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How traffic enforcement is being reimagined in the US

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A California Highway Patrol cruiser.
(Courtesy of Public Safety News)

Sacramento, Calif.- by Robert J Hansen

Last year Philadelphia passed the Driving Equity Act, becoming the first major city in the U.S. to ban low-level traffic stops.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced last August that the city attorney’s office will no longer pursue tickets against motorists except for “egregious driving behavior” or criminal activity.

These are some of the most significant changes in traffic enforcement made around the United States after the deaths of Dante Wright and Philando Castile, who both were shot and killed as a result of a traffic stop for minor violations.

Castile, a Black man, was pulled over in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area in 2016 for missing tail light and drew national attention to the enforcement of low-level traffic stops.

Former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter shot and killed Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black motorist after being pulled over for having expired license plate tags and an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror in April 2021.

In Minneapolis, police now must articulate a legal reason to pull someone over, but the stated violation, or the pretext for the stop, doesn’t have to be the actual reason, Mary Moriarty, a former Hennepin County public defender told the Washington Post.

“If a cop wants to pull you over, they’re going to find a reason to do it,” Moriarty said. 

She said the stops give police a chance to go on “fishing expeditions” and ask for consent to search the vehicle.

“If they have a legal basis, they can already search the car,” Moriarty told the Post. “When the police ask for consent to search, it’s because they don’t have a legal basis to do that.” 

Moriarty says the practice is coercive and said many community members comply even if they know they can refuse because they fear the consequences of telling an officer no.

Philadelphia banned stops for driving with a single broken brake light or a single headlight, minor obstructions (like something hanging from a rearview mirror), driving without vehicle registration within 60 days of the observed infraction, and other registration-related violations.

Former NYC police officer and author of Police Brutality Matters, Joe Ested, would prefer laws meant for safety not be changed.

“Have you ever been driving behind somebody without brake lights? That’s a safety hazard,” Ested said. “Safety shouldn’t be compromised because you have officers that don’t follow the law.”

Ested blames bad policing for the problems with traffic enforcement and not holding it accountable.

“They want to do everything else except hold the officers accountable for bad policing so if they don’t want to hold officers accountable then yeah I’m with the removal because we need to save lives,” Ested said.

Deaths occurring as a result of traffic stops, like Dante Wright’s and Philando Castile’s are the result of bad policing according to Ested.

“The less contact you have with the civilian community, the less likely we are going to have these problematic stops,” Ested said.

Berkeley policy analyst Darrell Owensthinks police dedicating their time to traffic enforcement is a waste of time and resources.

“I agree with decriminalizing low-level traffic violations,” Owens said.

Police departments try to avoid looking like they are racial profiling by making non-suspicious, low-level traffic stops according to Owens.

“Then make a suspicious vehicle stop,” Owens said. “Just be honest about it. If you think that person is running guns in the community then that’s what you stop them for. We don’t need you [law enforcement] to muddle up traffic safety with policing.”

It also doesn’t work according to Owens.

“People genuinely think that police are there to keep the roads safer with traffic violations. No, they’re not. They’re there to do warrantless policing.”

Ested has one solution could be dashcam footage corroborating why a traffic stop was made could keep them more honest. Owens agrees that would take a lot of the confusion out of most situations.

According to Ested, few courts, if any, around the country do not require reasons for traffic stops to be corroborated by dashcam footage. 

Owens spearheaded a proposal that would allow Berkeley to have unarmed officers enforce violations. Oakland and San Francisco are also considering the idea but the proposal is still being lobbied by state legislators.

California State Senate District 8 candidate Dave Jones says, if elected, he would support a pilot program that would allow certain cities to test the proposal.

“I think it’s worth exploring,” Jones said. “It’s useful for Berkeley to be exploring this and I would support a pilot project that would look at and see to what extent it reduces the incidents of injuries and fatalities in encounters with police.”

Jones said it would be useful to use a pilot program to see the results before any state legislation is required.

District 6 includes Elk Grove, Sacramento, West Sacramento, and other parts of Sacramento County.

Last month the NHTSA announced the release of nearly $260 million in highway safety grants to help states fund a broad array of traffic safety priorities.

“We too often think about roadway deaths as if they are normal, part of life in our times—almost as if we were living through a war,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Twitter Friday.

“They are not normal, not inevitable,” Buttigieg said. “Bolstered by additional funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, these grants will save lives by improving safety on America’s roadways.”

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Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones running for California’s 3rd Congressional District

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Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones who announced is is running for California’s Congressional District 3 on January 24, 2022.
(Photo by Jordan Schauberger)

Sacramento, Calif.- by Robert J Hansen

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones announced he is running for California’s newly drawn 3rd Congressional District today, according to a press statement.

“Crime and lawlessness are growing. Nothing is being done to secure the border and stop illegal immigration,” Jones said in the statement. “That is why this election is all about who has the leadership and experience to make a difference, and who will restore law and order in America. I am the law and order candidate. I’ll stand up against the ‘woke’ liberals like Nancy Pelosi. I have and will stand up against the ‘Defund the Police’ movement to help make our communities safe again. I have and will stand up to demand we secure our border.”

Jones recently was called out by the Northern American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) illegally. A lawyer for the Northern ACLU said it has evidence showing several examples of how the Sheriff cooperates with ICE to illegally deport individuals as recently as 2020. 

California changed the law in 2017 passed SB 54 which prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies from using money or personnel to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes or conduct in connection with immigration enforcement by law enforcement agencies.

Jones, who is running as a Republican, unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2016 against Rep. Ami Bera.

“We are at a pivotal moment in America’s history. Our people have an infinite amount of patriotism, passion, ingenuity and drive. Unfortunately, the failed policies and politics of liberal Washington politicians are dividing us, making us less safe, and stifling opportunity,” Jones said.

Jones immediately faced criticism via Twitter after the announcement.

“If history is any guide, you’re gonna make a lot of promises, get federal dollars to fulfill those promises (in this case, you hope, in the form of a Congressman’s salary), and then not keep those promises,” Alex Leupp said via Twitter.

Neil Pope said literally no one is interested on Twitter.

California’s 3rd Congressional District includes the Counties of Placer, Nevada, Mono, Sierra, Inyo, Plumas and Alpine and portions of Sacramento, El Dorado and Yuba Counties.

California’s 3rd Congressional District is an open seat and Republicans hold a 7-point registration advantage according to Jones.

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Will California’s district attorneys and courts be held accountable for Brady violations?

Lady Justice (Image by Haljnalka Beren)

Sacramento, Calif.- by Robert J Hansen

California prosecutors for years have regularly withheld evidence from defense attorneys that, had it been disclosed, would have ruined their cases. 

This withholding of exculpatory evidence is a violation of the Brady doctrine, which comes from a 1963 Supreme Court ruling that requires prosecutors to disclose any information favorable to the defense.

“When prosecutors withhold evidence they are duty-bound to turn over, they undermine the Constitution, the Supreme Court’s case law, and the premise of justice,” Jessica Brand for The Appeal wrote.

The Supreme Court recognized that “society wins not only when the guilty are convicted but when criminal trials are fair,” and that a prosecutor should not be the “architect of a proceeding that does not comport with standards of justice.”

Brady material includes any evidence that is favorable to the defense. Meaning, anything that can help the defense attack the prosecution’s case needs to be disclosed to defense attorneys.

There are examples of this occurring in courtrooms throughout California at this very moment.

Rickey Godfrey’s conviction in 1993 relied on testimony by a minor that was recanted in 2010. Rickey is still in Solano Prison because, for years, Contra Costa district attorneys would routinely deny his petition to have his case re-examined. 

His case is currently being reinvestigated by Contra Costa’s Conviction Integrity Unit.

The possible Brady violation in Godfrey’s case is the existence of evidence of a witness’s prior inconsistent statements.

Oftentimes deals are made with jailhouse informants who are given deals of shorter sentences to testify in trials, creating an incentive to lie. Evidence of a witness’s motive to lie is also a Brady violation.

Lionell Tholmer has been in prison since 1985 and has recently received evidence that establishes that police gave perjured testimony and authored false reports in two separate trials. One of which, Tholmer received the death penalty.

Tholmer was convicted of murdering Cynthia Sparpana and the disappearance of her daughter, Danyle, without any physical evidence, with false testimony, and by an all-white jury in 1992.

Trial Judge James L. Stevens’ found no evidence connecting Tholmer to the crime or that placed him at the scene of the crime. Judge Stevens overturned the death sentence Tholmer had received to Life Without Parole on the finding of lingering doubt, respective of guilt.

Documents obtained last year revealed prosecutors deliberately withheld evidence from the Sparpana trial that should not have been, according to Robert Blasier, Thomler’s attorney in the Sparpana case.

In a report, Ltd. John Kane, a Sacramento Police Department detective at the time, stated that he relied on the help of Sacramento County Sheriff detective and former California Assemblymember, Larry Bowler.

Kane’s report stated that Bowler engineered Tholmer’s arrest in Oklahoma City. Kane also testified that he was the only officer Tholmer would speak to.

Bowler testified that he knew Ltd. Kane, but did not normally work field investigations and as a Fraud Doc’s detective, did not work homicides unless there were related financial crimes to a case. Bowler reported that he never worked with or called Kane, according to documents.

Kane’s fabrication of a false report and false testimony was crucial to the prosecutors’ case and without it, Tholmer would not have been convicted.

All of the evidence regarding Ltd. Kane and the exculpatory evidence in the Sparpana case was excluded from every legal proceeding which is a Brady violation on top of the felonies for an officer submitting falsified documents.

According to Tholmer, Placer Judge Garen Horst recently gave notice to California State Attorney General Rob Bonta and Placer District Attorney Morgan Giles that a proceeding is being conducted examining the false testimony of Lt. Kane and prosecutorial misconduct.

Another likely Brady violation is the case of Harvest Davidson, who has been in an El Dorado jail for over five years fighting murder charges from a 2016 incident.

Defense Attorney Hayes Gable is Davidson’s fourth attorney and has been requesting over 4000 pages of missing discovery since January 2021 according to court records.

Four thousand missing pages are likely to hold some type of evidence that favors the defense which will be revealed once Gable receives the missing evidence.

The missing discovery is the primary reason why the case has not been set for trial, being delayed for over five years.

El Dorado County Deputy district attorney Casey Mandrel took over as prosecuting attorney for the County and requested the case go to trial several times last year, most recently on December 7, 2021.

The Davis Vanguard reported that the Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP) issued a notice of formal proceedings against Judge Michael Murray of Orange County earlier this month. 

Murray was charged with engaging between January 2011 and September 2015 “that brings the judicial office into disrepute and improper action.”

The Constitutional violations that exist in the cases of Godfrey, Tholmer, and Davidson have collectively cost these men over 70 years. 

Will California‘s district attorneys and courts be held accountable for actions which contradict the Constitution and proceedings that do not comport with standards of justice?

Featured

Auburn police officer allegedly threatens advocate of Dalton Dyer Jr., on administrative leave

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Police Crime Survivors founder, Christopher Kershner, at Auburn Police Department on Thursday, January 13, 2021.
(Photo by Robert J Hansen)

Sacramento, Calif.- by Robert J Hansen

An Auburn police officer threatened the founder of Police Crime Survivors (PCS), Christopher Kershner, on December 27.

Auburn police officer Joshua Eagan drove his police cruiser dangerously through town and down Kershner’s narrow street so he could corner Kershner in his driveway, according to witnesses.

Marysville resident Darwin Richards, who is visiting his mother, was smoking a cigar on the porch across the street when he saw Eagan speed up to Kershner’s driveway.

“He followed Christopher through and came back around,” Richards said in a video. 

Kershner said Eagan followed him from the fairgrounds in town and then to his house and that Eagan never patrols down his residential street.

“I haven’t seen one since I’ve been here, which has been about a week,” Richards said.

“Eagan came back again as I was exiting my car and walking up the driveway, I saw Eagan throw what I thought was a white power hand signal,” Kershner said.

A week later Kershner filed reports with the Auburn PD, Attorney General Rob Bonta, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) regarding dangerous and negligent behavior by Eagan and other government employees in the city of Auburn.

He also filed a restraining order against Eagan which a judge has yet to make a ruling on after several days.

The reports are in response to the alleged attack on Kershner in his home driveway by Eagan. 

Officer Eagan went on leave from the department shortly after the incident with Kershner.

Eagan is telling people that he is on vacation and it’s to spend time with his family. Eagan’s wife, Kacy, gave birth to a baby boy on Friday, January 13.

