Thursday, November 29, 2001
On advice of counsel, neither of the Sherrills spoke. Instead, Mason told the NAACP''s version of the story.
Mason says that at about 7:30pm on Friday, Nov. 23, J.J. Sherrill was pulled over by police at the Snack ''n'' Bottle on Noche Buena Street. Sherrill was told the stop was for illegally tinted front windows. Sherrill called his father on his cell phone and dad arrived soon after to find "guns drawn on his son," according to Mason.
Mason says that both were soon thrown to the ground and choked. Mason says one of the officers told Sherrill Sr. he would "teach him a lesson," only to apologize later.
Seaside Police Chief Anthony Sollecito says he and his supervisors will investigate the incident. "This department has nothing to hide," he says.
But Sollecito, a Peninsula native who has been chief for two months, says he met with the Sherrills the morning before the press conference and that they said nothing about racial profiling. Sollecito says the meeting was "cordial."
He says J.J. Sherrill conceded there were no officers with guns drawn.
ACLU Hosts Forum to Defend Against Attack on Liberty
What terrorism wants is to make you afraid. Osama wants you dead, but the goal of terrorism is to force political reaction through terror.
Fear among the populace obligates the government to act and to protect. Some say that also gives the government carte blanche to take away your civil rights, if you''re an innocent Arab-American being held while the rules of habeus corpus have been suspended.
To illuminate this potentially deeply dark matter, the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is hosting a forum at the Monterey Public Library on December 4 at 7pm.
Moderated by attorney Steve Rease of the local ACLU, the panel will feature Fadi Saba, founder of the Arab-American Caucus of the State Democratic Party; Michelle Welsh, chair of the local ACLU legal committee; and Bill Monning, professor of negotiation and conflict resolution at the Monterey Institute for International Studies.
Already there are changes underway. President Bush has torn a note from the World War II playbook and wants military tribunals for terrorist suspects. Some fear privacy will be further invaded through wider government surveillance and wiretapping.
Will the War on Terrorism tear apart our Constitution? Will it reconfigure our judicial system the way the War on Drugs has? What kind of sacrifices and compromises is the public willing to endure to be safe?
Show up on Dec. 4 and find out.
Local Activists to Honor Lost Friends at World AIDS Day Service
Terry Romine loved ''70s rock and dancing to techno at clubs. He had a sharp sense of humor. He was Craig Wenzl''s best friend. Romine died of AIDS on Jan. 18, 1996.
On Dec. 1--World AIDS Day--Wenzl, the director of education and prevention for the Monterey County AIDS Project, will remember Romine, along with the millions who have died or are living with HIV and AIDS. Wenzl is one of four speakers who will share stories of losing a loved one to AIDS at an interfaith service at Epiphany Church, 425 Carmel Ave., Marina, from 6:30-7:30pm, as Monterey County joins 191 countries around the world in observing the 14th annual World AIDS day.
"Because of the events of Sept. 11, we''re keeping everything very low key," says Wayne Johnson, executive director of the AIDS Project. "We''ve having a service, a quiet remembrance at the church, and afterwards a small candlelight vigil outside the church."
In Monterey County, 798 people have been diagnosed with AIDS, and an estimated 1,000 to 3,000 others are living with HIV, according to the Health Department.
Wenzl says for six years, he watched Romine''s body struggle to fight off opportunistic infections. "Watching the person you love most in the world fading away over a period of several years is really devastating," he remembers.
"Waiting For The Night To Fall" by Depeche Mode played at Romine''s memorial service.
Wenzl says he hopes others who are in similar situations will "find some similarity and some affirmation of feelings" in his tribute to Romine on Dec. 1.
"Anytime I speak about Terry, one of my intentions is to let him live on. When I talk about him it''s like he''s still living. I just want his energy, his really positive living, to continue."