For background on this issue: http://janbtucker.com/blog/2013/11/24/save-the-proud-bird/
For background on this issue: http://janbtucker.com/blog/2013/11/24/save-the-proud-bird/
Nelson Mandela was a great human being, but I wouldn’t have voted for him in South African elections or the ANC. The ANC’s role was closer in an American context to that of Martin Luther King, although unlike King the ANC and Mandela did use violent revolutionary activities to promote their political aims.
Closer to the position of the Black Panthers and icons like Malcolm X was the Pan Africanist Congress which broke off from the ANC. While the ANC called for “one person one vote,” the PAC called for “one settler, one bullet.”
Following the end of formal Apartheid, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission approach to rectifying the Nazi like horrific crimes perpetrated against non-white minorities in South Africa was a dismal failure as most whites refused to fess up or cooperate with it. Consequently, South Africa’s equivalent of Nazi war criminals (actually, some of them ARE/WERE NAZIs; look at former South African prime ministers Verwoerd, who was a member of the pro-German Nazi Broederbond Society and his successor, Vorster, a member of the pro-German Nazi Ossewa Brandwag) have never been made to account for their crimes. If the PAC had come to power, there would have been a reckoning, just as Jews have made Nazis account for their crimes whenever and wherever we hunt them down.
People may justifiably argue that lives were spared by the peaceful transition of power from whites to the ANC, but I ask, how many lives have been lost due to the institutional continuance of the oppressive South African economy which has recently resulted in the murders of striking mine workers as just the latest outrage?
Detective’s Diary has been keeping watch on the aftermath of the death of 13 year old Andy Lopez in the outskirts of Santa Rosa October 22 of this year. Andy was gunned down by sheriff deputy Erick William Gelhaus within seconds after Gelhaus saw the middle school student walking along Moorland Avenue with a bb gun. Our friend and colleague, Private Investigator Alex Salazar, has been working on the case for the Lopez family’s attorneys (one of whom is, like Jan B. Tucker, a 1970s era CSU Northridge Mechista).
The killing is being “investigated” by the Santa Rosa Police Department while many activists, community residents, and outraged citizens are calling upon the District Attorney Jill Ravitch to bring criminal charges against the law enforcement officer, a highly trained weapons instructor.
A public records search of campaign filings was made of the incumbent Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas who is seeking another term next year by longtime Peace & Freedom Party activist and Detective’s Diary reporter Irv Sutley. The Freitas financial documents show that the sheriff (whose employee, Deputy Gelhaus is under investigation by the SRPD) has as his campaign committee treasurer one Ernesto Olivares. Mr. Olivares is not only a former high ranking officer of the Santa Rosa Police Department and now a current Santa Rosa city council member but was also formerly city mayor. The Freitas-Olivares connection ordinarily might not have attracted much comment other than being just another example of the old boys network among county law enforcement.
That is until Sutley while going through the Freitas for sheriff campaign documents came across the committee’s physical address: 415 Steele Lane, Santa Rosa, California. This location is property owned by the City of Santa Rosa and is the headquarters of the Recreation, Parks, & Community Service programs of the City of Santa Rosa.
Sutley, a Peace and Freedom Party organizer since February 1967 who served as State Chair from 1970-72, says the filings clearly show that council member Olivares is breaking the law and misusing city assets and city property in furtherance of his personal management of the campaign on behalf of the county sheriff:
“No candidate or campaign committee has the right to misappropriate public property or public monies while pursuing their political ambitions. There needs to be an investigation of Ernesto Olivares in this matter. Did the sheriff know and when did he know? The city attorney, the district attorney, the state Attorney General and possibly federal agencies need to look into these Olivares misdeeds in the Steve Freitas campaign. A corrupt individual relationship like this in electoral matters may indicate that there can not be justice for Andy Lopez when these same individuals are and have been part and parcel of ‘investigating’ each other’s ‘good shootings’ which are always held to be justified.”
The historic Proud Bird Restaurant, a 47 year LAX-area community icon, is scheduled to close due to unresolved lease issues with airport management. Please help save the restaurant and the 104 jobs of the employees.
