Law Enforcement News From Around the Web

A collection of California law enforcement related articles from around the Web, published daily.  POST provides these links to Web articles as an automated service to our clients. Because we do not review these items, POST takes no responsibility for their accuracy or editorial content.

  Last updated on Wed, 16 Aug 2017

BART considers a later daily start during systemwide rebuild
SFGate Bay Area News Stories, Tue, 15 Aug 2017
Hundreds of early-morning BART riders will have to begin their commutes an hour later on weekdays — or resort to buses or their cars — as the transit agency struggles to keep up its aging infrastructure while undergoing a massive modernization. BART officials were already working on plans to push back its systemwide opening hour from 4 a.m. to 5 a.m. starting in the fall of 2018 to accommodate seismic retrofitting work on the Transbay Tube. To take care of the estimated 2,400 commuters who ride BART during its first hour of the day Monday through Friday, BART is discussing several plans to shuttle them in buses. A systemwide late start would almost certainly make those predawn commuters cranky by forcing them to board buses or get behind the wheel and take to the highways, which are already getting increasingly more crowded at 4 a.m. Recent Metropolitan Transportation Commission reports showed that traffic on the Bay Bridge during that hour was up 36 percent over the past two years with steep increases on the Richmond-San Rafael and San Mateo bridges as well. On Tuesday, BART Director Joel Keller asked the transit agency’s staff to consider adopting the schedule change this year, but said it should be dependent on a plan to take care of displaced riders. A transportation consultant, hired to study BART’s maintenance efforts, had told the committee that the transit system needed to make tough decisions and carve out more time for work crews to rebuild the aging infrastructure. Unless it steps up its maintenance efforts, Wallgren told the committee, BART runs the risk of falling into a downward cycle of disrepair, decreasing reliability and declining ridership, he said. The amount of time work crews currently have to perform maintenance work on the system is restricted by BART’s two-track configuration, the limited number of places available for workers to get on and off the tracks and its 4 a.m.-to-midnight weekday operating hours, with the last train ending service after 1:30 a.m. Those factors leave crews just 45 to 90 minutes each weeknight for maintenance work, he said, and that’s not enough. Because of Measure RR, BART is on track to avoid such problems, said Wallgren, but more time has to be made for maintenance.
Furor grows over SF right-wing rally plans
SFGate Bay Area News Stories, Tue, 15 Aug 2017
San Francisco’s top political leaders piled on Tuesday in opposition to a right-wing group’s planned rally next week at Crissy Field, with Mayor Ed Lee expressing outrage that the National Park Service granted a permit for the event and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi questioning whether it had been approved “under guidance from the White House.” [...] the local managers of the Presidio, a national park site, said the group’s politics made no difference because it had a constitutional right to a permit — as long as public safety isn’t endangered. Pelosi, Lee and Sen. Dianne Feinstein said their fear is that law enforcement won’t be able to ensure public safety, especially in the aftermath of Saturday’s violence at a rally of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Va. A woman was killed and 19 people were hurt when a man who has espoused neo-Nazi views allegedly drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area tentatively issued a permit to the group Patriot Prayer for the Crissy Field rally before last weekend’s violence. Patriot Prayer says on its website that it is “about fighting corruption and big government with the strength and power of love ... and extending free speech for all.” The group is ostensibly religious, but its purpose is really “an attempt to provoke black-clad ideologues on the left into acts of violence,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks alleged hate groups. [...] the National Park Service’s decision to permit a white supremacist rally at Crissy Field raises grave and ongoing concerns about public safety. Lee said he was “outraged” that the GGNRA had approved the permit “without proper planning and resources, given the public safety concerns.” [...] earlier, officials told us they couldn’t take the organizers’ political views into consideration in granting a permit. A posting on the Patriot Prayer Facebook page describes what it calls “Liberty Weekend in the Bay Area” — kicking off with the Aug. 26 gathering hosted by group organizer Joey Gibson, followed by a rally the next day at Martin Luther King Jr. At a City Hall news conference, Board of Supervisors President London Breed said, “We will do everything we can to stop this from happening in San Francisco.”
Company extorts suspected shoplifters, SF judge rules
