Search The Tattler

Friday, December 30, 2016

Emeryville Suspects: Black Males

Purveyors in Racist Stereotypes: 
Emeryville Police Department 

Black Males Are Suspect, Black Females Too

Our Government Undermines Our Values

News Analysis/Opinion
Emeryville's Police Department releases monthly crime information to the public.  They want us to know that among the crimes committed, earlier this month, a victim was robbed at gun point by three men at 6399 Christie Avenue.  More pressingly they want us to know about the suspects, presumably so we can be on the look out for them.  Who are the suspects? "Three Black males" says EPD.  That's it; three Black males.  Nothing about what direction they fled or what they were wearing or how old they appeared to be or anything else about what they looked like other than the fact they are 'Black'.  But let's not forget Black females. Another crime happened as reported in this month's crime blotter at 3839 Emery Street, the location of Ulta cosmetics store.  The  police want us to know the description of a shoplifter at Ulta who fled the scene; that suspect is a black female you understand.  Again, nothing else has been offered as to the physical characteristics of the female, just that she's 'Black'.  Why are they telling us only the race of the suspects?  What are we supposed to do with this information?

This is how the Emeryville Police Department's publicly offered crime blotter forwards a racist meme about Blacks and crime.  The idea behind the blotter ostensibly is so citizens can know about crime in their town and to disseminate information to enlist the public to help bring perpetrators to justice.  We don't know if the Police Department is withholding other information about the suspects in this month's blotter beyond the fact they are Black.  We imagine that's all the information the police have for whatever reasons.  But why do they feel a need to tell us the suspect's race?  Will that fact help bring anybody to justice without any other physical descriptions offered?  As a faithful copy and paster of the EPD crime blotter every month, why does the right wing blog in Emeryville, the E'Ville Eye also want us to know these suspects are Black?

Why are they doing this?  Is this a public service?
The answer is NO, this information will not help anybody.  It WILL hurt people however.  It will hurt citizens both directly and indirectly.  It hurts everyone. The E'Ville Eye and the Emeryville Police Department are collaborating on a project to perpetuate racist stereotypes.  The City of Emeryville also publishes the racist stereotypes on its website.  It's being done in our name.

How do we know this is racist?  Besides the obvious nature of it, we put it to the test and the Emeryville Police Department itself showed us it's racist.  We called the police after we saw a gentleman walking down the sidewalk along San Pablo Avenue after the E'Ville Eye posted the crime blotter.  The man in question was Black: and that fits the description of the suspects as described by the police.  The police officer came out to take down our information but was incredulous when we reported that we have no information specifically tying the gentleman to the crime.  "How do you know he's one of the suspects (to the Christie Avenue robbery)?" the officer asked us.  "Because you told us he's a suspect" was our response...."because he's black".  The officer responded he thought the tip from us was "ridiculous"...and there's finally something we can agree on.  But the Department as a whole thinks the Black gentleman walking down the sidewalk IS a suspect.  The Emeryville Police Department crime blotter is clear: all Black males in Emeryville are suspects in the Christie Avenue robbery.

It's easy to see why the E'Ville Eye joyfully posts the EPD crime blotter every month; the racist stereotyping dovetails with that blog's right wing views, affirms the reader's predilections towards this kind of sociopathy and drives clicks resulting in more ad revenue for Rob Arias, the editor of that blog.  But why does the Emeryville Police Department do it?  It's hard for us to imagine our police department is purposefully forwarding racist stereotypes (but we should be open to the idea that may be indeed what's being done).  We think more likely it's being done out of ignorance and insensitivity.  This Department is ours, the people of Emeryville.  Emeryville is not racist.  The Police Department needs to cease this odious activity.  If they're going to tell us about suspects in specific crimes, they need to tell us information beyond the suspect's race, otherwise this Department is subverting our Emeryville values.

From the blotter this month:
District 3
6399 Christie Ave., #330: A male victim was robbed at gunpoint. LOSS: An iPhone, a laptop, an iPad, and several other cell phones. Suspects: (3) Black males.

