Search The Tattler

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Announcing: The Emeryville Tattler Police Accountability Project

The Emeryville Tattler Police Accountability Project
Has EPD Engaged in Racial Profiling?
The Police Accountability Project Will Find Out

Public Announcement
The Emeryville Tattler is in the process of obtaining years of data from the police department that will show indications of racial profiling the department may have engaged in. With a series of Public Records Requests, we will expose the field notes currently in the possession of the Emeryville Police Department that will show among other things, the race of civilians stopped in their vehicles, and as pedestrians in the commons and when the police use force for any reason.  If the police find an individual or group of individuals ‘suspicious’ for whatever reason and they stop them, we will know the race of those stopped.  We will be enabled to compare our police department with other departments.
The resultant data collected will reveal hard truths about our police department independent of any government claims to the contrary and thus will be very helpful in delivering the police reform the citizens are clamoring for.

In the wake of the mass nation-wide racist police brutality protests rocking our country, Emeryville residents would be wise to question the police in our own little town.  It’s clear police departments around the nation are racist.  But is our own little department also racist?  If they’re interviewed on the subject, police uniformly downplay or even deny there’s a problem.  Police sometimes lie...even Emeryville police. That’s to be expected. But what is the difference between what the government claims is the case and the actual record?  That’s what we intend to find out.
The Emeryville Police Department
Is it as good as they say?  The records that will show us
belong to us.  We're going to get the records and open them.

Citizens should know that Emeryville's City Hall, scared of open citizen revolt, is attempting to seize the narrative on police reform. They're seeing this as primarily a public relations problem and they're attacking it in a two pronged way; they're playing down calls for reform while admitting some cause for reform at the margins (that they say they can be trusted with administering).  They're going out of their way to assure the citizens the police department is already effectively a priori constrained with their recent City web posting that would mollify an agitated public.  And the City Council is also preparing meetings that will putatively reveal some problems at the police department and offer some fixes.  The first such meeting is slated for late July.  However, the timing of all this newfound desire for police accountability should be seen as suspect.
The Tattler has reported on evidence of racism at EPD and the existence of an undemocratic culture there for years and the Council has shown no interest in even investigating.  From the EPD killing of a black woman, Yuvette Henderson, to the militarization of department weaponry with the wholesale issuance of assault rifles, to the racist postings by the Chief of Police on the City’s website police blotter, there has been a lot to look at for would be reformers.  Unfortunately we could not get a City Council member interested in looking at any of it.  Claims made now for self reform will not be seen as credible or good enough.

The Tattler will report on what the City Council reveals in their investigations into our police department of course, but we suspect there’s not going to be much of anything helpful brought by them.  That’s where the Tattler will step in and fill the void with actual and relevant data.  We've already begun the data collection process but so far the EPD hasn’t been forthcoming with our initial public record request.  We're undaunted and you can count on the Tattler's dogged persistence as we retrieve the public records the people have a right to see.  We hope the City Council will partner with the Tattler and use what we find to drive reform as we begin the Emeryville Tattler Police Accountability Project.  Watch this space...


  1. Here's data point #1: When my wife's mother died, I took her to SFO to catch a red-eye to North Carolina. On my way back, I stopped along Beach St. to walk my dog under the 40th St. overpass. It was now around 3 AM. An Emeryville policeman pulled over shortly thereafter and asked me what I was doing there. I explained that I lived at the Warehouse Lofts and was just returning from the airport. He asked for my ID, asked a few more questions, and went on his way. I am a white male, was well dressed, and at the time was in my late 60s.

    1. Thanks for your comment Mike. You're free to make light of it but we're taking the idea of racist police seriously and we're actually going to find out if our police department is embodying Emeryville values or not. We're going to use the department's own data to find out.

  2. I think we all know the answer to your question, is the police department racist. It's important to do the work to prove it though. God bless your civic mindedness.

    1. Thanks for your comment. Zeus does indeed bless the Emeryville Tattler and He will strike down (with thunderbolts) all who would blaspheme the Tattler. We are protected by He who sits on His throne on Mt Olympus.

  3. If you don't find any evidence of racial profiling, will you print that?

    1. Of course! We would love to report that the Emeryville Police Department is not engaging in racial profiling. We're going to publish the straight data we harvest and our data analysis no matter what. Like every other police department, our department says they don't racially profile. Maybe that's true. But we're not going to just trust them. It'll take some months but we're going to find out for sure.