“Thank you all so much! We are doing great. It is amazing to be on vacation so I can take care of them. My APD family is so supportive. See you all in a few weeks when I return,” Eagan said via Facebook.

Kacy Eagan said that Kershner doesn’t like Eagan because he is a police officer.

“Christopher is mad at my husband because he is with law enforcement,” she said while at the hospital.

The Auburn Police Department does not disclose the status of its officers as a policy, according to Dispatcher Brittany Glick.

“The only one who could tell you is Eagan,” Glick said.

A reliable source with the Auburn PD has confirmed Eagan is on administrative leave.

Kershner said that he has never felt safe with Eagan and the officers that trained and mentored him working for the Department and always knew that something similar to what happened to former Auburn resident Dalton Dyer Jr., would happen to him.

“I feel safer now knowing he is on leave. I hope and pray that he has worked his last day for the Auburn police department or any department,” Kershner said.

Police Crime Survivors 

Kershner founded Police Crime Survivors after Dalton Dyer Jr. was assaulted and falsely arrested by Officer Eagan in 2018.

Dyer, who is African American, proclaimed his innocence following that 2018 arrest, and so have many in the largely white community of Auburn.

Dyer and his cousin were pulled over for a suspected DUI while he was riding in the car. Dyer told CBS 13 in 2020 that he was given permission to get out of the car and then was tased several times.

The initial arrest report lists a misdemeanor charge of obstruction, but an officer later filed three supplemental felony charges stating Dyer hit him. Neither his cousin nor a second officer reportedly saw the punch.

“How would I be able to throw a punch if you have my hands? And so that’s why I’ve asked for a body camera,” Dyer told CBS 13.

The felony charges were all later dropped by District Attorney, Anna Duffy, representing Auburn police officers Matt Nichols and Eagan. 

The three felony charges and two strikes against Dyer for resisting an executive officer, battery with injury to a peace officer, and battery with serious bodily injury were all dismissed, according to Dyer’s lawyer, David Wiksell.

Kershner’s organization, PCS, advocated and supported Dyer throughout the ordeal and that is why Kershner thinks Eagan began harassing him.

#Auburn Police Department

#Christopher Kershner

#Police Crime Survivors

#APD

#Dalton Dyer Jr

Featured

Top ten most read stories on Newsbreak.com by Robert J Hansen of 2021

Images from the top ten most read stories by Robert J Hansen in 2021.
Images from the top ten most read stories by Robert J Hansen in 2021.

1. Unhoused man and wheelchair user says Kaiser released him against his will 85K+ page views

2. Man using city motel voucher gets forcefully kicked out of South Sac Motel 6 43K+ page views

3. CDCR closing two prisons and experiencing staffing shortages 40K+ page views

4. Reno police shoots Sacramento native, former Voice of the Youth mentee in critical condition 21K+ page views

5. Driving is a right, not a privilege 20K+ page views

6. Woman shot in the face while pregnant by father of the child survives, CPS trying to take her parental rights from her 20K+ page views

7. Man arrested for allegedly killing two Sacramento women in car accident police say 19K+ page views

8. Antelope man allegedly stabs woman with syringe injecting her with paralyzing substance, no arrests made 15K+ page views

9. Homeless Sacramento man pulled people from their vehicles in last Saturday’s fatal car crash 14K+ page views

10. Med. assistant pulled over at gunpoint over registration sticker by Sac Sheriff’s deputies, 5-year-old son in car 12K+ page views

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Reno police shoots Sacramento native, former Voice of the Youth mentee in critical condition

Image on left, Isaiah Herndon (Courtesy of Berry Accius) Image on right, Inside Isaiah Herndon’s Reno apartment after Reno police shot him. (Image by Robert J Hansen)

Sacramento, Calif. – by Robert J Hansen

Family, friends and activists are demanding answers from the Reno Police Department after officers shot Isaiah Herndon three times on November 5th, 2021.

The former mentee with Sacramento nonprofit, Voice of the Youth (VOY) is in critical condition at a Reno hospital and is about to undergo his sixth surgery according to Nicole Singleton, Herdon’s sister.

“He’s not out of the woods yet and don’t want to say he’s doing good, but he was able to write on a whiteboard when I was visiting him,” Singleton said.

Singleton was able to visit her brother at a Reno hospital on Monday.

She says the sergeant overseeing the case will not release any information as there is an ongoing investigation.

“A sergeant called me later the day after my brother was shot and told me he was alive but that he can’t discuss anything with me,” Singleton said.

Singleton said while she was visiting her brother, he wrote one thing on the whiteboard.

“They tried to kill me,” Herndon wrote.

A source close to the family who talked to the sergeant told Singleton that her brother is not being charged with any crime but charges are being discussed with the local district attorney.

Singleton says she wants to know what happened and that her brother was harassed by police in the two years since living in Reno.

“I want to see it. I don’t know if I want to take their word for what happened. I’d rather see a video,” Singleton said.

Witnesses told Singleton the police shot her brother from outside of his apartment.

“When I heard about Isaiah I was shocked and frustrated because it doesn’t seem to matter what occupation we have, where we go,” Berry Accius, VOY founder said. “Black men in this country are being hunted down.”

Accius wants to know what Herndon did to be nearly killed and the cause for this excessive force.

“To learn about it going on two weeks and to have no information, again, speaks on the lack of transparency, the lack of accountability and the responsibility the Reno PD has on allowing the public to know what happened,” Accius said.

Accius has known Herndon since 2012 when Isaiah was in high school.

“I’ve seen him grow up,” Accius said. “He’s just a young man trying to figure it out like everybody else.”

Accius doesn’t understand why Herndon was shot from outside his apartment.

“These are the things they are confusing,” Accius said “Where is the bodycam footage? What was happening where they had to shoot him from outside?” 

The Reno Police Department told ABC 8Reno that they responded to an apartment in the 200 block of East Grove Street at Wrondel Way at about 10:40 p.m. on reports of a domestic disturbance and a shot fired in a home.

“The story doesn’t make sense and I am angry they’ve once again attempted to kill another Black male without any probable cause,” Accius said. “We demand answers now.”

No one else was involved according to police. 

Reno police have not responded to inquiries at the time of publication.

The Sparks Police Department is investigating the incident.

“It’s been 12 days with no answers from the Reno Police Department. We demand answers and we demand the officer’s body cam,” Accius said. “They are completely silent.”

Accius said this incident is another example of why there needs to be federal legislation mandating all police officers in the United States need to be wearing body cameras.

“I am angry that we keep on going through the same thing and that these issues with policing in America have not stopped since George Floyd and his murderer was convicted,” Accius said. “It keeps happening because there is not a national mandate of accountability across the board.”

Featured

Northern California marijuana businesses experiencing sharp rise in burglaries

Sacramento, Calif. – By Robert J Hansen

Sacramento police at the scene after a pursuit that began as a burglary in progress at a Sacramento marijuana dispensary. (Photo courtesy of Public Safety News)

Cannabis businesses in Northern California have been experiencing a rise in burglaries and robberies for the past few weeks according to cannabis policy advisor Jacqueline McGowan.

McGowan has received reports of as many as 40 incidents occurring within three days last week.

“These are happening by professionals who have a system, getting in and out in minutes,” McGowan said.

Grow operations and dispensaries in San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento have been the primary targets of what McGowan says is an organized network of criminals.

McGown said some are using attorneys to file public information requests for cannabis security plans. 

“These guys are professionals. They’re like an Ocean 11 style and level of sophistication. They have the plans of operators 

security systems and everything,” McGowan said.

McGown has been told about an Oakland robbery that happened at night when nobody was there were $80,000 in the product was stolen. Another unreported attempted robbery happened in San Francisco where the potential victim shot one of the robbers according to McGowan.

“Everyone needs to be very aware of suspicious activity and to take extra precaution right now,” McGowan said.

Last week, Sacramento police arrested three people who led them on a high-speed chase after attempting to burglarize a marijuana dispensary in North Sacramento according to CBS 13.

In October, the Sacramento police department responded to 15 burglaries that occurred at cannabis businesses according to an email from public information officer Karl Chan.

“The department has seen an increase in burglaries targeting cannabis businesses in the city,” Chan said via email.

According to Chan, items that were stolen range from nothing to thousands of dollars worth of cannabis products.

“Of those 15 incidents two people have been arrested and many of the investigations remain ongoing,” Chan said. “Patrol officers are aware of the series and continue to monitor areas where there are cannabis businesses.”

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Chan said Sacramento police have met with some of the businesses to provide information regarding crime prevention and implementation of additional security measures.

San Francisco and Oakland police are working on obtaining similar information which will be disclosed once made available.

Chris Phillips owns a mom and pop style cultivation and manufacturing business for marijuana concentrations who knows many fellow operators who have been robbed recently.

“They target the distributors because they have all the cash and product on hand,” Phillips said.

Phillips’ business also recently experienced random gun fire that almost hit employees and caused damage to some equipment and his shop.

“It hit a washing machine we use for concentrates that blew up, costing thousands of dollars in product and repairs,” Phillips said. 

Phillips said many operators can’t afford to pay the kind of security necessary to protect from these burglaries.

“A five man team throughout the day for around the clock security cost a minimum $75,000 a month and most guys can’t pick up an expense like that without being a corporate backed company,” Phillips said.

Another operator in Sacramento said it’s been rough in Sacramento on Facebook.

“I know a few of our neighbors got hit also. Think it’s way more out of control than people realize. Lots of companies keep it private,” he said.

Phillips said that the public disclosure of operators’ addresses bears a lot of the blame for these burglaries.

“Once the information is out there on the internet then it’s out there, that’s it,” Phillips said. “Anyone could save the information even if it is taken down.”

According to Phillips, another major security risk is the amount of cash that distributors and operators have to handle due to federal law that doesn’t recognize cannabis as a legal industry.

This has made targets for robberies that have been happening since California legalized recreational marijuana and became regulated in 2017.

“We report our taxes every couple weeks. I’ve heard of another person who needed five trucks to pay his taxes. It’s a lot of cash,” Phillips said.

Currently, the Safe Banking Act of 2021, a federal bill that would prohibit a federal banking regulator from penalizing a depository institution for providing banking services to a legitimate cannabis-related business is working its way through Congress.

The bill has been sent to the Senate and referred to the Committee of Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

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Changing the California Constitution from the Inside-out: Conversation with Cal State LA BA Prison Program Graduate Samual Brown

Sacramento, Calif. – By: Robert J Hansen

October 21, 2021

Samual Nathaniel Brown on graduation day in California State Prison, Los Angeles County on Oct. 5, 2021.(Photo by Robert Huskey/Cal State LA)

Samual Nathaniel Brown on graduation day in California State Prison, Los Angeles County on Oct. 5, 2021. (Photo by Robert Huskey/Cal State LA)

On October 5, 2021, Samual Nathaniel Brown, co-founder of the Anti-Violence Safety and Accountability Project (ASAP), creator of the 10P program, and author of the constitutional amendment proposal, The California Abolition Act (ACA 3), recently became one of the first along with 24 other men to graduate with a bachelors in communication from Cal State LA’s Prison B.A. Graduation Initiative on the yard at California State Prison Los Angeles County in Lancaster California. 

In 2015, Cal State LA became the only university in California to offer in-person classes inside a maximum-security prison to inmates seeking to earn a  bachelor’s degree in organizational communication. This opportunity was made available through the Second Chance Pell federal pilot program which aims to reduce recidivism rates and make communities safer by educating incarcerated Americans so they can receive jobs and support their families after they are released from prison.

“Other schools prepare you to execute a task,” Brown said. “This school prepared us to change the world.”

After being incarcerated for over two decades, Brown will soon become the 13th student in Cal State LA’s prison education program to be released from prison. 

Brant Choate, Director for CDCR’s Division of Rehabilitative Programs spoke to the graduates and stated, “This program is so unique—it is one of the only of its kind in the country and the nation has been watching you. Because of your efforts, you have set the stage and example that this works. This opportunity is going to be available to thousands in the future in California and across the country. Thank you for all you’ve done.”

“I am struck by the resilience and dedication you have demonstrated as you embarked on your educational journey,” Cal State LA Provost and Executive Vice President Jose A. Gomez said to the graduates. “You didn’t give up, you didn’t quit. I speak for everyone at Cal State LA—the faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and our community—when I say that we are so proud of you.”

