Your Voice: Police response too much?
Jan 10, 2014 | 9281 views | 31 31 comments | 216 216 recommendations | email to a friend | print
EDITOR,

I am writing this letter from a place of disgust and thirst for change. I’m a young female with a passion for social change and a desire to advocate. On Thursday Jan. 9, I’m willfully waiting for my laundry to finish while I sit outside the coin laundry on 11th Street, and that is when I see an officer from Tracy Police Department outside Grocery Outlet, with what I presume is his gun in his right hand. This intrigues me, as I continue to watch. Moments later, several other officers join him, guns steadily drawn. I find myself start to get nervous and my thoughts drift to a realm of different scenarios. Some time passes and very naturally, a young man of color exits the store with bright yellow bags in tote. He immediately drops his bags and puts his hands up, as if it were second nature. Unfortunately, his natural instinct has become a programmed response based on institutionalized oppression, as modeled before him through real life, social media and history. The cops handcuff him, guns still drawn. In my vision, cops surround him and look as if they are questioning him. I go back inside to finish my laundry, hoping that there was a reason for the several guns pulled on this young man. Twenty minutes pass and I look to my right (next to Pizza Hut) and there is that young man, yellow grocery bags in tote. Clearly, he wasn’t arrested or a threat to this community, as why else would they let him go. From my perspective, this young man was held at gunpoint for no reason. This is example of community-based trauma. I wonder to myself, if he was not a person of color, would the same tactile measures be used.

Amy Anglim, Tracy
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EllieS
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January 15, 2014
Facebook has a girl from Tracy with this name and she is White. Guess it's white guilt or Oakland brainwashing that has her looking for "institutionalized oppression".

So let's take a logical look at the situation that has Amy questioning the reaction of the police. IF a white man was the person coming from the building and was called in to have a weapon, would the police have reacted the same way? YES.

If an asian man had come out of the building and was called in to have a weapon, would the police have reacted the same way? YES.

If a hispanic man had come out of the building and was called in to have a weapon, would the police have reacted the same way? YES.

IF a woman had come out of the building and was called in to have a weapon, would the police have reacted the same way? YES.

So again, what is so earth shattering here?
EllieS
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February 06, 2014
Amy Rose is now her facebook profile. I guess she isn't proud of her words anymore?

https://www.facebook.com/amyrose1717?fref=ts
Hahahahahaha
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January 15, 2014
"I am writing this letter from a place of disgust and thirst for change."

So she wrote the letter before leaving the coin laundry?
Hahahahahaha
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January 15, 2014
Too soon?
ertion
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January 15, 2014
I'm not sure why several posters have faulted this young lady so energetically. Yes, if someone has made a weapons call to the PD, and the person at the scene matches a description, handcuffing appears to be standard procedure, not racial. It is unlikely this was a stop and frisk New York style, which is illegal.

Yet, I would not be so quick as those posters seem to be to assume any police action is blameless and virtuous. Cato Institute posts a daily log of documented police abuses (http://www.policemisconduct.net/), for those who care to inform themselves. Police officers can and do, on occasion, conduct themselves badly, even criminally to the point of murder. They *are* people after all, not saints.

The police have an awful power and they should be watched like a hawk by the citizens. At all times. Kudos to the writer of the column for making an observation and raising the question.
Hahahahahaha
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January 15, 2014
To answer your question honestly, the reason is that this young lady was not simply “making an observation and raising the question.” In reality, what she did was tell only certain details of a specific incident that was, by her own words, only partly witnessed by her as she moved in and out of the business across the street. Then she took these details that she personally picked from the scenario and used them in an ignorant attempt to explain why some people, obviously including her, view people firstly by their race and whether their race automatically makes them the perpetually oppressed or the constant oppressor. Instead of asking questions herself, this very confused young lady filled in the blanks with quick assumptions and then wrote a letter to the editor that amounts to nothing more than pure race baiting. This type of thing happens far too often nowadays, usually by professional race baiters like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Ben Jealous, or by some young liberal arts major with no real world experiences who takes a few sociology or psychology classes at a college down the road and then declares themselves educated, enlightened and truly sympathetic to the downtrodden.
Hahahahahaha
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January 15, 2014
I do appreciate your mention of the Cato Institute in your response. Unlike Amy Anglim, the Cato Institute is highly regarded as unbiased and very honest and factual in their reports. But since Ms. Anglim is so intent on making this a race issue and you seem to be suggesting the use of research and statistics, I’m curious about such statistics as they relate to both crime and race. If I really cared to have a thorough race-based argument here, I’d probably research statistics on violent crimes, which often lead to law enforcement officers un-holstering their weapons, and if a specific race is responsible for committing a disproportionate number of those violent crimes and possibly even how effective law enforcement officers perceive these precautions to be in regards to personal and public safety when responding to emergency calls. If what Amy says in her letter is accurate and honest, these statistics may in fact answer the question that you believe she is raising.

