ACLU Blasts Santa Ana City Council for Violating Free Speech Over "F the Police" Hat

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CopWatch Santa Ana
Bijan's council-stopping cap

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California sent SanTana city council members a letter reminding them the basics of free speech just ahead of this evening's meeting. It takes offense to the now infamous October 7 meltdown that occurred when Mayor-for-Life Miguel Pulido demanded a man named "Bijan" take off his "Fuck the Police" hat. When he refused, an hour-long standoff ensued between community members and cops, leading to the Don Papi canceling the city council meeting before it ever started.

"We write to express our strong concern with Santa Ana's policy and practice of restricting speech at open and public meetings of the Santa Ana City Council," the ACLU letter reads.


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UC Irvine Puts Experts and Professors in the Field in Santa Ana to Abate Family Violence

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UCI.edu
Ellen Olshansky, a professor of nursing science at UCI, is one of three leaders of the Interdisciplinary Center on Family Violence.

A new center dedicated to family violence that unites community partners with faculty from 20 UC Irvine departments launches this afternoon at the Delhi Center in Santa Ana.

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Santa Ana Mayor Honored Cop Sued For Fatal Shooting of Unarmed Man

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"If only flat brim hats were illegal..."

In a prelude to city council chaos in Santa Ana over a 'Fuck the Police' hat last week, Mayor Miguel Pulido praised policemen amid jeers during a previous meeting. Santa Ana Police officer John G. Rodriguez received a service award as one of the honorees on September 2 for being on the force 25 years--almost as long as the reign of the Pulidiato itself!

"He's received two Santa Ana police department service medals of valor for actions during encounters with armed suspects," the Don Papi said, mentioning the cop's many credentials. Left out, of course, is the fact that lawsuits filed this year allege officer Rodriguez used excessive and lethal force in shooting Travis Mock, an unarmed man, in the back last year in an incident that also left another man, Jason Hallstrom, dead.


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Gustavo's (Last Week) KCRW "OC Line": On the Santa Ana City Council Versus Mayor Miguel Pulido!

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OC Weekly archives
Okay, not Pulido, but amusing nevertheless...

Last week, on my regular KCRW-FM "Orange County Line" commentary, I talked with host Steve Chiotakis about the epic game of chicken being played between the SanTana City Council and the Orange County District Attorney's Office over mayor Don Papi Pulido. It's all over an investigation into whether the Don Papi violated campaign finance law when he sold a house that his family had acquired in a property swap from a businessman who just so happened to have business with SanTana. The city attorney completed its investigation months ago; the DA hasn't. The city council said they wanted to release their investigation if DA Tony Rackauckas didn't; the DA didn't want them to.

Well, someone released the report yesterday--and it says the city thinks Don Papi Pulido might be charged with a felony.


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Santa Ana City Council Meeting Canceled Over "F the Police" Hat

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Bijan with the anti-cop cap / courtesy of CopWatch Santa Ana
A scheduled SanTana City Council meeting tonight got canceled almost as soon as it started--all over a hat that proclaimed "Fuck the Police."

A man who only identified himself as "Bijan" sat down inside the council chambers wearing the Starter-style snapback cap, embroidered with the slogan in the same font on NWA Raiders hats that they used for publicity shots. "We noticed Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas, the Mayor and City Manager looking at us," says Angel Juarez, a member of CopWatch Santa Ana. "They asked Bijan to remove his hat under threat of stopping or delaying the meeting." He didn't.

Why? "Because it's what I believe," Bijan tells the Weekly.

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Edgar Vargas, Man Beat By Santa Ana PD on Camera, Freed From ICE by DOJ/Mostly Cleared by DA

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Officer Brian Booker with the ground and pound

The deportation of Edgar Vargas Azarte came to a screeching halt thanks to an assist from the Department of Justice (DOJ). The Santa Ana immigrant sin papeles is at home with monitor bracelets around his ankle instead of being detained by immigration authorities at Theo Lacy.

The DOJ turned the tables in his case by telling a federal judge on October 1 that they needed him for an investigation. The probe probably surrounds the beating he suffered at the hands of Santa Ana's finest.


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SanTana City Council Backpedals on Pot

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Kent Kanouse/Flickr
A typical pot shop display case

Once more, SanTana's City Council brought up the recent whirlwind of medical marijuana clinics at the September 16th city council meeting. For the first time since the July 15th meeting, they even decided to have a discussion about it. Prior attempts to do so have been delayed due to absent council members.

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SanTana Pot Raid Arraignment Clogs Court

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Ronnie Cote/OC Weekly
No Medicating happening at Civic Center...

Remember the itty-bitty pot raid that Santa Ana PD carried out on July 31st? September 2nd was the arraignment for some 123 total marijuana misdemeanor violations. And so far it seems only one out of this smorgasbord of arrestees plead guilty and swallowed the $500 fine. That's right folks. A large number of them waived their right to a speedy trial and are opting to fight the charges.

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Immigration Authorities Obstructed Justice For Man Clobbered By SAPD: DOJ Complaint

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Officer Booker punching away...
Edgar Vargas Arzate was on his way to his August 18 court date for a previous run-in with police when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents stopped their car and nabbed the undocumented immigrant at gun point. Now, Arzate's public defender, Frank Bittar, has formally requested an investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) into the ICE arrest alleging it was an obstruction of justice.

But the complaint doesn't stop there. As readers recall, Vargas appeared to be surrendering when cornered by Santa Ana police on the night of June 20. Cops pounded him with fists, batons and Tasers as he laid face-down on the driveway. Home surveillance cameras caught the incident in a viral video. Police arrested Vargas on suspicion of attempted burglary. He had every intention of fighting the charges until ICE detained him right before his preliminary hearing.

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Mexicans vs. Mexicans in Downtown Santa Ana Gentrification Shout-Off--Then Someone Yelled "Wetback"

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Courtesy of Igmar Rodas/SAPD (Stop Abusing People's Derechos, that is!)
Things getting hairy outside American Barbershop!

What began as an anti-police brutality march on Friday night turned into the latest chapter in downtown SanTana's gentrification wars--this time pitting Mexicans against Mexicans.

There was no problem when about 50 protesters initially assembled at a plaza on the intersection of Fourth and French streets around dusk. But when they returned from a rally at Sasscer Park (after a march that took them across the downtown area, with some activists chanting "Gentrification sucks!" and yelling "sell-outs" at patrons at the Playground, according to participants and onlookers), a near-melee happened at American Barbershop. That's where, protesters maintain, people flicked cigarette butts at them and yelled "Wetbacks!"

But who said the w-word and flung ciggies is leading to yet another battle, this time on the Internet.


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