Brown is a shining example of how education can not only lead to rehabilitation but can also positively impact the communities he once helped to harm. In 2014, Mr. Brown developed “The Theory of Emotional Illiteracy Based Criminality” which connects Adverse Childhood Experiences with people choosing criminal behaviors as coping mechanisms. 

Taffany Lim, senior director of the Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good at Cal State LA said the college cohorts are mentors to people on the yard. 

“Some of these guys may never get out of prison,” Lim says. “It’s still a worthy investment because they’ve become huge advocates for education. Now their friends and family—oftentimes individuals who never saw college education for themselves—are pursuing higher education. They’re mentors to people in the yard. They’re like, ‘Hey, don’t make the same mistake I did. Go to school, find education, transform your life. Make a difference.'”

Kamran Afary, Cal State LA assistant professor considers Brown an educator for the programs Brown has created and the work he does for the prisoners. 

“He was a magnificent student and is an educator as far as I’m concerned,” Afary said. “He is a remarkable person and his ‘Theory of Emotional Illiteracy-Based Criminality’ really has had an amazing impact on real rehabilitation and self-healing here at Lancaster.”

Journalist Robert J Hansen spoke with Samual Brown on October 13, 2021, in this exclusive follow-up interview:

Graduates of Cal State LA’s pioneering prison degree program celebrate earning their bachelor’s degrees in October 2021. (Photo by Robert Huskey/Cal State LA)

Hansen: “What does it feel like having attained this degree from behind those walls?”

Brown: “When I was in the midst of actually doing it, I didn’t realize the feat that we were pulling off. It feels historic. It’s actually sinking in.”

Hansen: “What impact does the BA program have on inmates making parole who otherwise might not have?”

Brown: “It helps tear down a great deal of those prejudices and stereotypes that we walk into the prison system with. Not only are we considered failures and people who are incapable of doing anything because we’re convicted, we have to turn around the perception of ourselves but also have to rehabilitate the image of people who are incarcerated. It’s believed that once you’re incarcerated that there’s no hope for you. That’s just not true. The impact it has had on them was showing them how transformative education is and how it bridges barriers between cultures.”

Hansen: “Professor Kamran Afaray, communications studies associate professor at Cal State LA told CNN ‘It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity.’ What does that mean?”

Brown: “Part of making amends for the harm I caused is getting an education. Now that I’ve turned my life in the right direction it’s only right that I go full-fledged in one direction. That means going for a doctorate. It’s a necessity because it demonstrates that I understand the harm that I caused before coming to prison and I want to be the exact opposite of that. I used to put all of my energy into criminality now, I put all of my energy into healing and doing positive things. The more educated a person is upon leaving prison, the less chance there is of them recidivating and coming back to prison. It’s shown that people with associate degrees have a 0.01 percent chance of returning to prison. Out of us 25 men graduating with bachelor’s degrees, it’s going to be an even smaller percentage. It also prepares us for reentry, potential employment, and a higher earning scale. For those reasons, it’s a necessity. I derailed education in my family. My mom, my sisters, my big brother got their degrees and I came to prison. I tarnished the image and it was very important for me to show that even though I came to prison, I am so much more than my last and first conviction. And anybody, if they want to apply themselves, can turn their lives around. So it’s a necessity to make amends, to reenter society with a real chance of finding gainful employment, and to set the record straight that we’re all so much more than the crimes that we committed to coming here.”

Hansen:  “Earning a bachelor’s degree after being incarcerated 24 years, what does it say for the education system vs the system of mass incarceration in American society?”

Brown: “To be able to combine the academic studies with my studies and then the self-help programming has made me become a much more well-rounded individual and strive for greater emotional literacy which is something that I lost. Us (prisoners) getting a bachelor’s degree were predicated upon us having reached a certain level of calmness, peace, and emotional literacy in ourselves. Many of us live without the possibility of parole and have been here now for 25 to 30 years. We have under our belt a host of self-help programming that we’ve taken before getting into the bachelor’s degree program. We already had a certain level of emotional security in ourselves that we typically lack from grade schools or high schools. So there is no reason we should wait until our children are in juvenile facilities or incarcerated before we give them the tools they need to be able to process their emotions and constructively deal with them. That’s what’s needed when going to school coming from a trauma-filled background.”

In 2013 Brown arrived at Folsom State Prison in Sacramento and met men who were sentenced to several life sentences with no hope ever to be released. There he founded the 10P program and began to develop what would become “The Theory of Emotional Illiteracy-Based Criminality” which posits that adverse childhood experiences combined with a lack of emotional literacy form the personal roots of criminality. 

Brown: “That takes us back to Folsom State Prison in Sacramento. I was there for close to a year watching people commit suicide, watching people overdose, and watching people commit homicides. We’re talking about people who had three, four, five life sentences without the possibility of parole, hundreds of years, etc. They had no thoughts of getting out of prison or seeing the possibility of ever going home. It was all so heavy. I remember speaking to my supervisor at the time Sheila Casto, and I told her  that the men ain’t got nothing to live for, nothing to give them hope and she told me, “Don’t just talk about it, do something about it.” So I accepted the challenge.”

Brown drafted the proposal of what became the 10P program. “Prisoners Parole Portfolio as Positive Programming and Prior Preparation that Prevents Poor Performance.” The 10P Program equips incarcerated individuals with the theory’s wisdom through circles and various program options that facilitate moving from an anti-social to a pro-social mindset. 

“I began carrying this portfolio and inside of it I had all of my positive accomplishments. They were like a force field to me and the last thing I wanted to do was get into any trouble and lose them. Soon you started noticing everyone in the program holding on to these documents, didn’t want to get in trouble.”

Samual Nathaniel Brown (bottom left) and cohorts who took part in the 10P program at California State Prison Los Angeles County, Lancaster. (Photo courtesy of Jamilia Land)

Samual’s 10P program launch was such a success that he developed another program to prepare others who were not yet ready to participate in a public discussion sharing intimate details of their life. 

“Not everyone is ready to sit talking in a circle about intimate details of their life or their crimes that landed them in prison. But having an opportunity to read a book about it, something they can relate to, and get recognized for that. That is just the first step to what is called the progressive self-rehabilitation model. This is something I created long before Covid-19. Now  you might see these other programs that run a curriculum similar to mine but I’ve been doing this since 2014.”

Hansen: “How optimistic are you of the program continuing after you are released?”

Brown: “I am extremely hopeful because I am not going to abandon them upon my release. Warden R.C. Johnson, community resource manager Erica Lake, and public information officer Lisa Graves have not only expressed support but demonstrated support for the 10P program by getting the means to continue running the program. With ASAP we have worked to continue the program not only in New Folsom but work with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to hopefully help as many prisoners as possible. I’m not only hopeful about it continuing, but also getting the opportunity to offer it to over one hundred thousand prisoners in the CDCR system.”

Brown co-founded, with his wife Jamilia Land, the Anti-Violence, Safety, and Accountability Project (ASAP), which aims to dismantle systemic racism and end the cycle of violence in communities. From the work of Brown and Land through ASAP came ACA 3, The California Abolition Act. ACA 3 seeks to end legalized slavery by removing involuntary servitude from California’s Constitution. 

Hansen: “Tell me how ACA 3 came about.”

Brown: “I am a healthcare facility maintenance worker or environmental technician and I have recorded over 1000 hours working as one. I’ve earned my journeyman’s certification and I’m qualified at picking up blood spills and other infectious materials. I clean the hospitals. That means I’m a frontline worker. When Covid hit and shut down the prisons and everything on the outside,I still had to report to work every day because I’m a frontline worker. I was the first person in California to disinfect and sanitize a Covid cell. I know that because the first prisoner that tested positive for Covid-19 in CDCR was here at Lancaster. I got stuck with a hazmat suit on, it was crazy, no one knew what to expect. We just knew that death comes with it. To have to go in there and clean that was surreal. Of course, you know I couldn’t refuse and that made my wife extremely upset. It’s upsetting to her because I’m asthmatic and I suffer from a collapsed lung. I’m at high risk for Covid-19 morbidity. Initially I told my supervisor ‘Hey I’m only going to come into work every other day but eventually they shut that down.’ Then I got informed of possible disciplinary measures being taken against me which is enough to stop me from being released on parole.”

Brown and his wife, Land, became focused on creating ACA 3 for several reasons. He could not refuse without receiving a rules violation report which would have ruined his chances of making parole. They also thought the work conditions he was being subjected to amid a pandemic that very little was known about at the time was inhumane and immoral. Brown eventually contracted Covid-19 and fortunately survived.

Brown’s wife, Jamilia Land (front) Senator Sydney Kamlager (middle) and co-sponsor April Grayson (back) at the the California State Capitol and press conference for The California Abolition Act (ACA 3) in March 2021. (Photo courtesy of Jamilia Land)

Hansen: “Is that when you wrote the proposal?”

Brown: “Mass incarceration is a playground for a pandemic. We breathe recycled air, there’s no way to social distance so it’s just something tragic waiting to occur. My wife told me about the Abolish Slavery National Network (ASNN) and what was taking place in certain states like Colorado and she encouraged me to write a bill to amend the Constitution of California. Through her encouragement I sat down and wrote it.  She did all the leg work, taking it to the Capitol, speaking to the lawmakers and building the coalition. Senator Sydney Kamlager agreed to author it and hence ACA 3 was born. 

It was very inspirational both for myself and everyone I’m surrounded by here in prison. The ultimate goal isn’t about increasing wages but exposing this as a moral issue and ending involuntary servitude. There’s no reason we should still have legalized slavery via mass incarceration in 2021.”

Hansen: “What political challenges does ACA 3 face?”

Brown: “You have these organizations, a right-wing conservative lobbyist group called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and they are a host of corporations that have all banned together to help craft legislation that in essence, destroys communities, exploits forced labor, and fills their pockets. Everyone from Walmart, LensCrafters, State Farm, companies that we see on TV all day every day are benefiting from everyone responsible for mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex. ACA 3 will only begin to unravel this slowly, it can’t do it alone. But it’s the first step.”

Samual and Jamilia are also members of Abolish Slavery National Network (ASNN) a national coalition fighting to abolish constitutional slavery and involuntary servitude in all forms, for all people. It is composed of over 30 states, all seeking to remove this language from respective state constitutions and amend the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Hansen: “Besides seeing your family, what’s the first thing you want to do?”

Brown: “This may sound strange but I want to jump on a trampoline. I want to be free, I want to fly. I’ve been held down so long I just want to jump up and down and live a little bit. Aside from that, I want to continue the work that I’m doing. I need to demonstrate that I am not just doing this because I’m incarcerated, this is who I am.”

Samual Brown is expected to be released later this year.

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Retired NYPD cop and author of “Police Brutality Matters” talks traffic enforcement

Sacramento, Calif. – Robert J Hansen

Part I: The Players and the Tools

This is the first in a series of conversations with author Joseph J. Ested about reimagining policing and traffic enforcement in the United States of America.

Joseph Ested, author of Police Brutality Matters and retired NYC police officer, spoke about ways to improve traffic enforcement for the safety of both the public and law enforcement.

“If I did my job right, we wouldn’t need to have this conversation,” Ested said.

Ested thinks law enforcement needs to target the truly bad elements of society.

“We shouldn’t be going so hard on things that don’t cause immediate danger,” Ested said.

Retired NYC officer and author, Joe Ested.

When it comes to traffic enforcement, Ested acknowledges how harmful fines from traffic citations can be if someone gets wrapped up in a cycle of debt.

“Coming from a low income community, I understand the change they are crying out for,” Ested said.

Supreme Court rulings throughout the last 100 years have given law enforcement officers wide authority over citizens’ Constitutionally protected rights and liberties in the interest of safety. 

The Supreme Court ruled in Pennsylvania vs. Mimms (1977) that police officers could order people out of their car following a traffic stop and check them for weapons without violating Fourth Amendment rights.

The police officer Jeronimo Yanez who shot Philando Castile was acquitted of second degree manslaughter and two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm because he said he claimed he was in fear of his life.

Castile was shot and killed by Yanez in 2016 during a traffic stop for a tail light violation.

A juror from the Yanez trial told MPR news that the jury felt the police officer was an honest guy and in the end, they had to go on his word, and that’s what it came down to.

It is under this guise of safety that law enforcement has abused and misused its authority.

Police citing concerns over safety often used in crime reports by police officers because they know it protects them from being held accountable.

“I didn’t feel safe or I was in fear for my life,” Ested said. “Because he knows if he uses key terminology like fear or safety, the supreme court now gives them that pass.”

