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View Poll Results: Should we continue the Alcohol Ban on San Diego Beaches ?
YES 47 40.17%
NO 70 59.83%
Voters: 117. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-02-2008, 10:38 PM
 
58 posts, read 90,546 times
Reputation: 13

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To Whom it May Concern:

I was an innocent bystander that was actually quite disgusted with how the whole event played out and how the crowd responded to police action. I would like to begin by saying that the cops should have definately let the entire crowd of people alone and by knowing what could happened they should have done their utmost to stay out of the mess in the first place.
I am very unclear to how the whole thing started, rumors have stated it was a fight, and others have stated it was a slip and slide that the cops tried to stop, but either way what continued on for the next hour was a bit over the top.
Once the cops had initially slowed the crowd down and it appeared things were starting to quell the cops started attacking various innocent bystanders. Screaming at people to get back and threatening them with mace and batons. One cop yelled at a few of us to get back which we did and one individual actually started moving back but apparently not as fast as the cop wanted to, the cop proceeded to shove the individual on the ground and after the guy had rolled the guy ran at him grabbed him as if the guy had done something wrong then pretty much dragged him to the center of the ruckus. I am all for allowing cops to do their work if threatened but this is one of the first incidences in my life that I witnessed a cop pretty much use excessive force on an individual. This same cop then proceeded to get trigger happy with the mace and started spraying it all over at people. There were various people around who were yelling that this cop was trigger happy and to watch out for him. The cop's name was Lt. Vinison, and the only reason I looked for his name because I felt he was creating more rage and anger among the crowd.
Various cops were over-reacting which definately fueled the fire. The crowd turned on the cops at which time bottles and cups of sand were thrown at the cops. There were many cops I witnessed that were very respectful of the crowd and actually stayed calm whereas a handfull kept making things worse. Any time police start grabbing individuals after a day of alcohol and sun things are obviously going to get worse. Well it appeared the crowd was sick of seeing what they saw and forced the cops off the beach. The items being thrown at the cops continued over the next while. One female cop it looked like started shooting paintballs at the crowd and whether she hit someone or nothing came out I know not.
The cops believe they gave fair warning for the crowd to disperse and they did this from the police helicopter above the crowd but you could barely hear what they were saying.
I believe the police did the right thing by getting out and staying out of the situation, and the crowd was far out of control and had no right to pelt the cops with various objects. I do believe the cops showed amazing patience by staying out of the situation until it calmed down but the whole thing would have never started if they hadn't start abusing people in the first place. -EW, San Diego
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:39 PM
 
7 posts, read 8,286 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1AngryTaxPayer View Post
Of course the Chief wants the ban as it will make his job and those under him much easier. Take away half the people and you will have half the problem.
Actually - the alcohol ban has proven - take away 1/2 the people, remove alcohol and you have MORE than 1/2 the problems.

How do we have 50% fewer people, yet only a small drop in crime? Why? Because the crime was done by a small group of troublemakers and they haven't left!

I miss having a beer after surfing!
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:39 PM
 
58 posts, read 90,546 times
Reputation: 13
Hello, my name is [removed] and I happened to be sitting about 25 feet away from the infamous slipping slide right next to the water in front of Lahaina's. Anyway, this is the TRUE tale of how the labor day riot unfolded...

