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On February 4, the ACLU of Northern California and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR) filed a lawsuit charging the state with unconstitutionally stripping tens of thousands of people of their right to vote. According to the lawsuit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, the state’s actions clearly violated state law when the secretary of state issued a directive to local elections officials in December 2011 asserting that people are ineligible to vote if they are on post-release community supervision or mandatory supervision.
In the early morning on January 21, California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers killed Antonio Mestas in Oakland. At about 9pm that evening, another CHP officer shot and killed 21-year-old Jose Munguia near 54th and Wentworth Avenues. A police K-9 was also shot during the incident and was rushed to a veterinarian. In reaction, vandals defaced the front of the CHP station at 3601 Telegraph Avenue in Oakland. On January 24, family and friends of Antonio Mestas held a fundraiser to raise money for the funeral.
On February 13, a protest of more than one hundred people, including dozens of family members of Californians murdered by police, was held outside A.G. Kamala Harris’ office at the State Building in Oakland in order to deliver a letter to Harris. Family members from the following police murder victims were present: Alan Blueford, Oscar Grant, Gary King, Jr., James Rivera, Jr., Ernest Duenez, Jr., Kenneth Harding, Kayla Moore, Lamarr Alexander, Andy Lopez, Jessie Hamilton, and Mario Romero. Ten people were arrested for refusing to vacate the building.
Supporters of the Santa Cruz Eleven rallied for an afternoon parade through town on February 11 in support of the final four SC11 defendants, whose trial begins on March 3. They still face charges in association with the 2011 occupation of the vacant bank building located at 75 River Street, which occurred during the height of the Occupy movement.
On Tuesday, February 11, a Parade in support and solidarity with the Santa Cruz Eleven will be held in downtown Santa Cruz. The 11th for the 11! Seven of the Eleven have had their charges dropped, however the city continues to spend thousands of dollars prosecuting the remaining four. After two years, their trial is scheduled to begin March 3.
Santa Cruz deputy harbormaster Timothy James Anderson is scheduled to be back in court in Napa County on March 4 to face battery charges stemming from an incident that occurred on August 13, 2013 near Lake Berryessa. Anderson and his friend Steven Belmont were arrested in Napa County after the incident, and Belmont has been ordered to stand trial on attempted murder charges for allegedly attacking Berryessa resident Roy Powell with a pitch fork.
On January 16, the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) officially recommended Santa Cruz County to receive $25 million it requested for jail expansion at Rountree Detention Center in Watsonville. The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors now has 90 days to approve or reject the jail expansion proposal from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. In response to the BSCC's recommendation, Sin Barras and other community members demonstrated later that day at the Clock Tower in downtown Santa Cruz to say, "NO MORE MONEY FOR JAILS!"