A new type of "sanctuary city": When the Richmond City Council voted 5-2 to pass a resolution banning "space-based weapons" in May, they thought they were sympathizing with the mentally ill who believe they are the victims of electronic surveillance planted in their bodies to control their thoughts and actions.
But when the move resulted in an increase in calls to the city's police department asking them to investigate and the national press mocked the council for being slightly loony, several members back-pedaled.
Councilwoman Gayle McLaughlin admitted the resolution was "a mistake" and said the city was now focusing on many other more serious issues. So did Councilman Jael Myrick, who said he thought he was voting for a resolution to keep weapons, such as missiles, from local airspace.
But after realizing the vote was being used to validate conspiracy theories, such as that the government uses chemicals to poison residents, otherwise known as chem trails, and planting devices in people's bodies and heads, Myrick changed his tune.
"The negative press and publicity from the passage of this resolution has clearly brought unnecessary embarrassment to the city ... and led to our police department being inundated by calls from "targeted individuals" who now see Richmond as some type of sanctuary," Myrick said.
Hope they didn't get the SpongeBob doll: East Bay cities' police logs are increasingly padded with reports of vehicle and residential break-ins (even in the most "crime-free" areas) and of people being caught with drugs or stolen goods, or perpetrating various forms of fraud.
But The Eye spotted a recent report on the Pleasant Hill police log that tells of a more base violation of all that should be sacrosanct. To wit, reported as having taken place June 4:
"Two women were reported using coat hangers to steal prizes from a machine at a business in the 1300 block of Contra Costa Boulevard." Say it ain't so ...
Staff writers Karina Ioffee and Sam Richards contributed to this report.