The Proud Bird is a virtual museum with the photographic history of the early aviation industry, including photographs and monuments to the Tuskegee Airmen; early women aviators like African American Bessie Coleman and Amelia Earhart; an Israeli pilot who fought in Israel’s war of independence, and many, many others. It has served as a critical meeting space for community events, hosting the Los Angeles Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen just a few days after they returned from President Obama’s inauguration in 2009.
Here’s what you can do to help:
Please attend the Board of Airport Commissioners meeting on Monday December 2, 2013 at 1:30 pm at the Los Angeles World Airports Administration Building, 1 World Way, 1st floor commission meeting room, Los Angeles, CA 90045. If you wish to speak, please complete a speaker’s card to address the commission during “Public comment.”
If you cannot attend the meeting, please send an email to LAXBOAC@lawa.org
Please ask any family members or friends to do the same.
For further information, email Parviz Gerami, General Manager, The Proud Bird: firstname.lastname@example.org
RSVP for the protest at the airport commission: https://www.facebook.com/events/501759103270719/?notif_t=plan_user_joined
Letter to City Powers that be….
November 29, 2013
Honorable Mayor Eric Garcetti
Honorable City Attorney Mike Feuer
Honorable Controller Ron Galperin
(by email and fax)
Board of Airport Commissioners
World Airports Administration Bldg
1 World Way, 1st Floor
Los Angeles CA 90045
By Email: LAXBOAC@lawa.org
RE: THE PROUD BIRD
Honorable Mayor Garcetti, City Attorney Feuer, City Controller Galperin and Honorable BOA Commissioners:
The California League of Latin American Citizens (CALLAC), California’s affiliate of the National League of Latin American Citizens (NLLAC) is opposed to any action of the BOAC that does not fully accommodate the continued existence of THE PROUD BIRD (TPB) at its present location.
EFFECTS ON COMPETITION
In the past I formerly served as a branch officer or activist in three (3) NAACP branches (San Fernando Valley, Inglewood South Bay, and Compton) as well as former Special Assistant to the late Valerie Monroe when she was Southern California Legal Redress Chair of the California State Conference NAACP. Based upon that background and experience I am concerned that any action by the BOAC that ejects TPB from its present location will have a profound effect on competition for banquet and event facilities, especially for African American community organizations in the area.
There are other facilities that compete for business in the region. That existing competition enables community organizations to seek and select from competing bids for NAACP Freedom Fund events, Tuskegee Airmen sponsored events, church events, and a whole host of other community functions. These facilities are vital to the preservation and existence of NGO functionality in the area. Eliminating just one of them, especially TPB, will upset the delicate balance of competition in the area and very likely raise the cost to non-profit NGOs in the region for their critical historical and ongoing events.
Historical, Educational & Inspirational Value
At https://www.facebook.com/jan.b.tucker you will find my Facebook page photo which features me with my godson, Hassan from 2009, taken at TPB. Hassan had just given his first ever public speech for his graduation ceremony from a Compton Airport flight program sponsored by the Los Angeles Chapter of the Tusekegee Airmen. Members of that chapter had just returned from President Barack Obama’s inauguration in Washington DC.
Many people share fond memories of TPB and events that have taken place there. I am however less concerned about reminiscences of the past that I am about the future. Airport museums exist in the area, but none shares the draw of an easily accessible and well run dining facility to draw people in to learn about the history of flight who would not otherwise seek out a flight museum to take their children to. Nor do any competing museums offer such an important array of photographic representations of women and minority aviators.
If you vote to eliminate TPB from its current location, you must be personally prepared to accept the responsibility for answering the following questions:
Where will girls be able to see inspiring photos of Amelia Earhart?
Where will African American girls get a chance to see photos of Bessie Colemen?
Where will African American children see photos of Tuskegee Airmen who came from their neighborhoods in the Los Angeles area?
Where will Jewish children be able to see a monument to a US Marine Corp. pilot, Captain Lou Lenart, who went on to serve as a pilot for the Haganah in Israel’s war of independence?
