The City of San Jose (CA)’s Ignorance and Blind Acceptance of
Anti-Police False Narratives Fuels “Blue Bias”
Ron Martinelli, Ph.D.
Copyright © 12-07-20
I know a lot about the City of San Jose (CA), having spent the majority of my law enforcement career there as an officer and detective. I, like many of my brothers and sisters in blue survived the city’s growing pains from the 1970’s – 1990’s as the city emerged as the heart of “Silicon Valley,” and the leading region in America for the nation’s technology boom.
One continuing and troubling concern I have had over the many years I worked in SJ even after retiring, is how can so many “educated and woke” people be so ignorant of the city’s true history and unappreciative of their own officers who have sacrificed so much to make the city a relatively safe major urban area, in comparison to its sister cities in San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles.
I was there as the police department’s first assigned street gang investigator monitoring and investigating over 100 active street gangs during the turbulent and controversial times when the joke within the law enforcement community was that the Mayor and the City Council were telling the press that “San Jose has no gang problem.” At that time, 28% of all homicides in the city were gang-related. Current SJ Mayor San Liccardo was a mere child back then.
In the early 1980’s, the city and its Redevelopment Agency were working hard to revitalize its “core” downtown area which had been all but abandoned to cheap liquor stores, crack hotels and bands of roving prostitutes. Back then, it was the dedication, hard work and sacrifices of SJPD officers – not the profiteering then Mayor Tom McKenry who cleaned up the streets to create what is now referred to as the thriving downtown “Entertainment Zone,” now enjoyed by the very woke techies who ignorantly criticize its police force.
Make no mistake, if it had not been for the countless hours invested by SJPD patrol officers and the department’s elite Street Crimes Unit, downtown SJ today would mirror Third World-like cesspools like San Francisco, Stockton, or Los Angeles. As for Mayor Liccardo, well, he was enjoying the ignorant bliss of his “white privilege” and getting a good education as a teenager attending uppity Bellarmine College Prep.
Not many in Silicon Valley are aware of this but historically, the San Jose Police Department polices the city with less than one third of the officers that other major urban cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, New York City or Philadelphia have. Not an easy task for a city with significant resident and commute populations.
Historically, the San Jose Police Department had formerly enjoyed a well-earned national reputation as a leading “model agency” within America’s law enforcement community. Back then, nearly no one ever left the SJPD unless it was for a command-level position in another agency. All of that has changed now.
Now that you have had your brief history lesson, let me “woke” you up a bit and discuss why I’m writing this article. It’s about systemic “Blue Bias” in the City of San Jose and nationally. It’s now apparently now in vogue to pile on the cops.
The City’s latest insult to its police force came in the form of a controversial, anti-police and extremely offensive piece of “artwork” painted by twenty-year old Vietnamese University of Santa Barbara student “artist” and wannabe dancer Eric Bui entitled, “Holding the Moment.” This mural, formerly on display at the SJ Mineta International Airport where it could be seen by thousands of passing visitors was commissioned and approved by none other that the city’s Public Arts Commission.
Where is has been said that people interpret art differently, it’s really not too difficult to “get” where Bui is coming from, even though his stated mindset in recent interviews suggests that he is one confused and ignorant young college student.
I and my many colleagues in the law enforcement community who aren’t so “woke” see a masked Antifa-like masked protestor holding an upside down American flag (the symbol of distress), while victoriously standing on top of a patrol car with bloody windows inferring that the officer(s) inside the vehicle have been assassinated.
Now apparently young Bui sees his art differently as he walked the “true meaning” his art back during a recent interview with NBC News. Bui states that his threatening and violent piece is actually, “A call for peace. It’s anti-killing. It’s about not having any more of these deaths.” Really, Eric? Just what deaths and under what conditions are you referring to? Like many people Eric’s age and also within now older “Millennial Generation,” they have a problem discerning between “their truth” from “the truth.”
The spokesperson for the City’s International Airport Scott Wintner, was quick to step away from the Blue Bias art landmine controversy, providing an anemic response to a SJ Spotlight reporter, that the airport “could not provide details on the art because the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs manages public art.” Really Scott? So the minute you realized that your airport was displaying this violent and offensive piece of “art” that the very police officers who protect the security of your airport were forced to observe every day, you had absolutely nothing to say to the Public Arts Commission? Zero complaints from you? How pathetic is that.
Many observers like me understand that art is actually a form of communication. What Eric Bui, Mayor Liccardo, the SJ City Council and their equally ignorant Public Arts Commission need is some context and perspective to “woke” them up a bit.
So if you are all confused as to why so many current and retired law enforcement officers are so angry with you, your Black Lives Matter movement confederates, and your skewed, anti-law enforcement false narratives mindset, here are some vetted facts to consider.
Destroying the Black Lives Matter and anti-police rhetoric false narratives with truth
There are currently about 600,000 municipal, state and federal field officers assigned to patrol duties in the U.S. These officers make literally tens of millions of contacts each month. Of those various contacts, only slightly more than one percent ever result in any use of physical force. Officer-involved shootings constitute a tiny fraction of one percent of all uses of force. In 2019, law enforcement nationwide had only 1,004 officer-involved shooting fatalities, or which two-thirds were people of color. A large number of these shootings were by officers of color; not just white officers. Statistically, a person of color has literally a much better chance of being struct by lightning, than being shot by a police officer.
Now, lets compare and contrast officer-involved shootings with civilian-involved shootings. For starters and “context,” let’s start with the City of Chicago. Currently, the city of Chicago’s gun violence murder and injury rate is 739 shot/killed and 3,274 shot/wounded. That’s 3,945 shootings and we haven’t even closed out the year.
