A Tale of Two Mothers-Part I


 

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Harriet Elliot, mother of Obediah R.  Elliot

Harriet Elliot, mother of Obediah R. Elliot

On television detective stories, drama imitating life, you usually have a situation where the police and the private investigator may have some friendly friction and rivalry – because that makes a good story line – but while pursuing a cold-case murder the police are generally cooperative with the private investigator who’s got more time and zeal to pursue the case to the finish. In real life, nothing could be further from the truth.

 

 

Section 6254(f) of the California Government Code, a provision of the California Public Records Act (the state equivalent of the federal Freedom of Information Act), says in pertinent part:

 

 

Records of complaints to, or investigations conducted by, or records of intelligence information or security procedures of, the office of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice, the Office of Emergency Services and any state or local police agency, or any investigatory or security files compiled by any other state or local police agency, or any investigatory or security files compiled by any other state or local agency for correctional, law enforcement, or licensing purposes. However, state and local law enforcement agencies shall disclose the names and addresses of persons involved in, or witnesses other than confidential informants to, the incident, the description of any property involved, the date, time, and location of the incident, all diagrams, statements of the parties involved in the incident, the statements of all witnesses, other than confidential informants, to the victims of an incident, or an authorized representative thereof, an insurance carrier against which a claim has been or might be made, and any person suffering bodily injury or property damage or loss, as the result of the incident caused by arson, burglary, fire, explosion, larceny, robbery, carjacking, vandalism, vehicle theft, or a crime as defined by subdivision (b) of Section 13951, unless the disclosure would endanger the safety of a witness or other person involved in the investigation, or unless disclosure would endanger the successful completion of the investigation or a related investigation. However, nothing in this division shall require the disclosure of that portion of those investigative files that reflects the analysis or conclusions of the investigating officer. [Emphasis added]

 

 

What this means is that the government doesn’t have to give you squat about any ongoing investigation and that is usually perfectly reasonable. Even if you’re the family of a murder victim, a lawyer representing the family, or a private investigator, for all the police know, somebody in the family could be a suspect and the reason for the request for information is to help the perpetrator escape justice.

 

 

California should amend this law because even when there is no suspicion whatsoever that the victim’s family was involved in a murder police use this provision as a loophole to refuse to provide information about a case. Maybe it happens but if it does, it’s rare that you can get a police report on a cold case, no matter how cold it is.

 

 

CointelproObediah R. Elliot was murdered November 17, 1992. From the LAPD’s perspective, it’s still an open case so they won’t release the death report, the autopsy report, or anything else to me on behalf of his mother, Harriet Elliot. Young African American Obediah – Obie to his mother – was a political activist like his parents and his parents were active in organizations that were targets of federal and local police surveillance and infiltration during the dark days of “COINTELPRO” and the now thoroughly discredited “Public Disorder Intelligence Division,” LAPD’s former infamous “red squad.” So it’s natural for Harriet to wonder whether the LAPD’s refusal to release any information about the murder of her son has something to do with that history of police misconduct.

 

 

Police Do Not CrossNow, imagine that your child died; it’s 22 years later and the LAPD won’t tell you anything about the case and won’t let your private investigator have the report (what’s called the “Murder Book” in law enforcement lingo) so that he/she can investigate the case now that it’s ice cold. Whether intended or not, the collateral damage of that police policy is extremely cruel and callous towards the family of the victim.

 

 

California needs to amend Section 6254(f) of the Government Code to provide that when a case has been “cold” for say, an arbitrary ten years, that in order to justify refusal to provide the Murder Book to a victim’s family or their legal/investigative representatives that the police show good cause for withholding it. The legitimate basis for withholding should be evidence that reasonably points to a family member or family friend as a suspect or that significant investigative efforts are in fact continuing and that the file isn’t just sitting in some filing cabinet.

