The Chief’s response to Denise’s comment was immediate and thorough. The Chief provided a contact venue for vigi. I hope we hear more about the incident and outcome.

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 21, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

  60. Jack I think the Chief will handle this to the best of his abilities and maybe already has made some attempts in trying to read thru the lines in vigi comment. Not that her side of story isn’t correct.

    “And, no thank you, I would not like to be “visited” on its own terms by an APD Representative. Things don’t always go well for the visitee. “

    Comment by John — August 21, 2011 @ 10:32 pm

  61. Jack I’m glad you and John P have survived PC and probably have alot to share. It’s not for sissies thats for sure. My Dad just passed at 91 and was 30 year survivor and I learned alot driving Cancer Patients To appointments when my Dad wasn’t able to Volunteer his time due to other health issues.

    Comment by John — August 21, 2011 @ 10:40 pm

  62. Folks,
    I am the representative who contacted Mrs. Shelton regarding this incident. She was very responsive to my call and even though she had concerns, she was receptive to why the officers did what they did. Even after my explanation, she still had concerns, but was happy she lived in a community where those people in positions of power were willing to step up and and be accountable. I have not run this response by Chief Noonan, but as a person who once lived in this community and who has served this great City for over 26 years I want everyone to know, we are trying to do our best. I follow the blogs and understand we do not always make every resident happy with our actions. The one thing I can confirm for each and every one of you is, Chief Noonan says what he means, and as someone he regularly assigns to respond to your concerns, he is the real deal. I hope you take Chief Noonan up on his offer to contact him if you have a concern. We may not agree at the end of the day, but I am confident we will do our best trying to respond to your concerns.
    Joe McNiff

    Comment by Joe McNiff — August 21, 2011 @ 11:31 pm

  63. 49. you prove my point precisely. Aside from degrading any real dialogue we might have I welcome posts like that because they show your true colors, but they are not the core reason I have no respect for you.. It is because you are a manipulative shill and a con, operating behind a curtain like the Wizard of Oz. We can trade insults all day and it proves nothing, but you won’t even do that on an even playing field because you are anonymous. But when you whine about somebody like Kate Quick somehow treating you unfairly and respond with insulting You Tube clips that again proves my point that you are a low life who hides behind a double standard while thumping your chest about all the inequities against your rights as an individual .

    Even though you ramped up your sophomoric behavior slowly, your style of spamming and general disingenuous m.o. in the early stages belied how low you would go. It was aggressive, taunting, disrespectful and hostile from the start. Your posing as having true interest in community was just that, posing. Last week you dismissed the Bike Alameda polling for use of the tube by implying that they would of course stoop to your level and fudge the figures. When I solicited a response from Bike Alameda before Jon Spangler posted one, the reply I got from one of the principals about the thread on this blog was “I thought about commenting on the “fudging” numbers, but really the discussion is out of hand and not worth elongating.”

    Probably the most revealing comment you made which is an example of why I really loath people like you is when you patted yourself on the back for being a magnanimous employer because you exploit indigent veterans by hiring them to be security guards for $10 because they are all such great reliable people. You forgot that many are also desperate. Meanwhile you snort and huff that AUSD hasn’t posted salary information but you aren’t sharing by how many thousands or hundreds of thousands you profit by exploiting people like those indigent vets.

    There was an article in the NY Times with a pull quote which made me think of your self congratulating behavior regarding vets. It read: Our sentimental reverence for the military…reflects our unease as a nation. Saluting heroes is easy, and absolves us from actual engagement”.

    If you don’t have the guts to level the field by revealing your identity, at least have to decency not to subvert other people’s ability to meet and have a discussion, and decease with your incessant tactic of spamming this site.

