Re-printed from the Mirror October 30, 2008
Saturday, October 25 at 6:34 p.m. I heard pounding at my front door and when I opened the interior door I was asked by a hostile SMPD (Officer Dove, Badge number 3340) if the Halloween display outside was mine and I replied yes. The officer then told me to step outside repeatedly which I did not do. He said I could deal with him or the Secret Service. He said my Halloween display could be interpreted as a death threat to the president. I tried to explain my Halloween display is merely meant to be humorous and at the same time PRO-Obama. I stayed very calm as he became more agitated and demanded my I.D. I did not give it to him or step outside as I was in my own home. I did give him my full name and phone number and he obviously had my address. When I didn’t give him my I.D. he said usually when some one doesn’t give an I.D. there is some sort of criminal activity going on. So I asked for his badge number and name and told him I was going to alert our city council members and the press. I felt this officer was bullying me and trying to intimidate me. As I spoke with him calmly he kept telling me to calm down as though making it seem we were having an argument. I have since slightly modified my Halloween display. I feel for anyone else who may subjected to this kind of treatment especially those in lower income areas whom may not know their rights.
(Display is on 23rd Street, just south of Montana, east side of street.)
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This very same officer is featured in a recent article [see previous letter] in your paper in November. Another Santa Monica resident described his hostile belligerent actions that was initially read to me by an attorney friend of mine. I was amazed to discover the remarkable similarities in our experience with this out of control officer that no doubt will be involved in a liability lawsuit against the city of Santa Monica in the near future if left unchecked. Here is an excerpt from my complaint on the cities website.
I feel obligated to report the hostile, adversarial actions that I feel is an officer waiting to be a liability for the city while trying to unnecessarily escalate an incident instead of taking a report and investigating claims.
At approximately 7:15 Saturday evening I observed a silver four door Mercedes Driving westbound in front of the Whole foods Market on Wilshire and 22nd St. The car aimed itself at a pedestrian and flashed his high beams and honked. Afterwards I stepped out from the curb and looked at the car and said, “hey.” The car had two occupants, one appeared to be an older Male and Female. The driver then stepped on the gas and sped towards me and brushed by me on the passenger’s right. He then stopped and sped off. I contacted 911 and was transferred to Santa Monica Police. I gave them my location as above and reported a hit and run. I said I thought the license was 4CMEbfe but was not quite sure since someone had just threatened me with his car. An officer arrived and asked if I was injured and which way was the vehicle heading. I responded that I was not injured and stated the vehicle was westbound on Wilshire .He had me point out where and I pointed to the spot in front of the store. I told him I had seen this car run up on a woman crossing the street. And start honking and flashing his brights. I then said I stepped out in the lane and he stepped on the gas and came for me and seemed irate. The officer took my license and wrote down a statement.
A third officer Dove then came on the scene and started to be very adversarial and belligerent. He wanted know if I had been drinking and started arguing with me. He continued to try and belittle and marginalize my story. He went so far as to jump out in traffic in front of cars to try and act out my description with people giving him strange looks. I said he could say what he wanted but I knew it was a felony to use ones car as a weapon and try to threaten people. He started making a mockery of everything and kept holding my license until I asked for it back. The other officers were objective non-hostile and simply took my statement. This officer refused to try and locate the other party and dripping with hostile sarcasm blurted, ”Have a nice evening.” I responded and said, “Thanks, you have been a great help.”
He followed me into the market, claimed he wanted to talk to me out on the curb. He proceeded to give me a sobriety test and threatened me with jail for the weekend. He asked me if I had been seeing a psychologist and claimed he had a witness who saw me hit the back of the silver Mercedes with my hand. .He stuck his pen in my face, shouted “you’re going to jail if you say another word.” He claimed if the other party had called in, I would be in jail for that too, however, this road rager would be hard pressed to account for his actions. No one has called in and I realized that this officer was out of control hell-bent on arguing and wanting a fight.
In summation this officer is here to serve the community not to degrade people who he disagrees with since he did not witness anything. While I was the party calling asking for assistance and trying to file a report, he treated me like a criminal with completely unprofessional degrading sarcasm while trying to bully and humiliate me.
I have lived here for 18 years and have never experienced such an abusive hostile police officer with such a belligerent attitude.
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Bravo for Congressman Henry Waxman! His sterling leadership in creating public parks for area residents on the Westside stands as a crystal clear monument to Waxman’s and the Democratic Party’s regard for Veteran health and rehabilitation.
Waxman, Resolutions Committeeman John Hanna from Orange County, and the Democratic Party are teaching all those whining me-first ex-soldiers and wounded warriors that the price of Liberty is not measured in their blood, the sacrifice of a few limbs, the toll of PTSD and other brain injury on them and their families. Nor the increased rates of divorce, suicide, chronic pain, drug addiction, incarceration experienced by Iraq war combat Veterans. Waxman’s, Hanna’s, the Democratic Party’s lesson is clear: you got your medals, now give the rest of us a park.
Soldiers go to war to defend our Freedom, including Waxman’s to build parks for his friends! If this means carving a few measly acres of land off the L.A. facility, so be it. That the land was deeded “in perpetuity” to the care of injured Veterans is irrelevant because that park brings “beauty, honor, country” to the area – or would have until some hypersensitive Veterans objected to that motto as a perversion of every soldier’s and Veteran’s creed, “Duty. Honor. Country.”
Let our nation’s “heroic, happy dead” as the poet ee cummings writes, speak for themselves on the work Congressman Waxman and Resolutions Committeeman John Hanna from Orange County performed on behalf of surviving Veterans. Let the rest of us acknowledge and remember forever how Waxman, John Hanna, and the Democratic Party, value the nation’s Veterans.