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Deputy Sheriff Association President D.J. Wozniak critical of Supervisors and Concerned Citizens.

Original post made by Michael G. Stogner, another community, on Feb 8, 2019

February 11, 2019 6:00-9:30 PM at the 400 County Center Building The Board of Supervisors are hosting a Committee on Tasers event. Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos is one of the speakers. This Committee and meeting is the Supervisors response to the consistant request to simply release the videos and audio recordings that Ebele Okobi saw and heard.

The Supervisors and County Manager refuse to do so.

Here is D.J. Wozniak's e-mail to his Deputy and Correctional Officers.
Web Link

Comments (28)

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Posted by Holly L.
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 9, 2019 at 7:39 am

Holly L. is a registered user.

Someone should notify New York Times reporter John Eligon about this. He has been following the case closely.


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Posted by Wow
a resident of another community
on Feb 9, 2019 at 1:09 pm

Wozniak is encouraging all SMC cops to attend the meeting as a show of force to dissuade the supervisors from oversight.

Repugnant.


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Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 9, 2019 at 8:45 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

wow:

welcome to San Mateo County. The most corrupt county in California.


Like this comment
Posted by Holly L.
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 12, 2019 at 3:03 am

Holly L. is a registered user.

What happened at the meeting?


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Feb 13, 2019 at 5:01 pm

The good news is only about 8 Sheriff Deputies out of the 250 Wozniak wanted to attend showed up. That is consistent with the endorsement of Carlos G. Bolanos for Sheriff by most Deputies almost Zero.

about 51 speakers from the public showed up, several families who have lost a loved one.


1 person likes this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 13, 2019 at 6:39 pm

Thanks to San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, Sheriff, and other community groups for their attendance. Very informative on both sides of the issue. Looks like San Mateo governmental officials will meet and confer regarding the use of tasers. A loss of death, is so tragic......mental illness is one of our greatness problems here locally and nationally.


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Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 13, 2019 at 7:51 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

citizen:

This doesn't have anything to do with the use of Tazers. It has to do with the use of force by our Sheriff's deputies. There are serious questions about what happened in this case. We need to see the video. UNREDACTED. I'll believe the deputies did nothing wrong when we can see ALL of the video from this encounter. The fact the Sheriff's department doesn't want to release the video, as many other law enforcement agencies have done in similar circumstances, is TELLING.

This entire thing stinks. And if this county didn't have such a history of gross corruption, we wouldn't be having this conversation.


Like this comment
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 17, 2019 at 5:15 pm

Menlo Voter:

The sheriffs office turned over the tape to the DAs office. After the investigation is complete, we all will be able to see the tape.

It’s a shame that the tasers caused the death.....or did it? Was his medical, physical state a cause of his death.

Was his conduct a factor?

Let’s not second, third or forth our county officials. Do you really think these officers intented to kill this man?? I bet those deputies have lost sleep and feel remorse for his death. Hey, Menlo Voter, you need to trust someone???

Did you attend the Special Session? It was pretty objective and straight forward.


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Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 18, 2019 at 8:37 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Citizen:

the tapes need to be released to the public, not the DA. Our DA has a history of corruption and covering for law enforcement. It is not uncommon for agencies to release the body cam video before an investigation is complete. Especially, when the say they did nothing wrong. If they did nothing wrong why not make the video public.


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Posted by Holly L.
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 18, 2019 at 2:55 pm

Holly L. is a registered user.

Here's a video of Okobi supporters marching into the offices of the San Mateo DA's offices last week on the day of Okobi's birthday, and presenting 50,000 signatures to DA Steve Wagstaffe . Hope reporters are fact checking everything the District Attorney tells the group... because as we know, he doesn't like the truth: Web Link


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Posted by Citizen
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 18, 2019 at 6:47 pm

Menlo Voter and Holly L.;

Let’s see what happens with the release of tapes. What corruption? It appears no planned cover up, independent investigator, the victims family has retained counsel, in fact the best legal representation in these cases...

Open presentation of taser usage.

The fix is in??? I don’t think so!


Like this comment
Posted by Holly L.
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 18, 2019 at 7:32 pm

Holly L. is a registered user.

IF... the tapes are released. Never trust the District Attorney to keep his word.


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Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 19, 2019 at 7:42 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

citizen:

"what corruption?" You haven't been around here long have you?


Like this comment
Posted by Really simple
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2019 at 9:01 am

What Menlo Voter said.

This situation is really easy to understand.

Videos exist of the incident. Cops have been accused of manslaughter. If the videos showed, for example, they had no alternative, they would have been released very early on to take the heat off them.

The only logical conclusion one can draw is that Wagstaffe is waiting to release the video so he can release a report along with it that attempts to downplay what is going to be a very persuasive video that this man was killed at the hands of overzealous police (e.g., the video doesn't tell the whole story, the officers testified XXX which made the actions justifiable, etc.).

It's sad for the family of the victim. It's also sad for the public, as we don't want officers who can't control their authority responsibly to continue to be on the job. It endangers us.


2 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 19, 2019 at 11:23 am

Menlo voter and really simple:

Just move! A lot of us that live here....like it here and feel safe...


If it’s so corrupt.....DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.. runnfor DA or Sheriff


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 19, 2019 at 12:57 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"runnfor DA or Sheriff"

So I can end up like Deputy Lopez? Not a chance. I'm glad you feel safe. Keep feeling that right up until they come for you.


Like this comment
Posted by Really simple
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2019 at 9:50 pm

Smart people than we are came up with the right answer to that tradeoff a long time ago ("Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." – Benjamin Franklin).

