CAROLE (Community Advocating for Responsible Oversight of Law Enforcement) is a local Davis group which created and distributed flyers and door hangers supporting the creation of a police review board during mid-February 2006. The flyers and door hangers tell of five police misconduct/racial profiling stories. The flyer also names local leaders who support the creation of a police review board, including Natalie Wormeli, Rick Gonzales from the Mexican-American Concilio, Jann Murray-Garcia from Blacks for Effective Community Action, Nancy Temple from NAMI, and Betty Williams from the NAACP.
It is not know who paid for or created and distributed the flyers and mailers. Furthermore, their website is caroleonline.com. The domain caroleonline.com was registered via proxy, which means that the individual who purchased the domain is concealing their identity. Anonymous sources say that a high ranking official in the group is a local attorney, but would not reveal the identity of any members. Much discussion concerning the organization centers around its anonymous nature. Some speculate that CAROLE is an astroturfing campaign1.
CAROLE also sent out a mailer to Davis households during the month of March 2006, which details more current information about the recent arrest of a Davis 16-year old, with quotes of statements made by prominent community activists supporting the formation of a police oversight review board. The quotes are taken from televised city council meetings that are cited and can be verified.
Quotes from CAROLE Mailer
A few of the key quotes from the CAROLE Mailer in support of a police review board:
"I appeared before you during your September 22, 2005 Joint Meeting with the Davis City Human Relations Commission, to encourage you to study the establishment of an independent review function for the Davis Police Department. I was surprised, then, to read of the January 17, 2006 announcement of the City’s decision to appoint a Police Advisory Committee, comprised of three law enforcement officials positioned to review already completed internal complaints investigations. Such an advisory function is hardly independent. Out of my dual concern for restoring trust in local law enforcement and achieving justice for the aggrieved, I urge you and all members of the Davis City Council to take the time to study the working document, “Civilian Oversight to Strengthen and Improve the Davis Police Department”, and to establish an independent review function in the City of Davis. Had I not had first-hand experience guiding a longtime Davis resident through the existing Citizen’s Complaint process against the Davis Police, I would not have had the opportunity to experience its frustrating and “fox-in-the-hen-house” dynamic."—February 2, 2006 Letter to Davis City Council — Mariko Yamada (Yolo County Supervisor)
The ACLU investigated an incident concerning a police nighttime arrest of a child in the home of a member of our Muslim community and we reviewed the documents and many of the facts surrounding that particular arrest and we have come to the conclusion that it was probably illegal conduct on the part of the police with respect to that incident. Yet the police members who reviewed that themselves and provided a report on that, completely whitewashed the incident and found no wrong doing whatsoever. No one was disciplined. In this particular incident gives us reason to believe that the current review procedure in cases where there is misconduct is not working. And so we think that something has to be done to improve this situation. We like all of the members of the community realize that the vast majority of our police department consists of very hard working and dedicated loyal officers to do everything in their power to make our lives safer. But there are cases where there is wrongdoing and those cases are not being properly dealt with and we think the citizen’s review board will help in that respect."—at the February 21, 2006 Davis City Council Meeting — Bill Kopper (Attorney and Former Mayor of Davis)
Comments for the leadership in Davis about Citizen Complaints and the Formation of a Police Review Board:
“It’s very frustrating when I look at these appeals, and I say they are unfounded, groundless, I would say bogus but I wouldn’t want to offend anybody” — Jim Antonen, Former Davis City Manager, January 17, 2006 Davis City Council Meeting
“I was very unimpressed, and I think the results of those will be an eye-opener for the community when you see what we’re dealing with here”—Ted Puntillo, Davis City Council, January 17, 2006 Davis City Council Meeting
“During the discussions that the council has had, and our investigations, and inquiries into litigation matters, I fail to see any of them that call into question the operations or behaviors of Davis Police Officers. And I’m very confident in the operation of the department as it reviews allegations of behavior of Davis police officers.” —Don Saylor, Davis City Council, January 17, 2006 Davis City Council Meeting
“What I want are police officers out there that are using their training and their instincts, I don’t want them thinking about oh somebody’s going to be reviewing what I’m doing.” —Ted Puntillo, Davis City Council, January 17, 2006 Davis City Council
"Regarding the arrest of the 16-year-old girl and the complaint filed by her parents; 'Unfounded complaint. The defendant is awaiting criminal trial for a hit and run traffic accident.'—Davis Police Chief Jim Hyde, February 21, 2006 Written Report at Davis City Council Meeting
"The Davis Police Department handled this case precisely as it would in any other instance involving similar circumstances," Davis Police Chief Jim Hyde said in a written statement [to KGO]. "The officer investigating this incident had ample cause to arrest the juvenile suspect."
“The Police Department does not discuss pending cases with good reason. Such discussion could unfairly prejudice the City or the defendant. Where, as here, juvenile matters are at issue, confidentiality is of particular concern. Indeed, the Public Records Act and the Brown Act both recognize these principles, tempering the public's right to know against the need for confidentiality for the limited time while an issue is in litigation. See Cal. Gov't Code § 6254(b) and § 54956.9 (permitting closed session between city council and legal counsel regarding existing or anticipated litigation). More importantly, with respect to juvenile records, the City is precluded by law from disseminating information regarding juvenile cases. See, e.g., Welf. & Inst. Code § 827.”
"I'm comfortable with the process and procedure that we followed."—Ruth Asmundson, Mayor, March 16, 2006 interview with ABC News KGO Channel 7
see also Halema Buzayan
Davis Enterprise has a front-page story wondering about this group: http://davisenterprise.com/articles/2006/03/30/news/276new2.txt