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Feature Archives

Miguel Masso was hired by the Oakland Police after leaving his job in New York City in 2007 in the wake of a torture lawsuit. After killing Alan Blueford in 2012, Masso resigned from the Oakland Police Department in late spring of 2014 in the aftermath of the lawsuit brought by the Blueford family against the City of Oakland. He quickly found another job with the Hollister Police Department in August of 2014. Now, after being pulled over by Masso on January 27, 2017, Hollister resident Earl Malanado was physically and verbally abused by Masso. Malanado believes he barely escaped with his life.
Mike Zint & JP Massar write: What does it take to get off the streets? Money? Affordable housing? Employment? Of course the answer is yes, but none of those things is the first step. The first step is stability. Stability that the housed take for granted. A lack of stability means the homeless barely survive. Figuring out how to exist with no sense of safety and security and nowhere to go, worrying about the police yet having committed no crime, takes all that someone has. Sometimes it’s too much and a short note appears in a local paper.
On March 13, a judge in the US District Court in Oakland denied a motion to dismiss charges in the case of Yuvette Henderson, a 38-year-old woman killed by Emeryville police on February 3, 2015. Henderson’s family is seeking damages from the Emeryville police department for wrongful death, as well as changes to city policies on police use of force. The motion filed by the Emeryville police department claimed there was nothing for a jury to decide in the lawsuit, because officers Michelle Shepard and Warren Williams had a reasonable fear for their safety. Monday’s ruling means the lawsuit will go forward.
On March 11, 2017, videos were uploaded to social media showing police in Vallejo, California brutalizing an individual who may have been experiencing mental health issues. The incident took place Friday, March 10 on Fairgrounds Drive in front of the Valero gas station. The Vallejo police officer captured on video punching and bashing with a flashlight has been identified as Spencer Bottomley, an ex-Marine. Bottomley was named in a strikingly similar brutality case, Derrick Lamoris Shields vs. City of Vallejo, for an incident on the night of April 11, 2016. According to the statement of claims, five Vallejo police officers "violated Plaintiff's rights [...] when they subjected Plaintiff to excessive and/deadly force and assault and battery."
Fri Mar 10 2017 (Updated 03/12/17)
Revolutionary Organizing Against Racism Conference
ROAR, aka the Revolutionary Organizing Against Racism Conference, is a free two-day event, organized by Northern California Anti-Racist Action, that will be held on Ohlone Territory March 11 at OMNI Commons in Oakland and March 12th at California Institute for Integral Studies in San Francisco. Organizers write: During these times more and more attention is being paid to those of us who use direct action and hold liberatory and revolutionary politics. We can use this moment not only to inspire others through our actions, but to also inspire with our ideas.
Thu Mar 2 2017 (Updated 03/06/17)
Anaheim Erupts After Off-Duty Cop Shoots at Students
The city of Anaheim in Southern California erupted in youth protest on February 22 after Kevin Ferguson, an off-duty LAPD police officer detained a 13-year-old male, dragging him by the collar across a yard, and pulling him over hedges in front of the police officer’s home, before pulling out a gun and firing it into a crowd of students. Soon after the shooting happened, a crowd gathered outside of the officer’s home, taking to the streets while riot police were stationed around the home in order to protect the officer who was inside.
Santa Cruz is a Sanctuary City. Following the DHS/ICE raids in Santa Cruz on February 13, SCPD Chief Kevin Vogel claimed the department cooperated with DHS only because they thought the raids were to target violent gang members, and that DHS lied about their intention to detain non-criminal undocumented individuals. During deliberations to strengthen the status of Santa Cruz as a Sanctuary City at the February 28 Santa Cruz City Council meeting, however, members of the public pressured Vogel to admit that an ICE/DHS agent has not only been working closely with, but even given office space by the Santa Cruz Police Department since 2009, and was involved in the recent raids in some capacity.