This seemed patently unfair as it appeared that the DA had actually been the culpable party in all of this, making the error of noticing exactly one alleged gang member, an individual who didn’t even live in West Sacramento.
The gang injunction has long been a polarizing policy. Many people who have been victimized by the criminal Broderick Boys street gang have insisted that the policy has worked. Statistically speaking crime is down, but it remains difficult to tie crime statistics directly to policies.
However, the Latino community has long claimed that the police have used the injunction as a means to harass and racially profile their community. Many served with the lifetime injunction–who have no legal means or standing by which to challenge the civil penalty–have claimed that they are not and never have been gang members. Perhaps these are untrue statements, but do they not deserve the opportunity to challenge this in court and shouldn’t the DA and not the citizens, have the burden of proof?
Complaints are even more widespread than even this. As the Sacramento Bee reported on Tuesday:
“One by one, 20 residents of West Sacramento shared stories about what they described as hostile encounters with police since an anti-gang injunction was put in place to make the city’s northeast section safer.
They told a town hall meeting Monday night that the injunction — touted as a crackdown on the criminal Broderick Boys street gang — has instead led to harassment and racial profiling of a mostly Latino community.
They talked about children as young as 10 being stopped on the street, sometimes just for wearing the gang’s color of red. Residents also complained of being pulled over for no reason.”
100 people gathered for meeting, this included the Depty Police Chief Henry Serrano, Yolo County Supervisor Mariko Yamada, and representatives from Senator Mike Machado and Assemblymember Lois Wolk’s offices.
However, there was one key person missing and that was Mayor Christopher Cabaldon. I did not believe it was right for Mr. Reisig to dump this mess on Mayor Cabaldon and the city of West Sacramento earlier this year. But now, it is clear that the Mayor is failing to take a leadership position on one of the most crucial and high profile issues facing his city. He has citizens complaining that this policy is being used to harass them. Maybe they are wrong, maybe this policy is a great tool, but the Mayor needs to step up and take the lead on this.
This man wants to be in the Assembly? Then he needs to show leadership on hot-button issues. If not, then maybe he is not the person to represent the 8th Assembly District. It is that important. Supervisor Mariko Yamada was there. He needed to be and he let a portion of his community down by failing to hear their grievances–whether he agrees with them or not.
When you run for higher office, these sorts of events are test cases for the constituents who do not know them. When the going gets tough, what do the candidates who are seeking higher office do. We have already expressed concern for Supervisor Yamada’s leadership on the County General Plan and her failure to listen to the concerns of her constituents. Now we see that Mayor Cabaldon is AWOL as his community or a portion thereof needs him the most to lead them through these tough times. This is very disappointing and perhaps reflective of his overall lack of ability to lead the 8th Assembly District through key crises.
—Doug Paul Davis reporting