Apocalyptic Raids

Alex S. Johnson

Alex S. Johnson
Birthday
October 10
Bio
Alex Johnson is a professional writer and educator, author of the novel Jason X: Death Moon and the chapbook The Death Jazz, as well as hundreds of articles on music and allied entertainment. He is also a co-founder of The Shwibly (shwibly.com), a neo-Surrealist literary magazine.

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NOVEMBER 20, 2011 4:59PM

An Open Letter to Lt. John Pike of the UC Davis Police Dept.

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To: japikeiii@ucdavis.edu

from: Trolleydogs@aol.com

Dear Lt. Pike,

I am writing to you as an alumnus of UC Davis and a supporter of the Occupy movement. I fully share the worldwide indignation over your action in brutally macing nonviolent protesters on the UC Davis campus. What were you thinking?

During my tenure at Davis, many students protested the university's investment in companies that dealt with South Africa. Full tent cities were built on the quad. As far as I can remember (and this goes back more than 20 years), no students were injured. These were peaceful protests. Now the civilized world sees a free South Africa.

It happened during the civil rights era, it happened during Vietnam, and it's happening now: Police brutality directed against nonviolent protesters expressing their Constitutionally-guaranteed right to free speech and public assembly.

As a public servant, did you not swear to protest the Constitution of the United States? What was your understanding then of such concepts as "peaceful public assembly" and "free speech?'" Surely you realize that your action was in direct violation of the Constitution. Never mind that it was permitted by the Chancellor.

The British philosopher Edmund Burke once said that all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. I do not believe you are an evil man. I believe you are a good man, because you have taken on the job of protecting and serving the U.C. Davis community. You have taken an oath; now I am asking you to stand by it. Have some integrity. Don't hide behind the thin blue line. Millions of people around the world have seen what you did. You had no right to do it. There is no excuse for it. You were wrong.

I appeal to you, not as a protester, not as someone with anger or enmity against you personally, but as a fellow US Citizen. Apologize for this terrible thing you have done. It's not too late. The fact that police state means were allowed you does not give you the right to use them. Remember Nuremberg. 

Please do the right thing. The world is watching.

Sincerely,

 

Alex S. Johnson

UC Davis BA 1990

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And btw, not that anyone will be surprised. Lt. Pike was involved in a racial and sexual discrimination lawsuit filed by a former police officer against UC Davis’ police chief and the UC Board of Regents. In the lawsuit, which was settled in 2008 for the sum of $240,000, Officer Calvin Chang complained that he had been “systematically marginalized as the result of anti-gay and racist attitudes on the force,” noting that Pike had used a gay slur to describe him.

http://www.mediaite.com/online/makes-sense-uc-davis-pepper-spraying-officer-has-a-record-of-using-gay-slurs/
I heard about that, Francoise, and yes, not surprising at all. He should have been removed for the slur alone and his propensity for making them costing his department a large chunk of change.
I'm an alumnus too--would have been 1990 but the earthquake in '89 derailed me for a while--and this was appalling. I like your diplomacy here--diplomacy is NOT overrated--and your use of "Have some integrity." That word--integrity--packs a verbal punch that lands right on the mark.
then we must have been on campus at the same time, Amy. Nice.