Efforts to recall Judge Aaron Persky launched following Stanford Rape Case

Outrage over the light sentence and bias promotes call to remove Persky

Following his controversial ruling against Brock Allen Turner in the Stanford Rape Case, a recall effort has been launched against Judge Aaron Persky on social media. The massive backlash and outrage is in response to the light sentence along with the reasoning that Judge Persky gave. Now there is a social media campaign seeking to remove him from the bench.

The recall effort

A social media campagin has been launched in an effort to recall Judge Persky starting with a Change.org petition that was started by Maya Stark. She encourages people to mail their complaint to the Commission on Judicial Performance in San Francisco while also providing links to story about past rape trials he has handled. A second petition has also been launched by Maria Ruiz, which also has gained significant traction. As of June 6th, her petition has received 84,125 signatures while Starks’ petition has received 22,672 signatures.

On Twitter, anything related to Judge Persky along with Turner and the Stanford Rape Case has been trending.

Judge Persky’s decision has also been heavily criticized by the media, with the most notable being the Editorial Board of The Mercury News. In an editorial, they described the light sentence as, “A setback for the movement to take campus rape seriously.”

The Stanford Rape Case

Brock Allen Turner is a former student athlete at Leland Stanford Jr. University who was arrested for attempting to rape a fellow student behind a dumpster while she was passed out. He was convicted of three counts of sexual assault and was sentenced to six months in jail.

Judge Persky delivered the light sentence because he was concerned about the prison would have on his future. However many have criticized him for having a favorable bias towards the Turner for being a student athlete at Stanford. Persky is also a Stanford alumni and was the captain of the Lacrosse team.

This is also not the first time Judge Persky has come under fire for his handling of a rape case involving student athletes. He was also accused of suppressing evidence and violating rape shield laws during a 2007 civil trial in the alleged gang rape of a 17-year-old by a group of De Anza College athletes.

Written for Blasting News
6/06/2016
Original Article: Efforts to recall Judge Aaron Persky launched following Stanford Rape Case

San Jose Police’s action against Phuong Ho was justified

Every time law enforcement is doing its job properly, their is always a cry of “police brutality” that follows. The latest involves San Jose Police arresting SJSU student Phuong Ho back in October.

Ho was arrested by SJPD for making a threat to his room mate. Apparently the room mate spilled some soap and Ho threated him with a knife in response. When SJPD attempted to arrest Ho (rather then cooperate), went for his glasses and provoked the incident.

One could already sense that the SJPD acted appropriately and that Ho is greatly to blame for the beating that he received.

For one, he threaten to kill some one on a school campus. Schools have a zero tolerance for such actions. Why? Because of Columbine. Remember the murders made a few death threats that were largely ignored until they came to school with an intent to kill. Second, because he over reacted to a trivial accident just shows how violent or unstable he is.

Hence, his room mate just tipped of the campus administration along with law enforcement to a possible time bomb and now they prevented a future massacre from happening.

As for the excuse about his glasses, common sense indicates when the cops are after you then you should just get on the ground and cooperate. Ho may have been going for his glasses, but the officers had to assume it was a weapon. Cops have to deal with street gangs and drug dealers who pull the same stunt only they try to pull out a knife.

So rather then for all the community groups, activists and opportunists to start crying about “police brutality”, its wise to look into the issue for a view point the involves common sense rather then primitive reaction.

Written for Examiner.com
11/24/2009
Original Article: San Jose Police’s action against Phuong Ho

Chase on campus ends in arrest

The officer yelled, “Stop!” but the man in black kept running.

Students watched silently and without expression as Foothill-De Anza police officer Manuel Respicio, dressed in a brown khaki uniform, ran fast and close behind the fleeing man. The two men darted through groups of students huddled to smoke at the front of De Anza College. Just as soon as they passed, those same students were using their cell phones to call their friends and tell them what had happened, even as they continued to watch the chase speed across Parking Lot A.

“He just ran right past me, like, pushing me aside,” said one student into her cell phone after the two men ran past. “They’re still chasing him, too!”

Many lost sight of the two running men, but at the far end of Parking Lot A near the north entrance to Stevens Creek Boulevard, another officer who had heard of the pursuit on his radio stood waiting. As the fleeing man approached, the officer drew his weapon and moved in to apprehend him. The confusion, the flash pursuit, the adrenaline rush that had started just minutes prior ended just as abruptly at 10:54 a.m. Wednesday.

Officers on the scene breathed heavily in the calm that followed the chaotic pursuit. They had a wanted man in custody. Roozbeh “Rooz” Enayati, a 28-year-old De Anza student, had two outstanding warrants out for his arrest; one in San Mateo County for failing to appear in court on charges of domestic violence, and the other in Santa Clara County for violating his probation.

Several campus and county police units responded to the back up call, and Enayati was placed under arrest at 11:11 a.m. The police searched his person as well as his backpack before locking both inside a Foothill-De Anza police car. Campus police delivered Enayati to Santa Clara County Jail, where he is being held until he can appear on trial.

