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by Duane J. Roberts
Thursday, Jan. 19, 2006 at 10:41 PM
"Before Tezcalipoca's speaking time expired, the mayor suspended the meeting and said or did things that by prearrangement caused the police to move in on Tezcalipoca. While Tezcalipoca was telling the officers who had surrounded him that he would leave on his own and that he did not want them to touch him, they grabbed him around the neck and forcibly removed him from the council chambers." -- Chris Blank
The following letter, written by Chris Blank, a Costa
Mesa attorney, was published in the Wednesday,
January 18, 2006 issue of The Daily Pilot. He sent
the letter in response to a slanderous and
unfactual column written by Diane Harkey, a Dana
Point City Councilwoman who is running for the 35th
District state Senate seat.
See what she wrote at the following link:
Duane J. Roberts
Politician's take on council meeting misses reality
Regarding Diane Harkey's commentary published in the Daily Pilot on Thursday:
The Dana Point city councilwoman is running for higher office and must have decided that her campaign will benefit by hitching her wagon to the policies and rhetoric espoused by Costa Mesa Mayor Allan Mansoor and his supporters. So be it. That is a political public relations decision she's entitled to make, and if the people elect her anyway, that's our tough luck.
What she is not entitled to do is to mischaracterize the events that occurred at the Jan. 3 Costa Mesa City Council meeting.
At that meeting, Coyotl Tezcalipoca spoke in protest of the mayor's misguided proposal to train city police officers to be immigration agents. Before Tezcalipoca's speaking time expired, the mayor suspended the meeting and said or did things that by prearrangement caused the police to move in on Tezcalipoca. While Tezcalipoca was telling the officers who had surrounded him that he would leave on his own and that he did not want them to touch him, they grabbed him around the neck and forcibly removed him from the council chambers.
This event was filmed by numerous news outlets and at least one private resident in attendance, who posted the clip on a website that advocates deportation of undocumented immigrants.
I did not personally witness what occurred immediately outside the chambers and I doubt Harkey personally witnessed it either. That, however, did not stop her from falsely claiming that Tezcalipoca "needlessly struggled and yelled, while practically throwing himself to the ground, as he knew the cameras were rolling. The chaos created by this staged performance caused the public hearing to come to a screeching halt."
The truth, as I see it, is that the meeting came to a screeching halt because Mansoor didn't like what Tezcalipoca was saying. The mayor also didn't like that Tezcalipoca asked his supporters to stand, a request to which the mayor did not object when it was made by Jim Gilchrist of the Minuteman Project some 45 minutes earlier. The meeting came to a screeching halt because the mayor announced that the council was going to take a break and said or did things that caused the police to surround and forcibly remove Tezcalipoca.
Harkey has probably never been forcibly removed from anywhere by police. She probably has never been dragged 100 feet up several stairs while one police officer is sitting on her and handcuffs were digging into her wrist.
To suggest that Tezcalipoca staged this aggressive treatment of him by the police is ludicrous. To state that what happened outside the council chambers caused the meeting to come to a screeching halt is an outright falsehood.
She owes Tezcalipoca an apology and the rest of us a retraction. Soon we'll see what type of person she really is. I hope the voting public will not forget.
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