Just to start I saw EVERYTHING that happened during the first 25 minutes or so of the event. I was sitting in my beach chair enjoying the day at the beach which had otherwise been pretty mellow. The slipping slide people had had their slipping slide out for about 4 hours, which I didn't think was really that big of a deal. It got a little rowdy over there at one point in time (about 30 minutes before the cops showed up) when a bunch of people were sliding down it and a big group of guys was chanting "we want boobs". I went over there and checked it out for a little bit, no big deal. About 30 minutes later an office rolled up in his quad and went over to talk to those guys, probably to tell them they couldn't have the slide. While he was over there, some joker ran over and pushed the quad toward the water about 5 ft. The quad was already too close to the water, so the waves started washing up underneath and moving it around a bit (this was happening about 20 ft in front of me while I was sitting in my beach chair) Another guy who was just walking by, saw the officers quad in the water, he didn't know the first guy who originally touched it as far as I could tell. He decided to be a good citizen and grabbed the back of the quad and pushed it up out of the water onto dry sand. I don't know if the cop didn't see any of this or what, but he came over right as the guy had finished pushing his quad up to the high tide line. As the office walked up, to our surprise, he grabbed the guy who had pushed the quad out of the water and twisted his arm behind his back and cuffed him. By this time a large number of people were watching. Everyone started booing and yelling that this was a wrongful arrest, and the guy had done nothing wrong. This is when things started getting carried away, sand and beer cans started flying into the center where the officer was standing, at this point it was getting hard to see so I stood up to watch, there was another cop in the middle of the crowd at this time as well. I saw the first officer who had arrested the guy pull out his radio and call for backup. Within a minute about 10 - 12 other cops came running into the middle of the circle that had formed, a police SUV drove up as well and they started tossing people in, and a news helicopter began to circle. Sand and beer cans were still being thrown from the outskirts of the crowd. Once the 12 additional cops arrived they formed a circle and without warning began pepper spraying people, I saw tasers out as well but I didn't see anyone actually get hit with a taser. I started to pack up my stuff and told my girlfriend, my other friend Matt and his girlfriend that is was time to go cause the situation was getting too crazy. That's when a cop ran by and pepper sprayed the 4 of us, even my girlfriend who was still sitting in her chair got sprayed. I saw women, and men being sprayed directly in their eyes and faces without questions asked, including people just walking by near the water and people just getting out of the water. At one point an office that was standing near us got hit directly in his helmet, I saw him unholster what looked like his gun and began walking in the direction the can came from. There were men and women being tackled and slammed in the sand and arrested all over the place. With all the people getting sprayed, the crowd began to get even more fired up. This is when even more beer cans, and bottles (the plastic kind I might add) began flying from all directions. The cops then began sprinting into the crowds of people chasing down individuals who they though were throwing stuff, several of these people I saw running away and resisting arrest. As these small bands of cops went off chasing people the crowd followed, that's when the ruckus moved away from where we were sitting. That's when we packed up our stuff and headed toward the boardwalk, I saw all the cops eventually run out of the crowd and to the board walk, to wait for backup im assuming, they all stood there in a line as the crowd continued to throw cans and other objects. As I reached the boardwalk (about 50 yards down from where the cops were all standing in a line on the boardwalk) I noticed smoke and gas coming up from the beach. The police helicopter was circling too, telling everyone to leave the sand or they would be arrested on site. At some point some people in the crowd turned on themselves and began fighting although I personally didn't see anyone fighting. Then I left the beach.
I just think its funny they would call this a beach riot, I also have had my eyes opened just to how the local news and other news agencies twist the truth and portray these kinds of stories however they want. Especially when they say the police were "attacked" as they innocently tried to break up a beach brawl involving "scores" or people, while the truth is the only time there were people fighting was at the very end while all the cops were standing on the seawall and did absolutely nothing (except shoot tear gas onto the beach of course).
In my opinion the whole situation started around the wrongful arrest of a man simply trying to help a police quad out of the water. Had the cop simply taken him aside and found out what the situation was, rather than immediately treating him like a criminal, I don't think people would have gotten so angry. From there it snowballed into an out of control scene. I don't believe it was a riot, I think the police could have handled the situation better and not resorted to the means the did so quickly. I feel that some of them aren't trained for situation where there are crowds of thousands of people, and they don't know how to react when something like this happens. At the same time the crowd did get out of control and shouldn't have been throwing all that stuff at the cops. All in all it was a huge mess, and I hope we don't lose our drinking privileges because of it.
-VL, San Diego
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:42 PM
 
7 posts, read 8,286 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by RD5050 View Post

#3 - The vote is now two days away, and I have no desire to provide any more information than I have already provided in this thread.
Or as a 4 year old who doesn't get their way would say it, "I'm taking my ball and going home."
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:46 PM
 
58 posts, read 90,546 times
Reputation: 13
I can produce 100's of EYE Witness Accounts of the "riot" These people were there! Where were you?

