Friday, August 8, 2008

Chief Explains Naue Response

The Kauai Police Department is now working with the county prosecutor’s office to identify those protesters who remained at the Naue burial site yesterday after police told them to leave. Warrants will then be issued for their arrest, on a charge of petty misdemeanor trespassing.

I had a chat with Kauai Police Chief Darryl Perry today and asked why he took that approach, rather than arresting them at the site. He said there were several reasons why he chose that route.

“I believe the protesters were expecting us to have a knee jerk reaction and arrest them, and there were several cameras on site to record it," he said. "They wanted publicity. But we wanted to keep the focus on the issue and not on KPD.”

Perry said he also had learned the contractor was not planning to do any work on the site that day, and so was not pushing to have the protesters arrested.

“The protesters were very civil and cooperative and they weren’t creating any disturbance,” Perry said. “Time was on our side. We decided to play it cool, play it safe and wait until we had resources available and then go down there and place them under arrest. But before we could do that, they voluntarily disbanded.”

Perry said the protesters, who had linked themselves together with sections of PVC pipe, could have been injured if the police had tried to remove them and "that’s the last thing we wanted.”

The Chief also dismissed rumors that the cops were planning to use Tasers to break up the protest. While the department does have Tasers now, he said, “we’re not going to use them in those situations. This is a very unique situation and we have to develop unique strategies for dealing with it.

“We were not going to use chemical sprays or club them or do anything to them except we were just going to give them more water if they needed it. That was our only plan.”

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

> “We were not going to use chemical sprays or club them or do anything to them except we were just going to give them more water if they needed it. That was our only plan.” <

Wow. One can only wonder how history could have changed, had a thousand like this man been in command in Watts, Chicago, Kent State and L.A., and all the hard places in the weary years since.

One can only hope what this bodes for the future.

Katy Rose said...

There are a couple of "spins" in Perry's statement that should be addressed.

One, I think it was clear that the construction crew had every intention of performing work on Thursday. As we pulled up to the site, the crew pulled out immediately, leaving behind in their haste various hand tools, a carpenter's belt, coolers and other supplies.

The day before, a number of the sister-island visitors had looked at the site and observed that it was clean. None of the items we saw on Thursday had been there in the late afternoon the day before.

Throughout the day, the crew made repeated trips to the site to gather items to take them back to the site's baseyard, which is located on a vacant lot behind dust-fencing on the main highway a half-mile down the road toward the double bridge. Clearly, a decision had been made to shut down the site that day in order to avoid confrontation.

Perry's claim that the officers on site were waiting for help to remove the protesters rings false. Does it really take eight hours to get back-up, even when there is road work on Kalihiwai bridge? I think they had no intention to attempt arrest at the site because in this situation, it would just create bad publicity for the police, the county, the state and Brescia.

It was also clear that the police had never encountered lock-boxes before and as it dawned on them that they'd have to cut the guys out, they figured they had best stand back. They gave up after repeated and unsuccessful attempts to sweet-talk the guys into unlocking.

While the rumor about TASER use in this situation was clearly just that, it should not be so easily dismissed. Now that the police department has TASERs, we really have no guarantee that they will be used appropriately. And I am concerned that they will be used most liberally with young men of color, particularly indigenous men, and that demographic was well-represented at Naue on Thursday.

Finally, while I appreciate the kind gestures extended by individual representatives of the police department, including Perry's implicit offer of water, I think it's important to remember that the police department is an institution which is there to enforce a set of laws which in this and many other cases codifies deep injustice. As nice as any individual in the department might be, ultimately they will either play their institutional role, or they will resign from the department.

Joan said...

You might want to think twice, Katy, about your desire to have all the nice guys resign from institutions of the state, even those that are established to "codify deep injustices." Because if they do, then you're just going to be left with the guys that want to crack heads. And how will that help the cause?

Also, it seems to me the chief's decision to avoid arrests at the scene actually worked in the protesters' favor. Otherwise all the drama of cutting the guys loose would have dominated the media coverage -- the old show down between cops and protesters -- rather than the issue at hand: the desecration of iwi.

Katy Rose said...

I agree that it worked in the site defenders' favor.

Also, I don't wish for the nice guys to resign - that's not my concern. I just advocate for a realistic institutional analysis, rather than depending on or giving too much weight to the kindness of individual players within an institution which is specifically charged with upholding an injustice.

The police department is there to intervene between site defenders and desecrators. The laws the department must ultimately uphold are the colonial laws which protect property rights over the interests of Native people.

Should we not use this kind of analysis to help us understand the roles that individual police play?