Citizen, I don't want to move. Love it or leave it doesn't persuade me. Nor do I want to run for sheriff. I have the right to express concern. We can both be safe and not have police overstep the line. They're not mutually exclusive. Good police officers know this.

I don't know that police officers crossed the line in this case. The refusal to produce the video colors the situation, but all the facts are not out. I don't rule out the possibility the police acted appropriately. In fact, I hope they did. That's why I'd like to see the video.

Without having seen the video, are you ruling out the possibility the police acted inappropriately? That's what your comments seem too suggest. Or are you saying if they did, so what?


2 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 21, 2019 at 6:54 pm

Really Simple:

Not so simple. I'm in no hurry to see the tapes. We will see them as soon as they're finished with the investigation.A very sad situation. A death, tragic to his family, friends, and community. Even for those deputies that were involved in the incident. A future large payout by the taxpayers as a settlement. High priced civil rights lawyer retained and we will see that tape of the incident many times during the civil proceedings.

Deputies still employed. Tasers still will be a law enforcement weapon available for their use.

Mental illness will still not be treated effectively. Drug abuse continues. In summary, people will still not listen to police commands, they will resist arrest, and these problems will continue.

Risks are real. Public opinion is real. Some people just hate the police.
You just cannot please everyone, but you can protect the majority of the community. Police, Sheriff Department has a very very hard job.


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Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 21, 2019 at 8:32 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

citizen:

Yes, the police have a very hard job. I've done that job. This situation stinks. I'll believe the deputies did nothing wrong when I see the UNREDACTED video. If it is anything less, I'll call BS. I've done the job. I know what can be hidden. As an ex-LEO, I'm disgusted by our corrupt DA. This wouldn't be happening in Santa Clara County.


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Posted by Really simple
a resident of another community
on Feb 21, 2019 at 9:24 pm

@Citizen, people will always resist police commands for various reasons. Sometimes deadly force will be justified in those situations. Sometimes it won't be. People who question when it may not be don't hate police because they are raising these questions. I'd like to think using deadly force is a last resort, not something that just winds up happening because someone disobeyed a police command (unless that command is drop the gun, etc.).


Like this comment
Posted by Holly L.
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Mar 2, 2019 at 5:58 pm

Holly L. is a registered user.

What the hell? Web Link


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Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 2, 2019 at 6:37 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Having seen some of the video and knowing the independent investigator, who is an expert in police use of force, I am withholding judgement. The video I've seen seems to show a subject refusing to obey legal orders from police. When I get an opportunity to view ALL of the video, I'll have a more informed opinion. Until then, I suggest everyone withhold judgement.


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Posted by Really simple
a resident of another community
on Mar 2, 2019 at 9:17 pm

"The video I've seen seems to show a subject refusing to obey legal orders from police."

I don't find that hard to believe. The real question that has come up time and time again is does the failure to obey a lawful police order justify use of force that becomes deadly? I can certainly think of situations in which it does, but also plenty in which it does not. Remember the New York cigarette vendor who was choked to death. Cops said he wasn't following orders. True. But does that justify that type of force?

This is America. Failure to obey a police order shouldn't result in you dying unless the order has to do with protecting other life.


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Posted by Holly L.
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Mar 3, 2019 at 3:45 am

Holly L. is a registered user.

Wagstaffe said there was a lot of traffic at the time. The video doesn't support this. It's not as if Okobi was crossing a Houston expressway at rush hour. One wonders if the police would have stopped him if he were white.: Web Link


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Posted by Holly L.
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Mar 3, 2019 at 3:56 am

Holly L. is a registered user.

Story in Wall Street Journal yesterday (subscription only) "Deputies Cleared in Taser Death" Web Link

"San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said the deputies were trying to keep Mr. Okobi out of a busy roadway...."


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Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 3, 2019 at 9:11 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

The deputies didn't use deadly force. They used a tazer. Those are not deadly force. Unfortunately, on rare occasions subjects died IN PART because of the tazer.

If you have broken the law, the police have a duty to stop you. If you refuse their orders, YOU have escalated the situation.


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Posted by Really simple
a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2019 at 10:00 am

Menlo Voter, I understand what you are saying and I've now watched the video and read the various news articles.

"Eugene O'Donnell, a John Jay College professor and policing expert, said the video indicates Okobi was resisting throughout the encounter and did pose a possible risk for deputies. But he cautioned that police enforcement should be a "last resort" for community issues like traffic and pedestrian control. He said it's unclear whether Okobi was posing enough of a danger to himself or others to warrant the initial stop, and warned that police stops for seemingly trivial issues can lead to high-stakes and potentially deadly encounters."

I think this is a relevant comment. Jaywalking led to his death. Every step in between may have been technically according to the rules and law, but the end result still makes no sense. As society, we need to evolve to keep the right balance between keeping society safe as a whole, officers safe, and suspects safe. Okobi posed no danger to society on this video. The officers' decision to detain him led to a battle of wills between a mentally ill person (but not dangerous person) and the officers, who would not back down. I understand why the family is horribly upset.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 3, 2019 at 10:59 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

really simple:

until the subject stops and interacts with the police they have no way of knowing his mental status. The officers didn't know Okobi. They had no idea he had mental health issues as his family did. It's tragic it ended this way over what amounts to jay walking, but it didn't have to. As with most encounters with the police that get escalated to this level, the citizen is the one that causes it. The police CAN'T back down. If they back down and this person turned out to be dangerous, the public would be screaming for their heads because they didn't do their job.


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