According to Ested, oftentimes this gets used by police for the wrong reasons when it should only be doing it for safety.

“The problem is not [having] these little violations, it’s the accountability of the person who has pulled them over,” Ested said. “It can be manipulated.”

He said traffic stops are tools used by police to get guns, drugs and murderers off the street and should not be removed as a tool to be used by law enforcement.

“If you say don’t stop people who got a headlight out, you’re not removing the problem,” Ested said. “You would just be removing a tool.”

Author of Police Brutality Matters, Joe Ested

He thinks traffic stops should only be made for reasons related to dangerous driving but that it’s a lack of accountability that allows traffic stops to be misused, not the tools themselves.

“If you don’t remove the players, and you just remove the tools, they’re just going to find other tools that are in their arsenal to stop the vehicle,” Ested said.

Ested thinks the Arkansas trooper who used a pit stop maneuver on a woman who was two months pregnant is an embarrassment to law enforcement.

That guy needs to go to prison for that,” Ested said.

A pit maneuver is useful in extreme situations where the suspect is a high threat to the public’s safety according to Ested.

Ested said an officer has to weigh out who they are chasing, why they are chasing them and if the risk to use the pit maneuver is justifiable

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“That should be used when chasing a high value target that is a danger to society,” Ested said. “Someone who doesn’t pull over right away does not need to use a pit maneuver. That dude is an idiot.”

According to Ested, police officers will use any traffic violation necessary to justify why they pulled someone over.

Mandatory dash cam video corroborating officers accounts would be one possible way to increase accountability. 

Ested said every officer in the United States should have body and dash cameras that are on and the only person that can turn it off is the supervisor. The supervisor would have to provide a reason why the camera is turned off.

“I know that would change a lot,” Ested said. “You can see on the video, that’s why I’m stopping that vehicle and everybody can see.” 

Ested said that high speed pursuits have rarely been worth the risk it posed to himself, the suspect or the public.

“I feel that the chase was worth the risk only one time in all the chases I have had,” Ested said.

Police chases and high speed pursuits are commonplace in California. 

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Reasonable suspicion is used by Sacramento law enforcement officers as a reason to make traffic stops. In 2019, about a third of all traffic stops made by Sacramento deputies and police officers were for reasonable suspicion.

In Ested’s experience, law enforcement needs to have probable cause to pull someone over and reasonable suspicion is not something that relates to traffic stops.

“Either they committed a traffic violation that gave you probable cause to stop them and you have the right to pull them over or you don’t,” Ested said.

Of all reported traffic stops made by Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputies in 2019, 37 percent were for reasonable suspicion according to the California Department of Justice. 

Twenty five percent of traffic stops made by the Sacramento Police Department were for reasonable suspicion that same year.

#PoliceBrutalityMatters #Policebrutalitymatters4change #SacSheriffs #trafficstops #JoeEsted #reimaginetrafficenforcement #SCSD #CADOJ #policereform #reimaginepolicing #society #politics #law

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Sacramento County Sheriff denied public records request for body-cam video

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department has denied a request for body camera video of a June 15 traffic stop.

“Your request is denied pursuant to California codes 6254 etc.,” the email said.

Brittany Williams was pulled over at gunpoint on Norwood Avenue near Jessie Street in North Sacramento last month with her 5 year-old son in the car.

Continue Reading at Newsbreak.com

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California pays off more than $5 billion in debt to landlords extending the eviction moratorium through September 

 June 25, 2021

Non-profit for tenants’ rights holds demonstration in Sacramento

Sacramento, Calif.– By Robert J Hansen

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Executive director of Tenants Together, Lupe Arreola, speaks to a crowd in Sacramento about the State’s eviction moratorium extension.Robert J Hansen

Executive director of Tenants Together, Lupe Arreola, speaks to a crowd in Sacramento about the State’s eviction moratorium extension.Robert J Hansen

Governor Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders of both the Senate and the Assembly proposed an extension of California’s statewide evictions moratorium on June 25 according to the governor’s office.

Yesterday the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended the nationwide moratorium through July. 

Provisions include more than $5 billion to help tenants and landlords by reimbursing 100 percent of all debt owed and extending extending eviction protections through September.

The new bill would prohibit cities and counties from adopting new eviction moratoria from now through March 2022 however, existing local moratoria can remain in effect.

“California is coming roaring back from the pandemic, but the economic impacts of COVID-19 continue to disproportionately impact so many low-income Californians, tenants and small landlords alike,” Governor Gavin Newsom said in a letter released by his office.

“That’s why I am thankful for today’s news from the Legislature. Protecting low-income tenants with a longer eviction moratorium and paying down their back-rent and utility bills,” Newsom said.

“All thanks to the nation’s largest and most comprehensive rental assistance package, which I am eager to sign into law as soon as I receive it.”

The bill could be voted on as soon as June 28 according to the California Apartment Association (CAA).

CAA chief executive officer, Tom Bannon said the association is disappointed by both the CDC and California’s eviction moratorium extensions.

“We are disappointed that the CDC extended a nationwide eviction moratorium through July, and the state of California has extended an eviction moratorium through September,” Bannon said in a press release.

Bannon said California and numerous local governments have not quickly disbursed funds to those in need, especially to mom-and-pop rental housing providers who have not seen any rent payments yet must still pay the mortgage, insurance, taxes, maintenance and other expenses.

“Both the federal and state eviction moratoriums would not be necessary if state and local governments were disbursing rental assistance funds to tenants and housing providers in an expedited manner,” Bannon said.

Tenants Together held a demonstration in Sacramento where executive director Lupe Arreola, spoke about the state’s proposal.

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Banner that reads “Housing is a human right” in Sacramento on Friday, June 25, 2021.Robert J Hansen

Tenants Together is a statewide coalition of local tenant organizations dedicated to defending the rights of California tenants based in San Francisco.

Arreola said between October 2021 and March 2022 tenants will be left unprotected and landlords will likely remove families and elderly citizens from their homes.

According to Arreola, most landlords can afford lawyers tonace in court while 85 percent of tenants cannot.

“If your case goes to court, they’re going to take all this time to double check the 

Jon Goodman, member of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment Organization (ACCE), lives in Antioch and has had trouble with landlords since 2016.

Goodman said when new owners took over his Napa apartment in 2016, they raised rent several hundred dollars instantly.

“I tried to do things that you might do, I gave up my comcast,” Goodman said. “I called the furniture company and asked them to please come get the furniture.”

Goodman said property management towed his car in retaliation to being behind on rent and when it became too much he was evicted.

Goodman said when he finally was able to get into another apartment, the same thing happened when another owner bought that apartment.

“Everything was OK, until this big corporate landlord came in and they did the exact same thing,” Goodman said.

Goodman said he contacted state Sen. Steve Glazer’s office and submitted a proposal to amend the landlord tenant law sometime in 2018. 

He never heard back from the senator’s office.

Goodman’s first suggestion was to change the three day notice to quit, to 30 days.

“This is the most important thing in your life, a roof over your head and it’s the least reasonable,” Goodman said. “Who the hell gets paid in three days? Who is going to come up with all that money so soon?”

Jackie Lowery, ACCE Facebook page administrator, said that tenant groups across the state have been fighting for this and it is good news but there are still concerns.

“I’m excited but I’m still slightly hesitant because there’s a couple things that we don’t know what can happen,” Lowery said.

State legislatures are expected to vote on the proposal next week. 

#TenantsRights #TenantsTogether #GavinNewsom #California #ACCE #CALegislature #Sen.SteveGlazer #CDC #CAA #AB832

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Wrongfully incarcerated for nearly 30 years, Contra Costa DA reviewing case

Sacramento, Calif. — By Robert J Hansen

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Sacramento, Calif.– By Robert J Hansen

After filing an official request to review his case in hopes of being freed from Solano State Prison after 29 years of wrongful imprisonment, Ricky Godfrey nor his attorneys have heard from the district attorney ‘s office since October 2020.

The original statements used to convict him were coerced and have been recanted since 2010. He said that if the district attorney would review his case he could be freed, Godfrey said at a June 21 zoom conference.

“I didn’t even get out of the car,” Godfrey said. “The investigators coerced and intimidated them into making false statements that were used to convict me.”

Scott Alonso, PIO for the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office, confirmed Godfrey’s case is being reviewed and investigated by the conviction integrity unit

Alonso said the process requires reviewing old cases, contacting witnesses and many other steps which takes time.

“It is a long process,” Alonso said.

Godfrey’s 1993 conviction stands on the testimony of two eyewitnesses. Gerald Michael Cannon Jr. and Rosheneda Pierce Danks.

At trial, they both testified that Godfrey was the person who killed Norfleet according to legal documents provided by attorney’s helping the Godfrey’s.

On September 24, 2010, Cannon provided a Declaration Affidavit in which he admitted his testimony was perjured and completely recanted his testimony.

“I was a participant in helping the prosecution send the wrong person to prison. I testified at Ricky Godfrey’s trial that he was the shooter who killed Mr. Norfleet,” Cannon said. “The person who actually fired the shot that killed Mr. Norfleet was someone else who was with us that day, named Melvin Holman.” 

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An attorney helping the Godfrey’s sent a letter to Brian Feinberg, Deputy District Attorney Office of the Contra Costa District Attorney in August 2020.

“I came away convinced that he was wrongfully convicted,” the letter said.

The attorney, who asked to remain unnamed, said the family could not afford to hire them to litigate the case, and worked pro bono with the Innocence Project to seek a new trial for Mr. Godfrey.

“Unfortunately, those efforts stalled and it appears that you represent the remaining hope for addressing an injustice that has kept Mr. Godfrey imprisoned for nearly 28 years,” the letter said.

Racism also contributed to Godfrey’s false imprisonment.

One of the police officers investigating the case, Dennis Browne, was a member of a notoriously racist gang within the Richmond Police Department which was not presented to the jury at the time of trial.

The Cowboys, an actively organized white supremacist group first emerged in the early 1970’s and was publicly exposed to exist within the Richmond Police Department in the early 1980’s according to a June 2020 article in YES!

Among the police identified as members of the Cowboys were Officers Clinton Mitchell and Samuel Dudkiewicz, along with Sergeants Frank Hanratty and Dennis Browne.

According to legal documents, Godfrey’s first attorney, public defender Terri Mockler, provided inadequate legal representation.

Mockler failed to act in a manner expected of a reasonably competent attorney acting as a diligent advocate the letter states.

Anesia Godfrey, Ricky’s wife, said she needs help bringing awareness to and putting a spotlight on Ricky’s case.

“It’s been thirty years and I don’t think they are taking us seriously,” Mrs. Godfrey said. “And for him to serve 30 years for a crime he never committed need to have a light shone on it.”

Anesia said she is learning the true nature of the American judicial system does this to people and was designed to operate and to treat people

“He was young, 18-years-old and they sentenced him to life without parole, to die in prison,” Mrs. Godfrey said. “Never been in trouble with the law and convicted him based on the testimony of a 16-year-old.”

The United States has the highest prison and jail population with more than 2 million in jail or prison and has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), Black males account for roughly 34 percent of the U.S. male prison population.

Reverend Sophia Jackson said calling the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office is the most helpful thing that can be done to help Ricky’s case.

Jackson said while she understands Becton is not responsible for Rickey’s imprisonment, Becton is the one that’s now leading the office and responsible for making sure that justice is served.

Coordinator for Crime Survivors for Safety Jamilia Land said the stigmas surrounding incarceration contribute to people thinking everyone in prison must deserve to be there.

“Stories like Ricky’s and like my son’s are not uncommon,” Land said. “People don’t realize that it [being incarcerated] has been constructed to be this way.”

Land’s son, Elijah Johnson, is incarcerated at the Sierra Conservation Center and is serving a life sentence without parole. Elijah is 26 years old.

The prison industrial complex makes money off people being in prison and it amounts to trying to keep Black Americans slaves said Land.

“I guarantee you that Ricky’s body being housed in that cell alone has made them $82K a year for thirty years,” Land said.

Mrs. Godfrey has a petition that people can sign to help free Ricky and a “Free Ricky Godfrey” website, with other information on ways to get involved.

“When I get out I am going to put my knowledge to use and be a lawyer so I can fight for social justice,” Godfrey said.

