“Dazion, you were lost on that terrible day, scared, and in need of a helping hand to find you. Not found, you were, instead, kidnapped by law enforcement, detained in the back of a Sacramento Police Department vehicle without committing any crime, terrorized, and gas-lit into more erratic behavior. Your state of mind deteriorated as they tightened their oppressive grip on you. Did you fear for your life?
We lost you to their relentless bullets, their inexcusably poor judgement, their assumptions about the dangerousness of your Black face.
What we will never lose is the will and determination to rise up and slay the anti-Black beast that took you from us, to reclaim our losses, take back our communities, and achieve justice for those stolen from us.
Dazion, you were ripped from the arms of your loved ones, but we will find you in our cries for liberation. We will find you in the faces of those born in the equitable world, we swear to you, we will create.”
--BLM Sacramento 2016
True then and 100% true now.
Histories of resistance begin with injustice. Civil Rights were born of immense civil wrongs. Dazion’s life and death were mired in state terror and there can be no true justice—he will remain stolen throughout eternity—but his legacy, his redemption will be found in our resistance. His voice will echo in the changes we demand and struggle to create.
Rest In Power Dazion Flenaugh April 8th, 2016
Please read about Dazion’s full story here.
With the murder of Stephon Clark and the subsequent international attention, Sacramento institutions are currently being pressed for changes they never intended to make—but very well may have to. This is a direct result of the violence Dazion endured. Dazion’s family, BLM Sacramento, and our community at large rallied against his treatment by the Sacramento Police Department. We exposed their insidious conduct when dealing with Black community members at the intersections of mental illness and poverty. BLM Sacramento in coalition with local Black-led organizations demanded stronger community oversight to the department, and in the process, received policy directing the department to release all video within 30 days of a critical incident. Watching those two officers execute Stephon by shooting him in the back without warning and then turning off their audio and letting him bleed out without medical attention does not allow the humane viewer to make excuses—it compels us into the streets to demand justice. It also makes us wonder what would have been said of him without that video—as we have always wondered about Dazion’s last seconds.
In April of 2017, mayor Darrell Steinberg felt it appropriate to present the officers who killed Dazion with awards for valor. EVEN with the understanding that the initial interaction with law enforcement was what caused his mental health demise. EVEN with the understanding that fellow officers taunted, harassed, and terrified Dazion. EVEN with the understanding that less lethal weapons were not considered. EVEN with the understanding that the police narrative changed from him having an “aggressive stance” to him “charging at police” within hours of community questioning. Directly after the lynching of Stephon Clark, mayor Steinberg said he would not “second guess” his officers. Two weeks later, his was compelled by a chanting chamber to say his name. Albeit waaaay to little, waaaay to late, Darrell Steinberg was forced to say “Stephon Clark” while sitting on the dais. As abolitionists, we are disinterested in reforms that make police “better and stronger,” we want changes to police policy that open space for the community to lead and build our own alternatives to state terror. We understand that the impetus is on us to develop ways of healing our communities by building structures outside of white supremacy and hetero-patriarchy. Since Dazion’s death, BLM Sacramento has begun that hard work with him in mind. Sacramento Alternatives to Police meets monthly and attempts to address disability justice, family support, and emergency needs so we can first stop calling the police and then start calling each other when people need help. Sacramento CopWatch meets monthly and pushes back on the law enforcement narrative that they always “fear for their lives.” CopWatch will help provide the community with a way to expose state violence and protect already over policed neighborhoods. Black Resilience is Revolutionary also meets monthly and gives Black Sacramentians a space to heal from the trauma of anti-Blackness and state terror.
With EVERY group, policy planning, meeting, protest, freedom school, disruption, scream, media interview, meditation, chant, poster drawing, inhalation of sage, policy reform, art piece, street closure, with EVERY everything we do, Dazion is with us. He fuels our drive to push on even as we think we cannot. He was with us at City Hall when we occupied the lobby after the awards for valor were given. He was with us on that freeway. He was with us at Golden 1. His love and light flow through our bodies as we link arms with the community and march toward liberation.
To Dazion’s mother, brother, and loving family—we will never stop lifting his name and fighting for him. We cannot bring Rome back—but we promise you today, tomorrow, and forever that your pain will be heard, and his name will be part of the history that changed this city.
Tues * 4/10 * 3pm
Wed * 4/11 * 3pm
Thurs * 4/12 * 3pm
Sat * 4/14 * 11am