General Crime

San Jose Police to Have 2 Officers Per Patrol Car on New Year’s Eve

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San Jose police, in response to alerts about potential threats to police nationwide, will for the first time assign two officers to patrol cars over New Year’s Eve, a spokesman said. The San Jose Police Department has not received explicit warnings from anyone, but police agencies have heard of reports mentioning that New Year’s Eve would be “Kill a Pig Night” and “The New Year’s Eve Massacre,” spokesman Officer Albert Morales said. San Jose and other police agencies have been alerted about the possible threats over the holiday, Morales said. “We don’t have anything specific, no specific threats,” Morales said. “This was disseminated to all law enforcement throughout the country.”

In order to provide added security to officers tonight and early Thursday, the department will have two officers in cars patrolling San Jose streets and answering calls, Morales said. “We’ve never done that on New Year’s,” he said. “It’s unprecedented for the San Jose Police Department.” Michelle McGurk, spokeswoman for Mayor-elect Sam Liccardo, who officially takes office from Mayor Chuck Reed on Thursday, said Liccardo had not put out a statement about the Police Department’s tactical decision, which she said was up to Police Chief Larry Esquivel. Liccardo will be on a ride-along with officers in a San Jose police patrol car to an undisclosed place in the city starting at 1 a.m. New Year’s Day, McGurk said.

Three recent shooting deaths of black youths by police officers, each of whom were not charged, have fueled racial tensions and demonstrations throughout the country, including those of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 9 and 18-year-old VonDerrit Myers Jr. in St. Louis on Oct. 8. Another incident that has fostered resentment was the death of Eric Garner, a 43-year-old black man who was determined to have died in part due to a chokehold administered on July 17 by a white New York police officer in Staten Island, New York. Grand juries in the Brown and Garner cases declined to indict the officers and St. Louis police said on Dec. 5 no charges would be filed against the off-duty officer who shot Myers.

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