If you vote to eliminate TPB, you vote to eliminate inspiration and opportunities for children.
Respectfully Yours, Jan B. tucker
As I posted this my great friend, camarada, companero and board member of the California League of Latin American Citizens, Private Investigator Alex Salazar, was hard at work in Santa Rosa doing an independent investigation of the death of Andy Lopez for his family’s attorneys. Small world, one of the attorneys turns out to be a fellow CSU Northridge Mechista from way back and a friend of my companero Eugene Hernandez from their days at CSUN. You can read more about Alex’s background at his website: http://www.renegadepopo.com/
Meanwhile, I put Alex and my great buddy from way back, Irv Sutley, in touch with Alex and he immediately pulled the following background from (our mutual friend) Mary K. Moore’s Sonoma County Free Press:
Courtesy of Mary Moore, publisher of the Sonoma County Free Press:
30. Richard Desantis -30- Died April 9, 2007 – in front of his home after being shot twice with a handgun, a rifle and with plastic bullets by Santa Rosa Police, who were told by his wife in a clear and loud voice, that this was a mental health emergency and that her husband was unarmed. Officer Travis Menke, Sgt. Richard Celli, Officer Patricia Mann.
31. Walter L. Heller -55- Died April 22, 2007 – after suffering a brain injury as he fell to the ground in front of his home while unarmed, after being shot twice with Tasers by Petaluma Police Officers. Officers Gary Buffo, Jason Lechleiter and Dustin Rodrigues.
32. Luis Felipe Sanchez -27- Died May 4, 2007 – after being shot seven times by Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputies after they entered the home of his girlfriend and cornered him in a bathroom. Deputies Mike Frank, Greg Myers and Joe Dulworth
33. Richard Lamont Williamson Jr. -54- Died June 17, 2007 - according to the Sheriff’s Department while suffering from withdrawal in the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility.
34. Ryan George -22- Died July 9, 2007 – while suffering from sickle cell anemia in the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility after repeated requests by his family for treatment by his personal physician. [See federal lawsuit filed by George's family below]**
35. Gregorey William Townsley -46- Died September 24, 2007 – according to the Sheriff’s Department while suffering from withdrawal in the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility. Mr. Townsley was a houseless resident of Santa Rosa.
36. Jesse Hamilton -24- Died January 2, 2008 - a mental health client, was shot by Santa Rosa Police who were responding to a mental health crisis call.
37. Samuel Antonio Castillo-Martinez -37- Died March 13, 2008 – in custody at the Sonoma County Honor farm. An autopsy revealed no signs of trauma or other suspicious circumstances, and Sheriff’s officials say that this 37 year old man, in otherwise perfect health, may have died from “cardiac-related natural causes”
38. Heather Smith (Billings) -31- Died March 16, 2008 – after being shot by Rohnert Park Police who were responding to a mental health crisis call.
39. Leobardo Medina Pacheco – 38 - April 21, 2008 succumbed in hospital after found hanging in Sonoma County Jail on April 18.
40. Guy James Fernandez – 42 – November 10, 2008 Taser death at the hands of Rohnert Park Public Safety. According to the Sheriff, Fernandez may have been under the influence of methamphetamine.
41. Craig Von Dohlen -37- December 6, 2008 – shot when confronting Sheriff’s deputies with a rifle
42. Nathan Vaughn -39- December 22, 2008 – Killed by Taser Sheriff’s Department. Had called day before asking to be taken into custody
43. Jon Gerald Moore -44- September 18, 2009 Died in Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility. “No obvious signs of trauma and nothing suspicious.”
44. Teresa Ellen Hagan – 44 – January 22, 2010 – Died and found hanging in a “padded sobering cell” and later on died in the hospital.
45. Albert Mike Leday, Jr -June 1, 2010- Coddingtown- shot and killed by Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Fuston after high speed chase. 3rd person killed by Fuston. [See below for Sonoma County District Attorney's press release exonerating Fuston]*
46. Michael Lee Molgard -34- September 9, 2010 apparently jumped to his death from a high railing in Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility.
