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A civil rights victory

Original post made by marathon man, Atherton: other, on Jan 13, 2010

In a little noticed proceeding in a San Mateo Criminal Court an unassuming young entrepreneur and Atherton resident struck a blow for personal liberty yesterday.

We owe him a debt of gratitude. The victory he won yesterday will no doubt make the Atherton Police Department a little less eager to, and a little less cavalier about, trampling upon the civil rights of others.

This remarkable man with a boyish if not angelic presence yet steely resolve took on the combined forces of the San Mateo County District Attorney and the Atherton Police Department and prevailed.

About a year and a half ago this man dialed 911 to seek the intervention of the Police in a personal matter. In response to this young man's plea for help, he was arrested on charges conjured up by the responding officers. He was jailed and he was kept out of his home without so much as the ability to return home for his toiletries or spare clothes.

This man who paid for and who was deserving of the protection of the Atherton Police Department, found himself to be not protected but to be violated by those sworn to protect and serve.

Through hundreds of hours of research, through the expenditure of untold thousands of dollars on attorneys and expert witnesses and with a little bit of moral support from his friends, this man went to court yesterday and had a judge of the Superior Court rule that the Atherton Police Department did not have a reasonable basis to arrest him and charge him with a crime in the first place.

As a result of the judge's ruling, this man has been able to accomplish what is nearly impossible. He has erased a stain on his record that was written with indelible ink.

More importantly, and even more impressively, this man has held those who are charged with enforcing the law to be accountable for obeying the law.

In addition to granting this man's petition, the Judge censured the Atherton Police Departmet.

The Atherton Police Department owes this man a long overdue apology as does the San Mateo County District Attorney for opposing his petition to clear his record.


Comments (17)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Get a Grip On yourself
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jan 13, 2010 at 3:49 pm

I was present at the hearing for this for this finding of Factual Innocence. It was issued in full and with censures to the officers involve.
Because the allegations are sealed it is completely inappropriate at this time for the previous posters comments to appear on this venue.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jan 13, 2010 at 5:12 pm

This story is going to come out anyway. This man was not even able to get a copy of his own Police Report from the Atherton Police Department. He is the one who called. What was the APD thinking.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jan 13, 2010 at 5:18 pm

I forgot to say Congratulations J. B. You deserve the Victory.

Best of Luck and Health to you


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jan 15, 2010 at 10:04 am

Where can I learn more about this???

These allegations are shocking.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by The Meaning of Victory
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jan 15, 2010 at 11:40 pm

I think the only victory that could have occurred is if this situation either never happened, or if the members of the town of Atherton and its police department were decent enough to have corrected it before a judge forced them to. He said he was "deeply disturbed" by their actions several times.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Are We Safe
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 17, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Are we safe when our police reports are incorrect. Jon Buckheit was found INNOCENT. However Atherton PD wasn't found innocent. We need the FBI to look into what's really going on in our town. Please help press for this. This may cost Atherton MILLIONS for the police departments wrong doing. Help get the FBI into our town.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Train wreck
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jan 17, 2010 at 7:54 pm

With R.E.A.C.T. housed in Atherton as the county link to the F.B.I.
and all our ex and recent Chiefs listed on the D.A. Face Book friends list
we have a CLOSED LOOP folks.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sultry one
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 17, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Train wreck is too pessimistic.

All a few people have to do is to contact Anna Eschoo and Dianne Finstein. The FBI will be here faster than you can cite the Miranda warning.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Black and Blue
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jan 18, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Does The Atherton Civic Interest League have any interest in the civil rights of the residents it represents?? I was hoping that this was a good time for this question.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Thanks
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 18, 2010 at 11:42 pm

Thanks Jon Buckheit for helping clean up our town. Now maybe something will be done. Now lets see what John Johns case brings to light.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by e.grimly
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Jan 19, 2010 at 10:20 am

One after Another....maybe this answers the question you posted on another forum....Why would a chief leave after a little over a year?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by neighborhood watch
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jan 19, 2010 at 11:42 am

Glen left us to follow the D.A. around with cardiac resuscitator paddles---and I hear that the money is better
Gruber didn't discuss his choice of either Cheif's selection with the council beforehand because if they had said "No" then it would have been more "awkward" to do it anyway. --and yes--I think he would have tried that too.




 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jan 21, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Jon Buckheit

I just heard that you had a visit at your residence around 11:30PM by the Atherton Police Department claiming that your alarm was going off. From what I understand you didn't hear the alarm. Is that accurate.

I have reported/blog about similar activity by APD.

Web Link

Hope this helps


 +   Like this comment
Posted by cynic
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jan 21, 2010 at 8:33 pm

This is the way the script was supposed to play out:

The Atherton Police Department gains entry to a premises under false pretenses.

The Atherton Police Department "finds" something incriminating.

The Atherton Police Department makes an arrest.

Nobody thinks to ask why and how the Police Department's gained entry into the premises in the first place. (Perhaps what the PD "finds" is too shocking for anybody to question the motives or actions of the PD)

Fortunately this story didn't play out the way the Atherton Police Department planned. Now the Atherton Police Department will be held to account for their actions.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Black and Blue
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jan 21, 2010 at 9:07 pm

It's starting to feel like the Town only exits to provide support for the existence of a Police Dept. and for various development interest to perpetuate themselves. We just get to occupy their space.
No wonder the council can't ever function for the residents.
They are not even the true governing body--the real stuff all gets decided up in Tahoe while partying with the cops.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by J.B.
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jan 21, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Cynic, in all fairness to the APD, I cannot accuse them of doing what you describe. It is possible that this was a "low battery" issue that got misinterpreted as an alarm. I would like to believe what you describe is not possible, but unfortunately it is, and the timing of all of this was jarring to me. Clearly there are some problems with the APD. I believe these problems are fixable. There are good officers in this department who do not deserve to be painted with a broad brush of misdeeds. There are also other officers who have made mistakes and need to learn from and account for these mistakes. I thought it was important to put this particular issue out there because the consequences of the theory you posit are extremely damaging, even though it is hard to believe this was the purpose of the visit. On the other hand, I must admit they have already engaged in conduct I would have found impossible to believe. When you describe conspiracies, etc., in a way you help them avoid accountability for the very real issues they need to face as they will argue the opposition is not credible.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jan 22, 2010 at 11:45 am

Cynic,

In your example: The Atherton Police Department "finds" something incriminating.

lets say Massive amount of pronography on computer of Town employee. When I say Massive I mean an amount that would take a long time to down load. for the normal user. Now add to the mix the close proximity of R.E.A.C.T. task force computer experts.....same building.

"Nobody thinks to ask why and how the Police Department's gained entry into the premises in the first place. (Perhaps what the PD "finds" is too shocking for anybody to question the motives or actions of the PD)"

I did.


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