Take a deep breath and bring your focus back to what matters—Black liberation. Sit with this awhile. Envision the community you would surround yourself with, the joy you would feel as all Black people—and by extension all people—were valued and grew into the beautiful possibilities that each of us hold free from any binds of oppression. Embrace this image close to your heart, because we are going to need these collective dreamscapes to fuel what is coming and what has always been.
When our streets run with the blood of Black bodies killed by law enforcement sworn to protect and serve, when our communities are lined with unhoused folks being harassed for surviving extreme poverty, when our courtroom & jails are overflowing with Black & Brown bodies funneled into cages whose doors never really open, when our schools teach “tolerance” even as they force out Black children from their classrooms, when it is easier to self-medicate than it is to find adequate health care, and when our housing is so expensive and unstable that developers become the only profiteers of our labor, we need to acknowledge that white supremacy is not even remotely new. Thousands of torch-wielding nazis shouldn’t be necessary for you to be outraged. The atrocity of Black death has been institutionalized for centuries from enslavement to the Prison Industrial Complex. #thishasALWAYSbeenus.
Sacramento, we are no oasis. Folx want to hold vigils, collectively grieve, shout “not in my city,” and denounce the rise of the hyper-racist right. Glad you aren’t on your way to buy a polo and tiki fuel, but YOU GET NO PASSES HERE. Nazis have already plundered our capital and prevention is long past. They came last year with knives planned for violence and STABBED people of color and trans folx. Three anti-fascists who defended their lives are currently sitting on felony prison charges. Only one nazi is facing trial, and not for the attempted murder that he committed. At the time, more Sacramentans were concerned with nazi freedom of speech than their actions. If you are horrified with the sorrow in Charlottesville, you will show your solidarity at their next court date.
Ever deeper, acknowledging the poison of white supremacists in the private sector, while still slurping down the fruits of white supremacy in our local governmental institutions is as misguided as it is dishonest. Sacramento area law enforcement agencies have been killing and brutalizing Black community members at unprecedented levels. Sacramento City Council and Board of Supervisors refuse to take a meaningful stance against this abuse, while utilizing police power to enforce their gentrifying ways. No, Mayor Steinberg, you don’t get to condemn white supremacy groups enacting violence on communities of color and anti-fascists, if you aren’t also ready to revolt against your own perpetrators of violence. White supremacy cannot be disavowed as it is simultaneously enacted.
Please do not read this as a dismissal, because it is not. This is an invitation to earnestly challenge white supremacy in Sacramento and make those dreamscapes real. Calling out racists, authoritarian institutions, and politicians that exert great power isn’t painless, but neither is existing in chains. Freedom fighting begins in your heart, but always moves outward radiating towards those that surround you. Here is your invitation to the front line:
Step 1: Learn these names.
Step 2: Support BLM Sacramento through donation, physical presence at actions and events, sharing social media daily, speaking against injustice within our city’s institutions, and backing the creation of new ways to actually meet community need.
Step 3: Never give up.
- On June 23rd, 2017, Citrus Heights Police department inflicted serve burns over most of James’s body during an unnecessary arrest. James was involved in a car accident and totaled his car at 11:40am. Citrus Heights PD arrived and let him call his mom. His car was towed away, but he was stranded. He spent the next several hours walking in the hot 102-degree weather. James has mental health and cognitive support needs and his condition is exacerbated during times of stress. At 3:40pm KFC footage shows him in conflict with store manager after asking for phone to make a call. CHPD claims to arrive at 4, but response could have been earlier. They reported this as a robbery, but the video clearly shows James’s disorganized behavior that should have been responded to with medical attention. Officers threw him on the 150-degree asphalt and James states he was drug on the ground, beaten unconscious, then held in a van. He was taken to UCD and in a coma for 3 days. PD didn’t contact family until June 26th—3 days later. He now has 2nd and 3rd degree burns on 40% of his body: face, neck, chest, quads, buttocks & back of legs. His recovery has been very slow and incredibly painful.
- In July 2017, Zityrua, 7 months pregnant, was outside her apartment while her 18-month-old baby was sleeping inside. She noticed police activity and approached the offers to find out what was going on. The officers were approaching her apartment, and she went to inform them that her baby was sleeping inside. Without warning or caution, Sac PD violently grabbed Zityrua by the arm twisting her body around and threw her to the ground on her stomach despite her being visibly pregnant. SacPD was allegedly pursuing a car thief. She immediately called for an ambulance and was taken to the emergency room. No arrests were made. The officers didn’t have a warrant and came to the wrong apartment.
