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Now that I am not so pissed I can see again. I really shouldn’t paint all the Pacific Grove Police with the same brush. I really have only had dealings with two of them. Officer Figueroa and well, we’ll just call her “The Bully”.  Officer Figueroa was helpful, if a bit stand-offish. Which I imagine is because he deals with some real crappy people most of the time. He did seem reasonable and somewhat open. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but that’s the impression I had.

The other officers and members of the Pacific Grove Police department, well, touch wood, we haven’t had any dealings with. Good or bad.

So, yes, this used to be a bigoted little town. But I don’t imagine any of those officers are still around, at least I sure hope not.

Being a police officer and having to deal with the dregs of society day in and day out, has to be hard on the personality. And yet, none of this excuses the lousy, bullying behavior of “The Bully”. Being a cop is a lousy job, you get to meet and arrest the worst of society. I understand that. I just think if it’s too much for you to handle and remain a person, then it’s time to do something else. Becoming a bully is nothing short of turning into the crappy person you’re arresting.

Just my thoughts now that I’m not so mad.

I wish to make you aware of an issue I find disturbing in our small town.

Over the last few days one of the local police officers has stopped and harassed two teen boys that frequent my house. They are the same age and grade as my eldest daughter.

These boys are not saints by any stretch. They come from broken homes and are known by the local police for domestic issues with their parents. However, they have never committed serious crimes, never been convicted, and are both successfully completing high school.

On two separate instances in the last week one of the local Pacific Grove police officers has stopped one of the boys walking home from our house. The first time he was stopped it was mid afternoon, forced to empty his pockets, handcuffed, and brow beaten by this officer because some house had been burgled across town and he fit the description. What that description was, was never revealed. He was supposedly acting suspicious because he was shaking. Being stopped by the police and handcuffed could make an adult quake, let alone a teen age child.

The second time he was stopped was Sunday morning while walking home from our house. He was again stopped by the same officer, forced to empty his pockets, searched, and again brow beaten to reveal any “information” about any “crimes” he might know about. He was then told by this officer to call his friend and tell him to come over. Which he did. His friend then shows up, is forced to empty his pockets, placed in the back of a squad car to be “questioned” and driven off. I will not repeat what I was told of that conversation/questioning because I wasn’t there and was only told second hand what happened. If what I did hear was true, then I am disgusted and saddened by the state of our local police.

No crimes were committed. No arrests were made. No reasons for the stops were given other than they “looked suspicious”. At this point the boys are asking for rides back and forth from and to their homes  to avoid being harassed any further.   They are scared of the local police and are afraid to walk in public.

At this point I have done some basic research on personal rights when stopped by the police and will be informing all the local teenagers that they Do Not have to answer questions from the local Pacific Grove police officers without either their parents being with them or a lawyer. The out come of this officer harassing these boys is that now, they and their friends, will be getting tutored in what their rights are and how NOT to answer any more questions from the local police without a supervising adult being present.

I am sorry that it has come to this. This is not the way things should be in a small town like Pacific Grove. We live here because it’s a safe and quiet place to raise our daughters. That doesn’t mean I can turn a blind eye when troubled children are being harassed by those who are supposed to protect us.

Richard Hickey

Doing some research on how the boys can protect themselves from the local abuse of our Pacific Grove police department I ran across the ACLU website on how to deal with being stopped by the police.

Looks like we will have to have a local get together on how to deal with overbearing police. Teach the kids that “THEY” have rights too and that being browbeaten by the police is NOT acceptable behavior.

What to do if stopped by the Police.

– Do stay calm and be polite.
– Do not interfere with or obstruct the police.
– Do not lie or give false documents.
– Do prepare yourself and your family in case you are arrested.
– Do remember the details of the encounter.
– Do file a written complaint or call your local ACLU if you feel your rights have been violated.

Stay calm. Don’t run. Don’t argue, resist or obstruct the police, even if you are innocent or police are violating your rights. Keep your hands where police can see them.
Ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes, calmly and silently walk away. If you are under arrest, you have a right to know why.
You have the right to remain silent and cannot be punished for refusing to answer questions. If you wish to remain silent, tell the officer out loud. In some states, you must give your name if asked to identify yourself.
You do not have to consent to a search of yourself or your belongings, but police may “pat down” your clothing if they suspect a weapon. You should not physically resist, but you have the right to refuse consent for any further search. If you do consent, it can affect you later in court.

Do not resist arrest, even if you believe the arrest is unfair.
Say you wish to remain silent and ask for a lawyer immediately. Don’t give any explanations or excuses. If you can’t pay for a lawyer, you have the right to a free one. Don’t say anything, sign anything or make any decisions without a lawyer.
You have the right to make a local phone call. The police cannot listen if you call a lawyer.
Prepare yourself and your family in case you are arrested. Memorize the phone numbers of your family and your lawyer. Make emergency plans if you have children or take medication.
Special considerations for non-citizens:
– Ask your lawyer about the effect of a criminal conviction or plea on your immigration status.
– Don’t discuss your immigration status with anyone but your lawyer.
– While you are in jail, an immigration agent may visit you. Do not answer questions or sign anything before talking to a lawyer.
– Read all papers fully. If you do not understand or cannot read the papers, tell the officer you need an interpreter.

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