Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Trading a Task Force for a Consortium...

For those of you who haven't been paying attention...

There is an apparent problem in San Jose with the San Jose Police Department arresting Latinos for allegedly being drunk. In December, 2+ months after the issue became public, Councilmember Nora Campos and Mayor Chuck Reed called for a Task Force to be put together to look at the issue and make recommended solutions. At the time, Councilmember Liccardo wanted swifter action and called for reforms to be implemented immediately and called Task Forces, "...the places where good ideas go to die..." looks like Liccardo was right. Some folks in the City, including San Jose Police Chief Rob Davis and City Manager Deb Figone, don't actually want the Task Force to finish its work and are doing their best to see it die.

A story just posted on the Merc.'s website that says the City is engaging the Consortium for Police Leadership in Equity to look into the issue. Not with the help of the aforementioned Task Force. Not with the input of the aforementioned Task Force. Rather, it seems, instead of the aforementioned Task Force.

This doesn't really pass Watch Dog's smell test. Trading a Task Force for a Consortium to look at the same issue that we all knew about in October, seems to push off potential solutions even longer...Watch Dog complained when the issue was going to take 6 months to address. Now we are looking at a year, maybe longer...Really? A year? For what?

Rightfully pissed, and apparently taken by surprise, local ACLU head Skyler Porras unleashed a harsh and focused response. Not mincing words, here is the piece of the story about Porras, in all its glory:
Task force member Skyler Porras, who heads the San Jose Branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, called the city's enlistment of the social scientists "an end run" around the task force, and "a bumbling way to appease a scandal-plagued but politically powerful police department." She said the move "only serves to further engender that same distrust" that the task force was appointed to address.
Watch Dog predicts that this issue is about to blow up...stay tuned...

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