How do you build relationships and trust in a community where trust has been broken?
To the common person, that would be through transparency, accountability, and open communication.
(Photo: A still frame of Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones's YouTube video to President Obama on immigration)
But to Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones and his deputies at the Sheriff’s Department, transparency and accountability are apparently not in their vocabulary.
On October 22, 2015, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department took another life – the life of Adriene Jamarr Ludd. This was the fifth officer-involved shooting in Sacramento County in 2015. Deputy sheriffs killed Adriene, 36, after what they claim was a routine traffic stop – expired tags. According to the official press release from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, Adriene refused to stop his car and fled. Authorities assert that eventually Adriene stopped his car only to hop out and then aim his gun at the deputies and fire, which prompted the deputies to fire back, killing him. And while authorities claim the deputies “began life-saving measures” on the fallen man, no one clearly had the decency to cover and secure his deceased body. Adriene, lynched by Sacramento County deputies, was left uncovered on Cypress Avenue for 11 hours. All of this for expired tags?
(Photo: Adriene ""Droop" Ludd)
Although the family and friends of Adriene Ludd and the broader community would love to believe the word of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, history and current events tell us otherwise. Police officers lie, stall investigations (sometimes with the help of public prosecutors), and cover for each other. So of course, to date, the Sheriff’s Department has not released:
- The deputies’ official incident reports
- The autopsy report
- Any videos or photos of the incident or crime scene
On November 29, 2015 – a little over a month after the shooting of Adriene – Black Lives Matter Sacramento sent a list of demands to Sheriff Jones, which included calling for the public release of all details, documents, and footage related to Adriene’s death and an honest investigation by the new Inspector General, Rick Braziel, who was a former chief of the Sacramento Police Department.
Sidestepping the demands, Sheriff Jones instead asked BLM Sacramento to meet with him to start a “dialogue” and build, what he dubbed, a “constructive relationship”.
Open to creating a space of transparency and accountability, BLM Sacramento agreed, only to be told by Sheriff Jones that he would schedule the meeting if he were not recorded. According to Sheriff Jones, recording the police only fosters “more posturing”, “less candidness” and “a lack of commitment”.
Black Lives Matter Sacramento disagrees with this sentiment. Recording the police provides transparency. Recording the police provides accountability. Recording the police builds trust where trust has been broken. Therefore, we affirmed that all interactions between BLM Sacramento and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, even a meeting called by the Sheriff himself, would be recorded and released in their entirety.
As you would expect, Sheriff Jones, unfortunately, cancelled his request to meet with BLM Sacramento in-person and instead assigned his Undersheriff James Lewis to meet with us instead.
Black Lives Matter Sacramento did not assemble to be Sheriff Jones’s friend or confidant. Black Lives Matter Sacramento is here to seek justice for the countless Sacramentans profiled by the Sheriffs, harassed by the Sheriffs, profited from by the Sheriffs, and killed by the Sheriffs. That will and should make them uncomfortable.
It is a new day, Sheriff Jones.
We will not stop until:
- the Ludd family has the official police report, the autopsy report, and the dash camera footage from Adriene’s shooting
- a timeline of the Sheriff’s implementation of AB 953 (The Racial & Identity Profiling Act 2015) is released to the public
- Sacramento County is a place where the Sheriffs do not target, harass, excessively fine and kill people.
And, while BLM Sacramento is always willing to meeting with elected and appointed officials, please believe that in the best interest of the public, every meeting will be recorded and posted for public consumption.
Follow BLM Sacramento's progress as we seek answers, justice, and an end to state-sanctioned violence in the Sacramento Metropolitan area via:
Please see all of BLM Sacramento's emails with Sheriff Jones to date below: