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Stockton's Mobile Response Team: Resistance and Care
On Saturday, August 12th, Stockton will celebrate the life of Colby Friday in Kentfield Park (4952 Kentfield Road) from 11 – 4pm. There will be community speakers, a backpack and back-to-school supply give away for young people, music, barbecue, and other festivities.
[ Photo: Mobile Response Team. May 2017 ]
Colby Friday was fatally shot at 2pm on August 16th, 2016 by Stockton Police Officer David Wells while walking on Jamestown Street across from a large apartment complex. Colby was 29 years old and the father of four young children and another daughter that was born after he was killed. Following the killing, police changed their narrative at least three times, while witnesses claim that police confiscated cell phones and destroyed video recording of the shooting after the incident. Stockton Police confirmed that the officer who killed Friday believed Friday matched the description of a suspect from a different incident. Despite this, immediately following the shooting, Stockton Police launched a criminalization campaign against Friday, in an attempt to justify their senseless violence against him.
On Saturday August 12th Colby Friday’s family and friends, together with other families in Stockton, will gather in Kentfield Park to celebrate Colby’s life and the lives of other people targeted by police violence. The event is being organized by Colby Friday’s mother, Denise Friday, and the mother of James Earle Rivera Jr., Dion Smith, who have come together to form Stockton’s Mobile Response Team. James Rivera Jr. was 16 years old when he was killed by a multi-agency initiative that violently forced the minivan that he was driving off the road, crashing the vehicle through two garages. Stockton Police Officers Gregory Dunn and Eric Azarvand, and San Joaquin Sheriff’s Deputy John Nesbitt fired 48 bullets into James while he was pinned in the vehicle. Rivera’s family has never received police reports, video or photo evidence, or James’ personal property from the Stockton Police Department.
In their efforts to confront police violence and care for their community, the Mobile Response Team has initiated a number of projects this summer. In May, as a part of Justice for James Rivera, they organized Mothers Voice for Change, a community gathering to honor the losses of mothers on Mother’s Day and learn from each others struggles. Families shared stories of loss and compared their experiences with the state. Stockton families whose loved ones have been targeted by police violence were joined by families from San Francisco, Richmond, South San Francisco, Hayward, and Los Angeles, and included the families of Colby Friday, Mario Woods, Derrick Gaines, Pedie Perez, and others. Community folks traveled from Oakland and across the Bay to support the mothers on Mother’s day and to share food together at the afternoon’s end.
Shortly after the school year ended in early June, they organized a weekly community food program, offering free sack lunches to children every Tuesday throughout the summer as part of Justice for James Rivera Jr. They have also expanded the food distribution project to include houseless people. Also in June, the team showed up as community first responders to a fire at an apartment complex on El Dorado in Stockton, supplying food and cold drinks. They returned repeatedly over the following days and weeks to support people displaced by the fire who had been relocated to a mental health facility, supplying sack lunches, water, and cold drinks until all people were properly placed in temporary housing. During one of Stockton’s heat waves in June, Dion and Denise supplied bottles of water to houseless people. All of these actions have been organized using their own funds and through donations. In June, the Mobile Response Team also worked with local community members to organize a “Free Movies for the Movement” night, giving out tickets to the newly released Tupac Shakur film, “All Eyez on Me,” and tickets to “Cars” for the children. Following the Tupac film, the community held a space of vigil. In July, the Mobile Response Team traveled to Hollywood to connect with and support families and struggles against police violence there. And on August 12th, they will gather in Kentfield Park in Stockton in celebration of the life of Colby Friday.
What: Celebration of Life for Colby Friday
When: August 12, 2017; 11am – 4pm
Where: Kentfield Park, 4952 Kentfield Road, Stockton 95207
For more information:
For donations to support the backpack drive:
See you in Stockton on Saturday, August 12th!
-Center for Convivial Research and Autonomy (CCRA)
August 8, 2017