I was randomly right there in the water next to the guy who started pushing the ATV. It looked to me like the ATV was semi deep in the water and slowing moving even deeper. Some kid got behind it and put a ton of effort into pushing it out of the water and calmly rolled it up to the cops. A few seconds after he [brought] them the ATV, they arrested him. It looked like at first people were walking up to the cops trying to explain to them the kid was helping them but I guess they didn't listen. I know the cops knew he was trying to help because they were watching him as he was pushing it up the beach to them. When they didn't let the kid go people started booing, a few empty beer cans were thrown at the cops, mostly just a bunch of sand being thrown. Then out of no where one of the cops charged at us in the water and started spraying mace, thats when people started throwing more stuff and it really got out of hand.

I assume the fights between beach goers happened soon after because people were probably bumping into each other and getting mad and fighting. I think the cops are to blame for that since they caused the uproar and the chaos that followed with there poor reaction and lack of crowd control. I heard later on the news that someone else 1st pushed the ATV into the water before the kid pushed it out but I didn't see that, but that could have been the case. Either way the cops shouldn't have arrested the kid that helped them. If that hadn't have happened, we wouldn't even be talking about this now. Hope that helps. -KG, San Diego
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:52 PM
 
58 posts, read 90,546 times
Reputation: 13
Hi,

I am writing with an eyewitness account about the incident on Labor Day. Myself and several of my friends saw the entire event from start to finish. First of all, the so-called "riot" did not begin because of a drunken brawl on the beach like many of the news sources are reporting. There were a group of college-aged kids with a slip-and-slide set up that had attracted a crowd. However, the crowd was simply cheering and having fun. A few cops came by on their four wheelers to break up the crowd and stop the use of the slip and slide. No one was arguing with the cops at this point and everyone seemed to be compliant. While this was occurring, a random guy was pushing the cop's four-wheeler towards the ocean. The cops eventually reprimanded him and I believe he was arrested. The guy's friends began shouting at the cops and were throwing bottles and sand at them. The cops were pepper spraying them and arresting them. At this point more police became involved, thus attracting an even larger crowd. If the cops had simply arrested the rowdy individuals and had continued about their duties in a regular fashion, such a reaction would not have been provoked. It wasn't necessary for police in riot gear and helicopters to arrive at the scene. The whole scenario was blown out of proportion. The appearance of a "riot" was simply due to the mass of spectators watching a confrontation between several cops and a handful of rowdy individuals. There was not a riot. No one was seriously injured. I don't see the sense in restricting thousands of law-abiding citizens because of the misbehavior of a handful of people.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions or need more information.
-LW, Pacific Beach
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:56 PM
 
