|January 2014: Fullerton PD Fun Run|
Mary and I were running late. Big surprise, right? We were on our way to the big Pasadena Education Foundation fundraiser where you could drop 50 'denas and get yourself a scrumptious plate. Edward James Olmos was the keynote speaker and Pasadena Mayor McCheese was getting the Bill Bogus Award for all of the great things he's done for Pasadena's students. You can count them all up on your fingers and still have a hand left for one of those charity $25 a splash PEF wine glasses.
But me, slower than molasses, and driving like Mr. Magoo, had a pit stop to make. I needed to go to Office Max and run off about 50 flyers to pass out. Little did I know that most of the people would not even look my way, let alone get close enough to me to take a flyer. I must've had boogers all over my face or something. By the end of the night my friends Greg and Eddy put them on car windshields on one side of the street, while my Mrs. and I put them on the other side of the street.
About ten people were going to get together to remind the Pasadena Education Foundation, the City of Pasadena, and the Pasadena Unified School District that we are all important. We needed to remind them about a little autistic boy who was punished for being autistic. We needed to remind them that money thrown into a sieve is money that is lost.
Mary and I pulled up to Pasadena City Hall and saw Anaheim James (AJ) along with Ryan and the In League Press guys with their camera and their beautiful sense of humor waiting. They helped Mary and I unload the signs from the truck. I could tell it was going to be a fun night.
The Police Arrest Anaheim James
I parked my truck a couple blocks away and started walking back to City Hall. I got a text from Mary Brandenburg.
AJ has been arrested by the Fullerton Police department.
What? I couldn't believe it. We hadn't been there five minutes yet. I hustled over as fast as a weeble-wobble can. Sure enough, there was Ryan, still in his soiree suit, and there was AJ's top hat. But there was no sign of AJ anywhere.
I felt pretty bad. This guy came out to Pasadena twice just to help lift our spirits and let us know that there are people in the world that care about what happened to our son. People who wanted to give us hope in humanity, and to shine a light out of the darkness that we have fallen into spiritually. His reward was to get arrested within minutes of my handing him the posters. And the undercover Fullerton PD guys tried to confiscate those posters along with AJ's camera.
Ryan told me not to feel bad. He said that the Fullerton PD were trying to find AJ ever since he got away from them a couple months ago. There was no wondering how, it was simply a matter of when. The element of surprise worked because none of us could figure out why the Fullerton PD traveled all the way to Pasadena to do it. At rush hour. For something that is hardly worth the bother.
To be honest, the whole scenario back in January was one of humor. I watched the police actually laughing at this witty, good natured young man earlier in the day. Clearly from the situation - which I watched on a live stream later when I was at the airport going to Seattle, and then two days later - was one of chuckles and full belly laughs. The police department were telling the crowd to disperse as the day wore on. It had thinned out significantly. From most of the footage I saw, the crowd was one guy. Asking goofy questions. And he was joking with them, and presented no threat to anything or anyone. They were even laughing from time to time.
AJ was simply refusing to leave an area that, from what I could tell, was completely and totally secure. The problem was really one of a balance of power, and the refusal of the weaker individual to submit to the will of the stronger.
The City of Fullerton Must Have Lots of Taxpayer Money to Waste
She described about six men, looking like alternative hippie guys, walking over perhaps to give directions or ask for a sign. Then whoosh. The pulled out badges and arrested Anaheim James that fast. Later Ryan and I walked over to the Pasadena Police Station and Ryan asked if AJ was being held there. No, was the response, and they mused over why Fullerton PD drove all the way to Pasadena to pick up a guy on a $75 warrant for failure to disperse. That's it? All of this effort over a failure to disperse?
It really didn't make sense, true. But many things about this didn't make sense. Though the Pasadena Police seemed to have no knowledge of the situation, there were 6-10 Fullerton police officers, a Fullerton PD undercover car, a squad car, and truck. That probably also meant weapons as well. No. They had to know if another police agency was fifty feet away from Pasadena City Hall and the Pasadena Police Station. Right?
So, Fullerton PD sent 6 undercover police officers, maybe more, all probably on overtime wages. They took three vehicles, none of which were gas efficient machines. They traveled 35 miles each way during rush hour traffic. They staked out the area.
Then they arrested a guy for a victimless crime. He had made fun of the police, and he definitely outran them, and it was caught on film. It embarrassed them, but it hurt nobody.
But ask yourself, Fullerton, is this why your city bought these cars? So three of them could be driven 100 miles to nab a guy on a silly misdemeanor? That is a very expensive toy, my friends. Meanwhile, homeless families go without a home, and children go without food.
Add to that the Fullerton PD, who just spent thousands of dollars in overtime, gas, and equipment to nab a guy on a charge that may net $300, most of which will go to the court. All of this when a fax to the Pasadena PD could have had him picked up.
You must be proud of this abuse of your tax dollars, and doubly proud that you didn't release this agency and hire the sheriff.
So, What then, is the Real Problem?
I am not sure why the Fullerton PD came all the way out to Pasadena to nab a prankster. It is beyond me. Especially when what he was doing in Pasadena was, for all anyone would care, a pretty decent reason.
But I am also puzzled by the seemingly nonchalant attitude of the Pasadena PD about a bunch of potentially armed guys in costume beards wandering around a function in which city government and Pasadena's rich and elite are attending.
My feeling is they knew. Maybe. And I believe they were comfortable with learning that rascal a lesson. Maybe it will discourage him from coming back. Lord knows we don't need a Fullerton level protest happening in Pasadena, or anyone coming into town to stir up an investigation, or activate the press and the citizens (click here). Maybe coming into the SGV and making a big deal out of the death of a college student which, for all the investigators care, was his own fault for not wearing a belt.
Just like it was Kelly Thomas's fault for having schizophrenia and being confused.
Maybe Pasadena doesn't want outsiders poking around? I have never seen them being too concerned about peaceful protests, so I can't really speculate. It is possible that they don't want people live streaming what they do around here. I mean, when young men get killed by the police in Pasadena, neighborhoods don't erupt into protest like they do in Anaheim and in Fullerton.
Yeah, sure it was a Fullerton PD bust, but it was lame and pathetic. And it was coordinated and I don't know how Pasadena PD couldn't have known. But maybe a councilman should be asking exactly that question. Did Fullerton request an agency assist, and if they did, where were the Pasadena Police when this man was-for all any outsider would have known- abducted by armed men in broad daylight.
The alternative, my friends, is that, perhaps, they didn't notice 6-10 armed guys wandering around in their front yard. That is a rather frightening alternative.
It is also highly unlikely. I hope.
Go to In-League Press (click here), and then take a look. Draw your own conclusions. We have a video too, but it isn't uploaded. Yet. Also, be aware that law enforcement use Facebook almost as effectively as I do to dig up dirt on people.
Big Brother is definitely watching you. And the irony is that you gave him the keys to do it.