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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Seven Days

Re: “Cops Are Not 'Warriors'

" We've lost sight of the fact that while many police officers do fine work and deserve our respect and admiration, they don't deserve hero worship or to be labeled as "warriors.""

Wow, Robert Gammon has really jumped the shark on this one. I took note of the term "warriors" in the recent death of the police officer.
However, as a thinking adult, I realized that term emanated from a family member of the murdered police officer.

As I have lived some 60 years, I have come to make very large allowances for what family members say in the immediate time after the death of a loved one. That is what I did when I heard the family use that wording.

Apparently Robert Gammon is so set on dismissing the heroic acts of officers, that he makes no such allowance for the grief of family members.
In my mind, during their initial week of grief, they can pretty much say anything they want, and normal thinking adults make allowances for such statements even though they may not be the most precisely descriptive.

If this family wants to think of their fallen father as a hero and warrior, so be it.
Only a very small man fails to allow the family such a latitude during their week of grief.
Robert Gammon needs to take some time to reflect on the natural actions of his fellow humans as they deal with the death of a loved one.

49 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Dan de'Data on 08/05/2015 at 11:52 PM

Re: “Cops Are Not 'Warriors'

Robert Gammon...of all the idiot editorials and columns you have pushed it over the top.

Police officers every day risk their lives in enforcing the laws that the both local communities and the State legislature make. Every time a police officer is killed doing the dirty work of politicians, it makes perfect sense to ensure their funeral is public, grand, and celebrates how the "thin blue line" keeps us from anarchy.

This officer was a good man and a dad. He was killed in cold blood by a man who knew he would be imprisoned. How dare you suggest that celebrating the life of a man committed to all that's right with police work be degraded.

When police officers are killed or are injured I want the self-centered people of the Bay Area to be inconvenienced, delayed, and made more uncomfortable even more so when a funeral of an officer is held. Turn off your damn cell phones and recognize that officers who wear blue are men and women of honor.

Robert Gammon...You are a much better writer than what you produced this week. Hope you can reflect and do better.

Michael Sagehorn
Oakland, California

45 likes, 19 dislikes
Posted by michael.sagehorn on 08/05/2015 at 11:11 PM

Re: “Cops Are Not 'Warriors'

Another article that has no social value and in fact contributes to the entrenched way of life that makes Oakland the #1 most dangerous city in California and in the top 5 nationally, year after year. It devalues a profession and a life, in this case police, giving he murderous one more excuse to justify their criminality. Yet one more ax to grind by Mr. Gammon.

40 likes, 21 dislikes
Posted by Mary Vigilanti on 08/05/2015 at 9:56 PM

Re: “Cops Are Not 'Warriors'

I was wondering how this column would be received. I suspect had it appeared in the Trib (perish the thought), there would have been numerous police and prison guard union trolls responding angrily.
Apparently, they don't read the Express, but when this paper had the audacity to challenge a local reporter's bias against pensions for public workers, and you only have to be able to read to see the bias, other reporters jumped all over the Express, all very curious.
The real issue beyond policing and what it really means and who it serves, is that these humongous funerals and media hysterics end up making police officers more paranoid and more willing to shoot first and ask questions--not at all--since later is too late. The perception that it is a more a dangerous job than it is, endangers us all.
a former cab driver.

23 likes, 25 dislikes
Posted by Pamela Drake on 08/05/2015 at 2:53 PM

Re: “Cops Are Not 'Warriors'

The job description of police officers includes protecting individuals from physical danger. When a police officer is killed while attempting to protect other citizens from a danger, that officer has committed an act of heroism. It is entirely appropriate to honor that officer.

It should be obvious that heroism and danger are different. It is heroic to value another person's physical safety over your own. Police officers often do this. By contrast, truck drivers (one of the cited "more dangerous" jobs) perform a valuable service to society, but aren't placing others safety ahead of their own. While the death of a truck driver on the job is tragic, it is unlikely heroic.

Lastly, some officers are so bad at their job (or racist, evil, etc) that they make society a more dangerous place--as we have seen all too many times. However, this does not mean that we shouldn't honor those officers who are killed in the line of duty while protecting the general population (as it appears Scott Lunger was doing).

