Santa Cruz Indymedia :
Santa Cruz Indymedia

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CPRB Records To Be Destroyed

The Citizens Police Review Board has 8 years of oral tapes documenting its monthly meetings. The City Manager plans to have these all erased, except for the last year so that the tapes can be "reused" in spite of new space-saving storage methods and the clear historical value of these audio tapes.
On January 21, the Citizens Police Review Board [CPRB] was defunded. On January 27, the law establishing it was repealed. On January 29, its doors were closed to the public and its functions transferred to an out-of-town attorney Bob Aronson of Palo Alto. Today on February 3, City Clerk Leslie Cook announced that all the audio records of the CPRB except for the last year's will be destroyed "to recycle the tapes" "in accord with city policies."

More than 88 meetings since the Board opened in 1995 will be lost including many oral complaints made by those who felt they were victimized by the police department.
HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) is offering to pay for the cost of replacing the tapes, which are slated to be erased, and is willing to donate them to the Public Library for archival purposes. Those who wish to support such a move can call the City Manager's office at 420-5010 and urge them to do this.

In the past, some individuals have been intimidated from filling out formal written complaints--either by direct SCPD pressure or by the "penalty of perjury" statement that every complainant has to sign.

A recent California Supreme Court decision in People v. Stanistreet upheld the unusual protections and powers police have--privileges held by no other group of public employees in California. Individuals can and have been prosecuted for filing "false" complaints against police officers, for such subjective matters as "rudeness". The potential penalty is up to a year in jail and $1000 fine.

Those interested in a related controversy where San Jose Mercury News reporter Ken McLaughlin inaccurately conveyed an alleged quote from Councilmember Mike Rotkin that I filed "frivolous complaints" should look elsewhere on the indymedia website for a discussion of that issue.

For further discussion of the CPRB dismemberment controversy and the prospects of a CPRB-in-exile, tune in to Chris Krohn on 1080 AM KSCO Wednesday February 5th at 12:10 p.m. (until 1 p.m.). Call-in number 479-1080.

Krohn and CPRB Chair Mark Halfmoon will both get a roasting from activist Roxanne Acquistepache on my Thursday Bathrobespierres Broadsides show on Free Radio Santa Cruz at 6 p.m. (to 8 pm). Call-in number: 427-3772.

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Audio Tapes Saved For The Moment

In response to concerns about the destruction of the CPRB audio records, the City Manager's office is apparently delaying any such "recycling" of the audio tapes. That's what Martin Bernal, assistant City Manager, told me a week or so ago. He noted that until the discussion of the "new model" (the phoney "auditor" model) is resolved--in City Council committee and then through the Council--all the tapes will be preserved.

Leslie Cook, City Clerk, has stated that those who want to can listen to and/or buy copies of old CPRB tapes by going to the City Council offices. She will not, as of yet, allow duplication of the tapes except by purchase.

The library only has tapes for the last year. It is City policy to "recycle" all Commission tapes, but the CPRB has been, up to now, an exception.

Activist pressure may have been responsible for this change in policy. Good work to those who contributed to this effort!


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