Following the press conference by United Against Police Terror and its allies this morning, news coverage is pouring in. The conference was followed by a perfunctory statement by the department stating that they were taking the matter of hate email coming from the Sheriff’s Department IP address “very seriously” and were conducting an internal investigation.
NBC 7 San Diego: “Sheriff’s Dept. Launches Internal Investigation After Activist Group Receives Hate Email”
From NBC 7 San Diego newscast, 9/22/15. Shows excerpt of hate mail.
The email says, in part, “The police aren’t the problem. It’s the criminals out there victimizing the real citizens of the country that are the problem.”
Much of the email is too profane to broadcast on TV or copy in an article.
Mendonça said perhaps the most troubling part of the email was where the writer described Ferguson protesters as “animals.”
“It just perpetuates that ‘lesser of a being’ (stereotype), and it highlights how much racism is still present to this day,” [Catherine] Mendonça said. “There’s still hundreds of years of racism that we still need to overcome.”
San Diego Union-Tribune: “Sheriff’s probe origin of hate email to activist group” by Pauline Repard
The email rant that referred to Ferguson, Mo. protesters as animals and said “real citizens” of the county love the police was sent Sept. 16 to the website of United Against Police Terror San Diego, its spokeswoman, Cat Mendonca said.
Mendonca held a news conference outside the sheriff’s Kearny Mesa headquarters on Tuesday to say her organization had filed a complaint with the Citizens’ Law Enforcement Review Board, which handles complaints against sheriff’s deputies.
CBS 8 News: “Sheriff’s Department Investigating Profane Email”
Jeff Olson of Socialist Alternative San Diego speaks at the press conference. 9/22/15
Protesters are calling on Sheriff Bill Gore to take action after a profane email traced back to sheriff’s headquarters was sent to an activist group critical of law enforcement policies.
Univision San Diego: “Organización recibe correo amenazante y lo rastrean hasta el Departamento del Alguacil (Organization receives threatening mail tracked to the Sheriff’s Department)”
Press conference at Sheriff’s Dept. 9/22/15
En un comunicado de prensa señalaron que el mensaje fue recibido el miércoles 16 de septiembre con insultos, defendiendo a la policía y llamando a los protestantes de policías de Ferguson “animales”.
Mencionaron que en esta era de anonimato en internet, el recibir este tipo de correos es algo común para la organización, lo que no fue común, fue que supuestamente lo recibieron del Departamento del Alguacil.
Frontera San Diego: “Carta de odio enviada a activistas desde oficina del Alguacil” by Ana L. Gómez
A copy of the complaint filed against the Sheriff’s Department by United Against Police Terror San Diego. 9/22/15
The Anti-Media: “Email Traced Back to San Diego Sheriff’s Shows How Cops Really Feel About Protesters” by Derrick Broze
This latest saga between police accountability activists and the police is yet another example of the divisions gripping the country. Without a doubt, individuals who threaten violence against other free humans should be held accountable. However, we should not allow ourselves to be sucked into a false paradigm of the people versus the police.
Any good-hearted police officers remaining within the ranks of the increasingly militarized local police departments should quickly leave as conscientious objectors. Only by making it clear that their intention is to support the community — not defend the state — will officers gain the support of the people. At the same time, the activists in the streets should make it clear they are against violent criminals, not misguided individuals who joined the police force in an effort to serve and protect.
We can find common ground and strengthen our bonds and unity by recognizing the way this system is dividing us along lines of race and profession, among other things. We are one and it’s time we start organizing and acting like it. Let’s not further divide ourselves. Instead, let’s work towards the harmony and unity of all people and focus our energies on our mutual enemies.
The Raw Story: “Someone in the San Diego sheriff’s office thinks police protesters are drug-addicted ‘animals'” by Travis Gettys (Sept. 24)
The San Diego sheriff’s department launched an investigation after someone sent obscenity-riddled hate mail to an activist group protesting police brutality.
But investigators soon learned, like the babysitter in the urban legend, the calls are coming from inside the house.
Mediaite coverage by Ken Meyer (has mistake- this was the county sheriff not the San Diego PD)
spokeswoman Cat Mendonca and Lt. Marco Garmo held a press conference on Tuesday where they said that an internal investigation was underway, acknowledging that the IP address did, indeed, come from their computers.
Copblock: “San Diego Activist Group Tracks Hate Mail to Sheriff’s Department” by Dylan Donnelly
This message isn’t anything new for police or the internet. The author illustrates a common “Us vs Them” mentality among police officers that dehumanizes the people they claim to serve. The “thin blue line” culture is intolerant of dissent, drawing a line between the “real citezens [sic]” and those not worthy of police protection, common decency, dignity or life.
Catherine Mendonca of UAPTSD said, “I really do hope that the broader discussion of why we’re a target can happen #SDSTOLENLIVES need #Justice uaptsd.org“.