District 5
Ulta, 3839 Emery St. #200: A shoplifter brandished a stun gun at employees and threaten to tase them to avoid detention. LOSS: Fragrances. Suspect: Black female.


  1. Well Brian, a description of a "black male suspect" eliminates 95+% of the population of california, which I consider helpful. If I'm walking down Christie at night and there has been a report of 3 black males robbing people at gunpoint, I would be more aware if I saw 3 black males approaching. And if they said hi and walked past, so would I. Would love to hear your interpretation of how any of that is racist. And by the way, the example above still stands if the suspects were 3 white males, but I'm sure that never occurred to you.

    1. So you think it's not 'ridiculous' as the officer who took the tip info thought. Maybe you should work for the police seem to have the temperament, at least of the administration there (apologies to the non-racist Emeryville police officers).

    2. Why do you suppose the Emeryville police officer refused to follow up on my tip about the black gentleman I saw on San Pablo Avenue? I mean since being Black is all that's needed to be a suspect in the Christie Ave robbery.

    3. Do you really not understand the difference between a private citizen using all available information to avoid being the victim of crime vs a police officer violating the law by using a general descriptor as reasonable suspicion to detain and question someone?

    4. The Emeryville Police Department says any Black male is a suspect in the Christie Ave robbery. You think that's good and valuable information to have because you believe it can help track down the perpetrators. You need to follow through and call the police every time you see a Black person in Emeryville (remember the Ulta crime as well). If you don't, you are not doing your duty as a citizen. Let us know how it works out. I presume you live in Emeryville and I hereby retract my statement that Emeryville is not racist. I now change that to: Emeryville has one racist but he's an outlier.

    5. So your opinion is that they should withhold information so as not to offend anyone? Does that apply only to race? How about if the person was extremely short or bald? After all, we can't have people thinking that ALL bald people are criminals.

      Your myopia is hilarious. Facts are simply facts until someone (ie you) reads race into them. Black people commit crimes Brian, deal with it. So do all other races. And I don't hear anyone saying that a description of a white male suspect should be committed, because it shouldn't.

      It's always people like you that fail to answer a simple question while name-calling.

    6. They still haven't cleared the Christie Ave robbery and Emery Street shoplifting. Are you going to phone the police next time you see a Black person? If not, why not?

    7. You're clearly having some difficulty understanding the difference between what I would do as a private citizen and what an officer can do without reasonable suspicion. I don't think I can help you beyond pointing out that there is one.

    8. It's a really simple question. It seems like you want to call me names rather then answer the question. Again, are you going to phone the police next time you see a Black person?

    9. The first name calling in this thread was you calling me a racist. Period.

      I'll play along, this should be fun. No, I'm not calling the police when I see a black person. Now, care to answer any of the questions I posed?

    10. You don't even have the common decency to call the police when you see suspects that have been implicated by the police in serious criminal activity. What's that make you?

    11. It makes me someone that minimizes my chance of being a victim, and someone who understands the rule of law.

      Still no answers?

    12. Not calling the police when you see suspects in an armed robbery in your town isn't anything at all about 'the rule of law'. It's not illegal to not call the police. It IS nihilistically anti-social though. And that's taking you at your word when you say you're not racist.
      RE your questions: you asked if I don't agree it's not racist for the police department to alert the community that Black men are suspects like they did in the Christie Avenue robbery, and the answer is yes, it is racist. You asked if it would be racist if they mentioned White purps and that isn't what I reported on but no, I don't buy your 'reverse racism' ploy. America is a thoroughly racist nation...complete with institutional racism and filled with individual racists but virtually no one will admit they themselves are racist. Rather than call out those in the community who sees racism in the community, I suggest you begin to question your own place of privilege and views of humanity.
      It's not right that the City of Emeryville reports crime the way they do. We're going to try to get that changed to reflect the values of the community.

