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GREENS: Democrats blocked legislation holding police accountable
by repost
Friday Jan 9th, 2009 5:06 PM
Supposedly "progressive" Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, and the District Attorney, both Democrats, have not done what needs to be done.
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News Advisory
THE GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA
http://www.cagreens.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 9, 2009

Democrats blocked legislation holding police accountable
for misconduct; political solution may have prevented shooting
death of Oakland youth on New Year's Day, charges Green Party

OAKLAND – Political remedies to hold police more accountable for outrageous
acts such as the shooting death of an African-American youth here on New
Year's Day have been blocked by even by supposedly "sympathetic" Democratic
Party politicians, charged Green Party of California spokespeople Friday.

Greens said the killing of 22-year-old Oscar Grant by Oakland police should
spark a renewed interest in police misconduct, transparency and
accountability.

"Elected officials, including lawmakers representing the Bay Area such as
Democrat Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-SF), have been blocking police
accountability for years in Sacramento, She helped kill police
accountability legislation in 2007," said Erika McDonald, a spokesperson
for the San Francisco Green Party.

Ma was a member of the 2007 Assembly Public Safety Committee which refused
to even bring to a vote two pieces of legislation, SB 1019 and AB 1648,
which would have given the public access to police records about misconduct
and discipline involving police officers, including excessive force,
officer-involved shootings and dishonesty.

"Another young man of color is dead. So much for change we can believe in,
and an end to a practice of allowing law enforcement officials to act as a
protected class. Supposedly "progressive" Oakland Mayor Ron
Dellums, and the District Attorney, both Democrats, have not done what
needs to be done," added McDonald.

"Public access to police records about sustained police misconduct not only
protects the public by helping deter police misconduct, but it generates
public confidence in the police by holding police accountable," said Cres
Vellucci, Green Party spokesperson and member of the ACLU Board of
Directors in Sacramento.

Prior to a relatively recent court decision, there was access to some discipline
records of police with virtually no problems regarding the rights of police
officers. Now police are protected from any real disclosure of discipline
problems.