Joan said...

I agree that "the laws the department must ultimately uphold are the colonial laws which protect property rights over the interests of Native people."

However, there is some leeway in how/when those laws are upheld, and that's when it's useful to have some kind and thoughtful people within the department. Because an institution is, ultimately, a reflection of the people it comprises.

Katy Rose said...

I do agree that there are times when they specific wisdom and approach of police makes a significant difference in outcomes, but I disagree with your last statement.

In my opinion, an institution is ultimately a reflection of the system it serves.

Anonymous said...

> Because an institution is, ultimately, a reflection of the people it comprises. <

> In my opinion, an institution is ultimately a reflection of the system it serves. <

I think both statements are true. The connection between them is people -- the complex cultural feedback that people participate in as members of social systems and institutions, and as thinking, feeling individuals.

What's neat about Naue is how one individual acted as a member of the system he subscribes to, but not slavishly; and acted for the institution he belongs to, but not stereotypically.

In my view, it is when empowered individuals demonstrate such behavior that systems can broaden, institutions can grow, and positive change becomes possible.

Anonymous said...

The laws the department must ultimately uphold are the colonial laws which protect property rights over the interests of Native people.

That's too cynical and not at all accurate. The historical preservation law (which includes the burial law) is a compromise between historical/cultural preservation and property rights. Sometimes private rights give way to preservation, and sometimes not. Often - perhaps most often - there is some compromise and neither interest is entirely vindicated.

Anonymous said...

Since the people, those who choose to vote, anyway, elect the legislative branch folks every few years, any really irksome laws (to the majority of the voting public, anyway) would sooner or later cause pressure get them changed or be booted by ones that will change them.

I think the laws in question that some feel are unjust are not seen as such by the vast majority of the voting public, therefore, no change.

It is more important that the laws be percieved as wrong by the majority..more than whether they are actually wrong.

Then, again, right and wrong are mostly a matter of perception, anyway.

Andy Parx said...

If what Joan says is true it’s bullsh-t if you ask me.

It’s a typical abuse of police power. Either arrest these people or don’t. But this is harassment.

All these peaceful protesters were ready to be arrested. There’s not only no evidence they had any violent intent but it was quite the opposite- they made clear they were going to practice passive resistance.

Now they have to lie awake at night and wonder if a SWAT team is going to bust in their door at 5 a.m., grab them at their workplace or if they and their families are going to be jacked-up by a riot gear clad platoon on the highway as happened to Dayne Aipioalani. Others have had this games of cat-playing-with-a-mouse intimidation technique used on them on Kaua`i and it has to stop... especially for misdemeanor trespassing.

Yes. Perry can be lauded for avoiding police brutality and overreaction. But not if the intent was to put the sword of Damocles over their heads.

That is abusive of power. The same kind of abuse we noted in the Chief’s and the police commission chair’s testosterone-fueled newspaper rants generated by Juan Wilson’s now defunct newspaper column- before they put the kibosh on his articles.

Anonymous said...

I think the Chief's reponse was great. The protesters used PVC pipe to make it difficult for any arrests there..I'd say they went beyond passive resistance. They were hoping the cops would look bad and maybe even hurt some of them.

The Chief turned the tables. Executing arrest warrants after the fact puts a fear into them that they didn't expect....GOOD!!

I hope the arrests are done in a way to maximize the disruption of their lives.

Maybe some will think twice before sticking their arms into PVC over a bunch of bones of unidentified people.

Anonymous said...

> Perry can be lauded for avoiding police brutality and overreaction. But not if the intent was to put the sword of Damocles over their heads. <

> The Chief turned the tables. Executing arrest warrants after the fact puts a fear into them that they didn't expect....GOOD!! <

You guys seem knowledgeable about Perry's intentions in this matter, so maybe you can educated me by sharing the facts that you have about the actions that Perry has taken in the past -- the methods that Perry has used, the orders to his cops that Perry has given -- that support your assertion that his intent with these protesters was to "put the sword of Damocles over their heads" and "put fear into them."

No, I'm not a cop supporter. I'm just looking for the evidence that you guys are using to reach your conclusions, so that I can better reach my conclusions.

:)

Anonymous said...

Speaking of police - I heard Ex-Police Officer Mel Rapozo on KKCR Friday saying he wanted to be Mayor because "I get to pull the trigger."

Sounds like a campagin bumper sticker to me.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, the Chief is upholding the law in a way that protects his job, avoids group confrontation while at the same time putting heat on the perps.

I only hope some of those individual arrests call for tazering!