    13. I read through a few of the previous emeryville crime blotters and found numerous references to "white male" suspects with no other identifying information. It's literally the exact same thing you're complaining about, it just doesn't happen to be about a black male. So did you call the police when you saw a white male walking around town Brain?

      Keep up the great "journalism" and the absolutely incredible hypocrisy. Because racism only goes one direction, right?

    14. I'll leave that up to you and others brandishing their White privilege who can't see racism in America (or Emeryville). I suggest you start your own White Nationalist Emeryville blog...poor poor White people...'reverse racism' is everywhere!

    15. Even by Emeryville Tattler standards, this article is dumb. Apparently you've confused a police blotter with an All Points Bulletin (APB) and then put your ignorance on display for all to see. Typical Tattler.

      But you crossed a new line when you decided to involve the police by calling in something you obviously knew was a waste of everyone's time. Brian, people need the police doing police work, not playing games with you.

      Calling in false reports is not just stupid, it's dangerous.

      It's obvious to anyone that a one sentence description of a crime in a blotter will not allow a random person to pick the suspect out of a crowd. That's not the point of a blotter.

      What a police blotter does do, among other things, is draw out additional information from others who may have witnessed the suspects in the vicinity before or after the crime, inform the community of criminal activity generally so they can take precautions, and help us understand what our police are being called upon to do and how successful they are doing it. This last one is critical, particularly to help prevent racial discrimination.

      Next time, just Google things you don't understand or maybe ask someone more informed to cover the story. Don't use the police as a toy to try to get hits on your web site. Sheesh.

    16. Actually you're wrong: the police welcome all calls to report suspects in criminal activity. Now if it were I and not the Police Department that thought a Black male, any Black male was a suspect in the Christie Ave robbery and phoned in a sighting to the police, that would constitute a probable false police report. But it was the Police Department themselves that told us all Black males are suspects so there is no way anyone calling in could be accused of what you're alleging. The Police Department doesn't provide descriptions of criminals with a wink and a nod. They provide real descriptions. It's up to them to attenuate their crime blotter announcements if they want better citizen action. And guess what, Mr Anonymous? That's what's likely going to happen. I predict the Police Department and the City of Emeryville will fix this problem. And then we'll have our values being promulgated by these two public agencies. Watch this space.

    17. I've never heard "stupidity" referred to as a civic "value", but there's a first for everything. I'd be extremely surprised if the city council followed your lead on this. It's obviously just your wacky attempt (like most of your recent articles) to create animosity toward the police.

      There's not a sane person in the city who views a police blotter as an attempt to cast suspicion on everyone. We all share race, sex, and ages with people in the blotter. Duh.

      You'd have to be a moron to jump to the conclusion that all 'middle age white males' are suspect because the police report a burglary by one 'middle age white male'. But that is exactly your conclusion.

      If the city council takes your direction, they are absolutely nuts.

    18. Good point about stupidity being cast as a civic value...that's in effect right now but it's going to change and that's why the casting of suspect's race with no other descriptive information in the EPD crime stat blotter will be banished as policy. I'm assuming this will happen because I'm assuming there are not overt racists in charge at EPD. A sane person doesn't think everyone of a race is or should be a suspect in a specific crime and that's what will inform the change in policy (that and EPD's desire to remove this public embarrassment). I have no animosity towards the police but the Tattler WILL hold them to account like we do to all public agencies. They're never going to get a pass from us to allow for bad behavior. This is central to the Tattler's mission: hold the elite to account (includes the business community). The City Council will not be the body that changes the policy, it will be taken care of internally at EPD. Pressure will come to bear if needed, ultimately from the City Council but it's highly unlikely to get to that point. This would not be construed as "nuts" (except by outliers...people who are themselves nuts), rather them doing their duty to serve the public interest. Since there's no business interests pushing back here, this is an easy 'gimme'. I expect it will quietly be taken care of (quiet except except the Tattler will report). Thanks for your comments.