56 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Tommy Katz on 08/05/2015 at 1:27 PM

Re: “Cops Are Not 'Warriors'

People still don't realize the origins of police forces. In the south they evolved out of slave catching patrols. In the north they were established in the 19th century for social control (putting down strikes by workers) NOT to protect the people, (except to protect the one percent from the workers) for thousands of years there were no police forces. In ancient Rome for example armed forces (the legions) were banned from carrying arms and wearing armor in the city itself. The government was rightly afraid of abuses by armed men employed by the government

30 likes, 38 dislikes
Posted by Blaine Dixon on 08/05/2015 at 9:04 AM

Re: “Cops Are Not 'Warriors'

The disproportionality is tremendous. When a Caltrans worker dies or any other public servant is killed on the job, you don't see anyone using the Oracle Arena for the funeral. In fact, when cops kill citizens because of a cigarette, a tail light or lane change ticket, the first thing that happens is that the Police Department leaks things about the victim. He or she had an arrest record or had marijuana in their system. All in an attempt to vilify the victim who died , many times for doing nothing, but from actions by the people who are sworn to protect them. This as absolutely part of a national pushback by law enforcement to paint themselves as victims. Look at what is happening in some major east coast cities. Cops are purposely pulling back from doing their jobs in order to drive crime numbers up. They hope to illustrate that the demands by the public that they be professionals and obey the law themselves is an obstacle to police work. That is ridiculous. Whenever there is a video recording of police acting way beyond what is necessary or legal, you can bet there will be an old white (usually) police retired cop or police union representative on television trying to convince you that you did not see what you saw on the tape. Even after nearly a year of almost weekly tape evidence from all over the country that police behavior is out of control, they still don't get it!

39 likes, 35 dislikes
Posted by Gary Patton on 08/05/2015 at 3:44 AM

Re: “Cops Are Not 'Warriors'

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Editor on 08/05/2015 at 3:36 AM

Re: “Cops Are Not 'Warriors'

I think the article's correct. "Warriors" and other aspects of modern police does create a sense of a war zone, etc., as the article describes. Nice insight. I never thought of that.

East Bay Express, can you find out how expensive this funeral was for tax payers?

The article missed that: the outrageous expense of the funeral using our tax payer money. Ok, ok! Have an awesome funeral, but Oracle Arena? Did the arena donate that time? What about all the employees working the arena? Who paid them? Our tax payer money!? What about all those taxpayer-funded police cars driving to the funeral sucking up taxpayer-funded fuel? Overtime for officers doing traffic control? Lost productivity for stopping freeways? Etc. etc.

HAVE A BIG FUNERAL BUT NOT AN IDIOTICALLY EXPENSIVE ONE, which police were able to pull off because (1) it wasn't their money (it was ours) and (2) politicians are too afraid to offend the police union.

That's the thing about all this police and armed forces over-the-top spending of our taxpayer money. Another example is the CA prison guards union pushing 3-strikes laws (the biggest donors I think) so they could make more overtime and pull in $100k-$200k a year with their high school diplomas (though hiring requirements have increased in recent years). As gov Brown said when he was mayor in Oakland: the first time he was gov, CA had 30k inmates in CA prisons; now it HAS 30k prison GUARDS!! That's insanely expensive besides the other ramifications.

And aside from obvious the evil of police brutality, related settlements alone should get bad cops permanently fired, not fake-fired where the arbitrator reinstates them repeatedly. Oakland paid $74 million in settlements from 1990 to 2014; Chicago paid $521 million in just 10 years -- 2004-2014. Bad cops are evil and expensive (E&E).

Aside from a hedge fund, what type of company would retain a front line employee who cost his or her organization several million dollars for bad behavior, not even a "mistake"? I can't think of any except police departments, hedge funds, brokerage firms and banks (oh, and the Oakland Raiders).

39 likes, 34 dislikes
Posted by John Gordon on 08/05/2015 at 2:18 AM

Re: “Cops Are Not 'Warriors'

Police officers may not have the most dangerous job but they could die while protecting society from danger. I'm disappointed in you because you're trying to make a pissing contest out of this.

Have you talked to the people of the communities that police officers work in? I dont know why you think Cat and John are representatives of "our" voice.

What is screwed up are the people who attended the memorial for Lovelle Mixon. The throngs that attended the public funeral of Felix Mitchell. These are men that poisoned our communities and they are the ones that actually dehumanized people... They have turned our neighborhoods into war zones.

67 likes, 28 dislikes
Posted by John Blankenship on 08/04/2015 at 9:06 PM

Re: “Enough with the Environmentally Regressive Policies

The recent actions by the CPUC are not as nonsensical as Mr. Gammon suggests. The change in rate structure to 2, instead of the previous 4, tiers was mandated by AB 237 enacted in 2013 because the original setting of 4 tiers instituted in 2001 to discourage waste by levying much higher charges on high users did not promote conservation and, in fact, resulted in low use customers being subsidized by high use customers. The complexity of setting fair rates and also fostering desirable behavior is compounded by the need to compensate utilities for maintaining their infrastructure by levying a fixed charge irrespective of use and the discounting of rates by law for ratepayers with incomes twice the poverty level or lower. Technological changes such as solar energy competing with fossil fuels also bedevil rate-setters, as does lack of appropriate data to evaluate possible rate formats. The rates in question apply to 3 investor owned utilities (including PG&E), none of which is empowered to decide rates although their opinions are heard, as are those of ratepayers. Also, the changes in rate structure should not affect the amount of revenue collected by the utilities. Is it any wonder that social unrest results when we lack all the facts?

