America is on fire. California is on fire. Sacramento is on fire.
How will we rise from the institutional coals that those in power want to burn us in? How will we defend our neighbors who are being pushed further into the flames of hatred and systemic hierarchy, anti-Black racism, ableism, transphobia, and patriarchy? How will we reclaim justice for our loved ones who have been burned by state violence? And where do we find the essential water that will extinguish oppression at the source?
Donald Trump, we don’t want you. Your racist, misogynist ass needn’t take too much credit. You are not the match of white supremacy—you are simply bad breath that fans the flames of white fascism and xenophobia that have burned for hundreds of years.
Scott Jones, we don’t want you. You are the fiend that scorches our community with surveillance, with brutality, with harassment, and with death. You steal those we love and return charred bits of truth about their last breaths like a man throwing crumbs at the starving. Your word means nothing to us. We want to see the evidence—including video—ourselves. We are not hungry for crumbs.
WE WILL SWALLOW YOU WHOLE.
Fire eaters, we have always been. The struggle has deepened and we are no longer asking for access, we are creating a revolution. Intersectional resistance starts with folks pushed farthest into the flames of marginalization being the central voices in the fight. Those that have withstood the heat for so long know our enemy best and will lead our collective wave into the inferno. The tide is building and we are awakening to the understanding that we, collectively, are that transformative water—it is simply what we are made of.
It Is Our Duty to Win: Sheriff Scott Jones
You were first on our list. Here is a 380-page testament to your wickedness. You have continually forgone progressive calls for transparency and accountability in law enforcement. You have instead repeatedly upheld your choice to deny families their right to know what happened to their loved ones. You have shielded rapists and racist officers, while targeting undocumented peoples and spying on community members with illegal surveillance equipment. You run a filthy jail where officers have thrown flash grenades, refused to let breastfeeding mothers release their milk, and subjected marginalized peoples to increased levels of state violence. You even have ties to the hate-group FAIR. While the narrative should never be reduced to “good cops versus bad cops” as we are dealing with systemic oppression—but, we believe you are a bad cop.
When BLM Sacramento first presented you with a list of demands in the police killing of Adriene Ludd on October 22nd, 2015, you responded that you couldn’t release the evidence (not true). When we pushed back, you defended your actions and refused to provide his grieving family with even the minimal respect of a police report, let alone the objective evidence that you had at your disposal and discretion.
You took your scheming to the ballot box and ran under an ultra-conservative agenda for a seat in congressional district 7. You were quoted in Sacramento News and Review as saying you couldn’t tell the difference between “good” and “evil” immigrants and made a shameful public video about wanting to build the wall. While campaigning, you said that people were better off before Prop 47—when they were incarcerated—because they were receiving educational opportunity in jail. Your department, paid for by public taxes, was posting racist anti-BLM propaganda. Are you fucking kidding us? Do you believe these lies?
In response, Black Lives Matter Sacramento brought truth to your doorstep—literally. We protested your campaign office to call attention to your lack of transparency. We showed up at the Sacramento Board of Supervisor’s meeting to blast your funders for enabling your abusive behavior where the community spoke for two hours about how you and your department have hurt them. We held an action for Adriene Ludd at the park near your home to inform your community of who you are and what you support. We protested outside of the downtown Sheriff’s Department all day directly before the election. Most recently, we held a vigil in front of your house to highlight the unjust police practices you continue to indorse and to uplift Adriene’s name.
You lost the election. You cannot defeat the people when we are united against injustice. You will not represent us, and in 2018, we intend to prevent you from policing us. We have, and will continue to, extinguish the fires of white supremacy.
Say His Name: Adriene Ludd
The murder of Adriene Ludd represents everything the Black Lives Matter movement is trying to dismantle. After a year of fighting for available objective evidence in the form of several officer according devices and dash cam footage taken at the scene, Sacramento County Inspector General Rick Braziel (former Sac City Police Chief) finally released his report meant to state what happened, review officer behavior, determine if procedure was followed, and make recommendations about future policy and procedure for the department.
