As reported yesterday, Jennifer Rojas, the ACLU – SoCal’s lead political advocate in Anaheim and author of the group’s error-filled report claiming the Anaheim Police Department is one of the nation’s deadliest, published a tweet castigating the APD for “criminaliz[ing] Latino men trying to feed babies.” Rojas jumped to that conclusion in response to an APD tweet seeking public assistance in identifying two Hispanic men for stealing baby formula from a Stater Bros:
Baby formula is popular among drug dealers for cutting the drugs they sell.
Councilwoman Kris Murray brought up Rojas’ tweet at the December 19 city council meeting. Rojas subsequently deleted it.
Radio Silence From Rojas
We e-mailed Ms. Rojas yesterday, asking if she believes seeking the arrest of two men for theft “criminalizes” them and that their ethnicity is germane; does she believe she owes the APD an apology; why she deleted the tweet; and whether she thinks her tweet (and subsequent deletion of it) impairs her effectiveness as a policy advocate in Anaheim, and undermine the credibility of her report on the APD.
Ms. Rojas has not yet responded.
Reactions from the Anaheim PD and the Anaheim Police Association
We contacted the Anaheim Police Department for comment. This morning, spokesman Daron Wyatt said the department does not have a comment on Rojas’ tweet, but opined:
“I can tell you the theft of baby formula is not a new crime. It is sold on the black market. We have had great success in solving these types of crimes by posting the videos on social media platforms and have received a couple of tips already on this case. I saw Jenn’s tweet shortly after it posted and I responded that it was a burglary, which is a criminal act.”
Anaheim Police Association President Edgar Hampton was more direct in his assessment of Ms. Rojas’ temper tweet:
“So this is what the ACLU considers rational discourse? How can you take anything seriously from a person who honestly believes such a nonsensical point of view? How am I supposed to believe that an objective and reasonable look at police conduct can be accomplished by someone who thinks like this? Would you trust someone like this with your livelihood? The attitude that crime is oOK if you really need something (and that was just assumed on her part) is ridiculous. If I need a car to get to work to feed my family should I be allowed to steal one? Should I be allowed to steal a wallet or purse because I need money for groceries? Ethical behavior should be demanded from everyone not just conditional to what their needs are. I hope that this comment was shines a light on the mentality of some of the folks we are dealing with.”
Council Candidate Reactions
We also reached out to several mayoral and council candidates. District 6 candidates Sergio Gonzalez and Trevor O’Neil didn’t pull punches.
Gonzalez’s take on the ACLU activists tweet:
“The City of Anaheim is not criminalizing “Latinos” trying to feed babies. The police are attempting to apprehend two males (race, sex, age, scars, tattoos, clothing etc. are simply descriptors) accused of committing the crime of theft or grand theft, depending on the value of product which was stolen.
Rojas owes everyone an apology for distorting the facts and downplaying a crime by painting it as a humanitarian effort, and throwing in the overplayed “race card” into the mix. Her apology should begin with the Police Department. She is playing to a certain audience with her theatrics. She shatters her credibility when she (and other “advocates”) distort the truth and/or facts with emotional cries of “racism” or other distracting labels that are irrelevant to the crime. Many of these activists, community organizers, advocates, etc., prey on a misinformed populace and undermine lawful civil society in the name of reform.”
O’Neil had this to say:
“These men criminalized themselves by committing a crime. It is reprehensible of Ms. Rojas to demonize the Anaheim Police Department for enforcing the law. Ms. Rojas not only owes an apology to APD for her irresponsible comments, but she also owes an apology to those she represents for instilling a notion that criminal behavior is acceptable, and to every law abiding Anaheim citizen whose tax dollars pay for the public protection. The fact that Ms. Rojas would make such a comment certainly calls into question the integrity of the recent APD use of force report she authored. The men and women patrolling our streets deserve better.”
Mayoral candidate and former Councilmember Lorri Galloway’s comment:
“No matter a person’s race or nationality, it is a crime to steal food from a retail store. Anaheim police are not at fault for doing their jobs. Their is no need for a baby in Anaheim or Orange County to go hungry without formula or food with so many local government and charitable programs available for needy children, whether they are a citizen or not. It is more reasonable to believe , with all that we know about drug abuse and dependence that permeates our communities, that perhaps these thieves were stealing to feed their drug habits, not their hungry babies. “
Requests for comment were also e-mailed to mayoral candidates Harry Sidhu and Ashleigh Aitken. This post will be updated with their responses when (and if) we receive them.
In the meantime, click here to read about the ACLU-SoCal fight to legalize prostitution. It will give readers an idea of just how radicalized this venerable organization has become.