- On May 5th, 2017 while visiting his aunt, Ryan unknowingly violated the terms of a restraining order. Sacramento Co. Sheriffs arrested Ryan without incident at approximately 7:00pm. After being detained and while in transport, Ryan suffered critical head trauma. The sheriff alleges that he kicked out the back window of the squad car, crawled out using his legs, and jumped from the vehicle moving at 40mph—all while handcuffed and before the officer could stop the vehicle. Ryan was placed into an ambulance at 12:00am May 6th. He was pronounced dead at 10:00am, 14 hours after his arrest. Sheriff alleges they have no video footage of the incident or the hours leading up to his death.
- On May 8th, 2017 while at a relative’s home, Mikel had a mental health episode, and police were called to admit him for mental health care. Paramedics and police cleared him and left. At 6:30pm, Mikel got into verbal altercation with his mother in Ross parking lot on Zinfandel. 911 calls came at 6:45pm. Sheriff Deputy arrived and chased Mikel who fled. Sherrifs allege that Mikel threw rocks at an officer and canine. Sheriff and Rancho Cordova PD opened fire on Mikel under the overpass on Highway 50, killing him. No released police report, autopsy, or dash cam video. Mikel’s family who witnessed the incident say that he never hit anyone with rocks, but instead was shot in the back while running.
- Rocklin PD officers Chris Osbourne, John Constable, and Breanna Adams shot Lorenzo to death in February 2017. Lorenzo allegedly attempted to break into a home and then fled. He was shot 6 times in a silver Honda (not his vehicle), and officers claim he had a (airsoft) gun. Allegedly, no body camera video footage was captured until after all officers had fired. All officers involved said they “forgot” to turn on their body cameras. A police report has been issued, but the statements and presented facts are both inconsistent and incomplete. They have provided no proof of the toy gun.
- In April of 2017, while walking home from work, Nandi was confronted by officer Anthony Figueroa of Sac PD, who was clutching his side arm as he attempted to detain Nandi for “jaywalking.” Nandi dropped his jacket to show he wasn’t armed, and within 60 seconds he was thrown to the asphalt by Figueroa and violently beaten. Multiple dash cam videos have been released, and cell footage from his neighbor. Nandi was taken to Sac County Jail, and repeatedly kneed in the ribs while he was on the ground, stripped naked, and continuously verbally taunted before being placed in isolation. Figueroa participated in this physical and verbal abuse. Nandi suffered a concussion, black eye, bruises, and he has continually had nightmares since. Nandi was not given access to a phone during his detainment.
- In April of 2016, Patricia Thompson-Hill was arrested by Sac PD and severely beaten by officers. When taken to the jail the extreme physical abuse continued along with added verbal humiliation, and Patricia sustained a multitude of injuries including a broken eye socket.
- In February of 2017, in Del Paso Heights, 3 Sac PD, Plain clothes officers, pursued Armani and ran up on him without identifying themselves. One Sac Sheriff officer was also involved. Armani was shot 6 times including once through the neck. Armani was left on the ground for 30 minutes without medical care. His family was told he had died before he reached the hospital. Some video footage has been released; we have 258 minutes of 368 minutes of footage.
- Igzabihar is being held for an alleged assault he didn’t commit. Three or four boys stole two hover boards from two brothers at a park. Elk Grove PD targeted Igzabihar because he spoke to one of the boys hours earlier, and then refused to provide more information to law enforcement. He was 30 days away from finishing his probation and filing to have the felony diminished to a misdemeanor. Despite flimsy evidence and no credible witness ID, Igzabihar has been held for 9 months, and if he goes to trail, he’s facing up to 17 years for a crime he didn’t commit.
- Desmond was living in Chico after multiple encounters with Sac LEO, one of which left him with mental and physical trauma. Om March 17th, 2017 after his family called for help during an associated episode, medics and firefighters arrived, but Desmond was unable to respond to their requests, keeping his distance and flailing his arms to prevent the firefighters from getting near. The firefighters then called for police back up, and Jeremy Gagnebin and Alex Flier forced themselves into the apartment and shot Desmond 10 times, firing 16 shots. The officers allege Desmond was armed with a knife; his father maintains that he was unarmed. The officers have been cleared by Butte County DA: they have “no criminal liability.”
8/18 Free Igzabihair! DA is Trying to Come for Us & Our Loved Ones:
8/24 Revolutionary Baby Shower for Zityrua:
9/2 Policy Platform for Black Lives - Training/Workshop:
9/14 Lorenzo Cruz: Police Report? More Questions than Answers: https://www.facebook.com/events/148000269113553