Justice System Reform

Local Community Leaders join Day of Action for Police Accountability at the State Capitol Urge State Legislators to Support AB 931 & SB 1421

MEDIA ALERT

Contacts: Akemi Flynn 408-504-8030

Local Community Leaders join Day of Action for Police Accountability at the State Capitol

Urge State Legislators to Support AB 931 & SB 1421

 

WHO & WHAT: PACT grassroots leaders and Santa Clara County community members board the bus to Sacramento to join hundreds of people from across the CA for a Day of Action at the Capitol

 

WHEN: Monday, August 13, 6:00am

 

WHERE: PACT / Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1100 Shasta Ave, San Jose 95126

 

WHY:   Diverse community members across CA 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 has been organizing for many years for increased police accountability in San Jose and Santa Clara County working with the San Jose Mayor and City Council, Santa Clara County Supervisors, Sheriff, Police Chiefs, SJPOA, IPA, other community organizations, and hundreds of community members.

 

Changes at the state level are also needed, so local community members are urging state legislators to support  AB 931, which will save more lives and ensure that law enforcement is held accountable when they use deadly force on our loved ones, as well as SB 1421 - Right to Know about Use of Force.

There is growing recognition among policing experts that the current law authorizing police officers to use deadly force does not protect against unnecessary loss of life.

Under current law, police can use deadly force whenever an “objectively reasonable” officer would have done so under the same circumstances, whether or not there was an immediate threat to life or bodily security, or whether there were available alternatives.

 

As a result, current law authorizes police to kill when it is not necessary, widening the rift between grieving communities – particularly communities of color – and the law enforcement agencies that are supposed to protect them.

 

AB 931 changes California law so that police can use deadly force only when necessary, and requires them to use tactics to de-escalate a situation or use alternatives to deadly force where reasonable. Changing this standard will mean that officers will be trained to use deadly force less often and help protect our families.  

 

SB 1421 will help make police transparent and accountable to the communities they serve. The legislation will make available critical information on how the police departments handle the most serious use of force incidents and confirmed cases of misconduct.

Keeping records of police misconduct and serious uses of force secret prevents the public from ensuring that law enforcement officers are held accountable for their actions. This disproportionately harms communities of color and others who suffer the most from police harassment and brutality. 

But California law keeps all investigations and discipline of police officers secret, even for deadly shootings or when an officer’s own department concludes that they committed sexual assault or planted evidence. The majority of other states recognize that disclosure of records of critical
incidents is a basic element of peace officer oversight — peace officer disciplinary records are available to the public in some form in 27 states.

In California, there is a complete shroud of secrecy over these records that is unique to police officers — complaints against all other types of government employees aren’t kept confidential if the complaint is well‐founded or there’s a strong public interest in disclosure. 

We’ve seen far too many people killed at the hands of law enforcement to allow police agencies to keep judging those killings in secret. Police have the power to take a life based on a split‐second decision. The public deserves information about how that power has been used and abused. SB 1421 is long overdue. 

###  

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 organize in 73 cities, 35 school districts, and in more than 75% 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 have resulted in increased investments in education and healthcare, and in programs and services that are critical for working families. PICO CA led the grassroots organizing that won SB 54 - CA Valued Act and SB 953 - Anti-Racial & Identity Profiling Act.  

 

PICO CA is comprised of 11 local non-profit organizations made up of 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.

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.

PACT’s Dialogue & Action Calls for Santa Clara County Police Chiefs and County Sheriff to train officers on implicit bias and procedural justice

People Acting in Community Together

 

Contacts: Frank Richardson, 408.307.1118, franklin_richardson@yahoo.com; Yeme Girma, 408.396.4084, yemieg@yahoo.com; Akemi Flynn, 408.504.8030 or akemi@pactsj.org; Jesus Ruiz, 408.230.5239, jesus@pactsj.org

 

SAN JOSE

 

PACT’s Dialogue & Action Calls for Santa Clara County Police Chiefs
and County Sheriff to train officers on implicit bias and procedural justice

 

Who: Police Chiefs from San Jose, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Campbell and Sunnyvale, the Santa Clara County Sheriff Smith and District Attorney Rosen will meet with hundreds of diverse community members and faith leaders.