While we are completely disinterested in listening to or believing the outcome of police policing their own—because they don’t—we are particularly outraged by this 18-page report. It begins with a statement about the various forms of evidence used to compile the report (eye witness, dash cam, body mics, police report, autopsy report, interviews, etc.); however, throughout the timelines and narrative, individual claims are not directly tied to types of evidence. When it says Adriene leveled his gun at officer McEntire, it never specifies whether that is simply McEntire’s claim, or whether it was shown on dash cam recordings. Moreover, any attempt at shielding the footage we pay for is a direct assault on transparency and subterfuge of accountability in policing. This report is incomplete. If you make a claim, site your sources. Show us the video.
What they did show us is concerning by itself. The timeline starts with a simple traffic stop in a Carmichael residential area. Adriene was pulled over by deputy Rouse supposedly for expired tags. Adriene refused to pull over and was followed by Rouse. The speeds stayed moderate, between 30-50 mph for most of the chase. Adriene escapes Rouse and deputy John McEntire, who is currently being sued for the murder of a man with mental illness in 2012, took over the pursuit. Speeds immediately increase to 90 mph in a residential area. Even Braziel admits this unacceptable, “…although driving code 3 with lights and sirens, all vehicles involved presented a risk to the public. Sheriff’s Department polices require officers involved in a pursuit to weigh many factors against the risk to the community including the seriousness of the originating crime, safety of the pursuing officer(s), volume and pattern of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, location of pursuit, speeds involved, and time of day. This review noted that while a supervisor was monitoring the pursuit and requested the want, speed, and conditions, deputies did not provide the supervisor with information necessary to adequately evaluate the risks associates with the pursuit.” The originating crime was late tags—and racial profiling.
After Adriene stopped the car, McEntire pulled right up to his vehicle, just feet away. How can the claim be that they were so concerned with public safety that they needed to chase him at those speeds if they felt completely safe in getting so close to him?
Upon exiting the vehicle, they say Adriene leveled his firearm at McEntire, and police returned fire—but Adriene’s gun never fired any bullets. They say he tried to shoot the weapon and it jammed. One second after Adriene supposedly raised his weapon at McEntire rounds were fired for 6 seconds. Was Adriene hit at this point? We don’t know, the report doesn’t say. Then a thirty second break happened in which lots of yelling was heard, but since officers didn’t follow department procedure and turn on and/or wear their audio recorder, do we know what was said? The officers said they repeatedly told him to drop his weapon, stop moving, and raise his hands. What did Adriene say? Did he verbally comply? Did he beg for his life? Was he hit? Could he have followed directions? Shortly thereafter, McEntire shoots at and hits Adriene while he was lying in a “prone shooting position”—which basically means he was lying face-down on the ground. In the final round of shooting officers report that Adriene was crawling toward the gun that had flown several feet from his hand supposedly when he was hit by McEntire. Why would he crawl to an inoperable gun several feet away from him when he had a working gun in his pocket? Was he simply crawling away from officers in fear for his life? Maybe he knew they were going to kill him from the moment they stopped him.
They filled Adriene’s body with 13 bullets and nothing they claim makes sense. We are not after crumbs. We want the video now. We are working in the service of abolition and Black Liberation. We are working for Adriene.
Upcoming BLM Sacramento: Alternatives to Policing
No Police Allowed
No Media Allowed
WE KNOW that we are OVER POLICED
WE KNOW that the police do not treat Black folks with dignity and respect.
They come into our neighborhoods and we no longer have safe spaces.
We are criminalized when we are breaking no laws.
We can't shop.
We can't drive
We can't read a book.
We hear a lot of ideas on how to prevent police violence on Black folks.
We talk a lot about restorative justice, community oversight, police commissions, reform....
What does it look like when we take it upon ourselves to protect our communities from the police, while maintaining actual peace in our communities?
What does it look like when we take it upon ourselves to de-escalate situations the right way. While keeping dignity and respect for our community members?
What does it look like when we care for, instead of criminalize, those without homes or those with mental diversity?
How do you envision it to work?
Let's talk about it as a community.
From there we can build a structure that helps to end state violence on Black folks.
Let's take our communities back!
Disclaimer: If you are not ready for radical change, then please do not come out. We are being killed at aggressive rates and need to meet that with extreme change. We are trying to think of ways to replace what is currently in place because we are dying in the street daily. #genocide
When: Saturday December 3rd, 2016 6-8pm
Where: Robbie Waters Library --- 7335 Gloria Dr., Sacramento, California 95831