Alameda ACLU Group Demands Full Investigation of APD Wrongdoings

Sarah Murray &nbsp&nbsp This was the scene after Alameda Police Department did not respond in a timely way to reports of a car running with unresponsive reportedly white individuals inside on the night of May 31. Police explained their focus was on protecting commercial property from potential looters. The first question asked by the APD dispatcher was to determine the race of the people involved.

Alameda ACLU Group Demands Full Investigation of APD Wrongdoings

Each day we are risingup as a nation. We are protesting police violence and over-policing of Black people in our cities and communities. In response to the police murder of George Floyd last week, Black Lives Matter has called for nationwide protests every day this week. 

Given the unjust police response and attacks on peaceful protesters, resulting in another murder of an unarmed Black man in Louisville Monday night, these protests now span all 50 states and will not cease until they convict the four offending officers and we get police reforms. 

And yet, these incidents are not isolated to just other cities. 

The recent discovery of the video of Alameda police officers arresting a Black jogger on a well-to-do neighborhood street, thrown to the ground and handcuffed for 2 hours in his own city is an inexcusable lapse of good policing and an abuse of power. This is over-policing on another local Black man. This is inequitable violence upon our Black residents. 

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At our June 1 Protest Rally for Black Lives and Justice for George Floyd, Police Chief Paul Rolleri stood on the steps of the Alameda Police Department and did not say one word about this incident. All the while, the Chief knew he was to report in public the next day at City Council on this unwarranted police violence against this unarmed Black man jogging in his own neighborhood. Rolleri’s silence is inexcusable and unacceptable conduct and an affront to both Black Alamedans and to all who were present. 

Rolleri had the opportunity to address us at this peaceful public rally protesting the very nature of over-policing Black people in America and stood silent on the issue and on this local incident. 

It should be noted that Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft and Councilmember Jim Oddie were also present and addressed the public at the rally, yet also remained silent on the issue. Did they too have foreknowledge of this incident in advance of their Council meeting?

The response to this unwarranted videoed incident, the people of Alameda and ACLU People Power — Alameda demand full accountability of the Chief and an investigation of all the officers involved. 

We demand that the officers involved be immediately taken off the streets and relieved of their duty until this matter has been investigated. We demand full accountability from Chief Rolleri and an immediate investigation into the incident. We further demand an independent police oversight and review commission be established to address the persistent unaddressed reported issues in APD, and to recommend and institute immediate reforms to address these issues. 

We call on local Alamedans to join us in protest to demand immediate police reforms now.

Amos White is the lead organizer of ACLU People Power — Alameda.