    19. If the city plans to put the community at risk to satisfy a local blogger while helping people who commit crimes against the community, they SHOULD do it as quietly as possible.

    20. If the City did that you can rest assured, the Tattler would report on it. If you have any tips, please let me know.

  2. Brian- Your anti-police sentiment is getting old already. Three of the last four articles you've written are negative dissertations involving EPD. Did you get a ticket or have a run in with them recently? Time to find a new target already! Direct your anger and massive literary skills back at city hall and quit using the word meme.

    1. "Anti-police"? That's funny, I've been accused of being too pro-police but never anti-police. Why don't you use the Tattler search bar and check out my stories on the Emeryville Police Department over the years. You may want to take back your charge against me. You'll see glowing reports on their professionalism. The current problems are centered mostly on our new Chief.
      I have not received any tickets lately. I go where the news takes me...I don't have it in for the police.
      Lastly to answer your criticism, note the following:
      an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by non-genetic means, especially imitation.

      As you can see the short and concise word is very helpful to describe a ubiquitous condition that would require a lot of words to go around. Rather than the Tattler using it too much, more likely the word isn't used enough elsewhere and so it seems strange here.

    2. What Brian won’t tell you is that the reason he’s targeting the police is that his fragile ego has been bruised. While Chief James turned a blind eye toward Brian’s frequent harassing of people and even enabled him, Chief Tejada will not tolerate this. In fact, the Chief won’t even give him the time of day or even acknowledge him and this infuriates him. “How dare you not acknowledge me! I’m Brian Donahue, the Mayor’s brother and a 40 year resident!”

      Brian, you are so simple.

    3. I've been harassing people? That's a pretty serious charge being that it's illegal and all. Interesting that I've not been arrested for that since, as you say I'm doing it. I mean if you can clearly see my crimes, you'd think the Chief of Police (old OR new) could see them. After I get arrested for harassment, you'll get your vindication. How's that sound? In the meanwhile I suggest you compile your evidence and present it to the police. Should be an easy thing getting someone arrested who's breaking the law (especially someone who's been critical of the police department). Sound good?

    4. OBTW You got your assessment wrong; I don't want 'acknowledgment' from the Chief. She creeps me out and I want nothing to do with her. I DO expect her to run the Department in a way that reflects the community's values. Where she doesn't, the City will hear from me (and you too I would hope).
      And I haven't lived in Emeryville 40 years; it's been 35 years.

    5. Chief Tejada "creeps me out"? Anyone that's been in the same room with you would say the same of you.

      Could this be that you are uncomfortable with Women in power?

    6. It's difficult for me to make such a leap as you have being that you're hiding behind your insistence on anonymity. You realize your credibility goes down if you're unwilling to sign your name to your work I presume. Accordingly, what you do is the easiest thing in the world.

      RE: Women in power- Again, as I said about the police: women in power in Emeryville will be held to account by the Tattler, just like men. Bad public policy promulgated by women in power will be pushed back against. The Tattler gives no free passes to the elite.

      I'm a registered Green Party member. One of our 'Green Core Values' is anti-sexism (anti-racism is another). It's interesting that you allege I've joined a party that has this as one of the core values being the misogynist you say I am. I'm wondering why I would join an anti-sexist party if I'm a sexist. How about YOUR party (Republican per chance?); is anti-sexism a core value as a standing and unwavering party value as it is in the Green Party? I'm thinking no. So the charge is reversed; why don't you want to join a party that's anti-sexist, especially since you want to judge women with a lower standard than men? Is it that you're uncomfortable with women in power?

  3. At least EPD was only exhibiting racial discrimination. I read about another suspect being sought in a robbery in a city I won't mention. The description given in the bolo was" Black male, 5' 0" to 5'3", wearing a pink pair of shorts and red T-shirt, escaping the scene in a white Honda accord with a rainbow sticker and handicap plates(see video). What we obviously have here is a case of Racial discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination and disabled person discrimination. Huh! I guess Police should just say be on the lookout for a Human Being to be safe and not insult the protected classes.

