What Sacramento County supervisors can do on criminal justice reform

What Sacramento County supervisors can do on criminal justice reform

As members of the Sacramento Community Reinvestment Coalition, a broad-based group of community organizations, we urge supervisors to reject the old model of public safety based on incarceration and punishment. This model fills our prisons while doing next to nothing to either prevent individuals from getting caught up in the criminal justice system or to rehabilitate those that do. It’s a waste of taxpayer money, and out of touch with the values of our community.

Instead, supervisors must support better schools, affordable housing, access to health care (including mental health services) and broader access to economic opportunities. These are investments that will truly make our community safer by giving all our residents the chance to thrive. To be truly effective, these services must be community-based rather than provided through the law enforcement system.

Could this be the silver bullet to solve Sacramento’s gang problems?

After meeting Boggan on Monday, Pastor Les Simmons, a Sacramento Area Congregations Together board member who was active in Ceasefire, said the city should invest in Advance Peace because it comprehensively focuses on the 1 percent responsible for much of the violence. ACT lead organizer Danielle Williams called the program a community-driven strategy and urged the city to “put its money where it’s mouth is.” “Law enforcement is not the solution,” she added in a statement.

New Sacramento police chief will have a tough job in tense department

Sacramento is interviewing potential police chiefs this week, moving quickly on a pivotal hire intended to fix a department plagued by community mistrust, internal upheaval and deep discord with city leaders.

The new chief will walk into a tough job – attempting to navigate a thin line between anger from rank-and-file officers and calls for continued reforms from community members and some elected officials.

“We’re at a turning point,” said Brent Meyer, a Sacramento police officer and current vice president of the Peace Officers Research Association of California, the statewide law enforcement lobbying group. “It’s a really difficult time to do this job, so we need to find someone who is going to do it right."

Depending on whom you ask, Sacramento police have one of two problems that will be dropped in the new chief’s lap.

Some, including the police union and department personnel, say they are a maligned force beleaguered by bad press and low morale. They say they’re desperate for a leader who can advocate for officers and effectively reshape public perception without resorting to unneeded reforms.

Others, including leaders in African American and faith communities, say the Sacramento Police Department is a good-old-boy agency reluctantly forced toward transparency and accountability in the past year by high-profile confrontations caught on video and the resulting community outrage. They want a chief committed to change.

Sacramento Police Body Cameras In Trial Mode Before September Launch

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Sacramento Police Department has unveiled their plan to outfit every officer with a body camera by the end of September.

“There is a large activator button here in the front,” explained Officer Matt McPhail during a demonstration on Monday.

The body cameras are currently worn by 180 officers, but each of the roughly 700 officers with the department will soon have a camera as part of their equipment.


After ICE agents appear at a Sacramento church, pastor tries to calm his flock's deportation fears

A Sacramento pastor is pleading with his congregants to return to church this Sunday after a recent visit from Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents sparked fears of deportations.

In a series of videos posted this week to the church’s Facebook account, Pastor Alex Vaiz sought to calm his parishioners worries.

“One of your rights is going to church,” he said. “Immigration cannot in any way enter a church and disturb the peace in any way and arrest anyone .… Don’t be afraid to come and return again to your church. You have the right to be here.”

Whether his flock shows up to the Vida Church Sacramento this weekend remains to be seen. But until then, Vaiz is demanding that immigration officials stay off the church’s property.

Did ICE Visit a Church in Del Paso Heights on Mother’s Day?

The word flowed and seats were filled at Sacramento's Vida Church on Sunday.

"There was such a festive environment here already, people walking in, really glad and happy to bring their moms here to church," said Pastor Alex Vaiz.

But that focus changed as a gathering for Mother's Day gave birth to fear when a member spotted something strange.

"'ICE, I think it's ICE,' she said. 'They're in the parking lot,'" remembered Vaiz.

Black man beaten by Sacramento cop legally crossed street, pedestrian groups say

Pedestrian advocates say a Del Paso Heights man legally crossed the street before a police officer stopped him for jaywalking and repeatedly punched him in the face.

Kirin Kumar, executive director of WalkSacramento, said Nandi Cain Jr. did not break any laws when he crossed Grand Avenue at Cypress Street in Del Paso Heights on April 10, based on the organization’s review of Sacramento Police Department dashcam video.


Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article146114669.html#storylink=cpy

Her illegal dad: The Obama administration took her father. Now she worries that Trump will come for her.

Her illegal dad: The Obama administration took her father. Now she worries that Trump will come for her.

It’s been nine years since Angela Velazquez last saw her dad. In that time, Angela realizes, she’s inherited a trait that neither she nor her old man particularly wanted—fear.

She felt it that day her little sister didn’t come home, and a young Angela hesitated calling 911 because what if the police took her and her mom? It left her flushed on the side of a street that night a cop discovered she was driving without a license and impounded her car, but left her behind. Six years ago, the fear broke Angela down into panicked sobs when a driver ran a red light and totaled her vehicle. Not because she was hurt, but because she knew the authorities were on their way and was sure this time her luck had run out.

The 27-year-old is one of about 57,000 immigrants thought to be living in Sacramento County without authorization from the U.S. government. Angela came here from Mexico with her parents on a tourism visa when she was about 5. The plan was for her father Alberto to apply for permanent residency and, ultimately, citizenship, but he trusted the wrong lawyer and ended up flagged for deportation.