Not in Santa Cruz
Sign the Letter Below!
Add your signature to this letter (for complete language,click READ THE PETITION in petition box or below) requesting Santa Cruz City Council rescind their vote to partner with Homeland Security.
The militarization of Santa Cruz, California, like many cities across the nation, is being called into question, as well as the transparency between the police, the elected council members, and their constituents.
Stop The Militarization Of Santa Cruz Police Department
This petition is now closed.
End date: Mar 31, 2015
Signatures collected: 116
|116||Melissa Ottele||Feb 02, 2015|
|115||Cameron Zachreson||Jan 21, 2015|
|114||Jay Visbal||Jan 21, 2015|
|113||nate saucier||Jan 15, 2015|
|112||Dawn Schott-Norris||Jan 14, 2015|
|111||Ann Wright||Jan 14, 2015|
|110||Lisa Michel||Jan 14, 2015|
|109||Judy Weaver||Jan 13, 2015|
|108||kenneth Sahm||Jan 13, 2015|
|107||Geoffrey Shuey||Jan 13, 2015|
|106||Debra Gable||Jan 13, 2015|
|105||Don Cerow||Jan 13, 2015|
|104||Don Faia||Jan 13, 2015|
|103||A. Jackson Wolffe||Jan 13, 2015|
|102||Lea Scarpelli||Jan 13, 2015|
|101||Joe Leonard||Jan 13, 2015|
|100||Kathleen Carter||Jan 13, 2015|
|99||Jeannine Bonstelle||Jan 13, 2015|
|98||Larry Spejna||Jan 13, 2015|
|97||Carol Gaab||Jan 13, 2015|
|96||Anna Oneglia||Jan 13, 2015|
|95||Hedy Epstein||Jan 13, 2015|
|94||Dolores Bornstein||Jan 13, 2015|
|93||Julie Boudreau||Jan 13, 2015|
|92||Darrell Yeaney||Jan 13, 2015|
|91||John Klusmire||Jan 13, 2015|
|90||Brian Seymour||Jan 13, 2015|
|89||Carol murry||Jan 13, 2015|
|88||Nadya Tannous||Jan 12, 2015|
|87||Gail "Bergi" V. Larson-Fraley||Jan 12, 2015|
|86||Garrett Larson||Jan 12, 2015|
|85||Terresa Lauer||Jan 12, 2015|
|84||Ann Simonton||Jan 12, 2015|
|83||Rabbi Borukh Goldberg||Jan 12, 2015|
|82||Erik Jacobsmeyer||Jan 12, 2015|
|81||Rickey Ramseur||Jan 12, 2015|
|80||Tereza Coraggio||Jan 12, 2015|
|79||LeAnne Ravinale||Jan 12, 2015|
|78||Rahn Davis||Jan 12, 2015|
|77||Karen Card||Jan 12, 2015|
|76||Christopher Mann||Jan 12, 2015|
|75||Alexandra White||Jan 12, 2015|
|74||Ronald Dunn||Jan 12, 2015|
|73||Pete Shanks||Jan 12, 2015|
|72||Douglas Hull||Jan 12, 2015|
|71||Martin Williams||Jan 12, 2015|
|70||Margie Kelley||Jan 12, 2015|
|69||Rebecca Mueller-Wille||Jan 12, 2015|
|68||curt johnson||Jan 12, 2015|
|67||Mike Veglia||Jan 12, 2015|
Footage of the SCPD request during the December 2014 meeting and the response by the few community members present, by Brent Adams
Dear Santa Cruz City Council,
We are fortunate to have many dedicated officers who are also community members and family friends. Like you, I appreciate their efforts to keep people safe, and like you, I mourned the loss of two officers, one of whom I knew personally.
These sentiments, however, should not be linked to the issue at hand: Santa Cruz accepting a grant to purchase a BEARCAT (Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck) from Homeland Security.
To receive funding from Home Land Security for equipment from the Defense Department and to accept a grant that places a BEARCAT in the streets of Santa Cruz is inappropriate.
I interviewed the Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD) in September 2014 about their past, present, and future relationship to the Department of Defense 1033 Program. I was told that the department had participated in the past, accepting a minimal amount of protective gear, but had returned the gear due to bureaucratic challenges.
I was also told by SCPD that they had no intention of securing future equipment or supplies. I was assured that SCPD was no longer in possession of any Department of Defense 1033 Program equipment or supplies.
It is equally inappropriate for Santa Cruz families to see U.S. military equipment and militarized actions and attitudes in their streets as it is for families in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Palestine, Libya, Yemen, and unfortunately, so many more.
My daughter and I, with the support of many Santa Cruz citizens, have spent years paying reparations to communities suffering from ongoing illegal U.S. military occupation and war. We simply cannot keep up with the numerous forms of debt militarization heaps onto the shoulders of civilians around the world and here at home.
Any attempt to normalize a piece of machinery generally made for and used in combat zones serves to perpetuate the escalation of militarized policing in an expanding global military industrial complex.
Militarization is not in keeping with Santa Cruz City values, nor does it protect our officers. I implore you and fellow city council members to re-think the council's position.
Please consider the many costs to the Santa Cruz Community by opening a door into this trend of accepting unnecessary military equipment for use by those who are meant to disrupt individual cases of violent crime: such a task can never be accomplished with an armored police vehicle designed to suppress crowds like the one represented by sentiments in this letter.
I have lived in Santa Cruz for twenty-five years and until recently, have had only positive experiences with SCPD. In October 2014, I witnessed two officers use excessive force by multiple tasings of an unarmed person, resulting in his hospitalization.
So disproportional was the use of force for the circumstance (Case #14S-08499), I was compelled to file a formal complaint following my conversation with the officers' supervisor.
According to The Committee Against Torture at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland November 13, 2014 it found “numerous and consistent” reports that US police have used tasers against unarmed people resisting arrest and condemned two recent cases of death in Florida and Illinois.
"Tasers should be used only in extreme cases to prevent loss of life or serious injury, the committee said."
Our police already possess lethal force, and with such force comes the inevitable occasions of excessive use. The BEARCAT is an additional technology that can only put our police at greater risk of such excesses.
According to my interview with SCPD, the commitment by the City Council to increase funding for the Police Department in 2013 provided, "What we needed; additional personnel." I was told that SCPD is fully equipped, staffed and trained without a BEARCAT.
Adding military equipment to growing communities will not address the underlying inequality that contributes to an increase in crime and violence at home and abroad. A BEARCAT cannot address any of these issues; only human beings can do that.
Our police can be appreciated and supported without adopting military equipment into their arsenal. They can continue to keep people safe without a BEARCAT.
We respectfully request SC City Council conduct an open, well-publicized community meeting to hear from more of their constituents. Most of us were unaware this matter was being brought before the council in December.
Thank you for considering our views and taking appropriate action to support the position of those who elected each of you into your position of service to this community.