In Chicago, over 96% of all persons shot, killed or wounded are persons of color who have been shot by other persons of color; not by police. As for the Chicago police, they have shot/killed only six and wounded eleven people so far this year. Here’s some more woke context for you. Chicago citizens of color have shot/killed 119 times more and shot/wounded a staggering 290 times more people of color than their own police!
Let me continue, the Chicago murder rate of people of color by people of color is roughly two-thirds of all of the officer-involved shootings combined in the entire country and that’s just one major U.S. urban city!
It’s the public who really need to “de-escalate”
Here’s some more inconvenient truths. In 2019, the City of Los Angeles with a population of 4 million residents had only thirty-six officer-involved shootings. Therefore, last year your chances of being shot, not necessarily killed by police was roughly only .000009 of one percent. In contrast currently, the city has experienced 300 homicides which is a 95% increase over the city’s 2019 homicide rate.
New York City is currently experiencing a whopping 180% in gun violence homicides. Baltimore has a 65% increase in their gun violence murder rate. Detroit’s gun violence murder rate is up 49% and St. Louis’s gun violence murder rate has already hit a 25-year high. The combined murder rates of only six of these major urban cities in our country at 2,446 homicides clearly surpasses by over 2.5 times the entire number of officer-involved shooting fatalities nationwide. Just six cities.
Ponder these well-vetted statistics for a minute and then tell me who is out of control and who needs to de-escalate? Unless you are very poor at basic math, it is clearly the public and not the police who need to calm down.
Stop drinking the BLM “Kool Aid” and apply some common sense
Contrary to what militant anti-law enforcement organizations like Black Lives Matter tell you and placating to their base ignorant politicians parrot, America is not facing a “racism” or a “police violence” problem. We are facing a behavioral, resistance and systemic ignorance problem.
As a forensic expert who investigates police-civilian confrontations and officer-involved shootings daily, I can honestly tell you that civilian behavior and resistance to authority is at the heart of all police-civilian confrontations that lead to any use of force and more importantly deadly force. But not for a number of consistently repetitive issues: drug influence, civilian emotional capture, civilian failure to de-escalate, unarmed and armed civilians threatening, physically resisting and committing acts of extreme violence upon police and mental illness, the vast majority of civilian injuries and deaths could be significantly reduced and even eliminated in most cases.
The Black Lives Matter movement is no friend of law enforcement, or a Democratic society. They are an avowed Marxist, Black Nationalist and militant movement that seeks to Disenfranchise, Distance, Defund and Dissolve law enforcement who are the protectors and enforcers of the Rule of Law. As a court expert who has extensively researched, investigated and written about the BLM, I cannot think of a single black family that the organization has helped.
The media has documented that major U.S. corporations, celebrities and outside sources such as have donated hundreds of millions of dollars in their coffers. On June 8, 2020, the Financial Times newspaper had identified that $450 million has been pledged to Black Lives Matter-affiliated organizations.
Iconic American brands, from Facebook to Apple, have pledged financial support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement in response to the death of George Floyd. Corporations alone donating to BLM include Airbnb ($500K), Amazon, Apple, Ben & Jerry’s, Away Luggage ($700K), Facebook, Glossier ($500K), Nike, YouTube, Twitter and over 100 more companies. Yet, where is all of that money going? Certainly not to the families of so-called “victims or police violence.”
I find the ignorance of politicians, the mainstream media and the average citizen regarding their knowledge of the forensic facts about the BLM movement and police encounters with the public to be staggering. Young artist Bui, the City of SJ’s Public Arts Commission, the City’s Mayor and City Council typify this disappointing level of ignorance. This is all ultimately at the expense of the safety and security of the City’s citizens and its police officers.
The SJ Mayor and City Council members standing in front of the taxpayer-funded
Black Lives Matter sign in front of City Hall
Black Lives Matter banners adorn downtown Streets in San Jose
Without a true understanding of the facts, of our nation’s history and basic civics and the role of law enforcement in a democratic society, we collectively degrade our society to the level of a Third-World Marxist country
Perhaps, Mr. Bui should ask his parents why they fled from communist View Nam to come to America. Perhaps Eric should devote some time to going on a citizen ride-a-long to meet officers face to face and experience their many challenges. He took a cheap shot at his police department and was apparently so ignorant of the true facts of police encounters that he thinks his repulsive “art” is a work of “peace.”
Perhaps the City’s Public Arts Commissioners who certainly appear to be more than a bit ignorant and living in their disengaged bubble should climb into a patrol car and ride the mean streets of SJ during a couple of swing shifts to see the myriad of difficulties their police officers must deal with daily. That’s not a lot to ask when people you have insulted risk their lives for you.
You can only spit in the faces of dedicated officers so many times before they question why they are risking their lives for self-important, privileged and ignorant people who don’t have their backs and who would rather saddle up with militant, avowed Marxist organizations like the Black Lives Matter and resist movements.
For those readers who want to express their outrage with and demand accountability from the City of San Jose Public Arts Commission, you can contact Chairwoman Smita Garg at email@example.com and at (408) 793-4348.
Ron Martinelli, Ph.D., is a retired San Jose (CA) PD officer who is now a nationally renowned
forensic criminologist and contributing writer to a number of law enforcement magazines and internet
sites. Dr. Martinelli is the author of the best-selling book, “The Truth Behind the Black Lives Matter
Movement and the War on Police.”
Order at: drronmartinelli.com