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Rarely am I shocked when I learn public positions of the one percenters, for clearly I understand that they speak powerfully and often behind closed doors. However, when I learned that Charles Johnson, principal owner of the San Francisco Giants, sent $2,700 to Cindy Hyde-Smith, a candidate for Mississippi senator and an avowed segregationist, I was shocked and felt a sense of community betrayal.
On Feb. 14, 2017, I was shot with a rifle by a sniper named Jesse Enjaian, a white guy. I was a homeless man sleeping in my car. I had parked for the night on the street in front of his house on the 9500 block of Las Vegas Avenue near Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland. He shot out all four of my tires, all my windows, my dashboard got a bullet hole in it and my head was grazed by a bullet. I woke up to bullets flying, hit my horn, jumped out of my car and hollered for help.
“Three African-American construction workers said this week that they were targeted by racial slurs and death threats, including black dolls hanging from nooses in the bathroom, while working on the site of a San Francisco high-rise,” reported the New York Times after renowned civil rights attorney John Burris, who’s representing the workers, held a June 21 press conference. That the issue is important enough for a major story in the New York Times will, we hope, catch the attention of the powers that be in San Francisco.
We are enraged and disheartened by the cowardly decision of the San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón NOT to file charges against the officers who killed Mario Woods and Luis Gongora Pat. Charges for killer cops are among the three demands we have made since our start in December 2015. This DA has never – not once, in all of his tenure, and all of the egregious cases during his watch – filed any charges against officers who kill. Spread the word: Protest and press conference Tuesday, May 29, 12 noon, at 850 Bryant.
Community members and family of Sahleem Tindle, a 28-year-old father of two, killed by a BART Police officer in January, packed a BART meeting March 12 to demand that justice be served. Tindle’s family passionately protested the lack of action by BART following Tindle’s death on Jan. 3 outside the West Oakland BART Station. Tindle’s family and legal team are calling for the city of Oakland to arrest and charge the involved BART officer, Joseph Mateu, with murder.
On March 15, 2018, Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community – Justice 4 Mario Woods hosted a rare and historic event: a visit by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco to take part in a discussion about police violence and racist policing in the San Francisco Bay Area. The conversation with Attorney General Becerra is part of our ongoing efforts to outreach to elected representatives and bring them into the underserved, historically Black neighborhood.
On Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, community will gather in the Bayview to honor Mario Woods on the second anniversary of his execution by San Francisco Police. We will come together once again to show the city of San Francisco that we will NEVER forget, and until such time as our demands for justice are met, we will never stop seeking Justice for Mario Woods and justice for all victims of police violence.
Multiple Bay Area cities have been slapped with multi-million dollar claims for the abuse that took place in their back yards. Jasmine Abuslin, formerly known as Celeste Guap, has come back swinging with a fusillade of abuse, neglect and modern day sex slavery claims against Bay Area police officers. Officers from several Bay Area cities have been charged with sexual misconduct, but most are retired. What about those still actively patrolling the streets and victimizing young girls?
On Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016, San Francisco’s historic Third Baptist Church was the place for all to see and hear San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick – or so said the word that had spread like wildfire the previous day. The church was packed and the media attended in droves, but Kaepernick had to cancel. Still, The remarks of John Burris and Willie Brown especially, recorded here in their entirety, made attending the service well worthwhile.
John Burris said that he is deeply saddened by the passing of his mother, Imogene Burris, 90, but he is most thankful for her amazing life and the human gifts of giving, sharing and social justice which she bestowed on everyone. Burris says that his mother was “the wind beneath his wings.” Funeral services will be held on Friday, June 10, at 11 a.m. at Second Baptist Church, 1170 Benicia Road in Vallejo. Quiet hour will be on Thursday, June 9, from 6 to 7 p.m. at Wiggins Funeral Home on 524 Capitol St., Vallejo.
“Sgt. Lawrence Kempinski, a 17-year department veteran, told fellow officers that he transferred to the Bayview Station in order to ‘kill niggers,’” reports civil rights attorney John Burris. “It is time to launch a search for a new chief who can implement fundamental reform,” announced Supervisor Jane Kim, “As long as Chief Suhr continues to lead this department,” says Kim, ”we will be unable to truly address the very serious problems raised by“ DA George Gascón’s Blue Ribbon Panel’s report.
More than 23 years after the videotape release of White uniformed LAPD officers beating unarmed Black motorist Rodney King in 1991 – which sparked civil unrest in Los Angeles and throughout the country in 1992 – the savage beating of 51-year-old African American woman Marlene Pinnock by a yet to be named White California Highway Patrol officer on the Santa Monica Freeway on July 1 was captured by cell phone video. A community is outraged, civil rights and community leaders are planning a protest and the victim’s attorney is demanding justice.
On Dec. 12, the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office cleared Manteca police officer John Moody of any wrongdoing for the shooting death of Ernest Duenez Jr. on June 8, 2011. Moody fired 13 times, with 11 bullets hitting Duenez as he struggled to exit a truck parked in his own yard. Moody is back on the job, free to continue terrorizing the people of Manteca.
On Oct. 12, Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan announced that 44 of his officers would face some manner of punishment for their abuse of Occupy protesters last year. Some have hailed this decision as a sign that the Oakland Police Department is finally going to start holding its officers accountable. A look at the recent decisions by Jordan and the OPD, however, dispels any such hope.
Labeled a crime fighting tool, gang injunctions are ineffective, counter-productive and further strain the relationship between residents and police. Pack the courtroom Friday, May 6, 2 p.m., 1225 Fallon, Dept. 20, Oakland, for a hearing on the Fruitvale gang injunction.