#massincarceration, #industrtialprisoncomplex, #RickyGodfrey, #JamiliaLand, #FreeRickyGodfrey

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Sacramento County rescinds notice to vacate for homeless residents

Park rangers at encampment enforcing notice only hours before order rescinded

June 4, 2021

Sacramento County Park Rangers arriving at the homeless encampment of Garden Highway on June 4, 2021.
Sacramento County Park Rangers driving to the Steelhead Creek and Bannon Island homeless encampment along the Sacramento River on Friday, June 4, 2021. Photo by Robert J Hansen

Sacramento, Calif. — Robert J Hansen

The Sacramento County Park Ranger Unit gave homeless residents 72 hour notice to vacate their encampment along the Sacramento River yesterday according to residents of the encampment.

Homeless resident Twana James said County Park Rangers have been rude and uncompassionate toward residents of the community.

“They [park rangers] have told us all different kinds of reasons for why we have to move,” James said. “They say they are going to help but they just want us out of here.”

According to Lisa Nava, Chief of Staff for Supervisor Phil Serna, the encampments at Steelhead Creek and Bannon Island received a notice to vacate due to fire risk.

“Sacramento City Fire sent out correspondence to our Regional Parks Director regarding the fire danger,” Lisa Nava said via email.

Park rangers have threatened elderly residents and have not helped connect residents to housing and health services according to James

“They told a 72 year old woman they are going to bulldoze her home,” James said.

Sacramento County Public Information Officer Kim Nava said that park rangers could not “bulldoze” anyone’s camp and their possessions will not be destroyed.

“These folks can get in touch with any ranger they can get their stuff for them,” Nava said.

According to James, some residents have lived at the encampment for ten years and are not being offered any health or relocation help services from the County“

They have offered nothing just telling us to move in 72 hours,” James said.

Steelhead Creek and Bannon Island homeless encampment along the Sacramento River on Friday, June 4, 2021. Photo by Robert J Hansen

District 2 Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost said a county public health order prevents the County from removing homeless camps unless it poses a public safety hazard.

“For an encampment to have received notification to vacate under these circumstances tells me the occupants have acted in a way that puts the health and safety of others at risk,” Frost said via email.

Frost said she believes that the failure of our mental health system is responsible for a large portion of the homeless population and drugs are another huge life altering dilemma.

Samantha Corbin, founder of government affairs consultant agency Corbin and Kaiser, said Sacramento County is forcibly removing seniors who have been peacefully camping for a long time, failing to provide services.

“Why are you allowing homeless, peaceful Seniors to be forcibly removed and pushed deeper into the city into residential and business areas with no belongings,” Corbin said via Twitter.

Lisa Nava said that DHA social workers are onsite and making contact with encampment residents to offer connections to resources including immediate food access, CalFresh, MediCal and assessments for shelter entry or motel vouchers.

“DHA typically makes it a practice to visit ahead of noticing events, but this was an emergency,” Nava said.

Park Rangers always seek to connect homeless individuals with whom they come into contact with shelter and services according to Frost.

“Unfortunately they don’t always wish to accept help,” Frost said.

Loaves and Fishes Director of Advocacy Joe Smith has been helping the community since the pandemic began last year and was at the encampment when park rangers arrived.

“It seemed like we were supposed to be their that day,” Smith said. “Those folks were rattled and that was completely unnecessary.”

According to Smith, the County has decided to engage people experiencing homelessness with police.

“They fail to see that they complete traumatize a group of people who are living a pretty traumatic life to start with,” Smith said.

Many of the residents would accept assistance but are not told that by park rangers and social workers have come to the encampment to offer help according to James.

“They keep telling us that they want to help us but nobody has come to help,” James said. “The encampment wouldn’t have made it through the pandemic without Joe.”

James has a GoFundMe page helping feed the elders at this encampment.

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Police reform is about policy, not just funding

Issues with money is not what killed Stephon Clark, it was bad policing

The People’s Budget Sacramento demanded the police budget be lowered by $30 million at a press conference outside City Hall downtown Sacramento on May 18, 2021. Photo by Robert J Hansen

May 26 , 2021

Sacramento – By Robert J Hansen

Many Sacramento residents called-in and voiced their support or opposition to the City Council’s proposal to increase the police department’s budget by nearly $10 million during the May 25 city council meeting.

The People’s Budget Sacramento has demanded that the police department’s budget be reduced by $30 million and is supported by council members Katie Valenzuela and Mai Vang.

But police reform is about policy and practices, not money. Significant progress to reimagining policing in this city, let alone country, will not happen if we all stay caught up in the weeds.

Policies and procedures need to prioritize safety, focusing on high level threats and emergencies.

Of course more funding should be spent on helping the homeless, medical services and public transportation.

But until the police change their behavior it won’t matter how much help they receive.

Mervin Brookings, a founder of Mentoring Brother 2 Brother, supports the budget increase but also acknowledged that there are concerns with law enforcement that need to be addressed.

Brother 2 Brother is an organization mentoring at-risk African American male youths, was one of many residents who spoke at last night’s meeting.

“Let’s have real conversations about police reform,” Strother said. “I know the defund the police mantra may be popular and sound progressive but it’s not practical.”

Yes let’s. Starting with the money.

Every council members’ annual salary will increase from $91,915 to $96,257. The Mayor got a raise from $136,789 to $145,440. City Manager Howard Chan is getting a raise from $308,016 to $372,700. 

Chan is also paid $500 per month for a car, $100 per month for his smartphone and $400  for monthly expense allowance. Come on Howard.

People’s Budget Sacramento wants $30 million less than the $10 million increase proposed by City Manager Howard Chan. That’s a difference of $40 millon. 

How does changing any of that prevent what happened to Setephon Clark or Joseph Mann? 

Compared to the City’s entire budget, it is marginal at most. A marginal change in spending is not nearly enough to make the significant changes to law enforcement the people on both sides of the debate are wanting.

Issues related to the failings of the justice system and the growing homeless population are inescapable.

Issues related to mental health, addiction and low-level theft is what makes people turn to the police as the only solution. 

David Ingram, district four resident, told the council that he has witnessed heroin use in public, gun shots, explosions and prostitution near his house. According to Ingram, the Sacramento Police has been the only help he has received about the crime around his house.

Ingram’s comments, truthful or not, nonetheless speaks to the unrest felt by residents throughout Sacramento county.

Chief Hahn said that homicides, fatal collisions and injury collisions are all higher at this time last year than they were last year.

Daniel Hahn, Chief of Sacramento Police Department

The average number of emergency calls handled by each police officer has increased and the median response time is over ten minutes per emergency according to Hahn. 

Hanh said there have been over 620 injury traffic collisions this year already.

In February, an East Sacramento woman called to report that her ex-boyfriend burned their vehicle, threatened to kill her, and was possibly armed. She also had a restraining order against him.

He would take police on a high speed chase through residential neighborhoods and was later arrested.

Suffice it to say he also had a record and was known to law enforcement, probation officers especially.

If probation, a restraining order, traffic laws didn’t prevent that from happening then what does anyone expect police to do to stop it?

Probation needs to stop being misused in the courts. Do not offer probation to someone who does not deserve it and make them serve more time. Conversely, do not use probation as a plea bargaining tool to keep black, brown and poor people in jail.

Unless a released inmate has family or friends that own a home there is no legal or safe place for felons to live. So they go back to stalking and harassing ex girlfriends or they’re on the street.

Fair tenant screening laws may address that and a number of social problems in Sacramento.

Police deter crime. At best, if they are in proximity to a crime in progress or actually witness a crime.

Responding to emergencies in ten minutes isn’t really doing much usually. Chief Hahn did not say how many of those calls resulted in an arrest.

The Sacramento Police department is responsible for the $2.4 million the city is paying Stephon Clark’s family alone. It also mismanaged $30 million in overtime paid. should not be receiving any more funding without reexamining policy and procedures.

According to a public survey by the People’s Budget Sacramento, civilians overwhelmingly support reimagining policing in their communities.

There are many problems the city cannot solve. But they are not even talking about anything, much less negotiating.

Two bills AB 89 and SB 2, are currently working through the state legislature. AB 89 would require bachelor’s degrees for new police officers aged 18-24 and SB 2 would limit the protections of qualified immunity. Though, a lot of the teeth were just removed from SB 2 at a recent appropriations committee hearing.

But there are no discussions about the probation system or protections for people with restraining orders against known violent criminals at City Hall

Changes made by the local governments are the only way to achieve real significant change to policing. Every city throughout the country must find what is best for them.

What they decide to do in Berkeley works in Berkeley. Whatever works in Minnesota, let them figure it out.

Sacramento has not even begun to get serious about police reform.

Changes to traffic enforcement practices and priorities can go a long way to finding safer solutions to detouring dangerous drivers. Solutions that make the Mayor’s use of force policy significantly less relevant.

It would only take $12 million to provide free bus and light rail fare for everyone according to the Sacramento Regional Transit District budget.

It would give equity to low income residents, promote a cleaner environment and would eliminate tickets for not paying for light rail. 

Dr. Corrine Mcintosh Sako, a clinical psychologist and resident of district seven said public safety isn’t about policing. According to Mcintosh Sako public safety is about access to quality housing, quality food, and health care services including mental health.

“If people are able to meet their basic needs, they wouldn’t have to resort to breaking the law,” Macintosh Sako said.

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Police reform bills working through California legislature

Bill limiting qualified immunity passes through Senate appropriations committee

June 3, 2021

By Robert J Hansen

California law makers are working on legislation addressing qualified immunity and minimum qualifications in Sacramento.

“When police kill and abuse our community members, decertifying them—taking away their badges—is literally the least we can do,” said Dr. Melina Abdullah, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles.

SB 2 and AB 89 are bills by state lawmakers attempting to address the national call to reimagine law enforcement since the murder of George Floyd.

SB 2 would eliminate certain immunity provisions for peace officers and custodial officers, or public entities employing peace officers or custodial officers who are sued according to the bill.

The bill is sponsored by a coalition of community organizations including Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, ACLU of California, Anti-Police-Terror Project and Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, California according to a press release.

The new legislation aims to establish new standards and processes to investigate and
determine peace officer fitness and to certify and decertify such officers and a new standard for liability, eliminate the application of certain governmental immunities, and allow wrongful death actions under the Tom Bane Civil Rights Act (Bane Act).

Senator Steven Bradford, author of SB 2, said there have been numerous stories of bad-acting officers committing misconduct and not facing any serious consequences for many years and that these officers remain on the force after pleading down to a lesser crime, if prosecuted and convicted at all.

“Allowing the police to police themselves has proven to be dangerous and leads to added distrust between communities of color and law enforcement,” Bradford said.

According to Bradford, law enforcement officers are entrusted with great powers to carry a firearm, stop and search, use force, and arrest; to balance this, they must be held to a higher standard of accountability.

Bradford said amendments negotiated in the appropriations committee were difficult to accept but looks forward to the bill passing next month.

Today’s amendment removed the bills intention to limit protections which protect police from wrongful death cause of action to crimes of violence or moral turpitude.

“Compromise requires us to work together to find in pursuit of the best policy for Californians,” Bradford said. “We must never allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good.”

AB 89 would increase the minimum qualifying age from 18 to 25 years of age would permit an individual under 25 years of age to qualify for employment as a peace officer if the individual has a bachelor’s or advanced degree from an accredited college or university.

This would not apply to current police officers or sheriff’s deputies younger than 25.

Assembly member Reggie Jones-Sawyer, author of AB 89, said that the research-driven bill ensures officers are capable of high level decision making.

Today, Jones-Sawyer said AB 89 advanced to the Senate after a 44-11 bipartisan vote in the Assembly via the PEACE Act, moves to the Senate after a 44-11 bipartisan vote in the Assembly via Twitter.

AB89 improves standards for CA peace officers & marks a transition towards addressing the root causes of excessive force

“Excessive force at the hands of law enforcement that leads to grave injury or death not only tears apart families and communities but erodes trust in law enforcement,” Jones-Sawyer said. “By requiring new peace officer candidates to be more mature and highly educated, the PEACE Act not only professionalizes policing, but also creates a culture that is significantly less reliant on excessive force.”

According to Jones-Sawyer, the new law would transform departments across the state and mark a transition in addressing the root causes behind excessive use of force.

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People’s Budget Sacramento rejects proposal to increase police budget

Sacramento City council member Mai Vang speaking at a People’s Budget press conference downtown Sacramento on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The current budget proposal increases the police department’s budget by nearly $10 million but Vang wants to lower the budget for by $30 million.

By Robert J Hansen

May 18, 2021

The People’s Budget Sacramento (PBS) will be holding a press conference at City Hall to reject the councils proposal to increase the police budget.