Fortunately, I don’t care to have such a race-based argument. But if I ever do, I’ll just follow Amy’s lead and rant about it in a public letter to the editor in the Tracy Press.
ertion
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January 15, 2014
hmmm.

"I see an officer from Tracy Police Department outside Grocery Outlet, with what I presume is his gun in his right hand...Moments later, several other officers join him, guns steadily drawn."

Looks like an observation to me. And...

"From my perspective, this young man was held at gunpoint for no reason. This is example of community-based trauma. I wonder to myself, if he was not a person of color, would the same tactile measures be used."

Looks like a question within somewhat of an assertion to me. This piece was thoughtful in tone; although it is in need of remedial English it is not a rant IMO. I think y'all are reading things into this piece.

Just curious, do you think race is a non factor when a police officer does an initial threat assessment?
victor_jm
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January 15, 2014
Ertion,

No one was suggesting the actions of police officers in this country are always "blameless and virtuous."

And, yes, police officers aren't "saints," but how many of us report to work knowing we will have to deal with individuals who behave (or behaved) poorly?

Perhaps, citizens--like hawks--ought to watch other citizens.

Would you provide us with the links of reported abuses that occur in this country by non-police officers. (On second thought, don't worry about it.)

ertion
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January 16, 2014
victor_jm, your comparison is really apples to oranges.

Police have the authority to arrest and throw citizens in jail, carry weapons and use them in the course of their duties. And to break into people's houses when serving warrants. And any number of other things, which, if done unlawfully or negligently, or maliciously, can cause great harm to innocent folk and pose a threat to our safety.

I can protect myself from the bad guys, quite possibly. I cannot protect myself from a bad cop.

The bar is higher for them, as it should be given the gravity of their position. Sorry, but that comes with the job. So, yes, if the police break into the wrong house or apartment by mistake in our town, or shoots someone without cause, or arrests someone just because they feel insulted by a person and desire payback, then that is a threat to all of us. If a cop has a bad moral character, that will come out when he/she is on the job as well.

We are fortunate to live in a town small enough/run well enough to make these kinds of things rare here. We need to stay watchful to help keep it rare.

As for the non cops, yeah, well, I do keep one eye open in that direction too.

Krauthammer
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January 14, 2014
Just over 40 yrs ago I was coming home from work and 5 blacks in a yellow Camero were chasing 1 black in his giant old Plymoth. They passed me at about 90 mph. The big plymoth tried to to do a U turn at high speed and crashed into a parked car. He jumped out and it looked like his knees were popping 6 ft. high as he ran. The Camero side skidded to a a stop and the five other blacks unloaded there pistols trying to kill him as he ran. I and my carpool buddy had stopped and were hiding behind my dash hoping stray bullits wouldn't hit us. When the firing stopped we took off and found a pay phone and called the police. The neighborhood where my plant was was next to a high crime neighborhood. There were shootings there almost daily by black on black and believe me the police were afraid to go on calls there. Amy, police take all precautions for good reason. Don't listen to propaganda and lies.
108MW
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January 14, 2014
I sure hope you used a "pen name" Amy. A few bigger words cannot hide the colossal evidence of stupidity and small minded thinking in your rant.
GunslingerA10
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January 14, 2014
Good letter Amy, you bring controversy to the table for discussion by all views. Whom of you believe that you view is more correct than another. It may or may not be what it is, but would tazers be safer to use prior to shots being fired.

Races is and always will be an issue, no matter how evolved be believe we become, unlike our first amendment, race mixture to the point of obscurity is a pipe dream.

When the language of the land is singular race will cease to be an issue. Least we abolish all tolerance humans will continue to inhabit enclaves of their choosing to the chagrin of mutt lovers.

Hahahahahaha
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January 14, 2014
Huh?
HarryPoter
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January 13, 2014
Hi Amy,

You should connect with pcmiles?
finditfunny66
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January 13, 2014
WOW!!! HMMMM!!!Are You Freakin kidding with the white guilt crap? See...looks like it is about color.
EllieS
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January 12, 2014
I find it so interesting that Amy is doing the same thing to the police that she accuses them of doing to people of 'color': making assumptions without knowing what is going on. Ms Anglim tries to suggest that they wait outside businesses with their weapons drawn and harass the first person of color coming out. In reality, the police were responding, as any other department in America would, to a call for a person with a weapon. It keeps the public, police and criminals safe the way they handle these situations. Tracy PD and any other department isn't being racist, but rather following procedure for different types of calls. But you didn't take the time to think about what might be going on. You made an assumption that they are racist and went into your angry social activist mode. So you are doing exactly what you are angry at what you thought the police were doing....you saw their uniform and automatically thought they were causing 'community based trauma'. Shame on you for being a HUGE hypocrite. Please, before you spew your garbage, educate yourself on police procedure. And I ask, do people unwillingly wait for laundry to finish?!!
tracythoughts
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January 12, 2014
Could it be that Amy is also a "person of color?" Why the hell does everything always come back to race!?
newtotracy
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January 15, 2014
https://www.facebook.com/amy.anglim?fref=ts

it appears that Miss Anglim may be of Latino descent...so technically, yes, a POC.

