Stephon Clark was shot at by Sacramento police officers 20x in his own backyard on the evening of March 18 . Community shock and outrage continue in Sacramento as people demand police accountability – why was another black person summarily executed by police?
The autopsy released by his family last Friday showed that Mr. Clark was shot in the back 8x. Not unexpectedly, police have begun to “try” him in the media, to rationalize the excessive use of force in a shooting that clearly was not warranted.
Civil rights organizations including BLM, the NAACP-CA and National Action Network have called for independent investigations into the extrajudicial shooting of the 22-year-old man. In response, the police chief has called upon the Department of Justice and the California Attorney General to help lead the investigation.
We cannot depend on government intervention to change the escalation of police violence. Victims and survivors of police violence have seen this over and over. Last year, the DOJ refused to step in and investigate the extrajudicial murder of Alton Sterling by Baton Rouge officer Blane Salamoni. While never charged in the death of Mr. Sterling. the officer was finally fired just on March 30 because his actions caught on tape were egregiously outside accepted police practices. Another participating officer was suspended for his actions – although only for 3 days.
Clearly, police oversight cannot be left in the hands of government – communities and families must be part of independent, strong, transparent oversight that can enforce accountability. While Sacramento has a Community Police Review Commission, the Commission doesn’t actually look into complaints against police! Residents must file a complaint with the City Manager, who passes the investigation back to the Police Department’s Internal Affairs. This is patently a conflict of interest.
San Diego has the same problem – while our Community Review Board can and does receives complaints, these get passed onto the SDPD’s Internal Affairs. Locally, racial justice advocates have been pointing out the problems with police training and policies. Most recently, these have included demands to stop the use of dangerous chokeholds. Chokeholds, along with other policing practices, are used most intensively in communities of color and/or low-income.
The Peace Resource Center of San Diego has joined the effort by Women Occupy San Diego (WOSD) to replace the present ineffective Community Review Board with a strong, independent Commission on Police Practices. This requires a charter amendment. WOSD has been leading the work to convince San Diego City Council to put the proposed charter amendment on the November 2018 ballot.
On March 23, WOSD presented the draft amendment to the City Clerk of San Diego on March. See the following action alert from WOSD!
the San Diego City Council
Rules Committee meeting!Wednesday, April 11 @ 1PM
202 C Street
City Council Committee Room, 12th Floor
Concerned about equity and equal treatment under the law? Contact your elected councilmember and ask them to move the proposed amendment AS WRITTEN onto the November 2018 ballot.