PBS wants the police budget to be decreased by no less than $30.5 million, back to the 2019-20 spending level, and commit to another decrease next year.

PBS is calling for $20 million to be put in emergency housing assistance through rental assistance and investment into green, affordable housing and shelters.

The coalition suggests funding be provided to get people off the streets; to keep people in their homes; and to maintain the pipeline of new, regulated affordable housing.

Emergency housing assistance should prioritize income-based housing and workforce housing for no, very-low, and low-income individuals and families.

Assistance and resources must be targeted to communities and neighborhoods that have been historically left behind and continue to suffer disproportionate harm from the pandemic and impacts from systemic racism in housing policies and lending according to PBS.

Fund public works matching with $10 million to expand access to and availability of public transportation.

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Sacramento police use of traffic stops suggests safety not top priority

By: Robert J Hansen

Anokh Sohal, now a second year psychiatry resident at UC Davis, returned home late one August night in 2019.

He had just arrived at his downtown Sacramento apartment and was having trouble opening the entrance to the parking garage when a Sacramento police officer stopped and turned the blue and red lights on.

“The officer started asking me what I was doing and like he didn’t believe that I lived there,”Sohal said. “It made me nervous to answer because it felt like it didn’t matter what I told him.”

When Sohal managed to open the parking entrance, the officer didn’t apologize and went on his way.

“As a Siqe, it made me feel uncomfortable and worried about what they might do to anyone else that looks like me because they treat all brown people like me like a criminal,” Sohal said.

Law enforcement’s use of traffic stops are coming under new scrutiny after Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man was killed by police after being pulled over for expired registration in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on April 11.

Rashid Sadiqe, founder of the Law Enforcement Accountability Directive (LEAD), said it’s sad to see what happened to Daunte Wright.

Sadiqe said Daunte Wright did not have to be pulled over by armed police for expired registration.

“They don’t need to have a gun to make traffic stops,” Sadiqe said. “You never hear of a parking attendant getting attacked by anyone.”

Sadiqe said that local law enforcement have always misused traffic stops, invading people’s privacy and never have made black people feel safer while driving.

“They only use them to search and frisk black people for drugs, so they can ask if you’re on probation or parole,” Sadiqe said. “Police have never used traffic stops to make us safer.”

Sacramento police officers and Sacramento sheriff’s deputies conducted 27 thousand traffic stops for equipment violations in 2019. Fifty-two thousand traffic stops were made for reasons unrelated to traffic enforcement. 

This accounts for 45 percent of all traffic stops made by Sacramento law enforcement according to data from the California Department of Justice.

Around 27,000 traffic stops were made for equipment violations in 2019, making up 22 percent of all traffic related stops.

The Sacramento Police Department declined to provide a comment on Daunte Wright or on Berkeley’s new model of traffic enforcement.

Retired Lieutenant Raymond Foster said Wright had expired registration, had a warrant and shouldn’t have been resisting police.

“I know this isn’t popular but, if you don’t fight with the police then you’re probably not going to get shot,” Foster said.

Foster said he has always thought pretextual stops have been a problem because police have the authority to lie to people about why they were pulled over but expired registration is not 

“The gray area is when an officer uses a traffic stop for other reasons which is dangerous,” Foster said. “If the intent of a traffic stop is traffic safety, then it’s very good and we should do those more.”

Ray Lazada, retired SacCounty probation officer, said he was trained to put someone on the ground when putting on handcuffs and disagreed with some of the officer’s decisions.

“I don’t know if I would have used a taser in that situation,” Lazada said.

“The way they went about it, it didn’t speak to there being a huge safety alert,” 

“He didn’t try to fight back until the female officer said he had a warrant,” Lazada said. “The way they went about it, it didn’t seem that safety was not a major concern.”

According to Lazada, police are trained to make sure a subject’s hands are secured and to put subjects flat on their stomach when applying handcuffs.

 “Normally, everything is coordinated when serving a warrant and everyone is on the same page and it is done safely,” Lazada said. “They didn’t seem too prepared or that there was much of a plan.”

Lazada is confident that there is common ground and that there are solutions to improve policing.

“What worries me is that nothing happens with the opportunity that we have right now,” Lazada said.

In February, Berkeley passed a new model of traffic enforcement with the goal to remove armed police from traffic enforcement according to Darrell Owens, former co-executive of East Bay for Everyone.

Owens played a pivotal role in creating the proposal and said if Sacramento or any other city passed a proposal like Berkeley’s, state legislators would be more likely to support changing the law.

“A coalition of California cities could push to reform state law and remove armed police from traffic enforcement.” Owens said” We need support from state legislators to change state traffic enforcement laws which currently, legally can only be done by police.”

Owens said that Daunte Wright’s death seems to have reinvigorated Berkeley efforts and those working towards removing police from traffic enforcement.

“It felt like what we did was just going to be forgotten and until Daunte was killed, it wasn’t really being talked about,” Owens said. “Because of Daunte, now even more people are talking about it.”

Foster said that traffic stops are not the problem and safety on the highways is delicate so anytime they are left open to drivers can make for dangerous situations.

“Traffic stops on the basis of probable cause keep the community safe because police are looking for suspects related to a crime.” Foster said. “Even if the crime occurred four days ago, eight days ago it doesn’t matter,” Foster said. 

According to Foster, the problems with law enforcement are from poor leadership.

“I was hopeful when they started sacking chiefs of police and guys started resigning over the last year,” Foster said “I thought maybe now we would understand that people are doing this without the appropriate training or leadership.

Foster said unarmed police or civilians is a terrible idea and will lead to people getting hurt.

“It only takes one person to do something stupid for someone to get hurt,” Foster said.

Traffic stops, overwhelmingly, are the most common interaction between police and civilians, and have become a substantial source of racial and economic injustice according to research from the Stanford Law Review.

Traffic stops still remain the Berkeley Police Department’s largest source of activity according to research released by a Berkeley auditor

The Sacramento city council would need to pass a proposal similar to Berkeley’s approach to traffic enforcement, if it were to garner support from the state legislators according to Owens.

“The city should have a goal to remove armed officers from traffic enforcement,” Owens said.

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Progressives time is now to challenge the GOP for its place as major political party

From left, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Rep. llhan wOmar, D-Minn., Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass. Image by Robert J Hansen

By: Robert J Hansen

The identities of the two major parties in the US no longer align with a majority of Americans giving Progressives an opportunity to capitalize

The time is now for Progressive’s.

They have an opportunity to challenge Republicans for their place as one of the two major political parties in the United States of America.

It may take another 10 or 20 years, but they could do it.

President Lincoln wasn’t the first Republican to get elected into office. The 37th Congress had 29 Republican Senators when it began session in March 1861.

Ironically, at the time, the GOP supported economic reform and classical liberalism while opposing the expansion of slavery.

So the squad, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are a good start but not nearly enough to challenge Republicans.

Not yet anyway.

Progressives look to a new future, with renewable energy and equity in the workforce and STEM academics as will be needed moving forward.

The racism being witnessed in the Republican Party will consume itself.

Unfortunately, history seems to indeed repeat itself as now is similar to the time period when the Republicans replaced the Whigs, which dissolved in 1856

And it was from both parties the Democrats and Whigs not addressing slavery.

And now, too he very same party that was the symbol of equality, embraces an ideal long held traitorous and un-American.

Progressive policy is no longer “progressive.”

Eugene V. Debs 1912 Socialist Party supported the abolition of capitalism altogether according to Eric Foner, history professor at Columbia University.

Those who no longer feel the GOP is representative of their values and don’t prescribe to Libertarianism, may quickly find they are progressive once the country can see past skin colors.

In order for Progressives to begin to challenge the GOP, it needs to have representation at every level of government.

The police reform we all want, in some shape or form, can only happen at the local level. That means Progressives have to run for city council and county supervisors.

Progressives Mai Vang and Katie Valenzuela are two Sacramento city council members elected to office last year. A young law student and environmental advocate, Duke Cooney, who is running for Sacramento County Supervisor for District 2 in 2022, is also a Progressive.

Candidate for Sacramento County District 2 Supervisor, Duke Cooney, speaking at Raising for Black Trans Lives at Cesar Chavez Park in Sacramento California on Saturday, June 12, 2021. Photo by Robert J Hansen

The time for new ideas is now.

Republicans literally have no platform or whatever the former President’s platform is these days ostensibly.

Run for Something (RFS), a non-profit is partnered with the National Democratic Training Committee (NDTC) that is working on doing just that.

RFS and NDTC support candidates 40 years old or younger running for state, or local offices.

The new ideas necessary for expanding the electric vehicle charging station infrastructure, mass adoption of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies and equity in academia and clean energy is crucial and Progressives are the ones who could make that happen.

Progressives have an opportunity to become one of the County’s two major political parties, they just have to start running for office.

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Solutions to traffic enforcement and police reform Part II: Local government

Changes that could be made by local elected officials

By: Robert J Hansen, May 8, 2021

San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) has committed to “Focus on the Five” – to issue half of traffic citations to the five most common causes of collisions and injuries: speeding, violating pedestrian right-of-way in a crosswalk, running red lights, running stop signs, and failing to yield while turning.

Penalties for citations unrelated to safety go far beyond the road and can ruin lives unfairly and unnecessarily.

Delegating traffic enforcement to an unarmed team of traffic safety personnel without authority to arrest individuals and limited ability to issue citations may reduce the public’s most routine interaction with law enforcement. However, inequities may still persist under the current system if traffic stops and enforcement of citations and fines remains a primary goal.

A traffic stop 21 years ago took an SC man’s driver’s license. His life went with it (April 29, 2021)

Sacramento could establish a similar proposal after an analysis of the top five causes of collisions in Sacramento.

Camden New Jersey reestablished a new police agency in order to dissolve the local police union.

Sacramento could establish a new agency which would allow for a cheaper force that would enable more policing, not less. Also new policies would not have to be tailored to the liking of a police union.

Berkeley police officers focus only on dangerous driving and situations.

A Traffic Compliance Division without guns could be created. An officer can tail or follow the car with a broken taillight, registration out of date, not signaling, cracked window, one headlight until it parks then photograph the license plate, and issue a “fix it” ticket to the registered owner of the vehicle without ever approaching a window or interacting with anyone on the roadside.

Order officers conducting traffic stops to issue tickets politely and without inquiries. Drivers should be given ample opportunity to find a place place to pull over.

‘Today’s a tough day.’ CHP officer and motorist killed on I-80 during traffic stop (Aug 10, 2018)

Eliminate high speed chases except for extreme situations to catch a wanted violent or dangerous criminal.

Aaron Ambrose, former Kansas City area police chief, said most of the time, pursuits just are not worth it. But there are exceptions. “Now, if somebody’s grabbed a little kid and they’re holding them hostage — some guy went into the neighborhood and snatched up a kid and they’re driving around — I say we follow them until the wheels fall off. You’re never going to let that vehicle out of your sight regardless,” Ambrose says.

Technology could help cut down on the number of pursuits. Police already use helicopters and may use drones in the future. There’s also StarChase, a system that shoots a GPS-tracking dart from the front of a police car onto a fleeing vehicle.

“We’ve had officers that have tagged vehicles and report back that instead of jumping in their car and flying up to 100 miles an hour, they walked back to their vehicle, they get on the radio with dispatch, and they coordinate the takedown using the GPS and there’s no need for high speeds,” says company president Trevor Fischbach. Downside, StarChase costs about $5,000 per car.

Chase That Started In Vacaville Ends With Rollover Crash In Front Of California State Capitol (March 16, 2021)

Do not execute warrants on motorists. Serving warrants and probation sweeps are inherently dangerous. A car only exacerbates that risk. Warrants for non violent crimes should be issued a summons with new court date. If taken to jail, must be held for arraignment before being released.

Police should only be able to tow the cars of dangerous drivers. This practice is particularly cruel to low income communities who the loss of vehicle would likely be devastating.

Expanding local public transportation services to operate at the same hours bars and nightclubs are open.

Aiding welfare families in obtaining a car will help them overcome the transportation barrier to work and meet household’s multiple transportation needs. A car to households without one would lead to only minor negative impacts in VMT, traffic volumes and congestion but would substantially lower the mode share of transit trips.

Public transit hopes to win back riders after crushing year (May 2, 2021)

From prioritization of street design and non-punitive public safety interventions to removing traffic enforcement from police entirely, communities must explore solutions to promote traffic safety without an over reliance on enforcement or criminalization.

