I’m Sorry…

Rich Robinson, trying hide himself behind that wisp of a blog name, as if we don’t know it’s him, is saying that Audrie Pott’s family and friends are demanding an apology from Kevin Jensen and his supporters.  I will say I am sorry for the things I am sorry for and regret.

Rich Robinson says “campaign mailers shouldn’t punish victims.”  My immediate reaction to that is that elected sheriffs shouldn’t turn their backs on victims to save political face or to protect and hide incompetence in the ranks at any level.

I can’t and won’t apologize for anything Kevin Jensen has done.  He has done nothing wrong.  The man may be more above reproach than anyone I’ve met in my life so far.  Santa Clara County would be better off to have him lead the sheriff’s office and I hope that message is clear.  Jensen has called for the accountability in all areas that the incumbent refuses to admit we need.  I know for a fact he is not particularly pleased about some of the things on my blog.  Be that as it may, I support Kevin Jensen wholeheartedly; I also support the fact that there are some things the public deserves to know when their law enforcement agencies fail them.  Not just to say the agency is failing the public, but to let the public know how that agency is failing and why. Simply saying the incumbent has failed has not gotten people’s attention.  Simply saying it’s time for change has gotten us derisively pushed off with “she’s popular, she deserves to win.”

My blog has forced people to talk about why it’s time for change.  Like it or not, agree with it or not, people are paying attention to this race and we have forced people to face some uncomfortable realities rather than skate on empty words.  People are paying attention to the incumbents reactions as well.  There have been numerous comments from people outside law enforcement now about how she has avoided addressing the issues that are brought up, issues such as her decision and subsequent defense of her behavior involving Aldon Smith. The only reason not to address issues validated by multiple sources is because you can’t.

I won’t apologize for the DSA nor the CPOA as I have no control over their actions or decisions, but I don’t believe they have anything to apologize for either.  They are aware of incredibly bad, even dangerous decisions made by administrative personnel.  They are aware of the failures of leadership that nearly cost Audrie from having any justice.  My personal belief is such that every parent in this county has a right to know that Audrie’s case is not the first failure by the administration to allow an investigation to occur as it should, and if we continue to allow poor leadership in the Sheriff’s Office, she will not be the last to have something less than justice.

The public can not have better law enforcement if failures are allowed to be hidden and people who know about them forced to remain silent.  I think it’s important that citizens understand as best they can the risk they undertake if they re-elected the incumbent, that they understand why better than 90% of 1200 deputies and officers in her own office have made the decision to stand with Kevin Jensen.  They have worked with both of the candidates, they understand their work ethics and they have made  a clear and concise choice to support Kevin Jensen for his commitment to law enforcement, to his community, and to fairness.

All that said, I am sorry we have a current sheriff who thought she could assuage political ties associated with one of the perpetrators families by trying to handle the case in the easiest way possible.  I apologize that she is still using those political ties to attempt to defame her personnel and Kevin Jensen for talking about this case rather than addressing why the decisions that were made at the administrative level were allowed and even supported by her.

I am sorry we have a West Valley Captain (Saratoga Police Chief, as some prefer) who thought it appropriate to delay the investigation into the sexual assault of a young teen and her subsequent death driven by cyber-bullying.

I am sorry that same captain was even promoted to the level of captain and that he believes it is in any way appropriate to consider the sexual assault of a young woman as little more than a citable offense in this day and age. Or worse, if he did understand that sexual assault is a serious crime, directly interfered with the investigation by trying to make it a citable offense and end the investigation there.  I am sorry that the administration chose to promote some one to this level knowing full well that he had already likely cost another victim justice, 22-year-old Adelita Rojas-Lomeli, with his actions.

I am sorry we have an administration that promoted and stood behind such actions and decisions.  Perhaps this captain would have been better had the administration taken training, on the job experience, and career development practices more seriously.  We’ll never know.

I am sorry for the lack of concern and offense over the criminal assault, abuse and death of a young woman shown by the upper ranks of the Sheriff’s office when they were faced with a crime vs. self-serving political aspirations.

I am sorry for the investigation being to late.  That the deputies, rather than being allowed to investigate a crime as it should have been were forced to over come bureaucracy before they could do so.  A road block so big that it allowed the suspects to “lose” phones that should have been immediately confiscated and lose evidence via deleted posts and other potential evidence.  Evidence that could have potentially resulted in a much more serious sentence for her attackers.

I am deeply sorry for the depressing fact that the perpetrators ages protect them so much so that I can’t even risk mentioning the names of the people politically tied to the Sheriff in this case in fear of outing the protected convicted sex offenders.  I am sorry that our government feels that the convicted criminals in this case are more important than the young woman who ultimately gave up her life such was they pain they caused her.

