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!”