The following comes from a May 19 email from Life Legal Defense Foundation:
On March 21, 2015, Richard Carlson and other sidewalk counselors were peacefully holding signs, praying, and speaking to women outside the Planned Parenthood on The Alameda in San Jose, California. An angry passerby stopped his car, approached the group, and began tossing the pro-life signs in his car. One of the sidewalk counselors tried to retrieve Mr. Carlson’s signs from the thief but the man wrestled the signs away from the woman and drove off in his vehicle with the stolen signs, worth several hundred dollars.
The entire crime was captured on video. Mr. Carlson immediately called the police to report the crime in the hopes that the police would quickly apprehend the thief and return the signs to Mr. Carlson. Wrong! The San Jose Police Department refused to even send an officer to the scene of the violent robbery. Mr. Carlson spoke with someone by phone who took a report of what happened. The officer told Carlson to hire his own private detective to get his property back.
Mr. Carlson tried to follow up with the police a couple weeks later, as instructed, and was told that no investigator was being assigned to the case and no further work would be done at this time. In fact, the department would not even look at the video or photos that Mr. Carlson had.
A disappointed and frustrated Mr. Carlson contacted Life Legal Defense Foundation seeking help in how to get the police department to do their job on such a simple and straightforward case. On May 1, 2015, Life Legal Defense Foundation Senior Staff Counsel Allison K. Aranda sent a letter to the Deputy Chief of Investigations setting out the history of police inaction on the case and insisting that Chief Williams assign an investigator. Within days of receiving the letter, officers contacted Mr. Carlson to make arrangements to obtain his video and photos.
San Jose Police Department Lt. Messier also contacted Life Legal Defense Foundation to assure Mrs. Aranda that Mr. Carlson’s case was being assigned to an investigator and would receive prompt attention. Investigators have since been able to identify the thief and have turned the case over to the Santa Clara District Attorney’s office for review and prosecution. Your continued financial support will enable Life Legal Defense Foundation to pursue justice not only for Mr. Carlson, but for many others like him.
While we applaud the San Jose Police Department for finally apprehending the thief who forcefully stole the pro-life signs from Mr. Carlson, it is disappointing that the police had to be prompted to take these steps. Unfortunately, without public pressure, the San Jose Police Department, like many other police departments across the nation, may ignore the calls for help from peaceful pro-life activists who have been victimized because of their beliefs. It is important to remember that in the fight to protect and save the unborn, we will face trials and witness injustice, but it is equally important not to sit by silently and accept this fate. We must fight for what is right and demand justice from those who are sworn to uphold the law.
Yes, I have a property I administrate in San Jose, and the police are in absentia, useless, I don’t know.
california is so lucky to have a lldf nearby, located in Napa. does anyone know how far away they are willing to be available for interventions? or if there are other offices across the country?
The phone number of Life Legal Defense should be on speed dial for any sidewalk counselors who are outside of a Planned Parenthood (or the like).
They know our rights and can help set the police straight.
Yes also Pacific Justice is a good one. Thank you CCD for this article. I pray that people will come to the aid of this prolifer by making a donation to life legal. God bless those who persevere with fortitude. I pray that those who are local, can give much more needed support to this group of pro-life advocates. My prayers are with them.
What took it so long before we even got to hear of this lack of attention to this criminal action? If California Catholic readers were made aware of these kinds of stories shortly after they happen we can ALL bombard those involved (the St. José Police Department) with emails that would make their heads swim. It’s way past time we Catholics stand up and be counted! Where is our backbone in matters such as these?……..but first we need to be informed.
I was out on the streets doing sidewalk counseling in the days when few of us had access to video cameras, cell phones and recording equipment. I have been pounded by eggs, had hot coffee tossed upon me, I have had red paint splashed on my signs and I have gone to court and watched pro life folks be denied the right to present videographic evidence in the Sacramento Court System. I have been assaulted by clinic guards and choked by escorts and lived to tell the tale. Hopefully, things have improved but the police used to be called by us and when they would arrive, they would head straight for our attackers instead of interviewing us. I sat several hours in a sheriff station to report a crime against me and never was seen.
Im so sorry oneofthesheep for all that you’ve been through. God bless you for all that you do for the unborn. Thank you for sharing. Many folks have no idea what it takes to fight for the unborn and to reach out to women under those circumstances. Its good to bring awareness.
San Jose is experiencing an *extreme* shortage of police officers. They don’t come to one’s house if it is burglarized, one must go downtown and make a report when the office is open for taking reports. And burglaries are rampant. We are in an upper middle class area and have been burglarized twice as have many neighbors. Police are simply unable to respond to low-level crimes like this one. The situation described above isn’t about discrimination against pro-lifers but about the dire policing situation in SJ. I think the spin here is uncalled for. It’s like crying “Wolf!”
California havent you read oneofthesheeps comments? The real issue is that people do not listen well. Listen to real stories of what actually happens. Perhaps ones heart will be open to what the reality of things are. As long as we make excuses and ignore facts from those experiencing these issues, we will not reach to real solutions. The cure is in the hands of the people but some just dont extend their hands and ears.
Let us offer up prayers for them today.