First of all, please forgive if this personal message is unwanted, off-topic or you receive it multiple times. As most of you getting this have probably heard, I was arrested last month in an entrapment operation by the Fremont police for peacefully trying to make a living as an escort. They charged me with 647b "soliciting prostitution," which many governments consider illegal thanks to their vested interest in having lots of laws to enforce and to puritan anti-sexual morality which is still unfortunately widespread.
So, my arraignment hearing is scheduled for tomorrow:
WHERE: Fremont Municipal Court, 39439 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont
WHEN: Friday morning (Jan. 6) at 9:00 a.m.
I realize 9:00 a.m. on a weekday is a bad time for most people. They obviously don't schedule these hearings for the convenience of people who don't work for the criminal justice system! But if you are able and willing to attend, I will certainly be grateful. If you are planning to come or need a ride, please call me for details - (415) 621-7932.
If you can't attend (or maybe even if you can), would be willing to call and/or email Fremont's mayor and city council members? This is not just for me, though naturally I'd also like to see the Fremont police get some negative feedback from their bosses as a result of what they did to me, but so that other people won't be similarly victimized.
Here are the city leaders' names, phone numbers, and email addresses:
(510) 494-4895 x5901
(510) 494-4895 x5904
(510) 494-4895 x5902
And here are some possible talking points for communicating with the politicians:
-Prosecuting prostitution is a waste of police resources and taxpayer money
-The police claim they are underfunded and understaffed; if they have money and personnel to do this kind of thing, obviously that's a false claim
-How can the police claim not to have the resources to investigate auto theft or burglar alarms if they have the resources to entrap escorts (see memo below)?
-I don't want Fremont to get the reputation of being an intolerant place that doesn't respect different lifestyles
-Allowing police to keep proceeds from sting operations against prostitutes and drug dealers encourages abuse
-People want their police to focus on responding to real crimes
-Are you aware of abuses in the Fremont City Jail? (e.g. being threatened by a police officer with transfer to an institution where I could be raped, if I didn't cooperate with them; denied meals; kept shivering in cold rooms, all of which happened to me)
-See if you can find out any information about:
(1) How much money the city spends on going after prostitution in particular and/or victimless crimes in general
(2) Why the police are engaging in these operations
(3) How many escorts have been arrested? How many clients?
A couple interesting articles are attached below. The first in particular is good ammunition to use when writing or calling the politicians (big thanks to Morey Straus for posting the blog entry that turned it up). This is a memo from the Fremont Police Chief, describing how because of an alleged lack of resources they (a) no longer investigate auto thefts, (b) eliminated a street crime unit, (c) no longer dispatch police to respond to alarms going off unless there is a "verified problem," etc.!
And yet they apparently have PLENTY of resources to:
(1) Find my ad on the Internet, and have an undercover officer think up a bunch of lies and call me in San Francisco posing as a client to get me to come to Fremont
(2) Have 7 officers and a police dog, along with two patrol cars, waiting around the hotel for me to show up (!!!)
(3) Book me, keep me in the Fremont jail overnight, and then drive me to Santa Rita the next day, only to be cited and released with a piece of paper telling me when to show up in court (which they could have simply given me at the time of my arrest and sent me on my way -- but no, evidently I was such a threat to public safety that they had to keep me in jail overnight even though the legal standard is supposed to be "innocent until proven guilty" and I had not been convicted of any crime... sorry if I rant a little bit here!)
The second article below talks about how the police department stands to profit from prostitution and drug stings. This may partly explain why they like to devote resources to this even as they cut back on trying to catch real criminals. The first article in particular is good ammunition to use when writing or calling the politicians.