So, a funny thing happened to me on Monday evening. As I was putting the finishing touches on my endorsements blog, my computer froze. So then I went to restart it. Then it wouldn’t restart. Then I spent a couple hours on the phone with tech support, then at the store, and the end result of all that is, well, I once again find myself without a computer. Also, I lost that blog and all the notes for it.
I’ll still do endorsements, unfortunately they’ll be a little less detailed than I had originally wanted, and of course, they’ll be later than I’d planned. I hope to put them up tomorrow or at the latest Saturday. (I wouldn’t feel bad about this if so many people didn’t insist on voting absentee for God knows what reason. I love going to the polls!) Anyway, that’s the story with the endorsements and also why I haven’t been posting the last couple of days.
Anyway, I’ll keep working on recreating that, but in the meantime, I have a question. Why are people not up in arms over the police department? I swear, during that whole Deborah Edgerly scandal, some new enraged message would pop up in my inbox like every five minutes, people wouldn’t discuss anything else here on the blog, even though I wasn’t even writing about it, and all the listservs were like, on fire. Random people I know who take zero interest in government or politics were like, hunting me down and wouldn’t talk about anything else.
But now, I have yet to receive a single message, phone call, or comment about either of two very, very major OPD issues currently in the news. First, how has it escaped everyone’s notice that we keep having to dismiss charges criminal cases because a number of Oakland police officers, for God knows what reason, have been lying to judges when requesting search warrants, thereby rendering those searches illegal? And that we’re being sued over it? (Which, um, we should be.) It’s a big deal, folks, and people should be a lot more upset.
Which brings me to my next point, and this is one that I really, really don’t understand – did people, like, not read the story in the Trib on Sunday about the Chauncey Bailey investigation? I mean, I guess not, since nobody seems to know what I’m talking about when I bring it up, and even most of my media junkie friends admitted that they didn’t read it. It got fewer comments than that pointless story about Nancy Nadel and her chocolates! I really don’t get why people aren’t interested – I realize the story is long, but I think most people can find some way to squeeze the time it takes to digest less than 4000 words out of their busy days. Please, people, read this story.
Anyway, if you did bother to read the story, maybe you’d be upset about the fact that the Oakland Police Department assigned as the lead detective in a high profile murder case someone who was personal friends with one of the main suspects in that crime, and that detective then proceeded to completely ignore gobs of evidence suggesting his friend was involved. You might also be upset that the department apparently doesn’t see this as a problem. Or, hey, maybe you wouldn’t. Maybe you, like someone I was talking to the other day, don’t really care about the murder either way, because you think the Post is a bad newspaper. Or maybe, like someone else I was talking to the other day, just hate all police in general and assume corruption at every level.
But if you don’t fall into one of those camps, maybe you should step back and take a second to reflect on the deep, deep dysfunction in the Oakland Police Department highlighted by these two bits of news. Maybe you should take some time to consider whether you really think that this is an organization that deserves another couple hundred dollars per year of your money. You might want to think about whether the administrative culture of OPD is one you approve of, and if, perchance, it isn’t, maybe you should then think about the fact that we may be getting a new police chief soon, and maybe it isn’t such a good idea to promote someone from within the department for that job. You might want to pass on your thoughts on that subject to, oh, I don’t know, your Councilmember and your Mayor. And maybe, just maybe, you might want to try to make sure that other people are aware of the problems too. Because, folks, this is so much worse than Deborah Edgerly. Where’s the outrage?