Black Lives Matter-Sacramento Activists Avoid Prosecution for Occupation of City Hall

Four were arrested in April, from left, Tanya Faison, Denise Lipscomb, Trina Allen and David Andre

By Cres Vellucci

Dozens of Black Lives Matter Sacramento supporters flooded the main arraignment court floor here in Sacramento Superior Court Tuesday (May 30), causing a logjam of potential jurors, defendants and legal staff – and surprising Sacramento Sheriff’s deputies charged with security.

In the end, the court announced that all three BLM activists who faced misdemeanor charges for occupying City Hall April 28 – to protest police shooting of a mentally ill Black man – avoided prosecution when the Sacramento County District Attorney refused to file charges.

Despite that announcement, the activists created a stir when deputies Tuesday threatened to arrest some of them for taking photographs in the court’s hallway after the announcement that charges had not been filed.

However, deputies failed to produce the law or court rule, when asked, and activists correctly pointed out that news media can record in hallways with the court’s permission. In the end, there were no arrests.

BLM organizer Tanya Faison, one of those arrested at City Hall after a sometimes tense nearly seven hour sit-in April 28, was pleased with the outcome Tuesday, but asserted that Dazion Flenaugh was murdered April 8, 2016, by SPD officers after he suffered a mental health crisis triggered by being illegally detained in the back of a police vehicle.

In particular, Faison and fellow arrestees Denise Lipscomb, David Andre and Trina Allen  (who has a later court date than the other three), were incensed that the three Sacramento Police Dept. officers who killed Flenaugh received medals for bravery the day before the sit-in.

BLM said at the time:

“Officers who triggered a mental health crisis, released, and then hunted down Dazion Flenaugh…got a medal with an award ceremony for killing Dazion.  They literally got rewarded for killing a Black man who didn’t have a home, and was suffering a mental health crisis they induced.

“Who does this to families mourning their loved ones, fighting for their loved one? Our police department is blatantly rewarding police for taking our lives!”

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      1. Tia Will

        That is completely amazing to me. What were the awarding superiors thinking ? I can have some empathy for the on site officers for their response to what they perceived as an emergency situation even though it was one of their own making. I once or twice found myself in this situation in surgery where my erroneous response to my own initial error made things worse. But I have a very hard time understanding how in the calm after a tragic event, one could chose to honor such terrible process and decision making as bravery.

        1. David Greenwald

          I remember in 2006 during the height of the Buzayan controversy, the DPD honored the arresting officer with Officer of the Year as well.  Its a circle the wagons approach that is tone deaf to sensitivity or political reality.

          1. David Greenwald

            That doesn’t really explain the need to go beyond basic levels of support for the process and the officers.

  1. Tia Will

    David and Jim

    Thanks for your thoughts on my question. Either way, I think that this is egregious. In both of the instances of my double errors, post review in which I got to state what had happened from my point of view, in the end, I was not chastised as this was well within the range of what can go wrong in surgery, I certainly wasn’t named surgeon of the year ether….and rightfully so. I see this as a ridiculous exercise in lack of transparency and respect for the communities served.

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