2 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Ruby MacDonald on 07/15/2015 at 10:22 PM

Re: “Enough with the Environmentally Regressive Policies

"In the case of Oakland, part of the problem apparently can be chalked up to incompetence. "

The name of the game in Oakland with regard to so many civic issues. The degree of incompetence, and the overall toleration of it, is beyond comprehension.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Hobart Johnson on 07/15/2015 at 10:09 AM

Re: “Immigration Has Nothing to Do with Violent Crime

Talk about missing the point. This whole national conversation (including the ones above) is absurd, just look at the facts. A vagrant, looser picks up a pile of clothes on the pier. A gun in the pile of clothes goes off and hits a woman walking with her dad on the pier. The "shooter" did not know her, did not try to rob or even acknowledge her or her dad. End of story. How does this qualify as an example of immigrant crime? Anybody could have picked up the clothes and had the same result. This would never ever be a national story without loudmouth Donald Trump trying to amplify his racist hate Mexican immigration agenda and the fact that the victim was a little blonde girl. Yes, I said it. American national media seems to be convinced that the only crime victims that merit national attention are ones involving little blonde girls. If this girl were black or "other" or even a dark haired white girl, it never would have blown up nationally the way it did. Fox news can't wait to run any story involving a little blonde girl. If you think I am being extreme, check out their continuous lineup of glazed over blonde bimbos on air every day. Black and brown girls are kidnapped, raped and assaulted all over the country every day and the only ones the national media seems to care about are the blonde ones. It is truly shameful and nobody seems to want to be honest about it.

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Gary Patton on 07/14/2015 at 9:32 AM

Re: “Business as Usual in Oakland City Hall

Measure X needs to be repealed. While Jerry Brown may have had the background and experience to run a city, those who have followed in the Mayors office (Dellums, Quan, Schaaf) clearly have not. I am not attacking Schaaf, but she illustrates the problem that Measure X created. Whatever your background, it only takes a majority of about 30% of the population who vote to win a Mayoral election. That is clearly not a mandate. Additionally, winning the Mayor race does not in any way mean that you are qualified or have the experience to run a city. Schaaf illustrates the problem on all levels. She has made poor decisions in trying to solve issues she has faced early in her term. She has not acted based on experience or training, only emotion. She has apparently relied on bad advice from interim and newly hired staff in the administrators office. The cumulative experience of all involved seems to be the City of Emeryville. When did Emeryville become the panacea of municipal government in action? It is not. All she has done is hired inexperienced friends who are more concerned with their salaries and her image and who she is not afraid to be candid with about her lack of ability to truly lead this city. I do not believe that after a national recruitment for an administrator and no recruitment for several other top positions, the best candidates in the pool all come from Emeryville. How do you in good faith ignore the advice of the City Attorney and proceed with light speed to make a backroom deal to sell public land for a project that the citizens strongly oppose and that violates the law. How in her mind could that ever end well? City Hall has become a place where it is more important to have friends than it is to be a qualified, experienced professional public servant. Measure X needs to go. A City Council/City Manager form of government is how Oakland should be structured. The Council can set policy and the City Manager can run the day to day business of the city without the Mayor in the way. This system will get Oakland better staff in leadership positions and provide the structural checks and balances that are necessary in a complex city like Oakland.

Posted by Gary Patton on 07/12/2015 at 6:15 AM

Re: “Immigration Has Nothing to Do with Violent Crime

The most violent states in the union are Republican strongholds: Alaska, New Mexico, Nevada, and Tennessee.

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Matt_Chambers on 07/10/2015 at 4:40 PM

Re: “Immigration Has Nothing to Do with Violent Crime

I agree in general about your analysis of crime and illegal general.

The problem you need to address is in the specifics: a guy who should never have been here (US or SF) killed someone.

What is overlooked is that SF seems to be filled with incompetent bureaucrats. We don't even get to any failures of SF or federal immigration rules because of the massive ineptitude of how this was handled, and it cuts close to a problem SF apparently wants to overlook: the mere existence of an ancient warrant for a bullshit crime.

As a lawyer I know EXACTLY why the DA would not prosecute that crime: it's because the dude's speedy trial rights had been violated. It's not a close case. So, why the F did SF have a warrant out for a completely unenforceable crime? why pay to transport the guy here? Even in Trumpville USA, without ANY sanctuary laws, it was idiocy to put a detainer on the guy and bring him here...only to dismiss charges.

