On December 23rd 2019 at 11am the family and Black Lives Matter Sacramento held a press conference to speak with the media about Antonio Thomas being found unresponsive in the Sacramento County Jail no more than 2 days after his arrest.
12/7-12/8 - Antonio Thomas was arrested by Citrus Heights Police Department and brought to jail (we dont know the actual date because Sac Sheriff and CHPD is not giving us any information and Antonio's info has been wiped from the Sacramento County Jail website)
12/9/19 - We are assuming this is the day the Sacramento Sheriff Department found Antonio unresponsive in the Jail.
12/9/19 - In the morning at 10 am (according to the hospital) Antonio was brought to the hospital with no brain activity and in a coma.
12/10/19 - The Sacramento Police Department drove all the way to another jurisdiction (Citrus Heights) to tell Antonio's mother that he was at UC Davis and that she should go see him. This was after telling her on the phone that no one is hurt and not to worry.
12/10/19 - Present - Antonio's mother and family have not left his side in ICU. Not one law enforcement agency involved has provided her any information, video, calls, nothing...
We brought this to the attention of the community through media...
Antonio Thomas, a 39 year old Black Man from Citrus Heights was arrested on the 7th or 8th of December.
This information is still unclear because the family has not been provided the original reason for arrest by Citrus Heights Police, and detention by the Sacramento Sheriff's Department.
The mother of Antonio Thomas was contacted on December 10th, by The Sacramento Police Department and was told at that time that there was not a problem and that no one had been killed or hurt, they just needed to speak with her.
Antonio’s mother agreed to meet with the Sacramento Police Department.
Antonio’s Mother was informed that the Sacramento Sheriff's Department had found Antonio in his cell and he had been transported to UC Davis Medical Center where she was informed that she needed to visit him.Read more
By Regina Brown Wilson | California Black Media
This is a direct appeal to Governor Newsom, Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez and our entire state legislature. I’m writing this on behalf of the more than 20 African American-owned newspapers that operate in cities and towns across California.
As the leaders we’ve elected to represent and protect the interests of all Californians, we are asking each of you to search your hearts, look beyond blind spots, step in, and do the one thing that will prevent Assembly Bill 5 from putting the Black press in California out of business.
That is: Exempt the contract couriers who deliver our newspapers from being reclassified as employees under AB 5.
YES! YOUR GENTRIFYING IS ACTUALLY COLONIZING!
Let's give a little history before we get started...
Redlining was done to limit access to where Black folks could live.
We were not allowed to live in most places, and the places we did live in became our safe spaces.
Unfortunately history still reflects in our neighborhoods today.
That is exactly why Oak Park has mostly been a predominately Black neighborhood.
This isn't about who lived there first, or last, or next. This is about Black folks being told "you cannot live in East Sac but you can live in Oak Park"
...then "we (the state) are going to contribute to your poverty and access to healthy living."
So for decades white folks were able to have more choices than us, and didn't want to be in our spaces.
White supremacy has it so you can come into this predominately Black neighborhood, buy our homes, flip them and then raise the prices. Pushing us out of one of the very limited safe spaces in this city.
Black folks have historically been told where they can and cannot be.
So complaints about gentrification cant be deflected to "not being able to pick what color you are" ("I cant help it that I am white"), or "we need you to be united with us" (telling Black folks to unify with the status quo is silencing our concerns and our needs), or putting a stick in the ground and calling it yours.
Oak Park artist, Mozzy. Image Credit to Real Street Radio www.realstreetradio.com
Colonization and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Era: 1100s-1800s Resistance: Armed Resistance, Revolutions, Cultural Survival 1100s: Origins of the “Shire Reeve” or Sheriff in England. Sheriffs were representatives of the crown who sat in on local affairs to make sure laws were actually being enforced (previously, localities had relied on collective enforcement efforts of citizens; the Sheriff’s role thus extended the power of the crown). These unpopular figures were also tax collectors, at least initially; later forms included coroner, justice of the peace, and constable.
- 1100s-1800s: Use of “night watches” in Europe and its colonies: civilian groups of men required by law to patrol the streets at night. They were unpaid, often unwilling, and apparently “frequently drunk.”
- 1492: Colonization of the Americas by Europeans begins; brutal militia force is a routine part of land-grabbing, along with later forcing Indigenous peoples into working for colonizers in mines and agriculture.
- 1600s-1700s: Establishment of trans-Atlantic slave trade; use of force and control of bodies institutionalized into economic systems of the Americas.
- 1500s-1800s: Colonial forces import European justice systems to what is now the U.S., including sheriffs, constables, and night watches. They were unpopular entities whose jobs included taxing and elections alongside law enforcement.
Militias, Patrols, and White Supremacist Consolidation of Power: 1680s-1800s Resistance: Armed Resistance, Escape and Subversion, Cultural Survival
- 1680s: South Carolina passes a law that allows any white person to capture and punish a runaway slave. In 1690 a law was passed that required whites to act in this role. Slavery and white supremacy were so fully institutionalized in the American South that, as one author put it, “White supremacy served in lieu of a police force.”
- 1700s-1800s: Reform of London Watch to resemble a modern police department: pay, round-the-clock hours, and hierarchical command were established. As in the U.S., establishment of actual “police departments” was based on growth in property crimes.
- 1703: Boston passes a curfew law for all Blacks and Indigenous people, establishing race as a defining criteria in law enforcement in the new colonies (even non-slavery ones).
- 1776: Formation of a nation-state in U.S. colonies; national militia unifies in effort to remove the British and a national constitution provides for maintenance of military and National Guard.
