Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday Must Read: Oakland Schools Top Cop Suspended for Alleged N-Word Tirade; FCC Investigating BART for Cellphone Shutdown

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland public schools Police Chief Pete Sarna is being investigated for an alleged racist tirade, in which he allegedly told a black cop that no blacks should be allowed to live in Orinda and that "the only good n- is a dead n- and they should hang you in the town square to prevent any other n- from coming in the area,” the Chron reports, quoting an attorney who is representing a white Oakland schools cop who filed a complaint against the chief. Sarna allegedly went on the racist tirade while driving other Oakland schools cops home from a charity golf event.

  • Sarna

He allegedly continued the racist attack when he dropped the white cop off at home, directing his tirade toward the man’s children and then later at an Asian-American cop. A source also told the Chron that Sarna had been drinking.

2. The Federal Communications Commission is investigating BART over its decision to shut down cellphone service for passengers last week in an effort to disrupt a protest, the Bay Citizen reports. BART has claimed that it shut off service in order to protect the public’s safety, but the US Department of Homeland Security said that it would not advise a transit agency to do what BART did unless there had been a specific threat — such as the possibility of a cellphone-triggered bomb. Merely thwarting a planned protest is not a good enough reason to kill cell service, the DHS said. BART apparently got the message, because the transit agency decided to keep cellphone service on during a protest last night over its decision to shutdown cell service last week.

3. The California Republican Party is already sponsoring a referendum drive to overturn the new legislative districts approved yesterday by the state’s new independent commission, the LA Times reports. The GOP is upset because the new state Senate and Assembly and Congressional districts are expected to favor Democrats.

4. A coalition of social welfare groups launched a boycott of Amazon.com yesterday over the online giant’s refusal to charge sales tax to its customers, the LA Times reports. The group notes that Amazon.com stubbornness is costing the state about $200 million a year in tax revenues and forcing California to slash services for the poor and disabled.

5. Law enforcement officials captured a second suspect in the murder of 3-year-old Carlos Fernando Nava, the Trib reports. The alleged getaway driver was nabbed in Las Vegas.

6. A grand jury has indicted state narcotics officer Norman Wielsch and private investigator Christopher Butler on corruption and drug charges, the Chron and CoCo Times report.

7. And a Trib editorial today runs down all the reasons for why MTC should abandon its plans to leave Oakland.

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