Unfortunately, this shit happens all the time. Like overdue fines, broken windows "crimes" and other nonsense, garbage warrants like these (often issued in absentia against folks who've been deported after FTAs, BTW) are a means the criminal justice system uses to justify itself, screw poor people, and keep certain classes on a leash or incarcerated beyond any usefulness. THAT's the big issue here; that warrant could've precipitated this even if he was in custody on something besides an immigration detainer.

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Ambierce Brose on 07/09/2015 at 1:00 PM

Re: “Immigration Has Nothing to Do with Violent Crime

To add to my previous comment, when you take your absurdly biased, indoctrinated glasses off, read some ACTUAL statistics from ACTUAL unbiased sources (e.g. government stats from the FBI, DHS, any news sources that isn't "" like your one above, etc.) about ONLY ILLEGAL immigrants, not your ridiculous, false, misleading wrong inferences (both factually and morally). There are almost too many stats/articles to cite:

And finally, you're still completely MISSING the main point, which is that ANY additional crime should have never happened to begin with! Let's just say for the sake of argument that all ILLEGAL immigrants commit crime at HALF the rate of US citizens (which they don't). It STILL wouldn't matter. Seriously, think about what you're saying: "Hey, US citizens in total committed 1,000 murders last year. So if we let in ILLEGAL immigrants, and they 'only' committed 999 ADDITIONAL murders in the US, well then let em all in! All is fine and dandy! We'd rather have 1,999 murders than 1,000! But if it was 2,001 murders instead, where illegal immigrants were responsible for 1,001 of those, THEN we might have a problem." SMH. The total lack of any logic or rational thought is stunning.

7 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Michael Fernandez on 07/09/2015 at 10:10 AM

Re: “Immigration Has Nothing to Do with Violent Crime

Robert, I'm sorry, but it's clear that you are absolutely hopeless. Where do I begin? First, you use an absurdly BIASED source in "" Are you serious??

Second, you (via your biased site) putting "unlawful entry" in quotes just proves how blindingly biased you are, and how you obviously want open borders. "Unlawful entry" is unlawful, whether you put it in quotes or not--ie it's against the law! Don't like it? Then vote for politicians who also want open borders like you, or move to a country that already has an open border policy (and oh btw, FEW countries are as lax as the US--including not only places like Europe, but also, ironically, Mexico and other Latin American countries, despite how people like you assert that somehow the US is so brutal and unforgiving with immigration policy).

Second, that point is completely IRRELEVANT anyway. Again, it's baffling that you somehow don't even understand your own premise, let alone make a cogent argument about the issue.

As for your second point, as others have already stated, you conveniently GROUP in all of the LEGAL immigrants ("foreign born) with all of the ILLEGAL immigrants. I don't contest the stats about ALL legal foreign nationals. What's beyond ridiculous is how you then jump to falsely infer a bogus "conclusion" that "therefore all ILLEGAL immigrants aren't committing crimes." Are you kidding me? Is this a joke to you? Where did you go to school? Do you not have any sense of logic whatsoever? Do you just enjoy making misleading and false arguments that can be dismantled by anyone who actually thinks?

Speaking of, sadly you're far from the only liberal doing this nonsense--and in the process deliberately misleading people--despite the fact that NO ONE here has any issues with legal immigrants, including my own grandparents who came here LEGALLY.

6 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Michael Fernandez on 07/09/2015 at 9:20 AM

Re: “Immigration Has Nothing to Do with Violent Crime

Crime is at it's lowest. Really? Wonder why every house in my middle class Hayward neighborhood has an alarm system installed, including mine after I getting robbed a dozen years ago?

6 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Donald Sandri 1 on 07/08/2015 at 9:20 PM

Re: “Immigration Has Nothing to Do with Violent Crime

Paul Bosko and Michael Fernandez,

According to research compiled by the Immigration Policy Center, the reason that there is a disparate percentage of undocumented immigrants in federal prison is because they've been prosecuted for immigration violations -- not violent crime:

"Many of the immigrants in federal prison are being criminally charged with an immigration violation and nothing more. In other words, they may be in federal prison even though they have not committed a violent crime or even a property crime. Their only crime might be entering the country without permission. The federal government has chosen to prosecute more and more unauthorized immigrants for “unlawful entry” rather than simply deporting them, which means that they end up in federal prison."…

In addition, according to the California Public Policy Institute, the incarceration rate for foreign born people in the state is far lower (less than half) than that of native-born citizens. Same link as above.

Again, there's no evidence that undocumented immigrants are committing violent crimes at a higher rate than US-born citizens. In fact, the opposite is true.

Once more from the Immigration Policy Center (same link as above):

"[I]mmigrants are less likely to commit crimes or be behind bars than the native-born, and high rates of immigration are not associated with higher rates of crime. This holds true for both legal immigrants and the undocumented, regardless of their country of origin or level of education."

Here's an NBC story on the same issue:

8 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Robert Gammon on 07/08/2015 at 11:15 AM

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