Arcata’s chief of police and McCarthyism

The chief of Arcata police, Randy Mendosa, recently met with a subcommittee of the Homeless Task Force.
Judging from the notes from the meeting (on the net at:, there was no discussion about lifting the anti-camping ordinance that has been found in court to be unconstitutional, nor any investigation to the many reported incidents of police abuse of homeless people.
Instead, the chief of police blames “urban anarchists” for much of the city’s problems and rates them as “the #2 public safety issue.”

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Since the time of the red scare led by Joseph McCarthy, the term McCarthyism has entered American speech as a general term for the phenomenon of mass pressure, harassment, or blacklisting used to pressure people to follow popular political beliefs. The act of making insufficiently supported accusations or engaging in unfair investigations against a person as an attempt to unfairly silence or discredit them is often referred to as McCarthyism.
The term has since become synonymous with any government activity which seeks to suppress unfavorable political or social views, often by limiting or suspending civil rights under the pretext of maintaining national security.

14 Responses to “Arcata’s chief of police and McCarthyism”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    “the anti-camping ordinance that has been found in court to be unconstitutional,”

    Instead of repeating this idea as if it were Gospel, how about quoting us (with citations) the relevent text from the judge’s decision that establishes your claim?

    I won’t respond to your McCarthyism wackery, as, well, because you do a good enough job soiling yourself.

  2. the PLAZOID Says:

    The “not guilty” verdict in the cases of People v. Porter T0310779M 2005 and People v. Theodore Lewis Robinson T0304959M 2003 show that there is a problem with these laws, and the defenses were based on constitutionally-guaranteed liberties.

    The repeated use of the label “urban anrchists” in police chief Mendosa’s interview, available on the net at the address in the original post, shows a willingness to use scapegoating to attempt to fractionalize the community.
    Please read the interview for yourself.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    You have yet to provide any evidence that these court verdicts declare anti-camping laws as unconstitutional. Last I heard, many cities had these laws and they have been upheld. Arcata’s law might have an oddity to it, or enforcement may have been done wrong in a particular case, but if you’re saying anti-camping laws are unconstitutional, show me the court ruling that overturned all these laws on the books across the country.

    Or, continue with vague statements that mingle your opinion with your version of reality.

  4. the PLAZOID Says:

    When the people lead, the leaders will follow.

  5. Jeff Says:

    Yes, and if the people lead us into a cesspool, what then?

  6. the PLAZOID Says:

    to Stringy: apparently you mis-understand the significance of the previous little catch-phrase. The idea is that it would be foolish to wait for our leaders to make the right decisions about things like human rights when we already know what’s right and what’s wrong.

  7. Jeff Says:

    “But while the courts have allowed for the necessity defense, they haven’t gone so far as to rule anti-camping ordinances are unconstitutional. The California Supreme Court refused to hear Santa Ana’s appeal in the Eichorn case, leaving much speculation as to the legality of anti-camping legislation.”

    This is from 2002, so there may be a more recent decision.

  8. Jeff Says:

    Here’s an interesting read on the subject:

  9. the PLAZOID Says:

    to STRINGY: thank you for your comments, and thank you for doing some research on your own…this is what I hoped to see – people doing research for themselves and thinking for themselves – not just taking what I say or what anyone else says to be unquestionable fact.

    It does seem that judges are unwilling to actually say that these anti-camping ordinances are inherently unconstitutional, but when a defendant has the time, energy, and resources to put together a organised defense and call in “expert witnesses,” the judge has to admit that the law is unconstituionally applied. I believe that this is because the judges don’t want to be personally responsible for saying that the law is wrong, but also don’t want to deal with the heavy conscience of looking a person in the eye and then condemning them for sleeping. So this “compromise” is played out, where those who can defend themselves do, and the rest are left to suffer under an unconstitutionally cruel law.

  10. the PLAZOID Says:

    The Eichorn case was a “necessity defense,” so the constitutionality of the ordinance was outside of the range of focus for that case. The same is true of the two cases from Arcata.
    The “esxpert witnesses” included a doctor testifying that sleep deprivation is harmful, and service provider testifying that there was no shelter available.

    However, if you look at Potinger v. City of Miami and State of Oregon v. Wickes, these cases did challenge the constitutionality of anti-camping ordinances and won.

  11. Anonymous Says:


  12. Anonymous Says:

    Hey losers, why don’t you move somewhere else and make yourself your own town? Or are you only a tick on the ass of the human race?

  13. the PLAZOID Says:

    interesting argument, but I don’t think that it will hold up in court.
    The “necessity defense,” on the other hand, HAS stood up in court, and the Potinger decision sets the precedent for FORCING our local governments to come into compliance with the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    however you fail to pointout that the anti camping keeps arcata from being overun with people who wont suport themself and say that they cant. without the anti camping ordanance arcata would have people setting up a campers fire anywhere they could find space, I fro one dont want tents on my plaza, its bad enough as it is, Ive steped in human shit more than once this last year, and the more who camp on public property will tunr everythign to mud… its a discusting idea. I work almost 20 hours a week , and am scraping by, i have a friend who just quit a great job at safeway because he was to proud/dumb to kiss ass and brownnose fora few weeks as he got started and wanted the job to conform to him as oposed to the other way around, now people like that bring not having a home upon themselvs.

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