DID YOU KNOW? Bonnie Donovan
Two and half years ago, George Floyd was arrested and killed by police officers 2,000 miles away in Minneapolis.
The officers involved have been found guilty in his murder.
Across the country, the Black Lives Matter organization began demanding defunding of the police and extreme oversight of police departments. City councils cowered in obedience. Crime began to rise to historic heights everywhere these demands were met. Police effectiveness in deterring crime and catching criminals collapsed.
Morale tanked in police departments and caused an exodus of officers. Those who remained, became hamstrung by the demonstrations of mob mentality, and a diminished police force. In many cases, officers would not patrol the “No-Go” areas.
Criminals were emboldened; crime was widespread. Police departments could not cope. To reduce the burden, more crimes were reduced to misdemeanors. Crime of all kinds escalated again.
Vulnerable families suffered the most. Stores and businesses closed, or moved, to avoid criminals who were destroying their businesses. Illegal drugs began to rule the streets. Deaths from drugs began to rise at a rate of 15% or more a year. By April 2022, drug deaths in the U.S. reached a rate of 105,000 a year.
One way to reduce the effectiveness of police departments is to take away their funding. Another way is to impose a form of draconian oversight, consisting of a kind of Kangaroo court accompanied by inquisitorial interrogations by uninformed, politically motivated, individuals.
The same knee-jerk reaction to the inexcusable death of George Floyd in many large cities, was repeated in the city council of the small town of Santa Barbara. It was prompted by fear of the local, self-appointed, branch of Black Lives Matter.
Black Live Matter representatives demanded the creation of a very one-sided police oversight commission. It was not an overt attempt to defund the Santa Barbara police department. But the proposal, as written, would have weakened the effectiveness of our department in its role to protect the public from criminals. Santa Barbara does not suffer the corruption and the behaviors in the police department that may occur in large cities and should be judged as such. A one-size narrative does not fit all.
Fortunately, most of the members of the Santa Barbara City Council, including Mayor Randy Rowse, saw the dangers in approving the recommendations as written. A modified proposal was given to the city staff to produce an ordinance, which they did remarkably well.
As approval of the staff-drafted ordinance was being finalized for submission to the city council, Councilmember Kristen Sneddon inserted very significant changes that she had received by email. This was without being presented to the public for review, and without discussion among her colleagues on the council’s Ordinance Committee, Mike Jordan and Oscar Gutierrez.
The first change included is to eliminate any person of professional police experience, or deep knowledge of police activities, as a member of the oversight commission. The second change is that oversight committee members are not required to have a four-hour ride-along experience with officers on patrol to gain an understanding of the on-the-job work of police officers.
Both these changes eliminated provisions specifically included by retiring Interim Police Chief Bernard “Barney” Melekian to ensure knowledge, balance and objectivity in the work of the oversight board.
These two changes follow the Black Lives Matter handbook of extreme bias against the police, who are the first line of defense for families, neighborhoods and local businesses against personal and property crimes, drug dealers, homicides, etc.
The Ordinance Committee voted 2 to 1 to change the draft ordinance by removing two important provisions that are essential for oversight commission knowledge, objectivity and balance, by outgoing Police Chief Melekian.
Councilmember Jordan was the dissenting vote. It seems that Councilmembers Sneddon and Oscar Gutierrez felt that with Chief Melekian out of the way, they could execute a last-minute ambush of the process to remove these provisions. It appears that Councilmember Jordan is a man of integrity, who was not willing to collaborate in this plot.
Did You Know? urges Santa Barbara City Council members not to accept any of the proposed changes that will discredit the impartiality of the oversight commission from day one. Or they will rue the day, when division and dissension, among the police department, the oversight commission and the city council boil over, accompanied by rising crime throughout the city. FYI, this important issue is up for vote this Tuesday.
Speaking of impartiality, oversight and fairness, did you know that the federal Treasury Department now has a 25-member Advisory Committee on Racial Equity? This committee will identify, monitor and review aspects of the domestic economy that have directly and indirectly resulted in unfavorable conditions for people of color.
This committee seems to be a cover for implementing preordained racial theories and strategies that are racial preferences, by intent. The legal and social rejections of failed experiments in Affirmative Action are to be replaced by creating government agencies to dictate the same thing, doubled down.
The vice chair of this committee is Felicia Wong, a former executive of a network of liberal mega donors formed, in part by, George Soros.
In 2016, Ms. Wong co-authored a report that argued for all police budgets to be reduced and for equity of outcomes, not equality of opportunity. She wants to re-imagine capitalism and what she terms “racial justice,” at the center of all government policymaking.
Last year, Ms. Wong participated in writing a report published by the Roosevelt Institute, which praised the idea of income redistribution and focused on government policies to abandon equality of opportunity, for equity of outcomes across the board. What, me work?
Ms. Wong and others of the same mind have argued that the Supreme Court practice of racial neutrality makes it impossible to dictate racial preferences to correct structural racial inequities. In other words, she wants to create racial conflicts to redistribute income and benefits to the preferred racial groups.
Given the multiplicity of racial and ethnic groups in America, what is to be the racial pecking order? One must assume that being determined as “white” would put one at the bottom of the pecking order. But how are all the other, so-called “people of color” to be ordered in preference?
One can conclude that President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, led along by people such as Felicia Wong, are now taking this nation along the path toward the utopian visions of the Extreme Left.
We can see the results of these alt-left tendencies in other countries to foretell the future that President Biden, Secretary Yellen and Vice Chair Wong have in mind for the rest of us.
Heaven help us.