Interim Director of Campus Safety and Security Bob Cancilla was one of the first officers to respond to the call for back up. “I was very impressed with the other officers’ handling of the situation,” he said. “It was all done very professionally. Our job is to make this a safe environment for the students and faculty, and I feel we have accomplished that today.”

According to the Belmont, Calif., police department, Enayati was arrested July 18, 2006, in Belmont in San Mateo County on a “Battery On Spouse, Cohabitant, Or Former Spouse” charge.

Campus police first received word Tuesday from San Mateo County of the bench warrant that had been issued for the De Anza student’s arrest. The police used his schedule of classes to determine his location Wednesday morning.

At 10:30 a.m., Enayati was attending a journalism class on news writing in room L-42. Two officers, one in a tan uniform and the other in plain clothes, approached the L4 building where Enayati waited unsuspecting.

The plain-clothes officer entered the classroom and, standing near the doorway, asked if Enayati would step outside to speak with him.

“It was probably about ten minutes into class,” said Aiselle De Vera, also a student in the news writing class. “He got up and went towards the door and they just left. The whole class kinda looked as they left. We didn’t know what happened after that because Rooz never came back.”

Once outside the classroom, the plain-clothes officer attempted to speak with him when Enayati, possibly spotting the uniformed officer, turned and fled toward the parking lot.

The officer in uniform, Respicio, followed closely behind while calling into his radio for back up. Units from the Foothill-De Anza police department and Santa Clara County responded to the call, and the North end of campus was soon flanked by several police cars and vans. Campus police were informed of the second arrest warrant after Enayati was apprehended.

“He seemed pretty normal,” said De Vera about Enayati. “He’d talk about homework, like what’s the answer to this question, or what did you do over the weekend or what classes are you taking. He never really said anything about himself personally.”

Co-written with Shawn McGann
Written for La Voz Weekly
10/23/2008
Original Article:  Chase on campus ends in arrest

Christian Preacher Spreads the Word

The warm afternoon of Wednesday, May 14 started as a joyous occasion for the De Anza College club Jews, Israelis and Friends, as members and officers celebrated the 60th anniversary of Israel’s establishment with chocolate and drinks.

For the De Anza Naqba Committee it was a time for managing a table with information against Israeli occupation of Palestine.

For local street preacher Mark Trout, however, it was a ripe opportunity to spread the message of Jesus Christ to both groups.

Trout first tried to spread his message to the Jews, Isralis and Friends Club “Israel@60” event booth. He read verses from the Bible about Jews to students and interpreted them in a manner that many who were present considered anti-Semitic. Trout then engaged in an argument with Yevgeniy Spektor, the DJ for the event, before being taken aside by two Foothill-De Anza Community College District Police officers and given a warning to stop.

Moving on to the Naqba Committee table, Trout projected his views about Islam, referring to the Muslim prophet Muhammad as a rapist and a pedophile.

A Muslim student, who wishes to remain unnamed, was walking to his class when he overheard the remarks. He felt so outraged that he shoved him in anger.

“I was defending my religion,” said the offended student.

Until police rushed in to quell the situation, Naqba committee members and other students held back both the offended student and Trout to prevent the violence from escalating.

“I resent Mark Trout’s demeaning comments toward women, homosexuals and communists,” said Stefan Hird, De Anza student.

Trout’s sermonizing offended many students in the area, who found him too aggressive.

“You don’t go to college to change your religion,” said DJ Spektor. “You go to learn.”

Police escorted Trout to the Administration Building, where Robert Griffin, vice president of Student Services and Institutional Research, questioned him. Another officer escorted the student to a patrol car near the Sunken Garden for questioning.

Trout was not charged with any crime but has the option to file an assault charge against the student who pushed him. Police told Trout it would be in his best interest to stay off the campus to avoid future problems.

Because Trout remained in the Free Speech Zone, which exists inside of the Hinson Campus Center patio on campus, he is entitled to say what he wants, police said. Yet many who were present said he was far outside of the zone, in which case administrators and campus police have the power to place a restraining order on him, banning him from campus grounds for disturbing the peace.

The Free Speech Zone was developed for students and guest organizations to practice free speech without disturbing the college’s learning environment. It was established after a lawsuit by an anti-abortion group a few years ago.

Acording to Police Chief Ron Levine, Trout is no stranger to De Anza or other institutions of higher learning in the Bay Area, as he has been known to give sermons on other campuses. In 2005, San Jose State University Police detained Trout for 15 minutes after a confrontation with one student.

Trout said he works for Steamers, a carpet-cleaning service, and is often seen preaching in his blue-collar cleaning uniform on weekday afternoons in and around the Hinson Campus Center. If anyone wants to reach him, he said, “Just call Steamer’s and ask for me.”

Written For La Voz Weekly
5/30/2008
Original Article: Christian Preacher Spreads the Word

Multiple collisions on Stevens Creek

Not one, not two, but three cars collided next to De Anza College on Stevens Creek Boulevard last Wednesday, holding up traffic and drawing an array of emergency personnel to the scene.

