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News and Features
February 22-March 1, 2006

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Undercover Oops

By Sarah Phelan

Who knew that undercover officers are authorized to drink beer at meetings? Or that undercover officer Carter Jones estimates that when he left a Dec. 17 DIY Parade planning meeting, his 12-ounce can of Tecate was "half full"? (Hey, at least he's an optimist.)

These and the following are just a handful of the essential factoids which came to light during our exhaustive perusal of the the SCPD's 600-page internal affairs investigation, which is now available at the local library. They are presented here in the hope that others will also be inspired to read it. (See, we're optimists, too.)

- Officers Carter Jones and Wesley Hansen arrived by bicycle at the Oct. 29 DIY planning meeting, armed and carrying radios, only to find everyone else in Halloween costumes.

- The officers told DIY Parade planners they'd heard about the parade at the "Farmer's Market."

- Jones said his family would participate as the "Razor Scooter brigade."

- Hansen claimed he was from SoCal, here to attend UCSC and with contacts at the Surfrider Foundation.

- The officers persuaded the DIY Paraders to start at 6pm, and not 10pm, on New Year's Eve.

- At the Dec. 29 meeting, Jones was suspicious when a photographer snapped shots as he and Hansen waited with underground activist and parade organizer Wedley Modes in the Cooper House breezeway for the rest of the DIY Parade organizers to show. As his acquaintance snapped photos, Modes asked the two undercover cops with mock innocence, "Do you think the cops would take pictures of us?" to which Jones replied, "No."

- An entry posted on the website last fall stated, "We're not asking for permits or permission. We're just gonna do it. Who's willing to take the risk of truly living without limits?"

- Based on statements provided on the Last Night DIY website, Vogel did not believe the SCPD would gain any cooperation from this group, even if the SCPD had reached out to them and contacted them directly.

- A review of police files confirmed the group had not applied for a permit, a discovery, writes Vogel, that, coupled with the website's "tone of defiance," and other incidents of past violence on New Year, along with the folding of the traditional First Night event, led him to suggest an undercover operation to Lt. Escalante.

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