Cops who terrorize have habits that die hard and there is no training that can or will deter the imposition of control they have grown accustomed to; as the culture of policing is one rooted in exactly the manifestation of TERROR and manipulation, and that is the essence of control. It has been said time and again if we look at the root of the organization and you will find the root of the problem. With that being said, law enforcement began as slave patrols. We have to look at the fact that slaves were property, and Black folks are the descendants of slaves, which means there is an inherent continuation of controlling Black bodies like property…..no surprise there.
Let’s look at some examples of how cops in the Sacramento County area have overstepped the boundaries of HUMANITY for the sake of controlling Black bodies…..
This Black Lives Matter chapter of Sacramento, CA has been in constant movement mode since the death of Adriene Ludd on October 22, 2015. In 3 years we have uncovered some pretty atrocious habits of cops who with intention TERRORIZE and MURDER people of color at disparaging rates and with impunity. In the case of Adriene Ludd, Officer McIntyre stands out for shooting 33 bullets in Adriene’s direction. While this was the first case for the chapter, this case was far from the beginning of this kind of expected TERRORISM and TRAUMA for blacks in general and communities that are marginalized and left vulnerable without resources.
In 2016, there was Dazion Flenaugh and Joseph Mann who were both murdered by Sac PD while experiencing a mental health crisis. In Dazion’s case, officers called him a “freak” and urged neighbors to hit him in the head with a baseball bat if they saw him again. He was eventually shot in the back and Officers Carr, Southward and Toomey were given bronze medals of valor for their involvement in killing Dazion. In Joseph’s case, Officers Lozoya and Tennis attempted to run him over with their police vehicles before gunning him down and excessively riddling his body with several bullets. Both of these cases led to more training, which in reality equates to hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars being spent on Critical Incident Training (CIT).
In 2017, there were several cases, but a couple sticks out and speaks to bad habits and training that isn't working…..
Three officers, Chris Osbourne, John Constable and Breanna Adams with Rocklin PD encountered Lorenzo Cruz and shot him 6 times in a vehicle, while he was no threat to anyone. Officer Breanna Adams was a rookie and Officer Chris Osbourne had previously been involved in an excessive force case. It was the lack of professionalism, fear and varied stories that came out after the incident that proved this case like others was a rush to judgment solely based on control and intimidation of another valueless Black body with a target on his back, on his front and/or on his head.
Then in the case of Nandi Cane, Officer Anthony Figueroa with Sac PD was caught on video aggressively interacting with Nandi over jaywalking; a ticket-able offense at best. The interaction led to a physical assault, including a choke-slam and several dozen punches to the face and head, after Nandi dropped his jacket on the ground in an attempt to show he had no weapon. Figueroa continued the excessive force once Cane was transported to the jail, where he helped Sheriff deputies further assault Cane with knees to the ribs, stripping him naked, verbally taunting and then placing Cane in isolation. Figueroa was taken from one seemingly Black neighborhood and placed on patrol in another highly over-policed Black neighborhood.
Currently, in 2018, we witnessed Officers Jared Robinett and Terrence Mercadal blindly enter into a backyard and shoot Stephon Clark dead. This incident AFTER lots of taxpayer dollars was spent on re-training the entire department in non-lethal force techniques. After all, was said and done, a cell phone was all that was found in Stephon’s possession. As witnessed on the released videos, there was NO ATTEMPT TO USE NON-LETHAL WEAPONS.
In all of these cases, we know officer’s names and can easily put them on blast for these misjudgments, abuse of power and even murder. In all of these cases, we the community have called for their firing and further convictions. A lot of these officers are still employed and in some cases, the city has paid out upwards of several hundreds of thousands of dollars to the individual and families because there is a responsibility that dictates accountability in some shape or form.
This summer BLM Sacramento and other activist organizations, along with families worked with legislators to bring forth senate and assembly bills that would force law enforcement agencies to be more accountable and transparent with tactics in the field, as well with reporting and the accessibility of said reports to the public on officer misconduct.
All of these things are connected because if we look at the records of officers who are repeat offenders, like Tennis in Sacramento and Osbourne in Rocklin, maybe just maybe departments would be more inclined to FIRE their rotten apples. Maybe just maybe the voice of the community could tangibly pressure departments and city officials to be responsible to the community they have been elected and hired to protect and serve.
Word to the wise…..
We have to act like we know our rights and be confident in our position to cooperate, at the city level, in the streets and when we file complaints. Know that the police can legally LIE to you. There is a difference between being detained and being arrested. Keep asking, “AM I FREE TO GO?” When you are interacting with the police, GET THEIR NAMES!!! If you are cop-watching, note the name of the agency, ask officers for their names and note any badge numbers or vehicle numbers. Even ask the name(s) of the person being detained and if there is someone you can call for them. All of this is important in the discovery process of who these officers are and the pathology of their behaviors, with respects to excessive force, abuse of power and control and murder.
If we can continue to say, “That wouldn’t happen if the person were white,” then that is enough of a reason to put cops on blast when the typical outcome is them getting away with the TERRORISM and TRAUMA via control over Black bodies. We will continue to DEMAND better for our communities. ABOLITION isn’t too far-fetched of a concept and setting a precedent that cops who treat Black bodies with disrespect will be FIRED, CHARGED and CONVICTED…..hands down, every time. EVERY TIME!!!
October 20th @ 7 pm - Black Love Gala Fundraiser
October 21st @ 12 noon - Black Love Block Party III
October 22nd @ 6 pm - O22: National Day Against Police Terror
November 10th @ 6 pm - Abolish & Rebuild - Our Streets, Our Systems for Our People