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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Police State and Prisons
Father of Berkeley Sgt Tied to Kyla Moore Case on Police Review Commission
On the evening of July 10th, the Berkeley police review commission welcomed its newest member, John Cardoza. The new commissioner, appointed by city council member Gordon Wozniak is the father of a police sergeant with ties to the Kyla Moore case, and the April 30th city council meeting in which police entered chambers. What has Berkeley city government done?
New Commissioner John Cardoza appointed by City Council Member Gordon Wozniak.
Cardoza, Berkeley Police, Kyla Moore
Interview with Sgt Cardoza:
Berkeley Sgt Cardoza was present during the death of resident Kyla Moore, who was placed under arrest despite going through a mental health crisis. Now the father of Sgt. Cardoza sits on the Berkeley Police Review Commission, after being appointed by city council member Gordon Wozniak.
The sergeant was not at the scene during the initial arrest of Kyla Moore, according to given testimony. Cardoza arrived with the paramedics as CPR was being applied to Kyla Moore, who stopped breathing while being detained for police transport. The sergeant was also involved in a follow up incident in which Berkeley police entered city council chambers to briefly detain members of Kyla Moore's family and the general public who were requesting updates on the investigation into Moore's death. The police entered chambers and silenced speakers without an official warning by Mayor Tom Bates.
During their recent meeting, the Berkeley police review commission was presented with a complaint regarding the police's actions during the April city council allotment for public comment. Despite the fact Sgt Cardoza was involved in the incident, it was not mentioned during the meeting that there is a conflict of interest to have the the elder Cardoza on the commission. The complainant, and supporting members of the public issued their concerns with commissioner Cardoza present.
There are many unresolved threads from the death of Kyla Moore. Members of the public have asked for an affirmation of mental health rights, demanding a rethinking of policies involving police interactions with people who have mental health issues. However, the police review commission as well as the city council have repeatedly ignored calls for change.
Of all the people in Berkeley's district 8, it was not explained during the meeting why Sgt Cardoza's father was chosen. It can be assumed it is not a coincidence, and it was a politically orchestrated move, perhaps a decision heavily influenced by the police. Awkward at its least, insensitive at its most, the appointment of John Cardoza by Gordon Wozniak is controversial at its very essence. Wozniak is the most conservative member of Berkeley city council, and frequently votes against or abstains from voting on civil rights proposals.
Placing Sgt Cardoza's father on the Berkeley police review commission will further the current debate, and increase public scrutiny into Berkeley politics.