47. Nicodemus Sullivan October 31, 2010 – Shot and killed by Sheriff’s Deputies and CHP after cops mistakenly thought he was “ramming” cop cars. 41 shots fired.
48. Brian Leonard Gittings -44- December 5, 2010 - died after he appeared to have trouble breathing at the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility.
49. William Jackson – 59- April 15, 2011 died after suffering “medical distress” at North County Detention Facility
50. Gary Pickard Jr. – 27- June 26, 2011 – shot twice by Sheriff’s Deputies
51. Pablo Perez Ramirez – 25- November 25, 2011 – pulled a revolver from his waistband and was killed by Sebastopol PD officer
52. Richard Shreckengaust – 37- March 2, 2013 – killed by Sheriff’s Deputies in Guerneville.
53. Neils Conrad -55- April 22, 2013 – found unconscious on the floor of the dorm room bathroom at the North County Detention Facility.
54. Urbano Moreno Morales – 48- June 9, 2013 killed by Windsor Police (Sheriff) after he had killed his ex-girlfriend and charged police.
55. Christopher Eric Augustin -37- October 15, 2013- Man dies after struggle with Santa Rosa Police Department. The man appeared to suffer some kind of medical emergency after police confronted him at the apartment, police officials said. Death is being investigated by Sonoma County Sheriff’s office.
56. Andy Lopez Cruz – 13 – October 22, 2013 – Andy Lopez Cruz was shot by a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy while he walking through an open field carrying a plastic replica of an AK47 in broad daylight, in Santa Rosa.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 9, 2010
Media Coordinator, Terry Menshek (707) 565-3098
Media Spokesperson, Assistant District Attorney Diana Gomez
Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California
PATROL SERGEANT LEGALLY JUSTIFIED IN SHOOTING DEATH AT END OF
HIGH SPEED PURSUIT WITH PAROLEE
District Attorney Stephan Passalacqua announced today that a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office patrol sergeant was legally justified in using deadly force at the conclusion of a high speed pursuit. Sergeant Mark Fuston had been in a high speed pursuit with a parolee, Albert Mike Leday, 49, of Santa Rosa, which came to an abrupt conclusion when Leday failed to negotiate a turn in the roadway and crashed his vehicle into a light pole near the Coddingtown Library. Leday immediately exited his car, took a fighting stance, and began threatening to shoot and kill Sergeant Fuston. Leday made several movements with one of his hands attempting to retrieve something from his waistband and was clearly acting as if he was armed with a weapon. Sergeant Fuston fired in self defense and Leday died from the resultant injury.
Leday was on parole for a burglary he committed in Rohnert Park in 2003 at the time of this incident and was currently being investigated for a criminal offense. He had an extensive criminal history of arrests and convictions, including a prior burglary in 1987 in Redwood City, for crimes involving drug offenses, theft related offenses, assaultive conduct, and crimes against peace officers. Recent methamphetamine use was also a factor contributing to his out-of-control behavior. He had also recently stated his desire not to go back to jail.
Leday had a legal duty to submit to the deputies original lawful show of authority when he activated his patrol vehicle’s emergency lighting and siren. Instead of lawful submission, Leday chose to unlawfully evade the police by driving recklessly, ignoring speed limits, driving into on-coming lanes of traffic, through stop signs, through stop lights, endangering pedestrians and other motorists; in sum, driving in a reckless and wanton manner in order to evade police contact or capture which put the community at great risk or injury or death.
Given the inherent unpredictability of this high speed pursuit and its abrupt conclusion with Leday colliding with a light pole, it was reasonable for Sergeant Fuston, as well as the other responding deputies, to exit their vehicles and immediately draw and train their weapons on Leday. The elements of unpredictability and potential danger must reasonably be met with extreme caution. Leday’s evasion did not end voluntarily, but as a result of his losing control of his vehicle.
The law does not require a progressive escalation in the force which is employed in these types of situations because the exigencies of real world law enforcement do not make such a course of conduct always feasible. That is because such a progression is not reasonable under many real world situations in which an officer is faced with a direct and immediate threat to life and limb.
