Throughout the controversies surrounding William Fitzgerald’s various rants, we have heard over and over that nothing can be done, and anyone is free to say absolutely anything they want during public comments.
A few minutes ago, we found out just how true that is. A gentleman named Damian Ramirez came to the microphone in the wake of one of gadfly James Robert Reade’s diatribe about gang members and their attitudes toward the Robert “Lil Clumsy” Moreno, Jr. in particular and law and order in general. I didn’t catch his name, but he’s was there to speak against the Anaheim Police Department, specifically about the fatal shooting of Martin “Angel” Hernandez.
Following a lengthy exposition by Mayor Tait that speakers are free to say anything they want, regardless of how profane, Mr. Ramirez took him at his word by yelling “F–k the police!!” and launching into an anti-police rant that left virtually no obscenity unsaid – to the cheers of quite a few people in the crowd.
Now that Mr. Ramirez has broken the F-word barrier, to the huzzahs of the crowd, there’s really nothing left of structure of civility in the Anaheim council chambers. What resident in their right mind, after watching that episode, will want to come and voice thoughts that run contrary to the collective opinion of the mob? Welcome to Anaheim, the City of Kindness.
There followed quite a bit of yelling and labeling Anaheim police as murderers and assassins. Council candidate Donna Acevedo basically said she didn’t believe Robert Moreno Jr. shot at the police. as did another regular anti-police speaker, Zia Back, who said she flat out doesn’t believe Moreno fired at the police because it wasn’t captured on video or in a photo (which would require us to believe the police shot their own dog in order to execute Moreno).
7:01 p.m.: A guy from the American Indian Movement (the same guys who had a 71-day armed standoff of federal law enforcement at Wounded Knee in 1973) just dropped the F-bomb.
7:03 p.m.: William Fitzgerald makes one of his genius points, applauding Mayor Tait for not impeding the obscenities, yelling and smearing of the police – because otherwise he thinks the speakers would have gone out and rioted.
7:06 p.m.: an articulate young woman with the anti-police brigade just said the situation in the city is “f-cked up” and that the council meeting is a “f-cking show.”
I’ve heard a lot of these speakers denouncing the police and calling them pigs and murderers and assassins. I have yet to hear a single person ask, what if Robert Moreno Jr., as he fired away at the police, had hit an innocent bystander – a child or an expectant mother — instead of a dog? Amazing how that never enters their tub-thumping.
7:10 p.m. Mayor Tait just assured the “Anaheim police are murderers and assassins” crowd that they can be sure there will be no retaliation against them – but no request made to please refrain from using the F-word during public comments. I guess Anaheim residents will have to ask their TV programming provider to add a parental lock option to the city’s cable channel.
Or maybe the meeting order could be amended to create two public comment period: a family-friendly one at the beginning, and the Cinemax-version at the end of the council meeting, after the children have gone to bed.
Perhaps, at the next council meeting, the Anaheim Ballet could be asked to perform an interpretive dance on the theme of “F-ck the Police!” It would be appropriate: the next council meeting is on April Fool’s Day.