Law Enforcement Blocks Police Reform in Sacramento While Cops Keep Shooting Black People

by on September 3, 2020 · 2 comments

in California, Civil Rights

When the California legislation closed up their session for the year the other night, and after press reporters described the “chaos” at the Capitol, it became clear that state law enforcement had helped block any police reform bills that had been initiated in the shadow of the Black Lives Matter protests. Meanwhile, police keep shooting and killing Black people.

On the day that the legislators ended their business, LA County Sheriffs shot and killed Dijon Kizzee in the South Los Angeles neighborhood of Westmont. Najee Ali, a community activist, was quoted by the LA Times: “The deputies essentially executed a man riding his bicycle.”

“They’ll say he had a gun, but what they won’t say was that he was not armed with the gun. He did not point the gun. … There was no reason for deputies to shoot a running man.”

After the killing, deputies said that Kizzee was riding his bicycle in violation of the vehicle code. Shot and killed for violating the vehicle code while bicycling. (How many times have you violated the vehicle code on your bicycle?)

Up in the Capitol, a whole rack of police reform bills were stalled – along with other business as well. They said “chaos broke out,” that there were “technological troubles” and legislators used it all as a cover to hide the overt and powerful influence of the lobbying by law enforcement.

State Sen. Steven Bradford’s bill proposed to strip badges from troubled officers, but it fell victim. Along with other legislative proposals, such as one to give citizens access to more police personnel records, another to curtail the use of tear gas and rubber bullets at protests. As the LA Times remarked, “Their demise marks the end of a legislative session that began with more than a dozen proposals for more law enforcement accountability and oversight and ended with a handful of modest wins.”

Overall, it was a demonstration that law enforcement unions still hold serious sway at the Capitol, especially when given an assist by late-session disarray. Some reform advocates were surprised. “Many of us didn’t really foresee as much opposition as we wound up getting,” said Melina Abdullah, founder of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, which co-sponsored Bradford’s bill. “I think it’s outrageous and tragic.”

Sure, California lawmakers faced the challenge of a lifetime, what with a massive budget deficit, wildfires, eviction cliffs, unemployment and the pandemic.

So, it’s easy to paint a picture of chaos, legislators being overwhelmed, afraid to even go to work. Yet …

  • Bradford’s bill, SB 731, quickly became the top target for police unions, nearly all unhappy with its plan for a strong citizen’s oversight commission that included family of victims of police violence.
  • Law enforcement interests set their sights on a measure, SB 776, by state Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), to open more police personnel records to the public.
  • Police unions quietly courted friendly legislators and complained about the hurried nature of those bills and pushed to delay them until next year.
  • Assemblyman Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) had a measure that afell victim to police lobbying weeks earlier; the bill would have clarified how and when officers had a duty to intervene when a colleague used excessive force; it died weeks ago in committee. Holden said there was a “hard push” by unions to make sure it didn’t advance. He said he received no clear feedback on why the bill didn’t move forward, just notice that it wouldn’t.

Holden added that he had in recent weeks, experienced a growing trend at the Capitol where “an atmosphere and environment that meets [a law enforcement] narrative, and it is basically, ‘Not now.’ So, OK, they won that round, not now.”

It got down to the broader “universe” of law enforcement interests at the Capitol, where police unions combining their efforts, all the district attorneys associations and sheriffs pulling together, are simply a formidable power. A power that has money and clearly their influence is back and it’s huge. It had been damaged last year when lawmakers passed a bill to redefine when officers can use deadly force.

All the lobbyists said, ‘next year, next year, we’ll work with you next year …’ But how many Black men and women will be shot and killed or maimed by then? How many demonstrators will have rubber bullets bounce off their faces and how many people will choke on teargas by then?

Police reform? Ha! We don’t need no police reform!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

sealintheSelkirks sealintheSelkirks September 4, 2020 at 8:46 pm

Of COURSE they are going to obstruct reforms! The problem is that cops should be held to a FAR HIGHER standards of accountability than anybody on the street due to having the State power to kill. Period. They don’t like this idea but then who would?

Can you imagine if we the people had the State Power to immediately execute a cop caught shooting an innocent person in the back, or gunning down a 12 year old for playing in the park with a toy gun within seconds of opening the car door? I’m sure that power to the people would be…very disconcerting I would think.

But cops absolutely LOVE snitches as they admit they wouldn’t solve hardly any crimes without them. But then there’s the code of Omerta, the so-called ‘Blue Line,’ and we learned about that in The Godfather. But obviously it isn’t just a Mafia code of conduct! It’s just as strong a concept with cops, and we found that out with the movie Serpico that really impacted the public back then. But nothing really changed then or since and nothing will be changed now as they are even more entrenched. We’ll see just a reshuffle of personnel and changing the names of ‘bad’ units to something else that do the same damn thing, a few lackluster pieces of useless new ‘training’ that changes nothing. Same old same old, and the killing and beatings etc etc will go on and on and on.

But cops will KILL one another to stop the snitches if the intimidation tactics don’t work on their fellow ‘brothers.’ I posted a link back a while ago of a ten-year veteran whistleblower about how he was one of these cops…after years of silence and that was a powerful essay. Should I look it up in documents and re-post it? I’ve got it there somewhere.

And can anyone have any doubt that the so-called ‘good cops’ people like to bring up know exactly who is a violent racist, who joined the secret ‘kill teams’ that keep coming out, who commits perjury and falsifies evidence (or plants it), who likes to beat people, who is using steroids? You can’t work that closely and be that ignorant of those around you. But then the courts said that you could NOT hire someone to be a cop who was too intelligent.

That was a scary judgement, but a very telling moment.

Too bad prosecutors are so compromised, too. They’re all in bed with one another… I have no answers for this dilemma. And they’ll keep beating and killing and planting evidence and lying in court while whining that they have such a dangerous job they should have total immunity. This for a job that isn’t even in the top 10 most dangerous in the US, or is it the top 15? I forget.

No point of a community oversighe without any legal teeth, either. And hiding cop personnel records from public view is a joke. Years of police misconduct disappeared (isn’t that a cute term, misconduct!) because it’s… you know, they’re special and need protected because…somebody might not like what they read perhaps?

I can name a lot of countries that this parallels. East Germany, Pinochet’s Chile, lots of places. And Portland Oregon when the federal Gestapo…oops, Homeland security (I forgot what that was in German in WWII) with no names or badges or marked cars just…kidnapped people off the street and disappeared them. Practice for later perhaps? I have never liked what’s going on and even less as I’ve grown older.

sealintheSelkirks

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sealintheSelkirks sealintheSelkirks September 5, 2020 at 8:28 pm

Want some thrill porn? Here, some video death brought to you by the same people that are blocking needed and drastic reform…but that is far too polite a word for what is actually needed to stop what you are about to see and read.

Watch every link in this article. THIS is the reality we are unable to face or, it seems, to stop. Aren’t you glad you were born of the ruling skin shade, or should we be ashamed at what we turn our heads away from seeing and stopping?

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/09/04/roaming-charges-sometimes-they-choke/

sealintheSelkirks

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