CA-50: Sheriffs Raid Busby Fundraiser

An exceedingly strange story out of the San Diego area.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that a fundraiser for Francine Busby, who previously ran for the deeply-Republican Fiftieth District (editor’s note: it’s not that deeply Republican, Obama won here 51-47) and came close to winning in the 2006 special election and subsequent regular election, was raided by sheriffs after an unnamed neighbor made a noise complaint. Busby now calls it a “phony” noise complaint, and the article says that multiple neighbors said there was no great noise at all.

Here’s the twist: The fundraiser was hosted by a lesbian couple, and shortly before the sheriffs came a particular neighbor had shouted anti-gay slurs at the assembled crowd. “It was a quiet home reception, disrupted by a vulgar person shouting obscenities from behind the bushes,” Busby says.

As one neighbor told the paper: “We didn’t hear anything until the sheriff came, with eight patrol cars and a helicopter.”

The sheriff’s department claims that somebody kicked an officer. By the time it was over, multiple people were pepper-sprayed, one of the hostesses was arrested, and the whole neighborhood got to see quite a scene.

One of the officers defended the department’s conduct — turning the blame on the candidate: “The place got out of hand. If Francine Busby was there, why not take a leadership role, step up, and nip this thing in the bud?”

There’s more detail at this Daily Kos diary from arodb, who was there.  I like the part where the police department blames Francine Busby for their own failure to recognize that no noise violation was taking place inside the fundraiser.

I’m trying to get some more information from the campaign, will bring it when I have it.

UPDATE: TPMDC interviews Francine Busby about this incident, and basically, she singles out the homophobic heckler for creating the noise that brought the cops to the scene:

“You could hear his voice very clearly, it was loud. But as far as the actual words, I didn’t hear them,” Busby explained. “I heard my name, and obviously derogatory words. Other people heard profanity, and somebody heard something about gays, as well.” It should be noted that the event was hosted by a lesbian couple.

“The deputies were telling people that they were taking statements from, that the call came in about noise from a Democratic rally, or Democratic demonstration,” said Busby. In fact, she said, she had last spoken at about 8:30 p.m., and the police arrived an hour later when most of the attendees had left. “It was a nuisance-noise call, because there was no noise, and the fact that it was described as a Democratic rally or demonstration indicates to me that this person was calling for his own political motives.”

The LA Times reports that the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department will open an investigation into the incident, particularly the use of pepper spray.

8 thoughts on “CA-50: Sheriffs Raid Busby Fundraiser”

  1. Let us remember that the Sheriff of San Diego County is an old-time, right wing Republican who has twice been criticized by the US Supreme Court for civil rights violations committed by his department when he was San Diego Police chief.

    In 1986, he was also found (by the LA Times in a rare moment of actual reporting) to have fixed over 10,000 traffic tickets, many of them in exchange for an obvious quid pro quo.

    Fixing traffic tickets usually earns one a quick trip to the Federal Penitentiary.  However, he was then Pete Wilson’s police chief (from Wilson’s days as Mayor) and the US Attorney in San Diego had been recommended for the job by Senator Pete Wilson.  (That particular US Attorney was awarded the San Diego County Bar Associations “Golden Ass Award” two years in a row.)

  2. By “press”, I include outlets like talk radio and the big RW web sites.

    I mention this because of the curious incident in Dallas.  It looks like the fringe is specifically looking for confrontation with the gay community of late.

    This is two incidents.  Is it possible that a lot more than that happened over the weekend and we’re not fully aware of it yet, since they were in media markets “off the beaten track”?

  3. Have the deputies been suspended? That should happen immediately to prevent any more abuse before they are fired.

    Hopefully their names will be released so they can rightfully be dragged through the mud.

  4. to send out to for a loud noise call.  I had to the call the cops about my neighbors 3am parties and they sent one patrol car.  I guess I should have said it was Gay Democratic Party party – then there’d have been a response.

  5. The cops in this nation are just another gang. Heck, they are not even the best armed.

    But they do have helicopters.

    Which is what the .50 Barrett is for.

    Seriously, the safest thing you can do is never, ever have anything to do with the murderous, tazer crazy, shoot first Poo-Leece.

    They crazy…


  6. The kind of abuse of power and authority that has been happening in communities of color for decades is starting to get directed at everyone else. I can tell my own stories of overzealous policing that left me homeless, for example.

    In the name of fighting late 20th century crime we’ve basically given the cops carte blanche to do whatever the fuck they want to do. It’s time that was changed. People need to lose their jobs over this, just as needs to happen with the BART Police for the Oscar Grant murder, just as needs to happen with any other act of police brutality or misuse of power and force.

Comments are closed.