Community calls on Mayor & City Council: Expand Police Oversight - Don’t Fall for SJPOA Distraction Tactics

MEDIA ALERT

Contacts: Akemi Flynn 408-504-8030; Frank Richardson 408-307-1118

Mercury News OpEd:  https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/08/05/opinion-why-san-jose-police-need-to-help-expand-ipa-office/

Community calls on Mayor & City Council: 

Expand Police Oversight - Dont Fall for SJPOA Distraction Tactics

 

WHAT & WHEN: Press Conference - Monday, August 6, 11:30am

 

WHERE: Outside San Jose City Hall, 200 East Santa Clara St, San Jose 95112

 

WHO: Mayor Liccardo with PACT grassroots community & faith leaders, NAACP, Asian Law Alliance, Women’s March, and other community partners

 

WHY:  San Jose residents - including diverse members of our community - need to be able to trust the police. Police transparency and accountability are essential for trust, safety and justice, for both community members and police.

 

PACT is concerned about the the attack campaign waged by SJPOA - the police union - against IPA Aaron Zisser and the impact on our community. We question the timing as City Council is preparing to discuss the expansion of the role of the IPA Office.

  • The SJPOA has been working to undermine this IPA since his hiring was announced last fall and refused to meet with him in recent months.
  • The SJPOA attempted to pressure the Mayor and City Council to limit their January Study Session on Independent Oversight and then to very limited in scope and block the discussion of expanding the role of the IPA Office in May. 
  • As reported by the Mercury News, “the union conducted the equivalent of opposition research on Zisser earlier this year, but found nothing that could immediately disqualify him.” 
  • Community trust in police is undermined by SJPOA’s attacks on families grieving loved ones lost to police shootings, recently re. IPA Zisser and last fall after a PACT Action with over 200 participants.  

Again, transparency and accountability are essential for trust, safety and justice. The IPA Office was created for this purpose. It is currently limited in its ability to provide the level of oversight needed by our community and demonstrated as best practices in other cities across the country.

 

For over 2 years, PACT has worked with the Mayor, City Council, Police Chief, SJPOA, multiple IPAs, other community organizations, and hundreds of community members to expand the role of the IPA Office to follow best practices in the field.   

 

Our community needs and deserves much more, but the Chief and SJPOA have agreed to at least 3 important changes for the IPA to audit Department Initiated Investigations (DIIs) and Officer Involved Shooting (OISs) and have access to use of force records. Now SJPOA says they won’t move forward with this IPA.

 

Our community needs the leadership of the Mayor and City Council to expand the role of the IPA Office now. They should not be distracted and swayed by the attack campaign of the union of officers sworn to serve and protect our community.  

 

###  

PACT: People Acting in Community Together is a multiracial, multi-faith organization that empowers people to create a more just community.  PACT has more than 30 member congregations and partner schools representing 50,000 people in Santa Clara County. PACT is part of PICO California and the Faith in Action international network, one of the largest grassroots community networks in the country. www.pactsj.org  http://www.facebook.com/PACTSJ  

 

PICO California is the state’s largest community organizing network. We organize in 73 cities, 15 school districts, and in more than one-half of the state's Senate and Assembly districts.  PICO California was established in 1994, bringing together local federations from throughout California to affect meaningful budget and policy change at the state level. Over the past 20 years, our organizing and policy advocacy has resulted in increased investments in education and healthcare, and in programs and services that are critical for working families. Together, we represent 480 congregations and 450,000 families of diverse economic, racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds committed to advancing racial and economic justice in California through organizing, advocacy, and voter engagement. Visit www.PICOCalifornia.org to learn more. PICO California and its federations are non-partisan and do not endorse or support candidates for office.