    1. I don't get your point unless you're just showing off your racism for all to see. The description of the robbery suspect you quote is fine...actually better than fine because of the high level of specificity of it. That description could plausibly result in an apprehension with citizens helping police on the lookout for such a specific individual. Unlike Emeryville's racist police blotter which could never result in an apprehension.

  4. Smh... There's always that one person...
    Brian, I think you're taking it out of context to fit your aimless & trivial argument. If someone calls saying they were just robbed by three black males with no further information, what do you expect EPD to post? As a private citizen, I'd like to know who's committing crimes even if they don't have the full description. If you keep touting they'll eventually pull the plug on their crime blotter then we'll be in the dark. So, please stop.
    I just feel like you're an unwarranted "freedom fighter" who is magnifying race wherever they can. Sounds to me like you're trying to start a race war while pointing the finger at EPD.
    It's funny that you're the only one who agrees with you. You like to attack and only write negative articles. You appear to be a whiney baby or a grumpy old man who is bored, bitter and lonely with nothing else to do. You also talk in circles.
    As a black female I tried to agree with your article but it came off as you promoting your own narrative while using the black race. Same thing you're doing with EPD. There seems to be a pattern here, ey?? ;)
    If you really want to help us blacks, stop focusing on suspect descriptions that CIVILIANS report and direct that energy towards fighting against gentrification. I for one am TIRED of feeling like a stranger in my own neighborhood I've lived in since adolescence.

    1. What do I expect the EPD to post if they don't have any relevant descriptive information on suspects? Then I expect them to post nothing by way of a description...just like how the City of Berkeley does it. I understand you want the information that a suspect is Black with nothing else, what will you do with that information? Before you answer, remember by asking for that you're asking a government to engage in racist stereotyping so you can do...what? Please tell. Everyone in the society gets harmed so you can do what with the info?
      If the City of Emeryville stops posting the crime blotter (as a result of this story) , that's their decision. I'm not asking for that. I'm only asking that government agencies not engage in racist stereotyping.
      RE: "whiney old baby grumpy man who only writes negative articles"- Yes, it's called 'speaking truth to power'. I'm not interested in telling people what a wonderful job the government or the business elite is doing...They're perfectly capable of telling us that themselves; they certainly devote a lot of recourses to that endeavor. I'm not interested in when the system works, only when it doesn't work (occasionally I break this credo). That's called news. Don't like it? Don't read the Tattler. Go to the E'Ville Eye and read about the latest new ramen shop opening.

      I'm not interested in "helping Blacks", only increasing justice for all in the community. That's part of defending the commons that's elucidated in the Tattler masthead.

      RE; Gentrification- If you've been reading the Tattler like you say you have been, you'd know the problems associated with gentrification are central to what we do here. We've been trying for livability for the existing residents and fighting against the building of more and more market rate luxury lofts, condos and now apartments for years. We've done lots of stories fighting back against the phony supply and demand BS proffered by developers. Why are you not aware of this if you're been such a faithful reader of the Tatter? You sound a bit confused.

  5. I'll be back when you address gentrification and why rent is so high.
    Oh! And don't bother responding to my previous post because I read all of your MANY rants.
    Happy New Year!

    1. Rent is so high in Emeryville because for 24 years we had a City Council who did the bidding of developers. The Tattler was the major push back against that for our entire 7 year history. Have you helped? Where have YOU been when the Tattler was fighting against this?

      speak or shout at length in a wild, impassioned way.

      Yes, the Tattler has spoken at length in an impassioned way for years (about gentrification among other things). We haven't shouted and the "wild" part is not applicable. "Cogent" is a better descriptor I think.

      Happy New Year!

    2. All of you Tattler-haters are just idiots. Don’t you realize that all of Brian’s stories are satirical? Like 'The Onion' of Emeryville. Right Brian?

