Saturday, December 26, 2009

Copwatch Shift 12/18/09

On this night copwatching was very foreign and strange to the people roaming the Petaluma streets. Those present on shift were Lupita, Nissar, Christine, and myself Ben.

The first stop we found was on Washington street across from A Math Oasis tutoring center. There were five male individuals being detained with an eventual arrest of one of the detainees. After nearly five minutes the police released the other individuals as a taxi cab arrived.
The remaining four individuals seemed to find the presence of copwatch a joke and shouted at us "Why are you around still?"
After being released, Nissar approached the four individuals only to have jokes thrown at him and jeers . The people did not understand our purpose or reason of watching them.

A few stops later Ben and Lupita went out on foot watching the police stop various individuals on the streets with similar results toward copwatch as the first stop.

At around midnight, a fight broke loose inside of the Keller Street Parking structure. The police tasered one individual and arrested him, a young Latino male.
The Keller Street Garage was closed by nearly 20 police officers from Sonoma County ranging from Sheriff cars to regular patrol cars.

10-15 individuals were detained all of whom where young between the ages of 17-25.

Know your rights cards were distributed to those watching the event as none were able to retrieve their cars from the garage.
According to one individual, the person tasered and arrested was his friend. The arrested was the one who was being attacked not the instigator of the fight. The instigator of the fight fled the scene as police questioned all individuals about hit and runs, gang activity, and fights in the area.

Nissar was questioned thoroughly when trying to have the arrested released in exchange for his safe return home. The police did not comply and would only allow a family member to receive him.

Copwatch drove the friend of the arrested home who was originally to be driven home by the arrested individual.

We as Petaluma Copwatch did not agree to the way the situation was being handled by the Police force on the scene. We wish to have change in the tactics used by the police.

Police "sobriety checkpoints" tonight in Petaluma Saturday December 26th. Be on watch and contact members of Copwatch or IMPACT if you wish to report a checkpoint or impounding of a car.

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