Letter: Who is Policing the Police?


Mr. Warren, my guest column had nothing to do with Critical Race Theory in Laguna Beach. Your tone sounds as though the content of my article, “Who is Policing the Police” ruffled your nerves.

I wrote this article with all women, girls, men and boys in mind. The article questions who is the Laguna Beach Chief accountable to? As he sits in a leadership position, a position and person I respect. When we look at the responsibilities of a chief of police as a leader, we discover in a basic 101 leadership class it is one who has the “ability” to inspire, lead, encourage, is fair, is accessible, is accountable, walks in integrity, is performance oriented and is accessible. But I’m left wondering why he didn’t step up and take responsibility for publicly announcing the three hate crimes and boldly announcing that such will not be tolerated in our town, as there was a plethora of citizens who had no knowledge of these hate crimes. He did not seize the power given to him. There should have been someone policing the Chief. That would have been someone whom he is accountable to and would ensure that his message went out. I could have used a message of assurance, as I found myself looking behind me, lost sleep, and double-checked my doors.

Mr. Warren, your statement “this is an absurdity” is not clear. If you are speaking of the three hate crimes, then, I concur, they are an absurdity, because these types of behaviors should not happen anywhere-especially in our country or our town. Sometimes we must get our heads out of the sand (no pun intended): look around us, observe others who don’t look like ourselves, be open-minded about others whose values are different, and deliberately develop relationships with those outside of our neighborhood or cultural background. Finally, taking an ethnic studies, leadership or multicultural class would help increase your knowledge and articulate your understanding of racial disparity, political correctness, equality, equity, Critical Race Theory, and Black Lives Matter. These are pivotal to bridging positive ethnic relationships.

P.S. Would gladly meet you for coffee at Zinc Cafe to further discuss any issues in the article.

Respectfully Submitted,

Rebecca Washington-Lindsey, Laguna Beach

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  1. Ms. Washington-Lindsey:
    I’ll gladly meet with you, but not where I’d have to inhale smog (ZINC)…howasabout RUBY’S?
    My contact info is all over the web, call or write to me.
    I think that you’ve erroneously conflated not only the issues but command positions/flow chart, responsibilities and accounting. And demanding reform where IMHO none is needed.
    As a former professor, apparently you’ve failed to do YOUR homework?
    Chief Jeff Calvert wasn’t even Chief of Police when the 3 incidents you noted in your column as racial/profiling/biased enforcement related occurred.
    In fact, if the MSM archives are correct, they occurred on the watch of former Chief Farinella. Not sure how Jeff was supposed to be held accountable or guilty post facto, retroactively. And Chief Calvert is found guilty, by a one person kangaroo court (you) no less, acting as judge AND jury?
    Kinda Alice-In-Wonderland, first the punishment then the trial?
    Secondly, your personal anecdote in that column happened in January of 2020 as Mr. Warren pointed out. I don’t know the man, but he got the time frame correct, 20 months ago, yes?
    Once again, on Chief Farinella’s watch, but I must beg the question: Why now, why didn’t you speak in person, or as it was close to COVID-19 lockdown, ZOOM a LB City Council meeting ASAP, speak at public communications, express your concerns publicly, open and transparent?
    Your online profile reflects that you have a business that entails motivational speaking, so you’re not reticent.
    And that incident up near Moulton Meadows that involved you? Did it occur to you that the officer you took to task, who stopped his car and questioned you performed his duty as dispatched? Isn’t that what he’s supposed to do, follow orders? You assumed that it was a form of profiling, but under the Cal Public Records Act, you could have procured the recorded emergency calls, logs.
    Your column made it appear as though racism/profiling is rampant in Laguna, in my 50 years here I’ve seen no such trend. Looking at the # of crimes/year, I defy you to (once again) do your homework, could you provide us with the long term statistics instead of inflammatory allegations?
    It does appear that what you seek to found, play a pivotal role in/be appointed to ex-officio, is a type of police commission for oversight, like the cities with large populations and multiple offenses by sworn officers, urban environs problems create?
    Could you please edify us, and please research as I have, how many small cities, basically towns with less than 25,000 people, form such civilian oversight commissions?
    I can’t find any. Perhaps what you propose is a classic logical fallacy, a “red herring,” leading to false conclusions, one of which is the need for another layer of governance, an oversight commission? A solution in search of a problem?
    There DOES appear to be a prima facie case to be made that you’re creating controversy and wish to exploit it. I’m pretty sure that you believe that YOU should be appointed, you deserve to serve on such a commission?
    Online records show your residency as Las Vegas, NV. Not Laguna Beach. Are you registered to vote and/or an official California resident, hence eligible to serve?
    Would you still support a commission if you weren’t on it?
    It seems as if you’re new here, and to relocate then immediately declare not only this town but its PD as suspect?
    Including insulting/blaming our new Chief contemporaneous with his official appointment? Well, that doesn’t appear to be a very good start or positive-approach way to progress societal changes if they’re needed.
    Once again, I challenge you to meet with me, I’ll buy.


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