Protestors haranguing Anaheim policeman.

Protestors haranguing Anaheim policeman.

Since when are the police, and not gangs, the problem?

There is something unreal about the coverage and hubbub surrounding the issue of oversight of the Anaheim Police Department. This unreality is evident in this this Voice of OC account of an exchange between Anaheim Police Chief John Welter and left-wing agitator Duane Roberts:

The debate in Anaheim about police conduct has become so contentious that at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting Police Chief John Welter publicly accused a former council candidate of spreading “ @#!*% lies” during the public comments portion of the meeting.

A clearly angry Welter confronted Duane Roberts, a frequent critic of the Police Department on OrangeJuice Blog, in the crowded council chambers lobby and told Roberts to speak with the chief before maligning him at council meetings.

“Do I get a chance to refute all the @#!*% lies you say at council? No,” Welter said.

That the police chief would publicly berate a resident and insist that the chief be allowed to vet the criticism before it goes public raised concerns among some about a possible chilling effect on residents who witnessed the confrontation.

Really? Really? Who are these “some” who are “concerned…about a possible chilling effect” because the Chief Welter would like to some lefty agitator to confirm an allegation against before broadcasting it in public, before the city council. How is that unreasonable?

And where in this did Chief Welter insist on being “allowed to vet the criticism before it goes public?” What he did – according to this article – was ask a single individual (who I gather – I may be wrong- has a habit of making such accusations) to ask his target if the accusation is true: “Hey Chief, is it true that you did this or did that?” Oh boy, that sure is an intimidating and chilling exercise.

The article continues:

West Anaheim resident Art Castillo, who was present during the exchange, called Welter’s tirade “intimidation” toward residents who want to make public their grievances about the police department.

Welter is “not listening to the people who are the victims,” Castillo said.

Oh brother. By victims, are we talking about those Anaheim residents who are terrorized and preyed upon by gang members? Or “victims” such as Joel Acevedo, who fired at police and was shot in response?

The central question amidst all this sturm und drang ought to be which poses a threat to the lives, liberty and property of Anaheim residents? The police or gang members? The answer is an easy one (I can guarantee you it is exactly that for the average Anaheim resident), and subsequent policy and political decisions should flow from that answer.