Sergeant Fuston was in a distinctively marked patrol vehicle, he was in a distinctively marked uniform, and had previously announced himself with emergency lights and siren. There was simply no mistaking him for anything but a law enforcement officer. Even a violent collision with a light pole did not bring the encounter to a peaceful conclusion.
Though witness accounts differ somewhat in detail, it is overwhelmingly clear that Leday feigned armed resistance and directed threats to Sergeant Fuston. Leday was being aggressive in his demeanor and even more aggressive with his words and threats to kill Sergeant Fuston. Moreover, Leday was making movements with his hands to the area of his waste in a fashion which made it entirely reasonable for Sergeant Fuston to believe that a weapon was going to be produced and for him to reasonably believe, therefore, that he was in imminent danger of being killed.
No show of authority stopped Leday; a collision did not stop him; and even having been shot, he did not immediately stop.
The law imposes upon Sergeant Fuston (or anyone confronted with the same or similar circumstances as presented in this case) the duty to behave reasonably. Sergeant Fuston did behave reasonably under the circumstances; in stark contrast to Leday who was behaving wildly and unpredictably and in a fashion which would suggest to a reasonable person (based on all of the information known to Sergeant Fuston, coupled with Leday’s suspicious and threatening movement’s) that they were in imminent peril of serious bodily injury or death.
Immediately after the shooting the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office invoked the Sonoma County Law Enforcement Employee-Involved Fatal Incident Protocol (“protocol”). The purpose of this protocol is to set forth procedures and guidelines to be used by Sonoma County law enforcement agencies in the criminal investigation of specifically defined incidents involving law enforcement employees. Under this protocol an outside law enforcement agency is designated to investigate officer-involved fatalities.
In this case members of the Santa Rosa Police Department assumed responsibility for the investigation of the shooting incident. Members of the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office participated in the investigation in a supporting role, in accordance with the protocol. Under the protocol the role of the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office is to review the investigation to determine if there exists any criminal liability on the part of involved parties, including the law enforcement employee(s); to provide assistance to the investigating agency regarding legal issues; to supplement the investigation when necessary; and, when appropriate, prosecute those persons believed to have violated the criminal law. Once the investigation is complete the District Attorney is required by the protocol to complete a thorough review of the investigation and prepare a report summarizing the investigation and documenting his conclusions. A copy of this report is submitted to the foreman of the Sonoma County Grand Jury.
The District Attorney does not examine issues such as compliance with the policies and procedures of any law enforcement agency, police training, or issues involving civil liability. Neither the report submitted to the Grand Jury under the protocol, nor this statement, should be interpreted as expressing any opinion on those matters.
In mid June, major news media, especially the Los Angeles Times (June 14, 2013) began reporting about how Iranian-American developer Eskandar E. Bolour was getting engulfed in the scandals involving Los Angeles County Assessor Juan Renaldo “John” Noguez when he was hit with search warrants aimed at finding out whether Bolour had been laundering campaign donations for Noguez. My sources tell me that Bolour may just be the second Iranian-American to get caught up in the investigation, but he isn’t likely to be the last. It’s first important that charged with a bribery scheme in exchange for lower tax bills along with Assessor Noguez is Iranian-American “Tax Consultant” (an unregulated profession in California) Ramin Salari.
Well before his current woes in connection with his bribery prosecution, Ramin, according to an April 19, 2012 Los Angeles Weekly article, he was accused by his own cousin in a lawsuit of being a “thief,” a “crook,” a “liar” and a “charlatan.” The Weekly also exposed Ramin as having threatened deputy assessors with disciplinary action if they didn’t see eye to eye with his demands for lowered property tax assessments and had faced accusations of failing to turn over subpoenaed evidence.
So, who would I be looking at if I was in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office? If I was a suspicious individual, I’d be looking at another Bolour, Mehdi Bolour.