however...there is no reason this needs to be a race issue...I'm white as can be and I'd have dropped to the freaking ground and peed my pants if I came out to officers with guns drawn! I'm no criminal, but you don't mess around at that point...you comply and help in any way that you can.

what I do find interesting is that Miss Anglim is upset at racial discrimination here...and upset over Trayvon Martin from her FB page...but also has an image that uses the "n" word...("sometimes the realest n**** is your girl)(not full "n" word...ends with a not er)

from what it sounds like from MY observation...she's a young girl who really cares, but is young enough to not have the experience that some of us grizzled cranky buggers have... :-) she means well, but may be a bit rose colored...like that Fruitvale Station movie...

I will say...she's a fan of Buster Posey...so she's got some taste there! :-)
BuzzLiteyear
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January 11, 2014
This'd really be something that if the newspaper was managed by the previous owner, some fifty years ago; would never had made it past the editor.

OMG
HiddenLake37
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January 11, 2014
Amy,

Are you really that naive? Do you even read the Police Log? My suggestion to you, if indeed you are truly interested in Police response tactics, is to go on a "Ride Along" some time. Talk to our local Police Officers and get their perspective on crime in the area. Then maybe you will have a clue, although you never may never "Truly" understand (unless you work as one). Most of the public does not understand what Police Officers go through on a daily basis.

I'm sure Race had absolutely nothing to do with it other than the fact that he fit the description of a possible suspect and was legally detained for investigation and identification and then allowed to leave. Be thankful for TPD for doing their job helping you have a safe and entertaining laundering experience...
STANLEY602
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January 11, 2014
From the sounds of this letter one can already see Amy doesn't like cops or authority and is suffering from some type of wannabe educated sounding jailhouse lawyer from Berkeley. Note to Amy, the next time you are confronted by some thug be sure to call the cops, maybe you can ask them same cops personally what took place. White guilt Amy, get past it and move on.
Island006
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January 11, 2014
This is article doesn't make any sense. As a reader, it sounds like the writer doesn't have the correct information as to why the police were there. I'm also at a loss as to why the writer believes this is community based trauma and what the meaning of tactile measures means? If this writer has a passion to change things, then she should have talked to the police and talked to the subject who got handcuffed. Please Amy, with your passion for social change and a desire to advocate, update your post when you find out what happened to clarify things to your readers. Thank you.
victor_jm
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January 10, 2014


"His natural instinct has become a programmed response based on institutionalized oppression, as modeled before him through real life, social media and history." (Sorry, but the theories of B.F. Skinner have long been debunked, though sometimes I wonder ...)

I am pondering whether the writer of this intellectually-irresponsible letter is affected by the same "institutionalized oppression" she deems at the heart of black male psychology.

PublicCitizen
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January 10, 2014
Institutionalized by the schools no doubt.

And suffering from "white guilt"
justathoughthere
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January 10, 2014
Or you could stop being nosey and just read a book till your laundry is finished
C3TJ
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January 10, 2014
In other words, you have absolutely no idea what the circumstances were and what might've been reported to the police before their response. You fault the police for jumping to conclusions, but isn't your letter doing the very same thing?
jimf01
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January 10, 2014
Ms Anglim - I do not know what YOUR instinct is, but I can say as a cultural opposite of the young man you describe (I am white), it is also my natural instinct to immediately drops my bags and put my hands up, as if it were second nature, when confronted by armed police officers giving orders to do so.

Our police officers are trained to do this, and with good reason. If there is an alarm or call to 911, arriving officers do not know who is inside, nor what they are up to. They are trainedd to render the situation safe for the public. Did you ever stare out from your laundromat window and see a police officer, with his gun drawn, ordering a white person to go on his way in the same situation? Of course you didn't.

Your physical distance from the situation and lack of knowledge of what was actually taking place make your writing (and the Tracy Press printing of it) absolutely appalling to me. If this was so concerning to you, why didn't you ask the young man what had happened after he crossed over to your side of the street?
jimf01
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January 10, 2014
Here's another question for the writer. If someone came to the laundromat with violent intent while you were doing your laundry, would you not want those same Tracy Police officers to arrive promptly at your location, guns in hand, ready to risk their safety to keep you safe?
fortheunderdog
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January 10, 2014
I do not have any knowledge on what was going on but it appears to me that there may have been a "211 alarm" (armed robbery) activated by the store. Sounds like the first officer at the scene took a position at the front of the store. In this situation, it's normal for the officer to have a weapon drawn for his safety. As other officers arrived they too would have their weapons drawn. If no information was given, re: suspect description, the first person coming out would normally be taken into custody and cuffed. He is cuffed for his safety and the safety of the officers. It appears they questioned him and released him after ascertaining he was not involved. More than likely, it was a false alarm triggered by an employee. Code 4, 10-8.


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