The Honorable Mountain View City Council,
I am writing to you about a problem that has occurred many times in California, and recently has happened to my friends and I in Mountain View. The problem is police brutality.
In mid February 2005, after 8 p.m., my friends, Mariana XXXXX, Frank XXXXX, and I were walking to Frank’s house down El Camino Real. We were stopped by two police officers. The reason, as we were told, was because we “fit the description” of suspects they were looking for. We were not told the extent of the crime these “suspects” committed, but we were immediately asked, “Where are you hiding the drugs?” My friends and I were dumbfounded and shocked. We looked at each other in disbelief. The officers yelled at us not to look at each other. We knew immediately that we were going to be some of the many victims of police harassment, but we had no idea it was going to escalate to police brutality.
We told them we were not carrying drugs, nor were we under this influence of them. They looked quite frustrated and responded, “We’re going to ask you one more time, and you better give us the right answer. Where are the drugs?!” We repeated to them that we did not have any drugs. They just chuckled.
This is the moment when Mariana asked the officers, “Why are you messing with us? We were just walking home. This is bullshit!” The officers then grabbed her by the arm and threw her to the ground and cuffed her. Now, she did raise her voice with an attitude, but it was under the anger of the harassment we were enduring. These police officers were not women, but full-grown men, and XXXXX is only about 5’1” and 105 pounds.
Frank and I both yelled, “Hey, what did you do that for?! You didn’t have to do that!” That is when I was grabbed and cuffed. After I was cuffed, Frank was tackled to the ground and cuffed. While he was on the ground, he said, “Look at how little those girls are compared to you! You guys are punks and should pick on someone your own size!” This is the moment when Frank was punched and kicked by both officers a few times. Mariana and I were yelling at them to stop, and they eventually did.
After all of this, the officers told us that they had to use force because we were “resisting arrest,” but we were not formally arrested and our rights were never read to us. At this time all three of us were minors, and, if we were arrested, our parents should have been called, but they were not. We all just got dropped off at home. The next day Mariana and I found out from Frank (he was the last to be dropped off) that he was pepper-sprayed in the eyes before he was dropped off on the sidewalk a block from his house.
We were left with minor injuries: a sore arm for me, a scraped arm and elbow for Mariana, and small bruises, scratches on the face from pavement, and irritated eyes for Frank. We were also left with a distrust of police, who are supposed to protect civilians and the community.
All three of us told our parents, but their responses were to do nothing, either out of fear of the police or fear no one would believe us. Unfortunately, we never caught the names or badge numbers of the officers. This fact still haunts us today, the fact that we never thought to look at the badges and we cannot bring these particular officers to justice. I am not asking you to go on a manhunt for these vicious police officers. I know it would be virtually impossible to catch them because we failed to obtain their names and badge numbers. But I am asking you to realize that these kinds of situations are not only happening in big cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco. It has happened in your city, and it probably still is because these officers are more than likely still on patrol. I am also asking you to be strict with those officers who have done this and have been caught. Bring them to justice and help bring peace to their victims. Thank you very much for your time.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Is this your homework Larry?
Police have concluded their investigation into an explosive letter from a Homestead High School student, reprinted in its entirety below, determining that it was a fake.