The accident began at 10:28 a.m. when Earin Aao, driving a white Acura MDX, failed to stop her vehicle when traffic backed up and crashed straight into a white Mercedes Benz CZ30. The Mercedes then drove into the back of a black BMW 740 IL, driven by Pete Palmer, whose mother was in the passenger seat. The driver of the Mercedes Benz, Linda, did not provide her last name.

Foothill-De Anza Police officers were the first to respond to the accident. By 10:35 a.m. the Santa Clara Fire Department, Santa Clara Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol and paramedics had arrived to assess the damage.

Aao was the only driver with injuries; she asked for an ice pack for her sprained hand. The other two drivers and the passenger had no injuries but were startled by the crash, they said.

Both the Acura and the Mercedes sustained major frontal damage at the impact point and were leaking fluid from their engines. The BMW, by contrast, experienced only minor rear-end damage. Palmer estimated that it will cost him $10,000 to repair his car.

At 10:40 a.m., the cars were moved to the side of the road in order to clear room for traffic, and campus police, paramedics and fire department personnel were dismissed from the scene so that sheriff’s deputies could conduct a short investigation led by Deputy Leo Gonzales.

According to one of the deputies, Aao was driving at an unsafe speed, so when traffic backed up, she could not slow down fast enough to avoid the car in front of her,.

“Anticipate that there is a lot of traffic and you need to be prepared to stop,” said Sherrif’s Deputy Steve Grisent, as advice to drivers on how to avoid accidents.

While the BMW remained in driving condition, a tow truck and a flatbed arrived at 11:05 a.m. for the Acura and Mercedes.

Traffic violations and accidents have been on the rise recently in the area surrounding the De Anza College campus, and the city of Cupertino has requested that the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Department crack down on violators.

Since Feb. 18, sheriff’s deputies have been stationed at random intersections near campus where they have been ticketing drivers who violate traffic laws.

Published for La Voz Weekly
3/17/2008
Original Link: Multiple collisions on Stevens Creek

Car comes ablaze in De Anza Parking Lot

She thought she had a hot car, but in fact, it was smoking. On Wednesday morning, Feb. 27, Chloe Barrera turned the ignition of her car, a ’97 Honda Accord. It caught on fire, cracking the windshield and damaging most of the front seat. Nobody was hurt.

Barrera saw smoke coming out of the radio and exited the car immediately. Carlos Murillo, a first year student, saw the flames and attempted to put out the fire with his backpack. When that didn’t work, Murillo ran to nearby classroom for a fire extinguisher.

Several passersby scrambled for containers of water, but were unsuccessful in putting out the fire. Finally, Murillo killed it with the fire extinguisher.

The Santa Clara Fire Department and the Foothill-De Anza Police arrived at the scene at about 10:30 a.m.

According to Captain Gil Smith of the Santa Clara Fire Department, the car fire was likely caused by an electrical problem. If unabated, the fire could have spread to other cars, were it not for the actions of Murillo, Smith said.

After firefighters inspected the vehicle, Barrera was able to safely retrieve her backpack and laptop from her car.

A student observer, Jessica Borja, offered to hold Barrera’s possessions in her own car and to give her a ride home.

Another offered Barrera his cell phone. Barrera called her mother, who arrived at the scene promptly.

As a precaution, the car had to be hosed down to ensure that the fire had been put out. The car was towed out of the De Anza parking lot at about 1:20 p.m.

Published for La Voz Weekly
3/7/2008
Original Link: Car comes ablaze in De Anza Parking Lot

Police crack down on DA drivers

Students are paying less attention to their surroundings while driving, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies said three weeks ago, when a large number of them were cracking down on student violators on Stelling Road.

Two weeks ago, officers responded to three accidents, and on Tuesday another accident occurred involving a bicyclist, said officers. This does not include accidents that go unreported in which drivers simply exchange insurance information.

The recent rise in traffic accidents in the De Anza area prompted the large officer turnout, where, at times, up to five police cars were lined up on the side of the road across from De Anza College’s east entrance at times.

Common causes of accidents are driving in a hurry, inattentiveness and following the car ahead too closely. It has been common for deputies to stop four cars at once for passing the same red light.

The sheriff’s department stationed the deputies at random intersections around De Anza College at various times from Monday through Thursday at the request of the City of Cupertino and plans to continue until the traffic situation improves.

In one 20-minute period, five motorists were stopped for turning on a red light at the intersection of S. Stelling Blvd. and the east entrance to De Anza.

Nora Allen, a Political Science major, was among the drivers stopped. Allen admitted to the deputy that she had simply followed the driver in front of her, who had turned left at the red light.

Another common traffic violation in the area is drivers who don’t just run a red light, but speed while doing so. Such drivers are more likely to cause accidents and their actions cause about one accident a day, said a Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputy.

Other drivers do not watch out for pedestrians who are crossing the street. When turning at an intersection, a driver needs to be aware that pedestrians always have the right of way, so he needs to stop until they have crossed the street.

The deputies ask drivers to be aware of their surroundings and obey traffic laws, regardless of what the car ahead of them is doing. Students need to do their part in reducing traffic violations by coming to school early and being patient when driving, they said.

Published for La Voz Weekly
3/7/2008
Original Link: Police crack down on DA drivers