San Luis OBISPO – Prosecutor Dan Doe issued a press release on a motion by Matt Fountain, editor of the San Luis Tribune, in favor of a law on public registers. Fountain’s request stated that, in accordance with his rights under the California Public Records Act (Government Code, Section 6250 et seq.), he requested a copy of the following written communications (letters, e-mails, text messages) from the District Attorney’s Office to District Attorney Dan Doe, Deputy District Attorney Eric Dobroth and senior Deputy District Attorney regarding Black Lives Matter, BLM, George Floyd, and all responses to these communications. His application also included all documents in the possession of the prosecution in connection with the arrest or prosecution of David Allen Knight.
Dow responded with the following explanation:
The San Luis Obispo Tribune has recently filed a request under the Public Records Act requesting copies of internal letters, e-mails or text messages written by the Public Prosecutor’s Office regarding the Black Lives Issue, the BLM, George Floyd, and the protest, as well as any responses to these messages. After evaluation and consultation with the Public Prosecutor, we send an e-mail (and the subsequent replies) prepared by the Deputy Public Prosecutor following a meeting at the Zuma office, convened to facilitate an internal discussion within the office about what has happened in this country in recent months.
As your prosecutor, I think it is important for our office to have internal discussions about how we can unite with our society in this time of change in our country. It means hard words about what we, as prosecutors, can do to build strong working relationships with our society that increase public confidence in our local criminal justice system. After this official internal interview, as I said, one of the employees wrote an e-mail and sent it to all members of the Public Prosecutor’s Office. The text of the Communication is published below.
The role of the prosecution is to ensure the justice and security of our community by aggressively and fairly prosecuting crimes and protecting the rights of victims. The most important part of our mission is the right word. Our hard work for justice must always be done out of love and care for our community, with compassion and in a way that ensures justice for all members of our community. In this sense, our office took part in these important internal discussions.
A copy of the Tribune’s Public Records Act can be found here. Here is a copy of the e-mail below and the answers to the e-mail received by the Tribune in response to a request under the Public Records Act
Text from an open e-mail for Tribune :
Van: Delaney Henretti
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah: DA_Notes_Employees
The object: To my friends.
A date: Friday the 7th. August 2020 14:18
I stayed awake last night and thought about our meeting last night and the comments that were made, and I was saddened by the unity that has been established in the office and among my colleagues.
I firmly believe that we have all come to this appeal to do what is right, to seek the truth, to do justice to the victims of crime, to protect our community, to provide security, to raise a family, and to enjoy the freedoms guaranteed by our state and federal constitutions. I care about you and I support all of you in this task. I hope I was a friend. I hope I was helpful when you needed it. I know I have my faults, and I apologize for them.
I would like to share my personal experiences with you so that you can get to know my heart. I grew up in the village of Michigan, son of two teachers. My parents were great supporters of the civil rights movement, as the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King said. They believed in his vision, which he expressed in his speech. I’m having a dream. That each person should be judged on the content of his character and not on the colour of his skin. My father was a special education teacher who specialized in working with emotionally disturbed young people and worked with young offenders to help them develop integration skills and become productive members of society. I am named after a young black boy who hung out in an orphanage that Robert (Bob) Little, the brother of Malcolm X, had founded and where my father had volunteered in downtown Lansing, Michigan. My father’s two best friends were black for a long time, and I grew up playing with their children. They weren’t black to me, they were my friends. Unique, because every human being is unique. Some of my friends have also been black all their lives, and I have come to believe that they are just people, unique, with their particular strengths and weaknesses, just like any other human being. They’re special to me because they’re my friends.
So I agree with the truth that all human life is sacred. That everyone deserves the same protection and enforcement. I agree that we can always do better, that we can grow as a person and educate ourselves to meet the specific needs of our parishioners. That we, as prosecutors, can work better in the search for truth and justice.
However, I disagree with some of the opinions expressed. I don’t think it’s brave to bring a large group of people under the protection of law enforcement to take men, women and their children hostage on the road. I don’t think there’s anything praiseworthy about jumping on the hood of a man trying to bypass the blockage and breaking the rear window of a car with a skateboard breaking the rear seat windows. I don’t think there’s anything noble or heroic shouting at families trying to eat in local restaurants for convenience or calling officials for damn pigs and worse. Or waving around in shorts outside. Or you can stamp and spit on the flag (although protected by freedom of speech). I will always personally see my dead friends who served with the Marines and gave their lives to protect the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution. Their coffins were decorated with the same flag they had spit out and spit out.
I was lucky to see the real hero this week when MP Nick Dreyfuss joined the group of men I visit in Paso Robles at 6am. Who answered the morning call of the Paso Robles P.D. active shooter. who was shot in the face and still has a bullet in his neck because the surgeons couldn’t remove it safely. Members of our investigation bureau tried to arrest the person who committed these crimes and at least one of them was in the line of fire. He has a family that loves him and they all deserve our respect. My time as an infantry officer in the Marines taught me that true courage comes from love. A man fights for a man on the left and a man on the right. I am convinced that there is no greater love than a man’s willingness to lay down his life for his friends. My heart is with the brave men and women of our law enforcement who go out every day without knowing where their duty to serve and protect us will lead them and their willingness to give their lives to protect ours. All it takes for bad men to succeed is for good men and women to do nothing.
I also think that the way many comments have been made shows a lack of respect for the members of our committee of inquiry. Many of them had worked in different police departments in the district before coming to our office.
I would like to thank all the members of our Presidium personally for the work they have done and for the professionalism I have observed. I have worked as an assistant prosecutor in four different provinces and I sincerely believe that we have the best investigation office in each of those provinces.
In particular, the BLM movement has exposed the clear hatred and humiliation of those who wear blue, as well as the propaganda and violence against those who practise only their profession.
We ask our jurors to be fair and impartial, free from bias and public opinion. We ask them to apply the law as ordered by the common sense judge and to judge all witnesses according to the same criteria. Our work as a prosecutor is very similar. Whenever I consider applying for counsel on CAPO, I ask if the official had a legitimate purpose, a legitimate right to do what he or she is doing, and a legitimate right to be where he or she was. Was there any reasonable suspicion that he should be detained? Were there grounds for arrest? Have they used appropriate force in the sense of an objectively reasonable officer who knows what he knows? If the facts support the finding that the officer acted on the basis of race, I must report it as Brady. The vast majority of cases I have dealt with are evidence of the professionalism, integrity and restraint of law enforcement officers in our community. We have had cases where we decided not to apply because officials made a mistake in good faith or because the elements described above were not followed. Some cases have been examined internally. I have no qualms about doing the right thing.
I look forward to participating in group discussions because I have always believed that it is impossible to teach someone what they think they already know. I am willing to listen and learn, but our decision must always be made in a fair and impartial manner, regardless of public opinion or political preference.
I care about all of you for my friends.
Here we go:
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