*****

As an “oh by the way,” if you know anything about the murder of Obediah R. Elliot, please contact me at pi@janbtucker.com, on the record, off the record, or even anonymously or call me at 213.787.5476.

Sign below to express your support for changing California and local laws to require police and other law enforcement agencies to justify their withholding “murder books” from victims’ families, their attorneys and their private investigators when the case has remained unsolved for a decade or more:





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Pete Seeger tribute concert

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Ross Altman


 

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Mike Barry and Bernie Pearl

 

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Get Lit Players (Poets) Kyland Turner, Brian Martinez, Walter Finney

 

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Peter Alsop

 

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S. Pearl Sharp

S. Pearl Sharp

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ed Pearl, founder of the Ashgrove

Ed Pearl, founder of the Ashgrove

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave Alvin & Rick Shea

Dave Alvin & Rick Shea

 

 

 

 

 

 

Len Chandler

Len Chandler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS Jones, Eric Ahlberg, Jeff Landau

SS Jones, Eric Ahlberg, Jeff Landau

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art Goldberg

Art Goldberg

 

 

 

 

 

Emma's Revolution:  Pat Humphries & Sandy O, accompanied by Gary Johnson

Emma’s Revolution: Pat Humphries & Sandy O, accompanied by Gary Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

Small world:  ran into Phil Garaway.  In 1969 we were with SDS affiliated student peace committee at Pacoima Junior High!  Still fighting the fight for peace and justice.

Small world: ran into Phil Garaway. In 1969 we were with SDS affiliated student peace committee at Pacoima Junior High! Still fighting the fight for peace and justice.

Sabia:  Gary Johnson, Cindy Harding, Libby Harding, Mari Riddle & Erika Verba

Sabia: Gary Johnson, Cindy Harding, Libby Harding, Mari Riddle & Erika Verba

 

 

 


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Pete Seeger tribute concert

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Hitler may have married a Jew, DNA evidence shows – Jewish World NewsIsrael News – Haaretz Israeli News source

http://www.haaretz.com/mobile/1.583870

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Tweet by kpfallon on Twitter

.@SarahKSilverman and @rabbisusan at the #WITW2014 conference. Read story about them here: http://t.co/FSDc2tmReM http://t.co/EomjPjtUpf

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My Cuz the rapper–Julian “the Hooligan” Bonbrest


 

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Julian "the Hooligan" Blake Bonbrest

Julian “the Hooligan” Blake Bonbrest

Every generation or so in my family somebody comes out  eclectic, radical, creative and open minded.  My first cousin once removed, Julian Blake Bonbrest raps under the moniker “Julian the Hooligan” and I think he’s got a great career ahead of him:

“Let it go”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLpcpfSxlus

“Black Cat”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7VQe4NnklE


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What I Learned About Stop-and-Frisk From Watching My Black Son – Atlantic Mobile


 

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This is an excellent article from a white New York attorney on the problem of walking while black…..

http://m.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/04/what-i-learned-about-stop-and-frisk-from-watching-my-black-son/359962/?utm_source=digg&utm_medium=email#disqus_thread

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Senators’ Suspension Justifies Taxpayer Ripoff

Senator Ron Calderon, D-30th District

Senator Ron Calderon, D-30th District


 

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Leland Yee

Senator Leland Yee, D-8th District

Senator Rod Wright, 35th District

Senator Rod Wright, 35th District

Three California Democratic Party State Senators, Ron Calderon, Rod Wright, and Leland Yee are either convicted or under felony indictment for crimes that are grounds under Article IV Section 5 of the California Constitution for expulsion from the legislature.  So why did the State Senate elect to “suspend” them from office–especially when there’s no such thing as “suspension” in the California Constitution?

Well, with this so-called “suspension” they will continue to draw their $95,291.00 a year salaries!!!!!!

Article IV, Section 5(a)  provides that:

Each house shall judge the qualifications and elections of its Members and, by rollcall vote entered in the journal, two thirds of the membership concurring, may expel a Member.

