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Friday, November 3, 2017

Follow Up Friday: Racist Stereotyping at Police Department Taken Care Of

Emeryville City Hall Stops Police Department 
Racist Stereotyping

'It's Being Taken Care Of' Says City Manager

At Follow Up Friday, we look back on previous stories; what's happened after our spotlight shined on it?  If there was a problem identified, has it been solved?  Has there been no change and the amount of elapsed time made the issue newsworthy again by virtue of that fact?  Look to Follow Up Friday to wrap it all up or to highlight for us all how lame our city can be.

After the Tattler twice reported on the racist nature of the Emeryville Police Department’s monthly crime blotter posted on the City’s website, the City Manager has moved to banish the formerly steadfast racist posts.  The Chief of Police, Jennifer Tejada, had been outed by the Tattler in two stories, one in December 2016 and another in February 2017 for injecting racist stereotyping into the City's official crime report.
 City Manager Carolyn Lehr acted after she received complaints from City Council members, by ordering the Chief to stop using overt racist stereotypes in the blotter.  Ms Lehr told the Tattler, “It’s being taken care of” some months ago in response to questions about if the City’s website would continue to post a suspect’s race as the only identifying quality of reported crime perpetrators the blotter chronicles.  

Emeryville Police Chief Jennifer Tejada 
The oath of office doesn't include perpetuating
racist stereotypes.
The monthly crime blotter reports crime in the city and gives descriptions of the suspects as they are given to the police from citizens. The blotter reports specific crimes, their locations, time and a description of the suspect(s) if known.  Sometimes the get-away vehicle is described or direction of travel of the suspect.  Physical descriptions of the suspects commonly include sex, height, weight, age, race, facial hair, hair length/color and distinguishing body characteristics.  The idea is to provide the public with information that could possibly lead to capture of criminals in our town.  The problem before the Tattler shone a light on it was that commonly the blotter would only report the suspect’s race (usually black) with no other identifying characteristics, leaving no way for the public to help the police capture a perpetrator.  That valueless description could only help perpetuate racist stereotyping.

Despite the Tattler stories on the subject, Chief Tejada initially stood by her racist blotter posts until she was forced by the City Manager to stop.  Now Emeryville’s monthly crime blotter leaves off a suspect’s race unless it is accompanied by other distinguishing characteristics, the way other cities in the Bay Area report crimes. 


  1. "The problem before the Tattler shone a light on it was that commonly the blotter would only report the suspect’s race (usually black)"

    Usually black? Are you saying that the suspects in most Emeryville crimes are "usually black"?

    Racist much?

    1. No, I’m not racist much. How about you? Reading comprehension much?
      Now to answer your question: I counted the number of times the Chief left out physical descriptions for white suspects versus black and it wasn’t even close. White suspects almost always were suplimented with other physical descriptions, blacks commonly not. Hence the information I gave, “usually black”.
      Someone with better reading comprehension than you wouldn’t have made your conclusion but not to chase you off, the “poorly educated” people are welcome at the Tattler

    2. Yea, that was your point and that's what I took away when I read it. Why don't anonymous writers read before they are so quick to condemn? Be brave enough to put your name on a comment if you are going to make one. Cheers!

  2. Racist countering comments in 3.....2....1....:

  3. Absurd. You're demanding less info for the people. I thought you were a news site.

    1. A news site, yes. That means we expose the government when they forward racist stereotypes. A local government using its resources to tell its citizens that black people are to be looked at as criminals; anywhere you go in America, that's (still) newsworthy.

  4. The only individuals crying and moaning about this article are individuals who share the racist views of our racist Police Department here in Emeryville. Hello folks! I know for a fact and through personal experience that this department is racist. I have experienced racist police stops and harassment by this police force. I have experienced on at least one occasion the unnerving feeling that though I could possibly need these folks in the future for help, there racism and tainted Minds would forgo my even getting a fair shot at the kind of treatment some of you crying out there about this article already enjoy. Do we not consider a news site a news site if it questions the those in power in our various government organizations, city and state.

    Let's have a little more thinking out there people and a little less of whatever that is.

  5. How's this for racist Emeryville Police Department. And the racist Apple Store staff to boot. Today I was on Bay Street here an hour clorius Emeryville and decided to stop in at the Apple Store to check out the new iPhone x. Outside the store stood two bouncers who stood with arms crossed facing the street as I approached and indicated that I only want to go in to take a look. I went in to take a look and as I turned to leave after doing nothing more than the other customer is there at the Apple Store, I noticed that both bouncers were turned facing the store and looking directly at me. As I exited I noticed that where there were no Emeryville police officers present there were now three different patrols greeting me as I left the Apple Store. It was evident upon my entering that I had raised the alarms of several of the staff including the bouncers at the door who I am sure indicated in some way for Emeryville police to get ready for a possible snatch-and-run which is what I witnessed as I left the store. This is a common occurrence in Black America. And the Emeryville Police Department is no different than any other dirty racist Department in this country. And let's face it. Any of you who know or fancy yourself as slightly educated will know that the first police force was a slave Patrol. Officers of color were not permitted until relatively recent. This problem has not vanished they have just found other ways to go about their racial profiling as evidenced by my reception upon entering the streets again from the Apple Store. To the Emeryville police out there as well as the city of Emeryville. We are not stereotypes. And truly you are bigger criminals than I could ever be

  6. Thank you Brian Donahue for your intelligent and analytical perspective. Crime is rising in our city and residents need to support law enforcement as much as possible. Emeryville, with its high amount of retail and ever growing resident base, is becoming a magnet for criminals for both easy, petty crimes as well as more crimes violent in nature. Instead of picking the police apart based on what they may or may not post as it pertains to the descriptions of suspects, we need to be giving them our support and encouraging them to be more proactive in defense of our city and aggressive in prosecuting those individuals found guilty of said crimes.

    1. America needs improving when it comes to crime and punishment says you. You think the government should engage in overtly racist practices to help push down crime. That's what you mean when you say we should "support our police" by which you mean to allow them to continue to use racist practices. If a little bit of racism helps, using your logic, then a lot or racism should help even more. Right? How much racism is too much? And before you answer, consider when one of your fellow racist white people says the government should be even more racist than you say? Given your dictates that a racist government that hates black people is good for crime prevention then why should we stop only when you say stop? Why not reduce crime even more and stop when a fellow racist says stop? At that point, what's to stop all the rest of us to start calling you 'soft on crime'? What force or edict should dictate when to stop with racist solutions to perceived problems?

      Or we could have the government not engage in racist practices and instead fight crime all while obeying the law that demands that all people be treated fairly and equitably as the Constitution says.