Sacramento, we need to organize.
In 2016, Sacramento area law enforcement was the second most murderous police system in the entire state of California, outnumbered only by Los Angeles. We have a serious problem, but our city government refuses to address the literal grave condition of our community. At the moment, they have us out-organized. But together, we can fix that.
Sacramento and our surrounding areas are entombed in Black death. In the last month, two young Black community members were stolen from their families by state violence.
Lorenzo Cruz, from Sacramento and just 23 years old, was killed by three Rocklin LEOs. They claim he pointed a toy gun at them, just like they claim that they collectively forgot to turn on all three mandatory body cameras beforehand.
Desmond Phillips, also from Sacramento, was murdered in his Chico home by law enforcement. His father called an ambulance for Desmond who suffered from seizures that began after a recent beating by Sacramento police. After arriving at the house, Desmond was shot multiple times before his father could respond.
Black bodies should be with their families, not in Black graves. Join BLM Sacramento in uplifting their names and demanding accountability for their murders. We held a vigil with Lorenzo's family on March 10th and joined in Desmond's family vigil in Chico on Sunday. We want them back, and while that can't happen, we can move toward the abolition of these anti-Black institutions and raise hell for those stolen from us.
The Sacramento City Council and County Board of Supervisors do not currently feel the need to respond to this crisis. Last year, after a struggle to get the City Council to even consider creating an accountability system for the police department, they grudgingly consented to require police to release video and other data after a shooting. Black Lives Matter Sacramento was vocal about the weakness of the new policy, and we have been proven prophets: The very first time the police tested that policy- just this week, in the case of Armani Lee- the City Council caved.
City officials will snap back: "Hey! We denied the police request for a waiver!" However, they also gave the department an unlimited extension past the 30 day deadline to continue to keep the video evidence secret for as long as they want, and the issue does not have to come back to the public through the city council meetings.
With this move, City Council proved that they cannot be trusted to protect the Sacramento community from unrestrained police violence and murder of the city's residents. And our mayor's major concern was scolding us when we used the extremely accurate term, "murderer" to describe police murderers, who so often have a history of violence, both in and out of uniform. Where is Mayor Steinberg's outrage over the murder victims?
And so: THIS IS WHY WE ORGANIZE.
Join us. We have several events planned where you can meet the members of Black Lives Matter Sacramento, learn about the issues we're working on, and the many different ways you can join our work, no matter how little or much time you have. There is a way for everyone to participate in creating the change that is so long overdue. Click the links below to see events on Facebook, mark going and share with your friends:
On March 29, we are going to show up strong for one of our members whose son is the victim of police abuse: the practice of holding black people in jail due to our broken probation, parole, and bail systems. We will be there to #StandWithSonia and also to expose the corruption in our local law enforcement and judicial systems.
On April 8, we are celebrating #BlackLives by remembering a life snatched from us by the Sacramento Police Department. Come honor Dazion Flenaugh at the Soul Skate party- free food, great music, and plenty of Black Joy.
On April 15, come work with us while we plan how to create a safer Sacramento community by establishing the services and support we really need, that police refuse to provide. Join us at our 5th Community Alternatives to Police workgroup meeting. We are working to create a Sacramento where the following statement is real and reliable; which exists in other communities and can exist here. But we need your help to build it.
On May 2, we are recognizing the extraordinary power and legacy of the Black Panther Party, who on May 2, 1967, showed up at the Sacramento Capitol building, frustrated with the same issue we are still dealing with in the Sacramento community and nationwide: relentless police abuse, murder, and failure of government officials to respect the sanctity of black life; or to lift a single finger to protect us from police terror. Join us to learn about this amazing history and how it connects to our work today.
If you want to make signs with us for this event, come to our sign making party on April 29!