Locked In A Box: Community Conversation On Immigration Detention Surprises And Stirs Consciences

“I’m not a criminal, I’m not a drug dealer, and I’m not a rapist,” Maritza Maldonado told about 100 Silicon Valley community members assembled for a conversation on immigration detention hosted by Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church on Sept. 17 — the first day of U.S. Constitution Week.

Union pushes oversight expansion on heels of San Jose police auditor resignation

SAN JOSE — Just days after the independent police auditor’s resignation, the city’s police union made a public show of support Monday for the expansion of the civic watchdog’s role.

The union’s latest move comes after its relentless campaign to oust Aaron Zisser, who resigned Thursday, citing in part the intense personal attacks against him. It seems calculated to show — as the union previously insisted — that its issues were with Zisser personally, not with outside scrutiny of police officers’ work.

At a news conference Monday, the San Jose Police Officers’ Association signed off on an expansion of powers for the police auditor, which would provide the auditor new access to internal misconduct complaint investigations and officer-involved shooting probes, as well as aggregate data about use-of-force cases that did not provoke any complaints.

“We are pleased to announce our signing of this historic expansion of civilian oversight of our police department, and look forward to working with our city leaders on implementing these expansions,” union President Paul Kelly said.

San Jose POA moving forward with oversight reforms after independent auditor's resignation

SAN JOSE, Calif. --

The San Jose Police Officers Association is submitting a tentative agreement on expanding police oversight to the Mayor and City Council today in response to the city independent police auditor's resignation on Thursday.

POA President Paul Kelly repeatedly called for Aaron Zisser's resignation beginning in June, saying he wouldn't move forward on police reforms or work with the IPA until Zisser was out of office.

San Jose police auditor resigns amid fierce political pressure

SAN JOSE — Citing the intense personal attacks against him, the city’s independent police auditor has resigned, ending a short and tumultuous tenure and raising questions about the future of a vital civic watchdog role.

Aaron Zisser’s departure comes after the police union led a blistering, months-long campaign to oust him, pouncing on a string of missteps that the union insisted showed anti-police bias. 

“I am enormously grateful to community leaders and advocates for their consistent and robust support,” Zisser wrote in a news release, citing part of his Thursday resignation letter to the city council. “Unfortunately, the extraordinary personal attacks on my office and my work have become a distraction from the important goals of reform and expanded oversight of the police sought by the public and community groups.”

San Jose Police Auditor Resigns After Calls for Termination

After months of calls for his resignation and termination, the San Jose Independent Police Auditor resigned from his position Thursday.

In his resignation letter, Aaron Zisser thanked the city of San Jose, said he's proud of the work he had done and that he remains "available and committed to supporting San Jose communities, the steadfast grassroot leaders, City leaders SJPD and the next IPA."

San Jose Police Auditor Aaron Zisser Resigns Under Pressure From Cop Union, City Leaders

San Jose’s civilian cop monitor has agreed to step down, citing the police union’s “extraordinary personal attacks” on him as a distraction to grassroots reform efforts.

Independent Police Auditor (IPA) Aaron Zisser, a civil rights lawyer hired by a 10-1 City Council vote less than a year ago, tendered his resignation Thursday after a months-long campaign by the San Jose Police Officers’ Association (POA) to remove him from office.

“I am enormously grateful to community leaders and advocates for their consistent and robust support,” Zisser said in his written farewell to the council. “Unfortunately, the extraordinary personal attacks on my office and my work have become a distraction from the important goals of reform and expanded oversight of the police sought by the public and community groups.”

Plans to raze apartments spur outcry

Securing affordable housing in Silicon Valley can be a lottery. In one case, a group of tenants is literally hoping the lottery will save their homes. 

The homes are the 59 apartments located at 2310 Rock St. Each week, the residents -- including bus drivers, teachers and nurses -- are pooling their money to buy Powerball tickets with the distant hope of hitting the jackpot. It started as a joke, they said, but if they win, their plan is serious: Buy their apartment property, giving everyone free or very low rent for life. It's the American dream tempered for the realities of Mountain View housing.

San Jose lawmakers go through police paces as use-of-force bill looms

SAN JOSE — During a traffic stop on a suburban street, Assemblyman Evan Low turned to face the suspect, who was a modest distance away and reaching for something in his truck cab. Moments later, the man appeared with a shotgun and began pointing it menacingly.

Low was holding a can of pepper spray. Both unloaded their weapons, and the screen shut down.

Take two: Low had his pistol drawn. He trained it on the backpedaling suspect, and opened fire before the man could get to the cab. The screen shut down again.

Opinion: California must seize opportunity to lead on bail reform

This week, the California State Assembly is likely to vote on Senate Bill 10, a bill that we had hoped would bring an end to the unjust money bail system and significantly reduce the number of people incarcerated in California’s jails.

But the final version of SB 10 trades in the exploitative money bail system for a new pretrial regime — one that will lead to more incarceration and entrench racial, gender, and socioeconomic bias in our system. That is why, today, we are calling on legislators to stop SB 10.

South Bay activists trek to Sacramento on crucial week for police reform bills

South Bay community groups joined social-justice activists from throughout California at the state Capitol on Monday to show support for a pair of police-reform bills passing through crucial hearings this week.

“We’re at a critical point, both bills have to get through appropriations by the end of the week,” said Alice Lynch, a leader in the faith-based People Acting in Community Together. “It’s critical for community to be there and show this amount of support, and the impact it’ll have on people’s lives.”