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Silicon Valley News Notes

Task Force Forces The Issue

When Mayor Chuck Reed and his City Council allies created the Public Intoxication Task Force back in October, they put its members on a tight leash. The task force, created in response to community members outraged over the large number of Latinos arrested for being drunk in public, predictably demanded full access to arrest reports, as well as a greater scope and extended timeline so they could get down to the bottom of this issue. Members of the group soon began to feel stonewalled by city leaders—and let them know it. In response, Reed and the council have turned around and teamed up with an academic consortium to analyze arrest data and police tactics, which, they say, will help determine whether racial profiling is happening. Some feel this makes the task force seem more like a PR tool than a stakeholder group with a mission. Even worse, they are learning that Police Chief Rob Davis knew about this potential consortium long before the task force was even created. Skyler Porras, director of the ACLU–Northern California, says the task force members are plotting the next steps. "We are operating with an increased level of distrust," Porras says. "At this point there is significant concern that the city is not acting in good faith."

Party 101

Speaking of intoxication: Apparently San Jose State University is quite the party school. Except it's not the students who are having all the fun. On March 5, around noon, police were called to room 229 of Clark Hall, where Food Culture was being taught. According to Detective Mike Santos, the officers on the scene found the instructor Eileen Trans, whom they say was a tad bit intoxicated. "She walked in and she had fallen and hit her head on the whiteboard and then she just started acting really weird," said Dan Lu, a student in the class. Though she was not arrested or cited, the officers had someone come pick her up, and told the class it was canceled for the day. The following week a new teacher was filling in for Trans. About two hours later, in Dudley Moorhead Hall, someone reported to the police that Patrick MacDonald, a sociology lecturer, was giving out alcohol to minors. Detective Santos said that upon investigation the police could find no evidence that any minors had been drinking, although there was alcohol present, and sent the case to faculty affairs. No charges were filed. The Fly thinks that it took the wrong classes in college and desperately wants to re-enroll.


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