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San Marino PD Says It Is So Sorry It Didn't Do More to Stop Protest Outside Wells Fargo Exec's Home, In Formal Apology to Entire City
This afternoon the San Marino Police Department sent out a formal apology to the entire city for not doing more to stop a protest on the lawn of a Wells Fargo executive, according to San Marino Patch.
Yesterday protesters showed up in the wealthy and typically very, very quiet suburb in the San Gabriel Valley to stage a protest on the lawn of Wells Fargo CFO Tim Sloan.
This video shows part of the protest:
The organizers included the People Organized for Westside Renewal (POWER), which apparently made a cross-town trip, and Refund California, which successfully protested the eviction of a woman in Bassett today. The organizers said they were protesting Wells Fargo's role in peddling sub-prime mortgages and the company's low corporate tax rate. The protest is connected to the anti-corporate Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Los Angeles protests that have been going on and getting a boost from local unions.
The protest remained nonviolent, according to both Patch and the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
The protesters knocked on Sloan's door but no one answered, although a neighbor did come out and complain, the Tribune reported. Police officers asked the group to move their buses and vans, because San Marino requires them to have a permit. The group dispersed in an orderly fashion.
The San Marino Chief of Police said he was "extremely disappointed" that protesters conducted their protest in the front yard of a homeowner. He personally and publicly apologized for their "antics." While he seems to applaud the police for their "restraint" which resulted in no injuries or arrests and a pretty swift end to the protest, he also said he would prefer a more "proactive" approach, including arresting protesters who break the law.
We are reprinting a copy of the letter that went out to San Marino residents, which is posted on the local Patch's website:
Residents: Last night, the San Marino Police Department was called to a protest that was occurring at a private residence on Woodstock Road. Upon arrival, additional support was called in from neighboring communities to assist with disbanding the crowd of approximately 80 to 100 individuals, including the media and children. The San Marino Police Department identified and contacted one of the lead organizers which ultimately resulted in the protesters returning to their vehicles and leaving the area. Approximately one hour after their arrival the protesters left the property. There were no injuries or arrests at this incident.
I am extremely disappointed that the protesters breached the property and conducted their protest in the front yard of the homeowner.
This is unacceptable and despite the peaceful outcome and the restraint exercised by our police officers, I would have preferred a more proactive approach and in the future our officers will act to better protect property and if neccessary [sic] arrest protestors who violate the law.
I have been in regular communication with the homeowner and would like to publicly offer my apology for the antics employed by the protesters and for our delay in preventing this situation. I am currently reviewing this event with my executive team and officers in an effort to make sure that our response to matters such as this fully protect the rights of the residents we serve.
Should anyone have any concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me.
John T. Schaefer
Chief of Police
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