- 1700s onwards: Southern cities such as Charleston, Savannah, New Orleans, and Mobile form paramilitary groups tasked with the control of enslaved people, with the goal of preventing and repressing rebellion. Slave patrols and militias often work together. In the U.S., these organized patrols are the first proper antecedents to “modern” police forces.
- Early 1800s: Pass laws were passed in several Southern states requiring all Black people to carry passes and allowing for arrest of any Black person without a pass, regardless of their status.
- Mid-1800s: Police in the U.S. coalesce into one relatively uniform type. Previous law enforcement models such as guards, watchmen, militias and slave patrols begin to coalesce into city-run, 24-hour police.
Property Control and Order Maintenance Era: 1840-1940Read more
Photo Credit to the Davis Vanguard
(from left) Tanya Faison of Black Lives Matter Sacramento, parents Paris Flores, Janai Johnson, Angel Totten and Roderick Totten
“Our 13-year-old son’s life was changed forever. Our boys were clueless about what they did to deserve such treatment from law enforcement (who) they thought were there to protect them. Unfortunately, the officers assume all African American teens look alike, My son was treated like a criminal…he has not been the same since,” said Angel Totten.
At 11:20am on June 21, 2019, two 13 year olds and a 14 year old were told by Officer Verk and Officer Matthew of the Sacramento Police Department to "get the fuck on the ground" while Verk's shaking hand held a gun pointing toward them. His hand was shaking and these very young boys thought he was going to shoot them on accident.
They were being detained because of a burglary that happened 10 minutes prior but 30 minutes away walking distance. Officers said they fit the description but that wasn't the case. The burglary was done by 4 males. One was "white or hispanic" and the other three were Black. All had short hair and one of the Black males was heavy set. These three boys detained were all tiny with a lot of hair.
Even after officers were sure that these were not the suspects, they still continued to detain and question these boys without a parent present.Read more
Shut it down: Shutting Down the Arena and the Aftermath of Political Double Speak and Piecemeal Reform
I will start by saying that I am an abolitionist unapologetically. I see the prison system as a refinement of slavery and a technology that the state uses to extend slavery through immigration policies and colonialist policies of indefinite detention and over policing to harvest free black and brown bodies from our community. I fight for the end of slavery in any form especially ones that are constitutional allowed.
I say it because I know what I write will be wildly unpopular in the community of activist after the shutting down of the arena but I think it needs to be said.
Shutting down the arena was one of the most effective things I have seen the people of Sacramento do. It had both an economic impact to the city and an ability to wake up many people in the city who had become apathetic to the fact that every 3 month the police were killing a black member of our community often unarmed. That for years there had been a rally of both direct action and policy options lead by Black Lives Matter often on there own dime and own time presented to the city with no or slow action. The shutting down of the arena had a multilateral and cross functioning organization effort and it's not that there had not been this effort before there had been many multilateral and cross functional organizational efforts primarily in the Chambers of city hall where the response had been policing of grief after Joseph Mann and the outright refusal of city council to hear from the people by walking out when it came to police violence in the city of Sacramento.Read more
Rest in power Dazion. Today we honor you.
The violence and injustice bestowed upon you moved this chapter to action and organize against a state that allowed not only your murder, but the defamation of your humanity. Now you ride with us every march, every action, every press conference—every everything—fueling our steps toward justice in a city that afforded you none.
Three years ago today Sacramento Police Department murdered Dazion in Meadowview, not far from where they killed Stephon Clark two years later. In both acts of egregious police terror, our city officials not only defended the murderers—they further attacked the victim to cover up the misconduct of their officers and uphold the anti-Blackness that blankets our local government.
In both circumstances—BLM Sacramento wasn’t here for it.
DA Schubert, Darrel Steinberg, Howard Chan, Chief Hahn, Brian Louie you are trash. Straight vile, complicit, cowardly trash. We are not moved by your calls for decorum and promises of a change that never comes. #JosephMann #StephonClark #BrandonSmith #DarellRichards are proof enough of that. We are singularly focused on preventing the horror Dazion felt illegally trapped in the back of your police car and the unnecessary bullets that tore through his body. Be advised that we will continue to TURN UP and make your lives as uncomfortable as need be.Read more
When a black man takes a knee to shed light on police brutality in the black community is seen as disrespectful to the flag, but when an actual flag is defaced and stripped of color and left with a single blue stripe to match a job description that’s ok because white people say it is.
When our marches for the dead stop traffic we are met with contempt, road rage, and death threats, but their funeral processions do the same and we should just respect it because of an occupation.
When we are expected to remain calm and collected on the receiving end of violence in high stress situations stemming from the fear of the color of our skin, but they are not held to the same standard as the trained professionals and perceived as more human than we are because of a uniform.
When their murderers have white skin they are deemed “mentally ill” without any type of verification, but if we are murdered in the midst of a full-on mental health episode we are not afforded the same and often hit with “play stupid games, win stupid prizes” because how could a person of color possibly have mental health issues?
When they are automatically turned into heroes upon their demise, but I have to explain to my daughter all the evil things they will surely say about me in the event I am killed during a routine traffic stop, or merely walking home at night.
Yes this is what equality looks like from here.
When they ask for compassion and sympathy and respect...you tell them to fuck all the way off.
Try defending and supporting folks of color the way you defend and support cops.
Stop demanding humanity from people who have it stripped away anytime the thin blue line is called into question.
And get your false fucking flag out of my face. If you respected and gave a shit about this country and the people who make it up...then you would