Officials should use this moment to not only listen and respond to the lived experiences of communities directly impacted by traffic enforcement, but also to elevate and incorporate existing voices advocating for traffic safety approaches that acknowledge the inequitable and often violent impact of traffic enforcement on Black, brown and low income residents.

Black drivers more likely to be ticketed by Reno Police, analysis shows

Urban poverty is exacerbated from excessive fines and impounded vehicles can cause the downward mobility of low some income earners into homelessness.

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The strength of American mobility

The intercontinental railroad and Henry Ford’s Model t

Over 130 million Americans drive to work five days a week (or so). There is no substitute for private transportation in this country.

There is no public transportation system in operation that could commute 30 million, let alone 160 million employees to work. Currently, not even ten percent of the U.S. labor force relies on public transportation to get to work.

According to a Jan 2018 report, Among U.S. urban residents, 34 percent of blacks and 27 percent of Hispanics report taking public transit daily, almost daily, or weekly, compared to 14 percent of whites.

The increased travel time associated with U.S. public transit networks and lack of vehicle access for minority and low-income populations puts certain job opportunities out of reach and restricts upward mobility.

A 2011 Brookings Institute study showed that one-quarter of middle or low-skilled jobs were accessible by public transit in ninety minutes or less. For the lucky few impoverished persons who have cars, the loss of a license would be devastating, resulting in the loss of their most reliable means of transportation.

The circumstances would deteriorate from there, leading to the loss of a job, the inability to pay bills or buy groceries, and even the loss of their home due to inability to pay rent. As demonstrated by these scenarios, what is considered by many people of privilege as a chronic nuisance of our bureaucratic system may be the push that brings the delicate house of cards crumbling down.

The denial of licenses due to the unpaid ticket debt may be unbearable to those trying to make a living. Imagine the continuing debt spiral when it comes to revocation of drivers’ licenses. In marginalized communities, jobs are key to keeping heads above water.

Seti Johnson, a plaintiff, had his license revoked as a result of his inability to pay. He had recently obtained a new job, but as a result of the revocation he considered foregoing the opportunity. A similar situation befell Sharee Smoot, a single mother who ruminated on whether it would be better to drive on a revoked license rather than risk losing her job.

In May 2018, the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina filed a lawsuit against the state for its punitive system regarding traffic tickets. It is a class action suit involving several minority and low-income earners who have suffered severe consequences as a result of their inability to pay the outstanding ticket fines.

The ACLU argues that the automatic revocation of licenses combined with the lack of consideration for income levels of violators is a violation of North Carolinians due process rights and rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Not having a car or license leaves low income Americans with less time to shop, less time for leisure activities and less time helping their children with homework or with their families doing whatever they would please.  

In the land of the free, millions of Americans are stopped each year for traffic violations, making it the most common way in which the public interacts with the police. In no way has it ever been for safety despite what we have been told.

Like any federal department or institution, law enforcement agencies, like any other government agency, primary objective is to remain necessary.

Federal departments and agencies seek to expand their jurisdiction, maintaining their relevance and therefore ensuring its survival.

Safer are the departments we want and need and in jeopardy the ones who have served their purpose. Public sector organizations (police) brutally compete over limited government resources.

They suffer from political turnovers and executive ambitions of each new incumbent. They risk liabilities of newness, adolescence and obsolescence. Their institutional design can protect them in the short run but over time turn into a liability or vice versa.

That time is coming for American policing and it is all too aware. Yet another indication that safety is secondary in the current approach to traffic enforcement is the time spent stopping people who did not commit an infraction or who are not even given a citation when stopped.

Traffic stops should be executed with improving the safety of all motorists, police included. That is to say that a traffic offense must be disruptive to the civilized and considerate stream and progress of other motorists that a traffic stop should almost always precede an arrest.

Meaning if you are rapidly passing other drivers, weaving through highway lanes and tailgating at excessive speeds then, you are behaving as dangerously as a drunk driver and should be taken off the road.

People who knowingly drive dangerously do so not because they do not know the laws but because they do not care or think they can get away with it. And expired registration is not an indication of irresponsibility, it’s an indication of poverty.

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INTRODUCTION: Unimpeded Mobility: The Right to Drive

Prologue

Ever since I can remember, getting pulled over, has never sat well with me. Even as a child. I cannot remember a time someone was being pulled over that made me feel like it made us safer. That guy, we have all seen him, weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating is probably sober and needs to go to jail for the night and miss his day. We all want that guy to get pulled over, but he never seems to. When you are the one being stopped, does it evoke a sense of protection or justice or is it resentment and contempt.

Pulling over unsafe, drunk drivers is going to prevent an accident. But when a justice system allows fines to substitute jail or prison time and someone gets three, four or five dui’s inside of ten years then it is collecting fines more than teaching someone their lesson. Americans have been raised to believe that the police keep us safer by making us follow the rules of the road. I wish that were the case.

Traffic enforcement has never truly been about safety. Rather it has been used as a means to impede the lateral and upward mobility of minorities and low income communities, fueling the mass incarceration pipeline. If safety is the chief concern, it is odd then that before roads and highways were paved, speed limits and other traffic laws were being created.

On May 21, 1901, Connecticut became the first state to pass a law regulating motor vehicles, limiting their speed to 12 mph in cities and 15 mph on country roads. In 1899, the New York City cabdriver Jacob German was arrested for driving his electric taxi at 12 mph. Yes, the idea of an electric vehicle is not a twenty first century idea.

The path to Connecticut’s 1901 speed limit legislation began when Representative Robert Woodruff submitted a bill to the State General Assembly proposing a motor-vehicles speed limit of 8 mph within city limits and 12 mph outside.

The law passed in May 1901 specified higher speed limits but required drivers to slow down upon approaching or passing horse-drawn vehicles, and come to a complete stop if necessary, to avoid scaring the animals.

Now with so few vehicles on the “road” in 1901 and no paved streets, was a 12mph speed limit necessary. Moreover, did it improve safety?

However well intended, and few were, the first traffic codes were the product of attempts by leaders to address a social issue ill-equipped to solve. In fairness, the car was a transformative social tool, which leaders were unable to properly account for newly introduced technology.

Let us be clear, the 12mph law did not keep anyone at all safer regardless of the motives behind the law. If safety was priority one, then why did it take through the 1930’s for all states to begin requiring a driver’s license to operate this new thing called a motor vehicle?

Teaching Americans to drive was only an afterthought to posting speed limits on dirt and gravel roads and taking away Constitutional rights.

Through the 1970’s motor fatalities continued to rise. From 1930 to 1973 U.S. automobile deaths per year rose steadily from 31,204 to just over 55,000 in 1973.

Around that same time, the government imposed a standard speed limit on interstate highways hoping to reduce fuel consumption on Middle Eastern oil. Not only did it fail to detour Middle Eastern oil, it then claimed to have improved motor fatalities when only 46,049 died in 1974.

More likely were the accomplishments of Ralph Nader and the impact, “Unsafe at Any Speed” had on the auto industry. The auto standards established through his work is credited with saving over 3 million American drivers in the 50 years of safety standards.

The automobile brought prosperity to many American’s who before had no means to improve their lives. Even black Americans could not entirely be excluded from owning a car. But the prosperity they gained came at a cost.

The individual freedom black Americans gained from owning a car was hailed for lead to the laws that have now created a complex system which has evolved to the one we know today and is still killing Black Americans.

In 1968, the year before Richard Nixon took office, the Supreme Court opinion in Terry v Ohio (1968) set the precedent allowing police to interrogate and frisk suspicious individuals without probable cause for an arrest, providing that the officer can articulate a “reasonable suspicion” basis for the stop and frisk.

Almost blatantly, Terry provides police the authority to intrude on an individual’s right to be left alone and also allows such intrusion based on a police offers irrational hunch that a crime is about to occur claiming authority where there is a “reasonable basis for suspicion.”

Today it is known as a Terry stop. Terry stops expanded the power of the police and in Adams v. Williams (1972) extended their abuse of power to drug possession backed up by the secondhand hearsay of an informant.

The Drug War comes full swing in full by the Reagan Administration. Ever since traffic enforcement has operated as an agent of US mass incarceration.

The argument from police departments to the NHTSA is that the public needs to understand that traffic crashes, injuries, and fatalities are not some necessary by-products of driving (except for always ever having been the case). The public should also learn to view traffic enforcement not primarily as a revenue generator, but rather as an important part of community policing.

Effective and ongoing traffic enforcement is a key factor in improving or maintaining a community’s quality of life. In fact, as crime increases and more demands are placed on law enforcement agencies, the importance of effective traffic enforcement rises. De-emphasizing traffic enforcement would seriously hamper the ability of the police to detect and solve crimes, apprehend criminals, prevent crashes, and save lives (Karchmer and Pauley, 1996)

Protecting the public is not even why police departments were formed. America’s first police were created in the 1830’s by commercial interests to insure a stable and orderly work force and safe and orderly community for the conduct and in the interest of commerce. Inequality was increasing rapidly; the exploitation of workers through long hours, dangerous working conditions, and low pay was endemic; and the dominance of local governments by economic elites was creating political unrest. These robber barons, slave drivers, these … Social Darwinists, were far more concerned with social control than crime control. According to

Dr. Gary Potter, a crime historian at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), the modern police force not only provided an organized, centralized body of men (and they were all male) legally authorized to use force to maintain order, it also provided the illusion that this order was being maintained under the rule of law, not at the whim of those with economic power (Potter 2013)1. Every major U.S. city had a police force by the 1880’s.

In order to maintain social control, it was redefined instead as “crime control” of “dangerous classes.” These underclasses were identified easily and were mostly poor, foreign immigrants and free blacks. Worker’s rights issues caused strikes against unfair employers were called “riots” so as to intentionally confuse it as crime concurrent to the idea of dangerous classes of people who needed to be controlled. Laws were even created so police could arrest both union organized and unemployed workers.

The commercial elites pushed for major organizational changes of police departments. The patrol wagon system was instituted so that large numbers of people could be arrested and transported all at once. Horseback patrols, particularly effective against strikers and demonstrators, and new, improved, longer nightsticks became standard issue.

In other words, the police were formed by business elites who wanted to abuse their labor force and to intervene between the propertied elites and propertyless masses who were regarded as politically dangerous as a class.

Traffic stops very may have well been truly meant, by some, for safer roads and highways. Nonetheless, traffic enforcement has become another system of abuse, taxation and harassment of all Americans and to an even extent, Black Americans. What else could be expected by an organization created for social control, used as an agent for concentration of power, wealth and authority to white men, prone to misuse and abuse while explicitly restricting the freedom of other Americans? Traffic code and enforcement is complex system deliberate in design and purpose, just not for the purpose of safety.

Through the 19th and early 20th century, black and Native peoples were still not treated humanely let alone with respect and dignity, when women did not have the right to vote and a ruthlessness against labor movements and worker’s rights all in the interest of a few industrial elites. Stands to reason that the elitists, privileged who earned their wealth with the help of (public funding) federal government resources, the bigots who did not think men of color or women should vote and criminalized black, brown and poor people rather than pay them for their hard work might do what they could to take away other’s freedom.

Vehicle ownership grew quickly from half a million in 1910 to around 8 million in 1920, then came the Prohibition experiment. History tells us these events are not explicitly related. whole truth given directly from the Founders. Americans’ Fourth Amendment Rights had consistently been upheld by the Supreme Court as late as 1914 in Weeks v. United States, the Court excluded evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth.

Then the Volstead Act of 1920 with the help of a series of Supreme Court decisions essentially nullified American’s Fourth Amendment Rights. But conspicuously, when Prohibition was repealed, Fourth Amendment Rights were not restored. As soon as a tool was provided every American the opportunity for true independence, mobility, freedom, and finally a chance to pursue happiness, white men did as they always had. Control its use.

Traffic enforcement has evolved quietly over time, with gradual changes and without much attention from the public. Police have always gotten away with violence and abuse of poor people and minorities which would have gone unnoticed if not for smart phones. While policing in the U.S. is facing a reckoning, traffic enforcement is no exception and needs to be part of the reimagining.

A 2018 study conducted by the nonprofit Policing Project at New York University law school, found that while the number of traffic stops dropped from 450,000 in 2012 to 250,000 in 2017, crime remained flat. It found that as officers increased the number of stops in a particular area, crime did not necessarily fall and sometimes actually went up.

“On average, we simply did not find a relationship between stops and crime,” the report concluded. Non-moving violation stops rarely lead to an arrest, or to the recovery of drugs or weapons.

