Recent Events: Black Lives Matter, Sacramento was invited to participate in the Oak Park Family Christmas Health Fair on Saturday December 19, to share information about the organization with Oak Park Residents. At the fair, kids met Santa, and families were offered free health screenings, free food, music and vendor tables.
As BLM- SAC members mingled and shared about what we do, several residents opened up about their personal experiences of harassment and even brutality by police in Sacramento and elsewhere. Residents also shared about other issues of concern in the Oak Park community beyond police abuses. Black Lives Matter, Sacramento is looking forward to working with long term Oak Park residents to build the kind of community they envision.
Upcoming Events: (click to read more)
We will be holding a press conference on December 28 at noon, to update the public and the media on the outcome of our demands, the information the family has received and not received, the response from the Sacramento Sheriff Department, and the steps we will be taking going forward.
Sacramento and State Violence in the United States
Why are we concerned about what happened to Adriene? Check out this summary of “facts and inconsistencies” we have so far identified in this case.
These inconsistencies are all the more concerning, and all the more urgently in need of investigation in light of recent events all across the country. We have learned the lengths that police departments are willing to go to in order to cover up unlawful use of force, and we have learned that these departments only acknowledge their crimes when the community demands it. There are too many incidents like this to recount here, but a few very recent cases include:
- In Chicago, it has only recently come to light that one year ago, Jason Van Dyke fired 16 shots into Laquan McDonald’s body as he lay coiled in the fetal position. Officers in that case deleted video evidence from a privately operated business, and their police commissioner colluded to keep the dash-cam footage suppressed. Without pressure from the public and the enlisted help of the courts, Jason Van Dyke would still be patrolling the streets of Chicago.
- In Minneapolis, Jamar Clark was murdered on November 15 by police, who have so far refused to release video footage of the murder. Witnesses say Clark was killed while his hands were in handcuffs.
- In Los Angeles on December 12, private citizen cellphone video shows police firing 25 shots into Nicholas Robertson as he was crawling away from them.
- In San Francisco on December 18, a gruesome video shows police emptying their guns into Mario Woods, who was literally backed up against a wall- trapped.
- Today, Campaign Zero released a report detailing police murders in the 60 largest police departments in the nation. Several California cities are on this list, and five California cities are among the top 10 cities that kill citizens at the highest rates in the nation: Anaheim, Bakersfield, Long Beach, Oakland and San Francisco. These grim statistics call attention to the need for statewide reform of law enforcement practices.
In the context of these events on the national landscape, we can’t afford complacency when Sacramento County Sheriff's Department is involved in the murder of a citizen. These too-numerous incidents show that we cannot afford to take the word of police officers at face value. We need, and deserve, transparency every step of the way every time any police officer is involved in an incident of brutality or murder.
In pursuit of this transparency, on November 27 Black Lives Matter, Sacramento issued demands to Sheriff Scott Jones regarding the Adriene Ludd murder by Jones’ deputies. Although Sheriff Jones did respond to our list of demands, his primary message was to cite departmental policy against disclosure. This is an insufficient response to the transparency that the community deserves. Sheriff Jones did release the names of the officers involved in the shooting, and he did state that he requested that the new Inspector General Rick Braziel investigate this murder. Black Lives Matter, Sacramento also filed a formal complaint against the Sheriff’s Department with the Inspector General.
At the upcoming press conference on December 28, we will share updates and next steps in our pursuit of justice for Adriene, and in pursuit of integrity in policing for all of Sacramento.