FBI raiding Ron Calderon's Senate office

FBI raiding Ron Calderon’s Senate office

There is no authority even mentioned, alluded to or anywhere else contemplated in the California Constitution for a so-called “suspension.”  They’re just making this up as they go to justify these guys continuing to draw their pay.  The Constitution is clear:  if the Senate wants to, it can expel members.  There’s no provision allowing them to suspend or otherwise discipline them (other than slapping them on the wrist with a censure).


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Thank you Obamacare


 

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ObamacareObamacare detractors KISS MY ASS. Just got my new Obamacare cards. SAME INSURANCE COMPANY, Platinum Plan, all existing doctors covered, a specialist I really needed to see is now covered who wasn’t before and I don’t need HMO approval to see specialists in-network.

Price: $700 LESS than what I was paying!

Thank you President Obama and the Democratic Party and BTW, I’m not a Democrat, I’m Peace & Freedom Party but credit where credit is due, even though I’d have preferred the Dellums National Health Service Act.

There is a little weirdness:  I now have breast reconstruction surgery covered (I’m a guy but it’s not as strange as when years ago I joined the Feminist Women’s Health Center and they sent me a vaginal speculum as a membership benefit).  I also now under California regulations have to buy a $5.00 a month plan for pediatric benefits even though I don’t have children, but it’s a fine thing to pay if it insures that all children will get dental care through spread of risk to society to pay for it; that I’m glad for.

So if you’re not covered, go to Covered California and get covered:

https://www.coveredca.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&gclid=COiQ7bK9tb0CFSho7AodABwAPg


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Rudy Acuna on CSUN Developments


 

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Chicana/o Studies, Faculty Governance, Academic Freedom

 

Why we struggle?

 

By

 

Rodolfo F. Acuña

 

 

 

In 1994 the AAUP (American Association of University Professors) issued a report “On the Relationship of Faculty Governance to Academic Freedom” that I doubt many professors have read.  It set out the fundamentals of governance and its relationship to academic freedom. The irony is that in less than 20 years these principles are in danger.

 

 

 

Instead of focusing on these important rights faculty organizations are holding forums on “academic bullying” without thinking through the question. It took years to define racism and sexism.  But, finally, a consensus was reached that sexual harassment involved power relationships. It was sexual harassment when a faculty member, a supervisor or an employer harassed someone of lesser status – it was not usually the other way around.

 

 

 

If two full professors scream at each other, the question is who is bullying who? It would appear to me that it is much more grievous when an administrator censors a professor and limits his or her academic freedoms that if a professor criticizes an administrator.

 

 

 

In my lifetime I have witnessed the erosion of academic freedom and faculty governance. After World War II, McCarthyism imposed political tests on professors in an effort to root out the “subversive” bullies. Ellen W. Schrecker in her book No Ivory Tower: McCarthyism and the Universities concludes that academe did not enjoy its finest hour in this era.

 

 

 

In very real terms the 1960s were a reaction to the 1950s.  The Civil Rights, Vietnam War Movements and the baby boomers spurred changes.

 

 

 

When I arrived at San Fernando Valley State College, there were small clusters of professors to whom faculty governance and academic freedom were important. Some of them had been refused tenure at major research institutions because of their political views. These dissidents thrived in the climate of activism at SFVSC that was forged between 1967 and 1969.

 

 

 

Inconceivable as it might seem, on March, 1969, the Los Angeles Times called SFVSC a “hotbed of radical youth.” That same month Life magazine ran a lengthy feature about Valley State, which it called “painfully familiar.”

 

 

 

The anti-war movement at Valley State had heightened in 1966 when students were arrested at antiwar protest at Van Nuys Air National Guard Base. By December, Los Angeles police were called to campus to disperse student protests.

 

 

 

In September 1967, the Faculty Senate urged the SFVSC administration to stop calling police during campus disputes and protests. At the time, there were 15,600 students, 23 were black and 11 Latino.  By December more than 500 antiwar and pro-war students clashed, yelling at each other for three-hours about the Vietnam War and Dow Chemical.   