 

What: People Acting in Community Together (PACT) is hosting its first gathering of police chiefs from across Santa Clara County. The chiefs, sheriff and DA will share unique insight and experiences on best practices for public safety. Community members will share their experiences with law enforcement and ideas for positive changes.

 

PACT will ask the chiefs and Sheriff to commit to implementing training and to have follow-up meeting with community members to work for increased transparency and accountability that are essential to community trust which is necessary for safety and justice for all, community members and police.

 

The event aims to transform the community through dialogue between the community and the local law enforcement to build understanding across different experiences, to promote safety and justice for all. 

 

When: May 31, 2018, 6:45 pm - 9:00 pm

 

Where: Emmanuel Baptist Church, 467 North White Road, San Jose, CA 95127

 

Why:  This Dialogue is especially urgent following local and national incidents and concerns about safety, racial profiling, including two major student mass murders; police calls about “suspicious” Black people in cities across the region and country; the killing of Stephon Clark and Stevie Juarez by police; and the Santa Clara County Grand Jury recommendation for local law enforcement training on mental health issues to end the OIS (office involved shootings) and fatalities.  

 

This is PACT's 8th Beloved Community Dialogue since we launched on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr weekend in 2015.  Past Dialogues and the work between events has resulted in significant positive changes at SJPD, such as the no choke-hold policy, mandatory body worn cameras, de-escalation training, and more.

 

This Dialogue will highlight best practices from the important changes in police policies and practices that we have been able to achieve through PACT, SJPD and the Independent Police Auditor working together over the past few years.

 

The President of the California Police Chiefs Association, Chief David Swing of Morgan Hill, will participate with other members of the Santa Clara County Police Chiefs Association invited by SJPD Chief Garcia.

 

The goal is to engage more police chiefs and to develop strong partnerships between community members and their police departments across the county.  This is important to community members across the county, as many have interactions with law enforcement in other cities throughout the region.

Local Faith Leaders Convene Law Enforcement, Elected Officials and Community for Dialogue on Body Worn Cameras

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SAN JOSÉ, CA       

WHO:       Faith and community leaders from PACT: People Acting in Community Together with SJ/SV NAACP will meet with San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia, City Councilmembers, County Supervisors, police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and other public officials concerned about improving trust between community members and law enforcement to promote and protect safety and justice.

WHEN:     Thursday, April 21, 2015, 7:00-9:00pm

WHERE:    Emmanuel Baptist Church, 467 N. White Road, San Jose 95127

WHY:        All SJPD officers will soon have body worn cameras, and more law enforcement agencies, locally and nationally, are moving in this direction, too.

Hundreds of diverse community members concerned about police-community relations and police accountability will gather to address the questions:  

  • What community concerns and fears do law enforcement officials need to understand?
  • What law enforcement issues should community members be aware of?
  • What should be included in the camera policy to improve safety, justice, and trust?

Since last year, in response to the urgent need for improved police-community relations and accountability, PACT's Beloved Community multiracial, multi-faith team has been leading both relationship-building and systemic change through:  

  • Dialogue: Testimonies and small group discussion; diverse community members, law enforcement and others public officials build understanding across different backgrounds and experiences in order to create the change urgently needed in interactions between law enforcement and community members. 
  • Policy Change:  PACT's Beloved Community team is working with the San Jose City Council, Police Department, Police Officers Association to implement police accountability more quickly and with greater transparency and community involvement.

At the event, PACT Leaders will ask San Jose City Councilmember Chappie Jones, Police Chief Eddie Garcia, a San Jose Police Officers Association Board Member to commit to including community input in the review of the body-worn camera policy in 6 months, after testing through initial implementation.  Typically, this kind of police policy is determined through closed door negotiations between the City and the union, but the process is being opened up, based on organizing from PACT and the police recognition of the value of building community trust.