Here’s another clue that’s come out of the now-infamous fundraising event from two Fridays ago for Democratic House candidate Francine Busby (CA-50), which ended in a raid by the San Diego Sheriff’s Department when things got out of hand with a deputy who was responding to a noise complaint.
A preliminary police report that has been leaked to the media (the Sheriff’s Department is not releasing documents, due to an ongoing internal probe) shows that the noise complaint originated from a house nearby, with the caller incensed over “a loud Democratic rally with loudspeakers.”
This corroborates what Busby had previously told me, that the deputies who came to the event said they were responding to a complaint about a “Democratic demonstration.” For her part, Busby has said that the event was not loud, but was a standard fundraising house party, at which she briefly spoke through a microphone and had finished up her remarks at some time around 8:30 p.m.The Sheriff’s deputy arrived about 45 minutes after that, and things got ugly. By the time it was over, multiple people had been pepper-sprayed, one of the hostesses and a guest were arrested, and a full Sheriff’s Department backup had come in, including even dogs and a helicopter — to deal with a crowd of middle-aged Democratic donors.
The police report says that Deputy Marshall G. Abbott used his pepper spray because he felt threatened by guests who were surrounding him. It also says that he ended up with “several scratches and minor swelling on both of his arms.”
Busby and others who attended the event believe that the caller is probably the same person as an unidentified heckler who shouted obscenities and anti-gay slurs at the assembled crowd. That still hasn’t been nailed down with certainty, but doesn’t seem like an unreasonable assumption. Busby has said the call was motivated by a political agenda, but she has not accused the police themselves of behaving politically.
Late Update: The report can be viewed here.