 

 

 

The demonstration was led by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) whose spokesman was Bob Shaw. The following academic year, the protest movement expanded with the entrance of a larger black student population and a small but an emerging Chicana/o student movement. This led to the November 4, 1968 African-American student takeover (Preview) of the administration building and the arrest and conviction of eight members of the Black Student Union who did hard time.

 

 

 

The example of the students forced many faculty members to follow their conscience. In relation to my volunteer work, I was a frequent visitor on campus, but some of the SDS students standout.  

 

 

 

Michael Klonsky started out San Fernando Valley State College where he joined the SDS. In 1968 he became its national chairman; he was involved in the Democratic National Convention rebellions. By the time I was involved on campus the SDS students I remember  were Cliff Freed, Mike Lee, and Marc Cooper who were part of  a larger and more diverse group. 

 

 

 

As today, the majority of the faculty was conservative, most just did not give a shit. However, there was a faction who believed in academic freedom and the importance of preserving faculty governance. They were not necessarily radical, but they knew the importance of free speech and defended that principle in the faculty senate.

 

 

 

The leader of the American Federation of Teachers was a man who I greatly respected – English professor John Stafford. More than once he defended my right to be a “bully” and fight for the interests of Chicana/o students. He along with the liberal faction he worked openly and behind the scenes to get minority student access and then fought for Pan African American and Chicano Studies.

 

 

 

Stafford was supported by Jerome Richfield and Vern Bullough who also became presidents of the faculty senate.  Morton Auerbach as chairman of the Committee on Faculty Information Concerning Minority Problems, during the tumultuous times after November 4, was a master negotiator. Along with Richard Abcarian and Larry Litwin, Mort kept the students and faculty on the same page. I have little doubt that without them it would have been a much rockier. They brought together the disparate liberal clusters spread out throughout the campus.

 

 

 

Under their leadership, the faculty senate was a place of debate, reason, and the defender of free speech and faculty governance. They were not afraid to take on the president, their supervisors or Chancellor Glenn S. Dumke.

 

 

 

Today, the faculty senate is a social club that does not care why Chicana/o studies is fighting for academic freedom and its and their governance rights. Stafford and Auerbach understood the importance of faculty checking the administration’s arbitrary and clandestine actions.

 

 

 

The truth be told, the CSUN administration in bypassing the traditional consultation process hurt the rights of every department, and gave it the right to encroach on their areas of study. Because of this the administration is empowered to make its own rules.

 

 

 

Because CHS protested this violation, it has been labeled a bully. However, the reasonable person should ask, does it have the power to control the dialog or the outcome? Adding further insult, the administration chose to make a clandestine trip to Mexico City to sign an accord that the faculty did not approve. For Stafford and others this perfidy would have been a major threat to the liberal traditions of the academy. He remembered that McCarthyism thrived in the fifties because no one spoke out.

 

 

 

Being a reasonable person, ask why are CHS professors demanding respect?

 

 

 

Are they bullies because they demand an accounting of the impact of the UNAM accord on student fees? Who will pay for it?

 

 

 

Are they bullies because they demand faculty diversity data?

 

 

 

Are they bullies because they are asking why students are being overcharged for campus housing?  Like in flop houses students pay $800 a bed a month, double the rent of private apartment. The irony is students are slated to pay for new dorms that they cannot afford to live in.

 

 

 

What about the Tseng College?

 

 

 

I erroneously attributed this decline of faculty governance to Harry Hellenbrand. I stand corrected. It started in the 1990s under Provost Luanne Kennedy who classified her deans administrators directly answering to the provost. They were no longer part of the faculty body or responsible to its members.

