Last week, the San Leandro City Council approved the appointment of Guillermo Elenes to its planning and zoning adjustment commission. But after dozens of social media posts by Elenes using an acronym for the phrase “All Cops Are Bastards” later emerged, he was asked to step down on Wednesday.
Elenes had not yet been sworn-in to the position, but pressure in recent days had been building for San Leandro Councilmember Bryan Azevedo to remove him from the planning commission. A replacement has not yet been named.
“Today, Councilman Bryan Azevedo asked me to step down from the planning and zoning adjustment commission. Based on community pressure and direct intervention of other council members,” Elenes said in a statement on Wednesday.
“This action was a surprise as just last week I was voted unanimously to be appointed to the commission. Even after an article highlighting my comments appeared in local media.
“Since my appointment, my brash use of social media has come under scrutiny and particularly my use of the acronym ACAB, While I cannot say its a kind thing to say, the actions of police show that I’m not far off the mark.”
Elenes noted in the statement that a San Leandro police officer was charged with embezzlement last October, while another, Jason Fletcher, was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting last April of Steven Taylor. “Is that not bastardly behavior?” Elenes added.
In recent years, Elenes has been an unrelenting progressive voice on the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee and in San Leandro. He has also long been a highly vocal critic of law enforcement in the city and county.
But over a roughly five months period last year, Elenes responded to police-related Twitter posts and news articles with “ACAB.” One notable tweet followed a posting by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department. The tweet included a call to pray for Oscar Rocha, a deputy who was infected with covid-19 last summer. The posting included a photo of Rocha’s hand while he rested in a hospital room. Rocha later died from the infection last July.
Another tweet, in response to an article about the San Jose Police Department celebrating the LGBT community in the South Bay, Elenes tweeted, “ACAB even the gay ones!”
The latter tweet is believed to have galvanized support for asking Azevedo to remove Elenes as his planning commissioner. Prior to the emergence of the second tweet, some San Leandro officials believed Elenes’ comments about the Alameda County Sheriff’s deputy was an isolated incident.
The decision to remove Elenes from the planning commission marks an inauspicious start for Azevedo, who was elected to the city council last November. His roster of appointees to the city’s boards and commissions was his first official act as the District 2 representative.