    Comment by M.I. — August 22, 2011 @ 11:00 am

  64. I’ve been to Death Valley & it’s lovely, but I’m beginning to think Denise Shelton doesen’t live in Alameda at all! She certainly never had to clean up after a street tree in front of her house! Every year, Alameda maple tree leaves become covered w/the exudate of some bug. This exudate collects the soot from passing car exhaust, forming a black, sticky goo. Which causes the leaves to stick to everything but the ground when they fall: cars, soles of shoes, even bicycle tires. They get tracked into the house & make a mess. Even though the City sprayed the trees annually, whatever they sprayed had no effect on improving the situation. That’s why my neighbors killed theirs. I was more merciful & waited for mine to die, after the city denied my request to replace it w/a cleaner tree.

    #51:Turnabout is fair play. If you like maples which behave, perhaps you should return back East where YOU came from. Then we wouldn’t have to read your inane comments about California water, either. I was here first. 😉

    Comment by J.A.B.L. — August 22, 2011 @ 11:53 am

  65. 64. The more I read on this blog the more I’m thinking about it, believe me. I clean up after my jacaranda which is gorgeous in bloom but drops a ton of dead blossoms on the sidewalk afterward. It’s a price I’m willing to pay for the beauty it provides. I planted it in part because trees on my street that die, usually because of the sewer line upgrades, are never replaced. Every fall, I mourn the fact that it rarely gets cold enough here for any sensational fall color, and maples are the best providers of that. Are you sure the “exude” isn’t just sap? Anyway, you touched a nerve with me. I LOVE MAPLE TREES, LEAVES, AND SYRUP. Filthy is a hateful word that crops up when man’s desires compete with nature. Nature eventually wins. If you have to pick on something, natural to complain about, crap is universally loathed and I don’t think anyone’s feelings would be hurt, unless of course you’re talking about the verbal kind. 😉 yourself.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — August 22, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

  66. P.S. When did I ever say anything bad about California water? Maybe you are mixing me up with someone else.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — August 22, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

  67. 63

    Don’t let facts get in the way of your Hate…….I’m an Employee not an Employer as I stated many times. I’m just a plain working stiff. But if you want to Make me Wizard of OZ who am I deny your fantasy. I am really a whole lot worse than you make me out to be.

    Comment by John — August 22, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

  68. Denise, every Fall I celebrate the fact that it doesn’t get cold enough here to see the fall colors. I can watch them on T.V. then go for a sunny walk at the point.

    Comment by John P. — August 22, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

  69. 68. Unless you’ve experienced a perfect October day in the Northeast, you just won’t get it. Alameda’s weather is about as perfect as it gets, but we do miss out on the big thrills. Sure there’s a downside to thunder and lightning storms, snow, and falling leaves, but they are among the most beautiful sights on Earth. See the photo gallery at to see the natural beauty I grew up with and maybe you’ll see why I’m partial to maple trees.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — August 22, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

  70. You’re right Denise, there’s nothing like a good crisp beautiful fall, in my case the Midwest. Plus I loved the lightning and thunderstorms just about every eastern Colorado afternoon during the summer. But I have to agree with John P, nowadays I’d rather watch somebody else live them and I’ll enjoy being here in Alameda. Jam’s coming up John P!

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 22, 2011 @ 6:01 pm

  71. #64.The black gunk on the trees is actually aphid poop. The sticky stuff is aphid honeydew. Ants really like this and so they protect aphids on the trees. The way to improve the situation is to wash the aphids off the leaves before they get established and also to put a barrier for the ants at the base of the tree. I use copper tape but there are other things. Maples are not inherently sticky.

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — August 23, 2011 @ 10:21 pm

  72. #50. In my experience when the city puts a tree in your strip, they give you a little notice telling you what kind it is and asking you to water it. They even sent me a notice that when they repaired my sidewalk they put in a pipe to connect my parking strip to my irrigation system under the sidewalk. I really doubt the acacia is a city planted tree. Besides the aggressive shoots, they propagate through seeds that are carried around by birds and other animals. Acacias grow really fast so one day there is a small shoot, and the next day maybe a 30 foot tree. Mr. Piva, is he still with the city?, anyway he did not like to remove trees unless they were in danger of falling on someone.

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — August 23, 2011 @ 10:41 pm

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