In May of 2021, Black Lives Matter Sacramento and Our Streets Coalition started working together to gather data and build a campaign to end Sacramento Police and Sacramento Sheriff's Departments Gang Teams.
One of our members submitted a public records request for the following:
- Racial Demographics of the individuals listed as gang members. (Race, Age, Ethnicities - 2015 to 2021)
- Names of individuals listed as gang members. (2015 to 2021)
- Criteria and procedure required to discern that someone should be added to the gang list.
- Names of gangs being pursued and their association to which neighborhood.
- Names, badge numbers, and command locations of officers that are on the Gang Enforcement Team (GET) and the Problem Oriented Policing Team (POP).
The request was made on SacPD's portal they have set up for requests. The request was responded to after being delayed for several months. Then the request and the response vanished. Luckily we saved the screen shots but the information was like it never existed. The reference number pulled up nothing and the account used to get the information was as if it never existed.
So then another member of the group updated the date on the letter and resubmitted a new request.
Out of all the information we asked for, all we got back was the demographics.
But peep this!
There was only 3 categories of demographics.
- Black/African American
- South Pacific Islander
- Everything else (Caucasian/White/Hispanic/East Indian/Guamanian)
The everything category made about half of the number of people on the list while the Black/African American made the other half.
They made it so there could be no transparency on the racial disparities of who is targeted as being in a gang.
Sacramento Sheriff did not respond at all.
Per the State of California's Step Act groups like The Proud Boys or the III%ers (Three Percenters) and other predominately white militias should be considered and pursued as a gang but are not. Unmarked vehicles are not in their neighborhoods surveilling them, sitting them on the curb with hand cuffs while illegally searching their vehicles, or snatching their cell phones when they try and record their experience.
Since the other information was ignored, the ACLU has now sent a letter to the Sacramento Police Department demanding the remaining information to be provided.
We need the police department to be the transparent and professional police department that it claims to be.
We need to get rid of teams and units that are created specifically to go out and look for Black folks and assign them as being gang affiliated just because they have locs and wear a certain color or live in a certain neighborhood.
In 2019 we brought awareness for Kelshon Keyes who was added to the gang database for driving his little sister home from school. When him and his whole family are staples in the community.
Also in 2019, we fought for the Macon family who was constantly harassed by a particular officer with the GET team.
Since then several community members have gone live, been arrested, released, and harassed on a weekly basis by the GET team in areas like Oak Park, Valley Hi, Meadowview, and Del Paso Heights.
How quickly and completely they respond will determine our next steps.
In the meantime share this. information on your social media pages...bring awareness and stay ready for what we need to do next.