For every 1,000 non-moving violation stops, just over 2% (or 21) resulted in an arrest, or the recovery of drugs or other contraband. An additional 61 stops (6.1%) resulted in a misdemeanor citation for a non-drug related charge. The vast majority of these citations (89%) were for driving with a revoked or suspended license.

The report concluded that traffic stops could significantly and safely decrease the amount of traffic stops which would improve the racial disparities in stops.

In addition, non-moving violations do not produce significant improved public safety by reducing crime nor improves driver’s safety as non-moving violations are by definition, are not threats to traffic safety. These stops do consume an officer’s time, time that could be spent responding to calls of reported crimes, increases the chances of an accident, adds to the number of unwanted encounters with the public and officers, reducing public trust in police.

My issue is threefold. Law enforcement uses traffic stops disproportionately on black, brown and low income people. Safety is not prioritized appropriately and leads to unnecessary confrontations. Devastating to upward mobility and significant source contributing to Americans’ debt

The Constitutional violations committed through traffic stops have eroded American’s privacy, search and seizure, and stifling the upward mobility of black, brown and low income Americans.

The safety of drivers has not been the focus of traffic enforcement which has lead to communities distrust and contempt of police which we are seeing played out in real time. Owning or having access to private transportation (a car) is crucial to the upward mobility of all American’s.

Over 160 million American’s make up the US labor force. Around 130 million drive to work and the cast majority do not carpool. With police engaging in taxation through citation, several constitutional rights violations void of public safety, it’s no wonder the publicist losing its confidence in the need for law enforcement.

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Driving is a right, not a privilege

Sacramento, Calif. – By Robert J Hansen

Driving is a Constitutionally protected right which has been impeded and restricted since the Supreme Court ruling in Carroll v Weeks (1925) which has stripped Americans their Fourth Amendment rights.

American’s right to mobility was reaffirmed by the Supreme Court in its opinion in Scott v. Sandford (1857) which ruled on the side of unimpeded mobility. The Supreme Court ruled that the fundamental clause under the Ninth Amendment protected “the right to enter any other State whenever they [citizens] pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at any hour of the day or night without molestation.” Except African-Americans who explicitly did not.

The same racism and hypocrisy took it away during Prohibition and ever since, racism and the political tactics of both major political parties have let our mobility be robbed from us, all to fuel a failed 40 year old war on drugs.

If law enforcement in the US continues to be allowed to blatantly violate American’s rights and liberties protected by the Constitution, there may not be any political will to retain our mobility when the capitalists come with ride shares and green city’s. Have fun going grocery shopping for a family of four.

American’s right to unimpeded mobility needs to be restored before the personal mobility of low income urban and rural communities is even more impeded and restricted than it already is.

Mode shift aims to make city residents rely on public transportation, bikes and green cites with ride sharing.

But before traffic enforcement laws are no longer allowed to invalidate and ignore Fourth and Ninth Amendment rights of privacy, unreasonable searches and mobility unimpeded, people will not think anything is wrong when city governments try to cram everyone on a bus, in their apartment or make them walk.

Even when including, Northern California Bay Area in the public transportation figures, which is a statistical outlier, around five percent of America’s labor force 160,000 million relies on public transportation to commute to work.

America’s labor force is roughly 63 percent of its total population which is about 160 million people according to Census data. Almost 120 million drive alone to work everyday with 14 million who carpool.

Anyone who thinks buses and public transportation has the utility to double that five percent let alone half the country is not being serious about the situation or has a sci-fi understanding of what public transportation can achieve.

If there was literally anyway to be more efficient than private vehicles, American ingenuity would have figured it out. It has thus far.

Nothing symbolizes and embodies American freedom like the automobile. I challenge any to name one better!

The Highway system was the successor to the transcontinental railroad and the country’s primary mode of personal travel. It  has provided personal mobility to every citizen and responsible for creating the most productive economy in the world for over 120 years.

Was there another way America could have become the world leader in GDP without nearly everyone going to work, in their own car, at their own pace and schedule? Clearly not.

On sheer mass alone, the US is not going to allow for the green city model to work literally everywhere in this country. It is not Japan or any European country.

The right to drive is essential for nations’ and an individual’s economic growth. No tool is more vital to the average American’s ability to be self sufficient.

The rights provided in the first or second amendment are also non negotiable within reason. Yet there is no national outcry for our right of privacy and mobility to be restored?

United States the single largest market in the world, which provided the basis for the rapid expansion of American industry and to the point where the U.S. by the 1890s had the most powerful economy on the planet.” 

Shame on those responsible for this, who in the roaring twenties let fear get the better of themselves for eliminating one of the rights inherent to the American idea of freedom.

No tool or right have evened the playing field for those in poverty, minorities, women and immigrants as much as the automobile and their right to Drive.

The development of the transcontinental railroad  was the quintessential achievement that propelled the United States through the Industrial Revolution to become the economic powerhouse that it is today. Ultimately, commerce was now possible on a mass scale. Professor Henry W. Brands said,  “The Constitution provided the legal framework for a single national market for trade goods; the transcontinental railroad provided the physical framework.

And therein lies the truth for why it has been violated with impunity impeded and taken away in this country for almost one hundred years now.

When cars gave black people the ability to leave the south, women a chance to leave their home and husbands and for immigrants to find work anywhere throughout this county, it no surprise then, that white racist men who had been cheating their employees would try to take it away during prohibition.

Why the Supreme Court has allowed the rulings that followed Carroll v Weeks to apply to any rulings that occurred during Prohibition is unexplainable.

Though is was repealed in 1933, it has established and set precedent for all the subsequent rulings that have followed like terry frisks which the courts allowed in its ruling in Terry v Ohio (1968).

Perhaps now it’s not so difficult to see it was the fear old white-man fear of women, black people and immigrants, which drove them to abandon, arguably the most American and fundamental of rights the founders bestowed us.

It’s not a coincidence that women, black people, immigrants and poor people are the same groups still fighting for equal treatment.

The automobile and the mobility it provides American’s is the greatest tool for upward mobility next to maybe the smartphone.

The Highway system was the successor to the transcontinental railroad and the country’s primary mode of personal travel. It  has provided personal mobility to every citizen and responsible for creating the most productive economy in the world for over 120 years,” argues @thepublichawk

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California leading the nation in electric vehicle charging infrastructure

—Sacramento

California is working on a network of direct current fast charging (DCFC) stations located every 25 to 50 miles along Interstate 5 and other highway corridors that will let electric vehicle owners confidently drive up and down the state.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed an executive order in January calling for the state to install 200,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations by 2025. This includes 10,000 DC fast chargers.

The order also establishes a goal of five million electric vehicles s on California roads by 2030 and calls for a $1.25 billion investment by the state.

President of the Sacramento Electric Vehicle Association (SacEV) George Parrott said he has  waited for the infrastructure to take shape. Although he owns a Tesla which requires an adapter to use a CHAdeMO connector, he’s is still excited for the project.

“Now we can actually drive our cars without worrying if we’ll make it to the next station,” Parrott said.

The California Energy Commission said in a statement that it is leading state efforts in zero emission vehicle infrastructure deployment and has plans to invest $134 million through 2019, supporting the rollout of plugin electric vehicles (PEVs) by funding an electric vehicle charging infrastructure throughout the state.

There are currently 23 DC fast chargers in the Sacramento vicinity. There are 12 dual standard chargers, one CHAdeMO charger and ten Tesla superchargers according to plugshare.com.

“For a fast charge session, the average cost is about $10 if you are not using a membership,” the CEC said. “Most EV drivers sign up for monthly subscription plans that offer either discounted flat rate charging sessions or unlimited charging.”

Pricing is not controlled by the Energy Commission, so it is up to the owner of the charger to set the pricing.

Energy Commission Air Resources engineer Adele Ahmad gave a presentation on DCFC’s at the SacEV May 2 meeting.

“These will connect the state north to south and east to west when completed,” Ahmad said. “It’s gonna come right through Sacramento connecting the Bay Area to the Sierras.”

Getting low-income households to buy EV’s has been a top goal of these programs. But supplying people who live in apartments with chargers remains a challenge.

“Chargers located at multifamily housing … still face barriers that impede PEV adoption, the CEC said. “This area has also been historically underrepresented by project applicants despite efforts to target incentives toward EV charger installations in multifamily housing.”

An interactive map provided by the US Department of Energy that locates charging stations shows a significant part of South  Sacramento, an area with many lower-income households, with very few chargers.

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“When residents of multifamily housing are unable to charge at home, having an available site to charge at work or access to other public locations can serve as an alternative,” the CEC said.

The CEC also said that as the market for PEVs becomes more developed, charging stations will eventually need to shift from government incentives to private sponsors.

Which already has begun.

ChargePoint and EVgo are two site hosts already teamed up with the CEC.

“Once again, Governor Brown and the State of California are demonstrating true leadership not only at home, but across the country and around the world, Pasquale Romano,
President of ChargePoint said in a statement. “We look forward to our continued work with Governor Brown, California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols, the California Energy Commission, and other state leaders to transform this bold vision into reality.”

PG&E’s program, the largest utility-sponsored EV charging program in the country, launched earlier this year.

It includes 7,500 Level 2 chargers and with a budget of $130 million. PG&E will pay for all of the infrastructure costs, “from the transformer to the parking space,” said spokesperson Ari Vanrenen in a statement.

The CEC said city leaders can offer rebates for installing chargers, either public or residential,
offer perks to residents who purchase an EV and install chargers at city-owned locations or curbside parking to help expand the electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Covid-19 on the rise again in California prison systemcreator avatar

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2tII4K_0dtsvcu800
California State Prison Solano(Photo courtesy of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)

Sacramento, Calif.- by Robert J Hansen

Covid-19 is rising again inside the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) system according to a statement from the department.

The memorandum titled COVID-19 Mandatory 15-Day Modified Program provided direction to institutions regarding a statewide modified program that will be in effect from January 9, 2022, through January 23, 2022.

But due to the continued rise in COVID-19 cases throughout California and within CDCR prisons, that program is being extended through Sunday, February 6, 2022.

There have been 8,257 new cases of Covid-19 in the last 14 days according to CDCR tracking data. There have been 62,743 cases since the pandemic started.

CDCR says it is continuing to evaluate the current operations to reduce staff and population exposure to the Coronavirus by minimizing population movement throughout the state.

But Rickey Godfrey, a prisoner at California State Prison Solano, said that’s not happening.

“People can go anywhere so everyone is in close contact,” Godfrey said. “They are only separating where people sleep.”

Godfrey thinks inmates and staff have brought Covid-19 into the prison. 

“They went out to go to work and they came back bringing Covid in here,” Godfrey said.

Godfrey said that he has heard of roughly five other buildings with prisoners that have Covid-19. 

Godfrey thinks the buildings need to be quarantined and new inmates need to stop being brought in.

“They need to stop moving people around and bringing new people in,” Godfrey said.

Approximately eight inmates have tested positive from Godfrey’s building which houses up to a maximum of 200 men but currently has about 130 prisoners.

Rickey said that an RN named Encina told him he didn’t care about his and everyone’s health.

“People are testing positive who have gotten moved in the cells and not cleaning them,” Godfrey said.

Godfrey is fully vaccinated and has gotten a booster shot.

In his building, about 105 prisoners are vaccinated and 17 are not vaccinated according to prison records available to inmates.

According to CDCR reports, 71% of staff is fully vaccinated and 81 % of inmates are fully vaccinated. My health and safety is more important than that

Currently, registry providers, contractors, and applicable retired annuitants have been allowed to remain non-compliant with vaccination, booster, and testing mandates but the assignment allowing for that ends on February 2, 2022.

On November 27, a federal appeals court blocked an order requiring all prison workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 by January 12. The appellate court has postponed the deadline until March when the next hearing will occur.

At institutions experiencing an outbreak where the number of COVID positive patients exceeds 200 or the number of patients who should be quarantined exceeds the number of beds set aside decisions about post-exposure quarantine and housing shall be committed to the discretion of the warden and CEO of their institution in consultation with CDCR and CCHCS regional and headquarters according to a statement by the CDCR.

Out of 35 CDCR prisons, 11 have more than 200 prisoners that have Covid-19. Solano has 118 total cases according to CDCR data.

There are 4981 active cases of infected staff as of January 21, 2022. There have been a total of 32,843 staff Covid-19 infections throughout the pandemic according to the CDCR.