I say I’m sorry to the citizens of Santa Clara County for having an incumbent sheriff that can’t see through her political haze to protect the victims of her county with all the power of the law she has behind her and not being able to do enough to prevent these failures of justice.  I beg of the citizens to understand, they are the only people who can change the direction of this office by voting in new leadership. The problem is beyond the power of deputies themselves to change.

I will not apologize for speaking out in the hopes of protecting and preventing future victims, even if the Sheriff and Rich Robinson are more concerned about showing their political ties that everyone will be taken care of, even in the most heinous of situations.

I won’t apologize for talking about Audrie. Audrie Pott was news before this election, before my blog, before Kevin Jensen announced.  There were already questions being asked. Rolling Stone Magazine pointed out that the investigation was delayed on the national stage.

I will not apologize for deputies who continued to drive that case and demand a better investigation and finally got one, resulting in the conviction of the boys that attacked Audrie.  Something that would not have happened had a Captain been allowed to be the end all decision in the investigation.

I will not apologize for the sheriff’s office personnel that endured the insults and ugliness hurled at them by the parents of suspects under the belief that they were “protected” by their political relationships in the highest ranks of the office.  They continued to push forward and investigate, knowing that this was more than “kids being kids.”  If not for them, there would have been no investigation and no convictions.

I will not apologize for pointing out that if it were not for the deputies pushing for more, Audrie Pott would have likely been served a weak and pointless justice of her attackers paying little more than a fine and walking away to continue their atrocious antics.  How do we know they would continue?  Because when the investigation finally did get underway, they found they were already cyber-bullying and pressuring other girls in a similar manner.

I am deeply sorry for the loss Audrie’s parents face.  I have known to many parents who have lost children and the loss can never be replaced and the hole never filled.  I know the deputies who did what they did to bring your daughter justice did it because they deeply believed that Audrie, and you, deserved better than what was being done.  Deputies are offended, and yes, even angry that so little was done for your daughter at the outset of the incident.  They are tired of fighting their own administration for justice for victims like Audrie, like Sierra, they want to be there to do their job for victims, not be tied down in bureaucratic red tape intentionally laid to help some one other than the victims of crime.

We are simply trying to make people aware that we need an elected leader that will ensure the deputies are allowed and able to do the right thing when the next sexual assault or other violent crimes happen.  It may seem like dirty campaigning, but sometimes, when we are forced to be honest, the truth can be dirty. If everything was as the incumbent claims in a “premiere law enforcement agency” where “we’ve all done great things together” there would be absolutely no need and no basis for this conversation.

I am certainly sorry this conversation even has to happen, but make no mistake, to correct the problem of leadership in the Sheriff’s Office, it does have to happen.

It’s time to have a truth we can all be proud of – and a future – elect Kevin Jensen.

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2 thoughts on “I’m Sorry…

  1. Casey- I just sent this to the Mayor/Council, and Board of Supervisors. Please help me get the word out on this. Thank you!

    All,

    I am writing to ask you for your assistance in reaching out to the community regarding absentee ballots. Many voters are putting incorrect postage on their ballots and mailing them in. While I understand from Rosemarie Reclusado and Joan, at the Registrar of Voters that the Post Office is supposed to deliver ballots to them no matter what the postage is, and that they are to be delivered even if voters don’t put a stamp on their ballot, that is not being done in all cases.

    I was also informed that the County will cover the lack of postage which seems like a waste of tax payer money, when visible instructions on the envelope itself would resolve the issue. (I understand that the Registrar of Voters will be calling the Post Office to remind them to deliver ballots regardless of postage.)

    Further, there is NOTHING on the return envelope telling voters what the postage requirements are. They need to put something visible on the front where the stamp goes informing voters of postage requirements instead of putting an insert in with the ballots. Voters are overwhelmed with the amount of literature they receive and don’t read everything! There needs to be simple ways to streamline this process.

    Many voters on my Facebook are complaining that they got their ballot back due to insufficient postage. This deeply concerns me given that people tend to vote at the last moment, and then leave for vacation. Or they get frustrated with the process and don’t follow through on getting their ballot in because it requires them to go to their polling place, or deliver their ballot directly to the Registrar of Voter’s Office.

    Joan from the Registrar of Voter’s Office has agreed to email me the insert with directions on it, so I can post it on our MLK Facebook alerting voters, but we can’t do this alone. We need your help.

    PLEASE help us get the word out because it is already difficult enough to get people to vote as it is.

    Thank you for your kind consideration of my request.

    Sincerely,
    Kathleen Flynn
    President of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Santa Clara Valley

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