Not A Good Idea: By John Delmos

Tuesday August 17, 2004


Editors, Daily Planet: 

Regarding J. Douglas Allen-Taylor’s column about Oakland Police and cell phones: I agree, not a good idea, and also isn’t there a thing called public accountability? If only certain members of society have instant access to the police, then only certain members will get “service”. And as a homeless person, I dread the idea even more. It’s bad enough the way it is. A couple years ago, I was taking a nap on the UC Berkeley campus, when two cops came up to me and wrote me a ticket for “lodging.” (I was resting on a piece of cardboard, not bothering anybody, in a relatively out-of-the-way place on lower Sproul Plaza.) I will never forget what the cops told me there; they said that someone had called them because I made them (the person who called) feel uncomfortable! I ended up getting banned from campus for two years for that horrible crime. 

When I read stuff like this, I just wonder what some people are thinking. It’s already enough of a police state for people like me, and I bet this will just make it worse for people who still go through what I just described. 

If Berkeley wants to “clean up it’s streets,” they ought to hire some homeless people, give them brooms, grass clippers...and let them make some money (market rate!) by cleaning Shattuck Avenue (among other places). It looks filthy.  

Let’s get real, people. Hire me!