PACT in the News

South Bay Police Chiefs Meet With Community Seeking Access To Records

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Link to article

Several law enforcement leaders from the South Bay met with community members Tuesday night to listen to frustrations and answer questions about a new law that was meant to give the public access to police records that have been historically inaccessible.

SB 1421, which went into effect January 1st, gives the public the right to request records related to police use of force or other misconduct. Rosie Chavez said the new law gave her hope she’d finally get answers surrounding the fatal shooting of her nephew a year and a half ago.

Instead, she said she has been disappointed.

“Why can’t we get the answers, why can’t they release the records?” asked Chavez.

Jacob Dominguez was shot and killed by San Jose police officers when they said the fugitive gang member ignored commands to put his hands up, then dropped them out of view.

The body-worn camera footage was released by the Santa Clara County District Attorney last week, who also ruled the officer who shot Dominguez was lawful in his decision to pull the trigger.
Chavez said under the law, she has a right to know who fired the shots, as well as the officer’s record with San Jose police.

“If there was any disciplinary action, if they’ve had any past records of misconduct or anything like that,” she said.

She was among several community members who attended Tuesday night’s meeting, which was organized by the grassroots organization People Acting in Community Together.

“Police unions have been filing lawsuits against 1421 in hoping to block people from getting records,” said P.A.C.T. leader Derrick Sanderlin.

Since the law went into effect, several agencies across the state have fought to comply with the law. Some agencies have said they will comply, but that they won’t release records before the law went into effect.

Despite the controversy, several South Bay agencies showed up to participate in the dialogue with community members and P.A.C.T., including chiefs from Morgan Hill, Campbell and Sunnyvale, as well as the Santa Clara County Sheriff. The assistant chiefs for Santa Clara Police and San Jose Police Departments were also in attendance.

“1421 has value and it will show that, we, as a law enforcement profession, are doing a good job of policing our own, holding our officers accountable who need to be held accountable,” said Morgan Hill Police Chief David Swing.

Chavez said if she ever gets her hands on the documents in her nephew’s case, she may not even read them. But she believes she has every right to know how the 33-year-old spent the last moments of his life.

“The answers might not get what we want, but it’s something that’s related to his case and we want it,” she said.

Realizan foro para entablar un diálogo entre la comunidad y alguaciles sobre la ley de transparencia en California

Univision link to article

Miembros de la comunidad y autoridades de departamentos de policía de varias ciudades de la Bahía participarán en un evento con el objetivo de compartir inquietudes e información sobre la ley de transparencia que obliga a agencias del orden en California a entregar al público registros y videos de cámaras corporales en incidentes.

California’s Cambodian immigrants fear more ICE raids on the horizon

It’s only been a few days since an Omni Air flight carrying 36 deportees, rounded up and detained by ICE earlier this year, landed in Cambodia. But already, immigrant communities in the Bay Area and across California are bracing themselves for more.

As the year comes to an end and the dozens of new deportees get acclimated to a country many of them had never set foot in, organizers are doubling down on their warnings to local Cambodian immigrants living in the country illegally, urging them to get documents in order, call family members and legal hotlines, and start setting money aside.

ICE Office In South Bay Draws Allegedly Blocked Attorneys From Seeing Immigrants

MORGAN HILL — Officials at an under-the-radar ICE facility in Morgan Hill have allegedly prevented attorneys from meeting with immigrants brought to the building. 

Detainees brought here three times in recent weeks have been held in vans for extended periods, which attorney Luis Angel Reyes Savalza said is inhumane. 

"They held immigrants here for prolonged periods of time," said Reyes Savalza. "They held them in vans from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and when attorneys showed up to represent these individuals — which is a constitutional right that every individual has in this country — they were denied access to attorneys."

Vietnamese refugees in South Bay fear potential deportation

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) --

The Vietnamese community in San Jose is one of the country's largest, which means thousands of Vietnamese immigrants across the South Bay could soon be at risk of deportation.

City leaders tell ABC7 News there is much to lose under the Trump Administration's re-interpretation of a decade-long agreement with Vietnam.
In 2008, President George W. Bush signed a repatriation agreement, protecting Vietnamese immigrants who arrived before 1995, from deportation.

South Bay Officials Condemn White House Plan to Deport Vietnamese Immigrants

Hai Tran fled Vietnam by sea, going from fishing boat to merchant ship to a refugee outpost in Hong Kong before a sibling sponsored his immigration to the U.S. in 1980. His wife, Kim Ho, joined him in California after her own treacherous journey, giving birth to their first American-born child, Huy Tran, two years after their arrival.

Over the ensuing decades, the family earned a keep through landscaping, mending clothes and, eventually, its own nail salon. The war-scarred refugees laid the foundation for the younger Tran to attend San Jose State and Santa Clara University’s School of Law to pursue a career as an employment rights attorney in Silicon Valley.

Mountain View votes to raze rent-controlled apartments, displace dozens

MOUNTAIN VIEW — Despite hours of impassioned pleas from residents who will lose their homes, the City Council voted early Wednesday morning to allow the eviction of more than 70 tenants and the demolition of their rent-controlled apartment building to make way for new town houses.

Council members voted 4-3 to approve a proposal by Morgan Hill-based developer Dividend Homes to raze the 20-unit rent-controlled Royal Viking Apartments on Rock Street and replace the complex with 15 new town homes. Just after midnight Wednesday, they approved a plan that gave residents an extra six months to vacate the building — requiring them to move out by the end of 2019.

San Jose moves toward ordinance limiting Section 8 discrimination

San Jose took a step toward making it harder for landlords to turn away would-be tenants who use vouchers to help pay the rent.

This week, the San Jose City Council directed the city attorney’s office to draft an ordinance aimed at giving renters with subsidies, commonly known as Section 8 vouchers, a fair chance on the private rental market. The so-called source of income ordinance would not force landlords to take the vouchers, but it would ban them from judging potential tenants who use subsidies differently from those who don’t and from explicitly advertising “No Section 8” on apartment listings.

If everything goes according to plan, the council will vote on the ordinance in the spring.

‘I don’t want to leave:’ South Bay renters displaced to make way for buyers

MOUNTAIN VIEW — Rocio Carrillo was taken aback last summer when 5-year-old Johnatan asked about the new sign in front of their apartment building.

Carrillo didn’t want to tell her son the truth about the placard bearing the official-looking title: “notice of development proposal.” But since she hadn’t prepared a story, she didn’t know what else to do. “I did end up telling him that someone wanted to take our house away,” she said.

The result was heartbreaking. Johnatan, whom his family affectionately calls Johnny or Papá, went through a phase where he didn’t want to go to school, because he worried someone would come to his room and take away his toys and clothes while he was gone.