'F*ck The Police' Hat Actually Shuts Down Santa Ana City Council Meeting
You try to be a productive, involved member of society. You show up to your local City Council meeting to speak your mind. Then the whole meeting gets canceled because your "Fuck the Police" hat is so offensive that the Council is rendered incapable of doing their jobs. A man who called himself "Bijan" arrived to the Santa Ana City Council meeting yesterday wearing a snapback with "Fuck the Police" embroidered on it, the OC Weekly reports.
According to Angel Juarez, a member of CopWatch Santa Ana, the Mayor Miguel Pulido, City Manager David Cavazos and Police Chief Carlos Rojas were not pleased with Bijan's sartorial decision. Juarez said they asked Bijan to remove his hat, but Bijan did not. Bijan told the Weekly that his hat simply represents what he believes.
So, Mayor Pulido announced that everyone needed to leave before public comments could be heard. He instructed the cameras not broadcast the meeting and called Bijan "offensive."
About 20 people decided to stay, which resulted in about 30 police officers showing up with zip-tie handcuffs at the ready, Juarez said. Then a whole lot of nothing happened for an hour until Pulido officially called off the meeting and everyone left. No one was arrested. There is a video of this stand-off where various community members can be heard urging officials to begin the meeting.
Juarez and others from CopWatch Santa Ana (and Bijan, we're assuming) were at the meeting to protest Santa Ana officers James Berwanger and John Rodriguez being given awards for 25 years on the force at a council meeting on September 2. Juarez told OC Weekly that his group had negative encounters with Berwanger during their protests at checkpoints, so CopWatch Santa Ana members showed up to protest Berwanger and hold up signs saying "Berwanger is a bad cop" throughout the September meeting.
John Franks of the Santa Ana Police Officers Association said the protesters were out of line, and as a result, he didn't want officers to be awarded in public anymore. In a letter to City Manager David Cavazos, he wrote, "The agitators have been given too much of an uncensored podium to express their views." Last night's recent meeting was supposed to address decorum at council meetings because of the September 2 incident.
This isn't the first time a city council in SoCal has let a offended by a fashion statement get in the way of a meeting. Mike Hunt is $215,000 richer after saying his rights were violated when he was kicked out of an L.A. Parks & Recreation meeting for wearing a KKK outfit. Hunt, who is African American, also won a large sum of money when he sued Venice Beach over their vending restrictions.