First and foremost, Mehdi held a fundraiser at his $30,000,000 Beverly Hills mansion for John Noguez’s election campaign. Secondly, it’s not like he has no history of coordinating his campaign contributions with Eskandar: at least as early as September 19, 1995, both of them just happened to make contributions to “Citizens for Waters” (as in Rep. Maxine Waters) and I don’t actually think that it was by coincidence. Incidentally (“coincidentally” maybe….) the contributions were for identical amounts as well.
Campaign contributors to Noguez seemed to have this coincidental ability to wind up with extreme property tax reductions. Take the Namvar family (like Mehdi Bolour, Iranian-Jewish). An October 18, 2012 letter to then District Attorney Steve Cooley from a group calling itself “Namvar Creditors” said:
As your office is aware, one of the largest property value reductions was for Mr. Salari’s client, Houshang Sean Namvar. Sean Namvar and members of his family are also involved with over Billion Dollar scam that has destroyed the lives of hundreds of families and thousands of individuals, including widows and orphans, in our community. This is the same Sean Namvar who is living in an $8,000,000.00 mansion paid for with money stolen from his Victims. This is the same mansion he bribed John Noguez for. The Namvars and their co-conspirators have a history of bribery, corruption, fraud, and host of other crimes, please do not just take our word for it for the Trustees involved in the Namvar Bankruptcy cases have alleged the same. Sean Namvar’s eldest brother, Ezri Namvar, has already been convicted and is serving time for his involvement for just a portion of his crimes.
Reliable sources tell me that a potential investigation by the District Attorney’s office in connection with his activities on behalf of John Noguez is not the only thing Mehdi has to worry about these days. The man has a penchant for making enemies and in spite of the fact that he’s probably a billionaire, if not at least a millionaire hundreds of times over, he has a reputation of having gotten to that status by (a) being a cheapskate who nickels and dimes even his “friends” in business deals and (b) by making lots of enemies. Several of his so-called “handshake deals” (deals that are inevitably complicated, convoluted, and which wind up frequently screwing his friends while he winds up holding the bag of loot at the end) are about to blow up in his face. In fact it’s been suggested to me that Mehdi will soon be facing a private civil suit with purportedly nasty allegations about his business practices.
My blog just passed 3/4 of a million page hits! Congrats to myself and thanks to my readers who have helped me achieve this important milestone!
Unique Pages Served: 30383 Total Sessions: 223025Total Page Hits: 750019
(as of 6:40 p.m. 10/8/13)
Note especially the Littlerock Town Council Resolution documents following the exchange between Attorney Olaf Landsgaard and the Local Agency Formation Commission….for past context, see:
Come and see a lecture on the Lawrence Singleton — Mary Vincent case, 10/10/13 –
Excerpts from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Singleton
On September 29, 1978, Singleton picked up 15-year-old Mary Vincent of Las Vegas while she was hitchhiking in Berkeley, California, raped her, and then severed both her forearms with a hatchet, throwing her off a 30-foot cliff outside of Modesto, California, leaving her naked and near death. She managed to pull herself back up the cliff and alert a passerby, who took her to a hospital. By the time Singleton was arrested, Vincent was fitted with prosthetic arms.
At Singleton’s trial six months after the assault, Vincent faced her assailant and relived the traumatic ordeal in court. Her testimony helped convict him. As she left the witness stand, he swore he would kill her. Singleton received a 14-year sentence, the maximum allowed by law in California at that time.
While Vincent won a $2.56 million civil judgment against Singleton, she was unable to collect it when Singleton revealed that he was unemployed, in poor health, and had only $200 in savings.
Along with the particularly gruesome and callous aspects of the crime, the case became even more notorious after Singleton was paroled after serving only eight years in prison. He was paroled to Contra Costa County, California, but no town would accept his presence, so he had to live in a trailer on the grounds of San Quentin until his parole ended a year later.
In the spring of 1997, a neighbor called police and reported seeing 69-year old Singleton strangling a nude woman in his house. When police arrived, they found Singleton drunk with his shirt open and blood smeared over his chest. Inside, police found the nude, bloody corpse of 31-year-old prostitute Roxanne Hayes; she had been stabbed seven times in the face and chest.[11