58 posts, read 90,546 times
Reputation: 13
Dear Mr. Councilman Faulconer,

As you may know, I have previously written you regarding my desire to be of assistance in creating a remedy to the current controversy regarding the use of alcohol on public beaches and to publicly support you should you propose a practical solution that addresses the concerns of both your constituency as well as patrons of the Mission Beach and Pacific Beach recreation areas.
The events that unfolded on Labor Day 2007 were both unfortunate and, as I am sure we mutually agree, avoidable.
I think we can also mutually agree that it is important to respond to the situation rather than to react. While we may, as humans, have proclivities toward strong and emotional reactions to a negative situation, as evidenced by the events that transpired this previous Monday, those reactions are not in the best interest of the public and the last thing that will help the situation is their bureaucratic equivalent. It is important that we ask ourselves: What do we truly seek? The answer is not a BAN on alcohol, but a safe environment. Responsible use of alcohol will never contribute to an unsafe environment, and years of San Diego beach culture proves that to be the case. Most incidences are instigated by intoxicated individuals leaving bars €“ not from drinking on the beach. The pragmatist in me finds that both the evidence provides and the community desires that a set of resolutions is passed that perhaps declares alcohol to be prohibited on major beach holidays and those events on the beach which draw in the majority of individuals shown to cause the problems in question.
I am of the impression that many individuals in the community, particularly the younger generation, feel that the entity of Coincilman Faulconer is not concerned with the wishes of all area residents and has focused instead on a stalwart plan to implement an overzealous agenda of beach-front prohibition. I hope the Councilman considers that the community belongs to all its residents and frequenters, not just those which are most conservative in their leisure. If both sides of this discussion could maintain an open mind and a modicum of respect, attitudinally, we might actually be able come to the threshold of a real solution rather than an unfair and all encompassing ban. I believe that you do deeply care about the area you represent and I am confident that any laws passed will be in the spirit of community.
Let us not forget a famous promise from an important document that guarantees us the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," and remember that for many Pacific Beach locals and San Diego residents, happiness is a Saturday afternoon with a nice cold beer, a bbq and friends on the beach, a San Diego tradition for years.
Very truly yours, -D. Whitman
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Old 11-03-2008, 11:01 AM
 
Location: San Diego
5,319 posts, read 7,835,215 times
Reputation: 3376
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip Scottman View Post
Mr. R2D2 (or RD5050):

I'm wondering - if we have no lifeguards working during the winter because the beaches are so empty, why do we need an alcohol ban during the winter?

Why do we need a ban at De Anza Cove? Scripps Park in La Jolla? Mariner's Point? Crown Point Shores? or any of the beach except PB Drive?

At least you gave up pretending you were unbiased like when you started this blog.
Mr. Chips Ahoy or Mr. Scotty (or Chip Scottman):

I never claimed to be unbiased about the ban. My opinion of the ban has been present in my status (upper left) since long before I started this thread. Everyone in San Diego has an opinion about this ban. I just happen to be the one who started a thread.

My initial post simply tells the history of the ban, and asks for people to participate and vote in the poll. I am not trying to sway people's opinions one way or another. I provided a link to a website which had a video of the "riot" (or whatever you want to call it). That was before I found more eyewitness videos on YouTube, and presented them in this post.

Although I would prefer alcohol to be banned on the bay as well, it is not as important as it is on the beach. I've never seen the kinds of extremely huge of party-animal crowds on the bay like I've typically seen at PB near Reed St. before the ban. And on the beach, drunks can create safety issues by taking up lifeguard time, and keeping them from focusing on watching the ocean.

How do you respond to a mother whose 5-year child old drowns in the ocean, while all available lifeguards were pre-occupied breaking up a drunken "melee" on the beach?

As far as alcohol ban during the winter, I don't know one way or the other. I guess if the crowds were reasonably small, and didn't bother anyone, then I would not object to alcohol on the beach during the winter. But I would expect people to take responsibility for themselves if they drink and get hurt, and not blame lifeguards or extra police for not being present.

================================================== ===
VOTE YES ON PROP D FOR CLEANER AND SAFER BEACHES
================================================== ===

Last edited by RD5050; 11-03-2008 at 11:19 AM..
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Old 11-03-2008, 11:09 AM
 
Location: San Diego
5,319 posts, read 7,835,215 times
Reputation: 3376
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip Scottman View Post
Or as a 4 year old who doesn't get their way would say it, "I'm taking my ball and going home."
My #3 was written in response to Hotornot's post ... not yours. You don't even know what I am referring to with my #3.

================================================== ===
VOTE YES ON PROP D FOR CLEANER AND SAFER BEACHES
================================================== ===
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Old 11-03-2008, 11:10 AM
 
893 posts, read 625,166 times
Reputation: 513
Why not ban public drunkeness. Let those who are drinking responsibly, have fun...
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