 

 

 

In the historical context, the arbitrary actions of administration are eroding the protections of the minority. McCarthyism thrived because of the failure of professors to fight for their governance rights and academic freedoms. It was temporarily reversed by the John Staffords, but unfortunately this generation of scholars is not enjoying their finest hour and is being cowed by bullies.

**********

Reminder: Manuel Andrés López Obrador will be speaking at CSUN at 6 PM on March 28. You are invited. I apologize for editorial failures, I have been writing at a clip of 15 -20,000  words a week that is necessary when you are in chinga. My priority has always been the message and not the form. The editing will come with the book.–Rudy Acuna

**********

Jan B. Tucker, a few observations

Jan B. Tucker, Rudy Acuna, Estela Ayala

Jan B. Tucker, Rudy Acuna, Estela Ayala

Rudy Acuna was of course one of my most important professors, mentors and will always be my Tlamatini.  At my request he bestowed upon me the designation of “Tlamatini” with a wave of his hand.  He was puzzled as to why I wanted him to so designate me and as I explained to him, he was the only person I felt was qualified to judge whether I passed  muster for the title.

Morton Auerbach:  see the resemblance to Joe Stalin?

Morton Auerbach: see the resemblance to Joe Stalin?

Mort Auerbach and Larry Litwin were also my professors at CSUN.  Mort was a dead ringer for Joseph Stalin.  I once put up a 1944 edition Time Magazine behind him on above the chalk board while he was lecturing with Stalin on the front cover and within minutes the whole class was laughing hysterically.  When we pointed out the joke to Mort, he was flattered that he looked like “Uncle Joe.”  Mort was my Marxism professor and he was brilliant.  He also understood Maoism like the back of his hand:  after courageous World War II service in Burma with the Kachin Guerrillas as an OSS Officer, he was assigned as OSS liaison to Chou En-Lai.

Larry, along with Blase Bonpane (for whom I was grad assistant) gave me a firm understanding of Communitarianism.  If you don’t understand that philosophy and the movements that organize around it, it’s as impossible to understand the world as we know it anymore than if one had no knowledge of capitalism or Marxism.

Marc Cooper

Marc Cooper

Marc Cooper was thrown out of CSUN in 1971 on the orders of then-Governor Ronald Reagan.  He went down to Chile to assist the Allende government and came close to losing his life to the fascists who took over on September 11, 1973.  As Wikipedia explains:

From 1971 to 1973, Cooper served as the Spanish-English translator for Chilean Socialist president Salvador Allende. Following the military coup of 1973, he fled the country, fearing execution as a participant in the Allende government;[1] some of his American friends were executed by the military, including journalist Charles Horman. In 2002 he testified before a Chilean magistrate in the investigation of Horman’s death.

J.B. Stoner; that was the message of his speech on November 22, 1987 at the Glendale Holiday Inn, i.e., God sent AIDS to kill Gays, Blacks, and Jews

J.B. Stoner; that was the message of his speech on November 22, 1987 at the Glendale Holiday Inn, i.e., God sent AIDS to kill Gays, Blacks, and Jews

Mike Lee went on to a tremendous career as a crusading Deputy Public Defender in Los Angeles County.  During the “Battle of Glendale” (I was there) on November 22, 1987 when anti-racist demonstrators were confronting neo-Nazi/KKK leader Jesse “J.B.” Stoner of the “National States Rights Party” (who once ran for congress on a platform of making Judaism a legal offense punishable by death), Mike confronted this prick of a Senior Deputy District Attorney, John C. Spence III who advised notoriously racist Glendale Police Sergeant Randy Tampa to read the “riot act” (resulting in the Glendale Fire Department bringing in water cannons and back up riot police) to disperse our peaceful picket line.  Mike, as an attorney questioned their right to read the riot act and in essence, trample all over our First Amendment rights….and was arrested on the spot by Randy Tampa.  Thankfully he was acquitted.

Cliff Fried went on to become a long time and critical leader of the union movement at UCLA.  Last I knew he was a key leader for the UPTE-CWA local there.

 


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