    3. All Tattler haters are idiots? You said it not me. Personally I think only the idiotic ones are idiots but if you want to assert they're all idiots, well, that's your opinion man.
      The Onion of Emeryville? I've read the Onion. It's really funny. So you're asserting the Tattler is funny? Lets take a look at a few recent stories, see how funny they are:
      The Tattler reported on how the newly remodeled police station is a fire trap. Citizen's who interact with the police put themselves in harms way because of a poorly done $2.7 million taxpayer paid public safety building construction project. That's really funny!
      Or how about when the Tattler reported on the taxpayer funded new bike path Bay Trail extension along Christie Ave that was so poorly done it's not ridable? It's so funny when the government wastes taxpayer money! Don't ya think?
      Or how about when the Tattler reported on the fact that City Council members made election promises to implement the Bike Plan and deliver the Horton Street Bike Blvd? They buckled under pressure from developers rather than doing what they told voters they'd do. The Tattler reported it. Hilarious!
      Or how about when the Tattler reported on how the resident activist group RULE secured total power at City Hall after the last election when all three of their candidates won the City Council election. It's something the residents should know and it's also really funny! It's super funny when the people are informed about the doings of their government! Right?

  6. Providing a description of a crime and the basic features of a suspect (race, age, sex) increases the chance crimes are solved and decreases the chance they are repeated.

    For example, "Suspects robbed the Apple Store and assaulted a loss prevention officer when confronted. Description: 3 white males, 16-20 years old Loss: 3 iPads".

    This might lead to the following outcomes:

    - A person who saw the event but didn't realize what was occurring can come forward to the police with additional information.
    - A school official who sees 2 white students suddenly appear the next day with new iPads can ask questions, contact parents, or contact the store.
    - A person who saw three young white males, one of which he recognized as living on his street, loitering outside the store before the crime can identify the suspects
    - A store owner next door who has been struggling with items disappearing and is frequently visited by three young white males can contact the Apple store to see if they are the same people.
    - A person who is offered a new iPad for half price by a young white male later that week can contact the police

    If reporting the race of suspects in a crime is racist, then it stands to reason that reporting the sex and age of a suspect is sexist and ageist as well. Why should we allow the Emeryville Police to promote the rampant stereotype that young men are more likely to commit crimes? So our description of the suspects becomes: "3 people" both useless and casting the largest possible net of suspicion.

    While a police blotter is a great tool, apparently, it can also lead to a white man calling the police and trying to get a random black man arrested so that he can use race as a marketing tool to promote his blog.

    1. Ah clever of you. I remember my High School debate class fondly (Mr Buchanan). I got an A! There we learned about how to use procrustean stratagems forcing catholic uniformity to fit an ideological paradigm and the logic of reductio ad absurdum to disprove the opponent's argument by use of a straw man. You obviously remember your High School debate class too. Good must've gotten an A as well. Nice how you've taken the other side's raison d'etre out by assigning no value to the problems associated with a government willing to use racism to take away people's humanity. I can't see it! Now you only need the clean up. You could have extended your debate tactics: The crime blotter, by reporting on crimes that "Blacks" do, can be used to round up every Black in a radius in order to catch the criminals and a greater community good would thus be obtained (stop and frisk!). The problem with taking your tactics that far of course would be all but the most insensitive and racist people would feel queasy. Best to dial the tactics back just far enough to cast the widest net possible without having to admit the other side's basic humanity as you have so deftly done sir. Those who took High School debate and the humanists among us are left out but still, well played, well played young man.

  7. woah, you're ego is fucking huge, brian- you're not as bright as you think you are. can you get the fuck over the descriptors police give out for suspects? what if thats the only reliable information they have? its certainly the easiest to ascertain at a distance or a glance. should they NOT give it out because you might call them racist? get a life already, dude.

    1. You know, it's usually better for your case against someone, if you're going to call them out for not being bright, to at least get your contractions down. I mean at a minimum. It would have a tendency to strengthen your case if you know what I mean.