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Santa Cruz Indymedia

Letter To Mike Rotkin From Tim Fitzmaurice Regarding Police Infiltration

Dear Mike,

I think this response obscures a few details of some importance. Isn't giving false names at a meeting in a private house an extraordinary measure, or is it standard operating procedure, when did the alternative parade become a demonstration, & what is a political intention? I think if you saw it as a "demonstration" it must have had a slight political tint for you. I assume there is no "Police program to infiltrate groups" but our assurances need to go beyond that.

It seems to me that we should be trying to be a bit further above board than this. Do we need a policy that says we will do this in only non-political instances where health and safety is a concern? Why would the police assume this discretionary power about political intentions? How will they make the decision that something is not political? That isn't their job. The use of this strategy requires a clarification of the standard of police conduct that we can assume from now on. What do we call it? The rules of engagement?

I hope that the Public Safety Committee will take this incident seriously and not prejudge the outcome. Many in the community have expressed their concern about this incident. They want an honest and an insightful assessment of what happened and why and how these tactics will be used in future. It could serve to put some people at ease if we assess this accurately and make the facts clear. Otherwise you know how people will let this suspicion cloud many future public discussions. You know that an obscure and vague use of undercover officers at public meetings will not be a useful attribute or tactic to ascribe to our police force. People need to trust their police force. As you inferred we need to assure people about the extent and the use of these strategies, in the past and in the future.

Tim Fitzmaurice

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