[FoRK] Citizen's Arrest!

Gregory Alan Bolcer greg at bolcer.org
Mon Jan 2 15:05:59 PST 2012

Plus if there's no direct damages, there's no case.


On 1/2/2012 2:56 PM, Stephen Williams wrote:
> About 21 days after it was filed...
>> Mr. Williams,
>> Thank you for your email - I'm sorry it took so long to respond, but
>> we are a little short handed right now. Please know that as of now,
>> you concerns have been forwarded to the San Jose CHP Office so that
>> they may address your issue and request.
>> Sincerely,
>> Mike
>> Lieutenant Mike Palacio
>> Golden Gate Division
> Then:
>> Mr. Williams,
>> Your email has been forwarded to me at the Redwood City CHP command. I
>> have assigned a Sgt to inquire into your concerns. The California
>> Highway Patrol holds all of it's personnel to high standards and has
>> well defined procedures to address citizens' concerns such as yours.
>> You will be contacted by Sgt. M. Matias in the very near future at the
>> phone number you have supplied.
>> Bob O'Keefe, Lieutenant
>> California Highway Patrol
>> Redwood City Area - 330
> ...
> This was copied to Manuel Matias. He called me on Dec. 30th at 7pm and
> left a message. Sounded like he said "Officer Martinez."
> I called the Redwood City CHP office, but the number is all automated
> and you can't get through to a dispatcher. I called the San Jose office
> and they sent a message for him to call me back. He didn't until the
> next day, late on New Years Eve.
> We talked for a while. We went round and round on a key point of whether
> I could identify the officer. He had passed me so quickly that I didn't
> get a license plate or vehicle number, and I didn't pursue him. I
> pointed out that I had positively identified the officer if records
> showed that only one officer was on that segment of the road at that
> time. He basically refused to agree to research it. He kept repeating
> "our formal process for this is to send you form 240B". I invited him to
> send me the form (which sounds like the normal formal complaint
> process), but clarified that I was still asking him (as the officer
> assigned) to fulfill my original request. He refused to communicate by
> email. All not surprising so far.
> The interesting points:
> He said that it would have been no problem to pull up behind the officer
> when he stopped the other vehicle. He said people do that all the time
> to get directions, etc.
> He also said that it was department policy to:
> A) not use lights until just before stopping someone. He acknowledged
> that it was contrary to law, but asked semi-rhetorically: How are we
> supposed to stop people? I acknowledged that it was a difficult job, but
> pointed out that was wrong and illegal to break the law while trying to
> stop someone especially when often being much more dangerous than the
> person they decided to stop. As further excuse why lights aren't used as
> required, he also made some statements about people reacting poorly to
> emergency lights, pulling over to the left instead of moving right, etc.
> B) accelerate as fast as possible, even if dangerous (paraphrasing here:
> he referred to my charges indirectly), so be able to catch up to someone
> from a dead stop.
> He also kept wanting to know if I had some credentials to be able to
> make an expert opinion on the reckless driving determination.
> So, this will likely fizzle because I didn't capture positive ID (he
> stated there were 5 officers assigned to the general area that night,
> although he was refusing to look into it further). However, I now have
> his statement that it is standard policy for CHP to operate counter to
> law on pretty much all moving violations where they have to speed or
> break other laws.
> Now, in a few weeks perhaps, I'll have to determine how to file a remedy
> in equity (what used to be called "chancery") case/motion / motion to
> compel, or something along those lines.
> Stephen
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greg at bolcer.org, http://bolcer.org, c: +1.714.928.5476

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