SFGate Bay Area News Stories, Tue, 15 Aug 2017
The San Francisco city attorney’s office has notched a major legal victory in a long-running legal dispute with a retail services company that it accused of extorting and falsely imprisoning shoplifting suspects. Correctional Education Co., or CEC, partners with retailers and security firms to offer a $500 “corrective education” diversion program to people accused of shoplifting that allows them to avoid criminal charges. According to the 2015 lawsuit, apprehended shoplifting suspects are escorted by a retailer’s security personnel to “a secluded area in the back of the store,” where they’re shown a CEC video and offered the option of either admitting their guilt and enrolling in a six-hour “behavioral modification” course, or being sent to jail. CEC contends that its programs reduce the burden on local law enforcement agencies and give offenders an opportunity to avoid criminal charges and possible jail time while learning how to make better life choices. The company’s strategy of threatening to call police unless suspects admit guilt and pay for a CEC course represents “textbook extortion under California law, and has been so declared for at least 125 years and repeatedly reaffirmed by the California Supreme Court and Court of Appeal decisions,” Kahn said. “We should all be concerned about privatizing our justice system, especially when a business like Corrective Education Company uses the threat of criminal prosecution to intimidate and extort people,” Herrera said in a statement on Tuesday. Because Herrera’s office sued CEC on behalf of the state, Kahn’s ruling on the extortion and false imprisonment charges raises questions about whether the Utah company will be able to continue operating in California, and whether other states where CEC conducts business might be compelled to follow California’s lead.
Alameda County sheriff’s office catches heat for retweet of white nationalist
SFGate Bay Area News Stories, Tue, 15 Aug 2017
The public information officer for the Alameda County sheriff’s office apologized Tuesday for mistakenly retweeting a video of a press conference held by a prominent white supremacist. Sgt. Ray Kelly said he was doing research Monday night on neo-Nazi groups ahead of their planned Aug. 27 gathering in Berkeley when he accidentally retweeted Richard Spencer’s “Unite the Right” news conference to the more than 10,000 followers of the sheriff’s office. “I hit buttons at the bottom of the video and somehow it went up on our feed,” Kelly said, adding that he took full responsibility for the error. A number of local groups, including the California Immigrant Policy Center and Asian Law Caucus, planned to protest Wednesday evening in front of the sheriff’s office, saying that the retweet was part of a “disturbing pattern of racist, anti-immigrant comments and stances at the department.” Police agencies in the East Bay are on high alert in the wake of the deadly car crash in Charlottesville that killed a 32-year-old woman and injured 19 people who were protesting the white nationalist groups. Kelly said the sheriff’s office, Berkeley police and other departments are putting together a “robust plan” that includes creating an area for demonstrators that vehicles can’t reach.
Bay Area political events: Voter registration, Urban Shield
SFGate Bay Area News Stories, Tue, 15 Aug 2017
Bay Area political events: Voter registration, Urban Shield Political events Voter registration: Volunteers will help new U.S. citizens register to vote after swearing-in ceremony. Sponsored by Democracy Action, which works to advance Democratic candidates. From 10 a.m. to noon Thursday outside the Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland. Panel discussion on reforming Urban Shield. Panelists include David Muhammad, former Alameda County chief probation officer, and Reggie Lyles, a retired Berkeley police executive. People’s budget: A discussion of progressive, alternative budget priorities on the state and federal levels from 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 24 at the Unitarian Universalist center, 1187 Franklin St., San Francisco. Protest outside San Francisco Hall of Justice in opposition to antiabortion advocates David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, who are charged with felony invasion of privacy for allegedly secretly recording conversations with abortion providers. The Sister District Project is raising funds for Kathy Tran, who is running for the Virginia House of Delegates, by hosting a discussion with Rita Bosworth, the Sister District Project founder, and former Assemblyman Ted Lempert.
Alabama Woman Found Naked After Going Missing for a Month, Tue, 15 Aug 2017
An Alabama woman was found on Saturday naked and covered in bug bites after she went missing on July 18. Police are still working out what happened.
Assaults Still Being Reported Following Charlottesville Rally, Mon, 14 Aug 2017
Asked who was responsible for the violence, Police Chief Al Thomas curtly replied, "This was an alt-right rally." But he acknowledged many of the confrontations Saturday were fueled by "mutually combative individuals."