I hate radical activist protester pukes!

Anonymous said...

I like that "I get to pull the trigger" thing!

Reminds me of a cartoon about the waiting period for handguns in TX. It was a diagram showing the distance between a cocked hammer and the shell.

I love it!

Andy Parx said...

Hi August 10, 2008 3:38 PM

I have written extensively about LPD and Chief Perry and past incidents and public statements at http://parxnewsdaily.blogspot.com/

Just enter “Chief Perry” on the “search blog” box at the top of the page and all my posts on your questions will come up.. Or if you contact me off line I can email; them to you.

Anonymous said...

But.....Anon 3:38 is asking about facts; not suppositions.

Anonymous said...

> I hate radical activist protester pukes! <

Really? Why?

Related to King George of England and still nursing a grudge? Own shares of Dole and want all this Hawaiian silliness sent back to the Marquesas where it belongs? Just pissed in general and want to vicariously crack some skulls?

No offense, just curious.

Anonymous said...

> Just enter “Chief Perry” on the “search blog” box at the top of the page and all my posts on your questions will come up.. Or if you contact me off line I can email; them to you. <

That's a lot of stuff to go through. Not to hassle you or anything, but do you think you might be able to cite a couple of protests similar to Naue, where Perry's actions would support the assertion that his stated intent at Naue, as quoted by Joan, is other than what he's saying?

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

What's the matter, Andy? You have to advertize your blog here because no one's reading it?

Anonymous said...

I don't like anybody who is against the free market capitalist system. I'm pro-military. I don't mind winning if someone else has to lose...in fact, I prefer it.

I'm a hyper-competitive win-at-all-costs person who has risen to the top of my profession and is now reaping the benefits. I don't want to share and never played well with others.

These are some of the reasons I hate radical activist pukes.

Anonymous said...

Sounds good to me!

Andy Parx said...

I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking. 10:28 . Have you followed the story through the Juan Wilson Chief Perry articles or the taser discussions or the Dayne Aipioalina incident. This also comes on the heels of dozens of reported incidents of police abuses misconduct and alleged civil rights violations during arrests over quite a few recent years presumably by rogue elements on the force, although some say they are not so rogue.

I am taking the Chief at his word that he is issuing warrants. Others are saying he’s really not but is just saying it. I’m saying if that is the case it is tantamount to harassment and intimidation and a civil rights violation.

If there is a warrant he should announce it has been issued and let the people know that they need to come in and be processed, not terrorize them and their families with the possibility of some 5 a.m. or side of the road jack up of the protester and their family. They are innocent until proven guilty and even then arrest, trial and if guilty a pound of flesh are called for- not harassment and intimidation and terrorism.

But time will tell. Right now it’s all conjecture. but I would presume today we’ll find out if the warrants have been issued- or won’t find out even if they have been, which is what I fear

Anonymous said...

> I don't like anybody who is against the free market capitalist system. I'm pro-military. I don't mind winning if someone else has to lose...in fact, I prefer it.

I'm a hyper-competitive win-at-all-costs person who has risen to the top of my profession and is now reaping the benefits. I don't want to share and never played well with others.

These are some of the reasons I hate radical activist pukes. <


Well, then! That would explain it.

You know, a man of your talents and testosterone level is wasting his time trolling these liberal babe backwater blogs. You should write your autobiography, option it to Hollywood and get Jack Nicholson for the starring role: the memoirs of an embittered, militaristic, narrowminded, hypercompetitive reactionary who hates activist pukes.

America's legions of embittered, militaristic, narrowminded, hypercompetitive, reactionary puke-haters will make it a hit, and you'll be so wealthy that you can buy the island and kick off everyone who doesn't think like you!

Destiny calls!

:)

Katy Rose said...

I agree with Andy. I hope that if and when warrants are issued, folks will be notified.

Seems fair enough.

Anonymous said...

"a man of your talents and testosterone level is wasting his time trolling these liberal babe backwater blogs."

Oh I don't know. Seems these liberal babe backwater blogs and their gadflies pretty much deserve each other...

Anonymous said...

The subjects of the warrants ought to know if one's coming out for them. After all, they were the ones who tresspassed on some one else's property and chained themselves to a table there. It's not rocket science. Doh! Guess they lost their cell phones.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they would be smart to just assume there are warrants...They could always check with the court house. Or do they have to have everything done for them?

Anonymous said...

"I don't like anybody who is against the free market capitalist system. I'm pro-military. I don't mind winning if someone else has to lose...in fact, I prefer it."

We need you in Afghanistan hunting down al Quaeda!