Unregistered Police Offenders
By Jose Reyna, CURYJ Community Organizer
It was December 22, 2008, I remember that day like it was yesterday, It was my 12th birthday and my first encounter with the Oakland Police Department. I was outside my front gate with my cousins talking and joking around when a patrol car pulled up and two police officers hopped out with guns drawn, ordering us to put our hands up. We complied with what they asked, but we were still searched and harassed. They questioned us about what we were doing in a known drug area, I told them it was my twelfth birthday and that this here was my house. They responded by asking if I wanted to get tazed twelve times or if I wanted to get hit by the baton twelve times. They continued harassing us for about an hour until our parents came out, then they acted like their job was done and tried to act all polite.
The purpose of my story is that most police officers are very threatening and abusive of their power until they see they can be held accountable. A lot of community members have very negative encounters with police officers that are supposed to protect Brown and Black people by making us feel safe in our own communities. Imagine if any of us at my birthday, all under aged, would’ve made any sudden moves, we would have most likely been murdered by the police. This is the reality that all unarmed men of color have faced because of police misconduct and lack of police accountability. California has one of the strictest laws regarding access to police public records, which allows them to continue assaulting community members without consequence. Luckily, we are working on passing a bill that will hold these police officers responsible for murdering innocent people, and finally hold them accountable.
What will “ The Right to Know Bill” do:
- Allow public access to police investigations — findings, and discipline relating to deadly and serious uses of force.
- Allow public access to police investigations — findings, and discipline relating to proven sexual assault against a civilian.
- Allow public access to police investigations — proven dishonesty in the investigation, reporting, and prosecution of crimes, such as perjury and planting and destroying evidence.
By passing “The Right to Know Bill” we the people will have full public access to records of police officers that will murder, rape, lie, and destroy evidence that could be used to hold them accountable in the future. So help CURYJ apply pressure and get these protected uniformed and badged murderers and rapists off our streets so that our youth and community members can feel safe once and for all.